T Nation

It's not one V.S. the other

The problem is that this discussion gets bogged down into right or wrong… black or white… when the truth (much as the dogmatists have difficulty dealing with) as usual lies somewhere in the middle.

As any layman’s knowlege of training adaptation will tell you both protocol’s have beneficial effect’s both of which contribute to either hypertrophy (proliferation of intra and inter cellular components) and strength (maximizing neurological efficiency).

Periodizing ones yearly training according to the percentages of each needed to meet varying goals (since BOTH contribute) is fairly universally recognized by anaerobic performance coaches…(put a 100 meter sprinter on a year round program of exclusively maximal sprint training and watch how quickly his performance grinds to a halt…not only because you’ve ignored some of the more volume-based work needed to WITHSTAND that high intensity work …but also it is purely a one-dimensional neural stimulus leaving the neural side of the neural-muscular system flat (it takes 7 times longer for a nerve cell to regain homeostatic balance v.s. a muscle cell).

I trained world class swim sprinters and although you can get fast rsults with the high intensity work most specific to their event , if you truly want to maximize this capacity long term you MUST also do yearround slightly higher volume workloads to provide those support adaptations for ongoing anaerobic development.

I began bodybuilding in 1994 on pure ‘heavy duty’ for 3-4 years and went from 153-175. I halted for 2 years in the vacinity of 175 despite lots of dietary manipulation and supplement use.
I then began a multiset body part split ‘volume’ approach in 1998 andseemingly immediately went to 192. Interestingly my strength did not go up significantly at all.
I now use a periodized approach and get more out of both…and am at 204.

The body just is not as singular in it’s range of muscle-building adaptive capacity as the Mentzerites would have you believe.

Tim: Outstanding! I think that any credible trainer will endorse Periodization. It’s interesting that even with individuals who DO reccommend periodization, God help us when they become a “guru”! They will then start telling people that THEIR way of periodization is the only way! Go figure…! I think that you said it best: 1) Individual workouts have to be goal specific AND 2) Your OVERALL plan needs to be goal specific, using the percentage of hypertrophy and strength training methods that would meet those goals.(Great stuff, Tim!)


Tim; Periodizing my yearly program is still sort of “hit or miss”. Since you are both a coach AND have personal/individual goals, a question or two to help me fine tune my program (which is mostly hypertrophy specific):

  1. What are your general goals?
  2. With that goal in mind, how do you roughly divide up your yearly training?
  3. What GENERAL type of protocols do you use and what would you consider your “basic” workout scheme and split?


    Don’t need a lot of specifics, Tim (because this could be a lot od stuff!).Just want to get a handle on setting up my own yearly program. THANKS!

sorry, this post was supposed to be a reply to the ‘negativity’ thread in which someone complained of ‘rude’ closed-minded HIT guys who purport to the one and only one training method of Mentzer etc…

My plan has very generally revolved around 16 week type cycles of GVT type workout for 6 weeks; a pyramid to stength set(s) followed by a high rep back off set type of 'combo' workout for 4 weeks; followed by 4 weeks of a pure strength-power type routine; followed by 2 weeks of pure cross training recovery stuff...swimming/racquetball/sprinting... etc...