Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Change is inevitable
One of the reasons so many guys have argued against sub max training is because they may have gotten strong training in a max effort method their whole training life. That's awesome. However most of the time these same guys haven't made progress in years in years.
One of the hardest concepts to accept in your training life, is that what got you to one point, may not be what you need to get to the next level.
"But I got strong like that!"
I understand this. However, if you're honest with yourself, and very little progress has been seen for months or even years, then it's time to understand that the dragon you are chasing is never going to be caught using that same net.
You're going to need to train sub maximally at times. Then at other times you are going to need to push for rep PRs. Then at other times you're going to need to work heavier. Then other times maybe do bodybuilding work.
You have to keep an open mind about these things and understand that all of these things end up complimenting each other in getting you to the next level of a better, bigger, stronger YOU.
I remember talking to this one dude who balked at my suggestion that he do some bodybuilding because the fact was, his base of actual muscle mass really wasn't very good. It's been years since we had this talk and his strength really hasn't changed all that much since then. Meanwhile, I've put in a ton of work to improve muscle mass in between meets, and my rep PR's have been coming left and right for some time now.
I credit that to moving back and forth from doing sub max basebuilding work, and chasing rep PR's with the big-15 model, 350 method, 100 rep work, so forth and so on.
Dave Tate recently wrote that guys ask how to get big and strong, and that the best way to do that, is to focus on one or the other and chase that one thing very hard. Trying to do both at the same time can be a bit of a wash because the results will end up landing you somewhere in the middle. I've heard the arguments of "well you can do low heavy work on your main stuff, then do bodybuilding for your assistance."
I've been down that road, and I'm sorry but it just doesn't work as well as training for a single specific purpose. If you need to gain muscle, train for it. Don't keep trying to improve your best double or triple in something. Put your energy into big reps on the big lifts.
You also need to get your head into the fact that you need to get stronger on other big lifts, and stop doing so many "supplement" movements that are fucking easy.
All the god damn band pull aparts in the world aren't going to build you a big ass back. If you're suffering from quad deficiency syndrome, then you may have to venture outside of doing some triples on the squat and put in some time with 15-20 rep sets, front squats, hacks, etc. You can only skirt around the issue for so long until you need to work up the courage to ask that pretty girl to dance.
Once you get bigger, you can then transition into getting back to improving movements. The same holds true for guys that want to get bigger, but haven't gained any size for a while. You may need to shift gears and train for strength for a while, so that way you can eventually transition back to reps, and hit heavier weights for more reps than what you are capable of now.
Once people get a bit of success they tend to think that's the be all end all of training programs and have trouble making adjustments because they can't get their head around the fact that the body will eventually catch up to what you are doing, and you need to shift gears. At least for a while. You don't have to completely abandon something that worked for you. You just may need to set it aside for later when it will become more useful again.