This program consists of two separate blocks, each lasting four weeks with an optional deload and AMRAP max testing week to finish out the program strong.
As mentioned earlier, Block 1 starts out with relatively low intensities, with most movements falling in the RPE 7 range as you adapt to higher frequencies. Week 2 sees a moderate increase in rep volume on primary exercises, which will increase the overall difficulty of that training week.
In Week 3, intensity (effort) increases as the target RPE for each movement bumps up to the 8 range. The intensity peaks in Week 4 with more RPE 8 and 9 sets to finish out the first block of training.
The primary movements in Block 1 use an RPE approach for assigning load and ensuring progression. As you will see, the amount of weight, reps and sets vary from week to week for these movements. This means we are using weekly undulating periodization to progress on these movements (i.e. training variables change from week to week).
For the secondary and tertiary movements, we are using a simple linear progression, where your goal will be to add some weight to the movement from week to week. This should be clear from the increase in RPEs seen from Week 1 to Week 4.
On certain exercises where lighter weights must be used, such as lateral raises, or bodyweight exercises like hanging leg raises, it may be more realistic to progress through the use of better control (such as by slowing the negative marginally more from week to week) or development of a stronger mind-muscle connection.
Tracking your weights and LSRPE is crucial to ensuring progression and making sure you’re not just spinning your wheels and doing the exact same thing from week to week.
In Block 2, things get much more interesting. At this point, you have fully adjusted to the high training frequency and the repeated bout effect is in full swing. You should no longer be feeling sore after training sessions and you should be handling heavier weights than what you were using in Week 1 (and with better form too)
As you will see, while the core movements remain the same, many exercises have been switched out for new variations. Here we are putting the saying “sometimes a change is as good as a rest” to use. In this block, we’ll be making use of top sets and back off sets to emphasize strength development on primary exercises.
Similar to Block 1, because the frequency is high, it is important to be more moderate with effort on the secondary lifts while focusing on mastering technique and the mind-muscle connection. Try to put all of your primitive energy into the heavy top set to start the workout, and then dial back for the rest of the workout while practicing focus and control. Similar to Block 1, RPEs increase linearly throughout Block 2, before reaching a peak in Week 8.
DELOAD AND AMRAPS
After completing Week 8, I’d encouraged you to run a deload (both intensity and frequency are high to finish out the program) before testing your new maxes. Week 9 primarily sees a decrease in intensity, as volumes are still quite high. Be careful to pull back on your exertion this week, as it will actually improve your performance for the max testing in Week 10. The idea is to have you feeling fresh and recovered leading into the final week of the program, so you can assess the gains that have been made.
When performing an AMRAP test, always use a spotter’s assistance and perform a thorough warmup first by pyramiding up in weight, using your current estimated 1RM. There is an example of what such an AMRAP warm-up should look like below:
- Bar x 15
- 50% x 8
- 60% x 4
- 70% x 3
- 80% x 2
- 85% x 1
After determining your max reps with the assigned weight, you can plug the results of the AMRAP test into this 1RM calculator to roughly determine your new working 1RM: http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/OneRepMax.html
At this point, you can begin the program for another round starting with Week 1.