Tag Archives: training principles
Your body is a fascinating machine, capable of many wondrous things, yet you park it behind a desk and allow it to slowly rust into oblivion.
The sign of youth is the ability to run, jump, throw, climb, tumble and turn with ease.
All things I know a great many adults have already lost.
Now these are not even older adults either, they’re people in their 30’s, this is truly shocking.
To grow old chronologically is inevitable.
To grow old physically is optional.
You have the choice to train in such a way that keeps you not only feeling younger, moving like you did in your 20’s or perhaps even when you were a sprightly 18year old again, it can also knock 10 years of your physical appearance (often more).
How can you achieve this with Odd Training?
Easy, all you need to do is to run, jump, throw, climb, tumble and turn daily.
The gym is a temple to me, I love it and all things training related on a deeply personal level, however I’m not so blind as to see it’s limitations and dogma.
Much like the narrow minded view of the Jedi.
All of your training doesn’t need to be body building, or powerlifting, or weightlifting, or CrossFit, or Endurance Races and all other ilk that is just ‘common’ gym practice.
While they are all great tools, they’re just tools.
Plus they can become very dull very quickly.
Taking the above in hand here is an example of the Odd Training touched on, this is a 3 day apr week protocol –
Day 1 –
A1 – Sprint 200-400m (vary distance & RAMP pace) x20min
^ Include drills like leg skips, clawing the floor etc.
B1 – Kettlebell Singel Arm Swing x10
B2 – Tame the Arc Clean x5
B3 – Kettlebell Shot-put Throw x1
^ Rest 60sec, alternate arms each set for 20min
C1 – Movement Patterns – Crawling x20min
Day 2 –
A1 – Wall/Bound/Step Jumps (single or double leg) x20min
^ Start off with short distances, stick the landings and jump in multiple directions.
B1 – Sandbag Clean & Throw Over Shoulder x10 (5L/R)
B2 – Sandbag TGU x1 (L/R sides)
B3 – Rolling Pistol Squat x20 (10L/R)
^ Rest 2-3min, repeat for 20min
C1 – Climbing (anything you can find) x20min
Day 3 –
A1 – Hammer/Discus Throw x20min
^ Use a light load half turn/step, alternatively use a small plate, KB, med-ball etc, just keep it light (less than 4kg)
B1 – Clean x1
B2 – Push Press x3-5
B3 – Squat (front, back or overhead) x3-5
^ Keep rest to a minimum, use any kit you like (bar, KB, DB, sandbag, a person, etc), repeat for 20min
C1 – Tumbling x20min
^ Driving forward rolls, teddybear rolls, backward rolls, basically play like a child does, just take it easy and only do that which your body allows you, over time you can take this up a notch.
Looking at the above, how much of it do you do?
This training is not that which you’ll often see because people are scared of it because they’ve grown old mentally.
Think of it this way, if you can reach 70 years young and have absolutely no fear of falling over because it’s something you CHOOSE to do 2-3 days per week you’ll never be one of those people who says –
“I’ve had a fall.”
Dare to be different, age is as much a state of mind as it is degradation of your body, however it can only happen if you allow it.
Time to decide what is more important.
The Longevity & Health of the Young, or sitting on your ass growing old, weak and round.
You should investigate this thoroughly.
In the end though the choice is yours, just remember whatever you do choose to do start off slow with thing and build up over time.
The other day a little kettlebell hypertrophy/strength based protocol came to mind for the festive season.
It’s very much a bit of a quick peak kind of protocol.
Based on the classic M-L-H set up.
Main Movement – Double Kettlebell Front Squat.
Rep Goal – 100
This is where the magic can happen because we can play with either keeping the overall load within the 70-80% of RM range, or we can play with the loads while keeping reps consistent.
Option 1 – Static Load 40kg (heaviest bells at home)
H/Day – 10 Sets – aim form 10 reps per set – 2-4min rest
L/Day – 10 Sets – 40% of total reps from H/day – so if 50 reps achieved then 20 reps is the total (10×2, or 1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-3-2, broken down as you see fit)
M/Day – 10 Sets – 70% of total reps from H/day – rep breakdown can be as you see fit, however you don’t ideal want to miss or grind any (same goes for L/day).
^^ To make the L/M days more interesting if they feel easy, pauses in the hole can be added, rest can be reduced (to increase density/work capacity) and a focus on the RFD (rate of force development) can be thought of ala Dr Squat’s CAT (compensatory acceleration training).
H-L-M-L-M-L-H-L-M-L-M-L-H = roughly 4 weeks
^^ Based on 3 sessions per week.
Option 2 – 3 different loads
The rep goal is 100 each session.
H/Day – 40kgs
L/Day – 24kgs
M/Day – 32kgs
Set/Rep wise you may choose to do 10×10 (aiming for 10 res each set, however no grinding, this means you may not get all 10×10, so you build to this) for the heavy day, and sets of 10 for the light/medium days.
The can be up to you how you hit them, its simply about getting good quality reps in.
This came from the notion of doing more with less.
Limiting what we have on offer so we become creative.
I did this in the summer with my sandbags and found it way harder than I thought I would which gave me a rather nifty lesson.
^^ The strength I had was only useful in the gym (in specific movements), while not a terrible thing it was nice an humbling.
If we can’t transfer what we gain from the gym to real life, why did we invest so much time into it?
My current ponder ^^.
While this was floating around the old noggin it became apparent that the overall idea of having nice rep target and then improving the quality of the reps was very appealing.
You may be able to hit all the reps from day one, however our ever obsessive chasing of progression in the form of volume/intensity isn’t the only way we can progress.
We’ve also got density/work capacity (less rest/better efforts/form), technique improvements, more time under load/tension (adding in pauses or slowing down the tempo), the options are endless.
The above might not be relevant to you, however it was worth sharing.
What little ideas have you had float through your head that you applied in your training this year, and what was their result?
Incase you’re wandering the DKB-FS is surprisingly hard due to how it teaches you to stay tense and breath deeply.
While 80kg is way off my own personal BB-FS max (about 50%) there is the understanding it’s an entirely different animal that requires respect.
If you ever get the chance, give them a go.
^^ You can also apply this to various other lifts too.
– Training until momentary muscular failure
– Leaving 1-2 reps in the tank and doing more sets
– Not going anywhere near failure staying at <% set efforts
*Progress typically being strength, hypertrophy, performance related for the context of this post and those who asked.
In truth they’re all viable, in fact you’d probably do well to cycle through phases of doing each in a periodised fashion or you could link them all together in a holistic approach.
Honestly at the stage of lifting most people are at they just need to get their reps in for the most part.
Also before you say it might be dangerous that is only if form is bad, if for is good there’s no real issue.
Let us look at each of the above and see who we can optimally use them.
– Training until momentary muscular failure –
A lot of solid research has been conducted based on the idea that it’s the last few reps (we’ll say the last 2-5) that really give you that much needed hit of adaptive stimulus to grow and every prior rep was just there.
^^ This is relevant for each method in this post.
Now some people would then be lead to think that doing lower rep set would bypass this and go straight to the stimulus.
Fair enough, however it doesn’t work like that.
The above is based on the accumulation of fatigue in the formative reps (depletion of energy system reserves etc) and depending on the rep ranges you use will then link in to the gains you get.
6-20 being said as optimal for hypertrophy.
^^ You can use compound movements however I’d say stick with lifts that have a lower potential for injury until you’re what the books consider an experienced lifter (2 years of solid lifting 3+ times per week).
It’s easier to get close to that momentary failure being meaningful with reps at 8+ I’ve found, less while personally I enjoy is just not viable for people who are not experienced lifters.
While finding the right weight and reps can be a bit of a tricky element (downside), the massive benefit is that you’ll only need a few sets per movement (upside).
Next time you train try this: 3-4 x fail on accessory lifts.
– Leaving 1-2 reps in the tank (RPE work) –
Favoured by many a lifter and great for all movement be those compound, supplementary or isolation.
In short yo’d be going to the point where you feel a bit of a grind beginning to happen. It is at this point over time you’ll learn that you’ve only got 1-2 reps left.
One problem with this though is that people will stop short.
They think they’ve got 1-2 reps left when in reality it’s more like 6-10.
Yes I’m being serious.
The danger here is that people will be leaving gains on the table because for lack of a better term they’re being a little bit soft.
As such this is where in the beginner days having them utilise the ‘going until failure’ is useful (provided they have good form) because they won’t be lifting that heavy so it will be more viable.
Once they’ve learned their limits using more weight and stopping short of failure becomes useful because it then allows more total volume as going to failure with heavier loads causes more overall damage and need more recovery time.
I’m not sorry to say that heavy isn’t relative, heavy is heavy.
Regardless of if you personally feel you lifting say 70kg x5 is the same as someone lifting 250kg x5 it’s not, apples & oranges as they say.
Leaving 1-2 reps in the tank is a great way for the more experience and stronger people to progress because they can add more total volume and build up fatigue over multiple sets.
It means that say 4 of your 6 sets might be the ones that are just there and the last two sets that have reps that are money makers.
^^ All of this is linked in to RPE (rate of perceived exertion), so the next time you train after each set write down on a scale of 1-10 how hard the set was, most of yours will want to be 8/9 on the scale (look up Reactive Training Systems – Mike Tuscherer).
That bring us to the last one.
-Not going anywhere near failure staying at <% set efforts-
A Russian weightlifting favourite because I do love the Russians.
This is a great method however it requires people to have been hitting some solid progress for a few years as it will be largely based on low reps and endless sets.
So what is set effort precisely?
Put simply, say your 6RM (rep max) is 100kg meaning you can do 1 set of 6 at 100kg and no more, yet you want to, how can this be done?
Easy, 6RM is 100% set effort, so if you work at 50% efforts you’d be doing sets of 3 reps.
This means you might be able to do 3,4,5,6, or perhaps 20 sets of 3 with your 6RM as opposed to just one set of 6 with your 6RM.
An epic way to train that will leave you feeling fresh at the end of most if not all of your sessions and that’s the dangerous part.
People chase fatigue so as valuable as this method is it doesn’t hit their emotional/cognitive bias and as such they’d end up doing more and burning out.
You’d also have to be well versed in what is known as CAT (compensatory acceleration training) – you lift each rep with everything you’ve got, basically.
*Using CAT on your sets of 3 you’d go until you feel speed of reps is lost, which could be as mentioned above, 3 sets or 23 sets. When speed is lost it means you’ve hit your stills for the day, even if you don’t feel fatigued you are, trust me.
It is this that would provide the stimulus we’ve touched on above.
^^ Fred Hatfield is the man to look up for CAT.
So, which is best?
Based on how long you’ve been lifting:
<2 years: Training until momentary muscular failure
2-4 years: Leaving 1-2 reps in the tank and doing more sets
4 years +: Not going anywhere near failure staying at <% set efforts
Not everyone will like this answer and while for some rare exceptions it’s the right answer for the average person.
If like me you’re just an average person then don’t fear doing the simple things.
These days we live in an age where everyone is trying to keep up with everyone else and unless you’re doing HIIT, or some sort of ‘Ultra-Mega-Oblivion Set’ you’re some kind of lesser human.
Yea that’s complete bollocks.
It’s only the highly insecure that feel the need to make their training look more complicated or fancier than is it.
Sharing our experience, knowledge and understanding is all many of us can do to help others grow.
“I can tell you everything you NEED to know yet it won’t be what you WANT to know and because of this truth you’ll reject me.”
^^ I heard that recently, really made me think.
There are certain doors in our mind that will remain shut until the day we’re ready to open them, and to tell you the truth that day may never come.
In the sots you’ve perhaps read on here over the years you’ll find the topics vary somewhat however they are largely bis toward fitness/training.
Which makes sense as this is a fitness related page 😂
Everything that is shared has no ulterior motive.
It’s simply shared because it can be.
Some find things useful, others don’t, that’s life and in the end something that we will just have to accept because we’ve got no other choice.
Speaking of training, lately I’ve been doing a fair amount of higher rep work.
Things such as 10×20, or 20×10, 20 down to 1, 25×5 and other high volume madness.
After spending a fair few years doing no more than 6 reps on big lifts (often no more than 3 in reality) I felt there was a need for change because my mental strength has wained somewhat.
Yep, I got lazy and was merely running through the motions.
In most session to be fair and I used a lot of different logical justifications for this when in reality I was just being lazy because I’d lost the oomph and joy for lifting I once had.
This happens to us all because after the peak there will always be a cliff.
I fell off that cliff and while now at a higher low point the the previous one I was in (strength/ability wise etc), it was still a drop off from what was.
I didn’t want to accept the fact I now had another mountain to climb ahead of me.
Thus I warped reality to suit what I wanted to believe.
^^ Sounds familiar to you?
Anyway, back to the point.
We try to stay on the peak and begin to lift the same weights, perform the same movements, attempt to train at the same level of intensity all to remain on our self appointed pedestal.
Our ego won’t allow us to gracefully step down.
As such reality comes along and gives us a rather vicious push.
I get it you know.
It’s hard to accept that many things in life come in the form of peaks and valleys.
This is why these days I quite like this question:
‘Are you progressing?’
^^ or moving forwards, or learning, or adapting or whatever you wish to call it.
I also like to ask it 5 times because the first 2-4 are often hyperbole and the last one can yield the true/real answer.
Combine this with also asking ‘why?’ and you’ve got a potent mix for some internal growth and learning.
Be warned though because it’s not comfortable.
To truly accept all that you are and become who you want to be you must first accept all the things you are not and that you pretend to be all to keep up appearances.
^^ That shit is hard.
So my dear readers, if you’ve made it this far I applaud you.
It’s fair to say I ramble on a fair bit.
Now that you are here though ask yourself the following three questions:
– Am I really progressing?
– What do I not address (in life, training etc) and why?
– Is this really me or just what I think I should be?
If you’re up for it leave your answers in the comments section below with they all important ‘why’.
GPP vs SPP.
General physical preparedness.
Special/Specific physical preparedness.
Some will ask which is better and the answer will always be; it depends.
If you have a solid goal then SPP will rule the roost and GPP will fall in line to help bolster the goal.
Yet say your goal is a loose one, you merely want to be a half decent allrounder, then in that case you ca pick and choose when you use SPP and have the majority of your training in the GPP area.
Do remember though that it often means you will never excel at anything and in fact more than likely not even end up as mediocre in the majority of things because of too much choice.
All this being said, here is something those of you that don’t really have a goal and just want to train can utilise in your training.
I call it the 50%-100%-200% Method.
You will use the above percentages in reference to your body weight on the movements you’re going to do.
So that could mean bodyweight barbell curls and double bodyweight press overhead as a superset if you’re some sort of genetic beast lobster (50% curl and 100% press will do for most).
Sets and reps can be up to you because the options for that are endless.
Take this example 3 day template for starters:
W/U – Clean & Press w/sandbag x50% x AMRAP x 15min
A1 – DL x 200% x6x4
B1 – Bench Press x100% x3 xAMRAP
C/D – Stretching/Yoga
W/U – Farmers Walk x50% x max total distance in 15min
A1 – SQ x 200% x8x3
B1 – Bent Over Row 100% x4-5 xAMRAP
C/D – Stretching/Yoga
W/U – Sled Push/Pull x50% x max total distance in 15min
A1 – Press x 100% x12x2
B1 – Pull Up x 50% x 8×3
C/D – Stretching/Yoga
The above if with mostly standard gym kit, however doing the above with awkward objects can be a great way to build ‘old time strength’ along with an epic amount of conditioning.
Often times we get some of our best results when we limit our choices because we have no other option than to put in some hard graft that has a defined purpose.
Try the simple loading strategy above and see how you get on.
Personally I’d lean towards working on volume/density as the main drivers, so getting out max reps (with good form) in specific time frames or more reps in the same time.
You might have heard this called EDT (escalating density training), Charles Staley is the man to look up for article on this.