Today’s blog will explore The Delorme and Watkins Training System so you can confidently implement this with new and existing clients. In this 11 minute video, you’ll learn:
- What is a training system?
- What is a repetition maximum?
- Using Delorme and Watkins to find your 10RM
- The protocol for Delorme and Watkins
- How to use the D&W system with beginner and new clients
Watch the 11-minute video tutorial below, then test your knowledge with three mock questions.
Watch: What Is The Delorme And Watkins Training System?
What is a Training System?
A training system is a group of training variables that achieve a specific outcome. You can have Cardiovascular training systems that are used in cardio exercises, and Resistance training systems which are used in resistance training. This includes body weight, free weight, resistance machines and functional training.
There are hundreds of Resistance training systems, and 17 of these are explored in the Level 3 Personal Trainer syllabus, including Multiple Sets, Supersets, Circuits, Pyramids, Forced Reps and Negatives to name a few.
The Delorme and Watkins Training system is one of these systems and is named after thee researchers that initially made it.
What is a Repetition Maximum or RM?
RM is an abbreviation used to explain Repetition Maximum. This is when you complete the desired number of Repetitions in the set, but cannot do another repetition. It means that your last repetition is maximal effort, or “muscular overload”. Achieving full 100% RM is the target intensity for most training systems, as it is this overload that creates the largest adaptations.
For example, 10RM means you are lifting a weight which means you cannot physically do the 11th repetition. It is the maximum weight you can lift for 10 repetitions.
Finding someone’s 10RM, 12RM or 15RM is a great way to test and measure their muscular strength endurance. As you can compare the measurement in week 0 to the measurement in week 4 or week 8. This is great for setting strength improvement goals that have a clear and specific measurement.
Using Delorme and Watkins to find your 10RM
Delorme and Watkins is a great way to ascertain a client’s rep max, and can be used for any set rep range. We’ll use the example of 10RM for ease. However, you can use the Delorme and Watkins protocol to work out any rep max, including 1RM, 6RM, 12RM or even 20RM.
This makes it the perfect training system to use in the first week or two of working with any client.
The Benefits of the Delorme and Watkins Training System
The first two sets provide a warm-up and the client only experiences full overload on the third and final set. This makes it great for beginners or those that need a reduced volume of overload.
Should a client not fully reach overload on the third set, a fourth or fifth set can be included if necessary. However be warned, this makes it fatigueing, so you should try to aim to achieve the correct RM by the third set.
This training system serves as a great dynamic fitness test, it’s ideal for all abilities and perfect for beginners to experience overload safely.
The protocol for Delorme and Watkins
- Select the desired repetitions (no a Rep Range) eg. 10 repetitions
- SET 1) Predict load for 10 rep max
Lift 50% of the predicted load for 10 reps & rest for 90 seconds
- SET 2) Predict load for 10 rep max (this may change)
Lift 75% of the predicted load for 10 reps & rest for 90 seconds
- SET 3) Predict load for 10 rep max (this may change)
Lift 100% of the predicted load for 10 reps & rest for 90 seconds
Key things to note about the protocol,
- It is unlikely your “predicted load” will be the one that you end on, so make sure you ask great questions on the rest periods so you can tweak the loading.
- If your client is new to exercising with you, or you are new to training clients in general… it may take more sets to get it right. use you intuition here
- The aim is to find the Repetition Maximum, it doesn’t count if the client could have done another rep or two. Challenge your client and your questioning skills to get the official rep max.
How to use the D&W system with beginner and new clients
This is a great training system to put into the first week of your client’s exercise plan so you can get to grips with what load they may need for future exercises.
You could also include this in your consultation as a dynamic fitness test, pick a few simple compound exercises that can be used as a starting point. You might choose a Leg press, Chest Press and Seated Row to test muscular strength across the whole body.
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Test your knowledge with today’s planning mock questions:
[NOTE: The answers are below the 3rd question]
Q1: What is unique about the Delorme and Watkins training system?
A. The repetitions change on every set, and only one set is overload
B. The load changes on every set, and only one set is overload
C. The rest duration changes on every set and only one set is overload
D. The repetitions change on every set, and every set is overload
Q2: What is the biggest benefit of using the Delorme and Watkins protocol in a consultation?
A. To see if the client has good form
B. To compare health markers to normative data
C. To test for ROM in key joints
D. To test the load need for a repetition maximum
Q3: What occurs in the 2nd set of a Delorme and Watkins Training System?
A. 35% of the predicted load for 10 reps & rest for 90 seconds
B. 50% of the predicted load for 10 reps & rest for 90 seconds
C. 75% of the predicted load for 10 reps & rest for 90 seconds
D. 100% of the predicted load for 10 reps & rest for 90 seconds
Answers to the mock questions are :
Question 1= B, Question 2 = D, Question 3 = C
If you want more mock questions like this, then you can download more Free Mock Questions: DOWNLOAD NOW
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Hayley “What Is The Delorme And Watkins Training System?” Bergman
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