In response to an email question I received, here’s some further clarification on this extended rest-pause (DC training-type variant) strength-endurance method: What is your real objective here?  Strength?  Endurance?  Hypertrophy? And the answer is…Yes.  One must realize, however, that there is a big difference between strength and strength-endurance.  The former is more closely analogous to an endeavor along the lines of powerlifting – a single (or multiples, separated by lengthy breaks) of roughly 2-to-5 seconds in duration (and usually a “grind”); the latter implies strength repeatability – think Sisyphus here, and his bolder – only my aim is to roll that friggin’ rock over the apex of the incline, watch it tumble down the other side.  Taking out a few vegetarians on its travels.  Just kidding…kind of 😉

Hypertrophy?  Well, yeah, to some extent this will put some muscle on you – pure DC-type training even more so.  I consider the added hypertrophy more of a cool side benefit though, not really something I’m striving for.  I think there are better options available if hypertrophy is the main focus of one’s gym efforts.  On the flip side of this, if someone is looking to increase strength without putting on body weight (weight class athletes, for example), there are better rep scheme options available as well (numerous sets of 1-3 reps, lots of rest b/t sets, for example).  Identify the weakness in the context of your goals, formulate a plan, apply, reassess…rinse, wash, and repeat.  I find myself saying this quite a bit lately, but damn if it isn’t true – there is no destination, there is only the journey – a perpetual, perfectly breaking wave.

Following a rather hurried warm-up, I jumped all over this:

  1. front foot elevated reverse lunge (FFERL): 115 x 5 (each leg); 135 x 3; 145 x 21 (mostly 2s and 3s, some singles after ~17).  10:10
  2. weighted dips: bw x 10, 10; 45 x 5; 80 x 21 (mostly 2s, singles after ~15). 3:45
  3. weighted reverse grip pull-ups: bw x 7; 45 x 5; 70 x 21 (2s, singles after 17).  5:30   

The FFERL is an odd choice for this method, no? I prefer to keep the bulk of my squatting movements as single leg endeavors (topic post and follow-on discussion here).  Note that I do lots of sprinting and biking, and I feel that I get much better carryover from a diet of dual leg “pulls” (deadlifts, et al) and single leg “squats”.  Not that I totally exclude squats, just that my emphasis resides with the single leg movements.  Of course, other goals would necessitate other exercise choices.  Note that the FFERL movement is similar to the step-up, however, this movement begins atop the platform and with the initial movement being a single leg step down/reach back – an exaggerated split-squat, if you will.  Haven’t done this exercise in a long time, and it showed.  It’s good to keep the body guessing, though.  Journey on.

Hope everyone has a wonderful and fulfilling 2010.

In health,
Keith

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