"The best program is the one you are not doing"
I’ve been fielding a few questions about NEW strength programs to start the year.
While I have had success with a number of different approaches, I would say that the most successful short term approach (12 weeks or less) would be the daily squat singles and doubles or straight up linear progression. The yield from both was spectacular. Personals records daily !
Then there was the one that got away.
In 2010, a doctoral candidate and division one strength coach shared his dissertation work with me. His study looked at division one football athletes. Dr. Mann was interested in the outcome of his template on highly motivated adult exercisers. I conveniently had a number of them in my practice.
The technical title of Dr. Mann’s program is Auto-regulated Progressive Resistance Exercise or (APRE) Dr. Mann built this template on the classical Delorme's PRE (progressive resistance exercise) work, and takes it beyond by maxing out with reps on the third set ( 3,6, or 10 reps). The third sets up a final set.
The load on the fourth set is based on the reps performed on the third set. If the athlete is feeling good and performs beyond the requested 3,6, or 10 reps the load in increased. Conversely, if the athlete is down and underachieves the load is reduced. Voila, the auto-regulation piece of the program. (See chart)
We trained two movements. Press and deadlift. On odd weeks we lifted three days per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On even weeks we lifted two days per week.
This was a group of CrossFitters and, CrossFitter gotta CrossFit.
As a result, we performed a brief metcon | finisher following our lifting. On the off days we extended the metcon to 15 mins on average.
Over a brief eight week period the group of 23 participants improved vertical pressing strength 13% and deadlift strength 23%. My only regret is that we did not continue with a steady diet of APRE.
Historically I have observed that athletes bail out of programs too quickly, but here I failed to heed my own advice.
If you are looking for a real deal strength template this approach is time tested and solid. Remember this was used to prepare division one football athletes. There are jobs on the line. Performance is expected.
Sitting here today I am inclined to revisit this template in 2018 for my strength and conditioning.
Most healthy individuals will thrive following the odd week, even week approach stated above. This provides for recreational activities or rest on the weekends.
My historical HRV data reveals that 3 on 1 off | 2 on 1 off allow for a steady improvement trend. As a result, I will likely follow something similar (see below).
Monday: APRE Deadlift (Deadlift variant) + Single Leg RDL, 80% Cleans or Snatch, GHR,
Tuesday: Conditioning (Moderate - Hard) <90% AT
Wednesday: APRE Front Squat + Split Squat, Anterior Chain
Thursday: Rest | Rest or Walking <70%
Friday: APRE Horizontal Press or Vertical Press + Pull Ups, Bicep, Tricep
Saturday: Conditioning (Brief - Hard) 80-95% Sunday: Rest | Rest or Walking <70%
At this stage of the game, recovery data (HRV, STRESS MEASUREMENT, SLEEP QUANTITY, and TRAINING LOAD) will dictate intensity, duration or additional rest days.
For a better understanding you can learn it from the master himself HERE.
If you decide to dig in on this give me a shout in 12 weeks to update your progress. Remember, life is too short to be weak!