The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Its no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #26
    Pro Strongman | Moderator Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    If anyone else has any questions / comments or would like to put together a customized routine just let me know.
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  2. #27
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    A few final question...

    1.) Should complexes be included in all the workout days (5/3/1), or should they be mixed up.

    2.) What intensity should be used for the complexes?

    3.) Would linear progression be used for the complexes or should you use double progression?

    4.) Should complexes be used year-round, or should you cycle them in and out of the program?
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  3. #28
    Determined View 1's Avatar
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    Thanks for the second reply I appreciate it again tom.

    Im sure I will have more questions I just cannot think of any right now. And im not sure who said it, but you cannot find information out there on things like this, I always learn alot from reading your post.
    Success is achieved by doing a little more than you thought you could, and a lot more than anyone else.

  4. #29
    I drink your milkshake twm's Avatar
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    Tom, how would this be best utilized as a stand alone routine designed for conditioning? I was watching your video that accompanied the article.. how many rounds do you think would suffice for what I want to do?

    Ive realized over the past few weeks that my conditioning is truly pitiful even though I'm still pretty lean. I want to try to adapt to a different way of working out. Can you provide any advice as the above? I would really value your input as to structuring this as a standalone built for conditioning, especially on progression
    Last edited by twm; 09-04-2009 at 04:59 PM.

  5. #30
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    Thanks for the advice tom, I'm gonna gain a little more weight and then go to maintnence, Thanks alot

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    It sounds like you already have some good size at 5'3 210+ lbs, so at this point I would say that you would want to focus your program on recompositioning (improving bodyfat %). Your protein intake is ample but you may want to moderate your calories a bit and keep it right around maintenance level. This will allow you to maintain bodyweight while burning fat and increasing muscle.

    When you are looking for a balance of strength and physique I really like
    a program like this (complexes). What I will typically do is take a compound exercise and perform a high intensity set and then continue that set either as a drop set or by moving on to an isolation movement and performing a low intensity set with no rest. Another way to utilize complexes would be to stick with your 5X5 program for your primary movement for each muscle group, and then perform all of your accessory work broken up into 1-2 complexes. This is a great way to devote energy to both strength building and hypertrophy / conditioning in the same workout.

    If you would like to discuss additional specifics of your program just let me know.




    Thank you. It is a fun way to change things up with your training and there are quite a few variations that you can perform. You can be creative and come up with fun challenges for yourself each week.

    You can even do one for upper body such as:

    - Barbell Curl
    - Barbell Front Raise (or standing military press)
    - Overhead Barbell Extensions (French Press)

    or

    - Penlay Rows / Pushups - Pick a manageable weight like 135 lbs and then do one pendlay row and one pushup, then 2 & 2, 3 & 3, etc. working up to 10 & 10. From what I have heard a lot of the armed services do workouts like this with progressive rep loading for bodyweight exercises.





    The weights can definitely sneek up on you, but the good part is that since you are using some heavy weights at the start of the complex you really do not have to worry too much about the weights for the secondary movements.



    Sorry to hear about your friend; sometimes training can be a good outlet for emotions though.

    As for the biceps / triceps / deltoids day in the complex routine, there are a lot of options here. If you wanted to just use one piece of equipment you could do something like the complex posted above with a curl / shoulder press / overhead extension.

    I like to generally start off with a heavy movement and then work my way down, so I might do something like this:

    Example Workout for Biceps / Triceps / Deltoids:

    Complex 1:
    Close Grip Bench Press (3-5 reps) / Seated Dumbell Military Press (5-7 reps) /
    Triceps Pushdown (8-10 reps) / Upright Rows or Side Raises (8-10 reps)
    *Perform this complex for 3 sets, progressive workload on the first two exercises and steady weight for the final two movements.

    Complex 2:
    Barbell Curls (5-8 reps) / Rope Hammer Curls (10 reps) / Alternating Dumbell Curls (8-10 reps per arm)
    *Perform this for 2-3 sets, no need to change workload or intensity.

    Optional Accessory Work:
    Bodyweight Dips, Rear Delt Flyes, Concentration Curls.


    This arm workout may seem relatively simple but when you use the correct loads can be very challenging and will give you both strength and hypertrophy, while also keeping your heart rate up.

    Note: I would be careful with pre-workout "pump" drinks, as these could sometimes have a negative impact on your training. I have gotten my arms pumped to the point where I could not grasp a barbell. The vast majority of these products are not worthwhile anyway.



    Thank you - I am glad that you enjoyed the article.
    Sorry to bother you but could you give me a sample workout, currnetly I'm running ron harris advance program but doing 5x5 for big lifts, thanks alot

  7. #32
    Pro Strongman | Moderator Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Sorry for not responding to this earlier; I was away from the computer for a couple of days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    A few final question...

    1.) Should complexes be included in all the workout days (5/3/1), or should they be mixed up.

    2.) What intensity should be used for the complexes?

    3.) Would linear progression be used for the complexes or should you use double progression?

    4.) Should complexes be used year-round, or should you cycle them in and out of the program?
    1. This is really up to you. If you are looking for total balance then you can add in complexes as a portion of each workout, or if you are just looking to ease into things you can start off with 1-2 workouts per week. Keep in mind that complexes on leg day are very demanding, so I typically reccommend starting off with your upper body days and then working in the lower body training or alternating from week to week (to avoid overtraining).

    2. A complex should be done starting with high intensity and finishing with lower intensity. You may start off with weights that are 85-90% of your 1RM and by the final movement could be working with ~70%. With minimal rest between movements the "intensity" will be high, but the weights should not be so heavy that you are only managing a couple of reps on your secondary movements.

    3. This would be personal preference. I typically follow more of a double progression program since there are quite a few movements that I like to include and that method seems to work better for me than linear progression, but I may switch back to linear to prepare for specific events.

    4. I would cycle them in and out of the program, but you can use them year-round as long as there is variation. Variation is one of the most important things with training and also one of the most overlooked factors.

    You might want to do something like this:
    • Phase One (Winter) - Limited complexes, 1 per week on Arms/Shoulder day to maintain conditioning.
    • Phase Two / Option 1 (Spring) - Linear Progression. Increased complexes, Either upper body or lower body.
    • Phase Two / Option 2 (Spring) - Dual Progression. Alternate between complexes one week and regular training the next
    • Phase Three (Summer) - Hypertrophy / Conditioning focus, full complexes.
    • Phase Four (Fall) - Strength phase. Limited complexes, 1-2 training sessions per week to maintain hypertrophy and conditioning.


    If you have specific goals in mind I can be more detailed with regard to example programs.

    Quote Originally Posted by twm View Post
    Tom, how would this be best utilized as a stand alone routine designed for conditioning? I was watching your video that accompanied the article.. how many rounds do you think would suffice for what I want to do?

    Ive realized over the past few weeks that my conditioning is truly pitiful even though I'm still pretty lean. I want to try to adapt to a different way of working out. Can you provide any advice as the above? I would really value your input as to structuring this as a standalone built for conditioning, especially on progression
    If you are only looking to improve conditioning I would string together 4-5 movements for each complex and then run through 4-5 rounds of that complex with varying intensity and minimal rest.

    Another option would be to do one round of heavy training (3x3) then move on to complexes and hit 3-5 movements non-stop, rest for a couple of minutes and run through the 3-5 movements again. After that you can do 20 minutes of low intensity cardio for fat burning. This is the program that I use for maintenance as it touches on power, hypertrophy, conditioning, and fat loss. I know that you are looking to focus only on conditioning but the heavy weight training (pre-exhaustion) does make the complexes more challenging and therefore more effective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Al19067 View Post
    Sorry to bother you but could you give me a sample workout, currnetly I'm running ron harris advance program but doing 5x5 for big lifts, thanks alot
    Do you want to continue with the Ron Harris program or are you looking for something new?

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    Hopefully this helps; please let me know if you want to talk more about the specifics of your individual program.
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  8. #33
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    That was awsome. Thanks for all the help.
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  9. #34
    Pro Strongman | Moderator Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    I wanted to bump this thread to see if anyone is currently using barbell complexes or linking together multiple exercises as a 'complex' in their training?
    ASC 105 Kg Pro Strongman | My Website | Facebook Fan Page

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  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    I wanted to bump this thread to see if anyone is currently using barbell complexes or linking together multiple exercises as a 'complex' in their training?
    I do about once a week. Why do you ask?

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