This is a thread about increment plates

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Spheroid_Physique
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This is a thread about increment plates

Post by Spheroid_Physique » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:25 am

In the past, I've purchased increment plates during my short-lived attempts at following linear progression programs. I was pushed towards this purchase because, over several work-related moves, I encountered gyms wherein even 2.5lb plates were nonexistent or kept under lock and key. I still use the little plates despite moving away from linear programming.

Why? Simple. I indulge my inner autist/obsessive by making my working weight as close as possible to the percentage of max I intend to work with for any given workout. I've gotten away from really geeking out (breaking out .5lbs and smaller plates!) and have taught myself to be content with 1.25lb plates. Necessary? No. Do I like it? Yes.

I haven't yet bothered with calculating total volume using it for planning (i.e. rotating between power, hypertrophy, and strength microcycles whilst increasing volume at a constant rate throughout the whole meso/macrocyle a la Morrison's stuff), but the idea of manipulating volume through minuscule weight increases appeals to me.

Any other OCD types insist on using the tiny plates? Do we have anyone on the board who has managed to maintain (albeit slow) linear progression by slowing down and using the little plates?

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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by syaigh » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:58 pm

Yeah, I have .5 lb plates as well as 2.5 lbs. I mostly used these in volume progressions on bench because for people who are literally struggling with 65 lbs, a 2 lb increase means a lot. I sometimes use them on cleans and snatches to get people through a mental block when a 5 lb jump seems to be a bit too much (literally one weight flies and 5 lbs more looks like total shit). Now I see things a little differently, ie, if I can't make a 5 lbs jump, I'm not ready for it and no need to be impatient. But, I think whatever motivates you is good. If adding small bits keeps you progressing, keep progressing.
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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by baffled » Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:35 am

Poliquin was into this micro loading stuff.
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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by powerlifter54 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:49 pm

A tool, but one I am 180 out on. I have been pretty out on having painted my 2.5s pink. Good for Records, but I don’t try PRS with them.

IMHO, they lead to a long term mindset that is defeatist.

But YMMV.
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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by dkay » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:30 am

About 20 years ago I made myself 1.25 lb incremental "plates" by going to Home Depot and getting a small length of chain and a clip that I could slide on the bar as a fixed loop - I think I could actually weigh the gizmo in store and just get the guy to clip off a couple links to make the weight. Easy and only a couple bucks.

Anyway, at the time, the notion of incremental loading made sense to me. However, it has never been borne out in practice for me- at least given my methods and the fact that I am not strong, and have never trained purely for strength, or a single lift pb.

My go-to "strength" work for the past 15 or so years has been 50/20 style for squats, dl, oh, bp- in all this, I've found no difference between throwing 1.5 micros on the bar or 5 (2x 2.5 plates you can get anywhere). Ultimately, I'll work until I get the total reps but want to build up reps per set. i'll star with a weight that I can do for 5 and then working up to sets from 7-10 for a total of 50- incremental loading probably would make no difference to this goal. This sort of works out to micro-loading in a different way.

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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by Spheroid_Physique » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:25 pm

powerlifter54 wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:49 pm
IMHO, they lead to a long term mindset that is defeatist.

But YMMV.
Please explain this. I understand how accepting slower progress than otherwise possible could be seen as defeatist. But how is approaching anything in the iron game from a long term perspective defeatist? It seems like longevity is a key component of accomplishing anything significant fitness wise. Can't squat from a hospital bed or an early grave.

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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by powerlifter54 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:23 am

Spheroid_Physique wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:25 pm
powerlifter54 wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:49 pm
IMHO, they lead to a long term mindset that is defeatist.

But YMMV.
Please explain this. I understand how accepting slower progress than otherwise possible could be seen as defeatist. But how is approaching anything in the iron game from a long term perspective defeatist? It seems like longevity is a key component of accomplishing anything significant fitness wise. Can't squat from a hospital bed or an early grave.
I agree with that entire line of thought, except small jumps have just not worked well at all for me. If I can only add 2x2.5s then I am it ready to jump and I just do more sets where I am at. In my work sets I jump at least 20 lbs in the squat and dL and 10 in the bench, generally more. This is not kamakzi make it or die, it is keep adding volume leaving reps in the tank. If my bar weight slows down or I start to grind I drop the bar weight next set. In fact I often do a workout I call “ fun with quarters” in the squat or dL. I pick a weight, say 405 and do a set. Then I add 2x25s. I do another set. Then I take off the quarters and do another set at 405. I generally try for three of these couplets. Actually have done it in bench too. You might think the lower weight is too light. Nope, it is a great speedset.

And the confidence and body feedback practice I get is very good for lifting bigger weights. Or pushing up my barweight on set of 3, 5, or 7. Because I do no singles anymore except speed DLs.

Other ways to do it? Sure
Just in my experience this way works better.
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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by nafod » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:48 am

My experience...
When I incrementally add a little bit of weight (or little bit of distance on a MTBike ride, or etc.) it feels like the same weight but heavier.
When I make a jump, it feels like a different weight. My relation to it has changed. The weight moves me differently when I move it.

Does that make sense?
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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:39 am

nafod wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:48 am
My experience...
When I incrementally add a little bit of weight (or little bit of distance on a MTBike ride, or etc.) it feels like the same weight but heavier.
When I make a jump, it feels like a different weight. My relation to it has changed. The weight moves me differently when I move it.

Does that make sense?
:rolleyes:
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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by SubClaw » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:05 am

nafod wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:48 am
My experience...
When I incrementally add a little bit of weight (or little bit of distance on a MTBike ride, or etc.) it feels like the same weight but heavier.
When I make a jump, it feels like a different weight. My relation to it has changed. The weight moves me differently when I move it.

Does that make sense?
I concur.

That's why micro-loading never worked for me but doing big jumps did the trick.

8 sets of 3.

6 sets of 4.

5 sets of 5.

4 sets of 6.

3 sets of 8.

Then, and only then, bump the load quite a bit.

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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by Blaidd Drwg » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:08 pm

SubClaw wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:05 am
nafod wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:48 am
My experience...
When I incrementally add a little bit of weight (or little bit of distance on a MTBike ride, or etc.) it feels like the same weight but heavier.
When I make a jump, it feels like a different weight. My relation to it has changed. The weight moves me differently when I move it.

Does that make sense?
I concur.

That's why micro-loading never worked for me but doing big jumps did the trick.

8 sets of 3.

6 sets of 4.

5 sets of 5.

4 sets of 6.

3 sets of 8.

Then, and only then, bump the load quite a bit.
Microloading is not enough of a stressor to provoke progress. Hence Nafod's..."it does not feel different) Exactly. that's why it doesn't work..it's not different enough. Your body can't tell the difference.

This is why no one very strong uses them and why Sub's outline works better. Sharp jumps provoke a response from the body to adapt. Small jumps don't work for very long.

Microloading is based on the same mythology as Milo.
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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by Kazuya Mishima » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:28 am

powerlifter54 wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:23 am
Spheroid_Physique wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:25 pm
powerlifter54 wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:49 pm
IMHO, they lead to a long term mindset that is defeatist.

But YMMV.
Please explain this. I understand how accepting slower progress than otherwise possible could be seen as defeatist. But how is approaching anything in the iron game from a long term perspective defeatist? It seems like longevity is a key component of accomplishing anything significant fitness wise. Can't squat from a hospital bed or an early grave.
I agree with that entire line of thought, except small jumps have just not worked well at all for me. If I can only add 2x2.5s then I am it ready to jump and I just do more sets where I am at. In my work sets I jump at least 20 lbs in the squat and dL and 10 in the bench, generally more. This is not kamakzi make it or die, it is keep adding volume leaving reps in the tank. If my bar weight slows down or I start to grind I drop the bar weight next set. In fact I often do a workout I call “ fun with quarters” in the squat or dL. I pick a weight, say 405 and do a set. Then I add 2x25s. I do another set. Then I take off the quarters and do another set at 405. I generally try for three of these couplets. Actually have done it in bench too. You might think the lower weight is too light. Nope, it is a great speedset.

And the confidence and body feedback practice I get is very good for lifting bigger weights. Or pushing up my barweight on set of 3, 5, or 7. Because I do no singles anymore except speed DLs.

Other ways to do it? Sure
Just in my experience this way works better.
I like that fun with quarters idea. Kind of like ladders, but waving the weight up and down instead of the reps, eh?

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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by nafod » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:45 pm

I micro-loaded over the holidays, adding about 10 lbs to my gut in handfuls of cookie-sized increments.
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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by powerlifter54 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:12 pm

Kazuya Mishima wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:28 am
powerlifter54 wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:23 am
Spheroid_Physique wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:25 pm
powerlifter54 wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:49 pm
IMHO, they lead to a long term mindset that is defeatist.

But YMMV.
Please explain this. I understand how accepting slower progress than otherwise possible could be seen as defeatist. But how is approaching anything in the iron game from a long term perspective defeatist? It seems like longevity is a key component of accomplishing anything significant fitness wise. Can't squat from a hospital bed or an early grave.
I agree with that entire line of thought, except small jumps have just not worked well at all for me. If I can only add 2x2.5s then I am it ready to jump and I just do more sets where I am at. In my work sets I jump at least 20 lbs in the squat and dL and 10 in the bench, generally more. This is not kamakzi make it or die, it is keep adding volume leaving reps in the tank. If my bar weight slows down or I start to grind I drop the bar weight next set. In fact I often do a workout I call “ fun with quarters” in the squat or dL. I pick a weight, say 405 and do a set. Then I add 2x25s. I do another set. Then I take off the quarters and do another set at 405. I generally try for three of these couplets. Actually have done it in bench too. You might think the lower weight is too light. Nope, it is a great speedset.

And the confidence and body feedback practice I get is very good for lifting bigger weights. Or pushing up my barweight on set of 3, 5, or 7. Because I do no singles anymore except speed DLs.

Other ways to do it? Sure
Just in my experience this way works better.
I like that fun with quarters idea. Kind of like ladders, but waving the weight up and down instead of the reps, eh?
You bet!
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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by powerlifter54 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:16 pm

"Start slowly, then ease off". Tortuga Golden Striders Running Club, Pensacola 1984.

"But even snake wrestling beats life in the cube, for me at least. In measured doses."-Lex

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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by powerlifter54 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:23 pm

I don’t Agree with his volume vs intensity dominance claim, but his wave loading discussion got me started on fun with quarters. And when you do the lighter set you will feel an ability to go faster. And be more explosive with the heavier set. And if you do it with the right weights you will only be able to do 3 waves before RPE goes up on 3rd heavy set.

https://www.t-nation.com/training/wave- ... -manifesto
"Start slowly, then ease off". Tortuga Golden Striders Running Club, Pensacola 1984.

"But even snake wrestling beats life in the cube, for me at least. In measured doses."-Lex

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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by powerlifter54 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:25 pm

Again don’t agree with everything but check out point 6.

https://www.t-nation.com/training/manip ... d-strength
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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by Kazuya Mishima » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:13 pm

Good food for thought...thanks for those links.

Would it be fair to say that the vast majority of lifters either fail outright to progress beyond newbie gains, or make staggeringly slower than achievable progress because most lifters focus on (and manipulate) a single training parameter...MOAR WEIGHT ON TEH BAR, BRUH. More weight has to go on the bar eventually (of course), but there's more parameters to manipulate...volume, bar speed, density (less rest between sets), frequency (do it again sooner), recovery, etc.

If "put more weight on the bar, bro" is a false religion, then it would seem that it could be built on the altar of micro-loading/incremental plates.

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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by SubClaw » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:35 pm

powerlifter54 wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:23 pm
I don’t Agree with his volume vs intensity dominance claim, but his wave loading discussion got me started on fun with quarters. And when you do the lighter set you will feel an ability to go faster. And be more explosive with the heavier set. And if you do it with the right weights you will only be able to do 3 waves before RPE goes up on 3rd heavy set.

https://www.t-nation.com/training/wave- ... -manifesto
In a convoluted way, Fun With Quarters reminds me of the old Delorme-Watkins waves and Pavel’s Fast Tens (which, I suspect, was heavily influenced by you).

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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by powerlifter54 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:03 am

SubClaw wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:35 pm
powerlifter54 wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:23 pm
I don’t Agree with his volume vs intensity dominance claim, but his wave loading discussion got me started on fun with quarters. And when you do the lighter set you will feel an ability to go faster. And be more explosive with the heavier set. And if you do it with the right weights you will only be able to do 3 waves before RPE goes up on 3rd heavy set.

https://www.t-nation.com/training/wave- ... -manifesto
In a convoluted way, Fun With Quarters reminds me of the old Delorme-Watkins waves and Pavel’s Fast Tens (which, I suspect, was heavily influenced by you).
Think you are right on both points.
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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by powerlifter54 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:07 am

Kazuya Mishima wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:13 pm
Good food for thought...thanks for those links.

Would it be fair to say that the vast majority of lifters either fail outright to progress beyond newbie gains, or make staggeringly slower than achievable progress because most lifters focus on (and manipulate) a single training parameter...MOAR WEIGHT ON TEH BAR, BRUH. More weight has to go on the bar eventually (of course), but there's more parameters to manipulate...volume, bar speed, density (less rest between sets), frequency (do it again sooner), recovery, etc.

If "put more weight on the bar, bro" is a false religion, then it would seem that it could be built on the altar of micro-loading/incremental plates.
I found the most important part of big weights was getting used to having them on your back and hands In the squat and bench. DL I never went that heavy except in meets. Other than that if I had to do it all again I would do more volume via more lower rep sets. My old article “Somewhere between Moscow and Columbus” lays out my final training approach.
"Start slowly, then ease off". Tortuga Golden Striders Running Club, Pensacola 1984.

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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by terra » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:44 am

I have always found that 1.25kg plates were incremental enough even for shoulder press (for a total on-bar load increase of about 5.5lb). And I'm only a light weight myself.

For me It's a case of 'owning' the current weight before increasing.
531 was good for becoming familiar with this. You had 'permission' to rep out that last set. Getting an extra 2 reps on top of your target reps for a certain weight indicated you were, at least, in the injury free zone when you made the jump in weight at the next session. Made for a great study of one's ability to 'keep one in the tank' so to speak.

There was sense that tuning the rep ranges to practice success AND overload at a certain weight maximised the pace I could increase the loads whilst still milking the 'gainz' in a sustainable manner.
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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by SubClaw » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:02 pm

This made me legit chuckle:
U.S. armed forces powerlifting champion Jack Reape has painted all the 2.5-pound plates pink at his gym to discourage lifters from using them.A good move, manly and scholarly.

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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:59 pm

Incremental plates can be useful if

1. You always use the same plates. Most 45# plates in most gyms are not 45#s. So, you have a 1 lb plate. One week you use a 43lb plate and a 45.5# plate. The next week you use a 46# plate and 45.5# plate. The solution is to weigh each plate and paint it on the plate. Then I've known some very anal lifters to use the incremental plates to make sure the bar weighs the same every time.

2. You need the small increments...some lifters, women and men, need to make smaller jumps because they are just weaker. When 5# is too big a jump, maybe 2.5#s every week or every other week will work.

In my experience, what doesn't work is this:

You are running a 5x5, and you reach the point where you can't get the 5 reps. Instead of changing up the reps and maybe the exercise, you start dropping sets and using incremental plates.

This has happened quite a bit with the 5x5 adherents to Rip's methods, but it often ends up in wasted weeks of training. Let me give an example

You run 5x5 training in the bench out to, so, 275x5x5....but you've hit a wall. The next week, you might get 275x3 your last set. This is generally indicative of fatigue or of reaching the end of a given workout's effectiveness.

But, you decide to use incremental plates and to drop sets.

Say week 8 was 275x5x5
9: 275x5,5,5,4,3
10: 277.5x5, 5, 5
11: 280x5, 4, 5
12: 282.5x 5, 5, 3
13: 285x3, 3,3

Week 9 vs Week 13. On paper you've pushed to weight up, but the volume is way down. In general, this is the stimulus that is working for you at this point. I would regard this as regression.

This is a pretty common thing that happens, and it can happen in a variety of workout styles, not just 5x5s

Pushing this cycle is probably just pushing yourself further into a fatigued state. Something is stale. Either back off to a higher repetition range for a reset or change the exercise entirely.

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Re: This is a thread about increment plates

Post by Fat Cat » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:55 pm

Shaf, in that instance of 5 x 5 @ 275 and DNF'ing the last set...wouldn't it be better to just drop back to 245 or so and rebuild over a couple of cycles?
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