Monday Workout ~ Accumluation Phase
Last week’s Monday Workout Post discussed my thoughts on Heavy Strength Training no matter what your goals are.
Besides doing heavy strength training, any smart program should have a phase with a higher volume of sets and reps.
As I said in the previous post, the first exercise or pairing of exercises should be your main priority. An intensification phase (heavy strength training) should last at least 4 weeks and should be cycled with an accumulation phase. Which means, as one priority goes up the other comes down.
The benefits of adding an accumulation phase to any routine, whether looking for strength and/or changes in body composition are numerous.
Here are some benefits for those looking to increase their strength:
1 – An accumulation phase allows you to learn to accelerate lighter loads, which adds a neuromuscular component to your training.
2 – The mental toughness you acquire from 20-rep squat sets and “higher rep” deadlifts are more than enough reason to have this cycled in your program.
3 – You target all of the other muscle fibers that you may not be properly stimulating.
4 – You can add in more varied group of exercises as the total volume is higher.
The benefits for those looking for body composition changes are:
1 – Increased growth hormone levels in response to lactic acid training. Growth hormone levels help the body to burn fat more efficiently.
2 – Anaerobic changes that benefits you, just as sprinting would help someone lose fat. With hard lactic acid training, you really don’t need to do any traditional “cardio” training, especially if your diet is on point. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about from Nick Mitchell’s blog:
3 – You can learn to vary the tempos a bit more as you’re not going so heavy. The ability to control the weight is an important skill in being able to do partials to bring up a certain aspect of a muscle or simply in learning to activate the muscle accurately. For example, if you’re a guy who can bench a ton, but has a small chest, it usually means that your triceps and shoulders are doing a brunt of the work. With an accumulation phase, you can do partial reps or pre-exhaust work to learn to activate the chest first and learn to vary the tempo thereby helping the chest to look more aesthetically pleasing.
There are other benefits, such as giving your nervous system a break from the heavy lifting and hitting the muscles a bit harder, etc., but for now just know it’s a smart move to add in a higher volume phase.
An accumulation phase for someone looking to lose some fat may look like this (and in keeping with the two-day a week cycle):
A1 – Deadlifts (5 sets of 8 reps)
A2 – Incline Barbell Chest Press (12, 10 , 10, 8, 8 reps)
60 seconds rest between A1 and A2
B1 – KB Swings (3 sets of 25)
B2 – Flat DB Chest Press (16, 12, 10)
45 seconds rest between B1 and B2
C1 – Lying Leg Curls (3 sets of 20 – slow negative)
C 2 – Smith Throwing Chest Press (3 sets of as many reps until speed slows)
C3 – Standing Calf Raises (3 sets of 20)
C4 – Single Arm DB Row (3 sets of 20, 20 and 16 reps)
30 seconds rest between C1 thru C4
A1 – High Rep Squats (20 reps – 3-5 sets)
A2 – Barbell Seated Shoulder Press (12, 10, 8 reps)
60 seconds rest between A1 and A2
B1 – Barbell Step Ups with Reverse Lunge (10 on each leg)
B2 – Dumbbell Seated Shoulder Press (15, 12, 10 reps)
45 – 60 seconds rest between B1 and B2, decrease rest 5 seconds each week
C1 – Squat Press (3 sets of 12 reps)
C2 – Lateral Raises (3 sets of 16-20 reps)
C3 – Reverse Cable Flyes (3 sets of 16 – 20 reps)
C4 – Bulgarian Split Squats, Walking Lunges or Backwards Sled Drag (to failure)
30 seconds rest between C1 – C4, decrease rest 5 seconds per week