DUP & Its Application for Bodybuilders

DUP or Daily Undulating Periodization has been around for years. Sometimes called non-linear periodization, athletes and bodybuilders have had success utilizing this practice to grow bigger and stronger and it has research to back it. When you are a young bodybuilder it is easy to get caught up with the most popular programs that promise 21 inch arms and usually consist of 3 sets of 10 reps using multiple exercises per muscle group. I was guilty of it and know plenty of others who did the same thing. As a beginner you can make progress on just about anything, but as your training age increases, gains slow down and you need to continue to train hard but more importantly you need to train smart. That is where DUP comes into play. Traditional linear periodization calls for different phases where blocks of time are dedicated to hypertrophy, strength, and power. While research has shown this form of training works, a 12 week study done by Rhea et. Al. 2002 showed double the results in comparison using DUP in the same time frame. Therefore if your goal is to gain strength and size, keep reading!
The first step to designing any program is defining your goals and being honest with your strengths and weaknesses. Are you planning to compete in the next year? What area’s do you feel are lacking? Don’t be afraid to try something outside the box and go against the norms. This program will hit each body part more frequently, so if you are accustomed to training each body part once per week this may take some getting used. Depending on your current goals there are several ways you can program and structure your training plan. If you are in a pro-longed off-season, my suggestion would be to place an emphasis on strength and hypertrophy while taking advantage of the additional calories. In my opinion the best way to do this is to rotate between strength days and hypertrophy days while changing up rep and set schemes each workout. I have also found that you don’t always need to create programs based on a 7 day schedule. The example below is designed to be utilized over the course of 10 days. This allows you to hit each body part with more frequency and allows sufficient time to recover before your next strength or hypertrophy session.

Key Points:

Overload Principle: Overload is achieved by progressively placing more stress on the body then which it is accustomed. An example of this would be a bodybuilder who performs 3×3 reps at 225 pounds in the squat during the lower body strength day. The next time you perform this workout the goal should either be to increase weight with the same rep scheme, increase the amount of sets, or increase the amount of reps at the same weight. In a nutshell, you need to give your body a reason to grow and get stronger.
Use of percentages on compound movements: As a college strength coach working with close to 500 athletes, the best way for me to track progress individually is through the use of percentages. Before starting this program my suggestion is to get an estimated 1RM to use in the squat, bench and deadlift. This allows you to accurately measure your own progress and use weights appropriate to your current strength levels.

*Where you see the number 40/8, 50/5 etc. The first number stands for the % of your 1RM, the second number stands for the amount of reps. Therefore, if you have a 200lb bench max 40/8 would call for 80lbs for 8 reps.

Day 1: Strength Day (Lower Body)
Squat: 40/8, 50/5, 60/3, 70/3, 3×80/3
Leg Press: 4×5
Walking Lunges 3×5
Stiff Legged Deadlifts 3×6
Abs/Calves 3-4 sets x 6-8reps

Day 2: Strength Day (Upper Body)
Bench: 40/8, 50/5, 60/3, 70/3, 3×80/3
Standing Press: 4×5
DB Row 5×5
Shrugs 3×6

Day 3: Hypertrophy Day (Lower Body)
Leg Press: 4×8
Lying Leg Curls: 4×8
Stationary Lunges: 4×8
Leg Ext: 4×8
Hyperextensions: 4×8
Abs/Calves 3-4 sets x10-12 reps

Day 4: Off

Day 5: Hypertrophy Day (Upper body)
DB Bench: 4×8
Bent Rows: 4×8
Standing Overhead Press: 4×8
Dips: 4×8
Lat Pull Downs: 4×8
DB Curls paired w/ Lateral Raises paired w/ V-Bar Pushdowns 3×8

Day 6: Strength Day (Lower Body)
Deadlift: 45/8, 55/5, 65/5, 3×75/5
Front Squat: 4×6-8
Hamstring Curls: 4×6-8
Hack Squats: 3×6-8
Hyperextensions 3×10

Day 7: Strength Day (Upper body)
Incline Bench: 45/8, 55/5, 65/5, 3×75/5
Weighted Chin-Up: 4×6-8
Seated DB : 4×6-8
Hack Squats: 3×6-8
Hyperextensions: 3×10

Day 8: Off

Day 9: Hypertrophy Day (Upper Body)
Close grip bench: 3×12
Pull Ups: 3×12
Cable Fly’s: 3×15
T-Bar Rows: 3×12
DB Military: 3×12
E-Z Bar Curls pair w/ E-Z Bar skull crushers pair w/ DB Upright rows 3×12

Day 10: Hypertrophy Day (Lower)
Leg Extensions pair w/ Leg Curls 3×12-15
Squats: 4×10-12
DB Stiff legged deadlift 3×10-12
Leg Press: 3×10-12
Abs/Calves 3-4 sets x 15-20reps

George Greene is currently the Director of Strength and Conditioning at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. He has multiple years of experience working with elite athletes including Special Forces/Special Operations soldiers, The University of Massachusetts, and the University of Iowa. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning coach through the NSCA, ISSA, as well as a USAW Sports Performance Coach. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Exercise Science from Springfield College, and is currently finishing his Masters of Science in Health and Human Performance from Fort Hays State University. George received his natural pro card in 2010 and co-owns a fitness brand company with his Uncle and Cousins called Muscles on Porpoise.

  1. By DUP and it's application for Bodybuilders on May 15, 2015 at 2:15 pm

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