Training, Health, Self-Mastery

Elite Programs

Forged Female

Forged FemaleJoin Hundreds of females who have built amazing physiques in this team program designed spefically for women.

Swole Town

Swole TownSwole Town is a hybrid blend of Tactical bodybuilding.  This is a size, strength and performance training system for those ready for serious Gainz.

Tactical Alpha

An Intense 8-week, Conjugate oriented program for the modern tactical athlete.  Military, Police, Fire, and those who want to train to be elite and well-rounded.

tactical alpha supastrong

Articles

Use Supported Rows for a Bigger, Stronger, Healthier Back.

Use Supported Rows for a Bigger, Stronger, Healthier Back.

Especially if you’re training from the home gym setting, performing your back exercises from a supported position can have a ton of benefits. In this article I’ll explain the benefits of using supported rows and include several supported row variations you can implement into your training to build a bigger, stronger and healthier back.

Performing supported movements can:

  • Force you to pull stricter reps
  • Take stress off the low back
  • Allow you to slow things down and use isometrics/eccentrics
  • Build muscle and make you stronger
  • Improve Mind-Muscle Connection (Yes, it’s a real thing)

Hear me out

When it comes to back training, we’ve all spent considerable time banging out many variations of barbell and dumbbell rows, deadlifts, pull ups, etc..

and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.. those are the staple movements that build a big, strong back and put on slabs of muscle.

But try a simple experiment out for yourself:

Take what you normally use for dumbbell rows and try to perform them in a chest supported position. You’ll likely find that you cannot move the same weight, and that you’ll have to use much lighter weight to perform a set. Why is that?

This is because in the chest supported position, you cannot use any momentum to perform the movement. You can’t cheat, and that means the back is going to have to be responsible for pulling that weight.

Improved Contractile Abilities

Performing stricter reps will force the back muscles to generate the force to pull the weight. Coupled with a brief isometric squeeze at the top, you’ve got a powerful recipe for both muscle growth and strength in those muscles.

If the back muscles are used to having assistance in pulling weight, performing strict reps will be shockingly hard. Getting stronger from this position can go a long way in taking your strength up a notch (and subsequently, can result in some serious gainz as well.)

Mind-Muscle Connection

The mind-muscle connection is simply your ability to focus specifically on the target muscle you’re trying to use.

With a muscle like the Biceps, this can be done pretty easily. However, when targeting the large muscles of the upper back, it can be a little more challenging.

Supported row variations coupled with a brief isometric pause in the squeeze position will really force you to be aware of the muscles working hard when you pull. This can be extremely helpful across all of your back training.

The ability to establish that connection with the muscle is what will take your gains to the next level.

5 Supported Back Exercises for Strength and Size.

Here are 5 supported variations that I use all the time that have been really great additions to my training, and for those I’ve trained.

If you want to take your back workouts to the next level, I highly suggest implementing some or all of these, keeping what resonates most with you and your training goals.

1 – Chest Supported DB Rows

As stated previously, these take all the cheating out of the movement, and so you’ll find you have to use lighter weight than you’re used to with regular DB rows.

Perform these on a low incline bench, slightly elevating the chest to get a deeper squeeze.

Mind-Muscle Connection in Action.

Note how there’s a brief pause at the top. This is a critical part of the movement and in training the mind-muscle connection.

This is more difficult to do with traditional rows, as you’re using momentum and pulling faster reps, and pausing can place unnecessary stress on the low back.

With supported DB rows, you can really hold that squeeze and feel the upper back muscles working hard.

These are best performed in the middle or end of a session, for 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps, emphasizing the squeeze and hold at the top.

You can use different grips (prone, reverse, neutral) and pull with elbows in or slightly out to hit the back a bit differently. I personally feel these the most with a reverse (supinated) grip, but everyone’s different.

2 – Seal Rows

Seal Rows are performed from a horizontal position on a bench. To accomplish this, you’ll likely have to elevate a flat bench on 2 platforms. I usually just stack plates up, which gets the job done.

You’ll lie flat holding a pair of dumbbells and pull the elbows back and up to a deep squeeze in the upper back.

You can change the angle of the dumbbells and your elbows to get a slightly different pull, and you should try out different angles to see which you feel the most.

I like these for sets of 8-12 reps, really focusing on the squeeze. If you can’t pull to a good squeeze at the top, the weight is too heavy and you should go a little lighter.

Lose the ego in the gym and focus on doing things right.

3 – Head Supported Barbell Rows

These are one of my favorite variations, and I frequently use these instead of traditional barbell rows.

The biggest advantage these give you is taking some stress off the low back. For many people, the low back fatigues before anything else when performing heavy rows, and that defeats the purpose of the movement and doesn’t allow you to attack the upper back like you need to.

Establish a solid base, with your head against a solid structure (a padded barbell works fine). Keep your neck in a neutral position and avoid flexing or jerking the neck.

Head Supported Barbell Row

You can pull from pins/safety spotters or the floor with these, which is really great because it forces you to pull from a dead stop (no momentum) and also allows you to briefly reset on each rep.

These can be performed just like seal rows, from a horizontal position, or from a slightly elevated angle.

Eccentric/Isometric Supported DB Rows

Using eccentric/isometric reps can be brutal. These will build a mind-muscle connection better than anything else I can think of when it comes to back training.

You’ll pull to a deep squeeze, hold the squeeze for 2-3 seconds, then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position (about 3-5 seconds on the eccentric).

Eccentric/Isometric dumbbell rows

Performing reps in this style will create a ton of metabolic stress, inducing an “occlusion” effect, in which blood is delayed from exiting the muscle.

This causes the fast twitch muscle fibers to take over and also results in a huge pump, both of which are highly conducive to muscle growth.

Perform these in sets of 6-10 reps, focusing on quality over heavy weight.

Supported Variations with a Rear Delt Focus

The Rear Delts should be worked more than any other part of the shoulder. Why?

Because the Rear Delts are highly active both during back training and during your pressing movements, in particular when you bench press.

Strong Rear Delts are crucial for the health of your shoulders. And if you want a big bench press, you’ll pay plenty of attention to them.

Supported High Elbow Rows (Rear Delts)

If we want to shift the focus onto the Rear Delts (which you should be doing often), I’ve got 2 options from a supported position that are killer.

The first option is to pull high elbow rows from the bench supported position.

Supported High Elbow Rows (Rear Delts)

Elevating the chest slightly will allow for a deeper pull. These will quickly have your Rear Delts on fire.

I like these for 12-15 Reps, usually towards the end of a session, or as a warm up on a pressing day.

Heavy Partials – Rear Delt Raises

Heavy Partials can be a great addition to your training, and can be a brutal way to finish a session off.

For these, I’ll take a pair of dumbbells heavier than I could normally pull full reps with, and perform partial reps in a “swinging” motion.

I like these as a finisher, for 1-2 max effort sets to failure, usually 30-50 reps. Prepare to be on fire.

You can also simply perform supported Rear Delt Raises as well..

Supported Rear Delt Raises

You might Like: “Get Stronger Faster with Cluster Sets”

Sample Back Workout using Supported Row Variations

Here’s one sample of a Back training session from the SWOLE TOWN program, where I like to throw in Supported variations frequently.

I’m not including the Prep Work (Warm-up), however you should always warm up before training, and prep work is always included in the Swole Town programming for every session.

SETSREPSREST
Head Supported
Barbell Rows
552-3 min
Kroc Rows21 warm up
1 x max reps
3-5 min
Weighted Chin
ups
532 min
Rear Delt Heavy
Partials
2Max Reps2 min
Supported Rear
Delt Raises
1Max Reps
Sample Swole Town Training Session

Check out Swole Town

If you like the methods described in this article, come take a free trial of the Swole Town Program.

Swole Town is a training team, with full daily programming, demo videos, a coach and a badass plan to get jacked as hell.

Conclusion

Supported Rows are a crucial addition to your back training days. As we discussed, performing supported movements can take stress off the low back and force you to pull stricter reps.

They can also dramatically improve the mind-muscle connection, which will enhance your training immensely.

I hope this article was helpful, and as always I really hope it helped get you a little bit closer to that best version of yourself.

Until next time, train hard and never stop learning!

Coach Mike/Swole Town
Coach Mike/Swole Town

Bioforce Certified Conditioning coach, Trainer. Federal Law Enforcement Agent, Army Reserve Infantryman 11B. Husband, Father, Brother, Son, Friend.

Coach: Swole Town Training Program

Training For the Tactical Athlete:  Samples from The Tactical Alpha Program

Training For the Tactical Athlete: Samples from The Tactical Alpha Program

As a tactical athlete, the stakes are high, and your level of fitness should be of the highest priority. For those entering an academy or basic training and wanting to excel, you’ll need a well rounded base of fitness.

For those that want to stand out and not just make it through, TACTICAL ALPHA is definitely for you. It’s time to lead the pack. BE THE ALPHA!

What Does a Tactical Athlete Need?

What attributes define a high level tactical athlete?

You must be well rounded in all markers of fitness.. This means you don’t have to excel in any one area, but you have to be good across all of them. In particular, I’d want to see:

  • High Aerobic Power
  • High level of strength-endurance
  • Strength in the big compound movement patterns (squat, deadlift, overhead press, bench press, pull up)
  • Mobility and durability: High level of work capacity and general physical preparedness.
  • Ability to generate power repeatedly (power-endurance)
  • Mental Resiliency: Ability to operate under extreme stress and fatigue.
tactical athlete pyramid

This may seem like a lot, and it is. Therefore, having a solid program is paramount in building yourself into a well-rounded machine.

A balance of strength work, conditioning and recovery is needed to ensure progress without burning yourself out.

My personal view of a tactical athlete is reflected in my programming. I visualize someone who has some muscle and enough size to look like they shouldn’t be messed with.

They should be lean, strong and able to run a 6 minute mile. They should be tenacious and able to continue working under extreme fatigue and mental stress. And they should be STRONG.

Get Stronger

Without a doubt, getting stronger must be a priority for any tactical athlete. That goes for a police officer as much as for a military athlete or firefighter.

The problem I’ve seen with a lot of programs is that this is taken to extremes to the point that some look more like bodybuilding or powerlifting programs, neglecting other critical aspects of tactical fitness.

Yes, you’ll look good.. but you’ll be a 4 cylinder Prius pretending to be a V8 SRT, and it won’t take long to be exposed.

Another problem is the type of strength being focused on. There MUST be a heavy focus on strengthening the core/trunk.

Tactical athletes often have to carry awkward loads over unknown terrain and distances. They may have to operate wearing heavy gear for long periods of time.

Again, weaknesses will be exposed, either in the form of injuries or simply breaking down and being unable to perform.

Improve Conditioning – Methods

Interval Sprinting

Tactical Alpha is a strength AND conditioning program. Out of a desire to remain big and strong and still be able to MOVE, I created this style of programming through a little bit of trial and error and a lot of research.

In basic training, at the age of 34, I was able to run sub-6 minute miles at 240lbs.

It was not easy to get to that point, but the methods used were sound and very effective.

I simply cut out most of the frequent, longer distance running that put a lot of recovery stress on the body, and implemented high intensity interval sprints, working up to about 8-10 x 400 meter sprints by the end of a 3 month training program.

These were supplemented with full body conditioning (see below) to great effect. This was to become the foundation of my programming.

The high intensity nature of the interval sprints allows us to gain a huge benefit in the form of aerobic power and mental toughness, while only having to perform them once every 7-9 days, or even less than that.

Full Body Conditioning

Aside from the sprints, full body high intensity conditioning is implemented with similar goals in mind.. To improve aerobic power and teach the body to clear lactate more efficiently. It isn’t mindless “WOD’s.” It’s purposeful, progressive conditioning.

Here’s an example of a Full-body conditioning session I used in the early days of Tactical Alpha.

These full body conditioning sessions use full body movements that are very taxing on the body. Therefore, we do NOT need to implement them more than once per week to gain a massive benefit from them.

Many people suffer from the mistake of performing TOO MUCH high intensity training, which only ends up hurting your progress in the long run.

Core Strength

Core strength is a misunderstood element of fitness. A strong core does not come from performing sit ups. It comes from forcing the trunk to stabilize heavy loads, as you would see in a movement like the Zercher Squat or heavy loaded carries.

Below is a Zercher Squat. Holding the weight out in front forces your core/trunk to work extremely hard to stabilize and maintain upright posture. All of the muscles in the core and the stabilizing muscles of the upper back are working overtime in movements like this.

Loaded Carries

Loaded carries are another staple set of exercises that don’t get nearly the attention they deserve. For a tactical athlete, these are a crucial addition to your training.

Below are two examples utilized in the Tactical Alpha program of effective loaded carry variations: Single Arm Overhead Carries and Farmer Carries

Get a Solid Program

Training with a structured program is always going to yield better results than just going at it alone.

This is even more true for a well designed, progressive program. Knowing exactly what you need to do each day and being able to measure progress will allow you to completely rebuild your engine and become an all around better, more complete tactical athlete.

There are many programs out there, but I’ll stand by Tactical Alpha against any of them.

I’ve used it on myself multiple times to great effect and have utilized the same programming with other athletes as well, always with great results.

The program is delivered through the TrainHeroic App. Every movement has a video demonstration and each training day is fully explained.

You also have access to a coach. It is an unbeatable value and a priceless tool for anyone serious about taking their performance to the next level.

Like they say.. Everyone wants to be a beast.. ’till it’s time to do what beasts do. If you’re ready to take yourself to the next level, we’re right here waiting.

tactical fitness athlete

Also, if You’ve read this far, I’ll reward you by offering you a 40% off code for the program. This isn’t a gimmick.. People pay the full price, but if you read this far you’re obviously serious about something, and at the end of the day I’d love to help you achieve your goals and beyond.

CODE: TacAlpha22: 40% off of an already very fairly priced elite program.

Conclusion

The Tactical Athlete must possess a high level of ability across the entire spectrum of fitness;  Aerobic power, strength, speed, strength-endurance and mobility.  

A police officer may need to chase a suspect, then engage in a physical altercation, all while wearing gear. A military athlete may need to sprint, under fire, to a fallen soldier, then carry him/her to cover, while wearing full kit. Firefighters may spend long periods of time with heavy gear on, handling heavy, awkward equipment and running in and out of dangerous situations.

When you need it the most, your level of fitness might just be what makes the difference between success and failure,,, life and death. However you decide to go about it, treat it as a high priority and get yourself a solid plan. Best of luck to you, and if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email: Contact@supastrong.net

SupaStrong
SupaStrong

Bioforce Certified Conditioning coach, Trainer. Federal Law Enforcement Agent, Army Reserve Infantryman 11B. Husband, Father, Brother, Son, Friend.

ST-3 Tactical Program

Swole Town Lifting Program

Cluster Sets for Serious Strength, AND Size.

Cluster Sets for Serious Strength, AND Size.

Cluster sets are capable of giving you significant gains in size and strength in a short period of time.

When programming for my athletes in the Swole Town Program, I’m constantly looking for ways to make my training cycles as effective as possible.

I don’t want guys (or girls) following my program in the gym wasting time with 20 different Bicep curl variations.

I want them to be big, strong and functional beasts. I can’t have it any other way.

If you’re interested in getting stronger, this will be a great read for you.

At the end I’ll give you a full sample training day with cluster sets.

*Note: Heavy Cluster training is on the advanced side. Don’t attempt this method if you’re a beginner.

The “More is Better” Trap

Most people in the gym believe that more is better.

Work harder, spend more time, do more reps, and your results will improve, right? Not so fast..

Your body does not have endless energy to expend.

Training requires a lot of energy, and what people forget is that recovering from training also requires a massive amount of energy.

No matter what you do, there is only so much you can recover from.

If you cannot recover, your body does not adapt to the training.

That means you work hard and get little results, especially if you’re trying to get stronger and/or build muscle.

How Does The Body Get Stronger?

If you’re stronger today than you were a month ago.. Why is that?

What caused you to be able to exert more force?

Is it simply that working out builds muscle, and more muscle = more strength?

While it’s true that more muscle mass will generally correlate with greater strength, there are plenty of examples of people who you wouldn’t even know worked out who can lift superhuman amounts of weight.

My brother-in-law looks like a regular 170lb guy, and has more than once casually stepped into my gym and pressed 275lbs over his head, while I stand at a solid 240lbs and cannot perform that on my best day.

Is it not a fascinating question?

How can someone with less muscle exert more force than someone with considerably more? The answer lies in the nervous system.

The Nervous System Controls Strength

get strong get stronger with cluster sets.  build muscle

When you lift, you are not using all of the muscle available.

Your nervous system is much smarter than you, and its job is to protect the integrity of the structures within its control (among other things).

Trying to lift something very heavy could hurt you, and to protect you from injury, the nervous system will not allow you to recruit all of the muscle fibers at once.

An untrained person will be able to recruit only about 40-50% of the available muscle fibers at once.

A highly trained strength athlete can recruit well over 90%, and the strong guy in the gym is probably in the 70-80% category.

So How do you train the nervous system to allow you to recruit more muscle fibers and get stronger?

Strength is a Skill

I think it’s most useful to think of strength as a skill.

You have to view training as an opportunity to “teach” the body how to be stronger.

With that in mind, it becomes obvious that the way you set up your training is extremely important when your goal is to become stronger.

You cannot just go do your usual 3 sets of 10 on the bench press and expect to get dramatic results.

Unless you’re a new lifter, this simply will not work for very long.

If you’ve been training that way for a long time, your body has adapted already and has no need to take any further action.

Cluster Sets

Cluster sets are basically heavy singles performed on short rest periods, generally around 20 seconds long.

So, you hit one heavy rep, rest 20 seconds, and repeat for the prescribed number of reps.

The benefit here is that you’re lifting very heavy weight relative to your max.

If you’re able to get 5 reps normally with 225lbs, you can use clusters to get 6 or more reps in one set by spacing the reps out with very short rest periods.

How Cluster Sets Make You Stronger

get stronger faster and build muscle with cluster sets

When lifting loads at about 85% or higher relative to your max, you’re recruiting the maximum amount of muscle fibers that you’re capable of.

With lighter loads/higher reps, this is not the case until the end of the set when you’re fatigued.

Recruit the Highest Threshold Motor Units/Muscle Fibers

Heavy loads are forcing the nervous system to call upon the highest threshold muscle fibers.

The ones most capable of producing force.

As the load increases (relative to what you’re capable of), these high-power motor units must fire at a faster rate to keep up.

Thus, you’re teaching your nervous system to fire those high-impact muscle fibers faster by repetitively hitting them with heavy loads.

This alone will make you stronger. Every rep you hit in a cluster set is an impactful rep, from the first to the last.

Turn off The Governor

Like a governor on a vehicle that slows it down when it reaches a certain speed, your muscles contain organs called Golgi Tendon Organs (GTO’s) that are constantly monitoring tension.

The GTO’s will basically turn muscle fibers off when tension gets too high, in an effort to protect the structure.

The repetition of heavy loads can desensitize the nervous system, relaxing the GTO’s and allowing more force to be produced. Again, every rep in a cluster set is intense, and we’re training the nervous system to allow us to produce more force.

You Become Better at the Movement

When repeating heavy lifts on 20 seconds of rest, you don’t have time to overthink anything.

You simply grab the bar and perform the lift.

This type of training really forces you to be in the moment.

The heavy repetitions will make you more comfortable with the lift, and you will naturally get better at it.

It also alleviates some of the fear of moving heavy weight, as you’re doing it repeatedly.

Sample Training Session Using Cluster Sets

The training session below is directly from the Swole Town training cycle called “Intensity.”

Keep in mind that when using high intensity methods like these, it is imperative that you keep the overall volume low. (volume = the total amount of reps/sets, or “work” that you’re doing.)

You absolutely have to prioritize recovery, as you’re pushing the body/nervous system very hard with the heavy repetitions.

Too much volume and accessory work and you’ll burn yourself out.

Cluster Set Training Sample: Bench Press/Back

swole town

You want to get a solid warm up in, and I prefer a circuit style warm up here as it allows me to sneak in a little low-intensity volume, build work capacity, and prepare for the session.

The weight should be very light, this should not be a struggle.

A.) Prep Circuit:

Perform 2-3 sets, moving continuously with little rest.

MovementReps
DB Incline Bench Press20
DB Bent Over Row20
Band Triceps Pressdown20
Ab Crunches20
*Weight should be LIGHT

B.) Cluster Sets: Bench Press

Take a few warm-up sets of 2-3 reps to build up to about 87-90% of your max on the bench press.

You’ll do 5 total reps per set, hitting one rep every 20 seconds. After 5 reps, rest 4:00 and repeat.

After 2 sets, assess how you feel and hit a 3rd set if you’re feeling good about it. If you’ve never done these, stop at 2 sets.

MovementSetsRepsRest b/w sets
Bench Press2-35 reps at 87-90% of max
20 seconds between reps
4:00

C.) Close Grip Floor Press

We’re choosing a movement complimentary to the bench press to get in some additional heavy volume. We’ll hit 3 heavy sets of 5. Heavy meaning you’re not sure if you’d have gotten another rep or two.

MovementSetsRepsRest b/w sets
Close Grip Floor Press353:00

D.) Bench Supported DB Row

Perform on an incline bench. These are to be performed as drop-sets, hitting 8-10 reps, then dropping to lighter dumbbells to get up to 20 reps per set, for 2 total sets.

MovementSetsRepsRest b/w Sets
Supported DB Row2203:00

E.) Decline DB Pullover

Same as the last block, perform 2 drop-sets, aiming for 8-10 reps, then dropping down to a lighter dumbbell and getting up to 20 total reps.

MovementSetsRepsRest b/w Sets
Decline DB Pullover2203:00

F.) Plank to Side Plank – 2:00

30 second front plank, 30 second side plank, 30 seconds back to front, then 30 seconds other side for 2 total minutes. These are used frequently for endurance throughout the core and to enhance core bracing.

Full Workout Table

I’ll put this session in one table if you’d like to try it out, feel free to screenshot.

MovementSetsRepsRest b/w Sets
Warm up Circuit3200
*Bench Press (Cluster)2-35 (cluster reps)
20 sec b/w reps
4:00
Close Grip Floor Press353:00
Bench Supported DB Rows220 (dropset)3:00
DB Decline Pullover220 (dropset)3:00
Plank to Side Plank12:00 holdn/a

Final Notes on Cluster Sets

As you can see, the overall volume in this session is pretty low. 9 total sets of lifting (warm up sets don’t count).

If we start throwing in all kinds of curls, triceps extensions, etc. we’ll be forcing the body to try and recover from more than it will likely be able to.

Recovery is everything when you’re training for strength and size.

If you’re going to try out training with cluster sets, devote a training block of 4-6 weeks with it.

Give your body some time to adapt and you’ll likely see some nice gains in strength and probably some new muscle to go along with it.

If you’d like to have your workouts programmed for you so you can hit the gym with a solid plan, check out Swole Town, available only the world’s best training app, TrainHeroic.

Thanks for reading! Any questions? Feel free to reach out.

Mike Richardson
Mike Richardson

ISSA Tactical Conditioning Specialist. Creator of Swole Town, Forged Female and Supastrong.net. Coach, Husband, Father, Brother, Friend.

Build Muscle With Swole Town:  Full Workout Sample

Build Muscle With Swole Town: Full Workout Sample

Swole Town is here, and if you’re searching for workouts to build muscle, get stronger and/or just to be a beast in the gym.. you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a full workout from the program and a link to try a free week to see if you want to join the community.

What is Swole Town?

Swole Town is a lifting/training program designed to pack on muscle and strength. It is delivered through the TrainHeroic App and costs $12/month, 97% cheaper than hiring a trainer with all the benefits. Workouts fully mapped out, with video demos and explanation of every movement, plus access to a coach and a community of people with the same goals as you.

What’s Different About This Program?

Swole Town is born out of years of trial and error in the gym. Many different training philosophies are built into a system that is built around 4 week training blocks. This keeps your body in a constant state of adaptation, and makes your workouts more enjoyable and challenging.

Training through TrainHeroic is the optimal way to workout. Trainers are expensive, and going it alone is sub-optimal at best. Letting an expert program your workouts will lead to bigger gains all around. You’d spend more on a Starbucks trip than you would for a month of badass training…

try swole town full workout

Full Workout From The Swole Town Program

Here’s a full training day from the program. This is an upper body training session from a 4 week cycle called “RAGE.” RAGE is a high volume cycle full of supersets and metabolic stress-inducing training blocks. This 4 week block alone could pack muscle on your body.

So here is the full workout. This training session is focused on chest and back.. specifically horizontal pressing and vertical pulling. Try it out, and come take a closer look if you had fun with this one. If you were in the program, I’d be telling you to go crush this one. So for now, GO CRUSH IT!

Coaches Notes: (Directly From Program Session)

Another day on the grind. We’re hitting explosive depth push ups straight into heavy floor presses today. We’re going to keep hammering your pressing power, and by the end of a 12 week stay in Swole Town, I’m banking on many of you hitting PR’s on your pressing movements. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. Trust the process and train hard.

Keep in mind that this is a volume cycle.. we have higher intensity cycles coming up where you’ll get to push your strength up and get in some heavier reps and more explosive movements. Everything in its right time. For now, we’re crushing volume.

We’re in week 3 of RAGE. One more week of this high volume cycle, and we’ll begin transitioning into some higher intensity cycles. That is when I usually notice big gains. When the body has started getting used to one training style, and you suddenly transition into heavier loads and more intense methods. Arnold called it the “shock principle.” Stay the course.

Prep Work (Warm Up)

All blocks with the same letter should be performed as a superset, one after the other. For Prep work, don’t aim heavy. We’re prepping the body for the full workout.

A1 – Single Arm DB Bench Press: 3 x 8

8 right, 8 left. Add weight each set, being mindful that this is prep work.

A2 – Inchworm to Extended Plank: 3 x 3

Walk your hands out as far as you can while maintaining the integrity of your posture. Then, walk them back in and back to standing. 3 sets of 3 reps.

B1 – Dumbbell Pullover

Go heavy, and I want a good, deep stretch of the ribcage and Lats. 3 sets of 8.

C1 – Depth Push up: 4 x 3

3 depth push ups, then straight to the floor press. This is a superset. Rest 2 minutes after completing both movements.

C2 – Barbell Floor Press: 4 x 6

Take a few warm up sets to find the right weight to hit for 4 sets of 6 reps. Want these to be heavy, but we’re looking to hit all the reps at the same weight.
I want a 1 second pause when your triceps hit the floor without releasing any tension in the triceps/chest/shoulders. Drive the weight up with aggression.

D – Chin Ups: 4 x Max Reps

Looking for strict chin ups. Come all the way down. 90 seconds of rest between sets. 4 sets of as many chin ups as you can get. Rest 90 seconds between sets.

E – Dumbbell Incline Bench Press: 4 sets x 12, 10, 8, 6

Use a low incline setting.. somewhere around 30 degrees. Rest 90 seconds between sets. Add weight each set as the rep range moves down, ending with a heavy set of 6 reps.

Finisher:

Complete the finisher as quickly as possible, resting only when you have to.

F1 – Barbell Push Ups x 75 Reps

75 Reps of barbell push ups and band pull-aparts. Break the reps up however you need to. Just get them all in. 75 barbell push ups and 75 band pull-aparts. End the day with a pump and some solid burning.

F2 – Band Pull Aparts: 1 Set x 75 Reps

Watch the video for these. Lot of people doing these wrong out there. This is an amazing movement when done properly. I like pulling the band down and back to better mimic vertical pulling and really challenge the Rear Delts. Squeeze every rep and let this one burn.

Swole Town Will Be Waiting

Try this one out, and if you enjoy it, come try a free week of the best muscle building program available.

Keep in mind this is just one training session in the larger context of a 4 week training block, and even further, in the larger context of the programming. This is not a copy and paste program. It’s unique programming, and you will get bigger and stronger if you stick around.

SupaStrong (Mike Richardson)
SupaStrong (Mike Richardson)

Bioforce Certified Conditioning Coach, Trainer. Coach/Creator of Swole Town and Supastrong.net. Currently a federal agent, formerly 11b Infantry in the US Army Reserves. Training and coaching are my passions.

Swole Town.  A Lifting Program to Pack on Slabs of Muscle.

Swole Town. A Lifting Program to Pack on Slabs of Muscle.

Want to look like an absolute beast? Swole Town is live, and residency is earned and paid for with effort. I want to give you a sample training week (scroll to the bottom), and explain why this lifting program is worth paying a visit to if you’re looking to build muscle, get stronger and scare children and small animals with your physique.

3 months on the Swole Town Program and you’ll be buying new t-shirts… and jeans, cuz we don’t skip leg day, and we sometimes do it twice.

Build Muscle Fast

Swole town is designed around 4 week training blocks. Every 4 weeks, we move into a new cycle. When this happens, the focus changes a bit, gradually moving from higher volume cycles full of high-rep supersets and metabolic stress-inducing protocols, to more intense methods such as cluster sets and myotatic reps.

The point of this is to keep your body in a constant state of evolution and adaptation, and to keep things fresh and exciting. When you look forward to your training, your results tend to be a lot better. Swole Town is exciting and you’ll find yourself wanting to know what’s coming next.

You’ll also be marveling at the huge traps and massive back you see staring back at you in the mirror. This isn’t about pretty boy beach muscles. We’re building beasts.

Swole Town Pin

Methods for Strength and Size

The program uses varying methods designed to pack on size and build strength. Proven strategies are taken from many different programs and methods. These are all built in to optimize gains.

You may see elements of 5 x 5, strongman training, and classic bodybuilding techniques all thrown into the mix in different cycles. If it works, I’m going find a way to use it. And this makes training more enjoyable, as you’re exposed to different methods.

Metabolic Stress and Mechanical Load

In the end, only 2 factors lead to hypertrophy…

Metabolic Stress

Metabolic stress is induced through high rep supersets and taking sets to failure at the right time. We also utilize newer methods, such as Blood Flow Restriction Training (BFR), also known as occlusion training.

The physiological environment created within the muscle from this style of training is a huge stimulus for muscle growth. Metabolic stress is what causes the “pump” you feel (and see) when you train.

The current cycle we’re in, called “RAGE,” is full of metabolic stress-inducing methods. The pump is real.

Here’s just one example of extreme metabolic stress from a leg-day session. It’s simple. 100 reps on the zercher split squat without putting the bar down. Similar tactics are employed for upper body work as well.

Mechanical Load

Mechanical load simply refers to the load, or resistance placed on the muscle. Heavier weights cause a higher load to be placed on (and sensed by) the muscle, which leads to muscle growth and gains in strength. Your muscles are organs and can sense the tension being placed on them. The human body is truly amazing.

We take a balanced approach and attack each with specific methods.

What’s a Day in Swole Town Look Like?

Here’s a week from the current cycle, “RAGE.” This is just an example, but if you like what you see, come check out the program and try a free week to get a closer look.

In the app, every movement has a video demo and you have access to a coach as well.

Click on the date to see different days for this week of training.

Your Move

I already know you can get bigger and stronger with Swole Town. I’ve been using this programming for a long time and have trained many people using the same strategies. When you’re ready, come take a tour of the town and let the gainz begin.

Try Swole Town now for free for a week, no questions asked.

SupaStrong
SupaStrong

Bioforce Certified Conditioning Coach, Trainer. Coach/Creator of Swole Town and Supastrong.net. Currently a federal agent, formerly 11b Infantry in the US Army Reserves. Training and coaching are my passions.