Welcome to the first block of the year.  We are going to start the programme with a large volume load of basic exercises.  The goal of this block is as follows

  • Increase your work capacity – this will improve your general muscular endurance, aerobic conditioning and anaerobic conditioning specific to lifting.  By doing this we will create a springboard from where we can programme overload blocks going forward with larger intensities and volumes.
  • Develop lift specific hypertrophy – strength gain lives off muscle mass.  If it jiggles it doesn’t lift so if we are expecting to be able to push our strength levels further we need to lay down the ground work with some muscle gain.  The goal of this block will be to develop size in the muscles that are involved in lifting.  There will always be an element of hypertrophy in the programme but for this block it is the focus.
  • Get your mindset right, Instill Discipline – this programme will be one of the highest in terms of volume and work rate for the year.  This will challenge your conditioning and your ability to get through some tough workouts this will get you used to getting your head into the workout and making sure you get your work done.  Embracing the grind as it were, getting under the bar when your legs are smoked and there isn’t anything you wouldn’t rather do.
  • Lay the foundation of your technique – the vast majority of lifters never give themselves enough time or volume to practice their technique.  What better time to sharpen up on how you move than at the start of a new year or programme.  Time to refocus and sharpen up!
  • Prepare your body for heavy load – by taking the time to build up time under the bar, develop hypertrophy and get your mind right you are also giving your bones, ligaments and tendons some time to adapt to lifting.  Any programme that has you repping out or going heavy without a preparatory period of training is taking unnecessary risks with your health.

Block Video Tutorial

The key training variables and how they will be manipulated for this block.

  • Frequency – we will be looking to try and get a large amount of volume done in a session mainly on compound lifts because of this we will be working to a 3x per week frequency and splitting the workouts into total body or full power based sessions.  The best thing is to hit the body in one large dose of volume and then to give it 48 hours to recover rather than trying to split it over 5-6 days and not allowing for sufficient recovery between workouts as this will lead to sub-par and fatigued sessions.
  • Intensity – we will be looking to keep our intensity moderate for the block having an average between 60-70% over each week and workout.  The volume of work being done is going to be our main strength stimulus so we don’t want to try and burn the candle at both ends by trying to go heavy at the same time.
  • Volume (block vehicle for overload) – As mentioned before the volume of training will be high in the 300-500 lift bracket from week to week.  This will be spread across a variety of intensities to try and provide as much of a varied stimulus as possible to try and challenge your skill level.
  • Variance – variety overall will be moderate during the block when it comes to exercise selection we will be sticking to competition variations or variations of the big three.

Session Lay out    

Monday (Day 1) –

Heaviest Squat and Bench Session of the week.  Moderate Deadlift.

Exercise 1 – Squat

Exercise 2 – Bench Press

Exercise 3 – Light Deadlift


Lower back, Shoulders and Back.

Tuesday (Day Off)

Wednesday (Day 2) –

Moderate Squat and Bench.  No Deadlift

Exercise 1 – Squat Variation

Exericse 2 – Tricep Dominant Bench Variation

Exercise 3 – Row Variation


Upperback, Chest and Delts

Thursday (Day Off)

Friday (Day 3) –

Light Squat, Heavy Bench, Moderate/Heavy Deadlift

Exercise 1 – Deadlift

Exercise 2 – Bench Press

Exercise 3 – Squat


Lowerback, Shoulders and Back

Week to Week Layout of the block

We won’t be doing a simple sets x reps split on a week to week basis as it doesn’t offer as good an opportunity to work on lifting weights with varying intensity and to increase intra-set difficulty using overload methods like pyramids.  We won’t be doing any open-ended training this block using AMRAP or RPE based sets because the volume load needs to be tightly controlled.  As with any block tho we will be following a week/week loading pattern as you will see with the weekly lay out we have the hardest workout on Monday and Friday and the easiest on Wednesday.  We will be undulating the volume during the block as shown below.

Week 1 2 3 4
Total Lifts 450 326 414 326
Average Intensity 59% 67% 63% 71%

Week 1 – Highest total volume this will be probably the hardest week on the body and should challenge your fitness the most, this is one of the overload weeks.

Week 2 – Will act as a lighter week this will aid in recovery from the first week, volume drops significantly with a slight increase in intensity.

Week 3 – The second overload week although total volume of lifts is down significantly the increase in intensity means that volume load (measure of tonnage or actual work) is 26550 AU (arbitrary unit = total lifts x average intensity) for week 1 and 26082 AU for week 3 meaning that they represent a fairly equal level of work.

Week 4 – Easily the heaviest week in terms of average intensity but still represents a significant decrease in total volume and acts as a deload or period of lesser overload in the block.  This week also acts as a bridge or preparation week for the next programme where we will be concentrating more on intensity of exercise.

Due to the high volume nature of the block only base your training max off an actual training max (lift you have actually completed) or if you are basing your training max off the heaviest set please make sure your set was under 6 reps and completed with good technique.  If you base your training max off a lift you want to achieve or a set completed with poor form then this programme will chew you up.

The block –

Over the coming month, I will be producing some videos, tutorials and question and answer segments to help troubleshoot the block and go over some of the aspects in more detail.

If you have any questions please contact us below.