By Ryan Humphries
Co-Owner, Coach: Axistence
If you’re reading this, then you’re at least a little curious as to what we’re up to in the training center. That’s a good thing.
As long as you remain curious as to your capabilities, your GAINZ shall be never-ending. So let’s get into it!
This 8-week cycle is based around developing strength in THREE major lifts: The BENCH PRESS, the SQUAT, and the DEADLIFT. In the powerlifting world, these are the movements that are tested in competition. Regardless of whether you ever want to do any sort of competition, this cycle is guaranteed to get you stronger and more comfortable with these lifts. Side note, there’s a reason that these three lifts are not only the staples of the powerlifting world, but strength programs around the world, they will make you STRONG AF.
Whether you’re following the PRACTICAL or TACTICAL track, the same movements will be used. The biggest difference between these two tracks during this cycle is that the TACTICAL will be very specific (70% of your max, 82% of your max, etc.) where PRACTICAL will follow a classic 5 reps each week, allowing athletes to add weight at their own discretion. Also due to the higher percentages in the TACTICAL track, you’ll need more rest. The PRACTICAL side will have less rest, and more movements 🙂
Because our training cycle is four days long, and there are three lifts, they will be “recycled”. This means that whichever lift you see on Monday, you’ll see that one on Friday as well. It’s difficult to get stronger if you don’t see the same lift at least 2x in one week. This format in itself will have many of you seeing strength gains quickly!
Because Deadlifts can be so taxing on the central nervous system, on weeks where you would see the Deadlift twice, it’s been replaced with cleans. Each week, the sets, the reps, and the percentages will change. For example:
The Average Relative Intensity (ARI) of the entire 8-Week Cycle will be 76%.
Fun fact, overwhelmingly, your training should fall somewhere between 70-80%. This is where you will make the most progress. Too often, people either go too light or too heavy, either not reaping enough of a training effect, or putting too much stress on the body. You could train in the 70-80% zone for the rest of your life and continue to make progress, stay safe, and get very strong.
This is why we never really push into the 90% range in group classes. In order to do so, you’d need to take at least 4-5 minutes between sets and at the end of the day, we only have one hour to do work. Our goal is to take ordinary humans and make them extraordinary. We do this through a mixture of Strength AND Conditioning. While doing one rep and resting for five minutes is fun for some folks, that’s not how most of us want to spend our hour. To create extraordinary (and well rounded) humans, we can keep our percentages in the 70-80% range until it’s time to test.
Sooooo, are we just benching, squatting, and deadlifting????
Each week, the SKILLS, the CONDITIONING, and the “Accessory” lifts in the STRENGTH will change. The SKILLS section will be used to warm up for the “Big Lift” of the day, but we’ll also incorporate things like single-arm push-ups, windmills, pistols, get-ups, and more. The CONDITIONING section will follow a (mostly) interval based approach. Intervals are kind of magical when it comes to conditioning. You can get A LOT of work done with great form, and still not be too sore to train the next day. Due to the “heaviness” of the STRENGTH section this cycle, intervals vs. AMRAPs are a better choice… In my not so humble opinion, they’re actually a better choice 95% of the time, but that’s a different rabbit hole.
So as a re-cap, over the next 8 weeks, whether you choose PRACTICAL or TACTICAL, you’re going to get stronger. We're recycling movements so what you see on Monday, you'll also see on Friday. Percentages, reps, and sets will fluctuate each week. If you end up training all four days of the week, expect to see some awesome progress!
Although I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this, I’m gonna do it anyway...
The stronger you are, the easier that life becomes. Opening that jar of pickles, helping push a car out of an intersection, picking up your kids, carrying all the groceries in one shot, and getting out of a chair might all be things you might take for granted now. However, if you don’t put your muscles under some sort of stress on a regular basis, you will, at some point, lose your ability to do all of those things. Don’t be scared of being strong, if the universe didn’t want you to be strong, it wouldn’t have given you muscles :)
Want to follow an Axistence training cycle but you don't live nearby? Reach out about remote coaching!
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