Game Changers

Stick to training related posts.

Moderators: Dux, seeahill

User avatar
Bram
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 5430
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 11:38 am

Re: Game Changers

Post by Bram » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:01 pm

Another one that comes to mind is telling yourself that you love what you're doing.

In college I was an abysmally shitty cyclist, but I read an article by Marco Pantani, the famed hill climber in the Tour de France about how he got so skilled at hills.

Image

He said he was a mediocre climber, but decided one day to tell himself that he loved riding hills. Every day that he climbed he'd tell himself, "I love this, I love this, I love this." Within a few months he was fast, within a few years he was the fastest climber on Earth.

I copied the strategy and got very fast at riding hills. And I've adapted it to all sorts of things - cleaning my house, whatever.
"If you live through defeat, you are not defeated. If you are beaten but acquire wisdom, you have won." - RZA

User avatar
powerlifter54
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 7889
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2005 5:46 pm
Location: TX

Re: Game Changers

Post by powerlifter54 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:07 pm

Upper back work. Pull-ups, chin-ups, Rows, Pulldowns, pulls to face, machines, barbells, dumbbells, KB, bodyweight. You can really not overtrain upper back.

Rucking. Ability to put out long conditioning effort with almost no impact on joints and very little on recovery.

Volume. Always better to add another set than just go for 1 more rep. Biggest regret in my training history is not enough volume.

Belt squat. Great way to train your quads/knees sufficiently with out back strain.

Occlusion training. Yeah, this works. But it also might have to do a little with volume.
"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

Luke
Staff Sergeant
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:19 am

Re: Game Changers

Post by Luke » Thu May 09, 2019 3:23 am

powerlifter54 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:07 pm
Volume. Always better to add another set than just go for 1 more rep. Biggest regret in my training history is not enough volume.
Please, please, please expound more on this. I've come back to the protocols in your article Back Off and Grow article many times over the years, I'd love to know now - what you know now.

User avatar
powerlifter54
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 7889
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2005 5:46 pm
Location: TX

Re: Game Changers

Post by powerlifter54 » Fri May 10, 2019 6:23 pm

Luke, sorry, just saw this. Volume and intensity are the two main drivers of results. Rest periods and frequency are derivatives of the first two. Working in the 7-8 range over and over is a strenghtngame changer.

You will get more hypertrophy and strength out of 5x5 or 3x8 sets with 75-85% then working to one top set of 5 with 90x5, or 3 sets of 8 with 55-65%. IMHO experience the ratio of required yearly/monthly/weekly volume of BP/SQ/DL is 4/3/2. Assistance volume of isolation work can run over a ratio of 5. I count all benches of any angle and rom as benches, same with squats and DLs.

Key idea is you want to be adding volume all the time over your training life. As you near your peak years the real and relative intensity will rise. As you age it drops, but your volume should not.
"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

User avatar
Beer Jew
Sgt. Major
Posts: 3273
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:35 pm

Re: Game Changers

Post by Beer Jew » Mon May 13, 2019 2:43 pm

1. Technique: Learning and understanding what good technique looks like for me but then more importantly, applying it so that every rep looks the same.

2. Learning and internalising how a 7/8/9/10 RPE should actually feel.

3. Following on from point 2, learning what a hard set feels like, provided point 1 is adhered to.

4. Learning how to brace properly.

User avatar
Fat Cat
Jesus Christ®
Posts: 37528
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 4:54 pm
Location: 鬼ヶ島

Re: Game Changers

Post by Fat Cat » Mon May 13, 2019 6:01 pm

BJ, did you have someone coach you on RPE and technique, or do you think you just learned over time and accumulated experience?
Image
"Prepare your hearts as a fortress, for there will be no other." -Francisco Pizarro González

User avatar
Beer Jew
Sgt. Major
Posts: 3273
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:35 pm

Re: Game Changers

Post by Beer Jew » Mon May 13, 2019 8:05 pm

Biggest improvement to my technique was learning what it actually meant to brace.

After that, lots of YouTube videos watching lifters like Brett Gibbs - trying to watch guys built more like me, who are fanatical experts about form.

Also YouTube videos where someone explains how the form feels, or rather how you feel whilst performing a lift. That was pretty helpful.

But then just lots of practice. I’d say I’m still nowhere near consistent, but I’m much more conscious about trying to be consistent. I find I need less volume to get a similar stimulus when the form is identical and “good” every set.

RPE - do a set which you think is a 9 or 10 RPE. Do another rep. Then another one, then another. It was likely a 6 or 7 to begin with. At least that’s what I found.

User avatar
Beer Jew
Sgt. Major
Posts: 3273
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:35 pm

Re: Game Changers

Post by Beer Jew » Mon May 13, 2019 8:48 pm

I think this is quite an interesting topic, so I'm rambling a little here. I'm by no means an expert on any of this, so if BD or PL54 wants to tell me I'm talking crap and correct it all, go ahead.

I experimented a lot with each lift, to find the form and cues which work for me. I stress for me, because I genuinely believe there is no "right form" for any of the lifts; there's the "right form" for you. I used to have a lifting partner who was 6'3 compared to my 5'8. Our form is radically different for all the lifts - neither of us are wrong. But for me, at a svelte 5'8, 220lbs, I found the following helped:

Deadlift: A few years ago I posted a video of myself deadlifting on here, and someone made the point that I "yanked" the weight off the floor. I had convinced myself that to squeeze the weight was the wrong form, but the truth is I was just weak, so I covered it by yanking the weight off the floor. Now every rep looks the same. The starting point is the brace - I take a deep breath (or three) into my diaphragm, and forcefully exhale whilst blocking my airway. I feel myself expand into my belt from 360 degrees. I do a small sort of windmill with my arms because it helps me feel my lats. Then I hinge at the hips, grab the bar, and really focus on putting my shoulder blades in my back pockets. Finally, I use my grip on the bar to pull myself into or down to the bar, at which point I feel tight and coiled. If I don't, I'll reset.

I find if I do that, then (a) it doesn't matter if I focus on a flat back or chest up etc - It tends to take care of itself. and (b) I don't worry about the second half of the lift. I focus my energy on getting the bar off the floor cleanly, and maintaining the brace, and then I just need to keep pulling.

Squat: The two biggest changes I made to my squat (other than bracing correctly): bringing my feet much closer - they're now about shoulder width apart with only a small outturn of the feet. This feels much more comfortable and powerful for me, and complements my quad dominant style of squatting (much more like a high bar than a low bar). Secondly understanding what constant tension in the hips, quads, adductors etc, feels like.

The keyword for me with squats is squeeze. From the moment I've unracked the bar and stepped back, everything is tight. My upper back, my core, my chest up, my glutes are squeezed, my quads are flexed, and my adductors are firing. I maintain the squeeze as much as I can throughout the lift.

Bench: The best pointer I got as a "heels up" bencher (i.e. when I arch my heels are elevated off the floor) was to initiate leg drive by driving down through my heels, rather than through my toes. I also try to arch onto my traps as much as possible. Bench is probably the hardest lift for me technique-wise.

User avatar
Fat Cat
Jesus Christ®
Posts: 37528
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 4:54 pm
Location: 鬼ヶ島

Re: Game Changers

Post by Fat Cat » Mon May 13, 2019 9:17 pm

Thanks BJ, I'll play with some of these cues. Your deadlift setup reminds me of watching Dan Green's setup on the video PL54 posted.
Image
"Prepare your hearts as a fortress, for there will be no other." -Francisco Pizarro González

Luke
Staff Sergeant
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:19 am

Re: Game Changers

Post by Luke » Tue May 14, 2019 1:09 am

powerlifter54 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 6:23 pm
Luke, sorry, just saw this. Volume and intensity are the two main drivers of results. Rest periods and frequency are derivatives of the first two. Working in the 7-8 range over and over is a strenghtngame changer.

You will get more hypertrophy and strength out of 5x5 or 3x8 sets with 75-85% then working to one top set of 5 with 90x5, or 3 sets of 8 with 55-65%. IMHO experience the ratio of required yearly/monthly/weekly volume of BP/SQ/DL is 4/3/2. Assistance volume of isolation work can run over a ratio of 5. I count all benches of any angle and rom as benches, same with squats and DLs.

Key idea is you want to be adding volume all the time over your training life. As you near your peak years the real and relative intensity will rise. As you age it drops, but your volume should not.

Thank you! This was really insightful and something I'm optimistically going to run forward with.

In another thread, you alluded to running your cycles over a 5-6 week period now vs. 3 on 1 off?

User avatar
powerlifter54
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 7889
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2005 5:46 pm
Location: TX

Re: Game Changers

Post by powerlifter54 » Tue May 14, 2019 3:18 am

Yes, I used to be very much 3 on 1 off, jumping a lot between week 1 and 2 then making about 50% of the jump onto week 3. Then a back off.

So as an example my raw squat cycle on squat day 1 (second day was either a derivative squat move or alternating box and geared squats in peaking cycles) would look like this
Week 1 top set 475x3
Week 2 top set 515x3
Week 3 top set 535x3
Week 4 back off 405x3 (my baseline set, another concept I used)

week 5 top set 495x3
Week 6 top set 525x3
Week 7 top set 545x3
Week 8 back off 405x3

Back Then I worked up like this

Week 7
155x7
245x5
335x3
425x3
475x3
545x3
495x3


Week 1 looked like this
135x7
225x5
315x3
405x3
475x3x3

Every set I was Monitoring RPE and bar speed. My goal in base building was to be able to launch Into week 1 very confident that 3x3 would work.

Now I am doing set of 7 In the squat, mainly to keep load down and bump up volume over 3 work sets.
"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

Luke
Staff Sergeant
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:19 am

Re: Game Changers

Post by Luke » Wed May 15, 2019 4:46 am

That's gnarly.
powerlifter54 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 3:18 am
Every set I was Monitoring RPE and bar speed. My goal in base building was to be able to launch Into week 1 very confident that 3x3 would work.
Your outline has clarified a lot. Philosophically, are you saying you wouldn't have done that if you could do it all again? Obviously low reps have their place, but would you have spent more time hitting the 5-8s?

User avatar
powerlifter54
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 7889
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2005 5:46 pm
Location: TX

Re: Game Changers

Post by powerlifter54 » Wed May 15, 2019 6:35 pm

No. I found as I moved out of being a newbie into being a intermediate lifter, and research verifies this, that a seasoned strength athlete’s 5RM ability to crank 8 reps drops. So a newbie 300 pound squatter or deadlifter can do 8 reps with 80% plus. 80% is good. I trained that way up until I was 21. But as you get stronger that 8RM drops to 65% or less. Not worth it. So I did 8x3 reps. This got more noticeable as I got older. When I squatted 630 as a 198 I did 515x8. when I did 744 as a 242 I did 565x3. I doubt I could have done 515x8 without risking an injury. Ed Coan tore his groin doing sets of 8 sumo. Said he regrets not moving to 5s earlier.
"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

Post Reply