I’ve been musing about sustainability recently, as I’ve been watching too many — or just enough — documentaries lately. One thing I see, time and time again, is the need for variety to have balance and if you do not have variety you might be able to strive for a goal short-term but usually see long-term consequences. So, for instance, in agriculture you’d be able to grow a few crop cycles at a higher yield but eventually ruin the soil unless you rotate crops intelligently. You can optimize for dairy production, at the detriment of other qualities. Or you can establish a symbiotic system that feeds into itself.
And you see this in training to, I think. In more aspects than one. You need training stress. You need recovery. Both equate to growth. You need strength, and you need mobility. With just one, and not the other, you are placing your body at increased risk for injury. And then there is conditioning.
And I’ve noticed that you see this in many different approaches that the coaches on T-nation share.
It’s prevalent in training methodologies (push/pull/legs) which is kind of on the micro-level. And again at a macro level.
Take Wendler for instance, if you follow his writing you’d work towards all of these facets at any point but you have leaders and anchors as a means to systemise pushing different qualities. You have Carter, who believes that powerlifters should occasionally train like bodybuilder (and I’d suppose vice versa). You see balance across seasons in one of Thib’s writings elsewhere.
It would be interesting to take this idea to the extreme, where training and diet simultaneously is very varied and see how that works.
Like, overlaying Primer 5/2 (varied macros and fasting which I’ve linked in an earlier post Nordic Blood: 30m 180kg Loaded Carry and a Front Lever Before I'm 30) with a nuanced training program that combines every conceivably quality from heavy lifting to steady-state work. Maybe something like what is posted at the end here: https://www.t-nation.com/training/destroying-fat
Day 1: Heavy lifting chest/back + alactic work Day 2: Lactate-inducing workout 1 + 20-30 minutes of steady-state aerobic work Day 3: OFF Day 4: Heavy lifting quads/hams Day 5: OFF Day 6: Lactate-inducing workout 2 + 20-30 minutes of steady-state aerobic work Day 7: OFF
but the two don’t overlay perfectly. And for me, well, I have climbing too. So it’s not something for me. Right now. But it’s fun to philosophise.