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Old 12-08-2005, 08:28 PM   #1
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Default Pendulum Training

Full writeup Here

Pendulum Training
Non-Linear Periodization for Maximum Gains
by Christian Thibaudeau

I Want It All and I Want It Now!

I find myself deluged by individuals who want it all at the same time: they want to be muscular, very strong, and super explosive. When an elite athlete with an already decent amount of all these qualities comes up to me with those goals, the answer is quite simply: continue on the same path! However, when an individual with little training experience or little in the way of muscle size, strength or power comes up to me with the same request, the answer might be a little more complex.

How can an individual obviously requiring a significant amount of work in all three of these physical qualities reach his goal without overtraining? A method I've found to be quite effective is the pendulum approach. It’s a simple yet effective way of planning your training to allow for maximum gains in all your desired capacities. Here’s how it works:

Types of Pendulums

There are many types of pendulums you can use depending on your goals. I'll show you the appropriate pendulum for bodybuilders, powerlifters and athletes. I'll also show you how you can build and modulate your own pendulum to better suit your needs.

A. Bodybuilding-Specific Pendulum

The main objective of bodybuilders is to increase muscle mass as much as possible. As a result, the two types of training that'll benefit bodybuilders are structural training and functional training with a strength profile. Power training won't be of much use to them when it comes to reaching their objective of extreme muscularity.

Bodybuilders should still use a three-step pendulum, but two of these steps are based on structural training. However, both of these two structural weeks are different in composition. The third step is a functional strength week. Believe it or not, lifting heavy loads is important for bodybuilders. From my own experience, I can attest that heavy lifting can potentiate your future hypertrophy gains. "Potentiating" means increasing one’s potential rate of improvement.

Lifting heavy weights will also improve neural efficiency, which will help you recruit and stimulate more muscle fibers when you get back to bodybuilding training. It'll also improve your resting muscle tonus. I know, I know I used the dreaded "T" word. But tonus is a real phenomenon that’s due to a partial activation of your muscles even at rest. This is improved by training methods focusing on the nervous system (such as heavy lifting and explosive lifting).

Lifting heavy will also build a lot of muscle mass by itself and give you a very dense look. All these things will allow you to reap greater rewards from your bodybuilding-type training.

Accordingly, a week-by-week breakdown will be:

Week 1: Structural 1 (hypertrophy: high volume/low intensity)
Week 2: Structural 2 (hypertrophy: moderate volume/moderate intensity)
Week 3: Functional (strength)
Week 4: Structural 2 (hypertrophy: moderate volume/moderate intensity)
Week 5: Structural 1 (hypertrophy: high volume/low intensity)

Week 1 — Structural 1 — Hypertrophy: High Volume/Low Intensity

Frequency
Each muscle group is trained 1-2 times per week.

Intensity
The loads are between 60 and 70% of maximum.

Number of exercises
3-4 per muscle group

Number of sets per exercise
3-4

Number of reps per set
10-15

Possible advanced training methods during this phase
- Regular sets
- Drop sets
- Same body part supersets
- Post-fatigue supersets (compound + isolation)
- Pre-fatigue supersets (isolation + compound)
- Pre and Post-fatigue tri-sets (isolation + compound + isolation)

Rest intervals
15-60 seconds (15 in the case of supersets and drop sets)

Week 2 — Structural 2 — Hypertrophy: Moderate Volume/Moderate Load

Frequency
Each muscle group is trained 1-2 times per week.

Intensity
The loads are between 70 and 80% of maximum.

Number of exercises
2-3 per muscle group

Number of sets per exercise
3-4

Number of reps per set
6-10

Possible advanced training methods during this phase
- Regular sets
- Agonist/Antagonist supersets (e.g. biceps/triceps)
- Post-fatigue supersets (compound + isolation)

Rest intervals
30-90 seconds (15 seconds if using supersets)

Week 3 — Functional: Strength

Frequency
Each muscle group is trained 2-4 times per week (whole body workouts or upper/lower split).

Intensity
The loads are between 80 and 90% of maximum.

Number of exercises
1-2 per muscle group

Number of sets per exercise
4-6

Number of reps per set
3-6

Possible advanced training methods during this phase
- Regular sets
- Cluster training (1 rep, 20 second rest, 1 rep, 20 second rest, 1 rep, etc.)
- Agonist/Antagonist supersets

Rest intervals
120-180 seconds (15-30 in the case of supersets and clusters)

That's the template/structure of each phase of the pendulum swing.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's an example I made up that fits the scheme. There are obviously a slew of different options to exercise here to fit everyone's needs. My example is what would work best for me.

This is an example of each Monday will look each week:

Non-Linnear Periodization-

Week One: (structural hypertrophy)

1. Chest/Biceps
A1) Flat Barbell Press: 4 sets of 10
A2) Flat Flyes: 4 x 15

A1- 3-0-1 Tempo, 15 seconds rest before supersetting A2.
A2- 4-0-2 Tempo, 60 seconds rest. [Post Fatigue Supersets]

B1) Incline Barbell Press: 3 sets of 10
B2) Incline Flyes: 3 x 15

B1- 3-0-1 Tempo, 15 seconds rest before supersetting B2.
B2- 4-0-2 Tempo, 60 seconds rest. [Post Fatigue Supersets]

C1) Barbell Curls: 4 sets of 10
C2) Reverse Grip Curls: 4 x 15

C1- 4-0-1 Tempo, 15 seconds rest before supersetting C2.
C2- 3-0-1 Tempo, 60 seconds rest. [Reg. Superset]

D1) Preacher Curls: 3 sets of 10

D1- 3-0-1 Tempo, 15 seconds rest between drop sets [Triple Drop Set]

------------------------------------------------------------ --------------

Week Two: (Functional, Limit Strength)

1. Upper
- Incline Barbell Press: 3 sets of 6-8 reps
- Decline Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
- JS Rows: 3 sets of 6-8 reps
- Pullups: 3 sets to failure
- High Pulls: 3 sets of 8
A1) Incline Dumbbell Curls: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
A2) Skullcrushers: 3 sets of 6-8 reps
[Antagonist Superset]

------------------------------------------------------------ --------------

Week Three: (Functional Strength)

1. Full Body
- A2G Squats: 5 sets of 5 reps
- Flat Bench: 5 sets of 5 reps
- JS Rows: 5 sets of 5 reps

Last edited by Darkhorse; 12-13-2005 at 11:25 PM..

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Old 12-08-2005, 08:28 PM   #2
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Edit: I made a spreadsheet on the next page, a little different than what my example is.

The Breakdown:

The first week is high volume. Now, since it's high volume, you obviously aren't going to have high intensity. There's no way. Intensity can be considered how close you are to your 1 RM, which consequently is 60-70% for this week. You won't use a ton of weight cause the reps are in the 10-15 range. (You could change to whatever you want of course) The trick is to load your muscles with enough volume each day to where it should [hopefully] take you a week to supercompensate-(or recover each muscle). It is the only way IMO to benefit from a one muscle per day protocol. So, the above guidelines show you to do 3-4 exercises per bodypart, 3-4 sets per exercise. Now that is a lot of volume, and hence, only one muscle per day. This first week would probably utilize the classic bodybuilder split

1. Chest/Biceps
2. Legs
3. Rest
4. Back
5. Shoulders/Triceps
6. Rest
7. Rest

Week 2 is your moderate volume/intensity week with twice the amount of frequency as week one. Your rep range is 6-10 reps so your intensity is increased to 70-80% of your 1 RM. Now, since you're hitting each muscle twice in a week, your only doing 2-3 exercises per muscle, and only 3-4 sets per exercise. The design basically tries to take the guesswork out of the equation for you. With 2x's a week freq., if you do too little, then you won't benefit. If you do too much, then you cannot keep the same frequency without overtraining. Now the split looks something like:

1. Upper
2. Lower
3. Rest
4. Upper
5. Lower
6. Rest
7. Rest

Or

1. Upper
2. Lower
3. Rest
4. Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
5. Back/Biceps
6. Legs
7. Rest

I'll personally say that I hate HST. However, I love the structure and principles behind the program. I still use most of them today. Same goes with the writing from Christian Thibaudeau above. IMO he correctly correlates the relationship between frequency and volume/intensity. So just keep the guidelines fresh when you're designing your program.

Last edited by Darkhorse; 12-14-2005 at 01:40 AM..
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:30 PM   #3
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Here's what Tuesday might look like for each week....

Tuesday:

Non-Linnear Periodization-

Week One: (structural hypertrophy)

1. Legs
A1) A2G Squats: 4 sets of 10 reps

B1) Romanian Deadlifts: 3 sets of 10
B2) Dumbbell Lunges: 3 x 12-15

B1- 3-0-1 Tempo, 20 seconds rest before supersetting B2.
B2- 3-0-1 Tempo, 60 seconds rest [Reg. Superset]

C1) Leg Curls (toes point out): 3 sets of 15
C2) Leg Extensions: 3 x 15

C1- 4-0-1 Tempo, 15 seconds rest before supersetting C2.
C2- 4-0-1 Tempo, 60 seconds rest [Antagonist Superset]

D1) Seated Calf Raises: 3-4 sets of 15-20 reps

------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------

Week Two: (Functional, Limit Strength)

1. Lower
- A2G Squats: 3 sets of 6-8
- Pullthroughs: 3 sets of 8-10
- Glute-Ham Raises: 3 sets of 8-10
A1) Leg Curls (toes out): 3 sets of 8-10
A2) Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 8-10
- Seated Calves: 4 sets of 10

------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------

Week Three: (Functional Strength)

Rest Day

Last edited by Darkhorse; 12-09-2005 at 01:37 AM..
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:48 PM   #4
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I love it that he uses a word like "potentiate" and then defines it. ;)

Very interesting. I will definitely give this a good study. Another excellent post, 0311.
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:51 PM   #5
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more.. I need Ideas for my next workout
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChinPieceDave667
more.. I need Ideas for my next workout
Okay....Here's Wednesday for each week (just for Dave)

Wednesday:

Non-Linnear Periodization-

Week One: (structural hypertrophy)

REST DAY

------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------

Week Two: (Functional, Limit Strength)

REST DAY

------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------

Week Three: (Functional Strength)

1. Full Body
- Front Squats: 5 sets of 5 reps (still A2G)
- Standing Military Press: 5 sets of 5
- Weighted Pullups: 5 sets of 5
- Deadlifts: 5 sets of 5

Last edited by Darkhorse; 12-09-2005 at 01:04 AM..
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:57 PM   #7
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Oh, sure, give Dave the magic workouts.
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0311
Okay....Here's Wednesday for each week (just for Dave)
you da man, you da man... <doing old skool cabbage patch dance>
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Old 12-08-2005, 09:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric3237
Oh, sure, give Dave the magic workouts.
haha... your his second favorite.
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Old 12-08-2005, 09:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric3237
Another excellent post, 0311.
Yeah? Whose the favorite now, huh?
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