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Intense Cycles For Advanced Lifters (Part 3)

Apr 30, 2008
So you're in your second week now and you are feeling like shite and dreading that 80% x 6 x 2 light session. You can only see one way out and that is crying over the current edition of Men's Health magazine due to your own impotence. Well Don't, cause in the real world of bodybuilding there is always pain and suffering and you belong to that world, or not? You don't think that you are taking time out so you can lay in bed all day watching the playboy channel, do you? Seriously though you can only make judgement on your performance by completing your lifts, regardless of how you feel after.

You can rearrange the remaining exercises over the week at whatever set and rep scheme you prefer. In the case that you were to specialise in overhead press, you could consider choosing to squat + press on Monday, chin + press on Wednesday and bench + press on Friday. The best thing I like about this is that you can keep the poundages for the other lifts at around 80 - 90% of maximums and it doesn't matter which rep range I am using.

Should you be able to bench 100Kg for 12 reps, you would have to be able to sets of 80-90Kg for 10-12 reps in the bench. Another important tip is to rotate the days you use for assistance work so that you never perform similar assistance to your main lift on a "heavy" day.

For example if your specialisation lift is the overhead press then rotate your bench press so that it always falls on one of the 6 x 2 days, not on one of the more intense days. This makes sure that your heavy overhead pressing does not make benching impossible. The same would apply if squats were your main lift and you were deadlifitng for assistance work. You would not squat heavy and deadlift on the same day, as your deadlift would most likely not be worthwhile. The name of the game is maintenance when it comes to your other lifts.

After 6 weeks you can change the specialisation lift and start again, or move back to a more typical bodybuilding routine and use your newfound strength to pack on even more muscle with slightly higher rep ranges. Or if you're like most people you will totally disregard the outstanding strength gains you just made and go back to training leg extensions once a month because training my way was "too tough".

I'm sorry to be such a mean old sod but it is utterly true. People are all too quick to disregard methods that work extremely well if they take them out of their comfort zone. Need I remind you that if strength training and bodybuilding were comfortable then everyone would be big and strong?

A few guys have asked me what kind of results they can expect on a routine like this in terms of strength gains. I get a guaranteed 7.5 - 10% on a lift every time I put myself through this torture, with bigger increases on repetition work following the program.

I can actually share with you past results for this very program with a deadlift going from 200Kg to 220Kg and reps with 180kg from 6 to an easy 11 at a bodyweight of 93Kg. Pretty good for a six week training program, I'd say. I am actually looking at shooting for 180Kg x 20 reps by the end of this year and to do that by increasing my limit strength repetition the lifting will increase automatically.

We all have our differences and I'm not quite Mr Universe, but I can assure you that there are a great number of bodybuilders in the world who could better my results. You really just have to kick yourself and get doing new routines and ones that hurt. If you come across any good one just e-mail them to me, Mick Hart. Check out the MickHartBlog which is there for those who like suffering.
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