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Athletic Hypertrophy Satellite Training Camp February 2018
Our satellite training camps are unlike anything else on the market. With 4 days of intensive training and tuition at our own facility in Nottingham, this is no ordinary online training. You will receive a comprehensive training profile to ascertain exactly what you need for the best possible results, followed by a bespoke program tailored to your individual attributes. The knowledge and skills you will gain from the four in-house training days alone are worth the price tag, not to mention the 90 days of custom programming and your coach's support.
What is Athletic hypertrophy?
In short this is the perfect training camp for anyone looking to gain lean, muscular size while also gaining strength and explosive power. It is perfect for athletes such as rugby players, ice hockey players, defencemen in football and other contact sports competitors. It is also perfect for athletes in weight class sports looking to go up a weight class while gaining speed and strength, or for non athletes who want to look better but have plenty of "go" with their "show". Athletic hypertrophy is the selective hypertrophy of fast twitch muscle fibres. It is increases in muscular size that actually make you more athletic, faster and stronger, rather than simply gaining unfunctional mass that can in fact slow you down.
Listen to this podcast to find out more about training for athletic hypertrophy.
What you get on the AH training camp.
Feb 17th - Intensive training day 1.
Introduction to the AHP system and lessons in the perfect rep, set and block
Lower body structural balance assessment
Lower body training session
Feb 18th - intensive training day 2.
Recap from Day 1
Upper body structural balance assessments
Upper body session 1
Growth cycle nutrition presentation
Upper body training session 2
Receive your programs, gain access to private forum, check in with coach, training starts
Feb 20th - Mar 30th - training block 1.
Ongoing coaches support and forum.
Mar 31st - Intensive training day 3, mid point check in
Re-assessment of body composition
Q&A from cycle 1 and 2
Lower body training session
Upper body training session 1
Upper body training session 2
Apr 2nd - Mar 12th, training block 2
Receive Phase 2 programs
Check in with coach
May 13th - Final check in day
Body composition analysis
Final photo shoot
Athletic Hypertrophy. The Secret To Bigger, Faster, Stronger.
Many athletes, especially those in weight classes fear gaining muscle out of a fear it will make them slow or less durable. These fears are well founded if the wrong type of training is used. But if the correct style of training is used, the extra mass can lead to greater speed, durability, robustness and ultimately higher performance and more wins.
The mistakes come when bodybuilding methods are employed to gain the muscle. Many traditional body building methods result in swelling the muscle cells and increasing the amount of intracellular fluid stored within the muscle cells. This leads to bigger muscle bellies and great physiques, but increases intra and inter muscular friction, slowing down muscle contraction speed. Ultimately this leads to slower athletes, not desirable.
Another undesirable feature of this type of training is the impact it has on muscle fibre makeup. Ultimately the constant tension, high reps and low recovery periods favour type 1 and type 2a expression, making your biggest, fastest muscle fibres start to behave and rebuild more like slower, more endurance orientated fibres. Again this leads to improvements in slow strength but not explosiveness and power, the key features of successful power athletes.
Fortunately this does not have to be the way. There is a type of hypertrophy training that will encourage the growth of the fast twitch fibres selectively. Leading to huge improvements in strength and speed while adding mass and muscle. Far from leading to slower, less powerful athletic performances this type of training leads to higher peak forces, higher speeds, greater mass and greater strength. It is the perfect type of training for an off season rugby player, for example. When well applied, this type of training methodology leads to bigger, faster, stronger athletes.
The exact methodology (detailed at length in the full AHP guide, soon to be available on the EP website) is based on the same methodology that Russian weight lifters used to gain mass and go up a weight class in the 70’s and 80’s. (And yes, before anyone says it, it works when not doping).
I’ve been playing with the exact methodology with my athletes and clients over the last five years and the program we now use produces consistent, repeatable results. Not only that, but the results are HUGE.
Powerlifters, rugby players, basketball players, BJJ competitors, boxers and non-athletes looking to gain functional mass have all benefitted equally from this methodology. I’ve seen drug free clients gain 4kg lean muscle in 5 weeks on average nutrition. Consistently, guys get leaner, bigger and a lot stronger in a very short space of time. When combined with the growth cycle nutrition we recommend, the results have led to friends and family of our clients accusing them of taking drugs to get the results.
A word of warning: The program is not easy on the nervous system. If you follow it to the letter, you will be sore, you will be tired, you will be irritable. Thats the price of truly hard training, I’m afraid. Again if you follow the exact growth cycle nutrition outlined in our guide this will be minimised and mitigated by the food and supplements you will use to get you through.
Prerequisites for this program:
If you do not meet the following criteria, this program is not for you.
You are able to train at least 5 days a week
You can FULL squat. not just to parallel, thats a half squat, I mean you can sit on your heals.
You have zero back problems. (Deadlifting will be required).
You have zero shoulder problems. (Overhead pressing will be required).
You have the budget to follow the growth cycle nutrition (around £12-15 per day is required).
You are able to sleep 8 hours per night. (I currently am woken every night by my very young daughter, I would not attempt this program at this moment in time. You’re only as good as your ability to recover).
You want to get bigger, faster and stronger at the same time).
Meet these 7 criteria? read on, you’ll love this program.
Not you? read on out of curiosity if you wish, but do not attempt the program.
So how do you go about stimulating this impactful type of growth? You need to change the rules and pretty much forget everything you think you know about how to train for size. Constant tension? gone. Sets to failure? big mistake. Trashing a body part with 30 sets once a week? absolutely not. Here, the rules change.
The Perfect Rep, Every Rep:
Many body building programs espouse the benefits of constant tension reps. This type of rep involves keeping the working muscle under tension for an entire set, completely fatiguing the working muscle every set. This provides a powerful growth stimulus, but not the type of growth we’re seeking here. The constant tension actually decreases the recruitment of the biggest fastest fibres we’re targeting in this program. Meaning every rep is worth less and less as the set goes on, and every set is worth less as the session goes on. This type of set is deleterious to the goals of this program.
Instead, you will focus on maximal muscle recruitment on every single rep. Each and every rep counts on this program. Your intention must be to move the load with the greatest possible force on every, rep of every set, off every lift. We call these max force reps. Without truly understanding and vigorously applying this principle to every session, you will not reap the full rewards of this style of training. By having the intention to move the weight with maximal speed you will recruit maximal muscle. Muscles work in a smallest and weakest to biggest and strongest fashion. Meaning that unless you’re intending to move the weight with maximal force, you’re not tapping into all the available fibres within a muscle group. This one single principle can transform your training. It is one of the most widely known but under-applied principles in lifting.
Do Not Take Sets To Failure:
The hydrogen ions produced when you train to failure and chase fatigue on every set accumulate within the muscle cells. This actually makes it harder for the enzymes that produce anaerobic energy to work and reduces your ability to recruit the biggest and fastest type 2x muscle fibres. This is great for swelling the muscle and stimulating the increased storage of glycogen, water and growth factors, and thus great if maximal size is your goal. But with each repeated set you’re telling your body that resilience to fatigue is needed to survive. And so thats the adaptation you’ll stimulate. This leads to you downgrading your type 2x muscle into type 2a or type 1. Over time this reduces explosiveness, muscle contraction speed and peak power.
Instead, using the max force reps described above, you will focus your efforts on maximal number of quality reps every set. You will do this by not training to failure, but stopping 1 or 2 reps short of concentric failure. Ideally you will use some sort of force meter like a Tendo, but access to this is unlikely. As such you need to be fully present during your set, no talking, no distractions, fully mindful. You will notice that even though your intention to move the weight is just as strong on the 7th rep as the 1st, the bar speed will be dropping, this is happening because your ability to recruit the big 2x fibres you’re targeting is diminishing, these fibres are dropping out of the movement due to their inability to resist fatigue. That is not only fine, but is an indicator that you’ve done your job and fatigued these high threshold fibres. That set is now done. A set of 7 reps should be done with roughly a 9 rep max. By stopping short of failure you will maximise the volume work you’re capable of doing, by maximising the number of sets, and thus reps, you can complete at an optimal load.
Managing fatigue is the art that separates the good results from the great results on this program. On traditional body building, you aim for complete failure on every set. This makes it easy to manage fatigue as you’re chasing it and embracing it. For Athletic Hypertrophy, you’re trying to manage your levels of fatigue to maximise the useful work done in a session, not in a single set. Making the sweet spot of hard work and volume of work tricky to achieve. It’s also the factor that many clients will struggle with initially if they’re used to the hard work of traditional programs.
If you work too hard on a single set you will actually hold back your gains in strength, size and power. Allow me to illustrate this with an example:
Client A makes the typical mistake of working a little too hard on set 1. Instead of stopping at 7 reps his desire to work hard means he pushes out an extra 2 making it 9 reps at his 9 rep max. Normally he’d receive a badge of honour for his efforts but this time he actually short circuits himself. His second set is already dropping reps and he only achieves 7 good reps due to the CNS fatigue accumulated on the first set. But he works hard and grinds out an 8th, somewhat ugly rep. Set 3 is a disaster and he fails at 6, needing a spotter to complete the 7th. He’s done, there’s no more useful work to squeezed out of that movement today.
Client B follows the fatigue management advice to the letter and hits 7 high quality, max force reps on the first set with a 9 rep max, keeping 2 in the tank. Set 2 is the same, 7 reps nailed. Set 3 the same. Set 4 the 7th rep slows down a little more, but still 7. Set 5 the 6th rep slows down and the 7th is a grind. The movement is done, move on.
Despite his hard work ethic, Client A achieved 22 quality reps at his 9RM.
Client B achieved 35 quality reps with his 9RM. More volume, more gains.
Because he managed fatigue correctly, Client B actually achieved much more useful work than his counterpart. Bare in mind that each and every rep is a maximal effort, this adds up to a HUGE difference when multiplied by every lift in a session, every session in a week and every week in a program.
Capacity Determines Volume
In traditional programs, the number of sets is determined by whats written down on the program. This way of modulating volume is somewhat arbitrary. Yes, a good coach can prescribe an excellent program this way, but how do you know that you definitely did just the correct amount of volume? In AH training you will auto-regulate your volume by following the principle that capacity determines volume. On a good day, when you’re firing on all cylinders, we may end up doing 6 or even 7 sets. If we stop at 5 just because the program says 5, we may leave useful, productive and thus valuable workloads on the table.
Equally, on a bad day, if you hit critical drop off on set 4 of a movement when the program says 5, you will terminate the movement and move on. Typically an individual might drop the weight or use forced reps to complete the fifth set. But all this will do is stress the nevus system making it harder to recover from the session. This CNS stress will have two deleterious effects. One will be less productive work on any subsequent exercises to be done on similar body parts, meaning less productive work done in the session as a whole. The other will be less productive work done in the next session, as the system may be under-recovered.
Your focus is to maximise volume over the entire program, not on each set.
High Frequency Training
When you follow the principles above (Perfect reps, do not train to failure, manage fatigue and let the capacity determine the volume) something incredibly useful happens. You hit the sweet spot of stimulating adaptation without over-taxing your ability to recover. Research has shown that by using maximal force reps and stopping a set when force drops as opposed to when you hit failure, the CNS is less stressed and far better able to recover. Any strength athlete will tell you that muscles tend to recover quickly and be ready to work soon after training, but CNS fatigue can last far longer. By following the principles above you will be able to train more frequently.
Research by Schoenfeld et al has concluded that there is a clear advantage to training each muscle group at least twice per week. With some studies like the famous Norwegian Frequency Project showing even more gains from higher frequencies. But high frequency training is only possible when the CNS is kept fresh and performance is maintained. You are only as good as your ability to recover.
AHP used high frequency programming to achieve best results. It is critical that the principles are followed or you will actually get weaker and smaller over the weeks.