Program Overview: Experiments with Triphasic Training

Plan your work, and work your plan.

Here's a rundown of the next 18 weeks of Strength and Conditioning training at The Ark:

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Weeks 1-2: Aerobic phase. 

We've passed this phase, so you have intimate knowledge of what we did, here. Contralateral movements, high repetitions, long sets, and consistent elevated heart rate over a long period of time.

Weeks 2-4: Lactate Phase.

The lactic acid system is an anaerobic energy system in which the high-energy compound adenosintriphosphate (ATP) is manufactured from the breakdown of glucose to pyruvic acid in the muscle cells. This energy system dominates between 20-120 seconds of work. After that, the aerobic system dominates.

You'll notice that workouts for the day have a timed theme. We'll see this repeated throughout the macrocycle. The theory behind this is that the body produces specific enzymes to adapt to specific training modalities. Training multiple modalities in a single training block may inhibit adaptation. 

So, knowing this, we will stick to a very specific training modality (timed sets), every day.

Weeks 5-6: Alactic Phase

 The phosphagen system is the predominant energy system used for all-out exercise lasting up to about 10 seconds. As a result, all sets during these two weeks will be under 20 seconds, and all weights used will be above 80%.

Weeks 7-8: Eccentric Phase

Here, we will introduce tempo training. Tempo training is when we take a movement like the squat, and prescribe a specific tempo, like 60X2 (6 seconds down, no time at the bottom, X-plode up, 2 seconds at the top). 

In the Eccentric Phase, all strength work will lengthen the eccentric phase (or lowering phase), of the movement, as in the example above.


There will be deload weeks after every two weeks starting with the end of the Eccentric Phase. 

Deloads will resemble the Aerobic Phase in terms of loading and intensity. All weights used will be under 50%, with few exceptions.

Furthermore, this is when we will "Play the sport of Fitness," a.k.a. CrossFit. We'll be seeing more traditional CrossFit workouts during this time, and put our training to the test.

Weeks 10-11: Isometric Phase.

Here, again, we will use tempo training. Isometric refers to holding the weight in a specific position. For example: 25X2 tempo back squat would mean, 2 second descent, 5 second hold at the bottom, X-plode back up, 2 seconds at the top.

Isometric training builds strength in the weakest positions of the lift.

Weeks 13-14: Concentric Phase.

Here, we put the previous two blocks together, and eliminate extended tempo. Movements in the Concentric Phase will resemble the tempo of your movements now, i.e. 20X2.

Weeks 16-17: Power Phase.

For the Power Phase, the emphasis will be SPEED. Here, we will continue to put all of the previous training blocks together. Since this is our first time running this template, we may experiment here based on how you feel.

Weeks 19-20: Peaking Phase

During the Peaking Phase, we'll test both strength and aerobic capacity. Since this is a training template for sports athletes, the template specifies that weights should remain under 55%. But, since Weightlifting and CrossFit are our "sports," that's what we will be testing during this phase. If you are a track and field athlete, for instance, weights would remain under 55%, and you would test out in the field with your sport.

There's a lot more that goes into it that I have not covered, like weekly loading models and exercise selection for our sports, but hopefully this gives you a clear enough picture of what my plan is. 

I hope to make these next 18 weeks fun and exciting. I love how this program flows; by the time we get bored with a phase, we switch to something new and novel. It ain't gonna be easy, but I'm sure it WILL be rewarding.

Happy training :)