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PRIME TIME COACHES ROUNDTABLE...

  1. HOW can I progress? By adding weight? By adding reps? Adding sets? Decreaing rest? Using more range of motion?

You know, for the experienced lifter, they did a little study at the Webb School and found that an experienced lifter can get away with LIGHTER loads because the forces stay high.

A beginner on a Universal Bench Press will put the key at 50 and push until they get 51 units of push and the stack moves. As it goes up, there will be a lot of weird times where the athlete has to start up, stop and restart. All in one rep! The experienced will blow right through the top.

That is why I think that chains and bands do so much good for the better lifters…it is playing with what the experienced guy does best: blast.

So, one other variation to the question: can we go lighter to make progress.

Here is what I found “true.”

  1. You MUST note rest periods for the advanced athlete so you can measure training session to training session. You should also have a total time.

  2. Volume for volume sake is nice, but the ‘gains’ rarely last as long as a really huge number on a max lift. I mean, if you deadlift 1,000 pounds (just for a single here, don’t want to sound crazy), a 60% lift is still 600. Enough to blast the shot, discus or neighbor’s dog a long way.

  3. Range of motion for the advanced athlete is generally shorter than a beginner. A lifter wants to “shrink” as they get better and better. Watch the Olympics: those great snatchers are barely taking over their belly buttons now. The first lesson in a POwerlift Bench Press is to make the motion as small as possible.

So, there is the problem: if you want to lift huge weights, you must become extremely efficient. If you want to do something else (like hypertrophy…maybe) you have to…maybe…go in another direction.

But, what do I know? I drag stuff on hot days and throw metal objects that burn my skin…

Great contribution Dan!

hey BTW I’ve been keeping my disci in the ice cooler between throws…

[quote]Charles Staley wrote:
It can be better from an arousal/concentration perspective. When rests are short, you don’t have time to fall “off-task.”

Also, if you’re neurologically “average” (and by definition, that means most of us!), we need the neural drive more than we need the rest. If you rest too long, you lose neural drive? not good if you’re average. If you’re a neural stud on the other hand, when you maximally exert yourself, you’re getting a LOT more out of your true potential than us average guys do…therefore, you need a longer rest.

Make sense?

MikeTheBear wrote:
What exactly are the advantages of increasing training density? Muscular endurance has been mentioned as one, in addition to muscular growth. What about strength? Why would doining 15 singles at 85% 1RM performed with one minute of rest between sets be better than 5x3 with 2-3 minutes between sets?

[/quote]

Yes it does make sense. I think I even experienced this once. When going through a tough workout once I decided I wanted to “get it over with” and cut my rest period short on the last set. Although I was still breathing hard and felt physically fatigued, I was able to blast the weight up better than when I had taken longer rest periods.

CT,
Would you say that GPP sessions improve Progress or Progression?

Coach Staley,

How would you recommend that I serve this side dish? I get the impression from you that 15 minutes might be too long. Would 10 minutes or even 5 minutes be more appropriate?

Just want to say that I bookmarked this thread. Even if no one adds to it after tonight, it’s already an EXCELLENT reference. Awesome job!

How do you assess progress? For instance, I run a short microcycle and raise my deadlift 50lbs. Yes, I may be adding reps, or weight on the bar, but how do you assess whether what I added was acceptable, or whether changing would bring about a greater result?

Hi Charles

I’m wondering if you could list some of the more common imbalance that you might encounter in a typical athlete that you help.

Obviously, there are people who are “front” heavy who do many bench press but not enough row and the usual test is the dropping of the hands to the side…and see which ways the palms face…

Do you have any other tips on easy to spot muscle imbalances ?

I’m not CT, but I think he’d agree that GPP can do both, depending on the athlete and when and how it’s utilized. On one hand, you’re building work capacity and grooving important movement patterns; that would be progression. On the other hand, you can use GPP to actively promote recovery, which would certainly lead to progress in the acute physical preparedness of the athlete.

[quote]neilbudge wrote:
CT,
Would you say that GPP sessions improve Progress or Progression?[/quote]

15 Minutes is fine. I’m just pointing out the need to play the general-preparation/specific preparation-continuum carefully…

[quote]general_lfl wrote:
Coach Staley,

How would you recommend that I serve this side dish? I get the impression from you that 15 minutes might be too long. Would 10 minutes or even 5 minutes be more appropriate?[/quote]

Thanks EC. That makes sense.

Bilateral (left/right) assymetries/imbalance are fairly easy? just stand relaxed in front of a grid of some type and have someone photograph you. You can place small pieces of white tape on landmarks such as the A/C Joint, ASIS, PSIS, etc, to make them more visible. Then analyze the photo for anything that sticks out at you.

Watch how people stand and walk. And listen. Does one foot hit the ground harder than the other? Do the feet flare out? Does one flare out more than the other? Do you ever see people “skating” (meaning, almost all the movement comes from the hips and not enough from the knees) instead of walking?

Just a few things to get you started…

[quote]marcus_aurelius wrote:
Hi Charles

I’m wondering if you could list some of the more common imbalance that you might encounter in a typical athlete that you help.

Obviously, there are people who are “front” heavy who do many bench press but not enough row and the usual test is the dropping of the hands to the side…and see which ways the palms face…

Do you have any other tips on easy to spot muscle imbalances ?[/quote]

This is where science becomes subjugated to art. It’s a trial and error thing. The more trial and error, the better/more accurate your hunches become, because you’re more experienced. I’d suggest basing current rate of progression with past rates of progression. When I first started, by bench went up 5 pounds a workout. Now it’s more like 5 pounds a year, and that’s not even a guarantee! Hope that helps…

[quote]A~D wrote:
How do you assess progress? For instance, I run a short microcycle and raise my deadlift 50lbs. Yes, I may be adding reps, or weight on the bar, but how do you assess whether what I added was acceptable, or whether changing would bring about a greater result?[/quote]

EC,

What type of things would you reccommend one doing in the GPP phase of a program?
I know alot of people use bodyweight exercies and Dave Tate wrote about a progression in Ed. of a Powerlifter where the charachter used sled dragging, reverse hypers, abs, and band GM’s for the lower body and sled, pushups with DB’s, ext rotations and rear shoulder work.

What are your thoughts?

OK guys, I’ve gotta drop off of the forum for the night…hope you’ve found this discussion interesting as I have. I’ll try to remember to re-visit this regularly over the next few days in case there are more questions.

If you like the roundtable concept, please let us all know so we can provide exactly the type of interaction you’re looking for…

[quote]Charles Staley wrote:
…OPTIMAL PROGRESSION STRATEGIES

Now to the three questions:

  1. WHEN do I progress? Every set? Every workout? Every week?

  2. HOW can I progress? By adding weight? By adding reps? Adding sets? Decreaing rest? Using more range of motion?

  3. How LARGE of a progression should I take? Small increase in stress? Medium? Large?

[/quote]

I’m late into the game on this thread, but I’ll give my take. But I must preface my post by saying that I haven’t read any of the posts except for the first. The reason? I want to get my thoughts down, then, if I find my advice mirrors other contributors - cool!

  1. When should a trainee progress? Every single workout, except for planned periods of unloading/detraining. But the term “progress” is very vague. There exist a prodigious number of variables that can be monitored to ascertain whether a trainee is progressing, or not.

  2. How can a trainee progress? A simpleton would only consider increased loading as a measure of progress. Other training elements such as increased volume and density are important and effective. Adding a rep to each set, or even just the last set leads to progress.
    A more extreme example is evident when a coach monitors his client’s heartrate. Let’s say Trainee X performs the exact same parameters for three consecutive workouts (no progressions added whatsoever). If the coach monitors his client’s heartrate and determines that the client decreased his average heartrate bpm by say 10% over the course of the three workouts, the client has progressed. Indeed, the client’s work capacity or preparedness has been enhanced.

Another example would be the use of the Tendo Power Unit. I find this tool to be invaluable since extremely small velocity enhancements can be demonstrated by the computer data. Therefore, if Trainee X is performing speed-strength work with a light load, a coach can determine whether the actual speed of execution is faster than the previous workout. Indeed, if a trainee performed 8x3 with 50% of his 1RM for two consecutive workouts, a coach probably wouldn’t be able to determine (by simply watching the athlete) if the speed of execution is faster than the previous workout.

The point of these two examples is not to say that a coach must constantly monitor a trainee’s heartrate during every session, nor is it a claim that the Tendo unit is absolutely necessary. Instead, the examples demonstrate that there exist many variables that some coaches haven’t considered, or don’t understand. Therefore, the athlete could be progressing without the coach even realizing it. But, a coach must learn to monitor the SPECIFIC qualities that an athlete is trying to improve.

  1. How much should a trainee progress (little, medium, high)? If I had to give one specific answer I’d say that a trainee is better off with small progression plans. The reason? It keeps the trainee motivated. Indeed, an athlete’s mental state is probably one of the most important and misunderstood variables that relate to long-term success.

But, an athlete’s ability to perform exercise at a high level is constantly changing. This is often defined as “instantaneous preparedness.” Therefore, I highly recommend that every coach be adaptable to an athlete’s state on any given day. If a lifter feels in the zone, then it’s time to bump up the demand of the workout. If the trainee feels rundown, adjustments must be made to keep the athlete motivated. For instance, if a coach has a loading progression planned for a certain snatch workout, the coach should not follow through if the athlete is displaying poor motor skills and cognitive functioning. Instead, a coach would do well to switch the exercises or volume/intensity parameters to cater to the specific state of the trainee.

Oftentimes, when I train an athlete who’s displaying such signs of fatigue, I take a profound and novel approach to the dilemma. What do I do? I ask the athlete what type of training he feels like doing. Novel, indeed.

The mans in the house! Mind looking over my questions as well CW? If you have the time tonite of course.

Thanks!!

Just one thing though. How many types of progressions can you use workout to workout? CS mentioned that intially progress is made mostly in load, then volume is the parameter to gauge progress, then density can be increased to illicit more progress and subsequent gains in performance, are you saying you can go into even more minute details to gauge progress; is there no limit?
Is there truly a pattern of loading parameters becoming less and less useful that is evident with time and is the above sequence of adaptations that occur in the organism accurate?
Am I making any sense or have I actually become paralyzed because I oveanalyzed?

Amir

[quote]Chad Waterbury wrote:
Charles Staley wrote:
…OPTIMAL PROGRESSION STRATEGIES

Now to the three questions:

  1. WHEN do I progress? Every set? Every workout? Every week?

  2. HOW can I progress? By adding weight? By adding reps? Adding sets? Decreaing rest? Using more range of motion?

  3. How LARGE of a progression should I take? Small increase in stress? Medium? Large?

I’m late into the game on this thread, but I’ll give my take. But I must preface my post by saying that I haven’t read any of the posts except for the first. The reason? I want to get my thoughts down, then, if I find my advice mirrors other contributors - cool!

  1. When should a trainee progress? Every single workout, except for planned periods of unloading/detraining. But the term “progress” is very vague. There exist a prodigious number of variables that can be monitored to ascertain whether a trainee is progressing, or not.

  2. How can a trainee progress? A simpleton would only consider increased loading as a measure of progress. Other training elements such as increased volume and density are important and effective. Adding a rep to each set, or even just the last set leads to progress.
    A more extreme example is evident when a coach monitors his client’s heartrate. Let’s say Trainee X performs the exact same parameters for three consecutive workouts (no progressions added whatsoever). If the coach monitors his client’s heartrate and determines that the client decreased his average heartrate bpm by say 10% over the course of the three workouts, the client has progressed. Indeed, the client’s work capacity or preparedness has been enhanced.

Another example would be the use of the Tendo Power Unit. I find this tool to be invaluable since extremely small velocity enhancements can be demonstrated by the computer data. Therefore, if Trainee X is performing speed-strength work with a light load, a coach can determine whether the actual speed of execution is faster than the previous workout. Indeed, if a trainee performed 8x3 with 50% of his 1RM for two consecutive workouts, a coach probably wouldn’t be able to determine (by simply watching the athlete) if the speed of execution is faster than the previous workout.

The point of these two examples is not to say that a coach must constantly monitor a trainee’s heartrate during every session, nor is it a claim that the Tendo unit is absolutely necessary. Instead, the examples demonstrate that there exist many variables that some coaches haven’t considered, or don’t understand. Therefore, the athlete could be progressing without the coach even realizing it. But, a coach must learn to monitor the SPECIFIC qualities that an athlete is trying to improve.

  1. How much should a trainee progress (little, medium, high)? If I had to give one specific answer I’d say that a trainee is better off with small progression plans. The reason? It keeps the trainee motivated. Indeed, an athlete’s mental state is probably one of the most important and misunderstood variables that relate to long-term success.

But, an athlete’s ability to perform exercise at a high level is constantly changing. This is often defined as “instantaneous preparedness.” Therefore, I highly recommend that every coach be adaptable to an athlete’s state on any given day. If a lifter feels in the zone, then it’s time to bump up the demand of the workout. If the trainee feels rundown, adjustments must be made to keep the athlete motivated. For instance, if a coach has a loading progression planned for a certain snatch workout, the coach should not follow through if the athlete is displaying poor motor skills and cognitive functioning. Instead, a coach would do well to switch the exercises or volume/intensity parameters to cater to the specific state of the trainee.

Oftentimes, when I train an athlete who’s displaying such signs of fatigue, I take a profound and novel approach to the dilemma. What do I do? I ask the athlete what type of training he feels like doing. Novel, indeed. [/quote]

[quote]Danny John wrote:
But, what do I know? I drag stuff on hot days and throw metal objects that burn my skin…[/quote]

This statement got me thinking about another way to get that little extra force/explosiveness for that last rep.

If the discus heated up a lot at the last second before release, I’d imagine one might throw it a little farther.

When doing any other movement the same might be true. Give the guy benching a shock, pinch or jolt of some sort on his last rep when he wants to get that little extra oomph.

Sorry I can’t add much to this awesome thread, but like jsbrook said, this is definitely worth book marking.

One of the best threads I’ve seen so far!

Hey! This one is for Mr.Thibaudeau! Sorry, but this question is irrelavent to the subject. Still hoping I can get a response. Here goes

Mr.Thibaudeau, in your thread “Super Beast in the Making”, you briefly explained a specialization rotation program for dafreak, in terms of quads and triceps. I have heard that you wrote an article based on this “emphasis rotation program”, and I was wondering if you would possibly go further into detail on this subject. How to setup the split, arrange the exercises, which techniques to imploy and just a basic outline of how one would approach this type of training. Will this article be published in the near future? If not, would you start a thread, explaining this subject in further depth. Well thanks for your time, your input would be greatly appreciated!

Hey Coaches, I would love to see a roundtable on periodization or specialization. I don’t know about the others though.