SupaStrong is an 11 week strength program designed to make you stronger in all the big lifts. Since some "advanced" methods are used in this strength program, I've made this short guide on how to perform it for optimal results.
We'll take a quick dive into the methods and rationale behind the program design, and discuss how you can perform the 11 weeks optimally.
If you're looking to get stronger, you've stumbled onto a very solid game-plan.
What is Strength?
Simply stated, strength is your ability to produce force against a load. Or, if you prefer, your ability to overcome resistance.
I'm sure you've seen examples, such as Olympic weight lifters, of people who don't appear to be very strong, but are actually capable of performing incredible feats of strength. How is this possible?
Strength is Neuromuscular
The reason this is possible is simply that those athletes have trained their neuromuscular system to recruit a maximal amount of muscle fibers. An ordinary, untrained person likely cannot even recruit 60-70% of their available potential for strength.
The body is an incredible machine, and it is not stupid.
Allowing you to harness all of your strength potential could be extremely dangerous to the physical structure. And so, organs running alongside your muscle fibers (GTO's) literally signal the brain to limit force production.
Just like the governor on a vehicle slows the vehicle down when it reaches a certain speed.
For experienced lifters, gym rats, etc.. this may be more like 75-80% or so of actual strength potential.
Highly trained strength athletes can be at 90% or greater.
Enter Cluster Training
The question is; How can we systematically train our bodies to be able to produce more force?
Of course, there are many methods that can be used. But probably none are more powerful than Cluster training.
In a cluster set, reps are split up with short rest in-between. For example, a set of 5 can be performed as 5 sets of 1 rep, with 20 seconds between reps. This allows for multiple high intensity efforts to be performed in a relatively short period of time.
Clusters can also be performed with higher reps (3-5), for more of a volume approach, which I implement occasionally in my Swole Town Team Programming.
The SUPASTRONG strength program will use cluster training as the primary method. As such, it's important to understand how to perform them optimally from start to finish. Below is a guide to assist you in executing the program for optimal results.
- Prep movements are generally oriented around power/explosiveness, aiming to prepare you for the heavy work that lies ahead. We'll use Sled sprints, plyometric pushups/benching and seated box jumps. While power may not be the focus of the program, it is still crucial in getting stronger.
- ALWAYS warm up to your target weight. Take sets of 2-3 reps, slowly building up to your target weight. These warm up sets are NOT to be performed as clusters. Just preparatory sets. Take your time.
- Percentages are listed and increase each week. Percentages are recommendations, not absolutes. If you feel particularly strong, you should add a few pounds. If you feel fatigued, drop a few... You may well find you've gotten stronger halfway through the program, in which case you may need to increase the weight you're using. You should aim to feel like about a 9/10 exertion level on cluster reps exceeding 90%.
- Rest periods are listed and should be followed. This is not a "beginner" program. Take the time to read instructions. Extended rest between sets is crucial. The energy system we're targeting (phosphocreatine) requires several minutes to fully recover between very heavy sets.
- Deload weeks are programmed in. For those of us who love training, it can be uncomfortable to scale back training. But rest assured, there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We're moving heavy weight and doing it repeatedly.. the body needs to have some time to fully recover and adapt.
- Lastly, don't use your max from 5 years ago that you tell people is your max. Be honest with yourself. Letting your ego into the picture can be disastrous and counterproductive.
You have some freedom to choose the movements you want to focus on. For example, you can replace the back squat with front squats, zercher squats, box squats, etc.. Whatever you choose, stick with it for the duration of the program.
Options are listed in week 1. It is recommended to stick with the big basics, but you are free to choose.
Check out JACKED AF if you're looking for more of a hypertrophy style program. This is a 10-week beast-builder program designed to pack on slabs of muscle. (Note, this one requires some fortitude).
The program will start off with moderate volume of accessory work.
As we progress and the clusters get heavier, the accessory work will be reduced, to focus our energy on the meat and potatoes of the program (the heavy work).
In the second 3 week block, we'll use overload movements like rack pulls and box squats to provide additional stimulus to the nervous system to get stronger.
Accessory work will focus on the Hamstrings, Biceps and back, which get left out a bit with the bigger strength movements.
Always Chase Performance
Many of us have a hard time getting away from chasing fatigue and a "good workout." With strength training, I'd prefer you walk out of the gym feeling good, rather than torn up.
Recovery is everything when it comes to training for strength. Too much volume and emphasis on accessory movements, and we'll compromise our primary goal.
The point? Don't go adding in 10 sets of Triceps work at the end, then wonder why your bench is going backwards.
As much as possible, we want to keep the stimulus the same. We want to point the body in a singular direction.. GETTING STRONGER! Adding in hours of cardio, or tons of metabolic work will simply cause interference in the desired adaptations.
Yes, however all conditioning work will be geared towards targeting the same energy systems we're looking to improve. i.e., short, hard and fast. Sled Push, intervals, etc.. for 15 minutes or so. Active recovery is also scheduled, walking, etc..
While this is not a hypertrophy oriented program, you can still put on some size as we're hitting hitting high quality reps at 90% plus of your max. Any mass added would be high quality, dense muscle. That will depend a lot on your diet and current training status.
Yes. All programming is delivered through TrainHeroic, the best training app in the world. Every segment is complete with demo videos, instructions, and all of your lifts are tracked.
The SupaStrong strength program can dramatically increase your strength.
This has been a short guide to get you familiar with the methods and execution of the program. It isn't complicated, but it does have to be performed with the right mindset and execution.
If you're looking to take your strength to the next level, you've stumbled onto a solid path.. What will you do?