Ryan recently approached me to inform me that he was seeking to take part in the Winter Swell, and asked if I had any hypertrophy programs that were fun and far away from your typical Flex magazineworkoutthatmakesmeslammyheadagainstthewallandpoopmypantscuzit'ssoasinine workouts. (Hypertrophy, by the way, is simply the strength coach way of referring to increases in muscle fiber size. The Jersey Shore bros in the crowd would know this as "gettin' jacked!")
Ryan has spent the past year preparing for and competing in powerlifting meets, and he wanted something to "change it up," so to speak, before he enters his next powerlifting cycle. I responded by giving him just the medicine he needed.
This is a really fun program I completed myself a couple years ago. Originally written by Cosgrove, it consists of one upper body workout and one lower body workout, performed twice each per week, albeit using a different set-rep scheme each time you come back to it.
Not a typical program I would do (or write for someone else for that matter), but can definitely be interspersed as a nice change of pace, at least for the masochists in the crowd.
Here's what Ryan did on Day 1:
Lower Body Day
Bulgarian Split Squat BB Step-Up
Lie on Floor in Fetal Position
He'll do this every Monday and Thursday, but he'll cycle through three different set-rep-rest schemes:
Day 1: 4x10 with :60 rest (as shown) Day 2: 5x5 with :90 rest Day 3: 3x15 with :30 rest (Note: Day 3 will take place on Monday of the following week) Day 4: Repeat cycle
As such, this program will last six full weeks, hitting each given set-rep scheme four times. It is sticking to the rest periods that make this program so brutal (the 3x15 days in particular make you hate life), and also allow you to get in and out of the gym in an hour tops.
Here is a brief clip of Ryan doing his first day on the program. As noted for the past year he has primarily been powerlifting, keeping most of his repetitions at 5 and below for the compound lifts and taking very long rest periods betwixt sets. As such, he was in for a rude awakening! This first day essentially provided him the chance for his body to adapt and for him to figure out a good starting point for weight selection:
This will also complement the upper body work he is doing on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Keep in mind, Ryan is a 375lb squatter and has been training for a few years now. I wouldn't recommend this program for someone who is just getting their feet wet in the lifting realm. However, for those of you who have been training for a while and want to enter the pain cave this Winter, I challenge you to give this a shot for a consistent six weeks. It may just be the perfect complement to all that holiday feasting.
Just be prepared to have your glutes on fire the following day. Don't say I didn't warn you.