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Other/Mixed Less Can Be More (Strength & Hypertrophy)

Other strength modalities (e.g., Clubs), mixed strength modalities (e.g., combined kettlebell and barbell), other goals (flexibility)
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Carl

Level 5 Valued Member
Interesting Dan John post this week on his blog arguing the case for simple and relatively low volume work:

I quote:

"We need the increases in strength, hypertrophy and mobility that come with proper strength training. The amount needed to do this is far less than most people think.

The research has been clear for sixty years: about 15-25 quality reps are all you need for strength, hypertrophy and power. In fact, this number might be too high for experienced strength athletes."

He goes on to share an example routine.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@Carl
Excellent post !

I currently run a similar routine, mainly based on "hard" bodyweight moves using some tempo variations during the sets, for about 15 reps in total. I admit this is pretty brutal but efficient for strength & hypertrophy. It works !

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Carl

Level 5 Valued Member
Thanks @pet' .

I love Dan John's work and I know others do here so hoping it would be a useful share.

Personally, I have a preference for stripped back, relatively low volume work (in terms of sets) so gravitate toward a similar model, also mainly bodyweight.

I do experiment with higher volume but I always tend to come back to a foundational model of 2-3 hard (not to failure) sets model. GTG and ladders also get rotated in.

Best wishes with your training. ;)



Hello,

@Carl
Excellent post !

I currently run a similar routine, mainly based on "hard" bodyweight moves using some tempo variations during the sets, for about 15 reps in total. I admit this is pretty brutal but efficient for strength & hypertrophy. It works !

Kind regards,

Pet'
T
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@Carl
Anoter extremely interesting (but very similar) is doing about 15 reps (as D. John) and then hitting 5 - 6 reps (with this back off set but not going to failure) with a slightly easier variation. What I really like with this kind of training is that I can get a perfect compromise between strength, hypertrophy and endurance.

This create a huge "pump" for both conditioning and hypertrophy. Of course, it will generate also a bit of strength as well.

Plus it does not take much more time. Recovery is not alterated neither because this only additional set is done with easier variation / lighter weight.

This is pretty similar to the "Bear" in PttP, with the back off set version aiming for some hypertrophy

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Carl

Level 5 Valued Member
I completely agree and also use back off sets at times with a (not same but) complimentary move. I've been playing with speed of reps, so as speed slows significantly I'll use that as a gauge to call it a day for that set.

I agree, the pump (not a fashionable term here) at the end of a session like this is significant. It also feels so much better for the body than failure training where you beat yourself into the ground, suffer residual fatigue and hit plateaus quickly.

Pavel has talked to the benefits of back off work in Beyond Bodybuilding. Still my favourite of his books I think.





Hello,

@Carl
Anoter extremely interesting (but very similar) is doing about 15 reps (as D. John) and then hitting 5 - 6 reps (with this back off set but not going to failure) with a slightly easier variation. What I really like with this kind of training is that I can get a perfect compromise between strength, hypertrophy and endurance.

This create a huge "pump" for both conditioning and hypertrophy. Of course, it will generate also a bit of strength as well.

Plus it does not take much more time. Recovery is not alterated neither because this only additional set is done with easier variation / lighter weight.

This is pretty similar to the "Bear" in PttP, with the back off set version aiming for some hypertrophy

Kind regards,

Pet'
I
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

I completely agree and also use back off sets at times with a (not same but) complimentary move
Jim Wendler uses this with assistance / complementary move technique. Then, he reduces rests and go for supersets. This gives him a kind of conditioning even if he lifts pretty heavy

Related to a "standard" frame I use, including back off set, I go for:
OAOL PU (4 sets of 3 reps, with 5s down - 2 s hold bottom - 1s up - 2s hold top). At the end of the 4 sets, I go for an additional set of standard push ups, with normal speed (1/1/1/1).

Then I use the same principle for other moves (pull ups, abs and pistols).

I never felt that strong with good hypertrophy as well, without exhaustion :)

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Antti

Level 9 Valued Member
Thanks for the share!

As usual, Dan John makes a lot of sense. And that program is really, really good.

But isn't he preaching to the choir here? For as long as I can remember, Pavel has been talking about three to five sets of three to five reps.
 

Carl

Level 5 Valued Member
Very similar to my setup although I use less work sets (2-3) of first move and slightly higher reps (often up to 8) before moving to back up set. Once I start to climb in reps (beyond 8) and feel like I'm owning a move (to some degree) I'll move to another progression.

All that said, I'm working with less demanding moves than you hence the slightly higher reps (OAOL PU is not in my repotoire yet! ;)

I enjoy this type of approach a lot and find there are many ways to keep it interesting and challenging. Pure StrongFirst it may not be but it does seem to work pretty well for my own goals and give a nice blend of several qualities in an efficient way.

Good to trade ideas so thanks for the input.



Hello,


Jim Wendler uses this with assistance / complementary move technique. Then, he reduces rests and go for supersets. This gives him a kind of conditioning even if he lifts pretty heavy

Related to a "standard" frame I use, including back off set, I go for:
OAOL PU (4 sets of 3 reps, with 5s down - 2 s hold bottom - 1s up - 2s hold top). At the end of the 4 sets, I go for an additional set of standard push ups, with normal speed (1/1/1/1).

Then I use the same principle for other moves (pull ups, abs and pistols).

I never felt that strong with good hypertrophy as well, without exhaustion :)

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

Here's what we can read in PttP, to get a proper comparision:
upload_2017-8-8_11-14-17.png

StrongFirst principles are valuable, no doubt about that. However, being open-minded, and looking for health and strength does not necessarily prevent from using slight modiciations as long as we progress safely according to our goals. "We don't say you are wrong, but we say we are right" does not necessarily mean there is no other solution

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Carl

Level 5 Valued Member
Hi @Antti,

I don't think Dan preaches to anyone, he just talks to his vast, real-world experience but I take your point and agree, Pavel has talked to the potential benefits of 3-5 moves/sets/reps/days for as long as I've read him. Pavel doesn't often talk to reps above 5 so this is a slightly contrasting flavour while still in a similar enough stream to hopefully be useful in a StrongFirst forum.

Thanks for the input.



Thanks for the share!

As usual, Dan John makes a lot of sense. And that program is really, really good.

But isn't he preaching to the choir here? For as long as I can remember, Pavel has been talking about three to five sets of three to five reps.
 

Antti

Level 9 Valued Member
Hi @Antti,

I don't think Dan preaches to anyone, he just talks to his vast, real-world experience but I take your point and agree, Pavel has talked to the potential benefits of 3-5 moves/sets/reps/days for as long as I've read him. Pavel doesn't often talk to reps above 5 so this is a slightly contrasting flavour while still in a similar enough stream to hopefully be useful in a StrongFirst forum.

Thanks for the input.

Yes, I tried to use preaching as an idiom, but maybe it doesn't fly in that case, English isn't my first language.

I think the program is about perfect as it is. A good one to follow for a cycle. I think I could be one to take up on it, but I lack shoulder mobility for proper front squats (and back squats, but don't tell me when I'm doing them). I also don't think I could be satisfied doing only three times a week. I prefer to split the training sessions as I have the time. For example yesterday I did back squats, today I do presses and rows. I also really like lifting so it's a pleasure to spend more time on it.
 

Jevgenij

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello,

Related to a "standard" frame I use, including back off set, I go for:
OAOL PU (4 sets of 3 reps, with 5s down - 2 s hold bottom - 1s up - 2s hold top). At the end of the 4 sets, I go for an additional set of standard push ups, with normal speed (1/1/1/1).

Then I use the same principle for other moves (pull ups, abs and pistols).

I never felt that strong with good hypertrophy as well, without exhaustion :)
That's interesting. How often do you train? 3x a week, full body? How do you progress? Increasing sets/reps or increasing intensity/TUT? Are all movements unweighted?
What do you do for abs?
 

Mirek

Level 6 Valued Member
It does not seem to be a "relatively low volume work" to me. It's about 75 reps of each squat, press and pull movement per week.
Pavel also recommends 50 - 100 reps of press a week to improve it. Also 3 x 8 is prolly tougher than 5 x 5 in > 70-75% 1RM range.
 
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pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@Jevgenij
That's interesting. How often do you train? 3x a week, full body? How do you progress? Increasing sets/reps or increasing intensity/TUT? Are all movements unweighted?
What do you do for abs?
I train strength 3x a week, using full body for each session

I progress pretty well because I have plenty of rest, plus volume is not that high. I increase intensity by adding TUT. Muscle "does not" see a rep. However, it sees TUT so this is a good way to progress IMO.

OAOL PU and pull ups are unweighted. BAS is always done with 1111 tempo

Related to pistols, it depends. Sometimes I use a weight, sometimes I prefer doing a few reps only, but while balancing on a cylinder. I noticed that doing so increase TUT too (pretty slow to get down, pretty fast to get up). It works proprioception efficiently. Most of the time, I enjoy hitting an interval training right after the strength leg part.

Regarding to the abs, I go for various exercises, which I change in every session:
Dragon flags (4 sets of 3 using 5151) or HLR with the same tempo, otherwise, 3 - 4 sets of 3 Janda sit ups, 3 - 4 sets of 30s L-Sit. I do not use BAS for the abs

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

JeffC

Level 7 Valued Member
I have been training similarly for the last month, and I have done well on it for extended periods in the past. I don't see anything but basic and fundamental barbell programming.

The beauty of Pavel's and Dan John's programming is they can repackage it in a way that appeals to people and makes it seem new. If I say this is what works, and guys have proven this since barbells were invented, who gives a s*** right. When a fitness celebrity repackages old school programming everyone listens.
 

Mirek

Level 6 Valued Member
I have been training similarly for the last month, and I have done well on it for extended periods in the past. I don't see anything but basic and fundamental barbell programming.

The beauty of Pavel's and Dan John's programming is they can repackage it in a way that appeals to people and makes it seem new. If I say this is what works, and guys have proven this since barbells were invented, who gives a s*** right. When a fitness celebrity repackages old school programming everyone listens.

But at the least least both guys (DJ + PT) give a credit to the sources and inspirations of their know-how.
 

JeffC

Level 7 Valued Member
@Mirek I applaud them for helping people wade though the bullshit, and making a living doing what they love. They have real salesmenship.
 
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