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Call Me Slow but...

Hey Thib. I found an article on Autoregulatory Progressive Resistance Exercise. is this what your I, Bodybuilder will be based around? I takes into account outside stress to regulate your true training response as oppose to a fixed percentage of one’s 1RM. I tried it with my bench press and it was applicable. I could send you the site where I got the article but you probably know everything there is to know about it.

to me, autoregulation antagonizes consistency, which i am more concerned with

[quote]eremesu wrote:
to me, autoregulation antagonizes consistency, which i am more concerned with[/quote]

In that case, I don’t think you understand the autoregulation concept.

[quote]Truet wrote:
Hey Thib. I found an article on Autoregulatory Progressive Resistance Exercise. is this what your I, Bodybuilder will be based around? I takes into account outside stress to regulate your true training response as oppose to a fixed percentage of one’s 1RM. I tried it with my bench press and it was applicable. I could send you the site where I got the article but you probably know everything there is to know about it.[/quote]

No it’s not

[quote]HK24719 wrote:

[quote]eremesu wrote:
to me, autoregulation antagonizes consistency, which i am more concerned with[/quote]

In that case, I don’t think you understand the autoregulation concept.[/quote]

I agree. Autoregulation is something that we can discuss and write about all day, but at the end of that day, the only way to truly understand it. Autoregulation is, in a nutshell, doing the most effort you are capable of for that day based on how you feel. Many people probably interpret this to mean that for one workout you may feel like a superstar and work up to a near max weight, while during the next workout you feel like crap and 80% of your max feels like you’re working with your max. While having an off day now and then is part of life, in my own training I have not experienced wild swings from one workout to the next. If you’re having a lot of off days where you’re struggling with 80% of your previous workout load, then something is wrong that you need to address. I feel that autoregulation actually encourages consistency rather than detracts from it.

[quote]MikeTheBear wrote:

[quote]HK24719 wrote:

[quote]eremesu wrote:
to me, autoregulation antagonizes consistency, which i am more concerned with[/quote]

In that case, I don’t think you understand the autoregulation concept.[/quote]

I agree. Autoregulation is something that we can discuss and write about all day, but at the end of that day, the only way to truly understand it. Autoregulation is, in a nutshell, doing the most effort you are capable of for that day based on how you feel.[/quote]

My understanding is that autoregulation actually has nothing to do with how you feel, but rather what you can actually do on any day.

I think this is where a lot of readers get confused.

^and you auto regulate to judge what you can do with your physiological state at that point in time
that sounds like instinctive training to me. you have days when you feel invincible and days when you feel like the shits.

arent “feel sets” or ramping involved in auto regulation? looks like “feeling” has alot to do with it. :slight_smile:

Autoregulation

Autoregulation refers to automatically adapting (regulation processes built-in the program) the daily workload to the capacities and needs of the athlete.

Autoregulation is not easy. It comes from experience and listening to your body. But here are some tips that can help you greatly optimize performance:

  1. If you don’t “feel” an exercise on a certain day, drop it. If an exercise is feeling amazing on that day then why not drop the other exercises for that muscle group and do more of the exercise that puts you in the zone? As a coach, if an athlete simply is “off” in the execution of an exercise regardless of any coaching you might do, find another movement to do the job.

Don’t use this as an example to drop the hard exercises you don’t like to do, but if something works do more of it, if it doesn’t don’t do it!

  1. Regardless of the number of reps you plan on doing, start at 50% of your maximum and gradually increase the poundage you are using while still trying to push the bar as fast or hard as you can. Only do the selected number of reps on each set (even the sets with 50%) and stop when you reach peak performance for that number or reps (the top of the mountain for that exercise on that day).

  2. Always attempt to produce as much force as humanly possible regardless of the weight on the bar or your fatigue level. Force = mass times acceleration. If a weight is light you can compensate the lack of mass by an increase in acceleration. This way every single rep produces a maximal training effect and activates the nervous system (raising peak performance levels),

  3. If you are not feeling strong on a movement, you can consider reducing the weight and performing more sets with a weight you can dominate. When I was competing in Olympic lifting and had a bad performance with the heavy weights, my coach had me drop the weight and nail 3-4 sets of 3 very explosive reps. Remember you can compensate a lack of weight by an increase in acceleration. These “back off” sets might in reality produce more force than a limit set and increase subsequent performance through an activation of the nervous system.

  4. Never do something that will not contribute to making the training effect more pronounced. My old coach used to tell me that you need to be able to justify every single thing you do in the gym. If you can’t justify doing something, drop it and do more of the good stuff.

Listen, some exercises or training techniques contribute very little to stimulating growth. But they use a lot of juice (nervous and metabolic energy) which will hinder your performance and results. If an exercise can give you 5% more stimulation but causes 20% more fatigue, then your gains will actually diminish.

  1. Start low and build up. by that I mean, plan to do the minimum work required to stimulate a positive adaptation and add stuff depending on how your body is reacting. There is nothing worse that having a list of 6 exercises to do, feel burned out after 3 and either stop the session and feel guilty or do the other 2 and dig yourself into a hole. Nobody wants to feel like an underachiever. Actually failing to accomplish something you planned out has been shown to lead to lower testosterone levels! However the fact is that on some days, do everything you had planned on doing will cause more harm than good.

So my tip is to decide only the bare minimum you need to be doing on a day to stimulate growth. And at the conclusion of each exercise assess if your body is capable of doing more stuff, and if that more stuff will help you get better gains. This way you wont feel guilty when you stop after 2-3 exercises and will feel like an overachiever when you do more!

Actually the core of autoregulation is to use the repetition as a stimulation, an activation (priming the nervous system with a high force production) and a test.

A test that tells you if you can:

  1. do one more set of the exercise
  2. add an exercise
  3. add more weight

If for some reason you don’t feel like you are willing or able to dominate the weight, to give it all you’ve got, stop the set.

If you get out of the zone, if your focus is gone, if you are refractory to doing more work stop the workout.

Never allow the quality of your repetitions to suffer. Never allow yourself not to dominate a weight.

Regardless of the load used, your fatigue state or the amount of work you have left, always go balls out, pedal to the metal every single time you even think about lifting the weight. This is called a Max Force rep. There is also the Max Force point, which is the heaviest weight you can still dominate. the maximum benefits strength-wise and size-wise will be seen by lifting the heaviest weight you can still dominate on all the reps. This is called the “max force weight”.

From experience this falls between 75 and 85% of your maximum. I can’t be more precise than that, the range accounts for the daily variation in your muscles’ capacity.

With that load you want to perform as many “dominating” reps as you can. Once a repetition within a set becomes iffy, or a grind, basically if you can’t kick the weight’s ass then you have exceeded the optimal training zone.

For most people this means anywhere from 3 to 6 reps per set in the max force zone. Why low reps? Because if you are truly going to war on every repetition, holding nothing back, producing a violent effort, you won’t be able to do more reps than that! Even with the best focus, you will eventually drop out of the zone when using higher reps.

A Max Force rep will always be effective at stimulating growth and activating the nervous system. A non-Max Force rep (holding back, not pushing as hard as you can, letting the weight dominate you) will not only be a wasted rep when it comes to building muscle, it will actually be a detrimental repetition because it’s uses nervous energy without stimulating more growth. Go hard or go home - this is not only true for a whole workout, it’s true of every single repetition. Dominate the weight, go to war, or don’t do the rep.

Autoregulatory undulatory periodization

Autoregulation, by definition, implies that certain control mechanisms are built-in the program to allow for an easy adjustment of the training session to the daily capacities of the athlete. It should not be a subjective process but rather an objective one.

The first method of autoregulation is called “autoregulatory undulatory periodization”. It refers to the waving, up or down, of the workout stress on a daily basis depending on the working state of the athlete.

The principle is simple: for every training unit (training day) four actual workouts are planned by the coach:

  1. A very high stress session (CNS very intensive)
  2. A high stress session (CNS intensive)
  3. A volume/low CNS impact session
  4. An active recovery session

All four sessions working on the same structure/movement patterns.

The selected workout will depend on the working state of the athlete. I suggest a very simple test to assess this: either a vertical or broad jump test.

First establish a baseline jump and test it every day at the beginning of each session. If:

  • The performance is 95% or more of the baseline, perform the CNS very intensive session
  • The performance is 90-94% of the baseline, perform the CNS intensive session
  • The performance is 80-89% of the baseline, perform the low CNS impact session
  • The performance is below 80% of the baseline, perform the active recover session

Ramping: intra-workout autoregulation

You will notice that in the workout menu above we didn’t include a precise number of sets, but only a number of reps to perform.

This is because we will adjust the number of sets performed on the daily capacity (volume tolerance and strength) of the athlete.

To do so we will use a ramping approach. The act of ramping refers to starting at a load that is around 50% of your maximum on a certain lift, gradually adding weight on the bar until you reach the point where you start to grind out the reps. At which point you stop.

Some important rules of ramping are:

  1. Always start at around 50% of your maximum on a lift. The exception being ballistic lifts (jump squats for example) and low-load explosive work (speed squats with 50%, plyometrics) with which you can start at, or slightly below the working load.

  2. Always attempt to lift the weight as hard, or as explosively as possible, regardless of the load or your fatigue level. This ensures maximum force production with any training load and will activate the nervous system for set to set.

  3. Only perform the planned number of reps. If the plan calls for sets of 3 reps on the squat, always do sets of 3 reps, even when you are at the lighter weight end of the spectrum. This will ensure maximum neural activation with minimal fatigue, allowing you to reach a higher peak performance on that day.

  4. At the conclusion of each set you can do one of two things: add more weight (10,20,30lbs depending on the lift) or stop the exercise. When you know that you can’t add more weight and still dominate all the planned reps of a set, stop the exercise. If you know that you can add more weight while still nailing every repetition, do so.

  5. Adjust the speed of ramping (size of the jump from set to set) depending on what you need to work the most on (speed-strength or strength) or on your activation state. Someone who is stronger than he is powerful might want to take smaller jumps at the beginning of an exercise and larger ones at the end (to perform more sets in the strength-speed zone) whereas someone who is more fast than he is strong might want to do the opposite.

  6. At any point in the execution of an exercise, if you start to grind out a repetition, end the exercise. Grinding is detrimental on neural recovery while not promoting significantly more stimulation.

O.K. Since you have explained it to me this the article I read didn’t come close to what you just stated. I’ll stick with what and who I trust- you. Thanks for making it clear to me.