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

It’s 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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Thread: The Cube

  1. #26
    Moderator Brian Hopper's Avatar
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    I haven't tried it, so I can't comment on if it works or not. I did buy the book, and the only part of the program I really didn't understand was the reps day. He goes from 8 reps, to 6 reps down to 2 reps. When I hear reps, I'm thinking 10+. Other then that, the program doesn't look that bad. It's a good book with some good information. Also, from watching his videos, his training looks a little different from what his book is saying.
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  2. #27
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    Could someone tell me what the advantage is of the repetition day? Heavy sets of 2s and 5s don't seem far removed from maximal effort. Would straight sets be used on the reps day whereas ramping is used on ME?

    P.S I agree with Sheikoing your 5/3/1 while smoloving your starting strength on ME days.
    The only lift I'm proud of at this point is a close stance, ass to grass zercher squat of 170kg x2 at 85kg bw. If only they held zercher squat competitions...

  3. #28
    Powerlifter/Strongman J L S's Avatar
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    the way I interpreted it was the way the waves work, the final 'rep day' of your 8/9 week cycle is set at 2 reps because it should be around your openor for the meet. The 9 week cycle in the book is designed for a meet, and setup for you to hit PR's at the end (or at the meet) where it really counts. It basically goes

    3 week wave number;
    1 - 8 reps @ 70%
    2- 6 reps @ 80%
    3- 2 reps @ 85%

    it is not set in stone though and if you feel good you can work past the rep scheme recommended, as long as you are beating the reps, or even repeat the set again. Its like every training ideology, its merely a guide.
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  4. #29
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larsen540 View Post
    It isnt the method that make people stronger. (snip). It is because they are trying. .
    This.

    In fact, I'm pasting it again.

    Quote Originally Posted by larsen540 View Post
    It isnt the method that make people stronger. (snip). It is because they are trying. .
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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by larsen540 View Post
    It isnt the method that make people stronger. In fact I would go out on a limb here and say that most people that start a Jenny Craig diet lose 5lbs in the first week. Its not because it is the diet. It is because they are trying. I am not sure I would use the cube as a coaster for my beer. Dont waste your time. You dont take your vehicle in the shop if it is running fine right?????? West side works just fine.
    I can make an argument that Westside doesn't make sense as "the best" strength program out there. Is it good? Obviously. But, it lacks some things that SHOULD be basic, common sense. But, proponents of their favorite training methodology can justify anything.

    Westside wasn't 'running fine" for me. I've gotten much stronger without Westside. Any program is the best if you think it is. Belief in the system is a huge part if the success.

  6. #31
    Senior Member Paulo_Santos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    I can make an argument that Westside doesn't make sense as "the best" strength program out there. Is it good? Obviously. But, it lacks some things that SHOULD be basic, common sense. But, proponents of their favorite training methodology can justify anything.

    Westside wasn't 'running fine" for me. I've gotten much stronger without Westside. Any program is the best if you think it is. Belief in the system is a huge part if the success.
    Maybe something to consider, when I first started doing Westside, I stalled out very quickly. Then when I was actually taught how to properly do it, I started seeing gains and my lifts are still going up. I don't find it hard to follow at all if someone takes a second to explain it and give you a simple template to follow.

  7. #32
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    I can make an argument that Westside doesn't make sense as "the best" strength program out there. Is it good? Obviously. But, it lacks some things that SHOULD be basic, common sense. But, proponents of their favorite training methodology can justify anything.

    Westside wasn't 'running fine" for me. I've gotten much stronger without Westside. Any program is the best if you think it is. Belief in the system is a huge part if the success.
    What does it lack in your opinion?


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  8. #33
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    So with the program's creator, Brandon Lilly, who trained at Westside and has posted here from time to time; it is documented he feels he made his best progress with his Cube Method. Do people feel he may not have been working as hard as he could before doing this and that is the primary reason for his success with the Cube, along with the other individuals claiming their best gains? It seemed like Lilly had access to a "proper" Westside template. Just wondering what the opinions here are.


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  9. #34
    Powerlifter/Strongman J L S's Avatar
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    The only thing that ever come to mind with me questioning the cube and it success rates with all these lifters is brandon has pretty much inspired the raw crowd to pipe up again.

    People are taking their gear off and training on a solid template for 9 weeks, putting their mind to it and getting good results. You hear of people putting x amount on each lift and my initial thoughts until I gave it a try were is this all stemming from hiding behind the gear for too long and finally actually doing an exercise repeatedly (ie staight weight squats, benches and deadlifts) and training muscle groups that get neglected or under worked I suppose you could say when wearing gear.

    Now that was not an open invitation to start a gear bashing or raw zealot brigade arguement as strong is strong, however it was my initial thoughts, because the back story behind the cube does lie a lot with doing the basics, and doing them well. I've read a lot about when brandon moved to lexen and chuck v would constantly be barking at him, that his hips were weak. The result, he stayed away from the gear, worked his hips hard and often and sunk every rep to proper depth and beyond. The result? A raw squat PR. Its not rocket science.

    Pretty sure corey hayes posts on here too or used to keep a log. I would be interested to hear some of his input because it seems the whole of the berea barbell crowd have adopted the raw lifting now too.
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  10. #35
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joey54 View Post
    So with the program's creator, Brandon Lilly, who trained at Westside and has posted here from time to time; it is documented he feels he made his best progress with his Cube Method. Do people feel he may not have been working as hard as he could before doing this and that is the primary reason for his success with the Cube, along with the other individuals claiming their best gains? It seemed like Lilly had access to a "proper" Westside template. Just wondering what the opinions here are.
    Training at Westside (the actual gym) requires the right work ethic and serious mental fortitude. It is a brutal place to train. Some thrive and some don't.


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  11. #36
    Senior Member larsen540's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    I can make an argument that Westside doesn't make sense as "the best" strength program out there. Is it good? Obviously. But, it lacks some things that SHOULD be basic, common sense. But, proponents of their favorite training methodology can justify anything.

    Westside wasn't 'running fine" for me. I've gotten much stronger without Westside. Any program is the best if you think it is. Belief in the system is a huge part if the success.
    I would love to hear your argument of why westside doesnt make sense as the best program. What is it lacking? What common sense is it lacking? Why do you think Westside didnt run well for you? And I agree if you believe in a program it will be the best or you will have the most success. My opinion is the cube isnt worth giving your money to someone for....
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  12. #37
    Senior Member larsen540's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joey54 View Post
    So with the program's creator, Brandon Lilly, who trained at Westside and has posted here from time to time; it is documented he feels he made his best progress with his Cube Method. Do people feel he may not have been working as hard as he could before doing this and that is the primary reason for his success with the Cube, along with the other individuals claiming their best gains? It seemed like Lilly had access to a "proper" Westside template. Just wondering what the opinions here are.
    Of course Brandon is going to say he had his best progress with the cube method he is trying to sell it to people. Of course. Just like if he sold wrist wraps they would be the best out there and he is the strongest with them. You have to be able to look past what he or the people he trains with and how they praise the cube method and really look at it from that perspective.
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  13. #38
    Senior Member larsen540's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulo_Santos View Post
    Maybe something to consider, when I first started doing Westside, I stalled out very quickly. Then when I was actually taught how to properly do it, I started seeing gains and my lifts are still going up. I don't find it hard to follow at all if someone takes a second to explain it and give you a simple template to follow.
    Sure that makes sense somthings get over looked or do not make sense to you and once explained seems like you made decent progress
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  14. #39
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    Rhodes i can answer the issue that dmurphy (training partner) addressed with the recovery. I know for myself personally all of the pause squatting and high rep oly squats hit alot of muscles that i havent hit in a while, therefore the pain and soreness was so intense that i could not deadlift 2 days later. Obviously i would adapt to this over time and i need to not be a lazy fuck and do streching/rehab, but i dont think those types of exercises really cut it for myself. I will say the CG benching and overhead work really jump started my press.

    PS - are you guys upset that eric got the gig at Alabama @ birmingham? i'm sure he will be missed!
    2000 or bust

  15. #40
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumprrp View Post
    Rhodes i can answer the issue that dmurphy (training partner) addressed with the recovery. I know for myself personally all of the pause squatting and high rep oly squats hit alot of muscles that i havent hit in a while, therefore the pain and soreness was so intense that i could not deadlift 2 days later. Obviously i would adapt to this over time and i need to not be a lazy fuck and do streching/rehab, but i dont think those types of exercises really cut it for myself. I will say the CG benching and overhead work really jump started my press.

    PS - are you guys upset that eric got the gig at Alabama @ birmingham? i'm sure he will be missed!
    Not sure what you are talking about?


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  16. #41
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    Chris I'm just answering the question Rhodes had to dmurphey about the recovery issue on page 1 I think
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  17. #42
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumprrp View Post
    Chris I'm just answering the question Rhodes had to dmurphey about the recovery issue on page 1 I think
    I meant the PS. No worries.


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  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulo_Santos View Post
    Maybe something to consider, when I first started doing Westside, I stalled out very quickly. Then when I was actually taught how to properly do it, I started seeing gains and my lifts are still going up. I don't find it hard to follow at all if someone takes a second to explain it and give you a simple template to follow.
    i understand Westide's methods just fine. Plus, I ahve access to a number of guys who have trained or train there, now. It's not for lack of klnowledge on the methods or an inability to understand the template. It's very easy, actually.

  19. #44
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    Chris and Adrian,

    I will do my best to explain my stance. First, I will say that obviously, Westside is a good program. The basic philosophy makes sense and is solid. But, there are a few things that just don't make sense to me (common sense).

    Special Exercises/Changing Exercises Every Week
    This makes absolutely no sense to me at all. In order to get good at something, you have to practice it. Peyton Manning throws thousands of fade routes (etc) to get good at throwing fade routes. He doesn't hand the ball off to get good at throwing the fade route (this should be common sense).

    So, if you lift in gear (squat suit, bench shirt, deadlift suit) you should practice in it every week. Simple as that. My cycle would be 3 out of 4 weeks or 2 out of 3 weeks in the gear practicing the competition lift. Not partials, not board presses, not box squats... Practice how you play.

    Changing from Floor Presses, to Board Presses to Reverse Band Presses etc...and doing this raw doesn't make any sense to me. I can see the Special Exercises as Supplemental work to build a weakness.

    For instance, a Bench workout might look like this for a guy with a bad lockout.

    1. Shirt Work
    2. Shirt Work against bands
    3. Raw Bench against chains
    4. Rest of workout (shoulders, back, triceps, etc...)

    My other issue with the constant changing of exericses is that you never really correct a weakness (to me the whole point of using Special Exercises). For instance, if I fall forward in the Squat and I choose SSB Squats to help fix this issue, one week of SSB Squatting WILL NOT fix my problem. Now, 4-8 weeks of it will probably make a difference.

    My Squat workout would probably look like this.

    1. Squat in suit
    2. SSB Squats
    3. Rest of workout

    I don't like the box squat as a main/DE movement. Again, it makes no sense. You don't box squat in competition. i can see it as a Supplemental/Accessory lift.

    For someone who doesn't train at Westside or who doesn't have good training partners, how do they know how to choose exercises? they don't. they look at the list of grips, stances, pin heights and all that crap and get caught up in change for the sake of change. It's hard to figure out which exercises are actually worth a shit.

    For me, these exercises build my lifts...

    Squat - nothing works better than squatting.
    Bench - Competition bench, Floor Press, Close-grip Bench
    Deadlift - nothing works better than deadlifting.

    Now, I use the SSB and I'll start incorporating Pause Squats into my next training cycle. But, Pause Squatting is still squatting with a straight bar.

    I'm very confident in my Bench exercises. They have done wonders for me in my last 2 competitions. It works.

    Deadlift is odd for me. With all my injury problems, I haven't really pulled much in the last 3-4 years. taht being said, before I tore my biceps, I was pulling once a week. I was getting stronger. No need for anything else.

    Back to my original point. Practice how you play. There's no need for that much variety. The CNS just doesn't adapt that quickly. I know the "experts" say say it does, but it just doesn't. Change your reps and that's plenty of variety.

    DE Work
    I don't know if it's still done every 60 seconds. i'm sure it's not a strict clock. From all the videos I've seen it's just one guy after another. Still, the idea of DE work is to push the bar as hard as possible - with as much force as possible. Anybody that knows anything knows that you can't give maximal force if you're body isn't recovered from the previous set. This can't be argued. If you don't rest enough it turns into "conditioning" work. One of the biggest mistakes people make is turning speed work (lifting and especially athlete training/sprinting) into conditioning. You don't want to be out of breath as you're getting ready for your next set. You want to be recovered so your body can exert maximal force. Again, this can't be argued. if you do, you just don't know what you're talking about. Simple as that.

    I would rest 2-3 minutes between DE sets so that I can actually exert maximal force against a submaximal weight. otherwise, it just turns into conditioning work. Conditioning work is not explosive. The point of DE work is to be explosive.

    I can't and won't deny, and never have, that Westside hasn't produced some great lifters. Because of the reasons above, I just feel it's not the best program. It can be improved upon. Not training there, I may have listed reasons that Louie is or has already addressed.


    As for why it doesn't work for me anymore, read above. And, I feel that DE work isn't important for me. I've very explosive. Even as tall as I am, I still have a tremendous amount of explosive power when I lift. It doesn't make sense for me to dedicate time to a skill that I'm already very good at. Instead, I "think DE" as I warm up with all of my sets. I always move the bar hard and fast, no matter the weight.

    instead, I opt for more volume to build some muscle mass, especially since i'm down 40lbs since September. Gotta pack some meat back on. Not that I couldn't get plenty of hypertrohy volume in a Westside program. I just think triples and doubles are as important to building maximal strength as singles. Plus, the rep variety allows me to practice my cometition lift every single week without having to change because of eventual CNS fatigue.

    When I did Westside I had Jim Wendler (who trained at Westside at the time) constantly helping me stay on top of what was being done. I certainly had a firm grasp on what I was doing. not to mention, the program is very simple anyway.

    So, those are my thoughts.

  20. #45
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    For the football analogy, teams don't play full games every practice. Usually it is broken down into separate sections focusing on specific areas of the game. Would that not be more like exercise rotation?


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  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by joey54 View Post
    For the football analogy, teams don't play full games every practice. Usually it is broken down into separate sections focusing on specific areas of the game. Would that not be more like exercise rotation?
    They don't play full games, but they practice situations.

    -Inside Run
    -2 Minute Drill
    - 7 on 7

    Football is a MUCH more complicated system tha any kindof lifting. my point is, to get good at something yuo have to do it. To get good at running between the tackles, you practice running between the tackles, etc... To get good at benching, you bench. Your supplemental and accessory work (tackling/blocking drills etc...) works on specific skills within the game itself.

  22. #47
    Senior Member Paulo_Santos's Avatar
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    I thought the idea behind the box squats was to build up your squats while putting less stress on your knees. Same reason that as you are getting stronger, your Olympic lifts will continue to get better as long as you practice them with light weight.

    I also thought that the reason that you rotated ME Exercises was because you would stall after a few weeks of maxing out on the same exercises.

    The one thing I'm still not sure about is the speed stuff because I only lift and compete raw so I don't know if it would be better to replace them with some 5x10 for bulk.

  23. #48
    Powerlifter/Strongman J L S's Avatar
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    Everybody in here just seen the latest video from the cage?

    Lilly pulling 755 like a speed rep no belt? Guess the cube doesn't work huh...

    sorry. Couldn't resist.
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  24. #49
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    Rhodes,

    I apprecaite you explaining your thoughts. I wanted to weigh in on a couple of areas. I am going to be very blunt here I think the cube method is a bunch of shit. My personal opinion only and I should prob keep it to myself. But I opened my mouth on this fourm. I personally couldnt care less about what Brandon pulls in the cage or anything that comes out of his mouth. With that being said. Rhodes, I think that when you incorporate any program the common sense part to me is that some of it you can not follow to a T. No one can map out a specfic game plan for you and you follow it to a T and it always work. I explained this recently to a guy I train. I train weekly raw at 90 percent. Now it may be 90 percent of my 5 rep bench 10 rep bench or 20 or 3. You get the point. I dont always just bench. In order to get stronger you cant just bench you have to build a foundation in many different lifts. ( Just my opinion) I see too many people train for just one rep max weekly and it isnt effective. Now dont get me wrong I believe you need to do a pressing movement but it doesnt have to be just straight benching.

    Benching is no where near as complicated as Payton Manning throwing a fade pass on 4th down in double coverage. Shirted work is touch more complicated but not really. People let it get complicated because they get a bench shirt that is 2x to small and they are afraid of the weight and cant get it to touch.

    As far as speed work is concerned. It is not a form of conditioning. For instance I typically stay around 50 to 60 percent max on DE days. I change my grip placement close, Med, wide for 3 reps I try to get 60 to 90 sec of rest between sets. Now I dont time it it is a guess. However, I am not breathing heavy nor rearly do I even sweat. This is a way for me to work on speed. For me personally I have a problem with pressing only as hard as how heavy the weight is if that makes any sense. I typically dont push as hard as I need to and speed days help me with that. That is where you are getting the repition in and doing rep after rep working on fundamentals. I know that you are good with exposivness but it is still something to train in my mind. Maybe not weekly if you are staying consistant.

    Bottom line is I think anyone can find a program out there and tweek it a little and make it work for them. I am sure it also plays a part in who your buddies are and who you train with that makes that choice. All the people I train look up to what I am doing and do what I do and they see results. If you were buddies with Wendler and trained with him I am sure you are doing the 5-3-1 if you were buddies with Brandon god help you but than you prob would do the cube. Anyway just my thoughts.
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  25. #50
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    Adrian,

    My point with the Manning reference is that I believe in getting good at something by doing it. And, I do agree people make it more complicated than it is. Which is why I bench to get better at benching. I do all the necessary back, shoulder etc... work as well.

    As for DE work - I know it's not supposed to be conditioning. Just like jumping or sprinting, you need to rest fully in order to apply maximal force to the ground, or in this case, the barbell. If you're not rested the work will turn into conditioning work whether you want it to or not. My thoughts on this are, I wouldn't rest 90 seconds to press 85%+ with maximal force. Why would I try to exert maximal force without proper rest?

    My other huge issue with speed work and repetition is that it's only 50-60%. You can push that weight with terrible form and it's no issue. There's no cause for breakdown in form. It's just too easy. Practicing moving a light weight is not the same as moving heavy weight. Light weight will never cause your form to break down. Heavy weight will. This is the only way to learn how to strain against real weight, in my opinion.

    i do agree that those who feel they need speed work or are just plain slow could benefit from doing it. i just think it's way to light.

    I've always thought about lifting like football. It's all been done before. The best coaches take a little from here and there and it becomes their own. It's not new ideas, just a new way of putting it all together.

    At the end of the day, if you believe in what you're doing and there's some semblance of "science" involved, you'll succeed.

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