Tag Archives: Training program
Harvey Dent, he was on to something.
“You thought we could be decent men, in an indecent time! But you were wrong. The world is cruel, and the only morality in a cruel world is chance. Unbiased, unprejudiced… fair. His son’s got the same chance she had. Fifty-fifty.” *Holding two-headed coin*
In the past you’ve probably seen a post of five about how to use a dice to decide your training.
Today we’re going to go even further down the rabbit hole of randomness and find out the secrets of the humble coin.
Admittedly you will end up with some very minimalistic training, however it will take any excess thought away from you.
This is ideal for those who claim to get lost with training or are unsure of what to do.
One simply has to have faith in the coin and follow the pattern it leaves.
Here is how you can apply it to your training, be warned though, this is also an exercise in faith, do you have the courage to do what they coin dictates or not?
Okay, to decide if you are training today or not grab a coin and flip it.
Heads = Training Today
Tails = No Training Today
Now for the interesting part, if you’re training today it’s time to find out how.
Heads = Strength
Tails = Conditioning
This is where you can play with all the nuance.
Say you got strength, here are some options once you flip the coin again:
Heads = Push, Hinge, Loaded Carry
Tails = Pull, Squat, Loaded Carry
Now for some reps/sets:
Heads = 5-3-2-5-3-2-5-3-2
Tails = 6-1-1–1-1-20
There you go, training for the day.
If you got tails for conditioning this might be your menu.
Heads = Fartlek at 70%> MHR
Tails = Steady State at <70% MHR
^^ You choose whichever modality you feel like.
One thing you’ll find with the above is that the less chose the better, however there is another reason for it.
You will suddenly find out that you know exactly what you want to be doing, you were just being a bit lazy in making a choice because if you really want a strength day and end up with a conditioning one it soon makes you realise your goals.
Same is true for a day you want to train and end up having the coin tell you not to.
Flip 1 –
Heads = Training Today
Tails = No Training Today
Flip 2 –
Heads = Strength = 10x TGU (5 per arm)
Tails = Conditioning = 100 Single Arm Swings (50 each arm)
Super simple, super effective.
This concept isn’t new, however the unpredictability just makes for some interesting times.
How would you progress?
Who knows, perhaps if you use the TGU above you could keep doing that until you hit a half-bodyweight get up for all the reps with ease, the options are many, power if you only train for fun like you claim then just pick a random target and see what happens.
Personally I prefer the dice, yet can apply the train/don’t train to the dice by say 1-3 = train and 4-5 = don’t train, then go from there.
In a world where there is so much confusion, stress and uncertainty leaving your training in the hands of fate can make for quite the change.
I’ve found that things like the coin/dice and total randomness of training days makes you appreciate the days you do train and you also put in more effort because from experience those who train with intent & heart, even if infrequently, tend to get more progress than some of the workout-warriors who do 2-3 hours in the gym each day.
^^ When applied to the gen-pop.
All in all it’s just bit of fun, which is what you said you wanted, right?
Or perhaps now seeing this you know it’s not fun you want, it’s emoting else entirely.
Give it some thought.
– 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.
Getting in all the volume you need can be a bit of a grind.
Not just physically but mentally too.
Here is a little method to help break up the monotony of lots of sets in a session.
Main lift – 1/2 of your working sets
Accessory work – one or two lifts
Main lift – the remaining 1/2 of you working sets
^^ this can also be done in 1/4’s set volumes where you have an accessory or supplementary lift in between the main lift and all the set you need to do.
One thing to not is that this works well if your main movement has a total amount of sets creeping over 15+. 10 sets can be done in one go, might be hard however very doable, when you’ve got to do say 20 sets of just one lift (for whatever reasons that may be) you’ll find it can be the mentally draining aspect that gets you as opposed to the lifting itself.
*Ideally you’d simply break down all your set volume across the week and train more frequently for higher MPS and all that jazz, however life isn’t always going to provide us with the ideal training environment.
Just something to consider.
Now that I have your attention let us get started.
It’s fair to say people desire a nice strong core.
The big question people often have though it this one:
How do I get a strong core, crunches?
Now crunches have a place in training, they’re not the devil people make them out to be, however they’re far from the best movement you could be doing.
Today I have 6 simple core crushing methods for you.
1 – Inch Worms
Bend down, touch your toes, walk your hands out as far as possible (try to finish with your arms fully extended overhead).
Sets of 3-5 reps will do you justice.
2 – Lizard Crawling
Keep your chest as close to the floor as possible and crawl to your hearts content.
Sets of 20m is surprisingly effective.
3 – Turkish Get Ups
A full body movement that punishes a weak core.
Sets of 2-3 reps each arm will be quite the challenge.
4 – Awkward Object Clean & Press
Find a sand bag, slosh pipe (this is a brutal bit of kit), log, anchor or whatever is tricky to hold and proceed to clean and press it.
An object half your bodyweight is a good start.
Go for as many reps as you can in say 20min for a surprisingly effective little session.
5 – L-sits
A classic gymnastic movement that is far harder than it looks.
Saes of 10seconds will prove enough for most people, once you’re stronger add 5 seconds, keep adding time until you get to say 60second because if you can hold an L-sit that long you’ll have an iron clad core.
6 – Diaphragmatic Breathing
Less a training session and more a consideration for daily life.
Learning to breath correctly will not only fortify your core, it will also help lower stress levels and make your posture better as well.
There you have it, some different ways to train your core.
It’s also worth noting that you can have the strongest core in the world and not have ‘abs’ because those are down to your nutrition choices.
I wonder how many people will try the above over the classic Instagram nonsense, if it’s just one then I can die a happy man.