T Nation

Changing Training Parameters


#1

Hey,

I have just spend some time to have a read through articles as I am trying to figure things out related to my training.

Now one thing I haven't been able to find yet a definite answer for is the idea of switching up your routine in order to avoid platues. Based on what I read I think the only reason that is legitimate for changing things up is because of the need to encorporate the different rep ranges into your work out. Would I be correct on this?

If that is true does it mean than if I implement a training approach as provided by Clay Hyght in the following article https://www.T-Nation.com/workouts/tried-and-true-bodybuilding-program-template I can continue with the same routine year round without switching things up. Won't I then need to worry about hitting any platues?

The only thing I would do then is just to incorporate right stretching, anaerobic work, and perhaps some Olympic lifts.

Lastly I've been thinking about a proper method for weight lifted progression. I've been thinking that if I am able to do all my sets at the higher end of rep range without failure then is the time to progress to higher weight. Is that enough?

Man. My head hurts. I just spent past 14 hours doing research.


#2

[quote]elho_82 wrote:
Hey,

I have just spend some time to have a read through articles as I am trying to figure things out related to my training.

Now one thing I haven’t been able to find yet a definite answer for is the idea of switching up your routine in order to avoid platues. Based on what I read I think the only reason that is legitimate for changing things up is because of the need to encorporate the different rep ranges into your work out. Would I be correct on this?

If that is true does it mean than if I implement a training approach as provided by Clay Hyght in the following article I can continue with the same routine year round without switching things up. Won’t I then need to worry about hitting any platues?

The only thing I would do then is just to incorporate right stretching, anaerobic work, and perhaps some Olympic lifts.

Lastly I’ve been thinking about a proper method for weight lifted progression. I’ve been thinking that if I am able to do all my sets at the higher end of rep range without failure then is the time to progress to higher weight. Is that enough?

Man. My head hurts. I just spent past 14 hours doing research.[/quote]

You seem to really be overthinking this.

In a nutshell, your body adapts to whatever stress you put on it and it will stop responding after some time. The rep range is also not the only factor, but a big one. You wanna have your main lifts but also some that you can switch out. When it comes to the rep range - in general, you’re gonna want to have phases of training where you’re focusing more on the volume in your workouts and phases where you’re more focused on getting your strength up (technically this is called accumulation and intensification phases). So the former would use something like 8-12 while the latter would have more singles, doubles, and/or 5s.

Basically, you don’t want to do the same thing for too long but also don’t hop from program to program too often. There’s a balance that you will achieve with time.

The last thing you said, about progression, should work. Just make sure the weights you’re using are going up over time… obviously… but if you overhead press 60lb for 5 reps now and after some time you’re doing 70x5, then you made progress (everything else, like your form, being the same).

Let me know if I wasn’t clear on something.


#3

[quote]elho_82 wrote:
Now one thing I haven’t been able to find yet a definite answer for is the idea of switching up your routine in order to avoid platues.[/quote]
You’re never going to find a definite answer regarding anything in training or nutrition. Lots of different stuff works. It comes down to trial and error, and eventually determining what works best for you.

Depends on multiple factors. Your age, current condition, experience, nutrition, recovery, goals, etc. It also depends on the particular plan. “Templates” are usually, by definition, more flexible than specific programs (like a 12-week arm specialization).

Something like 5/3/1 is a template designed to essentially avoid plateaus, with the regular deloads, focus on long-term projections, and short-term challenges. So that might be something to consider. Something like Starting Strength is a much more concrete program that’s very much not meant for extremely long-term progress.

Okay, talk this one through. Where would you put Olympic lifts in the tried and true template you posted? What exercises on what days and for what sets and reps? Also, and most importantly, why? Why Olympic lifts and why those sets/reps?

That’s a very common way to progress, yes.


#4

I read those articles by Clay Hyght:


According to what I’ve seen written by Clay Hyght I think I understood a few things.

Based on what I read he recommends using a program for 6-8 weeks before making
a change. I’m using his template. Now I’m approaching the 8th week soon. The idea of adding olympic lifts came from him. However, I would do a power or speed/strength training program now for 4 - 6 weeks. I would do this to improve my max strength.

After those 4 - 6 weeks I will go back to the template. When going back to the template I’m thinking now that I would only make adjustments to the exercises picked based on my physique. I would choose exercise to put more emphasis on the lacking muscles. But then I tried seeking a good powerlifting and/or strength focused routine that fits this time frame. I was unsuccessfull.

I liked the 915. However, it is a 9 week if I’m correct program. I don’t know how good this is for me as my primary goal is bodybuilding.
Another thing about this program is that it forces me now to learn how to perform a power clean for the first time.

As mentioned here in the comments. It’s recommended to use different rep ranges, but I think this template does that well.

Due to this I am thinking I will keep using this template for a good number of periods from now on. I will just fit in the periods focused on strength and power. I would just adjust the exercises based on assessing my dominant and lacking muscular groups. Other than this Im not planning on trying any new program for at least 1 year. This plan should work for me good. Am I wrong?

Okay, talk this one through. Where would you put Olympic lifts in the tried and true template you posted? What exercises on what days and for what sets and reps? Also, and most importantly, why? Why Olympic lifts and why those sets/reps?[/quote]

The olympic lifts when I go back to training for hypethrophy I would just include clean and press for four weeks or snatch. I would do this based on Clay Hyght’s recommendations for it being a good lift that the former works great the upper back together with shoulders, while the latter works great the upper back and external rotators of the shoulder. The sets & reps for the Olympic would be 5x5.

That would be then as I describe here the only variation I would be doing in my training. I also am the type to really love my rituals. I am not one of those people who gets bored doing the same rituals constantly as long as I love the rituals. I love bodybuilding and weightlifting and my current training.


#5

However, soon I will be starting a cut. Therefore I am wondering whether the 915 would be a good routine for cutting or I should do something different.


#6

I think, without answering all of your points, that you are overthinking this.

I think you should find a few fairly standardised plans with different basic premises and run each for a set amount of time. Use these to learn what works for you in practice rather than in theory. So:

Run a basic 5x5 program for 3 months
Run one of the basic 5/3/1 templates from the original book for 3 months
Run a more bodypart orientated split for about 3 months.

Compare what works for you, what kept you motivated, what fitted best with your lifestyle etc. All the book learning in the world doesn’t compare to actually trying different training styles and monitoring the results.


#7

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
I think, without answering all of your points, that you are overthinking this.

I think you should find a few fairly standardised plans with different basic premises and run each for a set amount of time. Use these to learn what works for you in practice rather than in theory. So:

Run a basic 5x5 program for 3 months
Run one of the basic 5/3/1 templates from the original book for 3 months
Run a more bodypart orientated split for about 3 months.

Compare what works for you, what kept you motivated, what fitted best with your lifestyle etc. All the book learning in the world doesn’t compare to actually trying different training styles and monitoring the results.[/quote]

X2 for this. You’ll find which one works best for you of the three and that’ll give you an idea of what generally works and doesn’t work for you.

Don’t over think things too much. There are lots of good templates, systems and programs out there. They mostly all employ very similar principles, the only difference is how those principles are applied which tends to be determined by the purpose of the program or system.

So, in a nutshell, if you pick a good program and follow it consistently you will get results. No need to worry about the fine detail.


#8

I analysed it this way in order to figure out the optimal. I believe it’s true the best way is to see what the recorded progress produces.

However, I just wanted to understand here the “principles”, which are applied by bodybuilding coaches in those templates & programs.
In the article in the links I provided earlier by Clay Hyght he recommended doing 4-6 weeks of strength training for bodybuilding purposes. I was just wondering where this recommendation originated.

My primary goal is bodybuilding. Therefore I desire to do what’s optimal for this goal. Strength is my secondary goal. Therefore I was wondering about the optimal ratios of more bodybuilding oriented training to strength training for my personal goals. I was confused, because Clay Hyght recommended certain amount of weeks, which is lower than what’s on the strength program on this site.

I wonder whether there is something to this recommendation as I describe it here or if I do those programs above 3 months each it would be optimal.


#9

[quote]elho_82 wrote:
I analysed it this way in order to figure out the optimal. I believe it’s true the best way is to see what the recorded progress produces.

However, I just wanted to understand here the “principles”, which are applied by bodybuilding coaches in those templates & programs.
In the article in the links I provided earlier by Clay Hyght he recommended doing 4-6 weeks of strength training for bodybuilding purposes. I was just wondering where this recommendation originated.

My primary goal is bodybuilding. Therefore I desire to do what’s optimal for this goal. Strength is my secondary goal. Therefore I was wondering about the optimal ratios of more bodybuilding oriented training to strength training for my personal goals. I was confused, because Clay Hyght recommended certain amount of weeks, which is lower than what’s on the strength program on this site.

I wonder whether there is something to this recommendation as I describe it here or if I do those programs above 3 months each it would be optimal. [/quote]

I think the strength block stems from the very good idea that if you get stronger you can use heavier loads for your subsequent bodybuilding training. That equates to greater muscle tension, which should lead to more growth.

For bodybuilding, IMO just as for powerlifting, what is optimal for one person will not necessarily be optimal for another. You’ll need to find out for yourself.

I wouldn’t worry too much at the moment. Getting stronger will not hold you back in the long run at all, at least I would not think so.

Building size tends to take a while so you’ve got a long time ahead of you. Play around. Get stronger. See what makes you grow the most. I got a good 10 lbs of size when I started powerlifting and I didn’t do any real bodybuilding work. It was only after a year or so that I started to need specific bodybuilding work to add more size.

You’re only going to find what works best for you by trying different things.


#10

The analysis I usually perform on things, which are related to my action plans are normally due to my desire for efficiency. If I am making a plan or have created a plan, but have few blank points in it I go to the experts in order to make sure it’s correct and understand the blank points. I believe that by doing my research from people experts (people who have specialized for long time and achieved some of the best results in that field) I can have a plan, which has been proven to be the best after all that has been tested.


#11

Thank you for this advise. I will probably do this.
I will look into the 5/3/1 to start after I finish what I’m currently on, which is a body part split based on Clay Hyght’s principles.


#12

I had a look at 531 book. I really like the program. However, if I look at it correctly it seems to me like a program for a more advanced lifter. It seems like the program you would use when you find your progress stagnating.
I’m still relatively new and I find that my strength increase well weekly.

Therefore I am thinking I might just do BBB with 4x4 for the big lifts until I see it doesn’t work anymore.


#13

I agree that you might be over thinking this.


#14

5 PRO’s and FSL’s.

Don’t think, don’t rebut, don’t procrastinate.

Just do.