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    After chatting quite a bit with Damian Marsh and Luke Thornley over the weekend, I would like to give you some extra details in regards to the protocol I have named the The Marsh Protocol:

    First set or first week the choice is yours to make in regards to how you are going to structure your program

    4 x 6 – a straight set of 6 reps, I usually set the percentage at around 80% of 1RM if you have tested to that intensity recently if not a ball park figure is fine and by the end of the workout you will be fairly close to knowing the loading to use.

    Week 2 or second set

    4 x 3/3 – a complex of 3 reps with a 10 – 15 second pause between each grouping, this will allow you to lift at a higher percentage of your maximum, be a little conservative on the first time through but I would say that you will increase the loading by around 7.5%, another method I have used is a rule of thumb of 2.5kg per rep depending on the exercise.

    Week 3 or third set

    4 x 2/2/2 – a complex of 2 reps with an initial 10 – 15 seconds between group 1 and 2 and a 20 second rest between group 2 and 3

    Week 4 or fourth set

    4 x 1/1/1/1/1/1 – a complex of singles with an increasing rest period between each of the single reps, I really like an increase of 5 seconds per rep, starting at 10 seconds and increasing by 5 seconds after each rep till 30 seconds, these will be above 90% or actually even closer to 95% in most cases.

    An alternative is to use the Thornley Method, this could be done as a week 4 workout or for a few weeks on it’s own:

    4 x 3/2/1 – and either increasing the weight during each rest period and keeping the timed rest periods constant or my preference of increasing the weight and the rest time, I would also wave this as well, so the first set might look like this:

    Power Clean

    Set 1: 3 @ 85% rest 15 seconds then, 2 @ 90% rest 30 seconds then, 1 @ 95% then rest 2 – 3 minutes and repeat for teh next set but add weight to each set, progress like this for the four sets.

    I like this method on exercises that start from the ground, it is not to say you can not use it on your squats and bench but be very strict with your timings and allow time for setting up after taking the weight out of the rack, hope this can add some sting to your sets, cheers, ashley


    Ash, Just a quick question regarding the Marsh protocol just so I have it perfectly clear.

    If doing a 4×3/3 sequence am I correct in saying that you would do 1 rep with a 10-15 secs rest in between each rep until you have completed the total reps for that set?

    Think it is a very interesting idea and am keen to give it a go, just want to get it clear!

    Thanks mate


    Hi there no with that particular version you do 3 reps then take a 15 – 20 second rest and then do the next 3 reps, similar if you do a 4 x 2/2/2 you take a 20 second rest between each group of 2 reps, if you do the 4 x 1/1/1/1/1/1 then you would take a 15 second rest after each rep, I would then rest 2 – 3 minutes between sets, cheers, ash

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