Two Methods for Massive Strength Development

Fitness & Training Tips
By Dan

About Dan

I’m one of our resident Exercise Physiologists, and also an accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach, Personal Trainer and Level 1 Weightlifting Instructor. Outside of the gym, I tend to go in search of good food and great coffee. And yes, Dan’s Shoulder Stretch is mine.
There are many ways to proverbially “skin the cat.”
However, both these methods are targeted towards the long-term lifter
who’s prepared to train hard and train consistently. Simple in theory, time
tested and used by the best in the world.

Method 1: The Frequency Method

“If it’s important to you, do it often” – Dan John

The premise is simple. Train hard, but train within your limits, and repeat often. It is possible, with very good recovery and programming, to train the same lifts more than once a day.

Olympic lifters tend to favour this method for a couple of reasons. By training within your limits, you can maintain technique while building volume (and subsequently proficiency).

Secondly, by not “maxing out” each time you lift, you can train the same lift again much
sooner. An extreme (but very successful) example of this is the Bulgarian
Method, developed by Ivan Abadjiev.

Method 2: The Intensity Method

More favoured by powerlifters and bodybuilders. Basically, train a lift/muscle group to near-exhaustion, and then allow a long recovery period. The intensity method works better with less technical lifts (deadlifts and bench, for example.) The nice thing about this
method is it is time efficient and allows you to “go there” in a particular

The drawback is trying to train that particular lift before it’s fully recovered can lead to injury, overtraining and a decrease in performance. The recovery becomes the crucial factor in making continued progress.

What Works Best For You?

It will depend largely on:

– Your time availability (3x/wk vs. two-a-days)

– Your skill/strength level (beginner vs. advanced)

– Your goals (O-lifting vs. Powerlifting)

Try them both out. At the end of the day, you need to find what works best for you through trial and error.