The Apollo Challenge utilizes an undulating repetition scheme throughout the week to forge muscle and strength gains and further leverage the sports science concept of muscle confusion. Undulating means “wavy” and is best reflected in the chart above.
The intention of an undulating cycle is to vary the type of stress imposed on both your muscle and nervous system to capitalize on strength and muscle growth in shorter time windows. You really can gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously. You just have to put forth a very calculated effort as outlined in the Apollo Challenge Book.
Muscle Confusion is a commonly used yet often misunderstood fitness term. You can think of the “confusion” component as adding variety. Training variety places new or different stresses to your muscles so adaptations (growth in size and strength) occur on a regular basis. The concept is to challenge each energy system weekly for the ultimate effect. Creating variety in your training provides new stimulus for your muscles to adjust to and the effect is continued adaptations (growth) with the same movement.
Unfortunately, the variety offered in many “muscle confusion” protocols use an exorbitant amount of new exercises as an attempt to create new stimulus. While this certainly removes boredom it’s unlikely to measurably improve performance as the user is unable to optimally perform each exercise well enough to appropriately load it.
We’ve found that a variety in load (weight used) and amount (number of repetitions) in a limited scope of exercises over a limited period of time is superior to exercise variety. This method allows you to improve your technique throughout the four weeks of the Challenge so you may load with maximal weights by the conclusion of the Challenge. We’ve listed the most critical details to follow while implementing this technique:
- Resistance via precise weight selection “How Much”
- Repetition scheme “How Many”
- Speed in the form of tempo “How Long”
The key is to create specific and new challenges to your muscle so you may best use your body’s different energy systems to engage your muscles in a way that will provide continued strength and volume gains. Check out the following pages to understand how you will utilize these techniques throughout your 28-day challenge.
*Training variety places new or different stresses to your muscles so adaptations (growth in size and strength) occur on a regular basis. The concept is to challenge each energy system weekly for the ultimate effect.