Can't have it all at the same time!

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by Kozushi, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Kozushi

    Kozushi Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    It sort of dawned on my a few days ago while training that it isn't really feasible to ever develop the "perfect" training system, nor that even something nebulous like this exists, even conceptually. The body can only handle so much exercise, and we only have so much time and energy to devote to this stuff. So, we have to prioritize based on goals. But, we can't "have it all" at the same time.

    What I've noticed while using S&S as my base program but working on other moves in phases, is that all the moves have their good points, and many overlap in terms of what they do for me. I totally get Pavel's philosophy of selecting very few moves to master at a time.

    PTTP is about deadlifts, which do indeed trim the midriff and strengthen the whole body.
    ETK is about presses, which "do indeed trim the midriff and strengthen the whole body".
    S&S is about swings AND the TGU, which "ditto".

    With the concept of a big pull and a big push, or even a focus on one or the other (as in PTTP and ETK) where the complementary muscles are getting a lot of exercise too, we're more or less getting to the same goal of "overall strength and fitness" even though the nuance may be different. I've found by almost getting to Simple, I could suddenly also deadlift 1.5 my bodyweight (i.e. PTTP stuff), press 1/3 bodyweight (ETK stuff), and I've found that in turn deadlifting has helped my swings and presses, and pressing has helped my TGUs and vice versa (more vice versa perhaps). There seem to be so many shared complementary muscles involved in all these moves that even though the main thrust is different, the whole body is getting stronger no matter which of these moves you are emphasizing.

    At the end of the day, they are all kind of similar, actually.
  2. Bret S.

    Bret S. Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum Certified Instructor

    Excellent point @Kozushi. It seems no matter what I'm doing be it MA or KB or BW or... or... I'm getting stronger overall.

    I don't think you can separate one part of the body and strengthen it apart from the rest of the organism (as in not possible if you tried)..
    Kozushi likes this.
  3. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    There is a distant point on the horizon where goals, specificity, exercise selection and programming might all appear to meet, but they never really do.
  4. WxHerk

    WxHerk Triple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    You CAN have it all at one time. Just do everything possible and then you will have everything. You will be good at nothing but mediocre or less at everything.

    We all train for different things. Those things change as we pick up new pursuits and as we age. Don't worry so much about the aging part: at 54 I am proving that I can do much more than conventional wisdom says I should be able to.
  5. Sergej

    Sergej Triple-Digit Post Count

    It kinda contradicts bryce lanes "have it all" idea.the 50/20programm.;)
    Kozushi likes this.
  6. apa

    apa Triple-Digit Post Count

    Edit: phone broke down.
    I think the main problem is that we are bombarded by advertisement too much and have unrealistic expectations. For example, pulling 400+ in deadlift thanks to PTTP or achieving Simple, we become very strong and are way ahead of the average person. However, muscle magazines have these ripped people, articles on the internet are telling us we are inadequate at best.. Kettlebells are not a viable strength tool. Bench pressing is the only way to get ladies etc. We need to buy this or that product.

    Perhaps not what you, @Kozushi, intended with this thread, but I believe, we can get everything from our training. Focus on SS, then RoP and we are almost perfect... But the advertising companies want us to think we are not.

    Is New Really Better? | StrongFirst
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  7. WhatWouldHulkDo

    WhatWouldHulkDo Strong Member of the Forum

    To me, the "have it all" concept really revolves around what you can reasonably maximize at any one time. Breaking it down conceptually, you might have two qualities A & B that you want to maximize, but only enough training time (and more importantly, recovery) to maximize one at a time. So, you gotta learn how to cycle. Spend some time maximizing A, B falls away from maximum. Then spend some time maximizing B, A falls away from maximum. As long as over the long term A & B are both trending upward, and each new cycle finds a new maximum, you're winning.

    But for some folks (e.g. me), any loss from a prior maximum is hard to take, psychologically - you don't want to feel "weaker" than you were before, so you try to maximize A & B together. But you potentially slow the long-term growth you might have achieved by swallowing your pride and accepting the cycling - or worse yet, you get hurt and step backwards.

    That's pretty much me - in the past I've just kept adding and adding and adding to what I'm doing, never wanting to give any gains up, and eventually getting frustrated and/or overwhelmed until I'm physically forced to hit reset. Right now, I'm trying to focus on some limit strength, and finding that it means I'm having to give up some training on work capacity - and really fighting a mental battle with myself over it. But, hopefully, I'm getting mentally stronger too, and will be able to keep myself in line.
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  8. Groove Greaser

    Groove Greaser Triple-Digit Post Count

    vegpedlr, somanaut, Kozushi and 2 others like this.
  9. offwidth

    offwidth Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    Have it all?

    Highly contextual at best.

    The closer your particular 'all's' are the better your chances are.

    The further apart they are less your chances are.

    There just aren't people out there that are winning both marathons and powerlifting contests. At least none that I know of.

    I realize that this may be an extreme (or silly) example, but it illustrates the point.
    Shawn90, banzaiengr, somanaut and 4 others like this.
  10. WhatWouldHulkDo

    WhatWouldHulkDo Strong Member of the Forum

    From the article:

    You just saw one example in the unfortunate rats whose swimming dedication made their livers less resistant to vodka (a tragedy where I come from)

    Very clearly justifies/endorses my additional focus on vodka tolerance training.
  11. Kozushi

    Kozushi Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    Kind of what I mean... What I mean is that it's not realistic to think I can really excel in like 5 different moves at once. But, the say 2 or 3 moves I focus on, no matter what moves they are (assuming the "good" moves we're talking about here) bequeath very solid overall strength anyhow, so it doesn't necessarily matter too much that I'm not excelling at the other moves.
    offwidth likes this.
  12. Bret S.

    Bret S. Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum Certified Instructor

    Having it all depends on what your definition of 'all' is.. one man's trash is another man's treasure.. As the saying goes..

    I may be stoked with attaining a goal that could be considered a personal disappointment or worse by another.

    The cost of adaptation is a price all creatures pay, humans are no different.. Whether it be genetic adaptations in nature or adaptations made by training choices.

    @offwidth had a good point about relativity/similarity of goals being a factor. Adding in multiple or layered goals further complicates things.

    Consider the rich man who has it all. All the money in the world and still he can't buy love, or loyalty, or friends, or fitness, or happiness.. (and the list goes on)

    Does he have it all? Only if he thinks he does and is truly happy. Perception is reality.
    Kozushi likes this.
  13. Alan Mackey

    Alan Mackey Triple-Digit Post Count

    True that.

    As a lifelong martial artist, I've always been attracted to minimalistic programs that could boost my performance on the mat, while keeping me fresh enough to train my discipline at a fairly high level.

    Being strong is nice, but achieving the old 500/400/300/200 goal made me miserable and didn't help my martial art *at all*.

    There's strong and there's *strong enough*. And, since I'm not a strength-sports athlete, being *strong enough* for my discipline is rather easy to achieve.

    I've never seen *any* kind of improvement to my game once I reached:

    - Fifteen solid reps of trap bar lifts with my bodyweight loaded on the bar. (*)

    - Fifteen strict pull ups and dips with no extra load.

    (*) Five to eight reps of clean + front squat + push press with my bodyweight loaded on the bar is my other benchmark and rather accurate predictor of my performance in my martial arts practice.

    Anything I do beyond that, it's because I find it fun, not because I need it in any way.
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  14. banzaiengr

    banzaiengr Strong Member of the Forum

    It does depend exactly on your definition of all. Read through fitness discussion boards and you will find that we have a hard time agreeing on the definition of health and/or fitness.

    I'm going to comment on some of the above posts and I would certainly enjoy any or all feedback;

    I tend to disagree here. I've been to bench press meets where there are those who have a very solid bench but most likely couldn't deadlift or squat much over their bodyweight. If you threw them into a 10K they might be lucky to finish it. GOALS

    With the right coach for the given sport they can. That's how champions are made.

    There's always going to be that 1% of the population that can. There always comes a point where you have to be happy with what the good Lord has given you.

    This definitely gets back to goals. Let's say that you are blessed to be a great wrestler. You need strength and endurance but you may be able to beat a stronger opponent with more endurance if you are a better wrestler. Then again if you concentrate only on improving your strength and endurance you may make an error on the mat and get beat. There is always that fine line that only great coaches know how to balance on.

    Not really a silly example. But is it realistic? You will see criticism of the TSC that says it needs a running component. Is the 5 min. snatch test a good enough test for endurance? If there is a running component then should that be a 400 meter or a 10K? But there are folks who do the Ironman and have awfully good weight room numbers. They most likely wouldn't win a PL meet but they would do quit well. Then again at the same time their Ironman performance might suffer.

    What's your definition of excel?

    Is it actually your perception or the false perception of someone else? Is consistent 6% body fat a reality for everyone? Can everyone DL 400 lb. and can everyone run a sub 40 min. 10 K? Heck, let's even throw in a good 400 meter time.

    Ahh, but there may be that fine line again. What if you could do 18 trap bar DL's with your BW? What if you worked on running stairs and could finish a match just a little less winded than you used to feel. There are few who would find running stairs fun. But that may be the little edge you need to put you over the top.

    My point here is that all is whatever is a reasonable goal at the time. You finally reached Sinister but now your 5K time is a bit slower. Your 5K time has improved but it's not the 18:30 you were hoping for.

    If your goal was to win the gold medal in the 5K, well that maybe wasn't realistic. But now you're running consistent 20 min. 5K's and doing Sinister.

    Your goal needs to be whatever YOU feel is attainable and will fit in with whatever your definition of health, fit, strong, fast, etc. may be. It may also need to just fit in with your lifestyle and what you figure you need to live a good life. That may be DL'ing 250, being able to walk briskly for one hour. But maybe losing that last 10 lb. isn't worth the effort it will take if it's not a health risk. In that case you maybe have it all.

    Just some thoughts, I sure don't know the answers.
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  15. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    I see your point and agree, to some extent. Is a philosophical question IMHO.

    There are great coaches, but most champions are a mix of the right athlete (genetics, background) and the right coach.

    My receding perspective analogy - you can get close enough that it appears to all come together and the results will be great, but you cannot cover all the bases at the same time unless your definition of "everything" is mighty narrow - though you can come very close. All depends on the goals.

    The issue with developing the "perfect" training system is we will adapt to it. Once adapted, you can do all manner of waviness and ladders but will probably get more solid results changing your training strategy - at least the literature and my personal experience supports that concept. Perfect is situational/temporary.

    The perfect training system might encompass perpetual rotating programs in a specific schedule of movement patterns, loading, deloading - but you still won't have it all at the same time or there'd be no need to change anything...
  16. Alan Mackey

    Alan Mackey Triple-Digit Post Count

    I always thought farmer's walk for a long distance (say, one kilometer) should be a TSC event. It does tick all the right boxes: grip, strength-endurance, cardio, mental fortitude and it's a fundamental human activity.

    I'm not saying that my particular standards will work for everyone. But I've tried lifting considerably heavier loads and it didn't help my game a bit. In fact, it was rather detrimental.

    I've also tried the 'metcon' way to no avail.

    And, after a looooong trial and error period, I found my particular Goldilocks number. Anything beyond or less than that rapidly becomes a dimnishing returns situation.

    Keep in mind that my training life is a very delicate ecosystem, which keeps me balacing between two different martial arts, lifting and trail running.
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  17. Kozushi

    Kozushi Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

    Hitting and maintaining Simple really seems to be more than good enough for keeping me looking like an athlete and performing like an athlete. My progress is happening with supplementary exercises like military presses and deadlifts, which make my manipulation of the 32kg bell in S&S more deft, agile and "better" overall. I don't feel a pressing need to jump up to the 40 in S&S - I did 40 swings with it and 2 TGUs with it yesterday just to test myself, and yes I can do it, but why? The 32 is challenging enough and good enough.

    In response to someone else asking me what I mean by excelling at 5 different exercises, of course I mean lifting very heavy weights and/or high reps. So if we're talking about pressing, 1/2 body weight in one arm, deadlift 2X body weight...

    In any case, without going up in weight in S&S, I am still getting stronger and the moves more fluid and easier. Strength isn't always about going up in weight but about doing better with the weight that you're at.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  18. banzaiengr

    banzaiengr Strong Member of the Forum

    Please ensure that my mention of stair running was only an example. In regard to met-con style training I feel, at least for me, that it must be extremely tempered.

    Sounds like possibly you have it all.
  19. banzaiengr

    banzaiengr Strong Member of the Forum

    Goes without saying. But a great coach can make an average athlete better and a poor coach can make a great athlete lesser.

    Heck, just ask Dan John, he'll let you know how great he makes everyone.
  20. Alan Mackey

    Alan Mackey Triple-Digit Post Count

    Quite the contrary! I suck equally bad at a lot of activities.

    I gave up, long time ago, trying to be good at anything. Park bench rules for the win!
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018

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