There are many differences but I’d like to highlight two that I feel are especially important. One is the underlying physiological modeling and the other is the periodization structure.
Modeling: I see MRV as being a useful lexicon to describe certain things that happen to us during training. I find it less useful for making prescriptions for training dose in a particular session.
When I was doing the machine learning on wellness data I recall seeing very low incidence of people doing Sheiko workouts reporting injuries (I’ll dig that up and share official stats in the future). How low? I’m fairly certain it’s under 1%.
That’s not an accident. A central goal with this AI is optimized volume and long term sustainability. An often overlooked route to becoming a champion is simply to outlast your more talented peers. So not getting injured is a huge part of success.
Periodization: I’ve done a side by side comparison of the typical monthly stress in each approach. Both use a mix of low, medium, and high stress workouts, which is good. Assuming the MRV setup is perfectly dialed in with your current state, I see it producing about 25% less high stimulus days per month (on average) compared to the Sheiko AI. Realistically, that could be more or less if the MRV is not dialed in properly (probably the case). The next issue is the distribution of those high stimulus days. In JAI they are concentrated in a cluster while they are more spread out in the Sheiko AI (the exact distribution depends on your readiness). The way I see it, this is both safer and more effective. The statistics I see partially support this. People doing Sheiko vs Other (style unknown) workouts are reporting both greater workloads and improved wellness with Sheiko.
Here’s a brief conceptual overview of Sheiko AI.
Optimized volume is a primary goal. That’s what the observation period helps establish. The app watches what you do each day and how your wellness responds to your workouts. It takes about 30 days to gather enough data to get a good picture of your situation. From there it can start taking over your training. It’ll conservatively try to increase your loading over time, but will keep an eye on your wellness response. If it sees any negative trends developing it’ll cut back on the workload until things improve. Its responsiveness to negative trends is aggressive. So if you want the app to keep giving you harder workouts you’ll need to do your part to stay in good form outside the gym.
Here’s what to expect over a training cycle:
Preparation Period 1: increase muscle mass to raise the potential for strength. Explore variations of the main lifts and search for weak areas
In practice: expect pyramids on the main lifts (at appropriate times in your recovery cycle) and more variations. You’ll also get more accessories for targeted muscle development of lagging areas (all major muscle groups are fair game).
Preparation Period 2: Squash the weakness you discovered in Prep 1 and prepare to lift heavy weights. The goal is the realization of strength potential.
In practice: concentrate on fewer lifts that you’ve found useful. Partial range of motion exercises are particularly useful to help get used to handling near max weights, without the accompanying fatigue of full ROM. More work with the main lifts. Less targeted muscle work.
Competition Period: Initiate deload and taper to competition. Execute the plan to lift heavy on the platform.
In practice: mostly competition exercise work. Few variations. Few accessories. Steadily decreasing volume, same average intensity.