Use the same weight for 4 weeks – but can you add another set?
Escalating Density Training
The theme of this 4-week accumulation block is Escalating Density Training. With EDT, we’re looking to accomplish more, quality work in the same time period of time.
Specifically, the goal of this block is to get more sets in the same amount of time.
Also – if you’re interested in a digital Allegiate program – scroll to the bottom of this page to see our 2 digital strength training offerings.
How the workouts will go
Here’s how it’ll look for the A series of our main, compound movements. We’ll put a prescribed weight on the bar. That weight stays the same for the next 4 weeks.
Week 1, the weight should be challenging enough to get about 10 sets in 20 minutes. After that, it’s all about getting as many sets as possible in 20 minutes while maintaining quality. Something like week 2 – 11 or 12 sets. Week 3 – 12+ Week 4 – 12+
A note on quality
When we say quality, we mean maintaining great position, technique, & range of motion. More work in the same time. Rather than the same work in less time.
We’re in an Accumulation block. What does that mean?
You might recall the goal of Accumulation blocks is to use as much total energy in a session as possible. This maximum energy expenditure increases muscle tissue and fitness levels while decreasing body fat.
You might have read over those words “maximum energy expenditure” and not have a gauge for what that means. Or what that’s going to feel like. So let’s hammer it home:
A note on why we track your progress
Assessing your progress week to week is one of the core principles of our programming. It is the primary tool we use to assess if the load was appropriate from week to week based off how you adapt.
The term for this systematic tracking of progress and loading the bar is called Progressive Overload.
A large misconception is that progressive overload only means increasing intensity or load. But with progressive overload, you can increase the number of sets at a specific load, you can increase the repetitions at a specific load, or in this case – you can increase the density at a specific load.
Increasing density happens two ways:
Increase the amount of work in the same time frame. (This is what we’re doing this block)
Do the same work in less time
Escalating Density Training is hard. Here’s a more scientific explanation of what that actually means
The burning of energy through the storage forms of carbohydrates (glycogen and glucose), fat (adipose and fatty acids) and potentially proteins (amino acids) lead to an acidic environment, or an accumulation of hydrogens at the local level (1). This acidity corresponds with increases in anabolism (building proteins) post-training through increases in natural levels of growth hormone (2).
The most important takeaways you need for the next 4 weeks of this block:
With such demanding training, our progress is exclusively determined by how well we recover from week to week. Rest and recuperation are absolutely necessary. The Ying to the Yang.
You will not get progress in this block without the appropriate rest and regeneration.
Recovery is the key. It’s fundamental. Essential. If you report excessively high RPEs and your workloads increase drastically – your countermeasures have to match it. If not, your progress will be blunted.
Sleep, nutrition, and regeneration are the keys to success. They must be placed at the highest priority if you want to maximize the benefits of Escalating Density Training.
The RPE number we ask at the end of the session is based off what your average Heart Rate was during training
RPE means Rate of Perceived Exertion. Based off a lot of research, RPE is a fairly accurate representation of your exertion during a session.
If your heart rate is higher, you report a higher RPE. And vice versa – if your heart was lower you report a lower RPE.
Take your RPE number and multiply it by 60 minutes of activity and you can get a workload. So with an RPE of 5 x 60 minutes = workload of 300. Our goal is to manage that workload and tie that into a progressive based model.
Usually, we follow a “Traditional” progression with our loading. Meaning we order our weeks with 70%, 80%, 90%, and 100% of Relative Intensity.
With this block, it will be the same Relative Intensity for four weeks, which changes the focus from progressive increases in intensity to increase in density.
Week 1 is 100% RI and it’s going to have high workloads. To recover and prepare for your training, come back to our habits:
Sleep 8 hours per night
Drink ½ your BW in Oz of water each day
Eat 8 servings of veggies each day
Have protein at every meal
Earn your carbohydrates (Based off Tolerance).
Go to Mobility Class or do it on your own with your TrainHeroic account.
Train 3x per week. If you feel like you need more work, do low-intensity cardiovascular work like walking for 30-60minutes. This approach helps you recover and be prepared for your harder training sessions.
Street D, Bangsbo J, Cartsen J. Interstitial pH in human skeletal muscle during and after dynamic graded exercise. J Physiol. 2001 Dec 15; 537(Pt 3): 993–998.
Velloso CP. Regulation of muscle mass by growth hormone and IGF-I. Br J Pharmacol. 2008 Jun; 154(3): 557–568.
Did you know we offer digital programming? There are 2 options.
Option 1) You can get an Allegiate Strength Training Program for $29/mo. No contract, cancel anytime.
This program has 3 workouts/ week with mobility programming during the off days. Do the same 3 workouts over 4 weeks and go up in weight each week.