The Hepburn Method : Increase Your Strength and Power

The Hepburn Workout

This is my interpretation of Hepburn’s famous A workout. He had three workouts that he used in rotation; A, B and C, which all followed very similar principles. In my humble opinion, this workout is the best of the three for the majority of regular strength trainers.

Firstly, you need to know your 1RM or one repetition maximum for the four key lifts. You can do this by performing a true 1RM test, using one of the many online calculators or performing the estimated 1RM test detailed below…

Perform 5 easy repetitions of the exercise you want to test. Rest three to five minute, add some weight and then perform another slightly more challenging five reps. Continue this process until you are unable to complete five reps. As the weight gets heavier, start using longer recoveries to ensure you can give your all to each set. When you can no longer perform five reps, make a note of the weight and perform the following calculation.

Weight x reps x 0.0333 + weight = estimated 1RM

So, if you managed four reps of 50kgs, your estimated 1RM would be 56.6kg (50kg x 4 x 0.0333 = 6.66 + 50 = 56.6kg).  Do this for each of the following lifts:

  • Squat
  • Bench press
  • Deadlift
  • Standing overhead barbell press

Needless to say, any maximal testing requires a good spotter as you’ll be working very close to muscular failure. Warm up appropriately and remember that heavy strength training is not without risks. Always use caution and your best judgement to minimize your risk of injury.

I suggest testing one exercise per day during the week before you intend to start the program. Then workout 80% and 60% of each of your 1RMs. Write them into the chart below:

Exercise 1RM 80% 60%
Squats
Bench Press
Deadlift
Overhead Press

Round your weights up or down to the nearest 2.0 kg or whatever the lowest weight it in your gym.


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