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Old 08-03-2011, 05:58 PM   #1
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Hepburn method criticism

ok here is a simple hepburn program layout would like some feedback as far as days per week also does the heburn method combine well with conditioning work/metcons?

workout a
squat 4-10 singles
bench 4-10 singles
chins 5xF

workout b
deadlift 4-10 singles
OHP 4-10 singles
decline situps 5xF

could these be rotated on 3 or 4 day setups or would maybe just 2 days be better ??????

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Old 08-03-2011, 06:05 PM   #2
Oh yeah!
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Here's the relevant post but there's also other good information in that thread.

Originally Posted by MeatPlow View Post
See my log. My training is Doug Hepburn based and I don't think I'll really use anything else again for any long period of time. I am using a method a guy called Twiceborn over at t-nation says he got from Doug Hepburn back in the 90s. He says Doug had sort of changed his recommendations at that stage by seperating the power and pump phases as it would lead to overtraining for many. Here are some of the posts by Twiceborn...its good reading, and you can see my log here also to see it at work.

Here is the original thread link: | Hepburn Solution for Strength and Power

If you don't want to read it, here is the important points from Twiceborn:

"One thing Doug changed later in his life is that you DO NOT do the Power and Pump programs together in the same workout.
He felt the Pump program was overkill and probably did him more harm than good. 8 sets of 90% singles followed by a full 5x5 would kill any of us.

His refined training which he advised when older and wiser (in the late 90's before his death) went like this:

"A Routine" - Use Singles, start with 4 total and build up one rep per workout until you hit 10. (4 to 10 reps with 90%)
"B Routine" - Use triples and do the same progression. This was used when you went stale on the "A" routine, and was used until you were using the same weight for triples as you did for singles on "A" (12-30 reps with 75-80%)

You would do the "A" program until you went stale (and you WILL go stale, trust me) and then switch to the "B" routine for a few months. You don't pick and choose depending on the day,you use them in order, A/B/A/B... Doug thought the average guy could go 4 months on each before having to switch to the other program. THIS, he said, was the key to continued gains.

If using the "old style" workouts, you ALWAYS add the single reps to the FIRST sets until you hit the goal. For example:

5/4/3/3/3... and so on...

He said you should always do the added reps as soon as possible in the workout to maintain your energy. Don't add them at the end until its time to.

And not to be a jerk to Mike Mahler, but Doug would never superset (ie: A1/A2). He mentioned that he thought the idea was silly and it took away from focus on the lift you're working on. He liked total focus and would meditate between lifts. He was a big believer in self-hypnosis / autosuggestion.

I have been using these programs solely for more than 7 years. For such simple programs, they work better than anything else if you have the patience not to rush them."

"To answer some questions:

I actually spoke to Doug several times back when I was an up-and-coming olympic lifter in the late 90's. He produced two full training videos showing him breaking strength records while he was 70 something years old. He strict pressed 205 ,one arm dumbell presses 110, and strict kurled 160 if my memory serves me correctly. He outlined his full training program and all the rationale behind them in those videos, which im lucky to have gotten from him before he passed.

He would use TWO exercises a day, split into upper and lower body. He would overhead press and bench press one day, and squat and kurl on the other. He used to shoot for two of the same workout in 8 days (one day on one day off) as his schedule and told me he had even better results at his age if he went one on two off.

He would progress from workout to workout. Always go to the gym seeking that ONE rep gain, no matter what. If you can do that you will ALWAYS progress!"

" As far as the pump sets go, he called them the "C" workout, and treated them separately.
At the end of his career he actually split up the two workouts "Power" and "Pump" and used them as I mentioned, one for a few months and the other for a few months.

First 3-4 months:
one set of 5 at 50%
60% x 1
70% x 1
80% x 1
4-10 singles @ 90% ("A Routine")

when you peak out and cant add any more weight...

Second 3-4 months:
one set of 5 at 50%
60% x 1
70% x 1
80% or thereabouts for 4-10 sets of 3 ("B Routine")


80% for 3/3/3/3/3 building to 5/5/5/5/5 ("C Routine")

I know its confusing because most of the online information shows him using the power and pump phases together in the same workout, but he advised me NOT to do that, and mentions the same in his videos.

He simply came to the conclusion that its too much work for most people (and himself once he rounded 50 years old...)

I have Thurston's bio of him and it also mentions using them together. I can only imagine he used old articles to piece together Doug's training.

Doug advised me to just focus on using a single rep routine "A" for everything strength related. It worked, and I managed to push my Clean and Jerk up from 140 to 170kg using the "A" routine alone.

For the past few years I have been focusing on cycling the "A" and "B" routines together and managed to push my bench up to 480 starting on the bottom(started at 280 after a layoff)and my squat up to 660 from the bottom up.

I wanted to chime in when I saw this article because Doug helped me all those years ago, and I wanted to "say thanks" in a way. I really hope more of you guys give this a try, it will do wonders for you."

" Last thing and MOST IMPORTANTLY.

Doug never used percents, he realized some guys could do more than others at a certain percent.

If I mentioned percents I am sorry, I was just trying to illustrate.

He said to take 5 reps with a light weight to start. Then add weight and do a single, add again for another single and add yet again for the last single. This was the warm up. a set of 5 and 3-4 singles to get to your working weight.

The next single would be at your working weight, which was "heavy enough to strain with but not your max". This was not necessarily 90% but thats what it averages out to for me. YOU MAY BE DIFFERENT.

Use a weight you strain with but can get 4 singles, and build up to 10.

If you do the "B" routine, use a weight you can get 4 triples with and build it up the same way.

If you use the "C" routine, stay with 5 sets but start with 3's and build them up to 5's.

THE "C" (PUMP) ROUTINE IS JUST A SHORTENED VERSION OF THE "B" ROUTINE! Use it if you dont want to hang around for 10 sets, simple as that.

Basically, its the Westside "max effort method" without going to absolute failure. You can see it on Prilepin's table when he tells you to do 4-10 sets of 90%...

Some things never change but boy do they WORK!

Best of luck, guys!"

Na skorost! Zhostko! Davai! Tyanut! Vot tak vot!

"Men are going to die tonight, and I am gonna kill them."

Training Log:
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