Great Rules That Suck

An excellent article by Jason Ferrugia.

www.elitefts.com/documents/great_rules_that_suck.htm

-MAtt

I really didn’t like this article. I thought it presented false arguments.

For example, the one about advanced lifters not doing high reps, I’ve never heard that argument. I’ve always just heard that as you get more advanced, your body becomes more efficient and you will damage your body much more than a beginner lifter who does the same volume. So, you need to choose exercises carefully.

I appreciate his message, not to listen to everything you hear, etc., but I just felt like he was setting up poor arguments to knock down.

[quote]Mr. Bear wrote:
I really didn’t like this article. I thought it presented false arguments.

For example, the one about advanced lifters not doing high reps, I’ve never heard that argument. I’ve always just heard that as you get more advanced, your body becomes more efficient and you will damage your body much more than a beginner lifter who does the same volume. So, you need to choose exercises carefully.

I appreciate his message, not to listen to everything you hear, etc., but I just felt like he was setting up poor arguments to knock down. [/quote]

Not sure I agree with you, Bear.

I see it more along the lines of him knocking down poor arguments rather than setting them up to knock them down.

It may seem common knowledge to some that the more advanced you are the more damage you can do to your body, but I promise you that for the vast majority of trainees, this is not fully understood or appreciated. I’ve heard many trainers and lifters preach that the lower the rep range the high the number of sets needs to be.

Some set/rep schemes like 10x3 might prove valuable in terms of strength and size to fairly new, intermediate and even some advanced lifters. But generally, I think that it is way too much stimulus for many advanced trainees to handle.

I’m taking this next quote from Poliquin’s “Modern Trends in Strength Training”- “Because it is generally agreed upon in the strength training community that 70 percent of maximum is the minimum threshold for strength development, it would not be wise to use programs that emphasize weights lower than 70 percent (or repetitions higher than 6) as the weight would be too light to elicit a strength response.”

I’m not sure whether or not Poliquin would agree with Ferrugia about the fact that higher reps can add in restoration and building muscle that can in turn be used for greater strength. But, it is very easy for me to see MANY trainees and coaches misinterpreting the above statement to say think that higher reps do not have a place in strength athletes arsenal.

Additionally, I’ve seen many programs that call for set/rep schemes that might prove too stressful for an advanced lifter. 5x5 and 10x3 for a guy benching double BW and squatting triple BW is most likely a dead end road. Most programs here on T-Nation are even aimed at beginners/intermediates I’d say.

Needless to say, someone who has achieved a double BW bench and triple BW squat will probably realize that they are advanced and cannot handle such a workload, but what about the people transitioning out of the intermediate stage?

Either way, I thought it was a pretty insightful and thought provoking article.

Curious to hear your thoughts, Bear.

-Matt

Just to explain myself a little further, I completely agree, that inverse rep schemes aren’t appropriate for advanced trainees, and that advanced trainees can use higher rep schemes and make progress.

But, the exercises where most powerlifters use reps of 8-12+ are rows, GHRs, reverse hypers, face pulls, etc., where the whole body is not being taxed, and size is just as much a goal as strength. We don’t bench, squat, dead, or good morning in that rep range.

I just thought he misrepresented that argument a little, no big deal.

[quote]Mr. Bear wrote:

But, the exercises where most powerlifters use reps of 8-12+ are rows, GHRs, reverse hypers, face pulls, etc., where the whole body is not being taxed, and size is just as much a goal as strength. We don’t bench, squat, dead, or good morning in that rep range.

[/quote]

That isn’t entirely true. Wendler has written articles recommending repetition benching; and Matt Kroczaleski and Ed Coan are two notable examples of guys who regularly squat in the 8-12 range or higher. Also, for other exercises that tax the whole body, what about Romanian and Dimel deadlifts, Power Squats (a Wendler favourite), etc?

Matt and Mr.Bear…there’s only one way to settle this:

Knife Fight!!

Both of your left hands will be handcuffed to one another while your right hands will be wielding knives. If you survive, you win the argument/debate.

We can make it triple threat if Joey is game for it.

I thought this article was great!