As the questions and comments pour in, I see some guys that must not read the Base Building manual very well, or just latched hold of certain parts and ran with it.
So I'm going to go over a few things here that keep coming up.
1. "Paul, I did squat Model I and did it in under 12 minutes. I need to add weight right?
Well, I don't know because the point wasn't to just rush through the set. It's not about an egg timer. It's about being able to get the work in, but making sure that EVERY SET IS EXPLOSIVE.
If you got all 5+ sets in, in under 15 minutes, but the last set or two was a grinder, then no. You don't need to move up in weight.
The other part that irks me about this is that people are still the boat here, in that all they are focused on is JUST adding weight to the bar. And yes, at some point that trumps all. We are trying to get stronger right? But the method here, the principles that make the method, has more than one moving part.
You need to be able to do all of the work efficiently. That means getting the work in quickly, but explosively for every set.
2. "I did Model I for bench, but I couldn't get all the sets and reps in, so I lowered the weight and finished."
Where did I write to do that????
You need to go ahead and get all of the volume in, and then over time you should be able to do all 5 sets of 8 on bench.
So if you went from doing 3 sets of 8, then got in a set of 6, then 4, to where you could do all 5 sets of 8, are you stronger?
Don't take weight off the bar. If you're setting your EDM correctly then Model I on bench may not be 100% doable at first. This is OK. THIS IS OOOO KKKKK.
When I developed Model I, I wasn't always able to get all 5 sets of 8 in. On bad days, I would often feel things going into the tank fast after that third set. When I got to where all 5 sets of 8 was pretty easy, I saw a HUGE increase in my bench.
Volume PR's are STILL PR's. Be able to do more work with a given workload means that strength did increase. Being able to EASILY do more work with a given workload means strength increased dramatically. Stop making it all about weight on the bar as a measuring stick for progress. There are many ways to measure this in training.
3. "My bench didn't move much on Model I."
Try Model II or III, which includes a back off set of as many as possible. I don't need to do this anymore now as I've found it to be a little bit counterproductive for me at this point. I tend to use incline and press behind the neck for my rep work now.
4. "I only have 14 weeks until my meet. What should I do?"
This is in the book. Run the short cycle for the last 5 weeks, and then whatever is left over time wise before that 5 weeks, do base building.
5. "Will base building work while losing fat?"
YES! And very well because you're not going to be trying to set rep PR's, and it forces you to move your EDM as your strength levels move. Some guys don't lose a lot of strength when dieting, or they don't diet long enough to see that overall effect take place. For those that do, the great thing about base building is that you don't have to walk in the gym and feel defeated as strength drops because you can't move the weights you were moving weeks and weeks before. Just move your EDM, and reprogram.
6. "My lifts are X, Y, and Z....should I use Base Building?"
If you have to ask if your lifts are high enough to use it, then they probably aren't. I have written for a while that a beginners training strength is such a fast moving target that it's hard to nail down programming based on intensities. If your numbers are relatively small, or you're a real novice, there are programs in the manual that will get you stronger and explain these things.
There's a big difference in a guy using 165 for his sets of squats, and a guy using 385 for his sets of squats.