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Program Design

Program Design

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Why Wednesdays

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Program Design

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Chris Ackland, Head Coach, Melbourne

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22 August 2016

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There are three key variables we can manipulate when designing a program: Frequency, Volume and Intensity. For the majority of the year you’ll only want to have two of the three as your focus. This will allow for a solid progression, with minimal risk of injuries. You can also play with short bouts of focusing on all three for quick results, but like anything, doing this too quickly carries a greater risk.

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Frequency = How often you are training a movement or body part.
Frequency is a variable which I generally measure from week to week. During a block of training I may have four week blocks where the focus is on the squat, so my athletes will squat twice as frequent as they pull. An example of a high frequency program is “Squat everyday”. An example of a low frequency program is squatting once per week.

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Group Shot.

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Photograph by @acklland Unsplash

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Volume = How many sets and reps, or total reps.
Volume can be measured in number of lifts for a particular movement or weight lifted for the week. Tracking these two variables can tell you if your volume is increasing or decreasing from week to week. An example of a high volume program is “German Volume training”, while an example of a low volume program would be peaking for strength sport competitions.

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“You can also play with short bouts of focusing on all three for quick results, but like anything, doing this too quickly carries a greater risk.”

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Volume = How many sets and reps, or total reps.
Volume can be measured in number of lifts for a particular movement or weight lifted for the week. Tracking these two variables can tell you if your volume is increasing or decreasing from week to week. An example of a high volume program is “German Volume training”, while an example of a low volume program would be peaking for strength sport competitions.

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Intensity = How heavy your weights are.
Intensity can be measured by percentage of one rep max, if you’re lifting in the 85%+ range it would be considered high intensity.

Now lets look at a couple of phase options –

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Hypertrophy Phase (gaining muscle) –

Low intensity : 60-75%
High volume: Rep range of 8-12 reps
High Frequency: 2-3x per week per movement or body part

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Strength Phase (increase strength) –

High intensity: 75-85%
Medium volume: Rep Range 4-6 reps
Medium frequency: 1-2x per week per movement or body part

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These are just some examples of the ways in which a program can be manipulated. Depending on what the goal is, as well as what the time in which to reach that goal is.

I hope you’ve enjoyed another week of why Wednesday

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Why Wednesday

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Volume
Aug 2016

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MOTIVATION

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Believing Is The Absence
Of Doubt

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TRAVEL

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Big Savings On Gas
While You Travel

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