Slingshot Training Overview and Cliff Notes:
BLAST: You'll want you to put all your focus on one long training phase called a "blast". During this blasting cycle you will perform 2 mini-cycles. I refer to them as a reload and a deload. A reload is high volume training cycle and a deload is low volume training cycle. A good plan is to reload for 2 weeks then follow up with a 1 week deload. For example you can do 12 sets once a week for your chest for 2 weeks. Next, after doing high volume (12 sets) for 2 weeks, you will deload for 1 week. A deload consist of performing about half as many sets while using the same intensity, weight loads and rep-ranges. During this 1 week deload you would do only 6 sets once per week.
The entire blast will consist of training each body part once a week for 3 months straight! After 3 months you have the option of changing over to training your chest twice a week for a period of time in order to break a training plateau and deter staleness/mental boredom. The period of time you chose to train your body parts twice a week should be 8-12 weeks in order to allow full-adaptation to occur. After you finish this blast by training each muscle twice a week, you revert back to what you were doing in the beginning (train each muscle group only once a week for 3 months straight). THE CYCLE CONTINUES ON AND ON!
Note: Some people prefer twice a week muscle training over once a week muscle training. If you fall into this category then you'll need to train each muscle twice a week for 3 months straight and then after the blast is completed, start a new blasting phase where each muscle is trained only once a week for 8-12 weeks.
PRIME: Eventually you will get burned out from all the blasting and need a break from all the heavy lifting. When this occurs it will be time to do a prime. A prime is simply an active-lay off. During this 1-2 week cycle you train with low intensity, low volume training and high reps. Its all depends on the individual how oftern a prime is needed. I like to do a 2 week prime about every 6 months or so.
RELOAD: During a reload you will need to increase carbs and protein while reducing fats. Carbs spare protein sources better than fats during a high volume trainin phase. Also, more protein is needed dueing a relaod (high volume training phase). Do not exceed 1-5 to 2 grams per pound of body weight!
DELOAD: During a deload less carbs are needed because your intense work sets will decrease. Protein intake will need to be reduced by .5 to 1 grams per pound of body weight. I generally take in 1.5 to 2 grams per lb of body weight during a reload and only 1-1.5 grams during a deload. Cycling your protein intake will make your body more anabolic! During a deload you will need to keep calories the same. Use mostly healthy dietary fats like olive oil and ***** 3's from various nuts and smart balance peanut butter to replace the protein and carb calories that have been removed.
PRIME: If you are over-trained you should begin each training cycle by using strategic de-conditioning (priming phase) over a 1-2 week time span in order to down-regulate anabolic hormones and receptor sites for androgens if needed. Total work sets and weight loads are reduced during the prime to make the muscle more responsive to the stimulus of weight training. You drop protein intake in half, replace those calories with carbohydrates, and decrease calories and/or increase aerobic training to lose body fat if needed to increase insulin sensitivity. This will put your body in a controlled catabolic state which sets up an environment for muscle growth during the following blast!
Important Note: The prime can be skipped altogether when trying to gain mass if you are fully recoverying and/or are utilizing an extended anabolic cycle!
BLAST:[/B] Protein consumption increases to normal (high protein), carbohydrate calories are decreased somewhat, overall calories can be increased, and mini cycles called reloading and deloading are utilized. Reloading involves using twice as many work sets for a 1 to 4 week (depending on how you respond) to fully stimulate type-2 fibers-hence increase muscle mass. For instance, if you performed 6 intense work sets for chest during the deload you will need to use around 12 sets during the reload. Deloading involves decreasing total work sets as needed to allow for catch up growth that was stimulated during the reload, making continued strength improvements, and to prevent over-use/over-training. A deload should not exceed 1-2 weeks in duration and must be utlized after reloading for 1 to 4 weeks. During the deload you reduce the amount of work sets by about half. For instance, if you have been doing 12 sets for chest during a reload you will need to perform only 6 sets during the deload. Then you repeat this protocol over and over until the blast is complete. The deload has nothing to do with the amount of weight used, just with the number of sets. Which means that you can bump up the weight if capable of doing so as long as the number of work sets are reduced! After completition of the blast it's time to revert back to 2 weeks of priming before entering another blasting phase.
Exercise selection: Do no exceed 12 intense work sets for each major body part or 4 exercises per body part. Concentrate on performing 6-12 reps per set. I you take multiple exercises to their utmost strength plateau with volume training (reload). When you plateau within this 1 to 4 week trainin phase, you switch over to lower volume training (deload) to gain even more strength/size. If have not plateaued in strength by the 4th week of reloading you will still need to deload for a week to prevent over-training and allow for catch up growth that was stimulated during the reload. When you gain some additional strength and/or decide your battery has been fully recharged during a 1-2 week deload, you revert back to reloading to enhance muscle size. You can stay with the same exercises until you experience over use or plateau on them. A 1-4 week reload is a brief higher volume training cycle. A 1-2 week deload is a a brief lower volume training cycle.
During a blast, you gain maximal strength during a deload, then take these strength gains and break down more muscle tissue during a reload by performing more work sets. This type of repetitive progress is the secret so many are in search of yet few have found! Pro-bodybuilder’s would not be the size they are today if they lifted the same weights they started out with or used the same low volume programs they used as a beginner to get stronger! I am often asked, "is it really neccesarily to do both a deload and a reload during a blast"? My answer is this- There are a lot of people who think they are making progressive strength gains but in reality they are stuck in a training rut using the same weight loads over and over again. They will keep returning to train hard but continue using the same weights they used last month when their genetic potential in strength is far from being reached. They get a massive pump but they do not get any stronger! On the other hand, there are people who think they are making progressive gains in muscle size because they are getting stronger but in reality their ability to max out muscle size for their genetic potential is not being reached because they are always performing low volume. They use the same low volume approach over and over again while neglecting to go for a serious pump. They will keep returning to the gym pushing heavy weight loads for only a set or two while making minimal gains in muscle size. In final, it takes both high volume and low volume to max out your genetic potential!!! [/color]