WHAT YOU WILL PRIMARILY GET WITH THIS PROGRAM
(ONLY WHAT YOU GIVE, BUT PROVIDED YOU GIVE ADEQUATELY):
BEFORE BEGINNING ANY EXERCISE REGIMEN, IT IS IMPORTANT TO INTERPRET THE SPECIFICITY OF YOUR PROGRAM:
THIS PROGRAM IS NOT:
-AN AEROBIC TRAINING OR ATHLETIC CONDITIONING PROTOCOL
-A WORKLOAD CAPACITY PROTOCOL
-A WEIGHT LOSS PROTOCOL
-A "HIGH VOLUME" PROGRAM
ALTHOUGH YOU MAY EXPERIENCE MINOR TO MODERATE IMPROVEMENTS IN ANY OR ALL OF THESE MARKERS, THIS PROGRAM IS NOT PRIMARILY INTENDED FOR THESE PURPOSES.
THIS PROGRAM IS:
-A PROGRESSIVE STRENGTH TRAINING PROGRAM
-A "LOW VOLUME" HIGH INTENSITY PROGRAM
-A MUSCLE BUILDING PROTOCOL
IF ADEQUATE CALORIES ARE CONSUMED AND RECOVERY IS ALLOWED, YOU WILL EXPERIENCE INCREASES OR IMPROVEMENTS IN ALL OF THESE MARKERS.
THIS PROGRAM IS INTENDED FOR TRAINEES WITH PREVIOUS BODYBUILDING OR STRENGTH TRAINING EXPERIENCE. IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT THIS PROGRAM BE CONDUCTED AS A 3 MONTH PROTOCOL IMPLEMENTED AS A PERIODIZATION OR PHASE OF A GOOD STRUCTURED ROUTINE. HIGH INTENSITY HEAVY DUTYTM TRAINING CAN BE EXTREMELY DRAINING TO THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM AND UNLESS CONDUCTED PROPERLY IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR YEAR ROUND TRAINING. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN Y OUR OWN PERSONALIZED AND STRUCTURED PROGRAM, DESIGNED TO HELP YOU AVOID THE PITFALLS OF INJURY AND OVER TRAINING HEAD OVER TO OR APPLY FOR SOME PERSONAL COACHING WITH ME NATHAN TEBECK HERE:
THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN YOUR TRAINING WITH THIS KIND OF PROGRAM, WILL BE YOUR INTENSITY (WHICH BY NECESSITY WILL ALSO COVER PROGRESSION). INTENSITY WILL NOT BE DEFINED AS HOW MUCH YOU SCREAM AND CONTORT YOUR BODY DURING A GIVEN EXCERSICE, NOR SHOULD IT BE CONFUSED WITH (AS IT OFTEN IS) WITH THE VOLUME OR DURATION OF A WORKOUT. (i.e., HOW MUCH OF A MARATHON STYLE WEIGHT TRAINING SESSION CAN YOU BE SUBJECTED TO BEFORE GIVING IN TO EXHAUSTION) RATHER IT IS THE INTENSITY THAT IS EXERTED DURING A GIVEN SET. tHIS CAN BE HARD TO DEFINE UNLESS EXPERIENCED, BUT fOR PRACTICAL PURPOSES WE WILL GO WITH THE COMMONLY USED r.p.e. OR RATE OF PERCEIVED EXERTION SCALE. IF YOU HAVE ENGAGED IN A QUALITY BREAK IN ROUTINE, OR HAVE BUILT YOURSELF UP TO AN EXPERIENCED LEVEL OF TRAINING, A PROPERLY CONDUCTED HEAVY DUTYTM HIGH INTENSITY SESSION WILL ALWAYS HAVE YOU TRAINING IN THE LEVEL 10 (OR MAXIMUM EFFORT ACTIVITY LEVEL). THIS IS WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE THAT HIGH INTENSITY TRAINING IS BEST SUITED AS A PHASE IN A PROPERLY EXECUTED PERIODIZATION ROUTINE (UNLESS YOU HAVE A SPECIFICALLY TAILORED OR MONITORED HEAVY DUTYTM PROGRAM). CARRYING EXERCISE TO COMPLETE MUSCULAR FAILURE AND EXHAUSTION DURING EVERY SESSION IS TAXING TO THE NERVOUS SYSTEM, IT IS IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE THIS PROGRAM IS NOT DESIGNED FOR A TRAINEE TO FOLLOW YEAR ROUND WITHOUT CHANGES OR ADAPTATIONS BEING MADE FOR AN INDIVIDUAL. WITH THAT BEING SAID, YOU CAN BEGIN BY IDENTIFYING YOUR LEVEL OF FITNESS AND BUILDING YOUR PROGRAM OFF OF THE FOLLOWING SCALE:
NOT STRENGTH TRAINING
1-3 VERY LIGHT TO LIGHT ACTIVITY
FEELS LIKE YOU CAN MAINTAIN FOR HOURS.
4-6 MODERATE ACTIVITY
BREATHING HEAVILY, STILL SOMEWHAT COMFORTABLE, BECOMING NOTICABLY MORE CHALLENGING.
7-8 VIGOROUS ACTIVITY
UNCOMFORTABLE, SHORT OF BREATH, BARELY ABLE TO SPEAK, MUSCULAR FAILURE IS REACHED AFTER 6-8 REPS.
9-10 MAX EFFORT ACTIVITY
FEELS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP GOING. COMPLETELY UNABLE TO TALK, CANNOT MAINTAIN FOR MORE THAN A VERY SHORT TIME. MUSCULAR FAILURE IS REACHED, FORCED REPS AND OTHER INTENSITY METHODs ARE THEN EMPLOYED.
when training in true heavy dutytm high intensity style, you should only ever be training within the intermediate to advanced stages of the r.p.e. scale, (the one exception being the one to two week break in period in which the beginner r.p.e. is recommended.) in fact, the goal is to be working within the advanced level r.p.e. as soon as possible but without risking one's safety. After all, mike mentzer said: "the greater the intensity, the greater the growth stimulus." the more you can work in that zone during this 3 month program, the better results you will achieve.
what this means: training to a point of complete muscular failure (to where one more rep is not at all possible) while maintaining proper form and without employing "cheat reps." if form is breaking down; this can be considered muscular failure. this is refereed to as the intermediate stage. when a trainee has progressed significantly during the intermediate stage of the r.p.e. scale for about a month or more, it is time to implement the advanced stage of the r.p.e. scale. during this stage trainees will take sets to momentary muscular failure and then beyond by utilizing the advanced stage intensity methods listed later in this program which include: forced reps, negatives, and drop sets. by doing this and consistently progressing the resistance at every session, you will ensure strength and muscle growth increases. progression should be measured in two ways:
a good well rounded program incorporates varying repetitions as long as progression is employed. however in my experience, I achieved the best results for myself and my clients with this particular variant of Mentzer's program using a 6-8 repetitions protocol.
what this means: choose a weight that will allow 6-8 reps to muscular failure. if you reach 6 or less it is a good idea to keep that resistance at the same level during the next session in which you hit that same exercise. if however you reach 8 or more, it is time to increase your resistance. 2.5-5 lbs is a safe bet, but this can depend on several factors including the muscle group, the type of exercise, and the strength increases that may have occurred between sessions. a good rule of thumb is not to exceed 15 lbs progression across the board in any exercise, but this will depend on the comfortably and experience of the individual. refer to the example below:
session 1: barbell curl 70 lbs x 6 reps
session 2: Barbell curl 70 lbs x 8 reps
session 3: barbell curl 75 lbs x 6 reps
in any event, continuous progression indicates that you are not overtraining. if slowdowns occur, it may be time to adjust the frequency or duration of your training. if you follow the frequency guidelines below, you will easily be able to avoid overtraining and ride the continuous ''gains train'' that is this three month program.
AFTER INTENSITY, THE NEXT MOST IMPORTANT PRINCIPLE WITH HEAVY DUTYTM TRAINING IS FREQUENCY. GENERALLY THE MORE EXPERIENCED YOU ARE, THE HIGHER THE LOADS YOU WILL HANDLE AND THE HIGHER THE INTENSITY WILL BE, THUS MORE TIME WILL BE REQUIRED TO RECOVER FROM a SESSION. HOWEVER EACH INDIVIDUAL RECOVERS DIFFERENTLY, AND EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT AS EXPERIENCED, YOU MAY REQUIRE MORE TIME IN BETWEEN SESSIONS. THE BEST RULE OF THUMB IS TO Monitor YOUR PROGRESS, AS LONG AS YOU ARE CONTINUALLY PROGRESSING AND THERE ARE NO SLOW DOWNS IN PROGRESS: YOUR FREQUENCY IS ON POINT. REFER TO THE TABLE BELOW TO SELECT YOUR SCHEDULE:
EVERY OTHER DAY
(NO MORE THAN 3 DAYS PER WEEK.)
EX TRANING DAYS: MON-WED-FRI
EX REST DAYS: TUE-THUR-SAT-SUN
EVERY THIRD DAY
(NO MORE THAN 3 DAYS PER WEEK.)
EX TRANING DAYS: MON-THUR-SUN AND SO ON
EX REST DAYS: TUE,WED-FRI,SAT-SUN,MON AND SO ON
EVERY FOURTH OR FIFTH DAY
(NO MORE THAN 2 DAYS PER WEEK.)
EX TRANING DAYS: MON-FRI-TUE AND SO ON
EX REST DAYS: TUE,WED,THURS-SAT,SUN,MON AND SO ON
Here is an example of how one could schedule their frequency in this program (let's assume hypothetically for the sake of example each month is 31 days):
HEAVY DUTY PROGRAM
HEAVY DUTY PROGRAM
HEAVY DUTY PROGRAM
you will notice that rest time increases with each succession in intensity, it is important that this factor be taken into account for your own program. you may choose to run the break in for only one week if you are a fairly experience strength trainee. you may also choose to run the intermediate stage for a longer or briefer period before you reach the advanced stage. this is all dependent on many factors unique to the individual, including recovery rate, experience, and current strength levels. no program should be cut and copied directly from trainee to trainee since all individuals are just that: individual. However as mike himself said: "such differences exist within a limited range.'' therefore, to attain the best results, everyone will require a high intensity stimulus to make desirable progress.
each day that does not have an r.p.e. "scaled workout" listed is considered a "rest day". this means no weight training of any kind. active a, but stay away from weight training. if you are planning to use this program as a phase in a periodized plan (as I have recommended) then complete the program as intended. it is only fair to give the full program a chance as intended before throwing in the towel, and I can assure you, if you work hard and perform as outlined, you will see the result's. "what?! you're telling me I can gain strength and building muscle training only once or twice per week??" actually yes, and as a natural trainee you can do so better than if you were training more often. I implore you to explore the readings of Mike Mentzer for yourself to better understand the theories and rational behind heavy dutytm training. just know the reality is, that if you are training drug free it is not only entirely possible to build recognizable strength and muscle while using a high intensity heavy duty program, but can be more beneficial when executed properly, as I did myself in the before and after posted below. the is the exact program I followed for about a year to produce the changes you see here:
throughout the 70's and 80'S AND WE HAD BODYBUILDER'S LIKE MIKE AND RAY MENTZER, casey viator, sergio oliva, and later in the 90's: dorian yates, dominate the bodybuilding stage while using high intensity training techniques. these bodybuilders had more herculean physiques than had ever been seen before (up to that point), all while using programs that utilized heavy poundages, high intensity, and far less time in the gym than the other champs of the day. today, virtually all of the programs recommended for those looking to gain muscle are based around a "volume approach." now more than ever it is important to recognize that trainees can reap the benefits of a high intensity, "low volume" method-especially those who are training drug free.
given that the intensity principle will require more energy and strength output, the "inroad" to recovery ability will be high. Imagine throwing a log into a small camp fire versus throwing it into a high grade stoked and blazing incinerator. what would happen to the log in each instance? with The campfire, you could expect the log to slowly burn and remain in tact for a matter of hours. where as the log in thrown into the incinerator would be disintegrated almost instantly. you could make the same comparison with standard strength training (campfire) and Heavy dutytm high intensity training (incinerator). the hotter the fire, the faster the log (energy) will burn. this is why it is unwise to try and mix high intensity work with a high workload, you can train hard or you can train long...but you cant do both!
What this means: Sessions need to be short (no more than 60 minutes) and sets need to be low (no greater than ten total sets, not including warm up of course). the stronger you get, the less volume you will need to induce growth. furthermore, this reduction in volume and duration is required in order to experience progression in strength and muscle mass. here is an example of how one might implement this principle during their own program:
Chest & Triceps workout (Intermediate level)
bench press 265 x 8
pec dec 160 x 8
dips 75 x 6
skull crusher 110 x 8
triceps pushdown 100 x 8
latteral raises 40 x 8
-superset- Latteral raises (drop set) 25 x 12
Chest & Triceps workout (advanced)
Bench press 290 x 6
dips 90 x 6
skull crusher 125 x 6
triceps pushdown static hold 130 x 15 seconds
latteral raises 50 x 8
during the listed intermediate level workout, the trainee performed a total of 7 sets. by the time the trainee progressed to the advanced level, they were performing only 5 sets. pec dec flys and the latteral raise drop sets were both removed. also take note that the triceps pushdowns were converted to a static hold, which allowed for more weight handled with a smaller inroad to recovery ability (see the advanced stage intensity methods section). most noticeable is that the weight being handled is substantially heavier in the advanced stage session. this is a direct result of the reduction in volume in relation to the ever increasing intensity.
with workouts during the break in period spanning about 15 sets, and advanced stage workouts spanning as little as 4 or 5, do not be surprised to see your workout duration drop to as low as 30 minutes (especially when you have reached the advanced stage). this allows for an at least 3 minute break between heavy sets. moving as quickly as possible between sets without sacrificing strength is recommended in order to keep the intensity high. this excludes super setting which would be moving from one exercise to another without any rest (see the advanced stage intensity methods section.)
A SET PERFORMED DIRECTLY AFTER your primary set (see super sets) but at a lower resistance. for example, a trainee's drop set may look like this:
Lateral raises: 45x8
drop set 20x12
in a drop set, I advise going to higher repetitions as well (upward of 15) just to really build up that intense the targeted muscle
Benefit: Higher fiber recruitment, and greater fatigue in targeted muscle
A SET PERFORMED immediately following another, with zero rest in between the two. For example: Squat super set to leg extension.
Benefit: pre fatigue of prime movers so targeted muscles can be more adequately activated
once you have reached muscular failure, have a spotter or training partner assist you through 2-3 aditional repetions that otherwise would not have been possible. Maintain form and terminate the set if at any point your partner is doing any strenuous work
Benefit: total activation and fatigue of targeted muscle fibers
in my personal experience, of all of these methods, static holds and negatives seem to be the most effective at progressing strength. use a resistance equal to or heavier than your one rep max for a particular exercise. have a partner assist you into the contracted position and hold the weight for 7-15 seconds. if at any point you feel that you may loose control, terminate the set.
Benefit: strengthening of muslces, tendons, and ligaments
begin by choosing a resistance slightly heavier than your one rep max ( as you get stronger you should progress but slowly). once a partner has helped you into the contracted position, slowly lower the weight under control until you have reached the stretched position. have your partner help you back into the contracted position and repeat the rep. cadence should be no shorter than 4-6 seconds, if in doubt move slower. these can also be performed at the end of a set, with the same resistance that was used during your typical set to failure
Benefit: strengthening of muslces, tendons, and ligaments
choose a resistance that can only be performed for one or two reps. perform a single rep, then rest for 10-15 seconds. repeat for 3-4 repetitions. these can also be performed at the end of a set, with the same resistance that was used during your typical set to failure
Benefit: strengthening of 1rm, muslces, tendons, and ligaments