T Nation

Thoughts for the Upcoming Max Force Phase


#1

Hi Coach
I've been using your Anaconda program with great results and even more fun for the current hypertrophy phase of my training (football).
I am also planning the next phase (max force) and been thinking of using the first day of each Anaconda phase for that purpose, that is, 4 times a week of Shoulders - Back - Legs - Chest using the heavy day of each

Any advise, comments, sugesstions?

Thanks


#2

You will likely fry the nervous system.


#3

Train the nervous system--not the muscles.


#4

Somewhat true. Muscles recover relatively fast... the nervous system can take a lot longer (6 x more). Most of the time a lifting program that leads to stagnation or lack of progress is due to doing too much CNS-intensive work rather than doing too much overall work.


#5

What if I use the same exercises but with more rest (3-4 Min.)and less sets (3-5) and 1-5 reps?


#6

It's not as simple as that. Rest hasn't much to do with it. I have posted a full football program in my forum, look or it for some ideas.


#7

PHASE 1 - ''NEURAL REWIRING'' TOWARD A MORE EXPLOSIVE PROFILE
Duration: 4 to 6 weeks

Split:
Monday: Lower body
Tuesday: Upper body
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Whole body
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Whole body
Sunday: OFF

MONDAY

SECTION A - ACTIVATION (15 minutes max)
A. Jumping onto a box in front 3-4 sets of 5 jumps
B. Jumping onto a box to your left 3-4 sets of 5 jumps
C. Jumping onto a box to your right 3-4 sets of 5 jumps
D. Jumping onto a box behind you 3-4 sets of 5 jumps

SECTION B - STRENGTH & POWER
A1. Broad jumping - 5 jumps per set
A2. Romanian deadlift - sets of 5 reps. Use 60-75% of your maximum, lift explosively, never use the same load for two sets in a row (wave up and down) perform 4 to 6 sets. 30-45 seconds between A1. and A2. and between A2 and A1.

B1. Vertical jumping - 5 jumps per set
B2. Front squat - sets of 5 reps. Use 60-75% of your maximum, lift explosively, never use the same load for two sets in a row (wave up and down) perform 4 to 6 sets. 30-45 seconds between B1. and B2. and between B2 and B1.

C1. Lunge jump (switch legs in the air) - 3 jumps per leg per set
C2. Lunges (alternate leg on every rep) - sets of 4 reps per leg. Use 60-75% of your maximum, lift explosively, never use the same load for two sets in a row (wave up and down) perform 4 to 6 sets. 30-45 seconds between C1. and C2. and between C2 and C1.

D1. Ankle jumps - 10 reps per set
D2. Standing calves raise - 6 reps per set. Use 60-75% of your maximum, lift explosively, never use the same load for two sets in a row (wave up and down) perform 4 to 6 sets. 30-45 seconds between D1. and D2. and between D2 and D1.

TUESDAY

SECTION A - ACTIVATION (15 minutes max)
A. Plyo push-ups hands on bench 3-4 sets of 5 projections
B. Medicine ball throwdown 3-4 sets of 5 throws
C. Medicine ball throw from chest 3-4 sets of 5 throws

SECTION B - STRENGTH & POWER
A1. Speed DB press - 5 reps per set. Use 40-50% of your max with as much speed as possible
A2. Bench press - sets of 5 reps. Use 60-75% of your maximum, lift explosively, never use the same load for two sets in a row (wave up and down) perform 4 to 6 sets. 30-45 seconds between A1. and A2. and between A2 and A1.

B1. Speed bent over DB rowing (alternate arm on each rep) - 5 reps per arm per set
B2. Bent over barbell row - sets of 5 reps. Use 60-75% of your maximum, lift explosively, never use the same load for two sets in a row (wave up and down) perform 4 to 6 sets. 30-45 seconds between B1. and B2. and between B2 and B1.

C1. Medicine ball throw from chest on incline bench - 5 throws per set
C2. Incline bench press - sets of 5. Use 60-75% of your maximum, lift explosively, never use the same load for two sets in a row (wave up and down) perform 4 to 6 sets. 30-45 seconds between C1. and C2. and between C2 and C1.

D1. Medicine ball throw overhead (push press style) - 5 throws per set
D2. Standing DB press - 5 reps per set. Use 60-75% of your maximum, lift explosively, never use the same load for two sets in a row (wave up and down) perform 4 to 6 sets. 30-45 seconds between D1. and D2. and between D2 and D1.

THURSDAY

SECTION A - ACTIVATION
A. Hold a pair of light DB in the starting position of a shoulder press; jump onto a box, when you land do an explosive DB shoulder press - 3-4 sets of 5 reps

B. 1-arm DB snatch - 3-4 sets of 3 reps per arm

SECTION B - STRENGTH & POWER TRAINING
A1. Top-half back squat from pins - ramp up to a max force set of 3 reps
A2. Vertical jump - 5 jumps per set. 30-45 seconds between exercises.

B1. Top-half deadlift (just above knees) from pins - ramp up tp a max force set of 3 reps
B2. Broad jump - 5 jumps per set

C1. Top-half incline bench press from pins - ramp up tp a max force set of 3 reps
C2. Plyo push-ups hand on bench - 5 projections per set

D. Chin-ups (or fatman pull-ups if not strong enough) - 3-4 sets pf max reps

SATURDAY

SECTION A - POWER CIRCUIT
A1. Jump onto a box in front - 5 reps
A2. Plyo-push up hands on bench - 5 reps
A3. Speed back squat - 3 reps at 40-50%
A4. Push press - 3 reps at 60-70%
A5. Fatman pull-up - 5 reps with max speed

  • Rest a maximum of 25 seconds between stations.
  • Perform anywhere from 6 to 12 circuit... stop when speed and explosiveness starts to degrade
  • If one exercise becomes slower but the others are fine, drop the exercise that is slowing down and keep performing the others.

PHASE II - STRENGTH AND SIZE FOCUS I
DURATION: 4 to 6 weeks

TRAINING SPLIT:
Monday: Squat & quads
Tuesday: Vertical push & pull
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Deadlift & hips
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Horizontal push & pull
Sunday: OFF

MONDAY

SECTION A - ACTIVATION
A. Jump onto a box in front - 3-4 sets of 5 jumps
B. Jump squat (20% body weight) - 3-4 sets of 5 jumps

SECTION B - SIZE & STRENGTH
A. Front squat - sets of 5 reps - start at roughly 50-60% and ramp up to max force point for 5 reps

B. Back squat - sets of 5 reps - ramping, start where you ended the front front squat and work up to max force for 5 reps

C. Top half back squat (slightly above 90 degrees)- ramping, start where you ended the full back squat and ramp up to max force for 5

D. Back squat - 1 set of max reps with 80% of the top weight you reached on the full back squat

TUESDAY

SECTION A - ACTIVATION
A. Medicine ball toss overhead (push press fashion) - 3-4 sets of 5 throws
B. Medicine ball slam - 3-4 sets of 5 throws

SECTION B - STRENGTH & SIZE
A. Standing military press - sets of 5 reps, start at roughly 50-60% and ramp up to max force point for 5 reps

B. Push press - ramping, start where you ended the military press and ramp up to max force for 5 reps

C. Incline bench press - 3 sets of max reps with what you ended up with on the push press

*IMPORTANT: After every set of exercises A, B and C perform a set of pull-ups... perform about 2/3 of the number of your max reps (e.g. if you can do 10 pull-ups do sets of roughly 6 reps)

D1. Preacher curl - 3-4 sets of 6 reps

D2. Seated overhead DB triceps extension - 3-4 sets of 6 reps (superset D1 and D2)

THURSDAY

SECTION A - ACTIVATION
A. Broad jumps - 3-4 sets of 5 jumps
B. 1-arm DB snatch - ramping sets of 3 reps per arm

SECTION B - STRENGTH & SIZE

A. Power high pull (lift bar up to sternum) - sets of 3 reps, start at roughly 50-60% and work up to max force for 3 reps

B. Power low pull (light bar up to belly button) - ramping, start where the high pull ended, work up to the max force set for 3 reps

C. Deadlift - ramping, start where the low pull ended and work up to the max force set for 3 reps

D. Top half deadlift in rack (just above knees) - start where the deadlift ended and work up to the max force set for 3 reps

SATURDAY

SECTION A - ACTIVATION
A. Plyo push-up - 3-4 sets of 5 reps
B. Medicine ball throw from chest - 3-4 sets of 5 reps

SECTION B - STRENGTH & SIZE

A. Close-grip bench press - sets of 5 reps, start at roughly 50-60% work up to max force set for 5 reps

B. Bench press - sets of 5 reps, start where you ended the close-grip bench and work up to max force set for 5 reps

C. Top half bench press in rack (6-8" from chest) - start where you ended the bench work up to max force set for 5 reps

IMPORTANT: After *every set of execises A, B and C perform one set of 5 reps on any horizontal rowing movement

D1. Standing DB hammer curl - 3-4 sets of 6 reps

D2. Lying DB triceps extension - 3-4 sets of 6 reps (superset D1 and D2)

PHASE III - STRENGTH AND SIZE FOCUS II
DURATION: 4 to 6 weeks

Training split:
Monday: 1 whole-body lift + Vertical push/pull
Tuesday: Lower body
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: 1 whole-body lift + horizontal push/pull
Friday: Arms
Saturday: Power circuit
Sunday: OFF

MONDAY

SECTION A - ACTIVATION
A1. Depth jumps - 3-4 sets of 5 reps
A2. Plyo push-up - 3-4 sets of 5 reps
A3. Medicine ball slam - 3-4 sets of 5 reps

SECTION B - STRENGTH & SIZE
A. Power clean & push press - sets of 3 reps, start with roughly 50-60% and ramp up to max force set for 3 reps

B1. Standing DB shoulder press - 4-6 sets of 5 reps

B2. Chin-up parallel grip - 4-6 sets of 5 reps (add weight if needed)... 30-45 sec. of rest between both exercises

C1. Incline bench press - 4-6 sets of 5 reps

C2. Chin-up pronated grip - 4-6 sets of 5 reps (add weight if needed) ... 30-45 sec. of rest between both exercises

D1. Dips (no weight) - 4 sets, stop 2 reps short of failure

D2. Chin-up supinated grip (no weight) - 4 sets, stop 2 reps short of failure

TUESDAY

SECTION A - ACTIVATION
A. Jump on to a box in front - 3-4 sets of 5 reps
B. Jump on to a box behind you - 3-4 sets of 5 reps
C. Broad jump - 3-4 sets of 5 reps

SECTION B - STRENGTH & SIZE
A. Sumo deadlift - 3 reps, start at roughly 50-60% and ramp up to max force set for 3 reps

B. Front squat - 5 reps, start at roughly 50-60% and ramp up to max force set for 3 reps

C. Bulgarian split squat (no weight) - 3 sets, stop 2 reps short of failure

D. Glute-ham raise (back hyperextension if you don't have GHR) - 3 sets, stop 2 reps short of failure

THURSDAY

SECTION A - ACTIVATION
A. Medicine ball throw from chest - 3-4 sets of 5 reps
B. Speed 1-arm row - 3-4 sets of as many reps as you can in 15 seconds

SECTION B - STRENGTH & SIZE
A. Power snatch from the hang - 3 reps, start at roughly 50-60% and work up to max force set for 3 reps

B1. Bench press - 5 reps, start at roughly 50-60% and work up to a max force set for 5 reps

B2. Bent-over barbell rowing - 5 reps, start at roughly 50-60% and work up to a max force set for 5 reps. 30-45 seconds between both exercises

C1. Push-ups - 3 sets, stop 2 reps short of failure

C2. Fatman pull-up - 3 sets, stop 2 reps short of failure

FRIDAY

SECTION A - STRENGTH & SIZE

A1. Top half close-grip bench press - 5 reps, start at roughly 50-60% and work up to max force set for 5 reps

A2. Preacher curl - 5 reps, start at roughly 50-60% and work up to a max force set for 5 reps. 30-45 seconds between both exercises

B1. Lying DB triceps extension - 5 reps, start at roughly 50-60% and work up to a max force set for 5 reps.

B2. Standing DB hammer curl - 5 reps, start at roughly 50-60% and work up to a max force set for 5 reps. 30-45 seconds between both exercises

C1. Overhead DB triceps extension (one DB for both hands) - 5 reps, start at roughly 50-60% and work up to a max force set for 5 reps.

C2. Standing reverse-grip EZ bar curl - 5 reps, start at roughly 50-60% and work up to a max force set for 5 reps. 30-45 seconds between both exercises

SATURDAY

SECTION A - POWER CIRCUIT
A1. Power clean (70-75%) 3 reps
A2. Speed bench press (40-50%) 5 reps
A3. Jump squat (20% bodyweight) 5 reps
A4. Medicine ball slam 5 reps

  • Perform circuit 9-12 times... drop an exercise if it stops being explosive... 15-30 seconds between exercises.

PHASE IV- POWER
DURATION: 4 to 6 weeks

Training split:
Monday: Lower body I
Tuesday: Upper body I
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Lower body II
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Upper body II
Sunday: OFF

MONDAY

A1. Jump on to a box in front - 5-7 sets of 5 reps

A2. Depth jumps for height (jump straight up)- 5-7 sets of 5 reps

A3. Jump squat (25% of bodyweight) - 5-7 sets of 5 reps

A4. Power clean from hang - 5-7 sets of 3 reps

A5. Front squat - 5-7 sets of 3 reps

  • Perform as a circuit with 60-75 seconds between stations

TUESDAY

A1. Medicine ball throw from chest - 5-7 sets of 5 reps

A2. Plyo push up hands on bench - 5-7 sets of 5 reps

A3. Speed bench press (50%) - 5-7 sets of 5 reps

A4. Push press - 5-7 sets of 3 reps

A5. Bench press - 5-7 sets of 3 reps

  • Perform as a circuit with 60-75 seconds between station

THURSDAY

A1. Broad jumps - 5-7 sets of 5 reps

A2. Depth jumps for distance (jump forward) - 5-7 sets of 5 reps

A3. Jump goodmorning (15% bodyweight)- 5-7 sets of 5 reps

A4. Power snatch from hang - 5-7 sets of 3 reps

A5. Deadlift - 5-7 sets of 3 reps

  • Perform as a circuit with 60-75 seconds between station

SATURDAY

A. Bent over barbell rowing - sets of 3 reps, start at 50-60% and ramp up to max force set for 3

B. Chin-up supinated grip - 4 sets of max reps

C. Barbell shrugs - sets of 5 reps, start at 50-60% and ramp up to max force set for 5

D. Bent over lateral raise - 3-5 sets of 8 reps


#8

the point is to maximize CNS efficiency to leverage hypertrophy gains.


#9

Looks like I am fixed with the program, all I have to do is get to it once I'll finish the Chest phase of the Anaconda.


#10

Forgot something...

Thanks a lot!


#11

What are some symptoms of a fried/overworked nervous system?


#12

No motivation to train, mood swings, lack of motor control (less dexterity, decreased skill), problems sleeping despite feeling tired, harder to concentrate, etc.


#13

What are you suggestions for the guy who has all of these symptoms, has had them for a long time, and has trained straight through them with little to no progress?


#14

I'm not CT, but I've had some issues with this in the past, and this is what I would suggest...

  1. Take a long, hard look at your overall nutrition plan first...you may simply be undernourished, underfed or both

  2. Look at your training approach, and implement the concepts of autoregulation. Since I've started to do a better job of this (I've always done it, but not as closely as I do it now), I've experienced very little, to almost zero of the symptoms described...unless I've been dieting hard for an extended period of time and it's near the end

  3. Peri-workout supplementatation....Look into the Ananconda Protocol and use it, if it's financially possible...second best choice would be to use some sort of workout nutrition. This will help speed up recovery (among other things), which could be your main issue to begin with...you're recoverability isn't optimal in accordance with #1 and #2 above.

I'd start with these.

I'm sure CT has a better explanation, but this has been what's worked for me


#15

Thanks for the reply. I'm using Anaconda & MAG-10 currently, tried the full Anaconda protocol for one month but felt sluggish during the workouts. I've read that feeling was supposed to subside, but it never did in my case. Overall calories could be an issue, but I doubt it. Autoregulation may be the key. I notice clarity (for lack of a better word) during the initial stages of my workouts, but as each workout progresses I get fuzzy (if that makes sense). I usually notice this:

  1. After a max rep exercise
  2. Or near the end of a 45-60 minute workout (if no max rep exercise was performed)

Thanks again for the reply, I'm curious to hear what Christian has to say about this because I've heard him mention before that while he was experimenting with the IBB program there were times when he overdid it and it took time for his CNS to recover.


#16

Well, actually I didn't have any problem when performing the original IBB program. I overdid it during the experimental workouts that led to the program. For example, after the workout that they filmed for the original trailer (where I'm doing pin press, bench press and floor press) I actually woke up in the middle of the night feeling drunk: I had no balance whatsoever!

The fuzzy feeling at the end of the workout could either be due to CNS overload or hypoglycemia. MAG-10 and Anaconda have a hefty dose of leucine, which spikes insulin. Without carbs in you, a high level of insulin could cause hypoglycemia.


#17

Thanks for the response Christian. Hypoglycemia is an interesting theory, I'll experiment with some leftover SWF during the workout. If it is indeed CNS overload, would you recommend an every other day approach where the workout stops when the "fuzz sets in," building up a greater work capacity over time?


#18

Here's from an article I'm currently working on:

''I like to actually use neural charge workouts within a training week, to amp up the system and improve the quality of the subsequent workouts. But it is also possible to perform a whole microcycle (5-10 days) using only this type of session. It represents a great way to revive a dead nervous system while giving the musculoskeletal system a much needed break.

What does these workouts consist of? Fairly simple:

a) pick anywhere between 2 and 4 exercises either working the whole body (at least indirectly). These can be basic lifts (bench, squat, deadlifts, rows, chins, dips, etc.), variation of the olympic lifts or jumps and throws, or covering a specific movement pattern (depending on how you structure your training).

b) perform the exercises as a circuit.

c) use moderate rest intervals between exercises (roughly 15-30 seconds if using a whole body approach or 30-45 seconds for a movement pattern-specific one).

d) use a load that is roughly 70% of your maximum and perform sets of 3 reps. If you decide to include jumps, use only your body weight and perform sets of 5. At this intensity level and number of reps even when doing a ''same movement pattern circuit'' (e.g. push press, bench press, dips) you should be able to go through the workout being super explosive and not causing any excessive fatigue or have a drop in performance.

e) perform each repetition as explosively as possible.

f) complete as many circuits as you can in 20-30 minutes (start at 20 and gradually build up to 30) but never allow yourself to do a non-explosive rep. If one exercise stops being explosive drop it from the rotation.

That's it! You do not want to be gassed or slow during the workout. The emphasis is on speed and power, not burning yourself out. At the end of the workout you should actually want to continue training. And one hour after the session you should feel the need to chain yourself to a tree to avoid going to the gym again!

With this type of deloading microcycle not only do I feel that a drop in training frequency is not necessary, I believe that it is counterproductive. Neural charge workouts work best (as a deloading week) if the frequency of training is high: at least 4 sessions per week, preferably 5 or even 6.

This type of deloading week is ideal when you start to feel less explosive and being to have a lowered motivation to hit the weights. A similar approach is often used by Russian powerlifters who include a phase of explosive lifting only after spending some gruelling weeks under mostly heavy weights.

At the end of such a deloading week you should feel like you want to destroy the weight; you should be amped up to train like never before!''


#19

This sounds promising . . . I can't wait to read the full article!

-Eric


#20

Just a quick shot in the dark, do you happen to have such program for soccer too?