How to Use DUP for Bodybuilding & Powerlifting for Faster Gains – Part 3

bodybuilder
by Chris Marzarella

 

This is the final article, but there will be more of Daily Undulating Periodization (DUP) in the future as the research continues to grow and I have something on my mind.
In part 1 of this series, we discussed how we can utilize Daily Undulating Periodization (DUP) to not only get stronger, but also gain muscle in a quicker and more efficient manner.
In part 2 of this series, some templates of both powerlifting and bodybuilding were offered which can be used right away for your next mesocycle or period of building.
Let’s turn the focus over to giving a view of General Physical Preparation (GPP), how to schedule your training with planned overreaching, recovery techniques and nutrtional/supplemental support.

General Physical Preparation

In an article published by the NCSA and Kevin Cronin, the term General Physical Preparation is defined beginning preparation for the oncoming mesocycle or the chunk of time spent in a cycle devoted to one aspect of a macrocycle (a year or longer) time period. In other words, after a contest or meet is done, the first few weeks of post-contest/post-meet training should be based around improving flaws in form and weak areas. With GPP, you can prepare the body to become attenuated to the oncoming increase of intense volume or intense training, or both. With GPP-type exercises, the objective is to strengthen the body and prepare the athlete for more intense training that occurs in the latter periods of the process of achieving sports mastery (1).
This can mean a breakthrough period lasting anywhere from two to six weeks.

In the case of powerlifters, the term off-season and pre-meet prep; for bodybuilders and physique athletes, off-season and pre-contest training. A good idea is to use simple linear progression, or as you get stronger, add more weight or sets or repetitions to the overall volume or exercise.

I should mention that this is just one way to utilize GPP. There are several other methods that can be used, but for the scope of this article, this one way to plan.

Powerlifting

GPP can and should be used with higher sets of reps and sets for hypertrophy in the form of multiple sets (3-5) and higher reps (8-12) using 65-70% of your one rep max to develop a larger muscle so that we are capable of handling heavier weights.

Another day can be devoted to developing power with short reps and lighter weight (50-70% of your one rep max) with doubles or triples in a shorter timed fashion to develop acceleration. Using a smartphone and capturing your set is a great way to view how much time it took with each repetition.

Finally, strength should be developed by doing sets of 5, with 3-5 reps, using 80-90% of your one rep max. I have done on occasion, over 90% with some advanced athletes. At the end of this phase, the powerlifter will begin adding heavier weights and less sets and volume to concentrate on meet preparation and developing speed and strength.

Bodybuilding

Post-contest is a very interesting time in the physique world. The off-season begins the contest or contest season is complete. The focus should be to begin to adding muscle mass without adding too much fat, concentrate on weaker areas and restore and increase strength levels; The stronger the muscle, the larger it can become.

The mind can sometimes play tricks on you, and I feel this happens more frequently to physique athletes. The person wants to stay at this level of leanness, but in reality, this is not an ideal state of health that should be maintained over a long period of time. A bodybuilder needs to come back to a reasonable (and maintainable) body fat percentage so that you can make off-season gains. This takes time and shouldn’t be rushed. I myself am guilty of trying to maintain something that took 16-20 LONG weeks to finish. I’m not giving you permission to eat and gorge once the competition is completed. If you slowly add in the calories by reverse dieting, and allow yourself some fun food, you’ll be much happier with the added increases and you’ll be able to adjust mentally. At this point, I’m only 5 pounds away from my contest weight, back from July. I’ve taken great care of my weight because of the hard work and sacrifices I made and don’t want to go through that much work again. I actually feel a lot better now, as well as being stronger.

Clients that I have trained in the off-season usually have a setpoint of how many pounds they want to gain or maintain. After a contest, we desire to become stronger from the 12-16 week contest prep and add some weight to the bar as well as the body. Yes, there’s a time to become leaner and compete, but there’s also a time to balance out life and enjoy food! Food is what makes life a celebration, and it is also that that drives us forward to make better, stronger gains so that muscles can be bigger.

With small additions of incremental training strategies, weight training can be a positive and continued progression using the same protocol that was used in the contest prep, but with added rest, increased weight on the bar and extra reps. I would not recommend using the same 16 week exercises, as the gains will hinder and eventually stop.

For example, if you’re doing a 2 on, 1 off, 2 on and 2 off protocol, slowly take away one day of rest at the end. I started doing this during my last prep and it made a world of difference, even though I was in a caloric deficit. Of course I was worn out at the end of the prep, my strength had bottomed out and I was ready for a deload. Once my contest training was completed and my deload was over, with a few days of active recovery and massage with my friend the foam roller, the gains started coming back. Slowly and steadily I’ve been adding small trickles of carbs and fats, while my protein stays roughly the same and my body is responding favorably to the additional calories. I look and feel better, my muscles are fuller and stronger, and I’m making gains and my weight is going up a half pound every two to three weeks. So, the lesser of a bro-bulk and more of a wiser approach to dietary and caloric intake, you make better progress. If you want more answers, contact me at cmarzarella@fitnesstekpf.net to find more information about me or my online training.

Planning Overeaching & Recovery

This is just one of the many ways to use overreaching to your advantage.
To start a cycle of overreaching, I suggest this as a once or twice per year protocol.
To begin, plan effectively, know when to stop and when to push. Autoregulation on the last set is a great way to gauge progress.

Bodybuilding Protocol
Week 1-2: Break-In Period: Do all sets/reps without going to complete failure. Stop 1-2 reps short of total failure or until strict form breaks.

Week 3: Complete all sets/reps, add 3 dropsets on the final set.

Week 4: Follow Week 3, but using the same weight, add one to three extra reps with the same weight, then follow up with the dropsets. If you get 1 extra rep, move up five pounds the following workout. If you get more than 3, move up 7-10 more. At the end of the dropset, Use a static hold on the final set and hold it for 30 seconds.

Week 5: Decrease weight in primary lift. Drop down 40% of weight, do only required sets/reps of all exercises

Powerlifting Protocol
Week 1: Break-In Period: Do all sets/reps without going to complete failure. Stop 1-2 reps short of total failure or until strict form breaks.

Week 2: Complete all sets/reps, stop on the final set, wait 15 seconds and do another round of as many reps as possible.

Week 3: Repeat the Week 2 directive, but add in 3 sets of singles of your opener, taking a 3-5 minute rest period in between sets. Your final set should be with the weight you initially started with as many reps as possible. Think Jim Wendler’s First Set Last.

Week 4: Decrease weight in primary lifts. Drop down 40% of weight, do only required sets/reps of all exercises.

Nutrition

Let’s discuss food. I really don’t believe there is any reason for donuts and milk with eggs and bacon for breakfast anymore to add strength and size to a powerlifter. It’s old school and really stupid in my opinion. I also don’t believe in the one gallon of milk a day idea, unless you like your farts and don’t care about the people around you.

There is a wiser way of doing things. First, to add a caloric surplus, track your weekly calories with a calorie counter, like FatSecret, MyFitnessPal or CalorieKing. I use FatSecret on a consistent basis and it is very useful keeping me on track with my weight.To figure out what your baseline caloric intake is, track everything you eat for one week. Weigh yourself in the morning, after waking and a bathroom break. If the scale doesn’t move much (allow for a 1-2 lb fluctuation), that is your caloric baseline.

Next, protein is best at 0.9-1.0g times your bodyweight. You really don’t need much more, as carbohydrates play a crucial role in your programming and they are protein sparing. Try to have equal splits of protein in each meal. Start with 0.9g x body weight, or add a bit more if you know your metabolism to be a faster or slower, but know definitively what you’re doing.
Fats are a necessity. don’t skimp or you may suffer from low testosterone levels and sore joints. Figure in approximately 0.4-0.6g x bodyweight.
The amount of carbohydrate is your residual, once you get your baseline calories

Nutritional & Supplemental Support

Sleep: Sleep less than 6-7 hours and your recovery can suffer. Try to get a good amount of sleep and include a nap, if at all possible.
Food: If you don’t eat enough, you’re shortchanging your hard work.

Fish Oils: Understand that the effects from fish oils are cumulative. It takes a period of weeks to see the notable effects. If the goal of supplementation is to reduce soreness, a 6g dose spread over the course of a day will be very effective. Also, for an anabolic response, and who isn’t interested in that, studies have shown a correlation in producing a hypertrophic response in both young and older adults. (3) (4).

Also, If you get fish burps, just keep the bottle in the refrigerator or take them with food. Don’t spend extra money for “burp free” capsules.

Optional

BCAAs:-1 dose before a workout about 15 minutes prior to training, and one dose during training.
Creatine: A loading phase isn’t necessary, but if you want to, 4 5g doses daily for three days is sufficient. I wont talk about the benefits, as creatine has a ton of research behind it.
Zinc/Magnesium/B6 (ZMA): Forget the increases in testosterone levels; use it for better sleep.

Melatonin: Another great sleep aid with a good amount of research. There has been speculation that taken around training time could possibly increase growth hormone.
Curcumin: According to examine.com, the use of this spice found primarily in the yellow pigment associated with the curry spice, Turmeric, and to a lesser extent ginger. It can favorable in the use of reducing inflammation and possibly osteoarthritis. The more research found the more interesting this component becomes. Stated is the way to use this spice follows (5):

How to Take (recommended dosage, active amounts, other details)

For any systemic purpose (requiring absorption from the intestines), then an oral supplementation of curcumin in the range of 80-500mg would be required assuming an enhancement. Curcumin is poorly absorbed inherently, and one of the following is mandatory:

● Pairing curcumin with Black Pepper (piperine)
● Curcumin phytosomes complexed with Phosphatidylcholine (Meriva or BCM-95)
● Curcumin nanoparticles (THERACUMIN)
● Water-soluble curcumin (polyvinyl pyrrolidone)

If one of the above enhancements are not used, then too little curcumin will be absorbed and even doses of up to 4,000mg may be wholly inactive (8-16g would only be slightly active).
If using curcumin for intestinal purposes, then absorption from the intestines into the blood is not necessarily required. Due to this, one can simply use Turmeric at the dose of 2-4g daily or take curcumin supplementation without any of the aforementioned enhancements.

L-Glutamine: Even though there is a constant debate around the use and efficacy of L-Glutamine and the role it plays for athletes, I feel this one amino acid still has a lot to offer. Maybe not in the realm of massive gains, but for improved immune support. Research has been done on immune systems of athletes and the use of 10g of glutamine on strength athletes by Song et al, in a 2015 research study (2). One group was given a placebo, and one was given the 10g dose for six weeks. Although the research doesn’t offer when the athlete took it, I see no reason why you couldn’t include it in the post workout shake. Regardless, after six weeks of daily use, no differences were observed in serum levels. Thus, glutamine supplementation may be able to restore immune function and reduce the immunosuppressive effects of heavy-load training.

Things to think about

There are so many ways to use DUP for your goals, but go with the understanding that DUP is great tool to set up a plan of progress that can be used to spark new growth and improve on a steady, more efficient manner.

The problem with linear progression (Starting Strength for example), is that even though it is brutally effective, there will be a time when you will stop progressing, otherwise we would all be benching 900 pounds! You will use linear progression with DUP but in a way that will stretch across a given amount of time in the training week, making improvements more progressive.

A great idea is to take cues from Westside and use the conjugate method and switch exercises; eventually the body will adapt to the stimuli you’re using to build, usually within 6-8 workouts, mileage will vary. The gains will slow or come to eventual stop, but there are ways to continue making credible gains (6). One is to very simply change the exercises. However, don’t think you can switch a barbell bench press to a cable fly. A better substitute would be to change the angle to an incline or to keep it on a flat surface, but change the point of flexion to a guillotine press.

Even better would be to increase the intensity and more reps or sets or both. There’s no clearly defined path that you absolutely must take. I only suggest that you keep the rep ranges far enough apart to make discernable differences in training. An example of this would be what I am presently doing for hypertrophic gains and adding strength:

Day 1: Strength-Lower Body
531 for the compound lift (squat/bench/deadlift/press)
Assistance work: mostly 3 sets of 4 to 6 repetition at most
I’ll usually pick three to four antagonistic bodyparts.

Day 2: Strength-Upper Body
531 for the compound lift (squat/bench/deadlift/press)
Assistance work: mostly 3 sets of 4 to 6 repetition at most
I’ll usually pick three to four antagonistic bodyparts.

Day 3: Hypertrophy-Lower Body
4 sets of 8 to 12 for the compound lift (squat/bench/deadlift/press)
Assistance work: mostly 3-4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
I’ll usually pick three to four antagonistic bodyparts and pair them up. Here’s an example:
Front Squat 4×8-12
A1) Leg Press 4×8-12
A2) Stiff Leg Deadlift
B1) Hack Squat 4×8-15
B2) Hip Thrust 4×8-15
C1) Leg Extension 3×12-20
C2) Leg Curl 3×12-20

Day 4: Off

Day 5: Hypertrophy-Upper Body
Guillotine Press, on a low incline; 4 sets of 8 to 12 for the compound lift (squat/bench/deadlift/press)
Assistance work: mostly 3-4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
I’ll usually pick three to four antagonistic bodyparts and pair them up.

Day 6: Strength Lower Body
Deadlift 531
Assistance work in the 4 sets of 4-6 rep range again.

Day 7: Strength-Upper Body
Press 531
Assistance work in the 4 sets of 4-6 rep range again.

Day 8: Off

Day 9: Hypertrophy-Lower Body
Cyclist Squat 4×12-15 plus a rest/pause set on the final set, trying to achieve a total of additional rep set of 15 repetitions on the rest/pause set.
Assistance work in the 4×12-15 range paired up again with an antagonistic bodypart, with some sort of intensifier on the final set that builds up every week.

Day 10: Hypertrophy-Upper Body
Dumbbell Press, I prefer standing as this makes it a better challenge for me; 4×12-15 plus a rest/pause set on the final set, trying to achieve a total of additional rep set of 15 repetitions on the rest/pause set.
Assistance work in the 4×12-15 range paired up again with an antagonistic bodypart, with some sort of intensifier on the final set that builds up every week.

Day 11: Strength-Lower Body

Day 12: Restart the program with the new variables for the week.

Deloads

These protocols are very effective and planned wisely, will bring the best gains of your training career. The mention of deloads cannot be stressed enough. If your training this way for 4 weeks, then a deload period of a week should be used. Otherwise, you’ll feel fatigued and your CNS can be overtaxed. I don’t believe this could be considered overtraining but it’s a pretty shitty way to feel, especially with outside responsibilities.
The creator of 531 uses deloads every 4th week and it is a great idea with higher frequency training. Pick up a copy of his book in his store to better understand how to use deloads and a ton of other great information.

References:
1.) http://bit.ly/1KdGloE General Physical Preparation and Specialized Physical Preparation. (n.d.). Retrieved August 23, 2015.

2.) Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2015 May;53(5):372-6. doi: 10.5414/CP202227.
Glutamine supplementation and immune function during heavy load training.Song QH, Xu RM, Zhang QH, Shen GQ, Ma M, Zhao XP, Guo YH, Wang Y.
Song QH. (n.d.). Retrieved August 23, 2015.

3.) Smith, G., Atherton, P., Reeds, D., Mohammed, B., Rankin, D., Rennie, M., & Mittendorfer, B. (2011). Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids augment the muscle protein anabolic response to hyperinsulinaemia–hyperaminoacidaemia in healthy young and middle-aged men and women. Clin. Sci. Clinical Science, 267-278.

4.) Smith, G., Atherton, P., Reeds, D., Mohammed, B., Rankin, D., Rennie, M., & Mittendorfer, B. (2010). Dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis in older adults: A randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 402-412.

5.) Curcumin – Scientific Review on Usage, Dosage, Side Effects. (n.d.). Retrieved August 23, 2015.

6.) Fahey, T.D. (1998). Adaptation to exercise: progressive resistance exercise. In: Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine and Science, T.D.Fahey (Editor). Internet Society for Sport Science: http://sportsci.org. 7 March 1998.

HUMANOGEN!

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