T Nation

How Long Can You Stick to One Template?

I’ve been doing the Volume and Strength template from the forever book, and I really like. I’ve never made as good strength gains as I have with this template. Can I continuously run it, along with the anchor, until I stop progressing? Or would it be a better idea to switch it up every 2-3 cycles? Thanks for any feedback.

There are only 3 reasons to change anything in the universe.

  1. It doesn’t work or stopped working.

  2. It’s immoral.

  3. I’m bored.

Number 3 is why humanity will always fuck up utopia, the garden of eden, the motherland, and now “the best gains I’ve ever had”.

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Immoral Gains would be a good title for a training log.

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In theory you could also change something to “improve” or “make it better” but that’s just “I’m bored” in disguise approximately 100% of the time.

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I’d like a template called “Immoral” with something like spinal tap and widowmakers on one day (joke).

I would say there can be a negative of sticking to a single template too long. I had this happen with krypteia, where the weighted pull ups eventually lead to tender elbows that took way too long to heal. As I’ve gotten older, I find that keeping a high pull up volume is trickier and doing weighted versions can be a bit much.

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42 years old here, same thing happened to me on Krypteia. I’ve had tennis elbow in both elbows that flairs up on occassion from BJJ and pulling. I switched to a template more like Fat Loss/Prep and switched to chin-ups, now my elbows are much better.

Tennis elbow sucks, and takes way longer to heal than you’d think. I switch to rows instead of pull ups/chin ups, which aggravate my elbow, to get my pulling in. I did Building the Monolith recently, which has lots of pull up volume and weighted pull ups and doing that in addition to boxing did not make my elbows happy.

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I’ve had the same problems and found that switching to neutral grip pull-ups, and then pull-ups on handles that swivel, got rid of the problem completely.

Forearm flexor stretches against a wall, with the elbows locked, also helped a lot. This video shows the stretches I use:

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Straps allow me to do T-bar rows without making things worse and pull-ups on what’s essentially half domes (picture for shape reference, not what I actually pull on)

Also do not aggravate the problem.

There are no pull ups in Volume and Strength so you guys must be speaking in general terms about variation reducing the risk of overuse injury.

In this program each main movement varies intensity and volume every day, the high intensity movement changes every day, and the supplemental movement can either be done at high reps or moderately high weight. The pulling/back work has 2 different variations or row to choose from every day done to a rep goal - the sets and weight used are up to you. For the anchor there are 4 different variations of sets/reps/weight to choose from for the strength work, and the assistance is open ended with rep range recommendations for push, pull, s.leg/core.

How much variation do you need?

I’ll bite:

“Immoral Gains Challenge”
Definitely written and endorsed 100% by Jim Wendler. Never released to the public because, quote: “I wanted to save the good stuff till last”.

4 day a week template, done for 3 weeks.
No mobility work at all.
Plyometric push ups and depth jumps done instead of jumps and throws.
Must eat McDonalds, Taco Bell, or KFC for at least one meal every day.

Monday
Plyometric push ups - 10 reps.
Bench (with super wide grip) - Spinal Tap
Bench - Widowmaker set
Barbell Bicep Curls In The Squat Rack - The Bar x 100 reps in as few sets as possible.

Tuesday
Plyometric hip thrusts - 10 reps.
Squat - 5/3/1 + PR + joker
Front Squat - Widowmaker
DB Walking lunges 5x10 reps/leg.

Wednesday
6x100m Sprints
6x Depth Jumps
6x10 Calf Raise Machine

Thursday
Plyometric push ups on fists - 10 reps
Press - Spinal Tap
Press - Widowmaker
DB Side lateral Raises - 5xAMRAP drop sets (do a weight amrap, then drop 30-50% and do amrap, then drop another 30-50% and do amrap. This is one set.)

Friday
Depth jumps - 20 reps
Jefferson Deadlifts - Work up in 50 lbs increments until failure, then drop back to last successful weight and perform a rep PR. Calculate a Training Max from this PR and do…
Jefferson Deadlifts - 5x5 SSL
Bent Knee Leg Raises, but feet must come up and touch the bar - 5xAMRAP

Sunday
Go to confessional.

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I like this template, but I train BJJ 23 days a week and run marathons at the weekends. Can I sub out half the movements for my own ideas, then blame you when I don’t make gains?

I’m a skinny-fat ectomorph trying to lose weight and tone by the way. And an Aries.

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Definitely a question for CT. Probably already answered that exact question 3 times this week too

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Sure. Everybody knows 5/3/1 lacks volume, so I’d start there.

Also for the conditioning day, once variation that I’ve used with over 3000 athletes is to do down hill sprints.

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The logic makes sense, you want to be as fast as possible, and surely everyone goes downhill faster! Thanks mate!