Yes, I chimed in. But not on whether or not speed work had merit or what RPE you needed to be at in order to get maximally strong, but settling in on what works. Now this phrase was "corrected" by someone saying (writing), it's not about what "works" but what is optimal.
That statement is not correct either because it still isn't a complete phrase in regards to training.
I'll correct the "works" part with optimal. But the sentence is still not complete.
It's about finding what is optimal in accordance to what your goals are.
Someone will say that "finding what is optimal" covers that. However I think that you need to be more specific than that.
If a dude says "I want to find what is optimal for gaining muscle, losing fat, and gaining strength." then the answer to that is going to be "a really heavy hefty dose of test, tren, some GH, and some T4."
Why? Because getting big and lean and strong all at the same time is generally not possible outside of noob world. So being very specific about goals tends to answer the question of "what works" or "what is optimal."
I have to beat this particular dead horse every so often because people get so dizzy from all of the "methods" that are available, that they forget a few simple principles of training.
- Enjoy and believe in your training - Look let's throw methods out the window right now. Every method out there, was developed by one guy that enjoyed training that way. He found results with it, and gave it to his buddies, wrote about it in an article, or put it online. You should always train in a way FIRST AND FOREMOST, that you believe in and enjoy. Without these things, your effort will be substandard and such results will follow.
- Have specific goals - You can't plan your training properly when you have no clue as to what it is you are planning for. I still get e-mails or messages every week where some guy asks me "does my routine look ok?" I don't know, are you planning on playing professional tennis or doing a strongman competition? A routine on paper is only as good as the goals it has been written out for.
- Maximize training economy - Settle back into the lifts that give you the best "feedback". By "feedback" I mean the ones you get strong on fastest and "feel" the best to you mechanically and technically. Unless you're training for a competition of some kind, do the big movements that speak to you the most. When I am not training for a meet I do lots of inclines, elevated stiff legged deadlifts, db pressing, and things like that. Of course I still squat, but I dial back the intensity quite a bit.
- Be consistent - I wrote about this in the base building series here and here.
Now in regards to all of the "scientific methods" and the shit that went on, or goes in regards to training with it, here are my thoughts.
- For better or worse, science isn't exact when it comes to exercise, nor does it always apply in the realm of training. People often cite studies that "prove" something in regards to exercise but there have been many times where these studies were flawed or basically worthless in regards to exercise. Not only that, but there seems to be a study to counter every study you will find for the most part. Especially in regards to training.
- Nutrition I think, seems to be a little more cut and dry in terms of what is "truth". However, everything we need to know about lifting, for the most part, is known. The human body is maxed out in terms of strength. Most times when a world record is broken now, it's by a few pounds here and there. As the gene pool for people involved in lifting increases, we will see some world records fall of course. For the most part, we've seen what the strongest of the strong are capable of. Five pounds here or there gets your name in the record books, however we have defined pretty well what are the upper limits of elite level strength.
- I don't like the "everything works" shit. It's just not true. People add on a caveat. "Well everything works for a while." There are plenty of methods that never worked for me. I don't like "dynamic" training. I think it's a brutally ridiculous waste of time. Now when I write that, I write that for me. Lots of guys DO find that it has helped them in their training. I just didn't. I also found that rep work helped. Some guys don't like to do reps. I found that more moderate frequency worked well for me. Too many days a week burned me out and made me hate training. Too low made me feel sluggish and weak.
- We are all "humans", however we are all different enough that the stimulus and recovery factors in training need to be tailored a bit in order to be OPTIMAL. In other words, you're going to have to tinker to find what speaks to you and that also take into account the other stresses of your life. If you're a dude living at home with mom and dad, no bills, and an easy part time job with some fanny on the side, then stress may be low. If you're a dude with two girlfriends and a 50 hour a week job, stress will be at nuclear meltdown levels sometimes. This WILL impact training and recovery. So your training will take a hit if you're trying to train like ol boy with the part time job and a friends with benefits.
That last sentence tends to fix just about everything I think.