Easy Strength Questions

mikerobinson

Double-Digit Post Count
I'm sorry for having tried to explain things. It never helps.
Apologies Mr John. I'm being unfair. I'm honored you've replied. I've benefitted from your work at great deal. I think the issue lies with me and the questions you received rather than you. And the thoughts that swirl around in our own minds.

you're avoiding work by considering Easy Strength 3x/week, but take note is all I'd do. You've said that you have found yourself overdoing your exercise in the past
Just to clarify. The reason for 3x per week is due to gym and equipment access. My cardio stuff I can do outside of the gym. This is primary reason I do not wish to do Easy Strength 5x per week.

I'm not absolutely wedded to ES. But I do like the idea of minimalist programs, where I don't have to track percentages and where I can continue with my running and aerobic work. Back to Dan John. I love the idea that he puts on his website:

"Work each lift, each day, and in the manner of 1,2,3,1,2,3 (ladder format). Because the frequency is high, the volume is low, and so is the density, too. The intensity, in my book, should not be waved—meaning, start your cycle with a “heavy” load, say, your 5 rep max, work that for three months, in the manner just mentioned, or until it starts to feel “light.” Then, reassess, bump the weight up to what is hopefully your new 5 rep max, and repeat the operation.

"In effect, the load has been waved by not waving it at all—no calculating percentages, none of that hooey. You just get strong instead, which, to me, is far more appealing than having to deal with the inconvenience of math. This is strength training in the extremest simplicity."

This is simple genius. The waviness and the progression come from the lifting getting easier over time, then adding. Without tracking weights and percentages.

Thank you, everyone, for a good, reasoned, and reasonable discussion thus far.
I agree. I'm not trying to change or alter programs. Honestly, I believe I understand ES. It seems though 3x per week will not bring in sufficient benefit, which was the point of asking, so there's been benefit in this discussion for me.

So I need to rethink the program. Ideas?

I did read that Pavel said PTTP works at 3x per week.
 

mikerobinson

Double-Digit Post Count
@Dan John

I would actually value your advice on 3x per week. Most seem to be against it. But on another forum I read this:

"I asked Dan about doing the 40-day workout on a 3/week schedule, and he sent a nice response back, including a reminder to finish what you start/do what you say you will, and pointing out that it would take 12 weeks to finish at 3/week."

And also on your The Forty Day Workout Again article you mention the routine of Iron Maiden SFG Karen Smith who achieved this with what seems to be a 3x per week Easy Strength workout.
 

Denny Phillips

Triple-Digit Post Count
I recently completed the Forty Day workout and found that warming up took longer than the actual workout with the exception of the six singles day. Most of the days are 2x5 and following the advice to gauge the session by feel worked very well for me. In one of Dan's articles Pavel advises to go "as light as you need to" and don't even come close to struggling. The volume made up for gut-busting intensity. One thing that one needs to do is really dial in on proper technique because if you do it seems as though the nervous system really responds well. Not all lifts resulted in PR's by any stretch, but I was pleased by how many did. Every two weeks I used Pavel's "same but different" approach (example; two weeks military, two weeks close grip bench, etc) and my military really exploded, as did my deadlift by performing conventional for two weeks, snatch grip deads for two weeks, thick bar for two weeks, trap bar, etc. With the exception of a couple of 5-3-2 sessions and virtually every 1-1-1-1-1-1 session I ended my training feeling much better than when I started. I will definitely do the program again.
 

Bryant W

Double-Digit Post Count
I have a few questions about Easy Strength.

1. Can it be done three times a week?

2. Do I do five exercises? EG deadlift, bench, pull, swings (75-100), abs?

3. Is the rep scheme for the above 2x5 per exercise?

4. What capacity do I work at for the 2x5, like 70-80%?

5. How do I progress. Like when do I add weight and how much?

6. Then when do I back off.

I want a simple, easy program. Doing 5x5 is too hard man. I can't get to gymnasium 5x a week.

I read that top man Pavel says stick to 2x5 if you want to do other stuff like sports or cardio so I dont want to do 5x5.

Basically want 3 day a week easy program with energy left to do other stuff.

Since you own the book, I would highly recommend looking for the section titled: Ten rules of thumb for easy strength. This one page summary answers every question you have asked. And the preceding pages go into a bit more detail on these topics. A few pages before this summary it also addresses whether you can make progress on a 3 day a week version of this type of easy strength (a higher intensity approach than the 40 day variety), under the section titled "2. Lift 2 - 3 times a week."

At one point I was using PTTP type programming, but noticed that I had difficulty recognizing when the intensity was going to be too much for my recovery...a few days of what seemed like easy DL's and suddenly I would start feeling extremely tight and certain old issues would begin to flare up. Implementing the programming guidelines and principles from this section of Easy Strength has worked quite well for me, and still gives me time/energy for other activities.
 

Geoff Chafe

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
PTTP may work 3 days a week with your running or other activity. I like PTTP but to work the program you really need to lift 5 or more days a week.
 

mikerobinson

Double-Digit Post Count
I would highly recommend looking for the section titled: Ten rules of thumb for easy strength. This one page summary answers every question you have asked. And the preceding pages go into a bit more detail on these topics. A few pages before this summary it also addresses whether you can make progress on a 3 day a week version of this type of easy strength (a higher intensity approach than the 40 day variety), under the section titled "2. Lift 2 - 3 times a week."
Thank you. This is very useful. I went back a read this section. Perhaps I skimmed over it previously because of the words 'for athletes'.

So, according to this section, the following applies:

1. Rule of Ten (this principle is fixed in all ES variations). Keeping reps in the 1-5 range
2. Use a limited number of big bang exercises. Again, this is clear.
3. Train at 80-95% of one rep max, but leave reps in the tank. There seems to be some leeway here, with instructions elsewhere to go at low as 70%

Then: finish workout strong than you started - great, exactly what I want.

But then, as you say, there is a section by Pavel in ES called:

'Lift two to three times a week'.

This goes back to my original question, can you do ES 3x per week. And hence, my confusion.

Most posters on here, including some distinguished instructors, thought it wouldn't be a beneficial (one thought I was being lazy). Also, Dan John's 40 day workout and EES calls for 5 days a week. Yet here is a chapter in ES by Pavel on doing ES 2 or 3 times a week. This isn't a challenge to those posters, I'm just trying to get my head around it.

Perhaps the difference is that for 3x per week the intensity ramps ups to 80-95% as outlined in ES.

Where as for the 40 days workout or EES done 5x per week the intensity is more like 60-70%.

Would this be a fair interpretation of ES?
 

Stuart Elliott

More than 500 posts
@mikerobinson I follow the 3 day approach using kbs . I absolutely find this beneficial for my current goal and lifestyle. By that I mean I'm in my sports season (weekend warrior rather than athlete), I'm 41, work long hours and have a family, I train at 6am. I'm able to build strength, my press has improved my max is now 32kg , I'm able to snatch the 28kg comfortably for reps and snatch the 32 for singles, 40kg 10x10 are now easy swings. All details are in my log, my progress for each maybe quicker on other programmes, but it also may not, with my current lifestyle. If ES fits your current requirements, do it and reassess after say 6-8 weeks. I had to re read ES a few times to get my head around it and I'm still learning.
 

Bryant W

Double-Digit Post Count
Thank you. This is very useful. I went back a read this section. Perhaps I skimmed over it previously because of the words 'for athletes'.

So, according to this section, the following applies:

1. Rule of Ten (this principle is fixed in all ES variations). Keeping reps in the 1-5 range
2. Use a limited number of big bang exercises. Again, this is clear.
3. Train at 80-95% of one rep max, but leave reps in the tank. There seems to be some leeway here, with instructions elsewhere to go at low as 70%

Then: finish workout strong than you started - great, exactly what I want.

But then, as you say, there is a section by Pavel in ES called:

'Lift two to three times a week'.

This goes back to my original question, can you do ES 3x per week. And hence, my confusion.

Most posters on here, including some distinguished instructors, thought it wouldn't be a beneficial (one thought I was being lazy). Also, Dan John's 40 day workout and EES calls for 5 days a week. Yet here is a chapter in ES by Pavel on doing ES 2 or 3 times a week. This isn't a challenge to those posters, I'm just trying to get my head around it.

Perhaps the difference is that for 3x per week the intensity ramps ups to 80-95% as outlined in ES.

Where as for the 40 days workout or EES done 5x per week the intensity is more like 60-70%.

Would this be a fair interpretation of ES?
I think it would be a fair interpretation of easy strength. If you look a few pages further, there is a short section on "How even easier strength differs from easy strength" - stopping further from failure, lower intensity (40-80%), allowing higher reps and shorter rests, etc. I wonder if the disagreement stems from confusion about titles. On the internet, "easy strength" is the 40 day workout you can read so easily about; in the book this 40 day workout strategy is titled differently, "even easier strength". The book then labels "easy strength" to be the 2-3 days/2-3 sets/2-3 reps with long rests strategy.

My guess is you won't get 100% agreement on this (or any) question when it comes to what works "best" etc. Easy strength will not get you to your genetic limit max deadlift. My impression is it won't make you as strong as you can be. But it will allow you to constantly improve your strength in a way that allows you to constantly practice/play/adapt to other things. There may be debate on this site as to whether it will work, but there is a chapter in the book explaining why and for whom it has worked!
 

mikerobinson

Double-Digit Post Count
I wonder if the disagreement stems from confusion about titles. On the internet, "easy strength" is the 40 day workout you can read so easily about;
I think so. Because in Pavel's very first instructions to Dan John he begins: 'for the next forty workouts...'

As there is no mention of frequency, this made me wonder if a person was already on a three day week program then he simply does those 40 workouts at three days per week. This goes back to my quote above:

"I asked Dan about doing the 40-day workout on a 3/week schedule, and he sent a nice response back, including a reminder to finish what you start/do what you say you will, and pointing out that it would take 12 weeks to finish at 3/week."

Easy strength will not get you to your genetic limit max deadlift.
I'm happy at my age not to get to my max. If I can get to 2x bodyweight I'll be more than happy with that. The days of goal setting are over and I find them to be detrimental with age. As one senior SFG said, 'trust the process'. And another SFG told me in a teaching session, 'just see how far you go'.
 

elli

More than 2500 posts
Just searching forthe '40 day program' by Dan John I came across this thread...
I stumbled upon the program above while searching the net for sth 'simple' other than S&S. I want a daily workout without a complicated structure and not thinking new every day. You see?
Anyways, it seems attractive to me and I am thinking about the following.
Doing 10 days of the 40 days using a kb for
Goblets, b-stance DL, military press, pull ups or rows, swings and ab roll outs on gymnastic ball.
Doing the sets and reps as written in the program.
I would pick a rather light weight (in opposite to what is said in the program) because I have to figure out how to combine with bouldering (2/week) and, if doable 2 extra days for butt (loop and bw, short! workout, focussing on abductions and hips/glute med).
After 5 days I would take 1 day off and then continue for another 5 days, 1 off, next 5 days with perhaps another weight...
Does that sound as nonsense? Is rest after 5 days too much or too little? Too far away from the original plan? Would you do 40 days straight?
Input welcome!! :)
 

offwidth

More than 5000 posts
Just searching forthe '40 day program' by Dan John I came across this thread...
I stumbled upon the program above while searching the net for sth 'simple' other than S&S. I want a daily workout without a complicated structure and not thinking new every day. You see?
Anyways, it seems attractive to me and I am thinking about the following.
Doing 10 days of the 40 days using a kb for
Goblets, b-stance DL, military press, pull ups or rows, swings and ab roll outs on gymnastic ball.
Doing the sets and reps as written in the program.
I would pick a rather light weight (in opposite to what is said in the program) because I have to figure out how to combine with bouldering (2/week) and, if doable 2 extra days for butt (loop and bw, short! workout, focussing on abductions and hips/glute med).
After 5 days I would take 1 day off and then continue for another 5 days, 1 off, next 5 days with perhaps another weight...
Does that sound as nonsense? Is rest after 5 days too much or too little? Too far away from the original plan? Would you do 40 days straight?
Input welcome!! :)
Elli... you know what I would say...:)
 

Jeff

More than 500 posts
I have a few questions about Easy Strength.

1. Can it be done three times a week?

2. Do I do five exercises? EG deadlift, bench, pull, swings (75-100), abs?

3. Is the rep scheme for the above 2x5 per exercise?

4. What capacity do I work at for the 2x5, like 70-80%?

5. How do I progress. Like when do I add weight and how much?

6. Then when do I back off.

I want a simple, easy program. Doing 5x5 is too hard man. I can't get to gymnasium 5x a week.

I read that top man Pavel says stick to 2x5 if you want to do other stuff like sports or cardio so I dont want to do 5x5.

Basically want 3 day a week easy program with energy left to do other stuff.
Read the rules of thumb for Easy Strength training in chapter 3. Then go back and read chapter three.
 

Oscar

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I would pick a rather light weight (in opposite to what is said in the program) because I have to figure out how to combine with bouldering (2/week) and, if doable 2 extra days for butt (loop and bw, short! workout, focussing on abductions and hips/glute med).
Elli, if I understood the philosophy of the 40 day workout correctly, going light doesn't sound like a good idea. It suggests going by feel, but I think weights tipically go near 70% 1RM. I haven't ran the program though.

Since you are training butt, how about including heavy hip thrusts as one of the 5 exercises, instead of having a separate butt day? You could also do squats with bands on the knees or similar as a warm up.
 

elli

More than 2500 posts
Elli, if I understood the philosophy of the 40 day workout correctly, going light doesn't sound like a good idea. It suggests going by feel, but I think weights tipically go near 70% 1RM. I haven't ran the program though.

Since you are training butt, how about including heavy hip thrusts as one of the 5 exercises, instead of having a separate butt day? You could also do squats with bands on the knees or similar as a warm up.
Thanks for your reply :) things got different...
I thought about the plan and how to structure., sort out what comes next at work, social duties, @offwidth reply ;) ...since I still have a contract in my EMS-gmy, which means 1-2/week full body wo, for 8 weeks (then it ends and I will not renew it for now), I decided to start a new programme then.
I am working on OAPU (and obvioisly have already overdone it with pistols) and other bw exercises. I am motivated to learn new, more 'pure' basic things and maybe out of several reasons (see above), I might be better off not bounding myself to such a strict plan.
Sorry...you did not ask amd I habe just typed a book... :)
 
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