Get ready to take your strength training to the next level in the new and improved Full Body Strength training program, from our EVOLVE Challenge.
Our Coaches Rachel and Emma Dillon, alongside highly-accredited Exercise Physiologist, Dr Tony Boutagy, have worked together to bring you new workouts, guaranteed to increase your overall strength and build confidence in your lifts over the 6 weeks.
We’ve introduced new highly-effective lifting techniques, including the 5/4/3 Wave Loading Method, 6-4-2 Method, and the 5x5 Rest-Pause Method.
Keep reading for a breakdown of how to perform each lifting technique and the benefits of adding these methods to your strength-based workouts.
5/4/3 Wave Loading
Throughout the first training block (weeks 1-2), the primary training method used is called Wave Loading.
Wave Loading helps to develop strength through a progressive rep and intensity scheme by using two ‘waves’ of sets, with the second wave heavier than the first.
For example, a Wave Load of 5/4/3 reps has the first wave starting with a set of 5 reps. While you take your rest, you'll increase the weight and then perform a set of 4 reps. Then rest again and increase the weight to perform 3 reps.
This is the first wave. Try to keep your rest time as minimal as possible between sets. The second wave repeats the same 5/4/3 rep scheme, but with heavier loads than the first wave.
Because of a neuromuscular phenomenon called post-activation potentiation, the final wave will see greater strength levels than if a normal 5/4/3 rep Drop Set technique was used.
It's important to select a weight that's challenging for you but still allows you to perform the lift with good technique.
This is an example of how your load will increase with each set over the 2 waves.
8 on 30kg
6 on 40kg
Set 1: 60kg for 5
Set 2: 63kg for 4
Set 3: 66kg for 3
Set 4: 65kg for 5
Set 5: 68kg for 4
Set 6: 71 kg for 3
After the Wave Loading sets, you will perform two back-off sets with the focus lift. The first back-off set will be 3 reps but at a very slow and controlled speed. The second back-off set will be 25 reps and at a fast speed, depending on the exercise.
The 6-4-2 Method
In the second training block (weeks 3 & 4), you'll be introduced to the 6-4-2 Method.
The 6-4-2 Method is used to help you achieve the highest possible weight lifted for the final 2 reps.
After completing several warm-up sets, 2 sets of 6 repetitions are performed, with the 2nd set of 6 being heavier than the first set. After the second set of 6 is performed, increase the weight during the rest period so that you can only perform 4 reps. Rest and increase the weight a little so that the 2nd set of 4 is heavier than the first set of 4.
During the rest period, increase the weight so that you can perform 2 reps and then go up in load one final time to max out on the final set of 2 reps.
Here's an example of how your weight selection should vary across each pair of 3 sets.
10 on 30kg
8 on 35kg
2 x 6
Set 1: 40kg for 6
Set 2: 43kg for 6
2 x 4
Set 3: 50kg for 4
Set 4: 53kg for 4
2 x 2
Set 5: 60kg for 2
Set 6: 63kg for 2
The 5x5 Rest-Pause Method
In the final training block (weeks 5 & 6), you’ll find the 5x5 Rest-Pause Method.
This technique calls for a 10-30 second rest between every rep. Allowing 5 reps to be performed with the last 3 reps of each set feeling like a heavy 3 rep maximum.
To lift a heavy load 5 times, a rest period should be taken between each rep, allowing momentary muscular failure on only the 5th rep.
Here's an example of how your set could be performed when completing this method.
If your 3 rep maximum was 70kg, then a set of 5 reps would look like
Rep 1 - 70kg, rest 10 seconds
Rep 2 - 70kg, rest 10 seconds
Rep 3 - 70kg, rest 10 seconds
Rep 4 - 70kg, rest 10 seconds
Rep 5 - 70kg, rest 30 seconds
What You Need to know about Strength Training?
Dr. Tony Boutagy answered some of the most common questions when it comes to strength training and how to correctly warm up before a session.
How do these workouts differ from an upper/lower body split?
There are two primary ways coaches assign muscle groups to training days in a week. The first is a full body and the second is a muscle group split. The primary driver of muscle growth is training volume.
This, by definition, means that only a few muscles can be effectively trained if volume is the method being employed and that's where splits are effectively used - lower body one day, upper body the next.
For the development of muscle strength, intensity is the key driver. And intensity doesn't technically mean the burn but rather how close the loads lifted are in relation to your 1 repetition maximum (RM) - for example, 3RM is more intense than a 10RM.
As such, strength training requires much less training volume, as the emphasis is intensity and full-body programs can effectively be used for this purpose.
Why are warm-up sets so useful?
Warm-up sets rehearse the actual movement pattern, use higher threshold muscle fibres and use the actual neuromuscular pathways of the target exercise.
Studies also show that specific warm-up sets increase muscle recruitment and strength exercise performance!
What should you expect from completing a warm-up set?
Great movement pattern awareness, increased range of motion, greater comfort and confidence in the lift, and an increase in performance.
How do you complete a warm-up set?
A good warm-up set should be approximately 50% of your first working set weight, then another set of around 80% of the same first set weight.
And there you have the lowdown on the new strength training techniques and the importance of performing your warm-up sets!
Our EVOLVE Full Body Strength Challenge has been created for those who:
✅ Are looking to increase your total body strength
✅ Are looking to improve your body composition
✅ Is an intermediate to advanced trainer
✅ Enjoys 40-70 minute gym-based workouts
Places for our Evolve Challenge have now closed as the Challenge commenced on August 8th. However, if you're looking for a similar Program to Evolve Full Body Strength, take a look at our 8 Week STRONG Program.