Doubling Strength – 6 Steps to Creating your own DUP Program
Daily undulating periodization training (DUP) has been shown in some literature to virtually double strength gains compared to traditional linear periodization (Rhea et al, 2002) (Prestes et al, 2009). This exactly what my wet dreams are made of…
You’d assume this research would echo in the ears of meat-heads around the world as soon as it was published! Though fast forward a decade later and… you still never hear about it.
I believe ignore DUP because they think it is too scientific, tricky, and just totally terrifying.
Therefore, in this post, a step by step guide for creating a personalized DUP program is outlined. I hope you find in extremely useful.
Step 1: What do you want achieve?
Action: Set a goal and make sure thats what you really want to achieve.
How do you know what road to follow when you don’t know where you’re going? Painfully cliche but totally true.
A large percentile of the “fitness population” do not know what they want, and my god is it clear to see. One day/week/month they want to train for health/functional training/crossfit/yoga/bodybuilding/athletics/powerlifting/running and sadly, this is all dictated by what is currently popular on YouTube, Forums or your friendship circle.
You never get any results from this goal hoping because A: you don’t really want it and B: you never stick at it long enough to get good at it.
Ask yourself what you really want; find this thing, write down some goals (keep them more specific than the example ones), put the work in and achieve them! Then you may think about trying a new challenge.
This is step 1.
Step 2: What exercises will get you there?
Action: What 3-4 exercises have the highest carry over to your goal.
For the majority of strength/size goals these exercises will be squat, bench press, dead-lift and another.
If your goal is specific to sports performance, you’ll pick 3-4 exercises with the highest carryover to your sport. For example, a basketball player may use the vertical jump and a martial artist could use chin ups.
You must ensure these exercises are easy to progress upon (you can measurably improve upon weight, time, power, distance etc)
Step 3: What cycle will you implement?
Action: Pick/create your cycle.
Here are some example DUP cycles you could implement. Take note that these are examples, just to give you a rough idea.
As I keep repeating, make it specific to yourself and you’re goal! Struggling to sprint fast enough in your sport? Increase speed days. Want to build muscle mass? Increase hypertrophy days. Feel that your strength is low? You get the point. They must also marry-up with the exercises you have chosen also, you can’t have a hypertrophy day for box jumps…
- Holistic: Strength day, Speed day, Hypertrophy day, Repeat
- Strength-speed: Speed day, Strength day, Strength day, Repeat
- Strength-hypertrophy: Strength day, Strength day, Hypertrophy day, Repeat (sarcomere hypertrophy increases strength)
- Endurance-strength Cycles: Endurance day, Strength day, Endurance day, Endurance day, Repeat (relative strength increases endurance)
Muscle Mass Cycles:
- Hypertrophy-strength: Hypertrophy day, Strength day, Hypertrophy day, Repeat (strength increases muscle mass)
- Hypertrophy & Strength: Hypertrophy day, Hypertrophy day, Strength day, Strength day, Repeat
Power Sports Cycles:
- Physicality: Speed day, Strength day, Hypertrophy day, Repeat
- Speed: Speed day, Strength day, Speed day, Repeat (strength increases speed)
- Rugby: Speed day, Strength day, Endurance day, Repeat
Feel free to shoot me a question if you’re not sure which DUP cycle would suit you best.
Step 4: What repetition scheme are you going to use?
Action: Pick a set/repetition protocol for each component of your cycle.
Pick a set/rep scheme for each of the components of your program (strength, hypertrophy, speed/power, strength). As you can see below, my example is implementing a strength-hypertrophy DUP cycle and has chosen the set/rep scheme to match.
Make sure they your rep/set scheme aligns with your goal, you can use fig 1 as a point of reference:
Step 5: How are you going to progress?
Action: Implement a linear progression model by increasing intensity or volume. You’ve almost completed your personalized program, tremendous. Now you need to program in your progressions, every program needs some sort of linear progression model built into it or you’ll be going nowhere fast, this will ensure you keep improving. There’s two ways you can approach this:
- Increase intensity (e.g. weight) after each cycle
- Increase volume (e.g. reps/sets) after each cycle
Strength and Hypertrophy DUP cycles can either increase weight or repetitions. Endurance DUP cycles could increase either but volume would be the expected progression to take. Speed would require increasing intensity. After each cycle make a smart choice about how much weight/repetitions you want to add onto your next DUP cycle, depending on what results you saw in the last.
Step 6: Let’s pull it all together
Action: Piecing it together.
Right, you should have it all down on paper – your goal, exercises, cycle, rep/set scheme and progression. Now all you need to do is pull it together, and put it into a weekly format:
1. Grab your main exercises and decide what day of the week you’re going to perform them on.
2. Put your chosen cycle in as follows, implementing the set/rep scheme intoyour weekly schedule. EVERYDAY OF THE WEEK HAS A DIFFERENT REPETITION SCHEME, this is the core of DUP which makes it stand out from the standard linear programs.
Final product of strength-hypertrophy cycle example:
Get in touch if you have any questions 🙂
- Rhea MR. (2002). A comparison of linear and daily undulating periodized programs with equated volume and intensity for strength. J Strength Cond Res. 16 (2), 250-5.
- Prestes J1, Frollini AB, de Lima C, Donatto FF, Foschini D, de Cássia Marqueti R, Figueira A Jr, Fleck SJ.. (2009). Comparison between linear and daily undulating periodized resistance training to increase strength.. J Strength Cond Res. 23 (9), 2437-42.