I’m doing a conjugate type of training and I really liked It but the problem is that I cannot spend three days resting. It’s too much for me, I need to touch some weights. What can I do? I tried to rest before but didn’t work for me because I get bored and go off program. Any help would be incredible!
Well, this sounds like what I call stimulus addiction and its something that can really limit, if not completely halt, your gains.
It is true that the capacity to recover to training is limited. Just because you can “do it” doesn’t mean that it’s productive. Adaptation needs to take place.
Furthermore, training has both local (muscles being trained) and central/systemic effects (nervous system, hormonal system, immune system, etc.). Just because you train a different muscle at each workout (for example) doesn’t mean that you can train significantly every day.
If training everyday on the conjugate system worked, the Westside guys would have started doing that long ago. Yet they still “only” train 4 days a week.
CAVEAT/however, some of the Westside guys do include extra workouts during the week. But these are not full on sessions. It’s minor, non stressful stuff done to non-fatiguing levels. These workouts normally last 20 minutes, and often focus on sled work, high reps resistance bands work or low stress machine exercises.
But here is the problem: a stimulus addict will eventually turn these sessions gradually into “real” workouts and run into trouble.
You can actually train 5-6 days a week. But when frequency goes up, volume MUST go down. For example in my “Best damn workout for natural lifters” article, there are 6 weekly workouts. BUT each workout only has FOUR total work sets (not per exercise, for the whole workout).
In fact, at the moment I am training 6 days a week (when I don’t give seminars I train 6 days a week, when I travel I train 3-4 days a week). BUT I’m only doing one big lift in the session and 1-2 minor assistance exercises.
The problem with stimulus addicts is that lowering the volume will also be hard for them over the long run and they gradually add more sets in and eventually reach a point where it kills their progression.
So in theory if you want to train 6 days a week you can… IF:
OPTION 1 - you only do minor stuff, not anywhere close to failure. Things you can train:
And the volume of these workouts should be low, the duration not exceeding 30 minutes.
OPTION 2 - Lower volume
Increase the frequency of sessions, but lower the volume per session. The higher the frequency, the lower the volume can be.
OPTION 3 - Neural charge workouts
These are short, 15-20 minutes. Only uses explosive exercises and there should be ZERO fatigue in the session (go read the article)
The problem is that stimulus addicts will likely turn all of these solutions into workouts sooner or later, diluting themselves into thinking that they can recover from it and grow optimally. But they can’t. Unless they are on drugs.
You have really read my mind I will try to do it as hard as I can! Thank you so much for your patience and your attention.
Just wondering, what would you consider a “real” workout vs active recovery? Some people do 3-5 mile runs or hard sled intervals on active rest days, but I’d consider those workouts
I can’t believe I stumbled upon this. So I’m a stimulus addict? I guess I sort of knew it. Explains why I get injured often. Explains why I constantly hurt.
I go to the gym some days with the thought of taking it easy, but it usually turns into a hard workout.
This is good knowledge. Thanks
What drugs and how much do I need to continue killing myself everyday?
I used to be the same way. I understand your situation very well.
LOL … probably wrong forum
I think your natural workout would be the best option for me but If you know my situation you’ll also know that I’m not going to last more than two weeks with this program. Even knowing that is fairly amazing. Anyways thanks a lot for your time!!
I understand that, because I’m the same way. Or at least I used to be. Never able to follow a program for more than 2-3 weeks without getting bored. That is also a trait of stimulus addicts: after a while a certain workout is not longer enough to stimulate you, kinda like a drug addict who constantly need to ramp up doses or try new drugs.
But I can attest that very few people achieve a high level of success training this way.
I’m getting sad then… Jajajajaja thanks coach
Well, it helped me become a better coach because I learned and understood so many different ways to train… lots of tools in my toolbox to fix problems. But it hurt my development as an athlete.
But I’ve always been like that: I need an emotional buy-in to train hard.
For example, I started out as a weightlifter (olympic weightlifting: snatch/clean & jerk). I would buy a book which would explain the soviet training system, I would get amped, design my program accordingly and go train hard. Then I’d see a video of a Bulgarian lifter kicking ass and I tried to find out how the Bulgarian trained and I would model my training on them. Then I’d see Pyros Dimas lift and wanted to train life the Greeks, etc.
Even before that, when I was younger I was competing in golf (until I was 19). I had a subscription to Golf Digest and every month the magazine would do a frame by frame analysis of a pro’s swing… and every month I’d try to change my swing to look like that pro… severely slowed down my progression.
It’s exactly what I do. Wendler, soviet system, conjugate, simple periodization… All of them and they lasted literally days. It’s a torture for me because then I get anxious for not finishing nothing but I supose that’s how I am and I can’t change it.
What did you do to help with your stimulus addiction?
I got a kid and my business evolved, requiring me to travel internationally 2 weeks/month.
The former gives me a lot less time and energy to train so I had to do fewer sessions. The later made me realize that even if I don’t train for 4 days I won’t look like a marathon runner.
Sorry if I can’t give you more practical advice. If it were not for there two situations I’d likely still be a stimulus addict.
I’m a stimulus addict? neurotype 3. trying HIT style workout 4-5 days per week… I know is out of HIT-rules,but I like to train … any advice ? thanx
I by nature am a stimulus addict and what has worked for me is to work with a coach that can keep you in check and do your programming for you. I remember around 2-3 months ago when I asked my coach when are we going to change things up and his response was you are making progress so why the hell would we change a thing? It’s what I needed to hear and not what I wanted to hear.
If I may interject my iron brother.
For me at least, a vacation from the gym (or holiday) where I take a selection of bands and train for 20-30 mins every morning worked a treat:
- Use C dextrin and EAA during the session
- Chance the pump and get the nutrients into the muscle
- Push/Pull alternate days (Chest/shoulder/tri’s/Quads and upper back/rear/delts/bis/hams)
- Giant sets for each body part (band hamstring curl to glute bridge, or band later raises to pull-a-parts as examples.
- 2-3 sets per muscle group max
- Maintenance or slightly above cals
I bounced back beautifully, with real noticeable localized recovery (especially in upper back and pecs)
Just my 2 cents