The Simplicity Project: Expanding to Two-A-Days for Strength and Size

TAGS: 1-month program, The Simplicity Project, simple program, keeping it simple, strength coaching, Rugby, Ashley Jones, programming, dan john, strength and conditioning, program

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Following on from a previous article utilizing a simple approach to training, I have had numerous emails in regards to expanding on my philosophies. Also, I have had a number of requests for assistance with programming, so I thought I would share a few ideas on this and give you a complete program to work from as well.

The Simplicity Programming Project is based on the work of Dan John, who got me thinking in a new way as to ensuring stimulation and not annihilation. I wanted to expand on previous ideas but re-visiting the work of Charles Poliquin and Ian King with their recommendations for advanced training utilizing a double day approach.


RECENT: The Simplicity Project


This has been fully documented by these two legends of the Iron Game as well as numerous articles on the Bulgarian training method of weightlifting and also books, such as Leo Coster’s classic text Big Beyond Belief.

The first three weeks of the program are a break-in period, splitting my normal full program in half and completing in two sessions in a day, separated by at least 8 to 10 hours. The primary movements in each workout are performed as straight sets to ensure you are concentrating on each movement and resting adequately between sets. While the secondary movements in each session are performed as a superset to increase intensity and as a semi-agonist/antagonist stimulus, they also reduce the time in the gym.

Each upper body session will have an upper body finisher, which is performed non-stop with minimal rest between the supersets. If you were pushed for time and wanted to further ramp up the intensity, you could also include the core movements here as well as a tri-set.

Monday and Wednesday will follow this format, but I have tweaked Friday to give you an insight into what is coming in Phase Two of the program.

The fourth week of the program is a down week, and the sessions are reduced to just two full body workouts without carries or core. These can be done as a circuit as well as a variation in the usual stimulus involved. Please resist the urge to do more in this week, as it is meant as a recovery week before you launch into the higher intensity program for the coming three weeks.

The next block of three weeks uses more or less the same exercises as the first block, but you will now be doing a higher intensity bilateral A.M. session three days a week, utilizing straight sets on each movement. The P.M. session will focus on unilateral or dumbbell movements training the same muscle groups as trained in the morning but using a superset style of training. Once again, you will need to rest 8 to 10 hours between sessions to ensure good recovery.


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The final week is a return to the recovery week of the first phase. After completing two months, I would change your program up in some ways to ensure long-term progression, and you could easily return to this after a couple of months if you wished, and of course, if you found that it produced some good results. Be sure to get a good eight hours of sleep a night and follow an excellent nutrition plan to optimize the stimulation of the training effect.

I have pre-selected exercises into the program for this explanation, but feel free to check what available exercises you can perform in your gym and substitute freely with the ones I have listed as a starting point. If you are more advanced, you may wish to alter the sets and reps based on higher intensity loading cycles such as wave loading and clusters to suit your training age and your needs-based programming.

Ashley-Prowler-1

Strength and Size Program

First Three Weeks

Monday

A.M.

  • Upper Body Push (2) and Pull (2) and Loaded Core (1)
  • Bench Press
  • Pendlay Row
  • ½ Kneeling Landmine Press s/s Dumbbell One Arm Row
  • Rollouts 5 x 10 - 15
  • Upper Body Finisher: 5 sets - Triple Drop Bench Press s/s Mechanical Advantage Chins (both 5/5/5)

P.M.

  • Lower Body Pull (2) and Push (2) and Loaded Carry (1)
  • Deadlift
  • Front Squat
  • Reverse Lunge s/s Hip Thrust
  • Farmer’s Walk 5 x 60 metres rest 90 seconds between reps

Wednesday

A.M.

  • Lower Body Pull (2) and Push (2) and Loaded Carry (1)
  • Power Clean
  • Back Squat
  • Sprinter’s Squat s/s One-Leg Romanian Deadlift
  • Prowler Push 5 x 60 metres resting 90 seconds between reps

P.M.

  • Upper Body Push (2) and Pull (2) and Loaded Core (1)
  • Incline Bench Press
  • Weighted Chins
  • Dumbbell Seated Shoulder Press s/s Dumbbell Shrugs
  • Dumbbell Windmill 5 x 5 reps each side
  • Upper Body Finisher: 5 sets – Liu Raise + Incline Bench Front Raise + Face Pull (12 reps each exercise)

Friday

A.M.

  • Lower Body Push (1), Lower Body Pull (1), Upper Body Push (1), Upper Body Pull (1), Loaded Core (1)
  • Box Squat
  • Romanian Deadlift
  • Push Press
  • Bentover Row
  • Suitcase Deadlift 5 x 5 reps each side

P.M.

  • Lower Body Push (1), Lower Body Pull (1), Upper Body Push (1), Upper Body Pull (1), Loaded Carry (1)
  • Step Ups
  • Split Power Snatch
  • Floor Press
  • Dumbbell Hang Clean
  • Suitcase Carry and Waiter Carry 5 x 60 metres resting 90 seconds between reps
  • Upper Body Finisher: 5 sets – Renegade Row + 3 way Shoulder Raise + Cuban Press (12 reps each)

Sets, Reps and Intensity and Load

Primary Movements – Straight Sets

  • Week 1: 5 x 8
  • Week 2: 4 x 6
  • Week 3: 5 x 5

Secondary Movements – Supersets

  • Week 1: 5 x 12
  • Week 2: 5 x 8
  • Week 3: 5 x 10

Down Week

2 sessions only (Mon/Thurs, Tues/Fri, Wed/Sat)

1 x Lower Body Push and Pull, 1 x Upper Body Push and Pull only, all done as straight sets or as a circuit, 4 x 6 at 75 percent estimated 1RM

Next Three Weeks

Monday

A.M.

  • Lower Body Push (1), Lower Body Pull (1), Upper Body Push (1), Upper Body Pull (1), Loaded Core (1)
  • Box Squat
  • Romanian Deadlift
  • Push Press
  • Bentover Row
  • Suitcase Deadlift 5 x 5 each side

P.M.

  • Lower Body Push (1), Lower Body Pull (1), Upper Body Push (1), Upper Body Pull (1), Loaded Carry (1)
  • Step Ups s/s Split Power Snatch from Hang
  • Dumbbell Floor Press s/s Dumbbell Hang Clean
  • Suitcase Carry and Waiter Carry 5 x 30 metres resting 3 minutes between reps
  • Upper Body Finisher: 5 sets – Renegade Row + 3-Way Shoulder Raise + Cuban Press (12 reps each)

Wednesday

A.M.

  • Lower Body Push (1), Lower Body Pull (1), Upper Body Push (1), Upper Body Pull (1), Loaded Core (1)
  • Front Squat
  • Deadlift
  • Bench Press
  • Pendlay Row
  • Turkish Get-Ups 5 x 5 each side

P.M.

  • Lower Body Push (1), Lower Body Pull (1), Upper Body Push (1), Upper Body Pull (1), Loaded Carry (1)
  • Sprinter’s Squat s/s Pendulum Romanian Deadlift
  • Dumbbell Seated Shoulder Press s/s Dumbbell One Arm Row
  • Zercher Carry 5 x 30 metres resting 3 minutes between reps
  • Upper Body Finisher: 5 sets – Liu Raise + Incline Bench Front Raise + Face Pull (12 reps each exercise)

Friday

A.M.

  • Lower Body Push (1), Lower Body Pull (1), Upper Body Push (1), Upper Body Pull (1), Loaded Core (1)
  • Back Squat
  • Power Clean
  • Incline Bench Press
  • Weighted Chins
  • Full Body Twist 5 x 10 each side

P.M.

  • Lower Body Push (1), Lower Body Pull (1), Upper Body Push (1), Upper Body Pull (1), Loaded Carry (1)
  • Reverse Lunge s/s Single Leg Hip Thrust
  • ½ Kneeling Landmine Press s/s Dumbbell Shrugs
  • Tire Flip 5 x 30 metres resting 3 minutes between reps
  • Upper Body Finisher: 5 sets - Triple Drop Bench Press s/s Mechanical Advantage Chins (both 5/5/5)

Sets, Reps and Intensity and Load

A.M. Movements – Straight Sets

  • Week 1: 5 x 8
  • Week 2: 4 x 6
  • Week 3: 5 x 5

P.M. Movements – Supersets

  • Week 1: 5 x 12
  • Week 2: 5 x 8
  • Week 3: 5 x 10

Down Week

2 sessions only (Mon/Thurs, Tues/Fri, Wed/Sat)

1 x Lower Body Push and Pull, 1 x Upper Body Push and Pull only, all done as straight sets or as a circuit, 4 x 6 at 75 percent estimated 1RM

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