Saturday, January 5, 2013

Programming, Dietary Fat, and Low Back Pain

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

Ramping -
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%

Peaking -
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.





 


35 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting that video on the SI joint. I never would have seen it otherwise.

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  2. I get a weird yet very satisfying pop every time I warm up by prying my hips. Now I'm wondering if it's my SI joint.

    I'm also wondering if this is another argument for the adductor/abductor machine, which I use at the end of every lower body day for high reps, and seems to help keep my lower back happy.

    Finally, though I haven't been training as long as you, Paul, I feel like the reasons to build strength at a lower intensity mesh well with leaving a rep (or more) in the tank.

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  3. This does work about 70% of the time for most people. This is only 50% of the movement though. The second part consists of bringing the knees and feet together and locking them in place ( either have someone hold them together or you could strap them together I suppose ), then try to push your knees outward while leaving the feet in place.

    Hope this makes sense,
    Thomas

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  4. In that quick write up you mentioned, you would program off your every day max for base and ramping? While using your goal % for the peaking right, also the ramping would last a similar time to the acclimation phase of strong 15?

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    1. No. This is using your everyday max. If you're basing the numbers off of a goal, then they aren't REALLY correct are they? Meaning, 70% isn't REALLY 70% of what you are capable of. It's 70% of a goal you haven't done. so it's 70% of that goal, but it's not really 70% of your max. So it means it's something more. Don't program for goals. Program with your everyday max, and you will increase your base level strength which means your peaking strength will be higher too. You can program for a small goal during the peaking phase. but the rest of the time should be based on what you have hit, or are easily capable of hitting.

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  5. Thanks for that video man! I've been having this horrible issue with my left glute and ham...so much so that it's been clamping down on my sciatic nerve and causing pain all the way down to my foot. I think I strained a few muscles (glute max/med/min & piriformis). How did I do this? Not listening to your advice! I felt good one day deadlifting and decided to go for a 1rm outside of my programming...and here I am in significant pain and I've had to stop squatting/pulling and am now working on rehab/conditioning.

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  6. Thanks for LRB 365. It has really been an EGO check for me this first week. But I could not believe how sore I have been from the pull ups and after leg day. thanks again paul
    Jason

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  7. Paul, since you mentioned about structuring your off season cycle off the programming you talked about, how long would you consider running the 70 and 75-80 percentages?

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    1. Indefinitely. You can do everything you need to do with those percentages.

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  8. Hey Paul.

    I'm not sure I can agree that 'carbs=insulin=mass'. Basically I think the equation simplifies complex matters too greatly and is approaching the realms of broscience.

    Why? Because other things can spike insulin levels, for instance whey. Thus, you could write 'lots of whey=insulin=mass'. And yet consuming only whey protein and making gains would be the antithesis of you're argument that only protein couldn't generate sufficient mass gains. I think 'carbs=insulin=mass' is clearly too simplistic. If it wasn't too simplistic, then 'lots of whey=insulin=mass' would surely generate as much muscular gains as carbohydrates.

    In my opinion, it seems likely that carbohydrates are playing a more complex role than merely spiking insulin levels. Maybe it is to do with the effects of carbs on glycogen stores, or maybe it is something else completely. I don't disagree that carbs are an almost necessary component in muscle growth. There seems to be too much practical experience to the contrary. But I disagree with you stating 'carbs=insulin=mass' as if it is close to descriptive of the science.

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    1. It's not about you agreeing, or broscience. Kiefer pretty much nailed that point home on the podcast and well, he's smarter than you or me.

      You're NOT going to make muscle mass gains consuming only whey protein only, and not eating carbs. That's because the insulin response with whey is really minimal.

      Remember that insulin builds tissue. Period. It just comes back to what kind of tissue it ends up building based on the rest of your diet and other factors.

      So again, it's not about disagreeing, this is something Kiefer went over very well on the podcast.

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  9. I understand what base strength and peaking are. What is the ramping for? Also, what is the progression? Thanks,
    rick

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  10. Great post Paul. Just came across an old Coan interview where he was asked about gym maxes- he couldn't answer because he had never - not once! - maxed out in the gym. Just backs up the same shit you've been saying for years - build strength in the gym, demonstrate it at the meet. If it's good enough for coan, its good enough for superman.
    http://samson-power.com/ASL/coaninterview.html

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  11. Paul, how long do u need to run each phrase?

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    1. That all depends on where you are at in your training and if you have a competition coming up.

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  12. Paul, I like the two different kinds of progression for base/ramping. Here's a question: how would you manipulate backoff sets if you were training for something other than single rep max? What if you were chasing a 20-rep squat PR or 100x100 curls?

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    1. I don't think the above layouts really fit into that paradigm. For chasing a 20 rep squat, I'd just bust out hard back off sets after the overwarm up. The big-15 covers that pretty well. For curls, just go after it.

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  13. Would you advance by just adding reps to the sets until you're moving, in the bench example, 3 sets of 12 explosively and then adding 5 to 10 pounds if you had no competition planned?

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    1. once you can hit all 3 sets of 8 with ease, move up. That's how I would work it.

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    2. Hey paul can You do 3x8 on squats and 5x5 on deads @70% for base building?

      I'm asking because after a few straight sets of squats my nerves stars shooting down to my feet on squats.

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  14. I'm just curious how one would progress from week to week. Say for base strength squats, first week is 70% and you get all sets and reps. Would you keep adding weight (5-10lbs) every workout to both the 70% and 80-85% numbers?

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    1. Maybe you missed the most recent blog post? Why do you need to add weight to the bar week to week?

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    2. I've been struggling doing linear progression on squats on top of the olympic lifting I'm doing so a friend linked your post as he thought lower intensity, higher volume might be beneficial. I thought I understood it but it's clear I don't.

      Say my max squat is a measly 300lbs. I'd work up to 255 x 5, then drop to 210 5 x 5. I'd run that for the strength phase? Then 255 x 5, 240 x 5 x 5 for the ramping phase and then peak to singles each week for four weeks, with work sets being between 240 - 255 for those weeks.

      And after that I just realized you were talking about the Base Building part 2 post which explicitly answers my question. Sorry for wasting your time Paul. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

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    3. LOL I always like it when someone starts writing and in their writing, they figure out the answer.

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  15. Hi Paul,

    It's been a month since you posted this article, but are you still running CNS and CBL? If so, do you recommend it over your traditional carbs in the morning approach?

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    1. Yes, but I'm doing it with clean carbs now instead of junk. More jasmine rice, white potatoes and such.

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    2. Thanks for the response and for everything you put out.

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    3. Hi Paul,

      Just want to let you know that my clients, my wife, and I are running the phase structure laid out in this post. Results have been nothing short of great. I'm probably considered a low-level intermediate, but my lifts have been stuck for a while because I've been trying to add weight to the bar every week. After adopting your philosophy, I have to say I feel much better and look forward to training. Thank you.

      So far, have only done Base and Ramping. I'm curious what rep range you think is appropriate for the peaking phase? 1-3?

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    4. I'll be writing about that in a week or so. Hang in there.

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  16. hey paul say if i was base building and squatting 5x5 with squats @70% after the over warm up, i wanted to ask you how many times a week should i do this 5x5? maybe once?, now i know you'll shoot me if i ask when to add weight but will it be better to move up 5-10lbs after i blow past it like cake? as if i finished it in 10-15 min like sam byrd does when starting out? Also how many reps per set do you recommend in the front squat if i wanted to base build the front squats? people say never go more than 3, what do you think paul?

    i would really appreciate if you can answer these ?s because im trying to base build now because for the past 2 years i have fallen off the cliff like you said. done smolov twice and have fallen off the cliff twice lol F*** my life

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    Replies
    1. How long did Sam write that he stayed with 60% for 5x5?

      Before asking, spend more time reading. It's all there.

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  17. Pain in the back of the shoulders is quite common in someone who has severe poor posture. Poor posture does NOT just affect the low back but everywhere else too! this is what you need

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