After you have spent at least 6 weeks on hypertrophy, it is time to move on to strength.

In this phase, the emphasis is not on building muscle mass anymore, but on increasing pure strength. So this means lower reps, higher weight, long time between sets, and perfect form.

Number of reps: starting at 8 reps (closer to hypertrophy) with lower weight, then gradually decreasing the number of reps to 5 (closer to power) and increasing the weight.

Amount of weight: the last few reps of the last set should be very hard to complete, if not impossible. If you can finish the sets easily, then you’re not lifting heavy enough.

Rest between sets: 3-5 minutes if not supersetting, or about 2-3 minutes between each half of a superset. It’s important to be patient and respect the rest time between sets, especially as the weight increases. If you’re bored between sets, you can always do a bit of mobility work. For example, I like to do some front rack mobility ( when resting between front squat sets.

Frequency: at least 2 strength workouts per week (day 1 on Monday or Tuesday, and day 2 on Thursday or Friday). That’s in addition to your regular derby practices and other workouts you may do (cardio, speed skating, etc.)

Length of the program: 6 weeks – can do another strength phase after, with one week off in between

Choice of exercises: focused on either increasing the strength of the muscles used while skating or hitting/receiving hits, as well as counteracting the muscle imbalances created by the skating position and direction of play. Exercises to start learning the Olympic lifts are introduced in this phase, to start building the motor patterns and use the Olympic lifts in the power phase (after the strength phase). For example, the deadlift from the hypertrophy phase is now a snatch grip deadlift. There’s also a bit of shoulder work that will later help with the Olympic lifts (shoulder snatch and barbell shoulder press).

Form: spend time watching videos to learn the technique, and doing one or several warm-up sets without weight. If you’re not sure about your technique, it is well worth paying for a trainer to watch you the first few weeks.

To view the table directly in google docs, click here.

Strength day 1
Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8Week 9Week 10Primary muscles targetedNoteVideo
(recovery week)(recovery week)
Warm-upElliptical or rower5' average +2' fast5' average +2' fast5' average +2' fast5' average +2' fast5' average +2' fast5' average +2' fast5' average +2' fast5' average +2' fast5' average +2' fast5' average +2' fastNeeds to be a cardio activity that involves the upper body
Core & posterior chain engagement routineMid-back mobility1x101x121x141x141x161x161x181x181x201x20Back
Pelvic tilt single leg raises1x101x121x141x141x161x161x181x181x201x20Lower abs
Glute bridge & marches1x101x121x141x141x161x161x181x181x201x20Glutes
The founder30 seconds30 seconds30 seconds30 seconds30 seconds2x30 seconds2x30 seconds2x30 seconds2x30 seconds2x30 secondsBack
Superset 1Front squat3x84x84x74x72x64x64x54x55x52x5Quadriceps, glutesDo it in a rack and use the safety pins!
Barbell military press3x84x84x74x72x64x64x54x55x52x5Shoulders
Superset 2Pull ups3x84x84x74x72x64x64x54x55x52x5Lats, upper backCan be replaced by lats pull downs.
Leg curls (hamstrings)3x84x84x74x72x64x64x54x55x52x5HamstringsMachine may be seated leg curl or laying on belly
Superset 3Reverse fly w/ cables or seated low row3x84x84x74x72x64x64x54x55x52x5Upper back
Leg extension (quads)3x84x84x74x72x64x64x54x55x52x5Quadriceps
Superset 4Back extension3x103x123x143x143x163x163x183x183x203x20Lower back, glutes, hamstrings
Abs side3x103x123x143x143x163x163x183x183x203x20Abs
Superset 5Calf raises on leg press3x84x84x74x72x64x64x54x55x52x5Calves
Push-up or bench press3x20"4x20"4x35"4x40"4x45"4x50"4x1'4x1'5x1'2x1'PectoralsKeep spine neutral (squeeze butt and abs)
AbsAbs circuit12x(30"on/10"off)12x(30"on/10"off)12x(30"on/10"off)12x(30"on/10"off)12x(30"on/10"off)12x(30"on/10"off)12x(30"on/10"off)12x(30"on/10"off)12x(30"on/10"off)12x(30"on/10"off)AbsPick abs exercises you want. Always keep spine in neutral position.
Cool downElliptical, bike or run10' slow10' slow10' slow10' slow10' slow10' slow10' slow10' slow10' slow10' slowGet legs moving to flush out toxins. Low resistance, high frequency.
Foam roll + stretchMin. 15'Min. 15'Min. 15'Min. 15'Min. 15'Min. 15'Min. 15'Min. 15'Min. 15'Min. 15'The longer the better (I do up to 1 hour)

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