Overreaching : Shock Workouts Explained Also known as an overreaching cycle a….

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www.abcbodybuilding.com The 4th Horseman 5 The Cadence will be 3-5 seconds on the eccentric phase (naturally longer for the legs) and 2 seconds for the concentric portion of the rep. Shock Workouts Explained Also known as an overreaching cycle, a shock cycle, or workout, entails the athlete training in such a way as to accumulate fatigue or depletion, followed by a longer than normal rest period.

This combination is thought to lead to an even greater super compensation effect.

An example would entail performing 10 strip sets on a body part, followed by greater rest periods between sessions.

I will be performing some unique shocking methods, and will only train the muscle once that day (on most occasions).

I will then allow a longer rest period time, around 4-5 days in duration. Active Recovery Workouts Explained I will be using the method prescribed by Wilson, G. (2003) in, Active Recovery – A Threefold Breakdown.

I will perform a few light, high rep resistance training exercises.

The goal is to enhance blood flow to the area, but at the same time, avoid any micro trauma to your muscles.

As such, the weight will be of minimal resistance, and approximately 20 reps plus.

Studies show eccentric training causes extreme muscular damage (refer to the following article for extensive research on this, Cliff Hanger Part I).

As such, I will avoid tension on this portion of the repetition by performing a 1 second eccentric repetition per rep.

The concentric aspect of the lift will last 1-2 seconds.

I will do around 2-5 sets per muscle group.

A sample workout for forearms would entail 2 sets of 20 reps with reverse barbell wrist curls, and 2 sets of 20 reps with barbell wrist curls, using minimal resistance.

I will primarily do this with my criterion lifts (explained further on).

Note: In order to understand the next several paragraphs on training frequency, you are going to need to study the following article by Wilson, J., & Wilson G., (2005): Specificity Part VI: The effect of Practice Distribution & Contextual Interference on Performance & Learning The subsequent discussion is based on their findings.

For more information, refer to that article. Training Frequency Wilson J., & Wilson G., (2005) suggest that mass vs.

Distributed practice should be viewed on a continuum—meaning that practice is relatively more massed or distributed.

For instance, if a set of squats lasts for 30 seconds, a 1 minute rest period and a 5 minute rest period would both be considered distributed, using the former definition.

But, if viewed on a continuum, the 5 minute rest period was relatively more distributed than the 1 minute rest period. www.abcbodybuilding.com The 4th Horseman 6 The effect of practice distribution on performance and learning has been investigated extensively for discrete tasks.

A discrete task is a task with a discernable beginning and ending point.

This would include most weight lifting skills, and swinging a bat or a golf club.

Discrete tasks are characterized by rapid movements, with very short movement times (ie less than 1 millisecond).

Evidence strongly suggests that distributed practice is superior to massed practice for both performance and learning, when performing discrete tasks.

However, when transferring to massed practice, such as practicing for wrestling, it would be beneficial to practice at least in part using shorter rest times.

Evidence suggests that such a training protocol will produce several advantageous adaptations such as an increased capacity to clear lactic acid.

The athlete should therefore, be aware of their rest times during the actual event, and practice with those same rest intervals frequently, to maximize transfer.

It is typically recommended to take 3-5 minutes rest between sets to maximize performance and learning.

For long term practice distribution, there are several applications.

For instance, spreading your workout out to 2 session in one day is a very effective method.

For example, evidence suggests that performing 15 sets of legs in the first session, and 15 in the second, is superior to 30 sets in one workout.

Increasing the frequency throughout the week, and lowering your volume each workout is a very effective protocol as well.

An example would be doing 30 sets of legs Monday, and 30 sets on Friday, instead of doing 60 in one workout.

One issue the athlete must take into account is total practice time.

While distributed practice is superior to massed given an equal number of trials, it takes much longer to complete than massed practice.

Therefore, the athlete must find a happy medium between distributing the practice, and optimizing total repetitions.

In this context, I wanted to design a program that optimized practice distribution.

What I decided to do was train a muscle muscle 2 times in a day during strength and hypertrophy workouts.

On most shock days, I will only train once per day, because that workout should be adequate enough to cause serious damage.

On the active recovery days, only a few sets during one session is needed, so this will also only be performed once.

Based on my past experience with numerous training splits with DUP, I decide to give myself 2-3 days rest between strength, hypertrophy, and shock days, which would accumulate the fatigue.

After the shock workout, I would take 5 days rest before my next strength workout, to allow for an even greater super compensation effect.

During this 5 day rest period, I would perform one active recovery workout, to hasten to recovery process.

Note that this strictly dealt with how I would train with large muscle groups (back, delts, pecs, and legs).

I will discuss how I trained small muscle groups later.

For rest between sets, as stated, I will be taking 3-5 minutes rest during my strength days, which is optimal for sensory motor skill acquisition (motor learning).

The shocking method workouts will vary.

During active recovery sessions, 2 minutes rest will suffice. — The 4th Horseman 18 I gained about 15 pounds (mostly muscle).

I added 40 pounds on my squat! That is just ridiculous! I added 20 pounds on my dumbbell shoulder press and incline dumbbell press, each.

My delts are way fuller.

My calves, biceps, and forearms grew, but not to well.

These are just hard muscles for me to develop.

My triceps got some solid growth. I could not ask for many more results than I got.

I think it was a fantastic program.

Some potential modifications I would make, is to have a better game plan on my exact workout volume, exercises, etc.

It was difficult to write out all 60 workouts on a daily bases.

It would have helped if I had preplanned this.

I could not be as creative as I would have liked because of this.

But overall, I could not be happier with my results. Conclusion Part one of this series explained the theoretical rationales behind the program, details on how to perform the program, and also gave a template on critiquing and designing training splits.

With the foundation laid, we are ready to move on to the workouts.

Click Here to read on.

For the training split for this program, a summary of the methods used in this split, and a template for designing/critiquing training splits, please refer to tables 1, 2, and figure 1, respectively.

Keep it Hardcore, Venom Vice President of ABCbodybuilding.com Venom@abcbodybuilding.com References Fry, A.C., W.J.

Kraemer, J.M.

Lynch, N.T.

Triplett, and L.P.


Does short-term near-maximal intensity machine resistance exercise induce overtraining?.


Strength Cond.

Res. 8:188–191. 1994.

Fry, A.C.

The role of training intensity in resistance exercise overtraining and overreaching.

In: Overtraining in Sport.


Kreider, A.C.

Fry, and M.L.

O’Toole, eds.

Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 1998.

Pp. 107–127.

Loren Z.F.

Chiu MS, CSCS and Jacque L.

Barnes. 2003: The Fitness-Fatigue Model Revisited: Implications for Planning Short- and Long-Term Training.

Strength and Conditioning Journal: Vol. 25, No. 6, pp. 42–51. www.abcbodybuilding.com Websters, Online dictionary. 2005.

Table 1.

Final 30 day training Split Day I Morning or Afternoon Session Delts Heavy Biceps Heavy Forearms Heavy Evening Session Delts Heavy Biceps Heavy Forearms Heavy The 4th Horseman 19 Day 2 Morning or Afternoon Session Legs Heavy Calves Heavy Afternoon 30 Minutes cardio active recovery Evening Session Legs Heavy Calves Heavy Day 3 Morning or Afternoon Session

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