The second block of the year begins the progression towards the intensification of the training cycle but still relies on volume of effort to both underpin and provide the overload in the training cycle.

Daily Undulating periodization is an overly complicated way of saying the intensity and volume switch from session to session on the programme.  People who want to make it sounds than it is will tell you that day 1 is strength, day 2 is power and day 3 is hypertrophy.  They are just trying to make it sound sexier than it is, in reality day 1 has higher average intensity, day 2 has lower average intensity and volume and day 3 has higher volume.  That’s it nothing more complicated than that.

These kinds of programmes tend to be overly complicated or sexy in their description or delivery but tend to be lacking in their implementation or design.  It happens to have made it’s way into the literature much in the same way as “auto-regulation” is now a thing too because it’s been in a few journals another way of over-complicating going heavy when you feel good and going light when you feel shit.  We will use RPEs and open-ended training in our later blocks so we will cover this concept in a bit more detail as Mike Tuscherer at reactive training systems and some others have done some good work with the concept and beefed it out into something other than a gimmick.

In this block Week, 1 and 3 will be the more volume focused blocks where you should be looking to focus on making your form as good as it can be and making the bar move as quickly as you can make it go on the concentric or lifting portion of the lift.

Week 2 and 4 will be the “intensity” focused blocks where the loads, in theory, should be challenging but if everything is going to plan the work you have done prior to these weeks should make the weight feel like nothing.  It might feel heavy when you’re lifting it but if your form has been progressing and you have been doing your due diligence to practice rather than just lift then the 90-95% reps should look quick on camera.

The Goals of this block are

  • Introduce threshold intensities – in most of my programming or programming in general your threshold intensities (80-100%) if they are used in the form of a rep out to induce acute stress, accumulation to induce chronic stress or just straight heavy ass weight to induce acute stress these are the intensities that will push your boundaries and strength.
  • Introduce undulating weeks – call it heavy and light weeks, call it intensity and volume weeks or call it easy and hard weeks.  The net end is the same the focus of the programme will begin to flip flop from here on out from week to week unless we are doing some form of accumulation of load.
  • Introduce 2x per week squat and 2x per week deadlift – if you want to really focus on either of these two lifts you should be able to do 2-3 different variations of them under different kinds of fatigue in the training week.  Giving them their own days allows you to manipulate variables and produce overload and stress whilst creating unique skill learning opportunities every week.
  • Up the frequency to 4x per week – since the high volume of work is over we will now be increasing the frequency of training to 4x per week.  Whilst the frequency of squat and deadlift is actually going down the total work and variation on both is going up which should provide a good platform from which we can adapt training blocks.

Where is the overload in this block

  • Frequency (no overload) – Frequency shouldn’t be a challenging factor for this block of training as it has stayed the same for bench press and deadlift, while actually being reduced for squat from 3 to 2x per week.
  • Intensity (minor overload) – intensity will provide a bit of overload in this block with weeks 2 and 4 having lifts that are in the “red zone” 90-100% for the power lifts.  Whilst perilipins chart will show you that 90%+ is great for powerlifters this table is based on weightlifting and snatch/clean and jerk which are not the same as the power lifts.  If you spend too much time in this % for the power lifts you will burn out quickly.
  • Volume (block vehicle for overload) – Whilst the last block was focused on volume and your work capacity, it is still the major overload component to this cycle of training.  The total volume is reduced drastically but the volume load has remained reasonable high and will still present a challenge.
  • Variance – variety of lifts has increased this block and will challenge certain common error points especially in the squat and deadlift.  This will provide a mild bit of overload this block but your progress or gains will mainly come from the skill learning you will develop from the drills.

Session Lay out    

Monday (Day 1) –

Harder squat day.

Exercise 1 – Squat

Exercise 2 – Bench Press

Exercise 3 – Pause Squat


Upper chest, Back, Trunk and Low Back.

Tuesday (Day 2) –

Easier Deadlift Day

Exercise 1 – Close Grip Bench Press

Exercise 2 – Deadlift

Exercise 3 – Pendlay Row


Shoulders, Upperback, Chest and Arms

Wednesday (Day Off)

Thursday (Day 3) –

Easier Squat Day

Exercise 1 – Squat

Exericse 2 – Bench Press

Exercise 3 – Pin Squat


Upper chest, Back, Trunk and Low Back.

Friday (Day 3) –

Harder Deadlift Day

Exercise 1 – Deadlift

Exercise 2 – Bench Press

Exercise 3 – Deficit or Pause Deadlift


Shoulders, Upperback, Chest and Arms

Weekend (Off)

Week to Week Layout of the block

January Block

Week 1 2 3 4
Total Lifts 294 218 276 218
Average Intensity 59% 67% 63% 71%

February Block


Week 1 2 3 4
Total Lifts 265 198 248 168
Average Intensity 69% 77% 74% 79%

As you can see from the last block the volume has come down from week to week in the form of total lifts but the average intensity is up roughly 8-10% on a week to week basis.  This means the volume load will be the same if not more when compared to the last block of training which as explained previously you can see this is where we will still be getting out overload from.  However, the increase in intensity will make the training more strength specific and you should start to feel the progress from the last block when you lift in what was your previous 90-95% RM lifts.

Week 1 – the same with most block I write the easiest week/volume week where the volume will be high and average intensity comared to this block will be low but when compared to the last block is higher than all of them except for the last block.

Week 2 – first of the two intensity based weeks here you will be entering into 85-90% on the lifts but doing so under fatigue from previous sets which are done in a pyramid style.

Week 3 – The second volume week, it presents less volume than week 1 but not bu much and has a much greater average intensity jumping up 5%.  This will probably feel the toughest of the weeks.

Week 4 – this is the second intensity week bit doesn’t represent a huge jump in intensity being only 2% higher in average intensity when compared to week 2.  This week is probably the hardest physically but it shouldn’t feel as hard due to the lesser volume, you will feel the effects during the start of the next block, however.

Before starting this block you must complete block 1 of the programme so if you haven’t please head over there to get your copy.  If you have completed the previous block just carry over the same training maxes you used for the last block.

I will record the video companion to this post this week.

The Block

Google Drive Version – click here to get the google drive version

Excel Version – Click here to download the excel version of the block

If you have any questions please contact us below