Level Up Your Strength Training With 3 New Lifting Techniques

Level Up Your Strength Training With <em>3 New Lifting Techniques</em>

Get ready to take your strength training to the next level with three brand new lifting techniques in our EVOLVE Challenge.

Our Coaches Rachel and Emma Dillon alongside highly-accredited Exercise Physiologist, Dr. Tony Boutagy, have worked together to bring you a new Full Body Strength training program, guaranteed to elevate your fitness journey and build confidence in your lifts.

As a very first for Move With Us programs, Tony has introduced three highly effective lifting methods, including Wave Loading, the 3-5-7 Method, and the 4x4 Hatfield Method.

Through this style of training, you can expect to increase your overall strength, enhance your cardiovascular fitness, and progressively hit new personal bests in your lifts over the 6 weeks. 

Keep reading for a break down of how to perform each training technique, and the benefits of adding these methods into your strength based workout routines. 

Wave Loading Method

Throughout the first training block (weeks 1-2) of the Full Body Strength workouts, 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 using heavier weights than the first.⁣

For example, a Wave Load of 8/6/4 reps has the first wave starting with a set of 8 reps. While you take your rest, you'll increase the weight and then perform a set of 6 reps. Then rest again and increase the weight to perform 4 reps.

Try to keep your rest time as minimal as possible between sets. This is the first wave.⁣

The second wave repeats the same 8/6/4 rep scheme, but with heavier weight 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 8/6/4 rep Drop Set scheme 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 for complete reps. This is just an example of how your weight load will increase with each set over the 2 waves. 

Warm-up sets
40kg for 10 reps
45kg for 8 reps

Wave 1
Set 1: 60kg for 8 reps
Set 2: 65kg for 6 reps 
Set 3: 70kg for 4 reps

Wave 2
Set 4: 65kg for 8 reps
Set 5: 70kg for 6 reps
Set 6: 75 kg for 4 reps

Watch Coach Emma Dillon demonstrate the Wave Loading training method while performing Heels Elevated High Bar Back Squats.

In her first wave, she performs 8 reps at 50kg, then 6 reps at 60kg, and 4 reps at 70 kg. For her second wave, Emma progresses into another 8 reps at 60kg, then 6 reps at 70kg, and completes the set with 4 reps at 80kg. 

The 3-5-7 Method

During weeks 3 and 4 of your second training block, you'll be introduced to the 3-5-7 Method.

The 3-5-7 Method is used to help you achieve the highest possible weight lift building up to your final 7 reps.

After completing several warm-up sets, you'll perform 3 reps with a weight you could do for 5 reps. Then rest and increase the weight a little more to perform another set of 3 reps.

Then drop the weight back while you are resting, and perform 5 reps with a weight you could do for 7 reps.
Rest and increase the weight a little more and perform another 5 reps.

Now rest again and lighten the load to perform 7 reps with a weight you could do for 9, then add more weight and perform a final set of 7 reps.

For these final 7 reps you should be at your maximum weight. It is often very close to, and sometimes more, than the weight you did for 3 reps!

You'll find this method used for exercises such as Barbell Deadlifts, Bench Press, Barbell Box Squats, Seated rows, Barbell Front Squats, and Assisted Chin Ups.

Here's an example of how your weight selection should vary across each pair of 3 sets. 

Warm-up sets
30kg for 10 reps
35kg for 8 reps

2 x 3 reps
Set 1: 60kg for 3 reps
Set 2: 65kg for 3 reps

2 x 5 reps
Set 3: 58kg for 5 reps
Set 4: 60kg for 5 reps

2 x 7 reps
Set 5: 55kg for 7 reps
Set 6: 60kg for 7 reps

The 4x4 Hatfield Method

The final training block in weeks 5 and 6 of Evolve will introduce the 4x4 Hatfield Method into your Full Body Strength workouts.

The 4x4 Hatfield Method uses 4 sets of 4 reps that are step loaded – which means each new set of 4 will be heavier than the set that preceded it.

After you've completed the final set of 4 reps at your maximal weight, you will perform another set of 6, 8 and 10 reps of the same exercise, but with lighter loads (these are called back off sets).

Like the strength methods used in training blocks 1 and 2, this post-activation potentiation will enable you to lift heavier for the final 6, 8 and 10 rep sets than you would lift ordinarily.

Here's an example of how your weight variation could be performed, when performing Elevated Sumo Deadlifts for instance. 

Warm-up sets
30kg for 10 reps
35kg for 8 reps

Step loaded 4x4
Set 1: 60kg for 4 reps
Set 2: 62kg for 4 reps
Set 3: 64kg for 4 reps
Set 4: 66kg for 4 reps

Back off sets
Set 5: 55kg for 6 reps
Set 6: 50kg for 8 reps
Set 7: 45 kg for 10 reps

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. 

What are the benefits of Full Body Strength sessions?

Increasing strength requires a focus on heavy loads for the primary exercises in the workout. That means working up to loads that are equivalent to your 8 repetition maximum and heavier (typically reps 1-8 for strength development).

For example, a second wave 8, 6, 4 rep scheme means 8 reps can just be performed correctly but not 9. Then 6 reps can be performed but not 7 and 4 reps for the final set but not 5.

This means that the maximum amount of fast twitch muscle fibres have been recruited and the nervous system 'learns' at a subconscious level the precise recruitment patterns of all the muscles involved in the lift.

The outcome is much, much higher levels of strength than you have ever experienced before!

How do these workouts differ from an upper/lower body split?

There are two primary ways coaches assign muscle groups to training day 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 that 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.

What is the difference between activation drills and warm up sets?

Activation drills, originally called 'control drills', are a part of a general warm-up. They are designed to isolate specific muscle groups or movement patterns to teach or rehearse movement pattern control and activate a target muscle.

Activations typically use bodyweight or a light load, which uses slow twitch muscle fibres and different neuromuscular pathways of recruitment when compared to warm-ups. 

Warm-ups sets are a specific warm-up, designed to activate the precise muscles and neuromuscular pathways needed to perform the chosen movement, as opposed to a muscle in general.

Warm-up sets use a greater amount of muscle tissue and specific neuromuscular patterns to the primary exercise you are about to perform. 

Why aren't activations necessary in this specific workout style?

As activation drills are classified as general in their ability to warm-up a movement pattern, the question is actually related to 'time efficiency'. There is no doubt that specific warm-ups sets are absolutely critical to getting the most out of a strength-focused workout.

This essentially makes general warm-ups (activation drills) redundant or at least of muscle lower importance. So, from a time perspective, the addition of a lower order warm-up will essentially increase the session time with low reward in exercise performance.

Why are warm up sets so useful?

Studies have shown that activation drills have no positive effect on muscle recruitment or exercise performance when strength and power training is performed after the drills.

This makes sense, as activation drills are general muscle group exercises and not specific movement patterns, they do not rehearse the actual movement about to be performed and use slow twitch muscle fibres, when the actual exercise must use fast twitch.

Warm-up sets are the precise opposite: they 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. 

So there you have the lowdown on the new strength training techniques and the importance of performing your warm up sets!


Places for our EVOLVE Challenge have now closed as the challenge has officially started. 

However if you're looking to increase your strength, gain confidence in your lifts, and take control of your fitness journey, our STRONG Program is the perfect next step in your journey.

This immersive 8-Week experience has 4 levels on offer to suit to all fitness levels, and includes 6 months access to the Move With Us App.

This program is available all year round, with a new intake starting every Monday. 

Start your journey today to unlock your potential and make 2022 your best year yet!