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Snapshot of Takeaway Points

  • The Anaconda protocol was developed by Tom Hibbert alongside Dr Peter Lundgren
  • If in doubt, strengthen the lower back
  • Protect yourself from injury and improve athletic performance with the Anaconda Protocol

 

Introduction

In Russian they’re referred to as a ‘set of poles’. In my gym it was christened a ‘Bagina’ by one of my coaches. Dr Peter Lundgren equates it to having an anaconda on either side of your spine. Whatever you call it, having erector spinae that pop out is a sure fire way to protect your lower back from injury whilst also giving you a platform from which to build a big deadlift and improve athletic performance. Talk about bang for your buck!

It’s been known as one of the tougher muscle fibres to hypertrophy but not when you apply the ‘Anaconda Protocol’. This program will safeguard you from lower back injuries but also improve athletic performance due to the contribution of the lower back to every movement pattern. This is due to the radiation effect of strengthening the lower back. When in doubt, strengthen the posterior chain!

 

The Program

Accumulation 1 (Weeks 1 & 2)
  • Monday: 10 x 10 on reverse hyper, 2010, 90-120 sec rest
  • Thursday: 10 x 10 on reverse hyper, 2010, 90-120 sec rest

*If you don’t have a reverse hyper change gyms. Or simply switch out for incline/flat back extension. If you don’t have those either then your gym isn’t a gym.

Intensification 1 (Weeks 3 & 4)
  • A) Leg Curl for 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps (Pick any foot position and tempo)
  • B) Snatch Grip Deadlift from 1-4” Deficit: 8,6,4,4,6,8, 5110, 180-240s rest

*By performing the leg curl first you will pre-fatigue the hamstrings ensuring your erector spinae work harder during the deadlift. The weight will be reduced because of this so be careful your lower back doesn’t resemble a cashew nut!

Accumulation 2 (Weeks 5 & 6)
  • Pre-Fatigue lower back giant sets on Monday & Thursday
  • Follow this link to see how to select exercises with some examples also included
Intensification 2 (Weeks 7 & 8)
  • A) Leg Curl for 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps (Pick any foot position and tempo)
  • B) Snatch Grip Deadlift from Floor: 7,5,3,3,5,7, 4110, 180-240s rest
Accumulation 3 (Weeks 9 & 10)
  • Monday: 10 x 6 on reverse hyper, 2012, 90-120 sec rest
  • Thursday: 10 x 6 on reverse hyper, 2012, 90-120 sec rest

*Utilise an isometric push if you have a training partner available. Here your training partner applies pressure during the two second isometric so you have to contract against his force instead of just pausing. The training partner will have to decrease the amount of force they apply as you move from repetition 1 to repetition 6.

Intensification 3 (Weeks 11 & 12)
  • A) Leg Curl for 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps (Pick any foot position and tempo)
  • B) Clean Grip Deadlift from Floor: 6,4,2,2,4,6, 3110, 180-240s rest

 

Conclusion

I must reiterate that you should not worry about decreased deadlift numbers during the 12 weeks. You are building a wide base of preparation which allows for a higher peak in the deadlift. Patience and smart programming always pays off in the long run. 4-6 weeks after the completion of the Anaconda Protocols if you peak the deadlift and squat you’ll see increased poundages.

Squats can be performed first or after in the accumulation phases and only after in the intensification phases. I wouldn’t recommend performing more than 3 sets of them.

For more methods and protocol check out the Winning Program Design templates where I upload such options that I’ve been working on and adding to since 2008.

 

Article written by: Tom Hibbert

Published on: 3/6/2019

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