An Intermediate Program That Works: DUP

So you’ve mastered your fundamentals.

You’re comfortable with the push-up.

You eat deadlifts for breakfast, and you are pretty much the squat King (or Queen.).

While this may be good, you’re finding that you need some more variety.

Which brings to this intermediate program that works for people like you who:

  • have some training under their belt, including some appreciable strength
  • train at least 2 to 3 times a week
  • have a shorter attention span than a caffeinated squirrel and need to have some variety before they spontaneously combust.

You may also be frustrated or bored with your training. If you have to look at the same bland program with the same five exercises, you’re going to lose it on the poor unsuspecting elderly lady leisurely walking on the treadmill a few feet away.

I hear you, my friend. As someone who suffers from SOS (shiny object syndrome), I know what it’s like to lose interest in my workouts because it didn’t keep my attention.

Going through the motions… but never really getting any better. Sound familiar?

Not only are you bored, but have you ever had a day like this?

When taking your dog out to do his bidness, you had to sprint to catch him because he snuck under the fence for the third time today. Giving you a heart attack not only because you were nervous he would run out on the street, but also because you realized you were gasping for air!

Later that afternoon, you had to put your hockey gear away on the top shelf in your basement, while bringing out your golf clubs for the summer.

That evening, you need to carry your kids from the car to their bed because they are pretending to be asleep after seeing the movie as a family.

Life doesn’t happen in one gear. We have to let our training reflect this; meaning we need to utilize the effect of multiple rep ranges.

Thankfully for you, your sanity and your rapidly improving fitness I’ve got just what the doctor ordered. It’s called Daily Undulating Periodization.

Wait. What the heck is that and why does it sound like the name of a whales mating period?

Daily Undulating Periodization, or DUP as it’s commonly referred to, is a program based on changing the rep ranges and every single day.

Why? To put it simply, muscles get stronger and benefit from different rep ranges when training.

If you find that variety allows you to stay focused, then this program is one that you can look forward to.

To stay healthy, your body needs adequate variety. DUP looks to take advantage of that.

Thinking of it another way, if you’re building the frame of a house, you can pretty much get away with a few key tools (it’s a gross oversimplification, but you get my point). But as you get into more of the details, you will need more tools to finish the job.

Similar to our rep ranges.

Life doesn’t happen in one gear. We need to be able to go multiple speeds, and multiple strength.

To dive in a little bit more with why we use various rep ranges let’s take a look at the following:

1-3 Reps: Max power
3-5: Max Strength
6-12: Hypertrophy (increasing muscle size)
12+: Hypertrophy and Endurance

Once past the beginner stage, utilizing various rep ranges becomes very important.

DUP focuses on this. On your way to becoming the superhero you dream of for your kids, a single type of reps will never do.

Every workout will have a different rep range, allowing you to never feel bored of your program, while still knowing you’re going to get better at the sport you love.

Before we get any further, I must clarify: The rep ranges shown above are not exact. You can develop power with 8 reps, and you can develop muscle size with 3-5 Reps. These are just relative guidelines.

The reason this program benefits the athlete is you don’t just use one type of strength when training.

One minute, you need to explode towards the ball to steal it from a defender. Next minute, you need to have the strength to protect the ball as you wait for your teammates to get to an open spot.

Then, after you get rid of the ball, you start running to an open spot on the field

Another benefit to this program, is if you end up missing a day… No problem! Just pick up where you left off and keep carrying on.

So without any more jibber jabber, here is what a DUP program looks like sets and reps wise. You can end up using the same exercises as shown above.

Monday: MAX POWER: 3-5 Sets of 1-3 Reps

Wednesday: STRENGTH (muscle growth) FOCUS. 4 Sets of 6 Reps

Friday: Hypertrophy FOCUS. 3 Sets of 12 Reps. These will get you right in the sweet spot of muscle growth.

Using a variety of rep ranges means you’re going to get the most out of your training program, without getting lost in


BENCH PRESS: 3 Sets of 5
Back Squat: 3×5
Deadlift: 3×3
Pull-ups: 5×3

A: Single Leg Squat: 4×6/side
B: Romanian Deadlift 4×6
C: Single Arm Bottoms up KB Press 4×6/side
D: Inverted Rows 4×8

A1: Hip Thrust: 3×12
A2: Push-ups: 3×12

B1: Lunges: 3×12
B2: Single Arm Rows 3×12/side


Getting strong doesn’t need to make you so bored you want to watch paint dry. Use DUP to improve your fitness, increase your strength, and stay engaged with your training.