From that article, some of the points that really hit home and also echo all the points I've been making about sub maximal training.........(though I obviously don't agree with the CNS points)
In many articles that have appeared on this site, major focus appears to be on the development of strength with the use of high intensity training programs. High intensity programs, however, are known to be notorious for burning out the central nervous system. This, in turn, creates excessive fatigue and lethargy, which prevents continuous training. Maximum strength is the key quality to be developed, but it appears that we need additional methods for developing maximum strength. Continuous high intensity is very effective, but for the most part, it is very limited and potentially injurious, especially to low-level powerlifters, as well as athletes in various sports, particularly football. Thus, we should ask if the commonly used high-intensity programs for developing maximum strength are the best. Many of these programs are great for producing gains initially, but at what cost to low- and intermediate-level athletes? How long does one stay on such a program and with what results? If you read most of the articles carefully, you will see that most writers admit that the gains are relatively short-lived or that they would hope to get greater gains from the program. In other words, any of these high-intensity methods may not be as good as many hoped.
However, as a nation, we seem to be more obsessed with maximum intensity as though it were the only way to develop greater strength. It has become the Holy Grail of training. Maximum intensity as the main factor appears to be erroneous thinking though.
I love this article because one thing it does, is completely cement all the things that my own body and mind have been telling me for quite some time, but that I fought against for a while. Mainly that is, I found during periods where I was forced to train well under what I believed was optimal, I could hit PR's relatively easily when I tried. Where before, when I was always training to get more weight on the bar, I was always tired and beat up, got injured, and/or mentally dreaded training. The latter part here plays into the REAL CNS issues I have eluded to in the past because of serotonin levels. NOT because of the movement you were doing.
To add to this, everyone I know has sent me the video of Ray Williams hitting a pretty easy 905 squat.
Ray's training for squats? 700 x 5 sets of 5. He's done some heavier sets but for the most part, his training for his squat is 5x5 with what roughly looks like, roughly 75% of his max (925ish I'd say). I saw some footage of the RUM this past weekend and I saw some guys, who are still strong guys, that hit either what they hit in training quite often, or less than that. My question was "how well is your training working if you're just hitting what you do in the gym?" My answer is, not very well in my opinion. Regardless of what you lift, if your training doesn't make you significantly stronger on meet day than you are in the gym, you need to rethink what you're doing. If you've been stuck at the same weight for a long time, why do you keep doing what you've been doing and training in the 90+% zone?
As Dr. Yessis noted in that article, I've not saying nor ever have said that maximal training doesn't work. It does, and it works very well. But it only works for a short period, and it has far more dangers and drawbacks associated with it than working on lower intensity zones that also build strength just as well, if not better.
If names like Andy Bolton, Mikhail Koklyaev, Ed Coan, Kirk Karwoski, and Sam Byrd don't hit home with you on these principles then I don't know what to tell you. All of the guys I am helping with 365 are moving weights they were formerly struggling with because they spent the acclimation phase of the strong-15 moving really light weights and not burning themselves out.
More base building articles next week!