Alternatives to Traditional Size and Fitness Programming

TAGS: aerobic capacity, rugby player, Beastly Circuit, sports performance, Ashley Jones, hypertrophy, Q&A

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Well, this months article comes about from a question by Aleksa in response to a previous article, he wrote:

“Hello, Ashley. I'm not a rugby player, but I like training like I am a rugby player because of strength, conditioning, etc. I am 170 cm tall and I weigh 75kg,. I am 26 years old. Last year, I ran 2400 metres in 10 minutes and 26 seconds, but this year it was 11 minutes and 22 seconds. I can train with weights 3-5 times a week and run max three times a week, for the next three weeks. My goals are basically upper body hypertrophy and increasing my aerobic capacity without losing kilograms. Do you have any program for completing these goals?”

Here was my original reply:

Hi Aleksa, I would suggest that you do complexes three times a week such as the Beastly complex, then each training day after the complex do the following:

Monday: Beastly + Lower Body Pull + 3 x Upper Body Pull

Wednesday: Beastly + Lower Body Push + 3 x Upper Body Push

Friday: Beastly + Full Body ( 1 x LB push, Pull & 1 x UB Push & Pull)

You can run on Tuesday and Saturday based around:

Week 1: 15 X 40 seconds work and 20 seconds walking, rest at 110% VO2 max

Week 2: 20 X 30 seconds work and 30 seconds walking, rest at 125% VO2 max

Week 3: 25 X 20 seconds work and 40 seconds walking, rest at 140% VO2 max

Week 4: 10 X 20/40, 10 X 30/30, 10 X 40/20 at the respective percentages of VO2 max

As for sets and reps, I would train for strength and power in the lower body movements and then use one strength protocol, 2x size protocols for the upper body.

I answered the question briefly but decided that it needed a more thorough explanation, hence this article. I hope more of you reading may be interested and assisted.

To achieve this goal is not a three-week program, but more like a six month dedication to a program and an investment in the future. You have to be able to stick with something and persevere in order to get where you want to go.

Here is how I would address the programming issue from a sports performance coaching perspective, but remember the program will not work if you do not commit and work as well.

So with the original answer to Aleksa’s question as a template, I will expand.


Monday:

Beastly Circuit

Option 1: Dead Lift/Power Clean from Hang/Front Squat/Push Press/Bent Over Row/Romanian Dead Lift (use a watt bike if you have access and go for two kilometers as fast as you can).

Lower Body Peak Power Movement (choose one)

  • Power Clean
  • Power Snatch
  • Jump Squat
  • Trap Bar Power Shrug From Floor
  • Box Jumps

Upper Body Push Movements (choose three from your list of personal favorite movements or as a guide)

1 x Primary – Compound, multi joint, bar based: bench press, incline bench press, shoulder press, football bar press.

1 x Secondary – Compound, multi joint, DB or KB based.

1 x Tertiary – Either compound or isolation, BW or machine/cable based.

Wednesday:

Beastly Circuit

Option 2: Power Snatch from floor/Push Press/Back Squat/Hang Clean/Split Jerk/Romanian Dead Lift with snatch grip (use a concept two rowing ergometer and go for 750 metres flat out)

Lower Body Peak Force Movement (choose one)

  • Back squat
  • Front squat
  • Box squat
  • Deadlift

Upper Body Pull Movements (choose three from your list of personal favourite movements or as a guide)

1 x Primary — Compound, multi joint, bar based: chin ups, bentover row, high pulls from hang.

1 x Secondary – Compound, multi joint, DB or KB based.

1 x Tertiary – Either compound or isolation, BW or machine/cable based.

Friday:

Beastly Circuit

Option 3: Three positions clean (high thigh, above knee, below knee & repeat)/Push Press/Jump Squat/Hang Snatch/Split Jerk behind Neck/Good Morning (use a versa climber and climb for 100 metres as fast as you can)

1 x Full Body Program

1 x Lower body push and pull super sets using single leg movements for each: Bulgarian sprinter's squat super setted with single leg hip thrust.

1 x Upper body push and pull super sets using 2x primary movements that you have not used earlier in the week: Bench press super setted with pendlay row

As for the running, if you really need to do it, on top of what I have planned out here for you, then I would stick with an interval based high intensity repeated speed program. After a good warm up including five minutes of running at around 70% of your VO2 max running pace and a range of mobility drills do the following and conclude each workout with a warm down run of five minutes at a VO2 pace minus 15%:

Week 1: 15 X 40 seconds work at 110% VO2 max and 20 seconds walking rest

Week 2: 20 X 30 seconds work at 125% VO2 max and 30 seconds walking rest

Week 3: 25 X 20 seconds work at 140% VO2 max and 40 seconds walking rest

Week 4: 10 X 20/40, 10 X 30/30, 10 X 40/20 at the respective percentages of VO2 max

Sets and Reps

Now for sets and reps. I collect all I see and read on the internet and from various programs into a file that I can call upon to use variations in my program design, and I proof test them on myself to see what can be done. Some I keep and some I put aside for another program, but as Louie has said “everything works but nothing works for ever.” Find out what best works for you. Here is a list of some sets and rep protocols that would fit nicely in with the program I have listed above.

For Size

1. 4 x 8 @ 70% also 5 x 6 – 10 to failure or near failure on concentric phase of movement

2. 6 x 6 @ 70% or 8 x 8 @ 60% (Gironda < 30 seconds rest between sets)

3. 30’s or 50’s method use a weight where you can get 6 – 8 RM on the first set and resting only 30 seconds in between sets accumulate a total of 30 or 50 reps

For Strength and Power

6 sets loading cycle (Wave Loading)

Week 1: 2 x (6/5/4), Week 2: 2 x (5/4/3), Week 3: 2 x (4/3/2)

5 sets loading cycle (Strength)

Week 1: 5 x 5, Week 2: 2 x 5, 3 x 3, Week 3: 5/4/3/2/1

4 sets loading cycle (Clusters)

Week 1: 4 x 3/3 with 20 seconds rest, Week 2: 4 x 2/2/2 with 20 seconds rest, Week 3: 4 x 3/2/1 with 20 seconds rest

3 sets loading cycle (Strength)

Week 1: 3 x 5, Week 2: 3 x 3, Week 3: 5/3/1

Thanks for reading and I hope that you can make some satisfactory gains following some of these principles.

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