Phase 1 – Strength Endurance/Hypertrophy

The group training program at Momentum is organised in a way to help you achieve your strength and conditioning goals. Each 12 week cycle is organised into specific blocks following the principles of periodisation. Periodisation is a concept used to organise training variables such as volume, sets and reps, intensity, rest periods, and loads, in order to derive specific adaptations and outcomes. Each 12 week cycle includes multiple weeks of strength endurance focus, power focus, and a strength focused programming, before testing week in Week 13.

The strength endurance phase focuses on building the foundations in our strength and conditioning abilities, to then be realised within our power, strength, and testing blocks over the following months.

These foundations in strength and conditioning we will build include:

  1. Increased muscle mass and improved muscle function; more mass and larger muscles generally leads to a number of different muscular adaptations that improve the efficiency and ability to produce force, move better, work harder for longer and recover quicker
  2. Increased cardiovascular fitness; we will be taxing both the anaerobic and aerobic energy systems throughout the strength endurance phase
  3. Increased work capacity; with improved fitness we will be able to sustain higher work rates under load, and also less time to recover – both between sets, and between sessions.
  4. Improved skill and lifting technique; at lower relative loads, and higher volumes we also get a heap of opportunity to practice. This block is a great opportunity to work on our technique and learn new movements prior to increasing loads and intensity in the coming months.

During this phase training will include higher work volumes at lower intensities, with minimal rest periods…. So what does all this mean?

With strength training, volume is achieved through training frequency, sets, and reps.

The frequency at which you train is important – and why we encourage you to hit 3-4 training sessions a week. This allows us to spread the amount of work we program across multiple training days. With the strength endurance block, we break ‘work’ down into movements (squats, lunges, pull ups etc), as well as muscle groups (Quads, Biceps, Glutes), and aim to target these across multiple days, to accumulate enough volume to derive adaptations.
More acutely (within each session), we can manipulate volume through set and rep prescriptions. Within the strength endurance phase you’ll be performing movements for multiple sets (3-6), and higher repetitions (10-20). 

When discussing training intensity, we are generally referring to % of 1 rep max (1RM, load on the bar), or % of effort (like on a scale of 1 being very easy, to 10 being maximal effort). During the strength endurance phase, because we are performing so much volume and working in relatively high rep ranges, most compound lifts will be programmed around 50-60% of 1RM. And when we utilise the RPE scale, which stands for Rating of Perceived exertion, most of your work will be done at an RPE from 6-8, correlating with about 60% – 80% effort, or feeling like you could complete another 2-5 reps at the end of each set.

Rest periods will be kept relatively short during this block, around 60s or less. And a lot of your exercises will be programmed as super sets (2 exercises back to back), tri sets (3 back to back), or giant sets (4+ exercises back to back), in order to accumulate more volume, and decrease the rest period.

Because of these programming details, and the fact that we are building work capacity and muscle mass within the strength endurance phase, sessions may feel like they are challenging your cardiovascular system, as well as your strength. And with the higher volume you may get some delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) post workout. This block is going to set up our foundations of strength and conditioning to be realised within our power and strength focused blocks over the following months.