Here we are again: a full month of incredibly high volumes to shred fat. This block promises to deliver some spice.
We're entering an accumulation block. What does that mean?
The goal of an Accumulation block is to use as much total energy in a session as possible. This maximal energy expenditure increases muscle tissue and fitness levels while decreasing body fat.
You might be wondering what "maximum energy expenditure" means or what it's going to feel like It means these training sessions are going to be really fucking hard. No exaggeration.
Accumulation Blocks are broken up into two major themes:
2. Muscular Endurance / Work Capacity
These themes depend on factors like: time-under-tension per set, density, and work done in a session.
For this accumulation block, we will be utilizing both but focusing more on density.
There are two methods for increasing density:
We're going to be increasing our training density by increasing the amount of work completed in the same time frame utilizing Escalating Density Training.
Escalating Density Training (EDT) is a training protocol developed by Charles Staley in the early 2000s. While most people tend to look at load (weight) and volume (sets x reps), EDT manipulates density.
To be specific, the goal of EDT is to complete more sets in the same amount of time; each successive workout, you aim to achieve more work in the same period of time.
How are the workouts going to be set up?
Each workout will consist of three series of exercises.
For the A series of our main, compound movements. We'll put a prescribed weight on the bar. That weight stays the same for the next 4-weeks.
Week 1, the weight should be challenging enough to get around 10 sets in 15 minutes. After that, it's all about getting as many sets as possible in 15 minutes while maintaining quality of movement.
When we say quality, we mean maintaining great position, technique and range of motion. More work in the same time. Rather than the same work in less time. This is an improvement in overall work rate, you will become more efficient.
Each week, you should aim to increase the number of sets performed within the designated 15-minute duration.
The changes in density caused by reducing rest but keeping volume and intensity up work like pressure changes in physics. The theory is that, all else being equal, less time with the same effort and training volume will elicit stronger signaling to the body. If the amount of rest is insufficient and intensity drops, the session is simply less effective than the original workout.
Escalating Density Training (EDT) is really difficult. Here's the scientific reason why...
The burning of energy through the storage forms of carbohydrates (glycogen and glucose), fat (adipose and fatty acids) and potentially proteins (amino acids) lead to an acidic environment, or an accumulation of hydrogen at the local level. This acidity corresponds with increases in anabolism (building proteins) post-training through natural levels of growth hormone and testosterone.
The most important takeaways you need for the next 4-weeks of this strength block:
With such demanding training, our progress is exclusively determined by how well we recover from week to week. Rest and recovery are absolutely necessary.
You will not get progress in this block without the appropriate rest and regeneration. We don't advise you perform any two-a-days during this strength block because over-training will hinder your results.
Recovery is key. It's fundamental. It's essential. If you report excessively high RPEs and your workloads increase drastically - your countermeasures have to match it. If not, your progress will not occur resulting in either a plateau or possibly worse performance.
Sleep, nutrition, and regeneration are the keys to success in this strength block. They must be placed at the highest priority if you want to maximize the benefits of EDT.
Rest reduction increases fatigue and leads to technique and strength decay. Our goal is to make our clients and athletes better, not tired.
REMINDER TO INPUT YOUR TRAINING DATA ON THE TRAINHEROIC APP
* A note on why we track your progress *
Assessing your progress week to week will be one of the core principles of our programming going forward. It's going to be the primary tool we use to assess if the load was appropriate from week to week based off how you adapt.
The term for this systematic tracking of progress and loading of the bar is called Progressive Overload.
A large misconception is that progressive overload only means increasing intensity or load. But with progressive overload, you can increase the number of sets at a specific load, you can increase the repetitions at a specific load, or in this case - you can increase the training density at a specific load.