T Nation

Meltdown I, final weeks

Hi all, I have completed one round of Meltdown I (now alternating with 5x5 on a two week cycle - best of both worlds). My point is - have you others noticed that even if you push very hard during the workout, you just won’t get that tired afterwards, after 3-4 weeks of Meltdown? I’m at the point that I cannot use heavier weights because 3 second concentric really drains you. My muscles cry at the end of the workout, but an hour later, I’m feeling pretty recovered, at least compared to first sessions when I promptly fell asleep on my couch. Is this just radically improved cardio fitness+recovery capability, or a sign that Meltdown is no longer effective and I should just do 5x5? BTW, I’m around 13% bf, aiming for 10%.

I’ve recently started Meltdown, and I’ll agree that those 3sec concentrics are killer. I’m using much less weight than I’d normally use for ten reps on all those exercises. I usually am not ‘beat’ after working out normally, because I’m kinda low volume, but during my sets my heart is thumping like a train. I’m a bit worried that it’ll give out. I’m not getting lactic build up, just cardio stress. Okay, I’m willing to push the heart, but it feels MUCH higher than my “recommended max” that I’d get doing cardio.

I’m into my second week and I’m the same way. I agree with both of you that the training is intense and the heart rate gets high. I attribute a lot of the quick recovery not only to the lighter weights but to the fact that it’s extremely difficult to overtrain when your workout only lasts about 25 minutes. When I’m on my strength and bulking stages I subscribe to the 45 minute rule. I really watch my recovery times and at 45 minutes I walk out, done or not. By doing that I’m able to lift more often and recover more quickly.

Thanks, both. Yes, my heart was also pumping like crazy for the couple of weeks, but after that initial period, I have felt the lactic acid burn much more as my cardiovascular system got used to heavy stress. Now, 3 sec slow rise from squat bottom position really gives the burn. Weights are really low, about 35-50% of the weight I use during 5x5.

Jeez, maybe im out of shape, after i finish the meltdown workout i usually have troubles getting up the stairs for about 10 mins, I have to carry bag around with me cause I dry heave…are you guys almost like running to your next exercise?? the only rest u get in the first circuit is not even a rest, adjusting the weights…after 2 weeks i still think the workout is sadistic, im not used to it, you might have superior conditioning if you are putting all your effort into it and still aren’t beat

Man, I realize now how many mistakes I’ve been making during my meltdown…I didn’t bother concentrating on the 3s concentrics, because I wasn’t strong enough to do it in anything but the push-ups. I can easily do it with dips now, however, whereas chin-ups still pose a problem.


Next time I’ll attempt using lighter weights and REALLY concentrate on tempo instead, going up in weight as necessary.

AR: sounds normal. MD is absolute torture on lower fitness levels. It will get easier, just make sure that you are not “cheating” unintentionally (making reps faster or lengthening rest periods). As reward, your lactic acid flush rate will improve dramatically. Try running sprints after 6 wks of meltdown - you will be surprised how much longer you can sprint without fatiguing.

Harkonnen: I find that speed is the most important thing in this program, weights are secondary. At least I can get lactic acid burn in my thighs just with 45 lb. bar if I squat slow and deep enough. I use weights that I can barely get ten reps in the last superset with. If the weight seems too light in the first set, it doesn’t matter - it will be enough during 3&4th set. First round should be rather easy. And yes - 10 x 3 sec chinups and dips are undoable for me - I substitute with pulldowns, and assist dips with my legs. Point is always to keep reps slow and weights low, and really feel the burn.

I also like to substitute incline bench for pushups…I think this program has helped my running, as i am preparing to marine officer candidate school and i have brought my 3 mile run down from 23 to 21 mins in a couple weeks