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Thread: Christian Thibaudeau's Modern Methods of Strength Training

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    Christian Thibaudeau's Modern Methods of Strength Training

    Throughout history, men have been mesmerized by strength. A good physique sure does attract envious looks, but there's something almost mythical about strength. You may hear two people talk briefly about a good physique they saw, but itís soon forgotten. However, we can talk about great feats of strength for years and years!

    So itís not surprising that more and more trainees are desperately seeking new ways of gaining strength. Not only do we want strength, we want it right now! This article will focus on two sides of performance enhancement:

    1) Modern means of training:

    ē Isometric action

    ē Accentuated eccentrics

    ē Isomiometric and Iso-ballistic action

    ē Auto regulatory clustering


    2) Potentiating methods:

    ē Synaptic facilitation

    ē Optimal anatomical positioning

    ē Optimal arousal

    Finally, I'll give you an example of a training plan making good use of these methods.

    With proper use of these little-used techniques, you'll be able to gain strength at an unprecedented rate. One of my trainees even gained 25 pounds on his bench press in three days! Interested? Read on!


    Modern Means of Training

    In modern strength training it seems that exercise selection has taken the most important role when it comes to program design. Ironically, when it comes to maximum strength development, it's probably one of the least important variables to manipulate!

    Simply look at most elite Olympic weightlifters: very few will do exercises outside of cleans, jerks, snatches, back squats, front squats, and sometimes pulls. And never will you see them working on isolation exercises to correct a so-called "structural imbalance."

    Now, Iím not that extreme. I do advocate using various exercises to develop the body harmoniously. This can help with strength, proper posture, and even looks. However, I do believe that itís not which exercise you do that carries the greater benefit in regard to strength, but rather how you do it.

    The Olympic lifts are widely regarded as fantastic power builders. And they are, but not because of the actual movement you're doing (there's nothing magical about a power clean), rather because you're moving a relatively heavy load with as much speed as possible. So itís not the movement per se that brings most of the gains in power output, but rather how you do the exercise. (Incidentally, thatís why Iím not looking at how much weight a trainee is lifting in the Olympic lifts but rather how fast he can lift a certain load.)

    Take the Westside guys for example. They don't use the Olympic lifts yet they're extremely strong and powerful. Why? In part because an important portion of their training is spent on moving a load with as much speed and acceleration as possible. They may not do the Olympic lifts, but they still get the same benefits by doing explosive squats, bench presses and deadlifts.

    As you can see, the secret isn't so much what exercises you use, but how you use them. (Yeah, I know, Iím repeating myself. But this could very well be the most important thing youíll ever learn in regard to strength development!)

    Sadly, we often ignore that fact, and instead of looking for effective ways of doing an exercise, we're looking for a magical exercise (such a thing doesnít exist, of course). The saddest part is that these methods are here and they're well-known by a few coaches. Hey, a few trainees (you may be one of them) may have even tried some of them but dismissed them before giving them a fair chance.

    So here we go, four ways of doing an exercise that can propel your gains to new heights:


    1) Isometric Action Training

    I talked about this form of training briefly in a previous article (Rapid Fire) but Iíd like to expand a bit on its efficacy.

    Historically, itís been believed that we can produce more strength in a maximum isometric action than in a concentric contraction. While some studies do find a slight difference, Soviet literature concludes that: "Öthere is not a statistically significant difference between the maximum strength, as measured in a static regime, and the maximum weight that can be lifted in the same movement." (A.S. Medvedyev1986).

    The same literature finds isometric training to be effective for other reasons, too:

    ē Maximum intramuscular tension is attained for only a brief period in dynamic exercises (mostly due to the fact that the resistance has velocity and acceleration components) while in isometric exercises you can sustain that maximal tension for a bit longer.

    For example, instead of maintaining maximum intramuscular tension for 0.25 to 0.5 seconds in the concentric portion of a dynamic movement, you may sustain it for around three to six seconds in an isometric exercise. Strength is greatly influenced by the total time under maximal tension. So if you can add 10 to 20 seconds of maximal intramuscular tension per session, you can increase your potential strength gains.

    ē Isometric exercises can help you improve strength at a precise point in the range of motion of an exercise. This can prove to be very valuable to get past plateaus due to a chronic sticking point. Isometric exercises can thus have a profound effect on limit strength.

    But why are they now ignored? The principal reason is that it takes six to eight weeks for an isometric training program to have significantly noticeable effects (for a relatively well-trained athlete). In our world of fast rewards, if something doesnít work right now we assume it doesnít work at all. Big mistake! Never sacrifice your long term gains because of a short term decision.

    Another reason why isometric exercises are frowned upon is the fact that they do increase strength mostly at the specific joint angle being trained (there's a 15 to 20 degree carryover, though). This basically means that by itself an isometric program isn't optimal, but it doesnít mean itís useless!

    To make the most of it you should train using at least three positions per exercise (a few inches after the start position, at the sticking point, and a few inches before the finished position). Here are a few recommendations based on the work of Y.I. Ivanov of the former Soviet Union, John Ziegler of the US, and my own personal experience:

    1. You must contract your muscles as hard as you can. To be effective, you must reach and maintain a level of maximum intramuscular tension.

    2. The duration of an action (or "set") should be one to six seconds. Three to six seconds would be best in most cases.

    3. Use at least three positions per movement, but as much as six positions can be used for maximum results (if time and equipment permits). Choose key positions of the equivalent dynamic exercise if you want a positive transfer of the strength gains.

    4. Take sufficient rest between actions (reps) to allow for maximum tension to be produced. I personally find that you need ten times more rest than you spend contracting. For example, if you use three-second actions you rest thirty seconds; if you use six-second actions you rest sixty seconds.

    5. Isometric exercises should be used concurrently with a similar dynamic exercise (in the same workout), preferably of a high-speed nature.

    6. For optimal results, isometric training should be around 10% of the total strength training volume (calculated as the number of seconds under tension).

    In the past, isometric exercises have been described as a technique that should only be used by advanced lifters. I beg to differ. One of the biggest shortcomings of low level lifters is the inability to produce maximum intramuscular tension during a concentric contraction. Isometric exercise can thus be used to learn how to produce this high level of tension as it requires a lot less motor skills. So for that reason I see isometric exercises as very beneficial for all classes of athletes.

    The best way to execute an isometric exercise is to pull/push against immovable pins (in the power rack).


    2) Accentuated Eccentrics

    The eccentric (negative) portion of a dynamic movement has been termed "yielding action" in sport-science literature (while the concentric or lifting portion has been termed "overcoming action"). The strength you can reach in a maximal yielding action is up to 50 to 100% higher than what you can reach in a maximal overcoming action. That tells us two things:

    1. If you execute a certain exercise normally, you're not stimulating the muscles during the yielding portion of the exercise. The load is too low.

    2. There's a great potential strength improvement to be had if you can accentuate the work done in a yielding regimen.

    The easiest way of accentuating the yielding action intensity during a lift is to slow down this portion, meaning that you lower the bar very slowly. Iím not talking about a two or three-second controlled descent, but rather a five to ten-second yielding portion. This super slow yielding action is to be followed by an explosive overcoming action.

    The time of the yielding portion will depend on the load you use. The following chart will give you a good place to start:

    Load
    Time of the yielding portion
    Number of reps per set

    60%
    14 seconds
    3

    65%
    12 seconds
    3

    70%
    10 seconds
    2

    75%
    8 seconds
    2

    80%
    6 seconds
    1

    85%
    4 seconds
    1


    This type of training (if the overcoming/concentric portion is completed as fast as possible) will lead to marked gains in strength. It'll also improve your capacity to control a load and absorb it.

    The second form of accentuated eccentrics is known as negatives, which basically refers to performing only the yielding portion of a lift and having spotters lift the bar for you. You should use a load that's between 110 and 130% of your maximum on a certain lift when performing negatives. The time of the action depends on the load:

    Ten seconds if the load is 110-115%.

    Eight seconds if the load is 115-120%.

    Six seconds if the load is 120-125%.

    Four seconds if the load is 125-130%.

    When doing supramaximal negatives you should only do sets of one repetition. Anywhere from three to ten singles should be done in a workout.

    The third accentuated eccentrics method is my personal favorite as it combines the benefits of both preceding methods. However, it necessitates a specialized piece of equipment called a weight releaser:



    A weight releaser is a device that's attached to both ends of a bar and that's released from the bar as it hits the ground. With it you can add a lot of weight on the yielding portion of a lift and "release" it before the overcoming portion. This will allow you to overload both phases of the movement. For maximal effect, the higher the load during the yielding portion, the lower it should be during the overcoming portion (to maximize acceleration). The following table will help you select the proper load:

    Load during the yielding portion
    Load during the overcoming portion (weight on the bar)
    Time of the yielding portion

    150%
    55%
    4 seconds

    140%
    60%
    4 seconds

    130%
    65%
    6 seconds

    120%
    70%
    6 seconds

    110%
    75%
    10 seconds

    100%
    80%
    10 seconds


    For example, if you have a max bench press of 315 pounds and you want to use 140% in the yielding portion, you'd load the bar to 190 and add 125 pounds per side on the releasers. Note that in all cases, the load is to be lifted as fast as possible during the overcoming portion of the lift. A good set of weight releasers can be bought from Dave Tate at www.elitefts.com.


    3) Isomiometric and Iso-ballistic Methods

    This type of training refers to preceding an overcoming action (concentric/miometric contraction) by an isometric action. The isometric action should take place at the weakest point of an exercise and should be held for anywhere from two to fifteen seconds depending on the nature of the drill.

    The difference between isomiometric and iso-ballistic lies in the nature of the overcoming action. In an isomiometric exercise, the load is lifted as fast as possible, but the load is relatively heavy so it doesnít always move very fast. In an iso-ballistic exercise, you must project the source of resistance in the air (so the resistance should be light).

    The benefits of these types of exercises are:

    1. Strengthening of the weakest point in an exercise (much like with isometric exercises) while integrating this improvement into a dynamic movement.

    2. Strengthening the starting portion of a lift.

    3. Improvement in the capacity to produce maximum strength from zero velocity.

    The following table will help you select the proper training parameters when using these two methods:

    Load
    Type of method
    Duration of isometric portion
    Number of reps per set

    75-85%
    Isomiometric
    2 seconds
    2-3

    65-75%
    Isomiometric
    4 seconds
    3-4

    55-65%
    Isomiometric
    6 seconds
    4-5

    45-55%
    Isomiometric
    8 seconds
    5-6

    35-45%
    Iso-ballistic
    10 seconds
    2-5

    25-35%
    Iso-ballistic
    12 seconds
    2-5

    15-25%
    Iso-ballistic
    14 seconds
    2-5



    4) Auto-Regulatory Clustering

    Clustering refers to the rest-pause method: you use a heavy load and do single reps with short rest intervals. This allows you to do a lot of reps with a near maximal load while still having a high training density. I like to use auto-regulatory clusters, meaning that I never have a set number of reps to complete, rather I let the completion of each rep dictate if I continue or not.

    I'll stop a set of cluster reps when I can no longer lift the weight fast enough (or smoothly enough). You can use a stopwatch and have a partner time the overcoming portion of the lift or go by feel; it doesnít make much of a difference in most cases. This table will give you a time target to shoot for:

    Load
    Rest between reps
    Overcoming time threshold
    Target number of total reps

    90-95%
    30 seconds
    1.2 seconds
    5-8

    85-90%
    25 seconds
    1 second
    7-10

    80-85%
    20 seconds
    0.8 second
    9-12

    75-80%
    15 seconds
    0.6 second
    11-15



    Potentiating Methods

    Potentiating literally means "making more potent" or more precisely, improving your capacity to execute a certain task. I'll present three such potentiating methods: one is structural (referring to the structure of the training program), one is anatomical, and the last one is psychological.

    1) Synaptic Facilitation

    Synaptic facilitation is something that's seen when a certain motor task is repeated frequently. The more a task is repeated the more efficient your neuromuscular apparatus becomes at executing that task. There are three major reasons why this occurs:

    1. The nervous impulse (transmission) is more important, thus activating more motor units.

    2. The motor units become more sensitive to a given impulse, thus being more easily activated (lowered activation threshold).

    3. The nervous system organizes the motor command faster and more efficiently.

    Simply put, the more we practice an exercise, the faster weíll improve in that exercise. This goes against the current grain in the strength training field of changing exercises very often and doing each lift only once a week. However, it backs up the Bulgarian and other Eastern European systems which relies on very few exercises repeated very frequently (often twice per day).

    That doesnít necessarily mean doing a lot more volume for a certain lift, rather it means spreading that volume over numerous sessions. Where strength is concerned, itís better to do four sets of an exercise for three days rather than twelve sets of the exercises on one day. Bulgarian lifters snatch, clean and squat six to twelve times per week. Russian powerlifters will bench press as much as 22 times per week. And Jay Schroeder has Adam Archuletta bench press as much as twelve times per week.

    From personal experience, doing a lift three times per week is a good place to start for maximum strength gains in that lift. However, that doesnít mean youíll be using the same training means at every workout. Youíll use the same drill, but perform it differently every time.

    Hereís an example for the bench press (assistance exercises not included):

    Workout 1
    Workout 2
    Workout 3

    a) Bench press isometric action training

    3 positions

    3 x 6 seconds per position

    60 seconds of rest
    a) Bench press auto-regulatory cluster

    90-95%

    5-8 total reps

    30 seconds between reps
    a) Bench press isometric action training

    3 positions

    3 x 6 seconds per position

    60 seconds of rest

    b) Accentuated eccentric bench press (weight releasers)

    130% / 65%

    5 x 1

    6 seconds yielding phase

    180 seconds of rest
    b) Isomiometric bench press



    65-75%

    3 x 3-4 reps

    4 seconds pause

    120 seconds of rest
    b) Accentuated eccentric bench press (supramaximal)

    120-125%

    5 x 1

    6 seconds yielding phase

    180 seconds of rest

    c) Ballistic bench press

    15-25% max bench press

    5 x 5

    120 seconds of rest
    c) Accentuated eccentric bench press

    (slow eccentric)

    70%

    5 x 2

    10 seconds yielding phase

    90 seconds of rest
    c) Iso-ballistic bench press

    15-25% max bench press

    5 x 2

    14 seconds pause

    120 seconds of rest



    2) Optimal Anatomical Positioning

    If you drive a car and your wheels are misaligned, you won't be able to get the most out of your car, even if itís a very powerful machine. Furthermore, this misalignment will cause overuse damage to your vehicleís structure. Same goes for your body: if your posture isn't proper or optimal, you won't be able to perform your best in the gym (or on the field) and your risk of injury increases.

    The best example is the bench press. The optimal anatomical position for the bench press has the lifter with the shoulders pulled back and down ó known as scapular downward rotation (shoulder blades squeezed together and pulled downward). The problem is that many people have problems adopting this position because of muscle imbalances. In that case, the culprit is often overly tight pectorals and overly tight upper trapezius and anterior deltoids, along with an elongated or weak set of rhomboids and mid/lower trapezius.

    To correct that problem it becomes critical that you stretch the overly tight muscles and strengthen the elongated muscles. Two good exercises are seated rowing (with your bench press grip, holding a one to three second isometric action when the bar is pulled against your sternum) and lat shrugs. A lat shrug is a simple movement: you grasp the bar as if you were going to do a set of lat pulldowns. Keep the arms straight and bring down the bar simply by depressing (bringing down) your shoulders and squeezing them together.

    For lifts such as the squat, the deadlift and the Olympic lifts, the optimal anatomical positioning refers to having a neutral pelvic angle which requires that the abdominal muscles, glutes, and hamstrings be developed in proportion to the lower back, rectus femoris, and illiopsoas. Most people should therefore include a lot of abdominal and hamstring work to improve their squat, deadlift, and Olympic lifts.


    3) Optimal Arousal

    Psyching up for a lift can improve performance, but it can also drain away nervous energy. The "inverted U" hypothesis states that if your arousal level is too low or too high, you won't perform optimally. You should strive to be motivated to train and be focused, but not to the point of becoming a madman in the gym. You should feel strong and powerful, yet under control.

    Using a product such as Power Drive can help you achieve that state. Visualization before your session and before an important lift can also help.


    Designing a Plan

    By now your head is probably spinning! That much info presented all at once is a bit hard to digest, isn't it? So how can you blend it all into one plan? Well, you can begin with the following workout. Itís a good place to start until you learn how to design your own templates utilizing the methods presented in this article.

    This training plan is designed with the Average Joe in mind. "AJ" has a job or goes to school. He has a busy life and a lot of stress outside the gym. Understandably, AJ can't spend the same time in the gym as a professional athlete, yet he still wants to become a super beast using the techniques explained in this article. What's he to do?

    AJ should use a training plan that rotates the focus lift every week. When a lift is the focus of a training week, three sessions are used for that lift. The other two main lifts are done during a fourth day. The three main peaking lifts are the bench press, the squat and the clean. Here's AJ's plan of attack:


    Week 1: Squat Emphasis

    a) Main workouts

    Workout 1 (Monday)
    Workout 2 (Wednesday)
    Workout 3 (Friday)

    a) Squat isometric action training

    3 positions

    3 x 6 seconds per position

    60 seconds of rest
    a) Squat auto-regulatory cluster

    90-95%

    5-8 total reps

    30 seconds between reps
    a) Iso-ballistic squat



    15-25% max squat

    5 x 2

    14 seconds pause

    120 seconds of rest

    b) Accentuated eccentric squat

    (slow eccentric)

    70%

    5 x 2

    10 seconds yielding phase

    90 seconds of rest
    b) Isomiometric squat





    65-75%

    3 x 3-4 reps

    4 seconds pause

    120 seconds of rest
    b) Isomiometric squat





    75-85%

    4 x 2-3 reps

    2 seconds pause

    120 seconds of rest

    c) Jump squat (no pause)



    15-25% max squat

    5 x 5

    120 seconds of rest
    c) Accentuated eccentric squat (supramaximal)

    120-125%

    5 x 1

    6 seconds yielding phase

    180 seconds of rest
    c) Squat isometric action training

    3 positions

    3 x 6 seconds per position

    60 seconds of rest

    d) 2/1 leg curl (overcoming with 2 legs, yielding with 1 leg)

    3 x 10 (5 per leg)

    401 tempo

    60 seconds of rest
    d) 1-leg back extension





    3 x 10 per leg

    401 tempo

    60 seconds of rest
    d) Natural glute-ham raises



    3 x 5

    As slowly as possible

    60 seconds of rest

    e) Cable crunches

    3 x 10

    401 tempo

    60 seconds of rest
    e) Forward wheel roll

    3 x 10

    301 tempo

    60 seconds of rest
    f) Hanging leg raises

    3 x 10

    301 tempo

    60 seconds of rest



    b) Supplementary workout

    Workout 4 (Saturday)

    a) Auto-regulatory cluster bench press

    85-90%

    7-10 total reps

    25 seconds between reps

    b) Auto-regulatory cluster power clean

    85-90%

    7-10 total reps

    25 seconds between reps

    c) Accentuated eccentric bench press

    (slow eccentric)

    70%

    5 x 2

    10 seconds yielding phase

    90 seconds of rest

    d) Accentuated eccentric deadlift (supramaximal)

    120-125%

    5 x 1

    6 seconds yielding phase

    180 seconds of rest

    e) Isomiometric bench press

    65-75%

    3 x 3-4 reps

    4 seconds pause

    120 seconds of rest

    f) Isomiometric deadlift

    65-75%

    3 x 3-4 reps

    4 seconds pause

    120 seconds of rest



    c) Optional workout

    Workout 5 (Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday)

    a) Seated rowing

    3 x 12

    301 tempo

    60 seconds of rest

    b) Straight-arm cable pulldown

    3 x 12

    301 tempo

    60 seconds of rest

    c) Rear delt raises

    3 x 12

    301 tempo

    60 seconds of rest

    d) Reverse grip triceps pressdown

    3 x 12

    301 tempo

    60 seconds of rest

    e) Preacher curl

    3 x 12

    301 tempo

    60 seconds of rest



    Week 2: Bench Press Emphasis

    a) Main workouts

    Workout 1 (Monday)
    Workout 2 (Wednesday)
    Workout 3 (Friday)

    a) Bench press isometric action training

    3 positions

    3 x 6 second per position

    60 seconds of rest
    a) Bench press auto-regulatory cluster

    90-95%

    5-8 total reps

    30 seconds between reps
    a) Iso-ballistic bench press



    15-25% max squat

    5 x 2

    14 seconds pause

    120 seconds of rest

    b) Accentuated eccentric bench press

    (slow eccentric)

    70%

    5 x 2

    10 seconds yielding phase

    90 seconds of rest
    b) Isomiometric bench press



    65-75%

    3 x 3-4 reps

    4 seconds pause

    120 seconds of rest
    b) Isomiometric bench press



    75-85%

    4 x 2-3 reps

    2 seconds pause

    120 seconds of rest

    c) Ballistic bench press (no pause)

    15-25% max squat

    5 x 5

    120 seconds of rest
    c) Accentuated eccentric bench press (supramaximal)

    120-125%

    5 x 1

    6 seconds yielding phase

    180 seconds of rest
    c) Bench press isometric action training

    3 positions

    3 x 6 seconds per position

    60 seconds of rest

    d) 2/1 rope triceps extension (overcoming with 2 arms, yielding with 1 arm)

    3 x 10 (5 per arm)

    401 tempo

    60 seconds of rest
    d) Reverse grip triceps pressdown





    3 x 10

    401 tempo

    60 seconds of rest
    d) Nose breaker







    3 x 10

    401

    60 seconds of rest

    e) Lat shrugs

    3 x 10

    211 tempo

    60 seconds of rest
    e) Seated rowing

    3 x 10

    311 tempo

    60 seconds of rest
    f) Lat pulldown (in front)

    3 x 10

    301 tempo

    60 seconds of rest



    b) Supplementary workout

    Workout 4 (Saturday)

    a) Auto-regulatory cluster squat

    85-90%

    7-10 total reps

    25 seconds between reps

    b) Auto-regulatory cluster power clean

    85-90%

    7-10 total reps

    25 seconds between reps

    c) Accentuated eccentric squat

    (slow eccentric)

    70%

    5 x 2

    10 seconds yielding phase

    90 seconds of rest

    d) Accentuated eccentric deadlift (supramaximal)

    120-125%

    5 x 1

    6 seconds yielding phase

    180 seconds of rest

    e) Isomiometric squat

    65-75%

    3 x 3-4 reps

    4 seconds pause

    120 seconds of rest

    f) Isomiometric deadlift

    65-75%

    3 x 3-4 reps

    4 seconds pause

    120 seconds of rest




    c) Optional workout

    Workout 5 (Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday)

    a) 2/1 leg curl

    3 x 10 (5 per leg)

    401 tempo

    60 seconds of rest

    b) Cable crunches

    3 x 12

    301 tempo

    60 seconds of rest

    c) Leg curl

    3 x 12

    301 tempo

    60 seconds of rest

    d) 1-leg back extension

    3 x 10 (per leg)

    301 tempo

    60 seconds of rest



    Week 3: Power Clean & Deadlift Emphasis

    a) Main workouts

    Workout 1 (Monday)
    Workout 2 (Wednesday)
    Workout 3 (Friday)

    a) Deadlift isometric action training

    3 positions

    3 x 6 seconds per position

    60 seconds of rest
    a) Power clean auto-regulatory cluster

    90-95%

    5-8 total reps

    30 seconds between reps
    a) Jump deadlift (jump while holding on to a bar)

    15-25% max deadlift

    5 x 5

    120 seconds of rest

    b) Accentuated eccentric power clean

    (slow eccentric)

    70%

    5 x 2

    10 seconds yielding phase

    90 seconds of rest
    b) Isomiometric power clean

    65-75%

    3 x 3-4 reps

    4 seconds pause (2" below the knees)

    120 seconds of rest
    b) Isomiometric power clean

    75-85%

    4 x 2-3 reps

    2 seconds pause

    120 seconds of rest

    c) Jump deadlift (jump while holding on to a bar)

    15-25% max deadlift

    5 x 5

    120 seconds of rest
    c) Accentuated eccentric deadlift (supramaximal)

    120-125%

    5 x 1

    6 seconds yielding phase

    180 seconds of rest
    c) Deadlift isometric action training

    3 positions

    3 x 6 seconds per position

    60 seconds of rest

    d) Power shrugs (shrug using your traps and calves)

    3 x 10

    Explosive tempo

    60 seconds of rest
    d) Straight-arm cable pulldown



    3 x 10

    401 tempo

    60 seconds of rest
    d) Shrugs





    3 x 10

    401

    60 seconds of rest

    e) Back extension

    3 x 10

    201 tempo

    60 seconds of rest
    e) Seated rowing

    3 x 10

    311 tempo

    60 seconds of rest
    f) Lat pulldown (in front)

    3 x 10

    301 tempo

    60 seconds of rest



    b) Supplementary workout

    Workout 4 (Saturday)

    a) Auto-regulatory cluster squat

    85-90%

    7-10 total reps

    25 seconds between reps

    b) Auto-regulatory cluster bench press

    85-90%

    7-10 total reps

    25 seconds between reps

    c) Accentuated eccentric squat

    (slow eccentric)

    70%

    5 x 2

    10 seconds yielding phase

    90 seconds of rest

    d) Accentuated eccentric bench press (supramaximal)

    120-125%

    5 x 1

    6 seconds yielding phase

    180 seconds of rest

    e) Isomiometric squat

    65-75%

    3 x 3-4 reps

    4 seconds pause

    120 seconds of rest

    f) Isomiometric bench press

    65-75%

    3 x 3-4 reps

    4 seconds pause

    120 seconds of rest



    c) Optional workout

    Workout 5 (Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday)

    a) 2/1 leg curl

    3 x 10 (5 per leg)

    401 tempo

    60 seconds of rest

    b) Cable crunches

    3 x 12

    301 tempo

    60 seconds of rest

    c) Leg curl

    3 x 12

    301 tempo

    60 seconds of rest

    d) 1-leg back extension

    3 x 10 (per leg)

    301 tempo

    60 seconds of rest



    After the three week cycle you start a new one with different training means.


    Conclusion

    This article, very dense in information, presented quite a few new tricks you can integrate into your own training program. You donít have to utilize the training plan provided, nor do you have to use all the methods explained. However, if you're serious about gaining a lot of strength fast, these methods will prove to be invaluable if used properly. You'll go from beast to super beast in no time flat!

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    Toughest Man in the World Bruise Brubaker's Avatar
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    I like. He's using a lot of the ideas I just started incorporating.

    But Chris and I think alike on a lot of subjects, so its not really surprising.
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

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  4. #4
    Tearing **** Up FortifiedIron's Avatar
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    ok im reading... give my thoughts in a second


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  5. #5
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    Heh, sweet.

  6. #6
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Just as fodder for argument, with all of these
    "modern" methods of training, why have the records increased so little?

    For example, the raw bench hasn't gone up more than ~50 lbs in the past 30 years. The deadlift, with equipment helping, has only increased ~75 lbs (so what, maybe 40 lbs correcting for the suit?).

    So, why has the plyo-centric-facilitating not done more for the top athletes? Could it be just a bunch or mumo-jumbo, or renamed old fashioned training methods?

  7. #7
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    I think it has to do more with making elite levels of strength available to more people, and more quickly, as opposed to exceeding human performance limitations
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

    Budiak: That girl I maced
    Budiak: macked
    Budiak: heh maced
    Budiak: I wish

    ShmrckPmp5: a good thing people can't fire guns through the computer...your ass would have been shot years ago

    Y2A 47: youre smooth as hell
    Y2A 47: thats why you get outta tickets, and into panties

    galileo: you're a fucking beast and I hate you
    galileo: hate

    assgrabbers are never subtile, they will grabb ass whereever they go,public or not, I know the type, because I am one. - Rock

  8. #8
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    You see, I consider the "look how many more elite lifters we have today" a poor argument for the training methods. First, totals are up due to equipment as we have discussed already. Second, there are just a lot more people lifting weights today than 10, 20, or 30 years ago. Thus, by default, you are going to have a greater number of strong lifters out there.

  9. #9
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    True.

    But I can vouch for some of this stuff personally. Its methodology like this that I can credit for most of my strength gains to date.

    That said, its really nothing revolutionary-- same stuff that a lot of the old-time guys used. Its really just a codification of means and methods, and placing it in the context of a more structured system with a scientific basis.

    So, errr....yeah.
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

    Budiak: That girl I maced
    Budiak: macked
    Budiak: heh maced
    Budiak: I wish

    ShmrckPmp5: a good thing people can't fire guns through the computer...your ass would have been shot years ago

    Y2A 47: youre smooth as hell
    Y2A 47: thats why you get outta tickets, and into panties

    galileo: you're a fucking beast and I hate you
    galileo: hate

    assgrabbers are never subtile, they will grabb ass whereever they go,public or not, I know the type, because I am one. - Rock

  10. #10
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    There's so many cynics out there. If you doubt so much, why don't you try it Chris? Why don't you try doing a full cycle of reactive training or something? I'm gaining strength like crazy, but my gains are discounted since I'm still a newb....however a guy like you, who is already incredibly developed ought to give one of these routines a try and give feedback. What have you got to lose?

  11. #11
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Ahhh Silles, I think you hit on a point. Fist, I just may give it a go one day, but I like to kind of chart my own course (based upon the knowledge I have gained by my own training and reading that of others of course). Second, your newbie gains are a great point. If someone has decent genes and trains hard without overtraining, great gains will come to them until they start to reach an advanced stage as long as they train progressively.

    I use myself as an example. I was able to get my strength to a very respectable level quite quickly when I was in my first few years of training. I did this completely natural. I did it training to failure with low volume anywhere from 3-5 days per week. I think my gains would meet or exceed those of any westside trainee.

    As I have said before, I definitely think the advanced trainee, especially as he ages, needs to alter his methods a bit.

  12. #12
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Thing about Westside is, its really not for beginners. Oh it'll work, but I think until you've got 3-5 years or more under your belt its not one of the better choices.

    I dunno....I just enjoy training with various methods and techniques. Beyond the fact that they work (mainly its just a form of extreme overload and/or speed development), its a lot of fun to add some variety to my training.

    Chris, I enjoy using some of the workouts you've put up before, or variants thereof. Those can be fun as well, and quite effective in their own rights.

    What I've found gives me the best gains is oscillating back and forth between periods of higher-volume loading followed by periods of lower-volume strength and/or moderate-volume speed-strength training. But that's a whole different thread
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

    Budiak: That girl I maced
    Budiak: macked
    Budiak: heh maced
    Budiak: I wish

    ShmrckPmp5: a good thing people can't fire guns through the computer...your ass would have been shot years ago

    Y2A 47: youre smooth as hell
    Y2A 47: thats why you get outta tickets, and into panties

    galileo: you're a fucking beast and I hate you
    galileo: hate

    assgrabbers are never subtile, they will grabb ass whereever they go,public or not, I know the type, because I am one. - Rock

  13. #13
    Baby Seal Clubber ElPietro's Avatar
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    Most of these things aren't new or modern. Just like most of westside concepts, all they are doing is glaming up old eastern bloc training methods that have been used since the 60s and 70s. Plyo incorporation is standard among eastern athletes, but for some reason hasn't caught on as well in the west.

    I haven't read much from Thibaudeau in the past, but I think it was he, who wrote an article that was on boxing or martial arts training, that I thought was completely off base and full of fallacy. But I may be mistaken on who wrote it.

    Chris, everyone is going to make slight alterations to past concepts and claim it as new or their own. In reality, it's all pretty much the same sh!t, and at the elite level it's probably making relatively little to no difference, hence the record lifts have stayed relatively static over the years.

    I'd give more credit to plifters breeding with plifters to create gentically superior plifter kids as reason the lifts go up at all, versus these so called "new" training concepts.
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  14. #14
    Proud Father Maki Riddington's Avatar
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    Originally posted by PowerManDL


    What I've found gives me the best gains is oscillating back and forth between periods of higher-volume loading followed by periods of lower-volume strength and/or moderate-volume speed-strength training. But that's a whole different thread
    ***
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    "Test all things; hold fast what is good.": 1 Thessalonians 5:21

    "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
    So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
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  15. #15
    Crikey, its a 30 foot ape! Kong's Avatar
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    I'll just stick with lifting heavy. Got enough to read for now : )
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  16. #16
    UPA Lousiana Chairman Eric Downey's Avatar
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    Just what we need. Another training method. As if we didnt have enough already. I can think of 20 different methods of the top of my head just sitting here. Im sure the program is great and will produce some strong athletes but we all do our own thing no matter what type of training we calim to do. We do what we think works for us. Great looking program though.
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  17. #17
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    SFW!


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  18. #18
    I wannabebig!
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    nice of you to resurrect a 5 year old thread!!! on a "new training method"

  19. #19
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    LOL I was thinking the same thing


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    Last edited by Travis Bell; 08-13-2008 at 07:37 PM.


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    Auto-regulatory cluster squat ... Isomiometric power clean ... 2/1 rope triceps extension (overcoming with 2 arms, yielding with 1 arm)
    LoL ...

  21. #21
    Breaker of Skulls Guido's Avatar
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    Notice he didn't even post a link to the article.
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