The More the Better

I'm about to get my fourth higher education degree. With two Bachelor of Science degrees and one Master of Science degree virtually under my belt, I'm on to the next frontier into "Doctorhood." Recently, I've spent some time reminiscing about what I've learned from my collegiate training.

Believe it or not, my first year of higher education was spent at a high-falutin' private liberal arts college with a bunch of brainiacs. Some of my classmates kinda drove me hippie-crazy, but I sure learned a helluva lot from my English professor. Mainly, he taught me the importance of writing a powerful opening sentence.

Obviously, I haven't taken that advice completely to heart since I'm several sentences into my article and I haven't yet made a profound statement. Okay, here goes. You ready? Here it is:

The more often you can train a muscle group, the better.

How's that for a powerful sentence? Initially, this seems like a pretty straight-forward and logical statement. Unfortunately, most people haven't used all of their tools to accomplish such a goal. I'm here to tell you that the only way you'll be able to frequently stimulate each muscle group is to constantly rotate different strength training methods.

Periodization Wars

Some well-meaning trainers have tried to accomplish this goal through undulating periodization, while others, like myself, prefer another type of periodization that's sometimes referred to as conjugate periodization. East-Bloc European strength trainers have been using conjugate periodization for decades, and the transcendent Louie Simmons has made it a well-known phenomenon in American strength training circles.

Each type of periodization focuses on manipulating set/rep/load parameters throughout a microcycle, but only conjugate periodization focuses on developing multiple strength qualities as opposed to merely adjusting sets and reps. In other words, the speed of execution is of utmost importance when training different types of strength in conjugate periodization.

Linear periodization also became popular in many American strength-training circles. This type of periodization is based on initially starting a resistance training cycle with a high volume and low intensity with a subsequent drop in volume and rise in intensity over the course of months. And you know what? It sucks!

Why? Because linear periodization will burn you out quicker than any other planned form of training, especially in the latter stages! When you constantly hit the same motor units with the same parameters, even for a few weeks, the nervous system will very likely become bored (i.e. burnt out and overtrained). Coaches and trainers have tried to overcome this shortcoming by switching up exercises and movement planes, but the conclusion remains the same: linear periodization sucks and there are much better ways to plan your training.

Many of my programs are designed around training each muscle group twice a week. Other parameters I've recommended are geared towards training each muscle group up to six times each week. In an effort to cater to most T-Nation readers, I've designed a program that sits smack dab in the middle. You'll get the benefit of training each strength quality multiple times each week, without worrying about the overtraining factor that numerous newbies encounter with my extremely high-volume parameters.

In other words, if you're stuck in a rut and you've been training for more than a year, this program will induce appreciable strength and size gains!

Enter Triple Total Training

Due to excessive demands for studying and research, the University of Arizona has effectively kept me out of the gym for several months. Therefore, I was faced with a situation I haven't encountered in quite some time: I was out of shape (relatively speaking) and I needed a program that would increase my strength and size, like, now!

If you've ever scratched your head and thought, "Gee, I wonder what Waterbury is doing in the gym these days?" well, you're about to find out!

The TTT Program

As is the case with most of my programs, the TTT Program is based on conjugate periodization. You'll constantly rotate strength-training methods and the speed of execution. Check it out:

Day 1

Method: Maximal Strength

Sets: 6

Reps: 3

Load: 5RM (reps max)

Rest: 60 seconds between antagonist supersets

Tempo: 201

Exercises:

Day 2

Perform 15-20 minutes of medium intensity aerobics (e.g. jogging, uphill walking), or perform my GPP ASAP program.

Day 3

Method: Endurance Strength

Sets: 2

Reps: 24

Load: 26RM

Rest: 90 seconds between antagonist supersets

Tempo: 101

Exercises

Day 4

Same as Day 2

Day 5

Method: Explosive Strength

Sets: 8

Reps: 3

Load: 18RM*

Rest: 60 seconds between sets

Tempo: As fast as humanly possible!

*This is not a misprint. An 18RM equates to approximately 60% or your 1RM – an ideal load for explosive training with these parameters.

Exercises

Day 6

Same as Day 2

Day 7

Off completely!

Progression

Days 1 & 3: Increase the load 2.5% every workout.

Day 5: Decrease rest periods by 5 seconds each week while keeping the initial load constant.

Perform this routine for six weeks.

Conclusion

This is the exact same routine I've used for the last six weeks to get myself back into shape. It worked for me and I know it'll work for you, so give it a trial run!