Welcome to the summer time, hypertrophy and body recomposition focused months. We're shifting gears, increasing the volume and intensity of our strength training programming to elicit metabolic and hypertrophic effects on your body. We'll be building on top of the programming we completed in June and challenging you in different ways all with the focus of getting you to be as efficient as possible with your energy expenditure.
It may just be the fastest way to get ripped without getting skinny. The 6-12-25 method, popularized by Charles Poliquin, facilitates massive lactate spikes, facilitating GH production. That means fat loss while sparing muscle mass.
What does accumulation mean and what is the goal of an accumulation training block?
Accumulation is just getting as much volume as we can. The difference from intensification is we’re deliberately trying to work body composition, such as improving our fat-mass to muscle-mass ratio, to get more muscle. It’s okay to say that we want to look better, as well as perform better. This accumulation block will build muscle mass and set a foundation for the heavier lifts to come.
This accumulation phase will transition nicely into our later intensification phase where we’re going to be in better condition to handle higher weights more frequently. We will also have greater tensile strength of our joints and ligaments to handle these higher intensities and these heavier loads. We’re going to push through a threshold that we potentially didn’t have before, especially when we’re doing multiple sets of intensities above 80% when your legs are feeling a little tired.
Let’s dive in a bit deeper on what an Accumulation Block actually is.
There are a couple of central themes behind Accumulation Blocks: Functional Hypertrophy, Hypertrophy, and Muscular Endurance.
This block’s focus is Muscular Endurance. We’re looking to tax some of the fatigue resistance muscle fibers. Also known as type 1 muscle fibers.
6/12/25 burns load a shitload of fat.
From a program design standpoint, we're using a higher rep scheme designed to burn fat for the energy we use during the session. We specifically start the training sessions with 6 reps of fast twitch muscle fiber movements like front squats, bench press, bent over rows or deadlifts. Beginning the session with these movements first fatigues fast twitch muscle fibers and leaves the more fatigue-resistant muscle fibers to finish the task. This design burns more glycogen at the top of a session and sets us up to burn more fat throughout the session.
It may just be the fastest way to get ripped without getting skinny. The 6-12-25 method, popularized by Charles Poliquin, facilitates massive lactate spikes, facilitating GH production. That means fat loss while sparing muscle mass.
The 6-12-25 method is where you do three exercises in a row for the same muscle group using minimal rest between those exercises.
First Exercise: Use a heavier weight for 6 reps. Rest 10 seconds, then do the second exercise.
Second Exercise: Use a moderate weight for 12 reps. Rest 10 seconds, then do the third exercise.
Third Exercise: Use a lighter weight for 25 reps. Rest a few minutes and repeat.
6 REPS: On the first exercise, you do 6 reps, but it's not a true 6RM (rep max) weight. It should be more like a 8-10RM load. Heavy, yes, but not taken to failure.
12 REPS: Most people think of 8-12 reps as hypertrophy work, but it's potentiated by the first relatively heavy exercise in this scenario. That's why you'll experience higher levels of metabolic stress, which decreases your ability to push loading the way you would if this was a stand-alone exercise. But don't worry. The trainability will actually be higher, and because you're using lighter than normal loads, your movement proficiency will be improved.
25 REPS: Strength-endurance requires repeated bursts of high-intensity efforts. It's a maximal force of power production, and you usually hear about it in relation to sports. In our case, it's important because it's coming at the tail-end of this giant set. This means potentiation and metabolic stress are higher, but so is the onset of fatigue, which means you'll likely be using a much lighter load than normal. Some may see this as a detriment but think of it as something that improves the aerobic abilities of fast-twitch muscle fibers.
What’s the goal of taxing all muscle fibers to the extent of their capabilities?
The goal is to maximize our response to training; making our bodies respond to what we’re going through. Which brings us to our next point: Hypertrophy.
There are essentially two different types of hypertrophy: Sarcoplasmic and Myofibril Hypertrophy.
The “pump” sensation is what comes from sarcoplasmic. When you do higher-rep, lower intensity work it causes increased blood flow to an area. This increased blood to the area helps with long-term recovery by removing waste post exercise and inflating of mTOR pathways that repair broken down tissues.
So in hypertrophy, we first use available glucose and then glycogen stores. When we continue the duration of training, we exhaust glycogen stores and look for different types of fuel to burn. In our case, we are hoping for fatty acids.
In our training program, by structuring a combination of higher threshold motor units in our set of 6 and lower threshold motor units in our sets of 12 and 24 we can hopefully burn glycogen faster and subsequently utilize more fatty acids for fuel during the session.
In conclusion, the goal of this block to use higher rep schemes that tap into burning fat for energy.
We’re starting with high-threshold, motor-units and fast twitch muscle fibers to get more out of our higher rep schemes than if we would if we just went into higher reps. This structure will burn more glycogen and lead to better utilization of other fuel sources.
Summer is here and Turf Wars officially on the schedule on July 9th, we're shifting gears with our strength training. We're shifting into an intensification block focused on absolute strength and power. We're simplifying the programming for strength and drilling the fundamentals utilizing the Texas Method. We're keeping it simple. This training block will allow us to perform optimally during Q2 KPI week at the end of the month too.
You'll learn to appreciate how proper strength training can have different effects on your body depending how you adjust your set and rep ranges.
HISTORY OF THE TEXAS METHOD.
THE TEXAS METHOD EXPLAINED:
The program is brutally simplistic and famous for the perceived difficulty as the weight increases each week and quickly challenges you on both volume and intensity day. Strict adherence to the basic template won't effectively drive progress for long. The Texas Method - one volume day, one light day, and one intensity day; however, it is very flexible and, used intelligently, can drive progress for long periods of time.
The Texas Method balances the stress of increased weight and varied volume. As you can see from the program outline below, this is certainly the case:
Monday: Volume Day
A. Squat 5 x 5 @ 90% of 5RM
B. Bench Press or Overhead Press 5 x 5 @ 90% 5RM
C. Deadlift 1 x 5 @ 90% 5RM
Wednesday: Recovery Day
A. Squat 2 x 5 @ 80% of Monday’s work weight
B. Overhead Press (if you bench pressed Monday) 3 x 5* or Bench Press (if OHP on Monday) 3 x 5 @ 90% previous 5 x 5 weight
C. Chin-up 3 x MAX Bodyweight
D. Lower Back / Core Accessories 2-3 x 10
* at slightly lighter load than previous OHP weight
Friday: Intensity Day
A. Squat: warm-up, then work up to one single, new 5RM
B. Bench Press, (if you bench pressed Monday) or Overhead Press (if OHP on Monday): work up to one single, new 5RM
C. Double Kettlebell Clean, Pendlay Row or Deadlift Variation: 4 x 6 / 5 x 3 / 6 x 2
THE TEXAS METHOD IS ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO BUST THROUGH STRENGTH PLATEAUS.
The Texas Method is renowned for its ability to provide intermediate to advanced lifters with increased variety and physical adaptation. It's recommended a way to break strength plateaus due to something called the "novice effect."
A WORD OF CAUTION: We HIGHLY recommend having a trainer/coach to help you through the application of the Texas Method. This is not a good program to follow as a basic template. Get a coach so that you have effective guidance from someone that can provide support and customize the details to you with logic and nuance so you're as safe as possible.
TURF WARS REGISTRATION WILL BE OPENING SOON! STAY TUNED FOR MORE INFORMATION.
We're looking for newer, coachable personal trainers who want to be part of a high-performing team.
KING TRAINER RESPONSIBILITIES
As a KING trainer, you’ll provide expert coaching across group training, semi-private, and private personal training - all based on the principles of strength/resistance training.
Your main responsibilities include:
If this sounds interesting, take a look at more details and apply here.
In no particular order yet...
1: If you miss the warm-up, you miss the entire workout.
2: Work hard and be nice to people.
3: When you're done using your equipment, return it to its home.
4: Ego is the enemy. When in doubt, lower your weight or ask your neighbor for a spot.
5: Sweat is not an indicator of a useful workout. Neither are pain or soreness.
6: We aren't doing cardio (usually), so follow the prescribed tempos when you train if you want results others have been getting for years.
7: We really love and adore your kids & dogs, so please clean up after them if they come with you to the gym.
8: Jersey club music can only be requested on Saturdays.
9: If you are on the waitlist, that does not mean you are registered for class.
10: Consistency is King.
Gironda's 8x8 Method
The late Vince Gironda, considered by many to be the first bodybuilding coach - and definitely the most eccentric - referred to 8x8 as the "honest" workout. He opened his gym in Hollywood in 1948 and came to fame due to his ability to create impressive bodies. A-list actors, fashion models, competitive bodybuilders all flocked to his gym during the 1950s-1970s to train under his guidance. He was known as being a madman, had a reputation of being a dictator but he was a body sculpting genius (Sounds like Gerrick).
An intense high-volume training system designed strictly for cosmetic improvements, its "honesty" stems from the humbling weight used during the actual workout. Vince prescribed 8x8 primarily for pre-contest situations, and its brutal effectiveness is surprising considering its elegant simplicity. Simplicity leads to less injury and more technical mastery.
How to perform Gironda's 8x8 Workout
Similar to 10x10 or German Volume Training, you begin with 60% 1RM in a given lift (compound movements preferred), and perform 8x8 with 15-30 seconds of rest. This method can be applied for up to four different movements per workout. Anything more than that would completely shock your body.
If you remember German Volume Training and how you felt completing those workouts, the 8x8 may give you some PTSD and traumatize you even more because it's fast with no time for breaks. This strength block is all about training volume. You'll be performing traditional strength training compound movements with controlled tempos but the training intensity will feel like you're running a marathon due to the short rest intervals. You'll be lifting weights and your Myzones will look like you're running sprints which do wonders for metabolic training and fat loss aka shredzzz.
Benefits of Gironda's 8x8 Workout
1. Build Muscle Hella Fast
8x8 routines are unparalleled in terms of muscle building potential. German Volume Training 10x10 is a close contender. The 8x8 workout is intense and the large volume completed in a short time elicit muscle growth (hypertrophy). This puts tremendous stress on your muscles and forces them to adapt and grow.
2. Burn Fat and Get Shredded AF
8x8 has thermogenic effects, you moving constantly for 45 consecutive minutes of hard work. You're banging out 64 reps of a given exercise at a really fast pace. Your heart rate will be jacked up. Sweat will drip from your skin. Your lungs will burn, but keep your mask on cause COVID is still a thing. Just know that even though you're doing a strength workout, it has conditioning effects. The rapid fire reps burn fat and develop your muscular endurance/work capacity. Your cardiovascular and respiratory systems will get stronger and more efficient. Your athletic performance will improve which will help for Turf Wars.
3. Build Muscle Definition and Density
Muscle definition is created by having low body fat and dense muscles. Muscle density is built by keeping muscles under tension. The slow, controlled movements in 8x8 keep muscles under constant tension (2/0/2/0). There are multiple ways to progress leveraging intensities, volume or density; with the 8x8 we'll be manipulating all of the above.
You'll be using an app called TrainHeroic to track every workout you do with us, whether class or personal training. Read on below for the steps to begin using it.
Due to a recent app bug and related fix, our software provider has explained that all app users will need to clear their phone app caches in order to benefit from the fix. This brief walkthrough will point the way to clearing your app caches whether you are using Android or iOS.
If you have no idea whether this applies to you or not, just ask one of our trainers.
We've been hearing from a number of you, and experiencing ourselves, that our app is logging us out intermittently.
I called our app's support team and it turns out this is a known issue as of their last update on 3/23/22 and they're expecting a fix today or tomorrow.
For now please bear with it and we're all looking forward to it being solved, as it's annoying for both you and us.
The app developer has released a software fix that is supposed to address a variety of issues. Make sure your app is up to date in your App Store, and then you can also follow the steps on our blog post here (link opens in new page) to clear your app cache.
We're finishing March's strength block where the theme was the 5x5. For April, we'll be focusing on building lean muscle mass, improving our work capacities and improving our body compositions by utilizing a training style known as German Body Composition Training. We're getting conditioning while we're building muscle and burning fat. And the way we're going to do that is try to get a lot more density in our programming.
There are a lot of ways that we can manipulate a strength program.
We can add intensity by adding more weight on a bar; like we did with the 5x5 Block.
We can add volume by adding a set or maybe adding some reps; like we did with German Volume Training.
The other method we can manipulate a strength program is density.
DENSITY IS SIMPLY MORE WORK IN THE SAME PERIOD OF TIME.
So as we're looking at how we are going to manipulate our variables to get more out of training, and we're trying to shift towards this work muscular endurance, work capacity and body composition focus. The more we add in a session, getting more total work in the same designated period of time, the more we're going to get closer to that goal of increasing work capacity and improving our body composition.
The goal of this block is to take all our primary compound movements - squats, bench press, deadlifts, rows, and pull-ups and organize them in a way where you get these functional timeless movements and incorporate them in a specific way to get that desired outcome. In this case, the designed outcome is improving work capacity and body composition.
HOW DOES GERMAN BODY COMPOSITION TRAINING SHRED FAT?
When we look at our energy systems - phosphagen, glycolytic and oxidative, we look at the classification of the energy system, and which primary fuel source is attached.
GERMAN BODY COMPOSITION PREDOMINANTLY TARGETS AND UTILIZES THE OXIDATIVE ENERGY SYSTEM.
In order to get to the shred zone aka the "MAXIMUM FAT BURN ZONE", we need to first exhaust fuel that might impede fat burning. Fuels like glucose and glycogen.
THE BODY USUALLY USES GLUCOSE AND GLYCOGEN, PRIOR TO FAT,WHEN IT IS AVAILABLE. SO IN ORDER TO GET TO THE SHRED ZONE, WE NEED TO DEPLETE THESE SUBSTRATES (GLUCOSE AND GLYCOGEN).
Once we deplete these substrates, we will be able to better utilize fatty acids via oxidation, and thus reach the maximum fat-burning zone.
This process is key for any program focused on fat-burning and body composition.
GERMAN BODY COMPOSITION TRAINING UTILIZES COMPOUND MOVEMENTS
ONE OF THE BEST WAYS FOR YOU TO CHALLENGE AND DEVELOP YOUR FULL BODY IS TO UTILIZE COMPOUND MULTI-JOINT MOVEMENTS.
Movements like: squats, pull-ups, dips, and kettlebell swings.
One of the reasons behind why we utilize compound multi-joint movements is the concept of N.E.A.T. - Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). This refers to how we utilize our fuel substrates - even after we've stopped working out. Said another way, this is the compound interest of our efforts in the gym. If we only focused on bioenergetics and heart rate, it would be easy to say, "just hop on the assault bike and go." But that is approached is flawed and very limited. Why? Because it fails to account for the idea of specificity.
SPECIFICITY MEANS BECOMING BETTER AT WHAT YOU REPEATEDLY DO.
If you only enter the shred zone on a bike, you body becomes adept at creating systems to handle something it can predict. This will, in turn, lower the effect of N.E.A.T.
BY USING MORE DIVERSE FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENTS. WE RECRUIT MORE MOTOR UNITS, AND HAVE A MUCH GREATER POST-WORKOUT EFFECT THROUGHOUT THE REST OF THE DAY (REMEMBER N.E.A.T.)
(N.E.A.T. means Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) referring to how we burn our fuel substrates - even after we've stopped working out.
HOW TO SET UP GERMAN BODY COMPOSITION TRAINING SESSIONS
We'll be organizing our compound movements into total body circuits consisting of 6 exercises. When you see the workouts on our monitors, they will be indicated as A1 through A6.
Here is an example workout utilizing these protocols.
4x8, 4/0/2/0, REST 10 SECONDS
A1.) Zercher Squats
A2.) Goblet Squats
A3.) Plyo Lunges
A4.) Snatch Grip Deadlifts
A5.) Dumbbell RDLs
A6.) Russian KB Swings
A1, A2, A4 and A5 are those big compound movements, and we're going to utilize a 4-second eccentric tempo for 8 reps. If you do that for time, that's 32 seconds of total time under tension for 4 exercises, so we're getting up into those couple minute marks per set. And we're going to compliment that the middle A3 and end A6 with some sort of total body conditioning in this program.
WHY GERMAN BODY COMPOSITION TRAINING WORKS
The goal is to get about 3-4 minutes of straight continuous work, get recovery, and then go back into that training again. The energy system that is really targeted is the lactic, more aerobic type program. We can get into that fat burning utilizing that energy from fat, depleting our glucose first, which is our carbohydrate sources in our body. Burn through that and then start getting into our fat reserves and that's how we're going to manipulate and hopefully improve our body compositions.
The more density we have usually equates to a better hormonal response post workout, specifically through our anabolic hormones, growth hormones and testosterone. There is pretty good research out there looking at high density, high load, gets a really significant response from those two particular hormones. And if we're looking at changing body composition, you really want to tap into that naturally.
We can do that as long as our nutrition, sleep, and lifestyle is really in check. We can get those really optimized and maximized for the best results possible.
By the end of this block you should have a good platform and understanding of our compound movements, be in better physical shape, become stronger, more durable, more resilient and have a better body composition.
The beauty of German Body Composition training is that it is scalable to different fitness levels. You don't have to implement this training style in all its tortuous glory, you can still adapt some of its underlying principles and see remarkable success.
In the first instance, the idea of shorter rest periods is something of immense value for individuals looking to lose weight, increase volume and potentially induce a greater growth hormone release through training. Similarly the use of slower tempo speeds is something of immense value. This principle increases resistance without raising the weight and somewhat anecdotally, can provide some of the most intense pumps of your life.
Finally, this training style highlights the need for good old fashioned hard work in training programs. As anyone who has done this program's sister, German Volume Training will attest, the difficulty of the workout is often matched by its effectiveness.
We're finishing an accumulation block where the theme was Advanced German Volume Training, where the primary focus to effectively build endurance and improve our work capacities. The improvements will be seen in the next strength block immediately.
We are shifting gears and heading into an intensification block. The theme of this intensification block is the 5x5. It will take us 4 weeks to go through this strength block cycle leading into the first KPI week of 2022!
THE HISTORY OF THE 5x5
THE 5x5 IS FOCUSED ON THE BIG THREE MOVEMENTS: SQUAT, BENCH AND DEADLIFT WITH THE PROGRAM DIVIDED INTO HEAVY, MODERATE AND LIGHT VERSIONS.
March's King Strength and Performance strength block is the famous 5x5, a program invented by strength and conditioning legend and pioneer Bill Starr.
Bill Starr landed on the set and rep scheme because he thought it was the perfect balance of volume and intensity that would develop muscular size and strength at the same time.
For some historical context, Starr designed this program at the time when most of his athletes and lifters worked full-time, manual labor jobs outside of training. They'd do hard labor in factories and then after work, they had to go to the gym to train.
Starr had to be strategic with program design to get the most results for his athletes. By trial and error, he realized what we adapt to is the most important. And that it's not about how much one can do, but about how much one can sustainably handle.
His methods became something of a legend and ushered a whole new world of strength and conditioning that took deep roots in all aspects of the physical culture.
WHAT MAKES THE 5x5 SPECIAL?
The 5x5 program split is three separate days focused on the big three: Squat, Bench and Deadlift. The program is broken up into a heavy, moderate and light version.
This is important because it was one of the first great attempts to look at pattern development from a movement perspective and performance perspective. On one hand, you need a certain level of exposure to master the movement. On the other hand, you need a certain amount of intensity to perform optimally in the movement.
But if you push one exercise everyday at maximal intensity, you will break (which we imagine was a product of learning this the hard way). There has to be proper manipulation and variability in training intensity to accommodate proper recovery.
HERE'S HOW THE 5x5 PROGRAM WORKS
The 5x5 program has three days that start with a heavy version of Squat, Bench or Deadlift followed by a moderate version of Squat, Bench or Deadlift, followed again by a light version of Squat, Bench or Deadlift.
You push the weight as heavy as you can on each for 5 sets of 5 reps but the weight is deloaded based on the rage of motion, vector, distance from center of gravity, joints involved, and balance required.