Just the other day, I was speaking with an old friend and former client about over-training and de-conditioning. The just of the conversation revolved around arriving at a point in our strength training career where we have managed our frequency down to once every several days.
The issue was that it takes almost two weeks to recover from a high intensity workout. When back at the gym for the next workout, there is a feeling of de-conditioned or not being in the groove. This is a fair question and there is a solution.
We all know that our workouts must be brief, intense and infrequent in order to not only recover but to overcompensate from the exhaustive effects of the workout. BUILD MUSCLE!
As we get stronger and in cases, get older it is more difficult to manage this process. My solution is simple. I alternate high intensity high stress exercises with high intensity low stress exercises of the same type workout to workout. I use big movements and some small ones to accomplish this.
EXAMPLE WO 1:
Sunday October 6, 2019
Squat Machine – Hyper Reps (Negative, Positive, Negative)
Row Machine – Hyper Reps
Hammer Dips – 20 reps to failure
Drag Ez Bar Curls – 20 reps to failure
Notice that my first exercise and second exercise is high intensity high stress and the last two are high rep to failure. Remember every rep to that impossible last rep is just a warm up. In structuring the last two exercises with high reps, the muscle is still being worked but with the higher reps there is less stress and less of a ditch dug. Now see my next workout one week later…
EXAMPLE WO 2:
Sunday October 13, 2019
Hammer Dips – Hyper Reps
Drag Ez Bar Curls – Hyper Reps
Squat Machine – 20 reps to failure
Row Machine – 20 reps to failure
As you can see, I use big compound exercises to target all body parts and I lead with my high stress heavier hyper reps first. I include curls as I am still rehabbing the left biceps, which was affected when I damaged a nerve in my neck in a deadlift accident (it’s taken a long time!)
This is an example of how you can abbreviate a workout with 2 to 4 exercises and still manage the stress thus the inroad, while training every 5-10 days.
You could further manage that stress with, using the above examples, doing one exercise in high intensity high stress fashion i.e. hyper reps, and the other 3 exercises done in high reps, high intensity low stress fashion. And as you go to the next workout, choose a different exercise to perform in a high intensity high stress fashion, and the rest high intensity low stress fashion.
The key is to manage the stress and make certain you have not only recovered but overcompensated.
Hope this helps in managing your continual growth and strength gains.
Great post Bill! There comes a point where down regulating frequency just doesnt work. Great solution for sure.
Great post Bill! There comes a point where down regulating frequency just doesn't work. Great solution for sure.
I like the idea. In my last post "getting back into it" you said that I will probably have to split that up eventually. That is a brutal workout and I feel like it's time to take break from it for a while. But I do have to say, really it works. I still have a ways to go but I've already gained back 12lbs. 28 more to go!
Anyway, I want to try this split this week. But I have a dumb question, maybe I missed it somewhere but what are hyper reps?
Hey great progress with the gain back of muscle, keep going 😎
First here is how I do hyper reps. Rather than doing them in rest pause fashion, meaning a maximal rep and a half which is comprised of beginning with a negative, followed by a positive and then another negative I do it this way:
Start with 15second negative, followed by 3-5 reps, followed by a 15 second negative.
When I reach 10 reps on the exercise, I add weight and start again.
I do one set per exercise using the above style and rep range.
The 15 seconds is pretty brutal but very effective.
I do not use a cadence for the positive reps, just controlled.
Let me know if that clarifies.