T Nation

How to Blitz and How Not to Blitz


Most people here know that you need to train consistently to make good progress. In conjunction with this basic principle some authors/trainers have suggested 'blitzing', meaning a sudden and short term increase in volume and/or frequency, as a good way for trainees to enhance progress in muscle and/or strength gains.

I was wondering what kind of 'blitz' has worked best for individuals on T-Nation and what kind did not provide any (permanent) benefits.
Any notes and tips (about possible pitfalls for instance) are welcome, but please speak out of personal experience if you can.

I am hoping we can learn more about the real results from blitzing by putting many experiences together.

Sooo, what kind of blitzing was most effective in your experience and which turned out to be useless or even counterproductive?

Thanks in advance!

Btw: I've got the term 'blitz' from Brian Johnston, author of 'Apex'.


Serious question. Why not "blitz" all the time?



why not increase volume and frequency beyond recovery capacity all the time?

serious question. huh?

to op:

if your interested in that type of training, read "big beyond belief". basically, you build up your training capacity over several weeks and then move into a lower volume growth phase. pretty interesting read.


I am assuming you mean "Big beyond belief" by Leo Costa. I already read it and it did not work for me that well. Shorter, more frequency based blitzing seems to work way better for me, but thanks for the suggestion.

Now, how about your own experience with blitzing? Please tell me.


Because most people aren't on drugs all the time and/or have a life in between training sessions.

Ps: I personally don't use any enhancement drugs, but I don't judge others for using them. It's their choice. I have no insight in the factors that compelled them as an individual. I would like however that people mention if they used drugs on their blitz if they feel comfortable mentioning it, because else the 'data' might get distorted. Honesty is much appreciated.


I missed that part. I see.

OP: Sorry for hijacking your thread. I have no experience with blitzing though I did find this http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_training_performance_bodybuilding_alpha/overtraining_on_purpose Also, I believe CT wrote about something like this in the context of not losing ground over vacation. In one of his livespills, I think.


Big beyond belief was good, but IMO not for those who're pretty poor with recovery/high volume routines. I ate till I gained weight, but towards the end the gains weren't lean (and any time I over-ate, it just made me fatter with no muscle). Could be that my intensity was too high? I don't know.

Anyhow, I find short blitz's work best for me (typically 1-2 weeks long).

Much of the time though, my "blitz" consists of training more days per week (e.g. 6 days/week)...only on a good week (stress is low/energy is high) but I wouldn't consider that very strategic, more instinctive





Here is something I'm doing right now which may be considered a blitz (for some bodyparts):

Monday: Pressing (As termed by CT)
Tuesday: pressing
Wednesday: Recovery workout
Thursday: pressing
Friday: pressing
Saturday: Back/bi
Sunday: Recovery workout
+PLP-program on top of this; really help balance out the back with upper body pressing

On monday you would choose 1 exercise for a movement pattern (upper body pressing fx), ramp up until in the 3-5 rep range until you hit the max weight you can do for 3 stellar reps. Then do 1 wave as waving is described in the HPMass-program.
Now add one wave each time you have a pressing workout for the next 3 weeks.
This will give you x number of sets where x = 1+(n*3)+ramping sets(usually around 6).

By the end of the 3 weeks you will be doing 1+(12*3)+6 sets (43 sets).

If you can handle more just start the first workout with more than 1 wave and follow the same progression.

Volume progressions <3


usually you will blitz during obvious passing downs, especially on 3rd and long. Hope this helps.


Please explain. I am not familiar with this terminology. (I live in Europe)
Or are you just joking. :wink:


When you have more than 10 yards or 9.14400 meters until you get a 1st down.


Thanks for the info, bonerjams.

I could have known...


BTW Gregron was making a joke about american football...anyway,
I am new to working out and "blitzing" but I have unintentionally being doing it for about 6-8 months.
It seems (for me) That if I work out 5-6 days a week for 2-3 weeks then on the 4th week work out 2-3 times (preferably not back to back) Lift light with high reps and up your cardio, maybe even take 3-4 days off completely then hit it hard again the muscle mass you had when working out 5 days a week comes back bigger and better. Like I said Im new to this and It may be all in my head but this method seems to work for me.


Yeah OP I was joking around.

If I'm reading your post correctly you're talking about hitting a lagging bodypart with more volume and or frequency? I think thats a pretty basic concept and that if you find that there is something that you're falling behind with you just focus on that BP for 4-8 weeks (just a generalization of a time frame)

If its shoulders you could just add a second shoulder day into your routine. Or if its arms you could hit bi's with back, tri's with chest and then hit an arms day all on their own to get more work in. I dont think it really needs to be very complicated but I could have misunderstood your post.


I am afraid you misunderstood. Blitzing is mainly meant as a tool to increase the size and/or strength of all muscles/whole body. Also, it is meant to be used for a maximum of say 3-4 weeks and at minimum one day. Muscles can be tackled individually, but this is normally done with the intention to cycle through muscle groups.

Please note that this not 'overtraining on purpose', for the "overtraining" (overreaching actually) state is not the intention or an requirement for the effectiveness of blitzing.

CW's 'perfect 10' could be called blitzing, but so could Poliquin's 'one day arm cure'. (last one did not work for a lot of people)

Edit: 'Big Beyond Belief' would be a better example for it doesn't specialize on a few muscle groups. The gradual volume build-up is not neccesarily a component of blitzing however.


I thought Big Beyond Belief worked on applying Dual Factor theory (overreaching+rebound from lower volume period) to bodybuilding? But you are of the opinion that it is not?

"Please note that this not 'overtraining on purpose', for the "overtraining" (overreaching actually) state is not the intention or an requirement for the effectiveness of blitzing."

This sentence interests me. What is Blitzing really then if not Dual Factor? Serious question, in case I sound like a dick.


'Blitzing' is just generic term to make it easier to talk about (sporadically) heavily increasing volume and/or frequency for a short period, nothing more. It is not a program/system, just the act of bumping up volume/frequency short term.

Dual Factor/overtraining is a requirement of that specific system, but not of blitzing in general.

Catch my drift? :wink:


Ah I see, much clearer now.