AMP: Marc Megna's 8-Week Aesthetics Meets Performance Trainer, Training Overview

The AMP training program is made of four two-week phases that build upon each other to ensure constant improvement. Here are the training and cardio splits for each phase, how they differ, and why.

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The AMP training program is designed to help you reach multiple goals and diversify your fitness portfolio. The plan is structured to help you look, feel, and perform better than ever. Over the course of eight weeks, you'll get stronger, build muscle, boost your power, and improve your overall body composition.

The AMP program can be done in a simple gym with limited equipment. All you need are bars, benches, and dumbbells. You don't need any high-tech equipment or new-age lifts to deliver amplified results.

However, these overall results will only come if you make the decision to commit and stay consistent. If you can commit to a program like AMP, you can learn to be more consistent in life.

AMP Training Overview
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AMP Program Breakdown

The AMP program is broken down into four two-week phases. The phases are progressive and systematic, and build upon one another. They function as steps so you can build your strength, power, and aesthetics from phase to phase.

Phase One Function

The function phase will help you learn how to perform exercises properly and feel comfortable with each lift. The training split is relatively simple, but you'll learn how to perform a variety of movements, increase your overall conditioning, and develop your work capacity.

Phase One Split
  • Day 1: Full-Body Training
  • Day 2: Cardio
  • Day 3: Full-Body Training
  • Day 4: Cardio
  • Day 5: Full-Body Training
  • Day 6: Rest
  • Day 7: Rest

Phase Two Application

In the application phase, you'll increase the intensity of each exercise by adding more weight and developing more time under tension.

Phase Two Split
  • Day 1: Full-Body Training
  • Day 2: Cardio
  • Day 3: Full-Body Training
  • Day 4: Cardio
  • Day 5: Full-Body Training
  • Day 6: Cardio
  • Day 7: Rest
The function phase will help you learn how to perform exercises properly and feel comfortable with each lift.

Phase Three Strength

As the name suggests, this phase is all about building maximal strength and force production. During this phase, you'll bump up the weight even more and train with a few new techniques.

Phase Three Split
  • Day 1: Max Effort, Lower-Body Training
  • Day 2: Max Effort, Upper-Body Training
  • Day 3: Cardio
  • Day 4: Dynamic Effort, Lower-Body Training
  • Day 5: Dynamic Effort, Upper-Body Training
  • Day 6: Cardio

Phase Three Techniques

Max Effort Training: Lifting with a maximal load.
Dynamic Effort Training: Lifting with sub-maximal loads with speed.

Phase Four Power

In this phase, you'll learn how to increase power production in each lift. Not only are you going to see power and force production improvements, you're also going to see great body composition results.

Phase Four Split
  • Day 1: Max Effort, Lower-Body Training
  • Day 2: Max Effort, Upper-Body Training
  • Day 3: Cardio
  • Day 4: Dynamic Effort, Lower-Body Training
  • Day 5: Dynamic Effort, Upper-Body Training
  • Day 6: Cardio

Proper Exercise Form

The most important part of the AMP trainer is doing each lift properly and with control. When you come to a workout day and get ready to train, I suggest you review that day's prescribed exercises in the Bodybuilding.com Exercise Database before you actually do any lifting.

The Exercise Database will take you through each movement, step by step, with video and on-page instructions.

So, even if you come across an exercise you've never done, you'll know exactly how to perform it with excellent technique.

Weight Training Tips

The strength and power phases of the AMP trainer are built specifically to help you become stronger in compound lifts like the bench press, deadlift, and squat while you build lean, defined muscles with accessory moves like the biceps curl. During these two phases, your first lift of the day will be a compound lift.

On max effort days, you'll perform your compound lifts with near-maximal weight. On dynamic effort days, you'll perform your compound lifts with a lighter weight for the same reps. The trick on dynamic effort days, is to do those light lifts with speed. Speed work helps you increase the force of your lifts so you can build performance inside and outside the gym.

When it comes to accessory work, don't just rush through the movements. If you slow the reps down and lengthen the lowering and lifting portions of each lift, you'll increase your time under tension. Dealing with a load for an extended period of time under control will help you build more muscle than rapid-fire lifting.

Remember to check your ego at the door. I always tell my clients to understand what they're doing and why they're doing it. In the AMP trainer, you're not trying to become a world-class powerlifter. You need to push yourself, but total weight isn't the only objective.

AMP Cardio

Because the AMP program is about achieving multiple fitness goals, you don't want to do one type of cardio exclusively. Increase the work you're able to perform, be fast, and build your endurance. You'll be doing multiple types of cardio.

If you pay attention to the details of the cardio program and do each type of cardio, you'll optimally develop each of your energy systems. If your energy systems work better, you'll be able to perform more work for longer and perform better in whatever sport or activity you love to do.

In each phase, you'll concentrate on different types of cardio. Just like the resistance training in AMP, the cardio aspect of each phase builds progressively.

Here are the various types of cardio you'll do in each phase:

Phase One Cardio Output

Cardio output training is done by completing 35-40 minutes of steady-state cardio. I want you to increase your work capacity so you can be active for longer periods of time.

Phase Two Alactic-Aerobic Intervals and Cardio Power Intervals

Alactic interval sessions are short bursts of 5-15 seconds followed by 40-60 seconds of rest. Cardio power intervals are built on one- or two-minute work sessions at a sustainable effort with 2-5 minutes of rest.

Phase Three Lactate Threshold Intervals and Lactate Power Intervals

To train lactate power, you'll do sets of max effort, 20-second intervals, then rest until your heart rate is almost completely recovered. For lactate threshold training, you'll go for 4-6 minutes at a high intensity and then rest for 3-5 minutes.

Phase Four Lactate Capacity

The point of training your lactate capacity is to increase your time to exhaustion. You'll be expending a great deal of energy with this type of cardio, which will also boost fat loss. You'll do short work periods of shuttle runs, sled pulls, and high-intensity activity.

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