This procedure presents a bodybuilding program which is designed to measure and maximize Power production. While most programs focus on either Strength or Hypertrophy, the RIP (Records in Power) Program seeks a balance. A spreadsheet that calculates the power produced by each exercise is available via the Research Offers page.
2.0 Scope & Application
I believe this program is optimal for training of athletic power production. Athletes in most sports are not concerned with raw strength or in hypertrophy (ie. “looks”). Rather it is the production of power that is of utmost importance. Few programs directly address this need. Therefore this program may be suitable for individual athletes or sports teams. The collection of power data for each lift may naturally lead to competition among the athletes.
The combination of load, intensity, and velocity determine muscular power.
Power (muscular) = (Load)*(Intensity)*(Velocity)
Load = Weight lifted
Intensity = Load/Body Weight;
Velocity = Reps/minute
Thus, Power = Load* (Load/Body Weight) * (Reps/minute)
It is this equation which should be measured, and maximized over the course of the training program. ‘Load’ appears twice in the Power equation, displaying the importance of raw strength as a measure of power. Utilizing Body Weight in the Intensity equation allows a fairer comparison between the athletes. Reps per minute provides a simple way to measure the speed of movement (velocity).
Records in Power (RIP) is a timed program. 21 minutes for the major lifts, 13 minutes for assistance exercises. The number of reps completed within the 21 or 13 minute period is recorded, and the above formula is utilized to calculate the power produced. The athlete varies the load each successive workout in an effort to maximize power. Power is a function of the load (weight lifted) and the number of reps the athlete is capable of performing within the 21/13 minute period.
A three-day per week template using the following exercises is suggested. Athletes should focus on large compound exercises. Eight (8) basic movements are incorporated in the following manner:
Body Part Suggested Exercise Variations Time
Chest Bench Press Flat/Incline 21 min.
Biceps Bicep Curl Barbell/EZ – Bar 13 min.
Legs Squat Back/Front 21 min.
Abs/Core various various 13 min.
Shoulders Overhead Press Front/Back 21 min.
Calves Bent-over Rows na 13 min.
Legs Deadlift na 21 min.
Triceps Skullcrushers na 13 min.
Back Bent-over BB Row na 21 min
Abs/Core various na 13 min.
Cycling the workouts properly will allow each of the major exercises to alternately be performed first in the workout, when the athlete is well rested. The following 5 week cycle is suggested:
Monday: Workout A/B
Wednesday: Workout C/D
Friday: Workout E/A
|Week 4Monday: Workout D/E
Wednesday: Workout A/B
Friday: Workout C/D
Monday: Workout B/C
Wednesday: Workout D/E
Friday: Workout A/B
Monday: Workout E/A
Wednesday: Workout B/C
Friday: Workout D/E
Monday: Workout C/D
Wednesday: Workout E/A
Friday: Workout B/C
The goal of the R.I.P. program is to continually maximize the power output that the athlete is capable of producing for each exercise. This is not a typical ‘progressive overload’ program, with small gradual increases in weight over time. The truth is that the growing muscle doesn’t respond to “5 sets of 5 reps”; it responds and adapts to an increase in workload placed on it and expected of it. According to Pavel Tsatouline in Beyond Bodybuilding, it’s better to have erratic poundages (215, 230, 225, 210, 235) instead of gradient poundages (210, 215, 225, 230, 235) over the course of a power cycle. To quote Tsatouline “Many Western proponents of periodization are under the impression that the load should change ever so gradually. While this may often be true for the overall, months long, pattern, taking baby steps in workouts and microcycles, or training weeks, and playing with quarter pound Malibu Ken and Barbie plates is far from being your best choice. Instead of increasing your bench numbers – within one workout or in consecutive sessions – in a linear fashion, eg. 225-230-235-240-245-250, try something wild, say 225-240-215-235-220-250. The overall pattern of increasing the intensity is still observed, but irregular jumps back and forth will bring you to your goal faster than pussyfooting towards it. Do the same step gig with the volume, or the total number of reps in your muscle building session.” As further explained by Professor Arkady Vorobyev: ‘Although not excluding the principle of gradual overload, we propose sudden changes in load – “jumps” that are tailored to the given athlete’s functional abilities. This principle of organizing the training loads allows one to achieve higher results with a smaller loading volume.”
Here’s an image of the program in progress (click on image to enlarge):
The athlete may vary the number of sets, reps per set, and rest period between sets as he/she sees fit in order to increase the total reps (and thus total Power) in the timed workout. This program will lead to a ‘Rest-Pause’ type of lifting, with shorter rest periods (30 seconds to 1.5 minutes) between sets. It is generally beneficial to not go to failure on each set, rather leave a rep or two “in the tank” so you can be more productive for the entire 21 or 13 minutes.
The next time the athlete repeats an exercise, he/she must decide on the load to use. Reviewing the history of the exercise will aid in knowing whether to increase or decrease the load. These are the ‘irregular jumps’ which will bring you to the goal of maximizing the power your body is capable of producing.
A calculator is necessary to determine the power produced by the athlete during the exercise. The equation again is simply,
Power = [(Load)*(Load/Body Wt.)*(# Reps)] / (minutes)
An excel spreadsheet for completing this program is available via the Research Offers page. The spreadsheet solves the Power equation above.
(click on image to enlarge):
Additional capability provided by the spreadsheet includes:
1) a chart to calculate the Loaded barbell weight; the user can input their own gym plate poundages initially, then use the chart to quickly look up the total weight.
2) a One-Rep Max calculator; and
3) a Strength Standards chart for Bench, Squat and Deadlift.
(click on images to enlarge)
5.0 Exclusions & Limitations
Because this program demands up to 21 minutes of concentrated work on the major lifts, it may be difficult to perform in a crowded public gym where equipment is expected to be shared. Private gyms, athletic facilities, and home-based gyms are ideal.
Consult a Physician before beginning any exercise regimen.
My equation for muscular power results primarily from deductive reasoning as well as research on the bodybuilding force-velocity curve.
Although Cross-fit was not a direct inspiration or reference, there is a similarity as both are timed programs.
Initial inspiration for the 8 lifts: Anthony Mychal ” 8 Essential Exercises for the X Physique”
www.ExRx.net – Lifting descriptions and techniques
Inspiration for Rest-Pause training, ie. short rest periods (30-60 seconds) between sets: DC Training