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Surprising Training Protocols You've Found?

A few months someone posted the “biggest game changers” thread. It might have been called something else. But it was brilliant. I personally thought it was a great way for people to share their penny drop moments. To help each other avoid the same pit falls.
On a less profound scale - does anyone have any training or diet protocols that were surprising? things they did and were taken back. I’ll start with a few. More are geared toward strong man as this summer into winter I was doing a lot of strong man stuff.

Strong man fit is a thing. Its being able to operate at near max for 60-90 seconds. And it is brutal. If you want to try it - do a log, max reps for 90 seconds. Or a loading / carry medley. It doesn’t even need to be that heavy.
There is a lot of indirect work on the upper back work in strong man events. Yoke, log, stones, front loaded carry. All really tax your upper back. Front loaded carry and yoke the most.
The Texas Method is a great things to pick up for a few weeks just to change things up. for some reason people forget about full body 3x week.
The Axle is a really hard bar to use. The size difference is one thing and then lack of bounce is just odd. But its also the best. No gimmicks, no help. If you can do it on an axle you can do it any where.
You are never to strong for press ups. But you can be too fat for pull ups.

There’s a few of mine. No paradigm shifting information. But just a few moments where I learnt a thing or two.


The more I started playing with EMOM, the better I felt overall: The Holy Grail of Sports Training: EMOM Sets | T Nation

Something about focusing on doing one perfect rep with a heavy-ish weight, little bit of rest, then another perfect rep, little rest, then another perfect rep… just blends together technique work with fatigue management and grit (after several minutes have gone by and you start having the “crap, time for more”-talk before each rep) while balancing volume and intensity.

Clusters kinda work along the same lines in a more compressed timeframe, but need to be part of a workout while 15-20 minutes of EMOM work can be a solid session all on its own.


For bodybuilding, using what I like to call the ‘Reponator’ works really well, ie: 3 x 5, 3 x 7, 3 x 10, 1 x 15+ Failure.

Also, for super-high frequency training, ie, doing the same movements 4-5 times per week, doing 1 all out set to failure of of 20-30 reps to failure works really well.


EMOM is something I’ve thought about for a while. But never had the conviction to try. But for a short duration work out I can see how they’d work. And work a number of things.

Is that all in one work out? For example squat, 3x5, the 3x7, then 3x10, then to failure. Wow. Pretty hard core.

Yup, not something I’ve done for quite a while, I found it works well for pulling movements and squats etc…not so much on pressing movements.

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I agree with Chris about the multiple heavish sets, not to failure protocols. EMOMs, clusters, Hepburn Method, Westside DE day, CAT. They’re all great.

I remember the first time I messed with Hepburn, “you do 2 reps and just stop?” I had started out BB style like everyone else, with straight sets to failure and to cut sets off before near death felt so weird. Then I realized that blasting forceful reps with perfect technique was just like how I trained for sports and I was hooked.

I’m also continuously surprised by any protocol where you alternate lifts week to week. Like Doggcrapp where you use one chest lift the first week, and another one the 2nd week. Or Lillibridge style where you squat one week and deadlift the next week. Or Westside where you can go a month or longer without doing a lift. It’s a nice surprise when you don’t forget how to do the lift and actually come back stronger and get less beat up.


One thing I have been doing lately which I picked up from a guy at the gym and is working well is to start with ~50%-70% for a double or triple and just ramp up by really small increments until the reps are hard.

I like this because it requires no thinking but can get you loads of volume in, some speed work some heavy work. So you might go:
10 x 20kg; 8 x 40kg; 2 X 5 x 60kg; 2 X 3 X 65kg; 2 X 3 X 67.5kg ; 2 X 3 X 70kg; etc

This was recommended as a ramp up then ramp down but I don’t want to do that much plate changing so I do double sets on the way up.