Fantastic fantastic insights CT. You are definitely 2A (“I am all about performance, explosive 3-5 reps ramping up” to “best single way to make gains is hitting failure” to “whole body training daily, with pump training and high reps on double stimulation days”)!
I was definitely born 2A (people pleaser, dependent on others good perception of myself, although i don’t think my self-esteem was ever low). It was more ego driven rather than a deficiency of esteem.
But over time, as I’ve gotten older I have many more elements of 1A/1B. Think about it - young guys are naturally 2A because they haven’t found their role in society…and if they have a boss to report to and some “system” to serve and dont have their own brand/financial independence, then their very survival depends on being perceived well by others no?
So the more successful you get and the less F’s you give (correlated to how well you can survive without needing others, i.e. financial security/independence) the more you would shift towards being more “confident”, outcome dettached or 1A/1B. My training has evolved over time to mirror this shift as well.
I know for me I used to look at legs/upper body exactly like how you described -> i need some upperbody work to be pumped up and feel/look good before I even have motivation to work “non-show” muscles. This was huge for me.
However now I give way less F’s and do not need to compete against the steroid monkey or the young natural mens phsyique poser. Though I admit I don’t think I can ever just go into the gym and do leg press without at least some upperobdy calishtenics for pump and to feel good. And great comment about zercher squats lol…i do these from pins now and the abs/upper body & biceps pump makes it very attractive (and motivated to do a leg exercise).
In general though, the original thesis was to always move towards being a “performance” explosive machine -> the goal was to become 1a/1b. But it seems like that might not be something to shoot for if you happen to be 2a/2B or 3 right?
I was “taught” originally to use a 2b approach (hit failure, higher reps) to build muscle and didn’t enjoy it too much…then I found you and the low rep explosive/performance stuff (1b) and was seduced by it as the best way to train. Now I do most of my lifts from pins (1a style) as the deadlift nature feels better (contraction) and “easier” (deloading at the turnaround, easier on joints) for the past year. THe pleasures of being a 2A i guess