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Thread: Progressive Overload vs. Constant Switching

  1. #26
    Banned KingJustin's Avatar
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    When we deadlift for strength, it's Max Effort at 1, 3, or 5 reps.
    The WOD is [just] an example.
    Heh, I felt like I fit the principles you mentioned in there. The lifts are all highly functional, with just the movement, volume, or intensity tweaked.

    How about this? You give me 3 weeks of "typical" CrossFit strength training for a deadlift-like movement?


    ..granted this kind of goes against what I'm trying to discuss. I'm not trying to discuss whether or not CrossFit works, but more like the degree to which you can alter your training from week to week. i.e. if you switch from 6x4 to 3x8, alternating each week, are you still "progressing" and does your body fully understand it? What if you sometimes switch from squats to front squats? What if you decrease rest periods? etc. How much can you actually alter your training per week and consider it progressive overload? And, does it matter (i.e. how bad is the second example compared to the first in post #19?)
    Last edited by KingJustin; 04-11-2007 at 04:56 PM.

  2. #27
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Check my journal for an example of some tweaking.

    As for your question, it depends. Some people need more frequency than others, some need more assistance work, some need more rest, etc.
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  3. #28
    Risk10k Clifford Gillmore's Avatar
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    Why I hate Progressive Overload
    More of a powerlifting perspective..

    1; More often than not, the 1RM number used to calculate the working sets is a projected 1RM. This is not what is supposed to happen, it just does.

    2; Meet peaking cycles for more than one meet. Say you have a meet in 12 weeks time, you peak for it and compete. In another 15 weeks there is another meet you wan't to peak for, some people take this time off, they aren't addressing issues that can be altered.

    3; You are increasing your max without maxing.

    4; GPP seems to get written out completely


    There are slew of other reasons why the western methods are a little unreliable, but these are a few. All types of methods work, simply to different levels.

  4. #29
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risk10k View Post
    Why I hate Progressive Overload
    More of a powerlifting perspective..

    1; More often than not, the 1RM number used to calculate the working sets is a projected 1RM. This is not what is supposed to happen, it just does.

    2; Meet peaking cycles for more than one meet. Say you have a meet in 12 weeks time, you peak for it and compete. In another 15 weeks there is another meet you wan't to peak for, some people take this time off, they aren't addressing issues that can be altered.

    3; You are increasing your max without maxing.

    4; GPP seems to get written out completely


    There are slew of other reasons why the western methods are a little unreliable, but these are a few. All types of methods work, simply to different levels.

    I'm not sure what you're getting at. You're describing issues with a particular version of linear periodization. Progressive overload is just adding weight to the bar.
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  5. #30
    Risk10k Clifford Gillmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PowerManDL View Post
    I'm not sure what you're getting at. You're describing issues with a particular version of linear periodization. Progressive overload is just adding weight to the bar.
    My mistake! And your completely correct, I did that white male hillbilly thing where I didn't think before I posted. :/

  6. #31
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    KingJustin,
    Where, exactly, are you going with this? I think everyone has pretty much given you their opinions on the matter which you seem to not think are intellectual enough for you...

    I think you need to make it clear what you define as 'progression', progressive overload, 'constant switching', etc.... I think this is a meaningless discussion if you don't know what conjugate periodization, etc. entail...
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
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  7. #32
    Senior Member beatlesfreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
    Eva T just broke 2 national records and she's in her 40's.
    Eva T is in her 40s???!!!?

    No way!

    I would have never guessed that if you hadn't told me.

  8. #33
    Banned KingJustin's Avatar
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    Conjugated periodization, as in rather than linear-periodization where you train certain abilities individually, you are instead training them all together (ME, DE, repetition all each "week")?


    Well, the next question was kind of answered by Anthony, in that it really depends on your individual body how much you can alter exercises and still see a carry-over. Apparently some people can make relatively large changes, and others can only make small changes. That pretty much sums up enough of the theory stuff.

    As far as something I wanted to apply to myself ... I know that I, personally, am one of the people that can only make small changes movement-wise if I want a carry-over. So.. as far as my rotation on max effort days, might it be worth looking into something less like traditional Westside (i.e. max bench week 1, 5x5 bench week 2, repeat max bench week 3, etc.?) for me?

    If not, should I consider keeping the same exercise for 3 weeks in a row before switching rather than switching each week? Or, would the fact that I haven't done just normal flat bench in so many weeks hurt me when I go back to do it? (i.e. 3 weeks flat, 3 weeks 3board press, 3 weeks floor press, 3 weeks 1 board, 3 weeks close grip, 3 weeks 2 board, then back to flat)
    Last edited by KingJustin; 04-12-2007 at 02:17 AM.

  9. #34
    Risk10k Clifford Gillmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJustin View Post
    Conjugated periodization, as in rather than linear-periodization where you train certain abilities individually, you are instead training them all together (ME, DE, repetition all each "week")?
    More or less, you need to look at what falls it what catergoery.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingJustin View Post
    As far as something I wanted to apply to myself ... I know that I, personally, am one of the people that can only make small changes movement-wise if I want a carry-over. So.. as far as my rotation on max effort days, might it be worth looking into something less like traditional Westside (i.e. max bench week 1, 5x5 bench week 2, repeat max bench week 3, etc.?) for me?
    Well that depends, do you want a bigger 1EM or do you want bigger triceps? Joe Defranco incorperates a max reps day inreplacement of the speed work in the bench, I've made size gains doing this.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingJustin View Post
    If not, should I consider keeping the same exercise for 3 weeks in a row before switching rather than switching each week? Or, would the fact that I haven't done just normal flat bench in so many weeks hurt me when I go back to do it? (i.e. 3 weeks flat, 3 weeks 3board press, 3 weeks floor press, 3 weeks 1 board, 3 weeks close grip, 3 weeks 2 board, then back to flat)
    Your speed is what gets you through the bottom portion of the bench, have you ever been in a situation where you can't even push the bar an inch off your chest (other than the bar just being too heavy?)? You will be doing full ROM work on DE day. You don't have to go a full three weeks with your exercise selection, you can do it in one week rotations - so that you full ROM bench once a month as well as doing board work.


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  10. #35
    Banned KingJustin's Avatar
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    Maybe I should make a new thread about this, but ...

    Yeah, I already understand the repetition method, dynamic effort and the traditional 8x3 with 1 minute rests (but, of course, it could really be anywhere from 1-5 reps per set, but Louie's research shows that 16-24 reps is the best rep range total volume), etc, etc.

    That said, I had done DE work for a solid year straight and I really just don't believe it had any carry over to my bench whatsoever. The only thing that I thought it might have helped was keeping my body used to the full ROM movement pattern, but my explosiveness and all that never improved from DE work.

    So, I dropped it and so I don't do real conjugated periodization now (as far as I recall, metal melitia doesn't either, and look at their benches). Now, I am only do bench once a week. The DE day I just do heavy push presses and sometimes some close grip work (but, so much benching bothers my shoulders, so I rotate this exercise). With that in mind, I'm worried that too much change in my ME exercise is going to hurt me in the long run, so I'm wondering if there were other reasonable alternatives.

    And yeah, I know about Joe DeFranco's WS4SB program ... I just don't like that (a) the rep range is so damn high, (b) I am really burnt after that work, (c) I'm benching even more, so it hurts my shoulders.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJustin View Post
    Maybe I should make a new thread about this, but ...

    Yeah, I already understand the repetition method, dynamic effort and the traditional 8x3 with 1 minute rests (but, of course, it could really be anywhere from 1-5 reps per set, but Louie's research shows that 16-24 reps is the best rep range total volume), etc, etc.

    That said, I had done DE work for a solid year straight and I really just don't believe it had any carry over to my bench whatsoever. The only thing that I thought it might have helped was keeping my body used to the full ROM movement pattern, but my explosiveness and all that never improved from DE work.

    So, I dropped it and so I don't do real conjugated periodization now (as far as I recall, metal melitia doesn't either, and look at their benches). Now, I am only do bench once a week. The DE day I just do heavy push presses and sometimes some close grip work (but, so much benching bothers my shoulders, so I rotate this exercise). With that in mind, I'm worried that too much change in my ME exercise is going to hurt me in the long run, so I'm wondering if there were other reasonable alternatives.

    And yeah, I know about Joe DeFranco's WS4SB program ... I just don't like that (a) the rep range is so damn high, (b) I am really burnt after that work, (c) I'm benching even more, so it hurts my shoulders.

    This thread is going to make Wilma's poonani hurt.

    Just because you don't do DE benching doesn't mean you're not performing a congugate periodization system. Maybe you aren't, but congugate periodization has nothing to do with ME and DE, four days per week.

    I rarely do traditional speed benching because it didn't seem to get me anywhere. I still perform my bench presses explosively, I still bench submaximally. Sometimes I utilize the repetition method. Sometimes I work up to another heavy five using bands/chains/whatever. Sometimes I take the day off.

    If benching more is hurting your shoulders either fix the problem (weak rotators, imbalances, etc), get soft tissue work done, or stop benching so much.

    Metal Militia does utilize a congugate periodization program, if I remember correctly, but they utilize a raw day and a shirted day. Also, they're another innovation gym. What's published in a few articles probably looks nothing like what they're doing now (just like Westside).

    If you feel that too much change in your ME exercise is going to hurt you, don't change it. For me, I find that if I work to a heavy single for three weeks I usually hit a PR on my second week and lose performance on my third, so it makes sense for me to do two week cycles. Or I will work to a 3-5RM on the first week to facilitate neural relearning. Or several other protocols. Regardless, I know that I can't usually PR three weeks in a row.
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  12. #37
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJustin View Post
    Conjugated periodization, as in rather than linear-periodization where you train certain abilities individually, you are instead training them all together (ME, DE, repetition all each "week")?
    This starts getting into murky territory where even the authorities aren't too clear on things.

    Best way I could explain it is to break it into two factors: qualitative (motor abilities, ie DE, ME, or RE-type work), and quantitative (volume and intensity).

    Linear periodization is a quantitative approach whereby volume decreases as intensity increases over some particular time frame. This is associated with the style popularized by Medvedyev, Bompa, and what was known as the Western or traditional model, where you had hypertrophy, strength, power, etc as discrete phases. This approach uses the rep range to define volume and intensity, so you might start the cycle with sets of 12-15, then 8-10, then 6-8, then 3-6, and finish with 1-3.

    This doesn't account for a few things though:

    i) linear planning doesn't define a time frame. It can occur in a week, in a month, or across successive months, so long as a decrease in volume and increase in intensity occurs.
    ii) there are other ways besides changing the rep range to control volume.
    iii) there are other ways besides changing the rep range to control intensity.
    iv) you can have a cycle that is linear overall but still has smaller peaks and tapers. for example, in a 16-week cycle where volume is trending downwards and intensity is trending upwards, you can still have smaller phases where this doesn't hold true.

    Basically, there's nothing written in stone about how to train motor abilities AND the volume/intensity relationship. They're certainly related, obviously, as volume and intensity within certain boundaries define what quality is being developed.

    The original conjugate sequence system as defined by Verkoshansky uses individual blocks of training with a single emphasis, but with maintenance of other previously developed qualities. It also organizes these blocks in a fashion that takes into account the persistence of the prior adaptation. Since hypertrophy tends to retain longer than power, and power work tends to maintain it, you train hypertrophy and general development first. There's also no real emphasis on linear relationship between V and I, as this approach focuses more on concentration of specific loads. In other words, volume is kept static more or less, only the motor emphasis changes.

    This actually doesn't have a lot of carryover to barbell sports, as it was designed with other types of athletes in mind. The Westside interpretation can under some circumstances be considered a version of this, though, depending on how you want to look at it.

    As far as something I wanted to apply to myself ... I know that I, personally, am one of the people that can only make small changes movement-wise if I want a carry-over. So.. as far as my rotation on max effort days, might it be worth looking into something less like traditional Westside (i.e. max bench week 1, 5x5 bench week 2, repeat max bench week 3, etc.?) for me?
    If you're not strong enough to be considered "elite" I'd suggest that you're not advanced enough to be using the Westside approach. Rotation of exercises each week only works if you've got a high skill and proficiency in your lifts, which is somewhat related to your ability to "be strong".

    If you're not advanced enough for that (and there's no shame in that), then sticking to a simpler progressive overload approach will likely be superior.

    Remember that elite PLers train how they do because that's how they *have* to train. They've already put in years of ass-busting to get to that level, and the ballpark tends to change when that happens. What they do is what is required for them to get stronger as they get increasingly closer to their limits. You don't have that restriction, so a more straightforward approach will tend to work better.
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  13. #38
    As I Am Paul Stagg's Avatar
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    To speak from some experience:

    Someone without elite level strength (or close to it) will have difficulty doing what Louie Simmons tells you to do in his articles. You have to read past the specifics, and into the generalities.

    The whole 3 week time limit thing applies when you are very, very good at those lifts. When you are not, you can go much longer without a need to change.

    Powerman sums things up very well. The vast majority of people are well served applying the principles of the conjugate method to a framework of Western periodisation.

    If you read some of the stuff Wendler is saying now, you'll see that the basic lifts, performed frequently over time, focusing on progression, is the way to go - certainly if you are not on the top 100 list in PLUSA.

    That doesn't mean you don't do dynamic, maximal, or repetition work, it just means you apply the concepts in a different manner.

    If you are squatting 2x bodyweight, you need to squat. A lot. And you need to slowly and steadily add weight to the bar.

    That's why the programs suggested by McCallum and Rippetoe look so similar. They work. For a long time. I've recently had a bit of an awakening here - if you watch my training log (assuming I am consistent), over the next 6 months you won't see changes in lifts, you'll see increases in poundage... you might see deloads, you might see some additions and subtractions, but almost every session, you'll see squats.

    And I'm convinced 6 months from now I'lll be stronger than I ever have been.
    Squats work better than supplements.
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  14. #39
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    Simple, you need both a progressive overload with some change up in the routine every few weeks as the body begins to adapt.

  15. #40
    Senior Member RichMcGuire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BIG NASTY BOY View Post
    Simple, you need both a progressive overload with some change up in the routine every few weeks as the body begins to adapt.
    Did you read this thread fully?
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  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by BIG NASTY BOY View Post
    Simple, you need both a progressive overload with some change up in the routine every few weeks as the body begins to adapt.
    Why do you keep making posts like this? Stop posting for a while and start reading the stickies on this site.
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