Ok, I'm new to the T-Nation, but I couldn't think of a better place to test some of my ideas on training:
Here is the first idea I want to run past you---internal logic in a training program.
Ok, you know how when you read a science fiction novel (for those of us who do read) and there is a lot of crazy shit that happens...stuff that would never happen in our REAL world...but you just sort of accept it anyway, as a part of the story. Well, for those of us who have taken any writing classes, that's called making the reader suspend disbelief.
Basically you get the guy reading your book to accept that space vampires or zombies or whatever are real because it makes sense in the book. You, as the writer, make up rules and laws that govern the fictional characters that the reader can understand and so the story, although it is make believe, makes sense. It has an INTERNAL logic to it. It's all still bullshit, but it's the kind of bullshit that makes sense.
For those of you who have spent any great amount of time reading different lifting plans, you are familiar with the feeling that what you are reading is complete bullshit, but it still makes sense. And most amazing of all, some of these "bullshit" workouts actually get results for people. So, why is this? I say it is INTERNAL LOGIC.
We know the basics of growth are actually pretty simple: Persistant and escalating force. If you consistantly force your body to do more work, it will grow. That is really all weight training in a nutshell. So any plan, no matter how crazy sounding, that forces regular and increasing work loads will give results.
This is why BOTH HIT training and HVT work for people. If I do a shit load of weight for just a few reps, but I go up in weight each week, then I'm doing more work, so I'm getting more growth. If I do a shit load of volume, but I do more and more volume every week, I'm getting more growth.
So no matter how much HIT Jedi and HVT advocates argue each other into the ground, both will continue to see growth as long as they are capable of increasing work. HOW they increase work is the INTERNAL LOGIC of their workout. For HIT workouts it comes in the form of increased load. In HVT workouts it comes in the form of increased volume.
This is, however, the same reason every workout starts to fail, eventually. There comes a time in every workout program where output starts to fail, where WORK can no longer be increased consistantly. It is at those times that the workout needs to be rethought. Failing to grow on a HIT routine after doing it for months and months is not a sign that HIT routines ultimately don't work.
It is a sign that you are having trouble in the basic principle of all weight lifting, the ability to do more work. Get back to principles, find a new workout that will allow you to consistantly do more work, and soldier on. That's all there is to it. You don't need endless articles analyzing how this WAY is the right way in bodybuilding, or this workout is the best workout....or even this exercise is the best exercise.
The best workout is the one you can work harder at. The best exercise is the one you can go up in. That is all. That is fundamental.