Fortitude Training was created by Scott Stevenson and is all about testing and surpassing limits in the gym with fortitude and strength.
Stevenson devised the system after years of meticulous research on kinesiology and body mechanics.
While it can be a demanding training system it relies heavily on auto-regulation , leaving the decision to train all out or lighten loads up to how a lifter feels on a particular day.
Called a rigorous resistance program, each aspect of the system can be tailored to focus on packing on muscle mass or losing fat. In his e-book Fortitude Training, Stevenson offers advice on how to target different muscle groups with either basic training or what he calls a turbo version. Each has a different number of sets which can be loading, pumping or cluster sets also known as muscle rounds.
When he was writing the book Stevenson was heavily influenced by the Doggcrapp Training system developed by Dante Trudel and Leo Costa’s Titan Training.
Stevenson realised that he could push the limits in the gym but needed to deload after about 6 to 8 weeks for his body to recuperate from heavy training.
He then came up with Fortitude Training, which in a nutshell, is best described as combining a variety of stimuli such as heavy and light sets, cluster sets and various stretching techniques to spark muscle growth.
Stevenson combined the best of both worlds – accumulating volume and loading with cluster sets.
Loading sets are not all taken to failure and are typically within the 6 to 12 rep range.
He recommends when more reps are done with a lighter load (pump sets) to stimulate hypertrophy the sets should be taken to failure. These sets are typically performed in the 15 to 30 rep range.
Stevenson believes combining higher volume/low load with high intensity load/low volume sessions in the gym can be more effective than following a typical periodization model of keeping the rep ranges the same or decreasing reps as loads increase.
Fortitude Training varies loading schemes and exercise selection on a workout to workout basis:
- Loading sets performed heavy with 6 to 12 reps. Not all sets are taken to failure.
- Cluster sets consisting of 6 sets of 1 to 5 reps grouped together with brief rest intervals.
- Pump sets of 15 to 30 reps taken to failure depending on how a lifter feels.
- Stretching for flexibility and injury prevention.
Training muscle groups regularly will maintain elevated protein synthesis better than training them only once a week.
An example would be:
- Day 1: The entire body is trained with loading and pump sets.
- Day 2: Loading sets for upper body and pump sets for lower body.
- Day 3: Loading sets for lower body and pump sets for upper body.
- Day 4: Rest
- Day 5: Cluster sets for the entire body. A cluster set is grouped together (1 to 5 reps) and interspersed with short rest periods. This technique prolongs a set while adding training volume to a split. A cluster set was called a rest-pause set by Mike Mentzer and effectively recycled by Dante Trudel with DC training.
If you need a break from your regular training split give Fortitude Training a try.