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T NATION _ the High Performance Training Matrix

Jun 04, 2018



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  • 8/13/2019 T NATION _ the High Performance Training Matrix


    The High Performance Training Matrixby Dan Trink 8/06/2012

    Hard. Fast. Intense. Efficient.

    While those terms could be used to accurately describe my romantic prowess as a high

    school lad, they also describe High Performance Training (HPT), a style of training that's

    gained considerable popularity in the past few years largely due to the proliferation of Crossfit

    boxes and functional movement-based gyms.

    What The Heck, Exactly, Is It?

    It appears that the proponents of HPT may be onto something. If you've been following the

    Indigo Project, you'll notice that a lot of the techniques, implements, and training styles being

    used are also cornerstones of HPT.

    Indigo Project strength coach Christian Thibaudeau sums up the methodology behind the

    Indigo workouts and why you should seriously consider using high performance based


    "The new training system we're developing is based on maximizing body composition

    through high-performance training methods. By using explosive and high-tension work on a

    select few special exercises, we program the body for dramatic changes in muscle mass and


    "The use of the Olympic li fts, power holds, jumps, ring exercises, basic strength lifts, and our

    own type of Prowler work creates the fastest physique changes possible. Not only that, by

    focusing on performance, your nervous system is amped up all day which improves your

    mood, overall well-being, focus, and mental performance."

    Dramatic changes in muscle mass and leanness. The fastest physique changes possible.

    Improves mood, sense of well-being, focus and mental performance.

    Who wouldn't want to be on this program?

    Hold Your Horses, Skippy

    Major Strength16:31

    Dark Knight Rises Spoiler Edition16:30

    Brotherhood of Iron 15.016:29

    Need Help Shopping16:29

    A Sprinter and His Workouts16:28


    High Performance Training Matrix08/06/2012

    A Training Program For HormoneOptimization06/06/2012

    Carb Cycling For The Non-Counter05/24/2012

    Chris Shugart:

    nfl138: @brian, I am just used to putting them in between

    sets of squat or right after. Trying to take advantage of the

    post ac tivation potention

    briansays: for more jump oriented w orkouts though there

    are the extra sess ions in the last few pages of the HP

    Mass workouts

    briansays: @nfl.... there's benefit to putting jumps in almost

    an w here, for exam le before ou start a session to et

    Sign In| Sign Up

  • 8/13/2019 T NATION _ the High Performance Training Matrix


    It's tempting to jump up in front of your computer and yell "Sign me up, dammit. I'm ready for

    HPT." However, once you storm through the gym doors, you may encounter a few challenges.

    What if you aren't all that comfortable with the Olympic lifts and don't have a world-class coach

    on hand to coach your technique? Or maybe you're great at the O-lifts but your gym doesn'thave a Prowler. Maybe you have a great background on the rings from your high school

    gymnastics days but have never attempted a deadlift?

    And perhaps, most importantly, you're thinking, "This is all new to me and I don't really

    understand how to program this combination of exercises in a way that I don't kill myself."

    I'm here to help. In the table below is what I call The High Performance Training Matrix, a

    virtual take-out menu of exercises along with rep, set, and rest period recommendations that

    will allow you to create your own HPT program while working around any equipment or

    specific exercise limitations.

    But with that in mind, here's my list of "not gonna's." This program is not gonna give you a 900

    pound deadlift. It's not gonna get you ready for a body building show. It's not gonna fix your

    structural imbalances. If those are your goals you need to follow a program that follows acompletely different approach.

    What it isgonna do is deliver a high impact solution to increasing lean muscle mass and

    shedding body fat. And it's gonna be fun. "Holy crap, how did I survive that, where is the puke

    bucket" type of fun.

    Explaining The Matrix

    I recommend using this program anywhere from 2 to 5 days per week based on your training

    experience and recovery capabilities.

    Using the chart below select one exercise from column A. Complete all the reps and sets

    for that exercise for that week.


    Dan Trink is a strength coach, personaltrainer and nutritional consultant. He is thefounder of Trink Fitness and the Director ofTraining for Peak Performance in New YorkCity. You can find out more about Dan

  • 8/13/2019 T NATION _ the High Performance Training Matrix


    Next, select two exercises from column B1/B2 and alternate between those two exercises

    until you've completed the prescribed reps and sets.

    The same goes for C1/C2, where you'll alternate between exercises.

    Finish up with the conditioning work found in column D.

    You'll find all the recommended sets and reps for each week in the weekly periodization chart

    below. If you don't have certain pieces of equipment at your facility (such as a Prowler,

    medicine balls, or a rower), simply choose an exercise that uses dumbbells, a barbell, or a


    If your gym doesn't have dumbbells, barbells, or kettlebells, use a Total Gym. And if you order

    one today, Chuck Norris himself will kick in your front door and set the damn thing up for you.

    Nah, if barbells and dumbbells are in short supply you need to switch gyms. Seriously.

    Weekly Periodization

    Exercise Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4

    A 5 x 4 6 x 3 4 x 4 7 x 2

    B1/B2 4 x 6-8 5 x 4-6 3 x 8-10 6 x 3-4

    C1/C2 3 x 8-10 3 x 6-8 4 x 12-15 2 x 6-8

    D 3 sets 4 sets 3 sets 4 sets

    Exercise Selection


    Select 1


    Select 2


    Select 2


    Select 1

    Power Clean Traditional


    Romanian Deadli ft 25 Kettlebell Swings

    Power Snatch (Weighted) Pull


    Seated Overhead DB


    250m Row

    Clean Pull/Jump


    Front Squat Single-Arm DB Row 100m Sprint

    Snatch Pull Back Squat Lunge (Forward, Reverseor Walking)

    50m Prowler Drive

    Sandbag Clean Military Press Seated Cable Row 40m Rope Pull

    Overhead Medicine

    Ball Throw

    Barbell Bench


    DB Bench Press (flat or


    50m Farmers Walk

    Kettlebell Clean and




    Ring Muscle-Ups 45 sec. Bike Sprints

    Kettlebell Snatch Bent-over

    Barbell Row

    Split Squat 20 sec. Battling Rope


    Box Jump Sumo Deadlift Step-Ups 10 Tire Flips

    Program Notes

    The intent during the concentric portion of each lift is to be fast/explosive, particularly for the

    exercises in Column "A."

    There are no rest interval prescriptions for this program. You should attempt the next set as

    soon as you feel capable of performing the set well without a drop-off in performance.

    That said, you'll likely have to rest longer in between sets of the exercises in columns "A"

    and "B" as they focus on explosive power and strength.

    For both "B1/B2" and "C1/C2" I highly recommend alternating between upper body and

    lower body movements within each workout and getting an equal amount of pushing

    movements (i.e. squats, military press, bench press) and pulling movements (i.e. pull up,

    deadlifts, rows) during your week.

    Obviously loads will vary based on the number of reps per set.

    You can either set your exercise selection to be static from week to week (i .e. every

    Monday is A) Power Clean, B1/B2) Front Squat, Bent-over Row, etc.) or you can change up

    the movements each time you train.

  • 8/13/2019 T NATION _ the High Performance Training Matrix


    I recommend keeping a detailed training log during this (and really, every) phase of

    training. With so much variety, it's good to have a record of your lifts so you have an idea of

    how to load the bar the next time that exercise appears in your program.

    What's It All Look Like?

    Here are two sample workouts constructed from the Matrix. Workout A assumes that you're

    training in a fully tricked-out performance-based training facility. Workout B would better suit

    those who train in a more conventional gym or health club setting.

    Workout A: Performance Training Facility

    Sample Week 2

    Foam Rolling

    Dynamic Warm-Up/Movement Prep

    Exercise Sets Reps

    A Kettlebell Clean and Press 6 3

    B1 Sumo Deadlift 5 4-6

    B2 Barbell Bench Press 5 4-6

    C1 Split Squat 3 6-8

    C2 Ring Muscle Ups 3 6-8/side

    D 50m Prowler Drive 4

    Note:Rest between sets is as much/little as needed

    Workout B: Conventional Commercial Gym

    Sample Week 4

    Foam Rolling (if possible)

    Dynamic Warm-up/Movement Prep

    Exercise Sets Reps

    A Clean Pulls 7 2

    B1 Front Squat 6 3-4

    B2 Weighted Pull-Up 6 3-4

    C1 Step-Ups 2 6-8/side

    C2 Seated Overhead DB Press 2 6-8

    D 100m Sprint 4

    Note:Rest between sets is as much/little as needed

    A Note on Nutrition And Recovery

  • 8/13/2019 T NATION _ the High Performance Training Matrix


    Svia mi se

    Just like any other program, your nutrition strategy should be based on your speci fic goals.

    However, as you can see from the samples above, these workouts are very demanding.

    Proper peri-workout nutrition is a must, and you'd be best served by adopting one of the

    Anaconda Protocols. With these, every last ounce of guesswork has been removed from the

    equation you just add water and make the best possible gains. For help with the rest of your

    diet check out my article Carb Cycling For The Non-Counter.

    Given the variety of movements possible from one training session to the next, this program

    is ideal for those more aggressive with their training schedule. Still, if you're going to push

    your limits 4-5 times per week, your sleep and other recovery techniques best be on point.

    Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night, include massage or other soft-tissue work as often

    as possible, and make sure you're supplementing your nutrient intake with fish oiland extra


    Wrapping It Up In a Pretty Bow

    The key to the High Performance Training Matrix is that it combines serious "bang for your

    buck" movements with appropriate set and rep schemes while also providing plenty of

    variety. That's what makes it effective, fun, and relatively low risk.

    Now get after it, train hard, and prepare for some of the best changes in muscle mass,

    leanness, and focus you've ever experienced.

    PUBLISHED 08-06-12 15:52


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    spoony02: Love the program format! Two questions: Is week 4 a deload? Do you suggest

    using a constant weight for the sets or ramping up to a final heavy set?08-06-2012 17:46

    korey.washington: great article. i will be bookmarking this.

    08-06-2012 18:46

    tareila: Such an awesome article. I'll be coming back to this for sure. I'll be interested to your

    response to spoony's question... I'm imagining a combo of ramping weeks 1-3 and then 7x2