Charles Poliquin's "elemental types"??

bluejeff

Level 5 Valued Member
Might as well make a thread for this.



I am not sure what I think about his theory, but he seemed to have great success in applying it, so I was wondering what people here thought of it. Do any members here who have, say, at least a decade of experience training themselves or others have a weigh-in on this?

I mentioned it in another thread, but I wonder if the SF/soviet style of training works so well because the "waviness" seems to check all the boxes, so to speak. Thus, most anyone would see at least decent benefit from it.
 

Eyetic

Level 5 Valued Member
I don't want to offend anyone but...what's next a type of program related to our Zodiac signs?

What kind of science does support this? at least Pavel in his work talks about real science and tests he did which I really appreciate as it helps understanding why it works.

As much as I want to respect these chinese like training approachs I can barely believe it can work.

The truth is that any workout works better that no workout at all so if I start doing the fire, water, earth or whatever workout and want to believe it I will make it work.
 

bluejeff

Level 5 Valued Member
@Eyetic he likens the chinese elements to neurotransmitter dominance, as per the Braverman test. I personally don't have any evidence to back any of this but since Poliquin was a huge name in strengtha nd conditioning I thought it may be worthwhile to look into.
 

Nate

Level 5 Valued Member
Some are naturally different where they thrive on different type of work. And the neurotransmitter differences impact whether a constant routine like S&S reinforces your will or makes you hate exercise. Its not that ROP, 531 or Conjugate wont work for someone, but with so many ways available, what will be most effective, and enjoyable, for each individual.
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
I don't want to offend anyone but...what's next a type of program related to our Zodiac signs?

What kind of science does support this? at least Pavel in his work talks about real science and tests he did which I really appreciate as it helps understanding why it works.

As much as I want to respect these chinese like training approachs I can barely believe it can work.

The truth is that any workout works better that no workout at all so if I start doing the fire, water, earth or whatever workout and want to believe it I will make it work.

I'm with you.

I need to see some science.

Otherwise, it smells of something on the spectrum of placebo effect, marketing gimmick, or plain cognitive bias.

I don't see this as different as yogis who follow ayurvedic or tantric principles -- if believing so helps make you better at yoga, great.
 

bluejeff

Level 5 Valued Member
Some are naturally different where they thrive on different type of work. And the neurotransmitter differences impact whether a constant routine like S&S reinforces your will or makes you hate exercise. Its not that ROP, 531 or Conjugate wont work for someone, but with so many ways available, what will be most effective, and enjoyable, for each individual.
That's a good way to look at it.

Hopefully I will have time later today to read some of that Thibaudeau stuff. Looks interesting!
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
I can't speak to the elemental types, but 100% people will respond differently to the same training protocol, up to a point. Everyone will see some change. But asked to rate satisfaction it will be all over the map. Likewise some will respond very well and other won't, and this is liable to change as you age and based on what your recent training cycles have looked like.

I do believe there are "types", but I also believe you can construct variation in a program to make it less objectionable/prepare someone for a specific type of training focus. Put it this way, if you offered me 40k to train someone for a movie role in 12 weeks I'd find a way to get that trainee to respond.

As a study group of 1, I've never had much luck with *x3 volume programs, or some of the more commonly used Cluster approaches despite the success many have had with it. But, a slight tweak can make a big difference. Ultimately I believe people should be capable of writing their own programming that complements their mindset, metabolism etc if they choose to do so.
 

Nate

Level 5 Valued Member
Agreed. I think most long term people end up finding their best-suited through natural trial & error. Most probably are initially exposed to an ill-fitting situation & see that as the only way to success, therefore they quit. There are many ways to skin a cat..... "It depends"
 

Starlord

Level 4 Valued Member
I don't want to offend anyone but...what's next a type of program related to our Zodiac signs?

What kind of science does support this? at least Pavel in his work talks about real science and tests he did which I really appreciate as it helps understanding why it works.

As much as I want to respect these chinese like training approachs I can barely believe it can work.

The truth is that any workout works better that no workout at all so if I start doing the fire, water, earth or whatever workout and want to believe it I will make it work.

I agree. It's like he's going out of his way to produce something overly gimmicky.
 

hithere

Level 2 Valued Member
Christian Thibaudeau did a deep dive into this more recently. Matching training to both body & brain chemistry types.
If anybody is interested in this, google "Thibaudeau just fly sports performance podcast". He has provided some fantastic info on several episodes of this podcast.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I think Pavel has mentioned that even things like how much of what kind of muscle fibers you have can change based on your training.

Perhaps unrelated, but I was never a "morning person" until I became a runner and realized that running midday or even late day here in the Northeastern US in the summertime isn't a whole lot of fun. So I started running earlier and earlier in the day, and after 20+ years of that, lo and behold, I'm a morning person. I think one's "match" with certain kinds of training must be, at least in part, malleable based on training.

-S-
 

bluejeff

Level 5 Valued Member
I think one's "match" with certain kinds of training must be, at least in part, malleable based on training.
Yeah I think I agree. There's a lot to be said for neuroplasticity, for one. So why not the muscles?

I have respect for Poliquin's work but it didn't sit well with me that he flat out said that two of the types basically had no place in strength training. Personality types, maybe, but to say that some people are just screwed when it comes to building strength and/or muscle seems kind of weird....
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@bluejeff, we should also point out the date on that article - the author may have changed his mind several times since then. I see March 14, 2005.

-S-
 

bluejeff

Level 5 Valued Member
we should also point out the date on that article - the author may have changed his mind several times since then. I see March 14, 2005.
Good point. Though I did see Poliquin on London Real a year or two before his death talking about it.
 

Hardartery

Level 2 Valued Member
Fibr type conversion is a thing that happens. It's best to think of the typing in terms of setting an eventual ceiling. Some guys are never going to be huge, no matter what they do. Some guys will never be super thin, no matter what they do. It doesn;t mean that they can't progress or achieve goals. It just means that what they need to do to achieve that is different than what a different "Type" needs. It's not exactly a shock that we can't all be Halthor or Ronnie Coleman or a Kenyan marathon runner. We can't all be billionaires either. It doesn't mean we can't have goals and advance.
 
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