T Nation

High Frequency, Sub Max Training


#1

In Case You Don't Read the Front Page...

http://www.T-Nation.com/workouts/russian-strength-skill-the-workouts

Nice article signifying the benefits of high frequency and sub maximal output training.


#2

Does it answer everything?


#3

Sub-maximal…yes. Squatting at 30% max, no. Sorry, Jarvan, the article doesn’t defend your 95 lb squats for reps. But If its working for you, keep it up.


#4

[quote]Jarvan wrote:

Nice article signifying the benefits of high frequency and sub maximal output training. [/quote]
Definitely an interesting program. Kinda reminiscent of the “high frequency strength work” Thib talked about on the forum a few years ago:

And I always feel it relevant to mention that Waterbury was a huge proponent of high frequency work even more years ago. This article from 2006 lays out a five step approach that builds up to more intense high frequency work:


#5

For anyone who didn’t really read the article, the suggested workout consists of:

4x a week: singles at 85% then triples at 75%
1x a week: a circuit of singles at 65-70%

Obviously there’s plenty more in the article, but those weights are at least somewhat heavy-ish.


#6

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Jarvan wrote:

Nice article signifying the benefits of high frequency and sub maximal output training. [/quote]
Definitely an interesting program. Kinda reminiscent of the “high frequency strength work” Thib talked about on the forum a few years ago:

And I always feel it relevant to mention that Waterbury was a huge proponent of high frequency work even more years ago. This article from 2006 lays out a five step approach that builds up to more intense high frequency work:


[/quote]
There’s also Pavel’s stuff too.

Not the best discussion [on the high frequency, sub max, low rep stuff], but he touches on it here, in 2001:

Power to the People covers it much better (as do other of his books).


#7

[quote]LoRez wrote:
There’s also Pavel’s stuff too.

Not the best discussion [on the high frequency, sub max, low rep stuff], but he touches on it here, in 2001:

Power to the People covers it much better (as do other of his books).[/quote]
For sure, the “grease the groove” concept he popularized is all about very frequent, sub-max sessions. More often for a strength-building application rather than hypertrophy, but still obviously a useful tool.


#8

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
For sure, the “grease the groove” concept he popularized is all about very frequent, sub-max sessions. More often for a strength-building application rather than hypertrophy, but still obviously a useful tool.[/quote]
There’s also his “energetic theory of hypertrophy”.

[quote]T: But how are we supposed to build muscle with low rep training?

Pavel: I shall sum up the energetic theory of muscle hypertrophy without using any big words: If you get a pump with heavy weights you shall grow. You need the volume to really deplete the muscle, but you need the tension to increase the amino acid uptake. Now if you lift really heavy like a powerlifter and rest for five minutes in between sets, you have the tension but donâ??t have enough fatigue. If you start using the little color coded dumbbells and do a hundred reps, you have the fatigue and the pump, but not the tension. You may build some “virtual” muscles, but nothing else.

But if you set it up like this, if you use a heavy weight and do reps of five (not taken to failure) with only one or two minutes of rest for up to twenty sets, youâ??re going to be able to use a heavy weight and get a great pump. Every bodybuilder whoâ??s tried this approach has reported sensational gains.[/quote]

In Power to the People, the standard workout is:
5 reps at 100% (of whatever your daily training weight is)
rest for 3-5 minutes
5 reps at 90%

This can be done 5-6 days a week, and is more of a strength focus. Comparable to Dan John’s 40 day easy strength in concept at least. (Which makes sense.)

Then, if you want to shift that to a more hypertrophy focus, the “Russian Bear” workout is:
5 reps at 100% (of whatever your daily training weight is)
rest for 3-5 minutes
5 reps at 90%
5 reps at 80%, rest 30-90 seconds, repeat until form breakdown, could be 5-25 sets

He suggests doing this volume no more than 3x a week, but it can be interspersed with the regular PttP workout for a more “powerbuilding” approach:
M: Bear (5 x 100%, 5 x 90%, ? x 5 x 80%)
T: PttP (5 x 100%, 5 x 90%)
W: Bear
R: PttP
F: Bear

I just thought it was an interesting take on manipulating volume in a high frequency program. The intensities are cycled/periodized between 65%-85%-ish.


#9

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:
Sub-maximal…yes. Squatting at 30% max, no. Sorry, Jarvan, the article doesn’t defend your 95 lb squats for reps. But If its working for you, keep it up. [/quote]

Haha, I shall.

And obvi difference between what I do and what article says.
Just thought the timing was awesome.


#10

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Jarvan wrote:

Nice article signifying the benefits of high frequency and sub maximal output training. [/quote]
Definitely an interesting program. Kinda reminiscent of the “high frequency strength work” Thib talked about on the forum a few years ago:

And I always feel it relevant to mention that Waterbury was a huge proponent of high frequency work even more years ago. This article from 2006 lays out a five step approach that builds up to more intense high frequency work:


[/quote]

Awesome finds!

This is more volume than it is frequency, but I remember Waterbury wrote about a Bulgarian? wrestler who never went above 60kg’s on the squat. He squatted for sets of 10 or 20 and just squatted until he felt like stopping. Had tree trunks for legs.

There was another article based solely on two brothers who performed on stage/circus/vegas?
They didn’t lift weights, or had even a solid lifting program. They basically just moved each others bodies every day and had the physique of a bodybuilder.

I always did gravitate Waterbury, not only because he trained MMA fighters, but the anecdotal evidence he gave blew my mind.


#11

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Jarvan wrote:

Nice article signifying the benefits of high frequency and sub maximal output training. [/quote]
Definitely an interesting program. Kinda reminiscent of the “high frequency strength work” Thib talked about on the forum a few years ago:

And I always feel it relevant to mention that Waterbury was a huge proponent of high frequency work even more years ago. This article from 2006 lays out a five step approach that builds up to more intense high frequency work:


[/quote]
There’s also Pavel’s stuff too.

Not the best discussion [on the high frequency, sub max, low rep stuff], but he touches on it here, in 2001:

Power to the People covers it much better (as do other of his books).[/quote]

Easy Strength with Dan John covers it in a lot more detail.

EDIT: Wish I’d read LoRez’s second post before I posted.


#12

have any of you guys tried this type of training? What results have you gotten?


#13

I tried Dan John’s easy strength a few years ago. That was the first time I reached a 2x BW deadlift and I also did a wide grip pull up with 55lbs added - all of this after having lost a few pounds. It works very well for strength but not really for hypertrophy - however, this isn’t the goal anyway.

I also did Shugart’s pull up project this summer and thought it was pointless until my girlfriend pointed out how wide my back was getting. I had focussed on scale weight, which remained static, while completely ignoring what was happening in the mirror.

Here’s the deal: Many things work for a certain period of time. The reason we have internet fights is that anyone who switches to a somewhat decent program that differs from what he’s done before will make great progress - and then tell people that he’s found the one and only holy grail.


#14

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
Here’s the deal: Many things work for a certain period of time. The reason we have internet fights is that anyone who switches to a somewhat decent program that differs from what he’s done before will make great progress - and then tell people that he’s found the one and only holy grail.[/quote]

Amen!!

[quote]confusion wrote:
have any of you guys tried this type of training? What results have you gotten?[/quote]

I’ve had great results doing massive volume sub max work on pull-ups in the past, I followed no planned program, I just did massive volumes as part of my training as a climber. It also did wonders for my grip strength, my forearms have never been as big as when I was a teenager, and I can’t put it all down to “extra-curricular activities”.