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    Registered User the iron addict's Avatar
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    A Common Mistake

    An EXTREMELY common mistake made by lifters across the globe is this one:

    Lifting is going well and lifts are going up—progress is fine. Then they have a few (sometime only one) bad workouts and think the sky is falling. Their solution? Change their routine—often to a totally different format. Why? Well, the routine quit working, anyone could tell that! Well, anyone would be wrong in a lot of cases. All that is happening a good percent of the time is the trainee is due for a deload, or cruise. As long as you haven’t been hammering the same exact format for an extended period of time, (as in same lifts, not rotation on lifts, same sets and reps) what you likely need is a week or two of deloading, not an entire new routine.

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    Thumbs up

    Very true and very much needed around here.
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    whats considered "an extended period of time?" i ran the 5x5 for 6 1/2 months with very few plateaus, and then recently it just completely stopped working. i lost about 20lbs off my bench in a week. Could it be that at about the same time i started rugby, and its interefering with my lifting?
    190 lbs
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    bump
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    Rather than changing bodybuilding workouts, take more rest days off. An off bodybuilding workout may represent a sign of overtraining. Therefore, if the bodybuilder takes a little time off, they come back strong.
    Best Workout Success,

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    Another great post by IA.

    Another common mistake, if I may add, that runs right along side IA's post, is that alot of people will run a program for a certain amount of weeks then just quit and go to something else. When they should have stuck to the program until gains stopped. Why stop when you could have kept gaining?
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    Originally Posted by Abbrevi8tor
    Another great post by IA.

    Another common mistake, if I may add, that runs right along side IA's post, is that alot of people will run a program for a certain amount of weeks then just quit and go to something else. When they should have stuck to the program until gains stopped. Why stop when you could have kept gaining?
    Because there's a lot of that "you gotta shock the muscles to keep your biceptz swole" mentally running around here.
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    another reason to do mentzer hit
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    Registered User John Prophet's Avatar
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    as in many of life's issues....there are two conflicting demands that must be simultaneously addressed

    1) variability
    2) specificity

    you have to vary things periodically because the body adapts.....but you also have to keep things specific enough for the body TO adapt to

    so of course the question is "how long before a change"? Different programs answer the question in different ways

    Sheiko programs pretty much keep the same few exercises but the load varies on every workout....every workout is different, each week is different, and there are different phases....a prep phase is followed by a competition phase....but the exercises themselves remain the same

    Westside answers the question in an opposite way from Sheiko....they change exercises every week...the load basically stays the same (max effort, working to a 1rm with approx 3-4 lifts above 90%)

    now for noobs, there isnt quite as great a demand for variability at first

    Westside changes exercises every week or at least every 3 weeks

    other programs may go for a 4 or 8 week mesocycle(s) before changing exercises

    but noobs can sometimes get away with using the same exercises and reps for months on end

    Zatsiorsky recommends that the exercises should remain the same thoughout the micro and mesocycle and that the variability be provided by changing the loads....and you can see that exact method in the Sheiko programs


    If I had, say, a powerlifting meet coming up in 16 weeks, I would probably approach it like this....first, split the 16 weeks into two 8 week mesocycles....then split each 8 weeks into two 4 week periods

    the first 8 weeks would use exercises other than the bench, squat, dead.....perhaps close grip bench, floor bench, illegal wide grips, dumbells, good mornings, sumo deads (or coventionals...whatever is opposite of your normal style), stiff legged deads, reverse hypers, ultra wide squats, box squats, leg press, leg extension (for knee balance), lunges etc

    I would choose exercises that specifically addressed perceived weak points.....the first 4 weeks would be focused on higher volume and gaining mass....(3 hard weeks, 4th week deload)....but of course some max effort work would be used as well as some speed work


    the second 4 weeks would use those same exercises but slightly less volume, slightly heavier weights...the overall volume would still be high

    also in this first 8 week period would be "non specific" exercises such as tricep extensions, leg curls

    in the first 8 weeks the overall load would be high and the sessions would be more frequent....at this time we are TRYING to build fatigue and induce some delayed training effect

    In the second 8 weeks we switch exercises and begin using the 3 "competition" exercises....we stop using "non specific" exercises as we try to more closely match exercises to the competition exercises....for instance we would no longer do tricep extensions....instead we might do rack lockouts for triceps since that more closely matches our bench press

    in essence we are "saving" the best exercises for the last 8 weeks...we are trying to max out the "specificity"

    the second 8 weeks would focus more on the max effort method and explosive speed and the mass work (repeated effort etc) would drop down to a maintenance level or drop out entirely

    In the second 8 weeks we are not trying to build up excess fatigue...instead we are focusing more on complete recovery between sessions...so the sessions are less frequent and the overall load is smaller, but more intense (more specific)......especially in the second 4 weeks we are trying to be fully recovered and we will taper down as the meet approaches to make sure that all of the gains from the delayed training effect is realized etc (delayed transformation etc)

    if one is to use recovery enhancing methods such as massage, acupuncture etc, they would be used in the second 8 weeks, esecially more as the meet approaches....they would generally not be used in the first 8 weeks because at that time we are TRYING to build fatigue and to use recovery "help" would be to interfere with the bodies reaction to the building fatigue etc


    you could say that the first 8 weeks is to train the muscles and other "support" mechanisms.....the second 8 weeks is to train the CNS for max output (max specificity/tuning etc)


    that is loosely how I would plan the training for a PL meet.....for a bodybuilding show (or the beach) it would be a little different because diet changes become important etc...but in general I think the mesocycles would be something like this

    1) strength/mass training aimed specifically at weight gain and mass gain focusing on myofibrillar hypertrophy...mainly compound exercises are used....also weak points are addressed......sarcoplasmic growth pretty much ignored at this point

    2) strength training still aimed at myofibrillar growth...but also now we begin to work in some isolation exercises and compounds aimed at sarcoplasmic growth

    3) the last phase would be shorter and just to "peak" the sarcoplasmic growth while doing a "maintenance" level of myofibrillar work

    naturally phase 3 would end at a show or a beach trip or photo shoot etc


    JP
    Last edited by John Prophet; 10-06-2006 at 12:49 PM.
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  11. #11
    Registered User chuckiechuck's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by John Prophet
    as in many of life's issues....there are two conflicting demands that must be simultaneously addressed

    1) variability
    2) specificity

    you have to vary things periodically because the body adapts.....but you also have to keep things specific enough for the body TO adapt to

    so of course the question is "how long before a change"? Different programs answer the question in different ways

    Sheiko programs pretty much keep the same few exercises but the load varies on every workout....every workout is different, each week is different, and there are different phases....a prep phase is followed by a competition phase....but the exercises themselves remain the same

    Westside answers the question in an opposite way from Sheiko....they change exercises every week...the load basically stays the same (max effort, working to a 1rm with approx 3-4 lifts above 90%)

    now for noobs, there isnt quite as great a demand for variability at first

    Westside changes exercises every week or at least every 3 weeks

    other programs may go for a 4 or 8 week mesocycle(s) before changing exercises

    but noobs can sometimes get away with using the same exercises and reps for months on end

    Zatsiorsky recommends that the exercises should remain the same thoughout the micro and mesocycle and that the variability be provided by changing the loads....and you can see that exact method in the Sheiko programs


    If I had, say, a powerlifting meet coming up in 16 weeks, I would probably approach it like this....first, split the 16 weeks into two 8 week mesocycles....then split each 8 weeks into two 4 week periods

    the first 8 weeks would use exercises other than the bench, squat, dead.....perhaps close grip bench, floor bench, illegal wide grips, dumbells, good mornings, sumo deads (or coventionals...whatever is opposite of your normal style), stiff legged deads, reverse hypers, ultra wide squats, box squats, leg press, leg extension (for knee balance), lunges etc

    I would choose exercises that specifically addressed perceived weak points.....the first 4 weeks would be focused on higher volume and gaining mass....(3 hard weeks, 4th week deload)....but of course some max effort work would be used as well as some speed work


    the second 4 weeks would use those same exercises but slightly less volume, slightly heavier weights...the overall volume would still be high

    also in this first 8 week period would be "non specific" exercises such as tricep extensions, leg curls

    in the first 8 weeks the overall load would be high and the sessions would be more frequent....at this time we are TRYING to build fatigue and induce some delayed training effect

    In the second 8 weeks we switch exercises and begin using the 3 "competition" exercises....we stop using "non specific" exercises as we try to more closely match exercises to the competition exercises....for instance we would no longer do tricep extensions....instead we might do rack lockouts for triceps since that more closely matches our bench press

    in essence we are "saving" the best exercises for the last 8 weeks...we are trying to max out the "specificity"

    the second 8 weeks would focus more on the max effort method and explosive speed and the mass work (repeated effort etc) would drop down to a maintenance level or drop out entirely

    In the second 8 weeks we are not trying to build up excess fatigue...instead we are focusing more on complete recovery between sessions...so the sessions are less frequent and the overall load is smaller, but more intense (more specific)......especially in the second 4 weeks we are trying to be fully recovered and we will taper down as the meet approaches to make sure that all of the gains from the delayed training effect is realized etc (delayed transformation etc)

    if one is to use recovery enhancing methods such as massage, acupuncture etc, they would be used in the second 8 weeks, esecially more as the meet approaches....they would generally not be used in the first 8 weeks because at that time we are TRYING to build fatigue and to use recovery "help" would be to interfere with the bodies reaction to the building fatigue etc


    you could say that the first 8 weeks is to train the muscles and other "support" mechanisms.....the second 8 weeks is to train the CNS for max output (max specificity/tuning etc)


    that is loosely how I would plan the training for a PL meet.....for a bodybuilding show (or the beach) it would be a little different because diet changes become important etc...but in general I think the mesocycles would be something like this

    1) strength/mass training aimed specifically at weight gain and mass gain focusing on myofibrillar hypertrophy...mainly compound exercises are used....also weak points are addressed......sarcoplasmic growth pretty much ignored at this point

    2) strength training still aimed at myofibrillar growth...but also now we begin to work in some isolation exercises and compounds aimed at sarcoplasmic growth

    3) the last phase would be shorter and just to "peak" the sarcoplasmic growth while doing a "maintenance" level of myofibrillar work

    naturally phase 3 would end at a show or a beach trip or photo shoot etc


    JP

    Nice post JP!

    I feel the same about changing movements. Especially when 2 weeks of an 8 week cycle will be deloading.

    I must say, i have seen my fastest gains using your advice. Fastest, i know, not proper english. You get the idea.
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    I think a lot of the problem stems from how impatient people are - they're constantly looking for that one 'perfect' program that'll guarantee the most possible amount of muscle growth and anything else is just a waste of their time. So even if they're getting results with a program they'll change it as soon as the promise of something better comes along....without realising that the two most important aspects of this whole bodybuilding 'thing' are consistency and time.
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    Originally Posted by chuckiechuck
    Nice post JP!

    I feel the same about changing movements. Especially when 2 weeks of an 8 week cycle will be deloading.

    I must say, i have seen my fastest gains using your advice. Fastest, i know, not proper english. You get the idea.
    thanks....like I said, thats what I would TRY...for all I know it may suck, lol...but its what I would try to do


    and yeah, watch that grammar....you know its correct to say "most fastest"

    I made the mistake before, when I had some decent strength built up at the end of last year...to TOTALLY switch over to more of a high vol/mass program....I was intending to build mass then switch back to powerlifting....turns out I lost a ton of strength and I am still not back to where I was......so I will never totally DROP the strength training again....I will try to always keep soem sort of max effort training in there

    of course as I type this I realize that I am not doing any ME stuff now!!!!! argggh....I am doing more of a "5 reps on compounds" type deal....so its still strength training but it aint MaxEffort training
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    Registered User the iron addict's Avatar
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    Great advice John!

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    Originally Posted by John Prophet
    thanks....like I said, thats what I would TRY...for all I know it may suck, lol...but its what I would try to do


    and yeah, watch that grammar....you know its correct to say "most fastest"

    I made the mistake before, when I had some decent strength built up at the end of last year...to TOTALLY switch over to more of a high vol/mass program....I was intending to build mass then switch back to powerlifting....turns out I lost a ton of strength and I am still not back to where I was......so I will never totally DROP the strength training again....I will try to always keep soem sort of max effort training in there

    of course as I type this I realize that I am not doing any ME stuff now!!!!! argggh....I am doing more of a "5 reps on compounds" type deal....so its still strength training but it aint MaxEffort training

    Would you consider the bb flat bench for ME?
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    another piece of wisdom...
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    Registered User the iron addict's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by chuckiechuck
    Would you consider the bb flat bench for ME?
    Barbell Bench press variations, squat variations, good morning variations, and good-morning variations are what is typically done for ME work.

    And in my opinion leaving ME work out of a schedule, even if you are purely a bodybuilder is a big mistake unless you are already as strong as you want to be.

    Iron Addict
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    Originally Posted by the iron addict
    unless you are already as strong as you want to be.
    *blinks*

    Does such a thing exist?

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    How does one destroy darkness? The answer dawned upon my mind, blinding in it's brilliance. To destroy darkness, one must simply expose it to the light.
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    Originally Posted by the iron addict
    Barbell Bench press variations, squat variations, good morning variations, and good-morning variations are what is typically done for ME work.

    And in my opinion leaving ME work out of a schedule, even if you are purely a bodybuilder is a big mistake unless you are already as strong as you want to be.

    Iron Addict

    Just to clarify, and thanks for your time btw (repped), is there a ME rep range? Or is it simply 3 reps? I was never clear on this, i always thought ME work was strict 3 reps.
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    Originally Posted by chuckiechuck
    Just to clarify, and thanks for your time btw (repped), is there a ME rep range? Or is it simply 3 reps? I was never clear on this, i always thought ME work was strict 3 reps.
    1 to 3 reps is max effort work. You should have to strain to get each rep. Like on a 5RM, the first rep or two are relatively easy.
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    Originally Posted by VikingMan
    1 to 3 reps is max effort work. You should have to strain to get each rep. Like on a 5RM, the first rep or two are relatively easy.

    Thanks viking. I have been using 5 reps lately, but if i want to see my goal, i may do some ME work from workout to workout.
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    Originally Posted by chuckiechuck
    Thanks viking. I have been using 5 reps lately, but if i want to see my goal, i may do some ME work from workout to workout.
    Nothing wrong with 5's. Though you'd get better pure strength development out of lower reps.
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    Originally Posted by VikingMan
    *blinks*

    Does such a thing exist?

    *blinks*
    Uh, no, not really, but some do get to the point (in bodybuilding) where it is secondary, and by that time they are generally quite huge and just working on "huger". And no, huger isn't a word but I still like using it.

    Iron Addict
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    Originally Posted by James.Unit
    I think a lot of the problem stems from how impatient people are - -------------------------- they'll change it as soon as the promise of something better comes along....
    yes....every 4 weeks...the day after the new Flex comes in the mail, hehe
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    the thing with max effort work.....you can burn out pretty quickly.....thats why Westside switches exercises every week.....they max EVERY week so they have to switch exercises to try to avoid burnout

    if you keep the same exercise(s) every week then you cant max out every week because you will simply burn out

    of course I am positive there are MANY ways, as yet unused, to approach ME work.......just thinking out loud here.....why not keep the main exercise, for instance bench in the 70-80% range, but then max on other closely related exercises which would alternate (floor press, rack press/board press, incline/decline)...sort of a westside approach, but keeping the 70-80% range where Sheiko programs do all of their work at....as a meet approaches the other exercises would drop out and the bench workouts would then increase in intensity (maxing out the specificity for the meet)

    of course youd have to watch the overall volume since you are hitting the 90% and above range AND the 70-80% range etc....but you could do them on different days

    I am sure there are MANY great approaches that no one has tried yet

    there is Sheiko on one extreme end (high volume, only a few exercises, rarely goes above 85%, average intensity 69-72%)....Westside on the other extreme end (constant maxing, lowish volume, many different exercises).......so in between there ought to be many more moderate approaches that will work just fine



    ok, I have to do it...a great quote I ran across yesterday


    "Only the general ideas underlying noteworthy training programs, not the entire training protocol, should be understood and creatively employed. The same holds true for average values derived from training practices and scientific research.

    Coaches and athletes need to use an average training routine cautiously. Only average athletes, those who are far from excellent, prepare with average methods. A champion is not average, but exceptional."

    Vladimir Zatsiorsky, "Science and Practice of Strength Training" pp11
    Last edited by John Prophet; 10-06-2006 at 07:04 PM.
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    Originally Posted by the iron addict
    Great advice John!

    Iron Addict
    thanks bro...good compliment coming from you

    by the way, I have joined your forum and I myself am doing a sort of hardgainer routine, lol....had to cut my volume due to adding some semi-physical labor.....am doing sort of a M,W,F...legs/back/biceps......chest/delt/tricep split...pretty cool the way it works out....byt the time the workout rolls around you are hungry for it
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    I saw you were there and welcomed you. Please show up and post often. You are most welcome there

    IA
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    thanks Wes

    I wish I got .05 cents commision every time I linked to your "How to Train Yourself"......if I got a nickel for that one and for Jack Reape's "Back off and Grow", I would have at least $14 by now
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    Haven't been to your site lately, I wonder if there are many good new thread

    I was shocked the first time I came there, very different then this forum :P

    Informative to say the least...
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    Originally Posted by John Prophet
    thanks Wes

    I wish I got .05 cents commision every time I linked to your "How to Train Yourself"......if I got a nickel for that one and for Jack Reape's "Back off and Grow", I would have at least $14 by now
    I need to update the "how to train yourself article, but it is still a good piece on how to check recover and what works for the individual.

    Iron Addict
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