Image Map

Hybrid Strength and Hypertrophy Training – Part I

Introduction

After years of trying different routines (DF, HST, DC, Upper/Lowers, Max-OT, Ultra High Volume, Low Volume High Frequency, Full body splits, etc. the list goes on) I have decided to put together my own routine that takes the things that have shown me the most benefit and puts them all together in a nice solid dual phase routine. This routine takes advantage of the benefits of load/deload phases, failure and sub-failure training, rest-pausing, weight load progression, wave progression, high frequency combined with moderate volume, and more.

Disclaimer

This routine is compromised of advanced training techniques, an unnatural amount of volume, and components that work for ME. I am not going to put money down that this routine will be all you hoped for and more, but I think you will not be disappointed. You will need a few things to do this routine successfully: experience, dedication, an above average recovery rate, the guts to want to train to failure, and the willingness to try some nasty volume work.

Overview

This routine is broken up into two eight-week phases.

The first eight-week phase focuses on a split that hits body parts twice every seven days, while employing a “3 workout” rotation that hits multiple body parts each session. The eight-week phase is broken up into two mini-phases, four weeks each, that focus on going from a low volume/moderate intensity effort, to a high volume/high intensity effort. This phase utilizes a 3-6 rep range that encourages failure in weeks three and four, and encourages using your heaviest weights, with constant progression. The purpose of this phase is to start in a ‘deconditioned’ state then rapidly accelerate to the fine line of overtraining, push slightly past it in weeks 4 and 8, and then reset.

The second eight-week phase focuses on a low-frequency split (one body part per week, one body part per session) that uses wave progression for four core lifts (for example: squats, deadlifts, bench, and shoulder press), and steadily increasing volume as you lower reps and increase weights each week for 3-5 other exercises for that body part (i.e.: 3 sets of 12 one week, 4 sets of 10 the next). Failure is not utilized in this phase, but heavy weights are. Volume will end up being very high with very heavy weights and low reps, but the buildup is gradual so your body will become accustomed to it, rather than overtraining like you would with the first phase’s rapid buildup in volume/intensity.

Phase 1

This phase is meant to destroy your body twice during the eight-week phase. Strength and hypertrophy are both achieved through low reps (3-6), workload progression, increased volume/workload, and increased intensity. You should slightly overtrain during the overload weeks. If you do not feel like you are flirting with overtraining, increase intensity.

Split
4days/week, MT/HF
Rep Range
2-4 reps for squats, deadlifts, everything else 4-6 reps
Rest between Sets
2-5 minutes (i.e.: as much as you need to hit each set as hard as possible, heavy as possible)Rest pauses are typically 15-30 seconds
The LOGBOOK
You will keep a log book starting at Week 2. You will note how much you were able to lift in each exercise. When that exercise comes around again you will beat it or match it (rep for rep, pound for pound). No maybes. If you fail to beat or match a previous lift two weeks in a row you need to drop it and insert a new movement in its place. This technique reinforces constant strength progression and eliminates plateaus. You will give the logbook a ‘break’ during your active recovery and baseline weeks, as they will be used for recovery and working back up to the failure workloads that begin in the load week. If you are up to it though, feel free to try to beat your heaviest overload week sets without hitting failure during your baseline week.
Week by Week Plan – Weekly Training Schedule
Week 1 – ACTIVE RECOVERYMon: Back, Traps, Biceps, ForearmsTue: Legs, CalvesThu: Chest, Shoulders, TrisFriday: Back, Traps, Biceps, Forearms

Week 2 – BASELINE

Mon: Legs, Calves

Tue: Chest, Shoulders, Tris

Thu: Back, Traps, Biceps, Forearms

Fri: Legs, Calves

Week 3 – LOAD

Mon: Chest, Shoulders, Tris

Tue: Back, Traps, Biceps, Forearms

Thu: Legs, Calves

Fri: Chest, Shoulders, Tris

Week 4 – OVERLOAD (Back, Traps, Forearms get hit the most)

Mon: Back, Traps, Biceps, Forearms

Tue: Legs, Calves

Thu: Chest, Shoulders, Tris

Friday: Back, Traps, Biceps, Forearms

Week 5 (active recovery) – Same as Week 2

Week 6 (baseline) – Same as week 3

Week 7 (load) – Same as week 4

Week 8 (overload) – Same as Week 2

NOTE: For weeks 5-8 you can opt to start with Week 3 if you wish to focus more on your chest, shoulders and tris rather than legs.

Upon completion of this eight-week phase start Phase 2.

Phase 1 Week by Week Plan Overview

You will be rotating three workouts each week for a period of four weeks. This will allow you to hit each body part twice in seven days. After each four week ‘cycle’ you will start with a new body part for that first week as the starting workout (as shown in week five). This will allow you to place a new body part on each of the OVERLOAD weeks, thus giving each body part equal chance to get beat to hell. This is kind of confusing but once you ‘get it’ it makes sense. The active recovery week allows your muscles to get used to the routine, and to recover (in the case of week five). The load week introduces failure and increased volume. The beloved overload week will attempt to push you past that overtraining limit just a bit, forcing your body to adapt, by introducing more volume and training to failure.

Week 1: Active Recovery – Low Volume, Moderate intensity (utilizes weights 80-90% of your typical workload)

The purpose of this week is to recover from the previous overload week (if you did one), and to get used to the training schedule and exercises. You will use weights lighter than you typically work with, but will still get solid stimulation. This is the week where the most growth will occur if you are following up an overload week.

Week 2: Baseline – Moderate Volume, High Intensity – No failure

The purpose of this week is to increase volume to a decent level. You will be utilizing workloads that are at a maximal effort for the rep range for that exercise (2-4 reps for squats/deadlifts, 4-6 reps for everything else). You will NOT hit failure on any sets, though.

Week 3: Load – Increased Volume, High Intensity – Failure once per exercise

The purpose of this week is to increase volume, and to introduce failure into your workload. You will still be using heavy weights, but you will take one set to absolute failure (i.e.: you stop knowing the next rep will bury you completely, or you need considerable help getting your last rep up). This week will prepare you for what is to come.

Week 4: Overload – Very High Volume, Very High Intensity – Failure on every set

The purpose of this week is to bring your body to the border of overtraining, then push it slightly. Your volume will be almost doubled compared to your load week, and you should try to hit absolute failure every single set. Rest-pause sets are utilized this week to push your body even more. You will not want to do another week of overload workouts again if you can complete this week.

Week by Week Plan – DETAILED WALKTHROUGH
ACTIVE RECOVERY WEEK
Failure: Stay one to two reps shy of failureBack, Traps, Biceps, ForearmsBB Rows x1CG Pulldowns x1Weighed Chins x1

Seated Rows x1

Deadlifts x2

Shrugs x1

EZ Curls x2

DB Hammers x1

Cable Curls x1

Legs, Calves

Squats x2

Leg press x1

SLDL x1

Smith Calf x2*

Seated Calf x2*

Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

Incline DB x2

Decline DB x2

DB Press x1

Side Laterals x1

Rear Laterals x1

Overhead EZ Ext x2

Pushdowns x1

Rev CG Bench x1

* Perform at least one set with 5 second static holds at the bottom of each rep

TOTAL SETS for 3 workouts: 29

LINE WEEK
TEXT

Failure: Stay one rep shy of failure

Back, Traps, Biceps, Forearms

BB Rows x2

CG Pulldowns x2

Weighed Chins x2

Seated Rows x1

Deadlifts x2

Shrugs x2

EZ Curls x2

DB Hammers x2

Cable Curls x1

Legs, Calves

Squats x3

Leg press x2

SLDL x2

Smith Calf x3*

Seated Calf x2*

Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

Incline DB x3

Decline DB x2

DB Press x2

Military Press x1

Side Laterals x2

Rear Laterals x1

Overhead EZ Ext x2

BTB Pushdowns x2

Rev CG Bench x1

* Perform at least one set with 5 second static holds at the bottom of each rep

TOTAL SETS for 3 workouts: 44

LOAD WEEK
Changes: Add one set to two or more exercises from each body partFailure: Once per exerciseBack, Traps, Biceps, ForearmsBB Rows x3CG Pulldowns x2

Weighed Chins x2

Seated Rows x1

Deadlifts x3

Shrugs x2

EZ Curls x3

DB Hammers x3

Cable Curls x1

Legs, Calves

Squats x4

Leg press x2

SLDL x3

Smith Calf x4*

Seated Calf x3*

Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

Incline DB x4

Decline DB x3

DB Press x2

Military Press x2

Side Laterals x2

Rear Laterals x2

Overhead EZ Ext x2

BTB Pushdowns x3

Rev CG Bench x2

* Perform at least one set with 5 second static holds at the bottom of each rep

TOTAL SETS for 3 workouts: 56

OVERLOAD WEEK
Failure: Every SetChanges: Revert to BASELINE set totals, but triple rest-pause the last set of each exercise to failure. Example Rest Pause set: 10reps (fail) – 15 deep breaths – 3reps (fail) – 15 deep breaths – 2reps (fail)Back* and Chest movements: 10-12 reps totalCalf movements: 10-12 reps, still doing at least one set with 5 sec negative holdLegs*: 10-12 reps total

Arm movements: 15-20 reps total

Shoulders: 12-15 reps total

*DO NOT rest pause squats, deadlifts, bent rows, SLDLs, or other core-significant movements where deep fatigue can lead to bad form and possible injury – add 2-4 failure sets instead.

Stay safe!

Back, Traps, Biceps, Forearms

BB Rows x3

CG Pulldowns x1, x1 RPx3

Weighed Chins x1, x1 RPx3

Seated Rows x1 RPx3

Deadlifts x3

Shrugs x1, x1 RPx3

EZ Curls x1, x1 RPx3

DB Hammers x1, x1 RPx3

Cable Curls x1 RPx3

Legs, Calves

Squats x8

Leg press x6, x1 RPx3

SLDL x5

Smith Calf x3, x1 RPx3*

Seated Calf x2, x1 RPx3*

Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

Incline DB x3, x1RPx3

Decline DB x2, x1RPx3

DB Press x1, x1 RPx3

Military Press x1 RPx3

Side Laterals x1, x1 RPx3

Rear Laterals x1 RPx3

Overhead EZ Ext x1, x1 RPx3

BTB Pushdowns x1, x1 RPx3

Rev CG Bench x1 RPx3

* Perform at least one set with 5 second static holds at the bottom of each rep

TOTAL SETS for 3 workouts: 101 (counting each failed rest-pause mini-set as a “set”)

Conclusion of Part I

That concludes the first portion of my Hybrid Strength and Hypertrophy Training program. This should give you enough information to get started on the program. The details of Phase 2 will be outlined inMind and Muscle #34, due for release November 4, 2005.

×