I am sitting here dreaming of hitting the gym, in between the head spinning and hawkers of a horrible head and chest cold. I had promised a few weeks back that I would provide a write up of what I have been doing over the course of the past month. So, Here is is.
Earlier this year, an elder in our church and one of my supporters with our Fit For the King ministry asked if I wanted to train with him. Jeff is a former High School and College Football player, Offensive Line, and a former Police officer. I was a little hesitant because he is bigger and stronger than I am, but took him up on his challenge. He was looking to build muscle and recomp and I wanted to take some time and focus on hypertrophy while getting stronger. After some discussion and study, we settled on DC Training.
At first we were a bit skeptical of being able to get much out of one working set with the rest pause. Needless to say, we were pleasantly surprised. The one problem we ran into was schedules. In a month of DC, we managed to only get about 2 sessions a week in together. We each had at least one session a week on our own, not recommended by the proponent of DC Training. Despite these issues, we both saw strength and recomposition gains.
With the start of Little League, Jeff's schedule changed,, making it difficult for us to find time to train together. The new goals? Continue making strength gains and growing but with a routine that can be done solo if necessary. I found that I really liked this style of training and was seeing good gains so now I needed to find a plan that would work solo or with a partner. Enter MicroReps.
I began reading everything I could find on various rest-pause style routines, some links are posted below. After more reading than I really wanted to do, I realized that while all were good, none were exactly what I was seeking. So, what do you do when you can't find what you want? You make it yourself. I took the features I liked about each of the systems I studied and used them to create MicroReps Training.
We set up the training as an upper/lower A/B split. We are working in Two Week Cycles. Our first cycle we set up following the DC protocols, three exercises for each boy part. The second cycle we kept things simple and kept the same exercises for each day. Both ways, every body part was hit three times every two weeks. The cycle is set up like this:
Day 1 - Horizontal/Vertical Push/Pull and Triceps
Day 2 - Arms/Calves/Hams/Quads
Day 3 - Horizontal/Vertical Push/Pull and Triceps
Day 4 - Arms and Legs
Day 5 - Horizontal/Vertical Push/Pull and Triceps
Day 6 - Arms and Legs
Here is how we work the sets.
Verticall Push exercise - Behind the Neck Press. Do 2-3 warmup sets with progressively heavier sets. Don't over do, save some for the working set(s). To begin your working set, get a weight that will challenge you to hit ten reps. Push out 10 reps, rack the weight, take 5 breaths and then push out 2 reps, rack weight, take 5 breaths and then push out another 2 reps. Keep repeating this process until you hit 8 MicroReps sets or until form only allows one rep. Total up your total reps, 10+2+2+2+1= 17 total reps. WRITE IT DOWN. Weight is added the next time when your total reps equal 20 total reps. In our example we only hit 17 total reps so next time use the Same weight and seek to add reps.
Legs and Deadlifts will be handled differently.
Hamstrings and calves are done with 3 high rep straight sets. Shoot for at least 15 reps for each set. Don't use sissy weight, use as much as possible. You are wanting to stress the muscles not just stretch them.
Squats, any variation, will be done similar to DC Training. A heavy working set built around AMAP. Rack the weight when form breaks or you feel you will not complete the next rep, do not go to failure. Rest for about 2-3 minutes. Put 50-60% of your heavy set and then push out a set of 20 reps. If done right, you will be wiped out after this set.
Deadlifts and Rack Pulls will be done differently also. Set a timer for 5 minutes, set up a bar as heavy as possible and then do as many sets of 2 until you hit either the 5 minute time or 10 sets or form breaks down. If you can do more than 5-6 sets in less than 5 minutes, you are probably going too light.
1. Vertical push
2. Vertical pull
3. Horizontal push
4. Horizontal pull
- All exercises, except Legs and Deadlifts, warm up as needed and then a set of 10 with up to 8 MicroReps sets of 2.
- Hamstrings and Calves are 3 straight sets of at least 15 reps.
- Squats do one heavy set, AMAP, and then one set, at 50-60% of heavy set, of 20 reps.
- Deadlifts do 5 minutes of 2 reps
- Every session you are either adding one more pound or doing one more rep.
Below is the spreadsheet I am using to log. You will see my first month of experiments.