In February, we will be starting with our first Intensification block of 2024. The program is designed to maximize gains in muscular strength while focusing on progressively increasing the intensity of the exercises performed. This may involve lifting heavier weights, reducing rest intervals between sets, or incorporating advanced training techniques. The goal is to create a challenging stimulus that pushes the muscles to adapt and grow stronger. Strength intensification blocks are strategically implemented to break through plateaus, enhance neuromuscular efficiency, and promote hypertrophy, ultimately leading to improved overall strength levels.The precise details of a strength intensification block can vary depending on the specific program or training philosophy being followed.
What are descending reps?
The Descending Reps Protocol is a conventional pyramid strategy that will start with the highest and end with the lowest number of reps. Descending reps are sets of decreasing reps with the same weight, until a total number of reps are completed.
Why use descending reps?
A descending rep protocol will allow you to complete the most difficult sets while at your freshest state. Thus, you will be able to complete the same January ladder (36 total reps) at a much higher intensity and 1RM percentage.Thus, your starting intensity and weight percentages will be 78% of your 1RM. Additionally, you will be able to further maximize your secondary movements due to changes in peak fatigue throughout your main compound barbell movements.
Other than the Descending Reps Protocol of 8, 8, 6, 6, 4, 4 reps, your follow up primary movements will continue to be full sets of 8 reps.
As with any Intensification block, seeing higher percentages and weight in your TrainHeroic App may be intimidating. However, this is the next stage and building block of your lifetime of fitness. January laid a sturdy foundation, and now it’s time to build.
Ideally, we manage the intensity throughout the four weeks in order to last and be consistent throughout the entire training block. In this way we get the most from the set/rep/tempo/exercise scheme. We can accomplish this by listening to the collected metrics, and making necessary adjustments. This is important because we are simplifying the program while monitoring rates of fatigue.
With the Descending Reps Protocol, we are aiming to use more weight. Unless you’ve used a weight that was too light in your initial session, refrain from increasing weights outside of the prescribed percentages of your TrainHeroic app in a single session. Stick to the program.
The Best programs are simple, not easy– in case you missed it last time. Push hard, listen to the metrics, and listen to your body. Now is not the time to take your foot off the pedal–February is the time to turn January resolutions into lifestyles.