For those of you that didn't see the link on the LRB FB page, there was an interview on allthings gym with phenom Mikhail Koklyaev. The link is here.
Basically Mikhail talked about the fact that if you really want to get stronger, you need to learn how to program light, and manipulate your volume. Something I have been driving home for some time, however the "singles" crew and 90%+ ego lifters get pissed off about such things. I'll get back to them.
If you do the math on the numbers he gives, he's talking basically 80% or so, which is really about the sweet spot for strength building over a long term period.
Now, the dogmatic "go heavy, or go home" assholes think I'm saying you never need to venture into the 90+% range. Not true. When peaking you will need to do so. You just don't need to do so, in order to build your baseline or foundation level of strength. I really don't give a rats ass what some blowhard who has an inflated fucking opinion of himself tells you. When the strongest guys in the world have consistently trained in the 70-80% range for the majority of their lifting career, that's all you need to know. I don't care about anomalies. The Russians have been handing us our ass in powerlifting for a long time, and they don't train in the 90% range but very seldom.
The reason why my programs work for people is because they push you into the 90% range for just a couple of weeks, after spending many weeks building strength. Not demonstrating it. There is a very clear difference.
Back to the interview....Mikhail goes on to note that he got trapped in the same rut for a long time, training wise, because he was training too heavy. This is not something I would have agreed with years ago, however having set lots of PR's this year, even with a busted quad, it seems pretty obvious to me through application that you can get stronger and stronger, without beating yourself up with high intensities.
If you disagree, that's fine. However, the method works. Choose which one you feel suits you best.
If you choose to go with the lower intensity route, this is about what I suggest if you run training over a longer period and only need a short peak. These are figures I have been playing with however I'm setting up my entire offseason cycle based around a lot of it.
Base strength -
70% for 3 sets of 8 for bench with an overwarm up to 80-85%
70% of 5 sets of 5 for squats with an overwarm up to 80-85%
70% for 5 sets of 3 for deadlifts with no over warm ups
80% for 5 sets of 3 for bench with an over warm up to 85%
75-80% for 5 sets of 5 for squat with an overwarm up to 85%
75-80% for 3 sets of 3 for dead with an overwarm up to 85%
Overwarm ups to singles at 85%, 88%, 90%, 93% over 4 weeks.
The work sets after the over warm up would be in the 80-85% range through the 4 weeks.
These are general guidelines. Feel free to play with them if you are not running 365.
Dietary fat and test levels -
I came across this article from Layne Norton, about higher fat diets and test levels. Basically, it just confirmed what I already thought. A really low fat diet decreases levels, however a medium and high fat diet doesn't INCREASE test levels, it just gets them back to a normal or healthy state.
There is no diet to "increase test" levels. Just because cholesterol and testosterone are linked, doesn't really mean anything. If eating dietary fat made your test levels higher then guys eating McDonalds and Burger King would be fucking jacked. They are not. You also won't find any jacked dudes that got that way eating high fat and low carb. We've beaten this horse a lot, but I enjoy beating it because people can be fucking stupid about this shit.
Carbs = insulin = mass
That discussion is over. If you want to get big, manipulate your carbs. I am using carbnite and backloading again for that because I don't want to get any bigger unless it's lean mass. If that means a pound or two a year, I'm ok with that at this point.
Funny enough, if you want to get leaner, manipulate your carbs. It's not really about carbs, it's about what they do to you and the role insulin plays. Manage your insulin for what your goals are. More mass? More carbs. Less fat? Fewer carbs. That's it. That's all.
Low back pain -
Most low back pain is related to a strained piriformis. However my shit got locked up badly today and thankfully I mentioned it and Jim Steel sent me a link on how to reset the SI joint. This shit worked and I felt it pop. Apparently it's supposed to be good after a nights sleep now.
Here is the link.