In my position as a gen-u-ine editor-in-chief of a real-life strength-training and bodybuilding mag, I'm privy to a lot of information. I read about lifting weights all day long, and if I'm not reading about it, I'm talking about it. I admit, it's affected my life negatively in some aspects, as I can't relate to anything outside my small world without tying it to weight training.

If I meet somebody new, I don't shake his or her hand; I tug on it to get a little lat action, bellowing, "C'mon, you pussy, give me a little resistance." If I discuss politics, I argue that that while Gore probably has a better deadlift, Bush can probably bench more because he's got shorter arms.

Anyhow, as might be expected, I end up formulating my own thoughts and conclusions based on all this info I sponge up. As a result, I'll come up with new training routines all the time, but then doubt starts to creep in. I say to myself, "Man, neither King, Poliquin, Batcheldor, Schmidtbleicher, Hortibagyi, or any other fer-ner has ever done a study on this," so it must not be worth writing about.

Trouble is, these routines seem to work. What's more, since they're sometimes a little unusual, they keep my interest up.

So the hell with it. I'm going to describe a little 6-week program that I call Tsunami Training (I'll get to why I call it that a little later). It's based, for the most part, on training methodologies that I picked up from Ian King and Charles Poliquin, with some razzle-dazzle thrown in by myself.

The program involves a whole lot of what the German researcher Schmidtbleicher coined the post-tetanic facilitation phenomenon, which is not to be confused with post-Titanic facilitation, which involves training with Academy Award-winning director James Cameron.

This post-tetanic facilitation is best experienced by what's become known as "wave loading," which involves using maximal loads to potentiate, or activate, the nervous system. Essentially, if you do a set of 5RM or 6RM (the most weight you can lift for five or six reps) within a few minutes of doing a 1RM, you'll be able to lift more weight than if you hadn't done the 1RM set. If you then repeat this 6RM/1RM combo, you'll be able to use even more weight than the first time you did the combo. This, in essence, constitutes a wave, and was popularized by Charles Poliquin in his 1-6 Principle article from Issue 58 of Testosterone.

There are, however, different kinds of waves. Ian King, in his incredibly effective 12-week upper and lower body programs, employs a 4RM, 3RM, 2RM wave, which if followed immediately by another similar wave. Amazingly, the average trainee is able to "ride" the wave, in effect lifting more weight with each successive wave — more weight than he might ordinarily do — had he not done the waves.

This program takes advantage of both waves, and the trainee ends up doing giant wave after giant wave. Hence my cute little name for this program: Tsunami training.

Given that this program is very demanding on the nervous system, I ask that anyone using it do two things. First, train no more than four times a week, and second, do this program for no more than six weeks.

Furthermore, since the 1-6 training is better geared toward hypertrophy (although it goes a long way in improving strength, too) and the 4,3,2 wave-loading is better geared toward strength, you'll end up doing a flip-flop between the two programs after the third week. Before I overcomplicate this program to death, here it is:

Weeks 1-3

Monday — Chest, triceps, and shoulders

After doing a thorough warm-up, begin with the first exercise, medium-grip bench presses:

1) Medium-grip bench presses
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Two waves of 4,3,2 Take three seconds to lower the weight, followed by a one-second pause, followed by an explosive lift Three minutes between each set and each wave

Here's an example:

Wave 1
Set 1) 100 pounds for four reps
Set 2) 105 pounds for three reps
Set 3) 110 pounds for two reps

Wave 2
Set 1) 105 pounds for four reps
Set 2) 110 pounds for three reps
Set 3) 115 pounds for two reps

Note: These poundages, of course, should increase with each successive week.

2A Incline dumbbell flyes, part one of the superset (45-degree angle, thumbs facing in)
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Three sets of 6-8 reps Controlled descent Ten seconds before the next part of the superset
2B) Dumbbell incline presses, part two of the superset (45-degree angle)
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Three sets of 8-10 reps Controlled descent 90 seconds between each superset
3) Power rack presses (for triceps)
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Four sets of 4-6 reps Lift the weight as fast as possible, take two to three seconds to lower the weight, and let it rest on the stops for three seconds before lifting the weight again 60 seconds between sets

Place a flat bench underneath the power rack. Place the stops at a point where the Olympic bar resting on top of them would be roughly parallel with your hairline. In effect, you'll be doing the second half of a barbell press, but by starting in the halfway position, you'll take the shoulder completely out of the movement. Make sure you let the bar rest completely on the stops for at least three seconds before doing the next rep.

4) Presses behind the neck
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Three sets of 6-8 reps Lift the weight as fast as possible, lower it over a course of three seconds, pause for one second, and lift again 60 seconds between sets

Use the same set up as the previous exercise, but lower the stop so that you can do a full-range of motion.

Tuesday — Quads

1) Squats
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Three waves of 1,6 Take five seconds to lower the weight and a one-second pause at the bottom, followed by lifting the load as quickly as possible Three minutes between each set and each wave

Here's an example:

Wave 1
Set 1) 150 pounds for one rep
Set 2) 110 pounds for six reps

Wave 2
Set 1) 160 pounds for one rep
Set 2) 115 pounds for six reps

Wave 3
Set 1) 170 pounds for one rep
Set 2) 125 pounds for six reps

Note: The weenie poundages are offered for the sake of simplicity only. Additionally, any poundages you do use should, of course, increase with each successive week.

2A) Leg presses, part one of the superset
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Two sets of 6-8 reps Take three seconds to lower the weight, followed by a two-second pause, followed by an explosive lift Ten seconds before the next part of the superset
2B) Leg extensions, part two of the superset
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Two sets of 10-12 reps Take two seconds to lower the weight, followed by an explosive lift 90 seconds between the two supersets

Wednesday — Off

Thursday — Back and biceps

1) Pull-ups
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Two waves of 4,3,2 Take three seconds to lower the body, followed by a one-second pause at the bottom, followed by raising your body as quickly as possible, with a one-second pause at the top before doing the next rep Three minutes between each set and each wave

Wide-grip, pulling the clavicle up the bar. Hang additional weight off your body as necessary.

2A) Low cable rows, part one of the superset
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Three sets of 6-8 reps Controlled descent Ten seconds before the next part of the superset

Use a medium-grip on a straight bar and pull the load toward your stomach.

2B) Decline bench pullovers, part two of the superset
Sets and reps Rest
Three sets of 8-10 reps 90 seconds between each superset

Get a decline bench and set it at its most extreme angle. Prop up the low end with a Reebok stepper. Grab a barbell and lie down on the bench (face up). Extend your arms over your head fully. Now, keeping the elbows locked, pull the barbell over your head. Lower it slowly and get a full stretch.

3) Zottman curls
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Two sets of 6-8 reps Take three seconds to lower the weight, two seconds to lift it, with a one-second pause at either end 60 seconds between sets

Sit down on the end of flat bench. Grasp a pair of dumbbells, but grab them off-center so that the pinky side of your hand is grabbing the innermost plate of the dumbbell. Curl the dumbbell up with your palms facing up, and before you lower it, turn your wrist downward so that you're doing a reverse curl on the way down. Reverse the grip again so that you're doing a normal curl on the way up.

4) Eccentric chin-ups
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Two sets of one rep Take one second to raise yourself and 30 seconds to lower yourself (use additional weight as necessary to make it difficult) 60 seconds between sets

At the chin-up bar, assume a narrow grip, and pull yourself up so that your clavicle is at bar height. Lower yourself over the course of 30 seconds.

Friday — Hamstrings and hip flexors

1) Deadlifts
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Three waves of 1,6 Lift the weight as quickly as possible, then lower it all the way to the ground over a course of five seconds, pause for one second, and do the next rep Three minutes between each set and each wave
2) Straight-legged deadlifts
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Two sets of 8-10 reps Lift the weight over the course of two seconds, pause for a moment, lower the weight to the floor over the course of three seconds, and then let it rest there for one or two seconds before doing the next rep 60 seconds between sets
3) Leg curls
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Two sets of 6-8 reps Curl the weight as forcefully as possible, pause for a moment (with your heels firmly planted against your butt), and then lower your legs over the course of three seconds 60 seconds between sets

That's the first phase of the workout. After you've done each workout three times (over the course of three weeks), it's time to flip-flop so that you'll be doing the 4,3,2 waves for squats and deadlifts and the 1,6 waves for chest and back.


Weeks 4-6

Monday — Chest, triceps, and shoulders

1) Wide-grip bench presses
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Three waves of 1,6 Take three seconds to lower the weight, followed by a one-second pause, followed by an explosive lift Three minutes between each set and each wave
2) Incline 1-1/3 dumbbell presses
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Two sets of 6-8 reps Controlled descent 90 seconds between sets

Description: Place an incline bench at a 45-degree angle. Grab a pair of dumbbells. Press them up, lower them down all the way, and then lift them 1/3 of the way up before lowering them again. Then lift them to full extension. That's one rep.

3A) Dips, part one of the superset
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Three sets of 6-8 reps Lower yourself over the course of three seconds, pause for one second, and raise yourself up over the course of one second (use additional weight as necessary) Ten seconds before the next part of the superset
3B) Decline dumbbell extensions, part two of the superset
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Three sets of 8-10 reps Lower the dumbbells over a course of three seconds, pause for one second, and then raise them over the course of one second 90 seconds between each superset

Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie face up on a decline bench. Keeping your elbows stationary, extend the dumbbells until your elbows are just shy of locked out. Then, lower them as far as possible.

4) Front barbell presses
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Three sets of 6-8 reps Lift the weight as fast as possible, lower it over a course of three seconds, pause for one second, and lift again 60 seconds between sets

These are exactly the same as the presses behind the neck described in the first phase. But this time, you'll be doing them to the front of the neck.

Tuesday — Quads

1) Squats
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Two waves of 4,3,2 Take three seconds to lower the weight followed by a one-second pause and an explosive lift upward Three minutes between each set and each wave
2) Bulgarian squats
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Two sets of five reps Take five seconds to lower your body and five seconds to raise it 90 seconds between sets

Extend one leg behind you. Place the toe of that foot on a bench. Put your hands on your hips and by bending the knee of the front leg, lower your body until the trailing knee brushes the ground (start with the weaker leg).

3) Unilateral 1-1/3 leg presses
Sets and reps Rest
Two sets of 8-10 reps 90 seconds between sets

Place one leg (the weaker one) on the platform of the leg press. Lower the platform 1/3 of the way and pause for one second. Raise the platform back to the starting position before lowering it all the way. Raise it back to the starting position. That's one rep. Pause for one second before doing the next rep. Repeat with the other leg.

Wednesday — Off

Thursday — Back and biceps

1) Pull-ups
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Three waves of 1,6 Take three seconds to lower your body followed by a one-second pause and an explosive lift upward Three minutes between each set and each wave
2) Close-grip 1-1/3 pulldowns
Sets and reps Rest
Two sets of 6-8 reps 90 seconds between sets

Put a close-grip handle on a high pulley. Grab the pulley and sit down. With your arms fully extended, pull the handle down one-third of the way and pause for one second. Extend your arms back to the starting position and pause for one second before pulling the handle all the way down until it touches your clavicle. That's one rep.

3) Standing reverse medium-grip barbell curls
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Two sets of 6-8 reps Take three seconds to lower the bar and two seconds to raise it, with a one-second pause at either end 60 seconds between sets
4) Dumbbell 21s
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Two sets Controlled descent 90 seconds between sets

Sit on the end of a flat bench. Grab a pair of dumbbells. Curl the weights all the way up and then lower them half way before curling them up again. Do this seven times. Now, do seven reps of the bottom half of the movement, curling the weight from the bottom to half way up. Finally, do seven more complete top-to-bottom reps, for a total of 21 total reps (hence the name).

Friday — Hamstrings and hip flexors

1) Deadlifts
Sets and reps Tempo Rest
Two waves of 4,3,2 Take three seconds to lower the weight to the ground and pause for one or two seconds before raising it explosively Three minutes between each set and each wave
2) Good mornings
Sets and reps Rest
Two sets of 8-10 reps 90 seconds between sets

Hoist a barbell onto your shoulders. With your feet shoulder-width apart, slowly bend forward over the course of three seconds, trying to keep your back from rounding out. Bend forward as far as possible, pause for one second, and raise yourself up over the course of two seconds.

3) Unilateral 1-1/3 leg curls
Sets and reps Rest
Two sets of 6-8 reps 60 seconds between sets

Starting with your weak leg, raise the leg so that the heel touches the butt. Pause for one second. Lower the leg 1/3 of the way down. Pause a moment. Lift it to the butt again and pause for one second again. Lower it all the way down. That's one rep. Do the prescribed number of reps and then do the other leg.

That's it! Big-time waves! Tsunami waves! You may, while reading this, have noticed that I left out abs and calves. I don't mean to diminish their relative importance, but I feel that most of you have the wherewithal to throw in your own routine. (Personally, I work those bodyparts — which I call ancillaries — on Wednesdays.

You might also find it a pain in the ass to set up all the "secondary" exercises that I described. No matter, just as long as you perform wave loading for the four primary movements described: bench press, squat, pull-up, and deadlift.

By doing those movements, in the wave-loading manner described, I think you'll have a helluva' good time, in addition to really beefing up your size and strength.

And if anybody wants to do a study on this stuff, please feel free so my name can be mentioned in the same breath as all those other foreign bastards.