This last week, Wendler and I have been in knowledge exchange mode a lot talking about some theories that we have. As usual, Jim and I were thinking about the same shit at the same time. I can't tell you how often this happens. No one would believe it. I was going to put up a music post last week, and as I was making it, I saw Jim's feed on Facebook that he had made one. We do this shit constantly. But this isn't a "Jim and Paul suck each other off constantly" bit. So I will elaborate.
The area that we have been discussing has been one of the most interesting topics we've talked about in a while in regards to programming. Yes, this is a teaser for it because Jim is writing about it in his new book and I'm covering it in the new 365 manual. I don't know if it's something that's going to jump out at you, when you read it. However it's something that he and I feel might be one of the biggest keys and factors to constant and sustained success in the weight room. Lots to write on about it, so expect me to really blast about it after the manual. It also really solidifies some thinking I've had about my own philosophies and principles for some time now. Anyway, not to tease too long about it, and I don't want to steal Jim's thunder about it either so I'll cut it there.
Boy the Pendlay row post got some action this week. I'm not sure why that movement is so controversial (if a fucking exercise can have controversy) but I believe it's because most guys refuse to leave their ego at the door in training. They would rather do 405 pound rows with monkey fuck form that does shit all for moving their deadlift than use 185 or so and get the benefits from it. Dan Green and I talked about that row for a bit, and Dan pulls well over 800 and he said he can't do more than 315 with it until he starts getting the hip movement into it as well. Think about that for a minute. My pull is low 700's and I use 275 for a triple at best. Dan pulls well over 800 and can't do much more than 315 before he starts to cheat it. So some guy with a 600 or 500 pull wants to talk shit about how much he can row?
I also read where someone said Ed Coan did cheat rows. He did not. He did very strict rows that you can see in his video, and Pendlay also talked about Ed doing very strict rows. I'm not saying Ed NEVER raised his back any at all, but I've read over and over again that one of most impressive things about Ed, was his ability to row heavy as hell (over 500) without his back ever coming up from parallel.
So if Ed Coan, who is stronger than YOU, "only" used 500......well I'm not sure what justification you have for doing 400+ pound rows. But it's your life, so do what makes you happy and brings you rainbows and unicorns.
Look people write about leaving your ego at the door all the time, but most do NOT DO IT. I've written about this many times. If a guy can deadlift 600 as a max, he wants to deadlift 600 every time he walks into the gym. How many times have you read on a message board..."I pulled 600 last week, went in today and missed it. Couldn't even get it to the knees."
Well duh, shit head. I'm writing about this in the manual as well and why this shit is a big reason for lack of progressing. It also ties in with the previous statement about what Wendler and I have been going over. Are you in the gym to get stronger, bigger, and better or there to "show off" what you can do? I still can't, for the life of me, figure out why guys max in the gym. It makes no sense to me. Even worse, guys taking maxes right before a meet. I'm not sure if anyone watched the Backyard Meet of the Century, but there were a lot of misses, and I know some of those guys went too heavy in their meet prep. You don't need to hit in training what your goal is at the meet, in order to be good for it. I feel like this is a "lost art" of training that was a mainstay from the guys in the old school days. Those guys didn't max out in training. They knew that's what the meet/competition was for. They used the gym to build muscle and strength. Not their ego.
I'm not saying the guys that missed at that meet train with their ego, and I know it's very tempting to want to KNOW that you are capable of hitting a certain number at the meet, however once you get into grinders and max lifts, you only have so many of those in you over a certain period of time (generally 2 weeks on the front and back end of training).
Your programming is the most important part of your actual training plan, and this is something many trainees put very little thought into. Then when they fail, they blame the routine or the "philosophy" or whatever, when hey, no one did your programming but you! You have to own that.
Remember what you are in the gym for. It's to build strength, not perform strength demonstrations. Every time you need to get "outwardly psyched" for a set, think of your recovery gauge as taking a hit. So that means, fewer ass kicking sessions right after this. What I am getting at is, when you have a +10% session, expect a drop and some -10% sessions right after, or at the very least some very poor 80%ers. This is the ebb and flow of training progress. Something I have preached about for a long time, is to stack up tons and tons of 80%ers with as few -10%ers as possible, and training progress will be great. A +10% session is always a bonus, but there is a pendulum swing with it, and you will have to pay the piper, i.e. some shitty workouts thereafter.
Short and sweet for a Monday, in which I am off work. I know it was yesterday, but thanks to all the Vets for their time and service.