T Nation

Changing After 3 vs 6 Weeks

I realize everyone is different, but let’s take the scenario where on a given program you make gains for 6 weeks. However, as is common… 80% of those gains come in the first 3 weeks. Doesn’t it make more sense to just switch after 3 weeks or am I missing something?

The first gains are usually due to neural adaptation to the new lifts and not due to new muscle growth.

So really if you are switching stuff too often you are tricking yourself into thinking you are getting stronger when you actually arent.

So Helix, I guess the West-side guys just tricked themselves into thinking they were strong without any actual changes. 6 weeks is a very long time to go without change. You must atleast change something, your reps, sets, exercises etc. during that time frame. As a general rule, I prefer 2-4 week mesos.

[quote]Helix wrote:
The first gains are usually due to neural adaptation to the new lifts and not due to new muscle growth.

So really if you are switching stuff too often you are tricking yourself into thinking you are getting stronger when you actually arent. [/quote]

How is neural adaptation not part of getting stronger? Isn’t this what O-lifters and Westsiders strive for, getting a maximum number of muscle fibers to fire? Strength isn’t dependent solely on muscles, you can’t forget the nervous system, tendons, bones, etc.

what i think he meant is that you won’t see substantial muscle growth within 2-3wks. And that you should train with hypertrophy in mind for longer periods.

I don’t agree with that, but I think that is his point.

you can chage every 3 weeks, just don’t make it a night and day change like switch your chest routine from using the bench to exclusively using the cable cross overs.

Make small changes in grip positions, tempo, sets and reps. I’m sure you get the point.

Few things: I agree changing up rep schemes, tempo, etc but I thought he was refereing to a total change of movements were what I talked about would be more of an issue.

Obviously their is a large neural factor in lifting heavy weights. Infact for most it is probably the limiting factor not muscle X-section. When he said ‘gains’ I assumed he meant muscular hypertrophy and not strength so I guess I was wrong in that regard.

Also, as far as muscle growth I have always assumed that they were associated w/ the repeitition method more then the max effort method when it comes to westside Drewd.

Experience also plays a role in this. Ian King had a good article on how more experienced lifters will get greater hypertrophy on low rep/high intensity schemes with more variation.