Daily Archives: September 3, 2019

Just one answer there is not.

Do you seek answers or affirmations?
 
In regards to training there are many answers, ironically people will gloss over the ones that may be most optimal for their given context/situation/needs in favour of the ones they’d rather hear.
 
This is why you find the average gym goer lack progress.
 
Often they also champion the mantras of – “Well so long as people are happy, let them do as they please.”
 
You know, the overly idealistic view that while it might give you the warm & fuzzier feelings it doesn’t help you progress or become better.
 
Take rep schemes for example.
 
People dig through the literature from both the scientists and the lifters (imperial/anecdotal), find answers from both that are actually not too dissimilar and then they keep looking.
 
As a general note these are the collectively agreed upon ones:
 
Strength/Power: 1-5
Hypertrophy/Metabolic: 6-20
Endurance: 21+
 
Hey, I didn’t create these, it’s just what works.
 
Once people get a hold of the above though they think there must, there just must be a special combination for UNLIMITED GAINS.
 
Nope, there isn’t, sorry.
 
It sucks however that just is what it is.
 
4×25 can yield some size, strength and metabolic gains, in beginners and some very unique experienced athletes.
 
So could 10×10, or 2-3 waves of 20-15-10.
 
In all honesty the options are many, there is too much choice. It’s easy to see why people just want one answer to cover all the bases.
 
To be fair though, whatever rep range you spend the most time in will give you a slight bias in regards to the progress/gains you make.
 
Those who stay in the ❤ range are often pretty strong, and those that have size with it achieve this through a lot of sets, like seriously lots.
 
The people hitting sets of 15-20 often gain some decent size, a cracking lunge capacity and some good strength as well.
 
Obviously there will be limitations to staying in just one narrow rep range (unless you have an ultra specific reason to do so).
 
You will never be powerful using the 15-20 rep range all the time.
 
Much like you may never develop the metabolic endurance you could never going above 3 reps, that’s just how the body works.
 
Unless you potentially use complex, contract of conjugate programming methods, however that is another thread to pull on for another time.
 
Keeping in mind all of the above, this is where periodisation is a great tool.
 
Having blocks of training where you focus on one specific trait (hypertrophy, strength, power, endurance etc) can be quite useful.
 
^^ You may still keep multiple elements in blocks, it’s just the main focus that would change.
 
This means you can still have some max strength work in an endurance block (probably in the form of a 1lift ramp to a 2-4RM each session).
 
Again there are many many options and nuanced answers.
 
The biggest thing to understand is this though –
 
There’s no one perfect answer.
 
Nothing is set in stone, and even if it was, stones too, can lie.
 
Anyway, before we go here is a protocol I’ve used on myself and with clients in the past that works well for size, strength and work capacity.
 
2 week blocks of Acc (accumulation) or Int (intensification).
 
You’d train 3 days per week on the below, splitting the whole body across these three days for beginners and a divided protocol for stronger people.
 
Session A – Squat, Pull
Session B – DL, Press (DL variation in Acc, comp style in Int)
Session C – Carries, Press/Pull – Optional
 
Block 1 – Acc – 4×10
Block 2 – Int – 6×6-8
Block 3 – Acc – 4×10-15
Block 4 – Int – 7×5-7
Block 5 – Acc – 4×15
Block 6 – Int – 8×4-6
Block 7 – Acc – 4×15-20
Block 8 – Int – 9×3-5
Block 9 – Acc – 4×20
Block 10 – Int – 10×2-4
 
You’ll find this might seem odd on paper however it’s set up for people looking to achieve the classic ‘lean athletic look’ who dislike cardio and conventional training.
 
Hence why their work capacity and metabolic bits cam from building up to sets of 20, and the strength was above to stay dialled in with the lower rep work.
 
Stop looking for just one answer my friends because you won’t find it.
 
Simply take leaf out of Alice’s book and go down a rabbit hole for a spell (at least 6 weeks), you never know what treasures you might find.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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