TRY THIS: DOUBLE EIGHT

This week I offer another brief, intense, efficient strength training program.

It’s called the “DOUBLE EIGHT”.

This workout was created by Dr Wayne Westcott. It is a combination of classic Arthur Jones style H.I.T. training, paired with the equally classic Delorme Watkins protocol.

The Double-Eight Program is based on the subject’s eight-repetition maximum (8RM) weight-load, which is typically completed with approximately 80 percent of maximum weight-load. Each exercise repetition is performed in about six seconds (a two-second lifting phase and a four-second lowering phase), through a relatively full range of joint movement.

Set one. The first set begins with eight repetitions at 50 percent of the 8RM weight-load, Although this is a relatively light warm-up set, it activates the neuromuscular system in preparation for a relatively heavy follow-up set. Due to the low effort required for the first set, lifters rest only 60 seconds before performing the second set.

Set two. The second set is performed with the 8RM weight-load, and lifters perform as many repetitions as possible. Exercisers almost always complete more repetitions with their 8RM weight-load when they first perform a preparatory set with 50 percent of their 8RM weight-load. The time requirement for the light exercise set (50 seconds), recovery period (60 seconds) and heavy exercise set (50 to 60 seconds) is less than three minutes. If lifters complete eight multi-muscle exercises per workout, the total training time (including a one-minute recovery between exercises) is about 30 minutes.

Progression. To enhance performance improvement, exercisers can increase the 8RM weight-load whenever nine repetitions can be completed in good form. To emphasize gradual progression, they generally add only 2.5 to 5 pounds of resistance to the previous weight-load. In many cases, our participants increase their exercise weight-loads every training session.

Frequency. Although brief, the Double-Eight Program is so physically demanding that our participants only perform two workouts per week (typically Mondays and Fridays). This provides ample time for muscle recovery and remodeling, and reduces the risk of overtraining.

Exercises. For our program, we prefer a push-pull routine, pairing opposing muscle groups on successive exercises. Our standard eight-exercise program is presented in Table 1. As you will note, these are all multi-joint exercises that involve several major muscle groups.

Summary and application

The Double-Eight Program is a basic and brief strength-training protocol that features a low-effort preparatory set with 50 percent of the 8RM weight-load, followed by a high-effort stimulus set with the 8RM weight-load. We recommend a 60-second recovery period between the successive sets, as well as between the different exercises. We have had excellent results with this structured and supervised 30-minute high-intensity training program.

Our participants’ favorable response to the Double-Eight Program may be related to the following factors:

l. A limited number of exercises, each of which involve several major muscle groups.

2. An alternating sequence of pushing and pulling exercises.

3. Neuromuscular facilitation of the prime-mover muscles, resulting from the preparatory, low-effort exercise set.

4. A focus on one high-effort set of each exercise.

5. One-one-one training sessions with encouraging instructors.

Table 1. Strength-Training Programs for Advanced Exercisers

STRENGTH  
EXERCISE
MAJOR   MUSCLE GROUPS SET   ONE SET   TWO
Leg press / Squat Quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus   maximus 8 reps. with 50% 8 RM weight-load 8 reps. with 8 RM weight-load
Dip Pectoralis major, anterior deltoids,   triceps 8 reps. with 50%8RM weight-load 8 reps. with 8 RM weigh=tload
Chin-up Latissimus dorsi, posterior deltoids,   biceps 8 reps.with 50%8RM weight-load 8 reps.with 8 RM weight-load
Chest press Pectoralis major, anterior deltoids,   triceps 8 reps.with 50%8RM weight-load 8 reps. with 8 RM weigh-tload
Seated row Latissimus dorsi, posterior deltoids,   biceps 8 reps.with 50%8RM weight-load 8 reps.with 8 RM weight=load
OH Press Deltoids, upper trapezius, triceps 8 reps.with 50%8RM weight-load 8 reps. with 8 RM weight=load
Pull-down Latissimus dorsi, posterior deltoids,   biceps 8 easy reps with assistance 8 hard reps
Incline Press Pectoralis major, anterior deltoids,   triceps 8 easy reps with assistance 8 hard reps.

Give the DOUBLE EIGHT a try. You’ll be glad you did.

PAU for NOW

TAKU

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