T Nation

Ferruggia vs. Thib

Hello all.

I was wondering if any of you have tried Jason Ferruggia’s “Get Jacked” programs. The routine intrigued me due to rather low volume, and I have usually been more of a high volume type of guy, following a lot of Thib’s stuff.

Lately though, I seem to always get shoulder pain or injure something when I go through Thib’s plans, especially from the one’s in his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde book. It just seems like the volume is too much for me. The programs always seem to work, but after a few weeks, I get joint pain all over as well as some other injuries (pulled and strained muscles, etc).

Because of all this, I am considering trying the opposite of Thib’s higher volume training methods, which to me would be Ferruggia’s stuff. But I don’t want to put myself at risk of losing hard earned muscle. I have been training for a little over 3 years and have developed a moderate physique at 5’10", 200 lbs. with 10% bf.

I am wondering if Ferruggia’s more basic plans would work for me. I know they would work for beginners, but I’m not sure if they would be beneficial to me. Higher volume programs have always worked for me, until I eventually get hurt. So I guess they didn’t really work.

I don’t really want to start another volume debate, so my main question is if I can still get size and strength gains from a very low volume whole body routine consisting of 3-4 lifts a workout and only three workouts a week when I am used to high volume split training.

Thanks guys for wise council
ajweins

How can ANYONE ELSE tell you what will work for YOUR BODY? This is a serious question.

Are people around here so brainwashed that they think: “High volume wrecks my body. But an article says I should do high volume. So I’d better just keep doing high volume.”

In any event, I am sure CT would tell you that if doing high volume wrecks your body, then don’t do high volume. Indeed, I don’t think CT has ever said, “My Program X works best for every person, every time.” Only one author around these parts is famous for making such claims.

You claim to have been lifting for three years. That you don’t know what works for your body after training for three years certainly raises some questions.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
How can ANYONE ELSE tell you what will work for YOUR BODY? This is a serious question.

Are people around here so brainwashed that they think: “High volume wrecks my body. But an article says I should do high volume. So I’d better just keep doing high volume.”

In any event, I am sure CT would tell you that if doing high volume wrecks your body, then don’t do high volume. Indeed, I don’t think CT has ever said, “My Program X works best for every person, every time.” Only one author around these parts is famous for making such claims.

You claim to have been lifting for three years. That you don’t know what works for your body after training for three years certainly raises some questions.[/quote]

WTF? God forbid anybody ask others their opinion or about their experience. This is exactly the kind of sanctimonious bullshit that’s not needed on these forums.

To the OP, make sure you are getting plenty of healthy fats in your diet. And try the programs you were looking into you. See if they work for you and if you enjoy them.

Hopefully, others will chime in with their experience, instead of berating you for asking for help/advice.

Good luck.

First off . . . thank you futuredave for that post. It’s getting to the point where people are getting flamed for no reason and posts like “lift heavy shit” or “steak and eggs” is trying to be passed off as advice. I mean honestly, does this really help anyone?

To the original post, you can actually do either however you just need to modify one to avoid injury. It comes down to whether you want to train perpetually with few breaks or you’d rather have scheduled, longer breaks more frequently.

With Ferruggia’s (sp?) programs the lower volume and less frequent training you would need to take fewer weeks off and would benefit from continuous progression of being in the gym. You can definitely make gains with lower volume training however you need to ensure you keep your intensity high and form tight. The reason I highlight those two things is the risk of injury is much higher when training at very high intensities.

If you wanted to stick with CT’s higher volume training I would identify by what week you traditionally start to feel joint pain (which is normal by the way) and take a full week off during that week. You’ll find that when you come back you’ll be stronger and refreshed to continue to progress. It’s just a simple modification to help you recover and progress.

It comes down to you and your preference. Both are sound programs and both can help you achieve your goals.

Hope that helps.

Sasha

Yes, because the best program you can ever do is the one that is different from what you have been doing.

Change is the key to progress

this is a basic concept

everything works, everything - except doing the same thing over and over

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I never train high volume for more than 4-6 weeks in a row, never super-heavy for more than 3-4 weeks in a row.

I actually use low-volume training too, as someone mentionned, it’s all about CHANGE and PROGRESSION.

I like to rotate between:

4 weeks of volume training
2 weeks of heavy lifting
2 weeks of low volume training

I find that this gives me the best growth and keeps my body fresh and injury free.

If someone doesn’t tolerate volume too well then he can use a 2-2-2 approach.

Sasha G and Futuredave good posts sound advice was given here.

I would also add that when your body is used to higher volume work it usually actually will lower performance so that it can complete all sets and reps. So for instance if you are asking your body to do 5 sets of bench, 5 sets of incline and 5 sets of cable crossovers week in and week out.

Your body will learn to hold a reserve so that it can accomplish that. Your body also adapts and yada yada yada but this is one thing that happens especially if the volume is high 6 or 7 days a week. So you can actually teach your body to use more muscle and get stronger with less volume. I believe that both techniques need to be used.

I also have your injury problem. It does not matter at what volume. Week 3 is the problem week for me. Either take it completely off or do some really light sets to grease the groove or do something totally unrealted that will work the muscles and joints in a new way.

Unilateral work will also help the joints tremendously. It takes serious balls to take a week off every two or three weeks, but it is well worth it and will actually help your gains.

I’m not saying this is for everyone, even though that is the tone it was written in, but I’m not going to write as if I have to apologize for every piece of advice I give either. :slight_smile: Hopefully this helps someone.

I think CaliLaw is a tool most of the time but I agree with him here. You said yourself you consistently hurt your shoulder when doing high-volume programs. Then why would you do them for any extensive period of time? Just doesn’t make sense to me.

For the record, I have, for the most part, used fairly low-volume approaches and have had a lot of success with them. I also feel that has made the times when I increased my volume more productive.

Why do people feel the need to berate when others ask for help? Geez, it’s just a jerky thing to do and it seems to happen all the time.

Anyway, my thougts on the questions posed it this, try to design your own program. You know the limits of your body, and if something is causing injury or pain it should be stopped before it becomes serious. It you feel Thibs (can’t spell it with out looking at it) programs is causing you issues just adjust it to fit your needs. Change the target exercise or intensity.

You never want to do one thing all the time; change is always good.

Feruggia likes to increase the sets and decrease rest for 3 weeks, then usually has people drop the volume on the 4th week before starting up another cycle. It’s a good idea and helps prevent burnout and overtraining from continual high volume work.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I never train high volume for more than 4-6 weeks in a row, never super-heavy for more than 3-4 weeks in a row.

I actually use low-volume training too, as someone mentionned, it’s all about CHANGE and PROGRESSION.

I like to rotate between:

4 weeks of volume training
2 weeks of heavy lifting
2 weeks of low volume training

I find that this gives me the best growth and keeps my body fresh and injury free.

If someone doesn’t tolerate volume too well then he can use a 2-2-2 approach.[/quote]

Thanks a lot Thib. I really appreciate you responding to this post and will most likely try out some of the ideas you gave me. I have used a lot of your programs from your books and articles and have had a lot success from them so thank you. And to respond to a my question on an internet forum when my body does not react quite right says a lot about you.
Thanks again
ajweins

Thanks for all the help guys.
I will most likely try out some lower volume routines and see what happens. I’m sorry to CaliforniaLaw for wasting his time for asking questions on a bodybuilding forum. Though his in depth response directed at criticizing me for taking advice from people who have a lot more knowledge and experience then me makes me realize he probably has a lot of time on his hands.

Also, in response to jtrinsey (sp?), I guess I tend to get caught up in thinking using a lot of volume is going to be better since I’m doing more work. I usually get great gains from higher volumed programs at the beginning. Must be why I always like to do them, but usually down the road I end up overdoing it. I will take your advice though.
Thanks again everyone
ajweins

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
How can ANYONE ELSE tell you what will work for YOUR BODY? This is a serious question.

Are people around here so brainwashed that they think: “High volume wrecks my body. But an article says I should do high volume. So I’d better just keep doing high volume.”

In any event, I am sure CT would tell you that if doing high volume wrecks your body, then don’t do high volume. Indeed, I don’t think CT has ever said, “My Program X works best for every person, every time.” Only one author around these parts is famous for making such claims.

You claim to have been lifting for three years. That you don’t know what works for your body after training for three years certainly raises some questions.[/quote]

Congrats on the Prof X impersonation, you’ve really got it down. Even the case scheme is starting to look similar.

[quote]ajweins wrote:
Hello all. [/quote]

     Hi Aj,

I’m glad for you that some real help came your way quickly. It is sad that there are those who always want to get on good guys for no other reason than satisfying their own ego.

    I am impressed with the caliber and helpfulness of all the guys who contributed to helping you. That restores my faith in this site tenfold. Anyway, I thought you brought up a very good point about the volume, and we all got some great info concerning this subject. So you see it all comes full circle helping people without jamming them. Thanks to you for the initial inquiry, and thanks to all the great responses guys.
      WAY TO GO!
              ToneBone

[quote]ajweins wrote:
Thanks for all the help guys.
I will most likely try out some lower volume routines and see what happens. I’m sorry to CaliforniaLaw for wasting his time for asking questions on a bodybuilding forum. Though his in depth response directed at criticizing me for taking advice from people who have a lot more knowledge and experience then me makes me realize he probably has a lot of time on his hands.

Also, in response to jtrinsey (sp?), I guess I tend to get caught up in thinking using a lot of volume is going to be better since I’m doing more work. I usually get great gains from higher volumed programs at the beginning. Must be why I always like to do them, but usually down the road I end up overdoing it. I will take your advice though.
Thanks again everyone
ajweins[/quote]

Sounds a little bit like workout syndrome, even when I know I should ease up a little I want to do more and more for fear of losing all that I just gained. Just remember you can either cut back by choice, or because your body made you. Looks like CT gave you what your looking for so goodluck with your workouts.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
Sounds a little bit like workout syndrome, even when I know I should ease up a little I want to do more and more for fear of losing all that I just gained. Just remember you can either cut back by choice, or because your body made you. Looks like CT gave you what your looking for so goodluck with your workouts.[/quote]

when you ease up you do not lose what you gained, you REALISE the gains from what you have done. If you don’t ease up you don’t realise them.

Overall some good advice has alreading been given. If volume works, but you are having shoulder problems you may want to try different variations on your exercises. A change in angle or switching from dumbells to barbells can drastically change the stress on the joint. Let me give a little analogy. Have you ever taken a spoon and bent in back and forth over and over until it finally splits in two. When you give the same force at the same point with the same angle over and over again you create a weak spot in the spoon and it finally gives. If you use the same exercise with the same equipment at the same angle you may be doing the same thing to your joint. It may be a stupid analogy, but I hope it proves a point.

I am finding I respond fairly well to higher volumes as well. However, realize that the stress to your body compounds as the weight goes up. If you are benching 100 pounds for a total of 40 reps during your workout then you have moved 4000 pounds. If you increase your strength and are benching 200 pounds for a total of 40 reps during your workout you have now moved 8000 pounds. As you get stronger you may need to either decrease the volume or put in more days of rest. Your body can only take so much. Anyhow, good luck.

What I would do if I were you is try and figure out just how long it takes to feel those telltale signs of overtraining (I’m quite sure the joint pain etc. is exactly that).

I’d work hard until the symptoms appear, then drop volume immediately while maintaining the basic structure of the workout.

For example; Incline db press

4x10 drops to 3x8 (40 reps down to 24)

4x10 drops to 3x10 (40 reps down to 30)

4x10 drops to 5x5 (40 reps drops to 25)

Anything like the above would serve you well. You can keep the number of total exercises per bodypart the same while dropping volume considerably.

Within the first week, you should notice some improvement. If not, drop volume further until the symptoms subside.

I would then take an entire week off from training and start over with the high volume stuff.

I’d guess the shoulder problems stem from overuse if nothing else. A reduction in volume may very well help in that regard.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]derek wrote:
What I would do if I were you is try and figure out just how long it takes to feel those telltale signs of overtraining (I’m quite sure the joint pain etc. is exactly that).

I’d work hard until the symptoms appear, then drop volume immediately while maintaining the basic structure of the workout.

For example; Incline db press

4x10 drops to 3x8 (40 reps down to 24)

4x10 drops to 3x10 (40 reps down to 30)

4x10 drops to 5x5 (40 reps drops to 25)

Anything like the above would serve you well. You can keep the number of total exercises per bodypart the same while dropping volume considerably.

Within the first week, you should notice some improvement. If not, drop volume further until the symptoms subside.

I would then take an entire week off from training and start over with the high volume stuff.

I’d guess the shoulder problems stem from overuse if nothing else. A reduction in volume may very well help in that regard.[/quote]

Bingo