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Tips of the week Continuous Ramp Method

Tipps der Woche Continuous Ramp Methode

In this training method, you use three exercise variations of the same movement pattern. For each of these exercises, you increase up to your 5RM weight. Once you have reached your 5RM weight for one of these exercises, you increase the weight further, but move on to the next stronger exercise.

For example, you could start with Zercher squats, then move on to front squats and then classic squats. All of these exercises use the same movement pattern, and you will be able to use more weight in each of these exercises than in the previous exercise, as you will be stronger in classic squats than in front squats and stronger in front squats than in Zercher squats.

This will allow you to get a lot of stimulation for a specific movement pattern while targeting different muscles and different muscle fibers involved in that movement pattern. For squats, this pattern might look like this:

Squat movement pattern

For this method, use 4 to 5 sets to build up to the first exercise and 3 sets per exercise for the following two exercises:

Exercise

Sets

A

Zercher squats

4-5

5

Start with about 60% of your 1 RM weight, perform sets of 5 reps, increasing the weight until you reach your 5 RM weight.

B

Front squats

3

5

Start with the weight you performed your last set of Zercher squats with. Perform 5 repetitions and increase the weight on each subsequent set until you reach your 5 RM weight.

C

Classic squats

3

5

Start with the weight you performed your last set of front squats with. Perform 5 repetitions and increase the weight with each subsequent set until you reach your 5 RM weight.

And this is what it could look like for shoulder presses:

Shoulder press

Exercise

Sets

A

Standing neck press

4-5

5

Start with about 60% of your 1 RM weight, perform sets of 5 repetitions, increasing the weight until you reach your 5 RM weight.

B

Standing shoulder press, bar in front of body

3

5

Start with the weight with which you performed your last set of neck presses. Perform 5 repetitions and increase the weight on each subsequent set until you reach your 5 RM weight.

C

Push Press (standing shoulder press with momentum from the legs)

3

5

Start with the weight with which you performed your last set of standing shoulder presses. Perform 5 repetitions and increase the weight on each subsequent set until you reach your 5 RM weight.

Keep training heavy while you diet

Some people forgo heavy weights during the fat loss phase and perform endless amounts of light repetitions. This is a mistake and here's why.

By Christian Thibaudeau

Source: https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-keep-lifting-heavy-when-dieting

The top priority when trying to lose fat should be to maintain existing muscle mass. Losing muscle should not be acceptable. Among other things, muscle loss would make it harder to continue losing fat, as muscle tissue is metabolically responsible for most of the fat loss you will see during a diet.

And then there is the issue of insulin sensitivity. If you have more muscle mass, then your insulin sensitivity will lean more towards building muscle. A larger muscle mass has more insulin receptors, which increases the insulin sensitivity of the muscles.

Maintaining strength - or even building strength - is the absolute best way to ensure you don't lose muscle. If you continue to move heavy weights while dieting, this will force your body to maintain its existing muscle mass, which is vital to its survival. On the other hand, if you reduce the amount of weight you move, your body will "assume" that you don't need as much strength and that it's okay to lose muscle. Why? Because muscle mass consumes masses of calories day after day and the body will see this as expendable.

You can't make a muscle more defined

Sometimes exercisers significantly increase their reps during the fat loss phase to make a muscle more defined - too bad that's not possible. You can only make a muscle bigger or smaller. To make it more defined, you have to get rid of the fat covering that muscle while keeping the muscle big and full.

Some people aren't stupid enough to believe that training with lighter weights and high reps will work, but they perform more reps anyway to burn more calories and accelerate fat loss. That's fine - provided you've already done your heavy training. However, if you overdo it with the repetitions, you can indirectly reduce your muscle mass through impaired recovery.

If your calorie intake is reduced, then your ability to recover from training is already reduced, so the additional load of increased volume can lead to regression in performance and muscle mass. Do everything in your power to at least maintain your strength while dieting - and this won't happen if you stop training with heavy weights.

Train your biceps every day for four weeks to get them growing

If your biceps are slow to grow, this plan is exactly what you've been looking for

By Christian Thibaudeau

Source: https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-train-biceps-daily-for-4-weeks-to-grow

Has your biceps growth stalled? Have your biceps always lagged behind other muscle groups in their development? If so, then it's time to specialize. You can train your biceps every day while maintaining your regular training regimen. And no, you won't overtrain your biceps with this 4 week plan.

10 sets every damn day

First, choose a biceps exercise that you feel the most. Scott curls, standing barbell curls, hammer curls, etc. Here's what you do next:

  • Set 1: Warm up with light weight
  • Set 2: Perform 6 repetitions with a weight you could perform 10 repetitions with
  • Sets 3 to 6: Perform 3 strict reps per set using the heaviest weight possible
  • Sets 7 to 9: Perform 3 less strict reps (use a slight bend to be able to move more weight) with the heaviest weight possible
  • Set 10: Use 50% of the weight you used in your last strict set (sets 3 to 6) and perform as many strict repetitions as possible.

Training details

Remind yourself that you will do this every day. Some days you will feel weaker and need to use a little less weight. Other days you will feel stronger and should use more weight. The key is to strive to move as much weight as possible on both the strict and ab sets.

Even though you would ideally use the same weight for sets 3 to 6, you should use more weight if necessary. The goal is to perform at least one set with the absolute heaviest weight with which you can perform that specified number of reps with strict form. The same goes for sets 7 to 9, you can adjust the weight from set to set if you feel you can do more or feel you should reduce the weight. Don't be afraid to go up a gear if you feel you can do it.

As you will be doing a lot of bicep training every day, you will not be doing any other training for your biceps during these 4 weeks. You will see significant growth and the daily heavy training will increase the ability of your biceps to recruit fast-twitch muscle fibers, making them even more responsive to training after these 4 weeks.

Train the same muscle two days in a row

For better gains, train a muscle hard and heavy one day and then again the next day with lighter pump training. Here's the explanation of why this works.

By Christian Thibaudeau

Source: https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-train-the-same-muscle-two-days-in-a-row

You can train the same muscle group two days in a row. This is actually best for optimal gains

This method of double stimulation prolongs muscle protein synthesis, leads to increased feedback in the muscle and stimulates better muscle responsiveness. The second training session serves to reinforce the anabolic response to the first training session. It does this through a prolonged phase of increased protein synthesis and also increases the transport of nutrients to the muscles.

How does this method work?

Train the same muscle group two days in a row, but not in the same way. Train them hard with heavy weights on the first day and then perform 15 minutes of pump training for the same muscle group during the first 15 minutes of the next day's training session. Then move on to your actual training session for a different muscle group. Here is an example of how you can use this method with a 4 day "on" / 1 day "off" split.

  • Day 1: Train the pressing muscles (such as the pecs on the bench press) hard and heavy.
  • Day 2: During the first 15 minutes of the training session, train the pressing muscles again with a lighter pump workout. Isolation exercises performed in the form of a circuit work best. For example, use a repetition range of 8 to 12 repetitions while maintaining continuous tension. Each set should last at least 30 seconds and up to 50 seconds. Then perform your heavy main training session for the pulling muscles (back training).
  • Day 3: Pump training for the pulling muscles that you trained the day before. Then train your legs.
  • Day 4: Pump training for the legs. Followed by abdominal training and fitness training (optional).
  • Day 5: No training.

This approach also promotes regeneration and extends the duration of the anabolic phase. Protein synthesis remains elevated for about 24 hours after training, but by doing a second training session the next day, which is less traumatic for the muscles, you can significantly extend the duration of protein synthesis and thus build more muscle.

Remember that it is important that the second training session is light pump training and not training with heavy weights. We do not want to cause further muscle damage with this training session. We simply want to activate the cell signaling necessary to stimulate hypertrophy and pump nutrients into the muscle. Use appropriate training nutrition for best results.

Perform power snatches from a hanging position

This is by far the best exercise for power athletes. Here is the explanation of why this is so and how you should perform this exercise

By Christian Thibaudeau

Source: https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-do-the-power-snatch-from-the-hang

A power athlete is someone who competes in sports that require a high degree of speed and explosiveness. Examples of such sports would be American football and disciplines that involve things like sprinting, throwing or jumping. If you perform this exercise correctly, the power snatch from a hanging position is the best test of your athletic capacity. Of all the exercises, this is the one exercise with the highest speed strength production. It also requires good general coordination and complete shoulder mobility.

Power snatch from a hanging position

  1. Keep the back under tension
  2. When the bar is at knee height, jump upwards (neither forwards nor backwards)
  3. Keep the bar close to your body during the entire movement

It is not necessary to use heavy weights for this exercise. Acceleration - and lots of it - is the key. Only increase the weight if you can maintain correct technique and maximum acceleration.

Performed from a hanging position, the movement starts with the bar at knee height instead of from the ground and you can catch the bar underneath with a minimal squat movement. Instead of moving the bar itself at knee height, you can also position it on blocks so that it is already at knee height at the start of the movement. This is known as power snatching from blocks.

The difference between power snatching from a hanging position and power snatching from blocks is that in the first variation you start the exercise by reversing the action of the barbell (from the hanging position), whereas in the second variation you start from a static position (from blocks). The first variation will develop more reactive power and the capacity to quickly transition from an eccentric to a concentric movement, while the wide variation will develop more power from the starting position.

Power snatch is obviously a complex exercise. If you are not yet proficient in this exercise, you should only use it once you have learned it under the guidance of a trainer.

To develop maximum speed and explosiveness, you should use a weight that is in the range of 70 to 80% of your 1RM weight. All repetitions should be aggressively explosive, which is why 2 to 3 repetitions per set is best.

Source: https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-use-the-continuous-ramp-method

By Christian Thibaudeau | 03/14/16

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