Train with Intensity

Person lifting a kettle bell

People ask me all the time to explain or describe my training philosophy. In last week’s article, we talked about intensity, so I guess since we have an understanding of intensity, I can proceed and explain TTP training.  I developed this system mainly to combat the regular plateaus one would get from doing volume training and the seemingly ultra-high loads required by other training systems that to me, seem unsustainable.
Let me give you an example, let’s start with volume training. For those of you who do not know volume training, this is doing multiple sets of an exercise ( i.e. 3 sets of 10 reps) the basic principle here is to use ascending set principle this is done by increasing the weight or reps each set, with the goal of training to failure or achieving failure by the last set for that exercise. I have trained in this system for many years and I have grown plenty of muscle in the process.  The problem is almost always, at some point, you will hit a plateau doing volume training. This is due to neuromuscular adaptation…

Do you remember when someone showed you a new exercise and after doing it you felt this incredible reaction, usually great soreness the next day or super pump during the exercise? Then, magically the more you do this exercise the soreness is not as intense or the pump not as big? this is because your muscles have adapted to this new stimulus and have compensated by growing lean mass to support this activity. This in effect is how we grow muscle, the problem is what do you do, or what can you do to stay in this state so that your body is always compensating thus always growing?

In Turk’s Training principle, I have developed a system that directly addresses this issue by using one principle that would govern the success of constant compensation. I briefly mentioned this in last week’s article and it’s called muscle confusion.  By doing something different every time my muscles will not adapt, they will try to, and just when your body thinks it’s got you figured out? It changes again! The other important piece to this system is in every set you do YOU MUST GO TO FAILURE!

Here is the outline of this system, for smaller body parts biceps, triceps, calves, chest, and shoulders I do 2-4 sets total for bigger body parts such as legs and back I do 3-5 sets total.  In last week’s article, I spoke about training principals, these are tools to help increase intensity in a given set.  For example, increasing weight after each set, or increasing reps after each set is a principle.  There are around 23 known principles, I typically use 9-15 when training myself or my clients. I highly recommend anyone who is on a plateau or is serious about growing lean muscle to try this system.  To give you a better reference as to how this works, I have teamed up with ShapeFit.com to help me launch training videos that you can find on you-tube. You can pull up my name Turk Fickling, you will find videos on back, chest, and leg workouts, you can find me on FaceBook or email me at turkfickling@gmail.com for further questions and comments.

Here is a list of training principles I use when training

  1. Giant sets-3 or more exercises training the same muscle group
  2. Compound set-2 exercises training the same muscle group
  3. Super set-Training opposing muscle groups at the same time ( i.e. bicep & triceps )
  4. Slow reps-Just as the sound usually does this at 4,6,8 count concentrically or eccentrically
  5. Forced reps-Doing more reps past failure usually 2-4 reps is enough
  6. Force negatives-Adding more resistance to the eccentric part of the repetition (great for growth, but you cannot do this all the time)
  7. Pauses-Pausing at the end or the beginning of the rep
  8. Partials Reps-This is probably the most misunderstood principle, I say this because most people will do this incorrectly, the intent here is to perform full range of motion reps until failure and then continue with partial reps until all range has been used…
  9. Ballistic reps-Fast hard explosive reps, great for power…

You can use as many principles as your imagination can come up with.  For example, your training back you’re doing a giant set the 1st movement will behave force negatives followed by slow reps, and the last movement will include pauses. In this example, we did a giant set, force negs, slow reps, and pauses. In one set you will do 4 different training principles. Remember when doing volume training the average person will maybe do one training principle. You can probably see that this set would be highly intense! No one said this was easy, try it and let me know what you think. Until next time train hard…

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