Danger is everywhere; even the most friendly and safe places can create circumstances that will threaten your life. The danger is rarely obvious, but the potential for it is always there waiting, never resting, and neither should you. The best way to fight the danger is to be prepared for it. But how could you be constantly ready to deal with unseen and rapidly occurring dangers? Through high-frequency training.
What Is High Frequency Training?
The first person to make me aware of High Frequency Training (HFT) was neurophysiologist and author Chad Waterbury. HFT is a training protocol that requires you to work a particular muscle or exercise at least four times a week or more. It’s an effective way to build muscle and gain strength fast, and a highly underestimated way to build recovery speed and work capacity. My recent experimentation shows that HFT and bodyweight exercises are a perfect combination. Bodyweight exercises are less demanding on your spine than weights, allowing you to repeat some exercises far more frequently, in some cases, daily. But how is HFT related to survival?
Are You Ready for Action?
HFT forces your body to be ready for physical activity daily. Of course, it takes time to adapt to HFT and it can be strange to train through soreness (successfully), especially for guys and gals who believe in the common 48-72 hours-for-recovery dogma. With some bodyweight exercises you can (and should) train more frequently to get faster results, this frequency will help you build a body that is ready for action at any point. Who will be more prepared for a disaster: the guy who killed his legs yesterday and is now too sore to run, jump, or fight, or the guy who works his legs through a series of effective bodyweight exercises daily? In addition, bodyweight exercises are the most natural movements available, and will increase your ability to control your body, this will ensure that you will be ready to move fast in critical situations.
How to Set Up High Frequency Training
HFT programs can be your favorite way to train, or the most frustrating depending on how you set them up.
Step 1: Pick The Exercises
Pick the exercises you want to improve the most. For example, Handstand Push Ups, Pull Ups, Pistols, and Bridges require practice and multiple aspects of fitness, including strength, balance, conditioning, and agility.
Step 2: Choose Intensity & Volume
I suggest that you do no more than 20-25 reps per 6-7 rep max exercise as a general guideline. Ideally, it would be around 15 reps. Of course, it all depends on how close to failure you are working. I could easily perform 100-150 reps of pull ups per day working far from failure (my personal record is over 20 reps and I was performing sets of no more than 8-10 until I reached my total for the day). I also experimented with higher intensity.
Step 3: Repeat & Progress
The frequency of workouts should be at least 5-6 days a week. If you set everything up right, you should be able to add reps every day for calisthenic exercises. But don’t rush things; you won’t be able to do Diamond Handstand Push Ups overnight! It requires consistency, patience, and dedication. If you add reps or sets of an easier exercises and progress with every training session, then you’re doing everything right. If you perform the same amount of reps, don’t worry. Work a couple of days with that number and if it doesn’t improve, throw in a day of rest. If you still can’t perform at least the same amount of reps in the next workout, then throw in two days of rest between attempts.
In my experience, you can always up the intensity with pushing exercises, but be warned, do not get too carried away with high intensity, heavy pulling exercises. I’m talking about 1-Arm Chin Ups and Muscle Ups. If you go too fast, too soon, you risk developing elbow pain (totally unproductive from a survival standpoint). If you train for survival, injuries are your enemy. A good HFT and calisthenics mix will leave you with super mobile joints and tendons and ligaments of steel.
Calisthenics for Survival: High Frequency Training Workout #1
A: Planche Holds - 30 seconds
B: Handstand Push Ups - 15-20 reps
C: Pull Ups - 100 reps (All Day)
D: Pistols - 50 reps (Ladder Style)
E: Bridge Hold - Max
Calisthenics for Survival: High Frequency Training Workout #2
A: Front Lever Holds - 30 seconds
B: Push Ups - 100-200 reps (All Day)
C: L-Pull Ups - 10-15 reps
D: Glute-Ham Raise - 10-15 reps
E: Walking Lunge - Max
Calisthenics for Survival: High Frequency Training Workout #3
A: Floor L-Sit Holds - 30 seconds
B: Dips - 100-150 reps (All Day)
C: German Hang Pull Ups - 10-15reps
D: Explosive Lunges - 5-6 x 3 reps
This article was featured in the Dec/Jan 2011 Issue of the My Mad Methods Magazine. “High Frequency Training for Survival" was written by the Alex Zinchenko. Learn more about the My Mad Methods Magazine by Clicking Here
Alex Zinchenko is a personal strength trainer, strength athlete, fitness information provider, founder and owner of RoughStrength.com. The goal of Rough Strength is to provide fitness information and help other people in reaching their health and fitness goals rough. And by 'rough' I mean without any luxuries and conveniences. Pure raw strength is of course the number one priority. Find out more.
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