Mixing GTG and high rep body weight?

Discussion in 'Bodyweight' started by Aaron Jones, May 2, 2018.

  1. Aaron Jones

    Aaron Jones Double-Digit Post Count

    I've been doing a combined workout with kettlebells and bodyweight, including weighted push-ups (12 - 15 reps) and pull-ups (6 - 8 reps). After reading Naked Warrior, I have been doing GTG for OAPU for strength and because I've always wanted to do one (not there yet). My question: should I stop doing the higher rep push-up workouts while also working on the GTG for OAPU, or is the combination fine?
  2. Bauer

    Bauer More than 500 posts

    How often do you plan to do your high rep workout?
    Jak Nieuwenhuis likes this.
  3. Aaron Jones

    Aaron Jones Double-Digit Post Count

    2 - 3 times per week. I've been doing the work out as a circuit: push-ups, pull-ups, KB press (5 reps), KB rows (10 reps), repeat 3 - 5 cycles.
    Jak Nieuwenhuis likes this.
  4. Jak Nieuwenhuis

    Jak Nieuwenhuis Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    from my experience, doing higher repetition movements for the push up can indeed help out with OAPU, but I don't think you need to do it more than once-twice per week if you are also GTG with OAPU.

    that circuit you presented is going to be great for filling in your gaps, so to speak, and I think twice per week is just about right!

    have fun man it seems like you are going about it pretty smart. weighted vest pushups are really good for OAPU if done in moderation.
    Aaron Jones likes this.
  5. Aaron Jones

    Aaron Jones Double-Digit Post Count

    Thanks, Jak. I'll let you know if/when I achieve a quality OAPU.
    Bauer likes this.
  6. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    @Aaron Jones
    If OA is the goal, I think you can go for either GTG or high reps. Both of them will work. I do not think, mixing the two will make you reap the benefits of both worlds. High rep training can be more taxing on the long term so if you add GTG... When running high rep training, you can test you OAP here and there (for instance once every week or week and a half). However, a pure GTG approach will also lead you to the OAP.

    Kind regards,

    Aaron Jones likes this.
  7. Aaron Jones

    Aaron Jones Double-Digit Post Count

    Thanks, Pet'. What I'm gonna try for the time being is to do my normal upper body routine outlined above 1 - 2 times per week, and do GTG modified OAPUs the other days with daily volume based on feel (so as to not burn out). If I don't see progress toward the OAPU, I may go more toward a pure GTG for that. But so far so good!
  8. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Certified Instructor

    I personally prefer.

    - relatively low reps (up to 5) for strength
    - relatively high reps (dozens - usually matching my age, well, every year one damned rep more... ) as "weighted mobility" for movement variety and healthy joints. Very easy exercises of course, such as Hindu pushups, back bridges, Hack squats, and so on.

    Staying in the middle means not many strength gains, and getting quite sore.
  9. Jak Nieuwenhuis

    Jak Nieuwenhuis Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    You'll get it!

    It just takes time.

    Practicing your regular pushups, along with your OA planks and negatives, will get you there.
    Aaron Jones likes this.
  10. Aaron Jones

    Aaron Jones Double-Digit Post Count

    Thanks, Pavel. So, do you mean doing dozens of reps in a single set of those weighted mobility exercises? Or doing them over the course of a few sets?
  11. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Certified Instructor

    So or so.
  12. Kozushi

    Kozushi More than 2500 posts

    When away from home for a few months at a time I find myself doing high rep high sets of regular pushups as conditioning, including for CARDIO. I do the one arm pushups for pure strength, and then do what I can with the one legged squats for leg strength, but also tend to do lots of walking which covers a lot of worries there.

    Other options are the "archer" pushups and squats, where you place the hands or feet far apart, and then bend the one limb while straightening the other - kind of a compromise between one arm and two arm moves.

    The NW book is all about maintaining pure strength when away from your home workout space or gym.

    Like I said, I find myself getting lots of walking (and jogging) in, so I'm not so concerned about my legs:

    10 sets of 10 (or more) regular pushups.
    At least 5 one arm pushups per side.
    At least 5 pistols per side (normally I could only get 3/4 of the way down though).

  13. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts

    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  14. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Certified Instructor

    @pet' It can be imho done way better with way less pain, both short and long term. Refer to Hardstyle Abs and StuartMcGill's research.
  15. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    @Pavel Macek
    Most of the time, I admit I strongly agree with your statement, however, this time…

    Disclaimer: All I'll say will be said with plenty of respect

    If there is some kind of "high volume protocol that works", SF approved in the blog (here I mention the push up article above), why would it be impossible that the same principle also apply to core training ?

    Plus, Max Shank, who is also an RKC and not really "weak", also positively talks about some high rep training:
    8 Minutes to Awesome | T Nation

    A guy in the boxing training successfully passed a few weeks ago the French Naval Spec Ops Selection. This is the equivalent of the SEALs. He only did, on a GTG basis, plenty of push ups, pull ups, running / swimming / rucking and ab training (sit ups, crunches, flutter kicks, HLR, LR, planks, etc...), with astounding number of répétitions (several hundreds a day). He never has any issues of any types, and he is strong as hell. He has rock solid trunk. He does bridges and stuff to work on extension and balance the flexion of other ab exercises

    So here my question would be: if it works for Spec Ops training, why would not it work for a regular guy ?

    Plenty of old timers (in boxing and other sport) used high rep training. This still goes for some of modern fighters (Pacquiao, Emelyanenko as moderns (among others), but Marciano could be an example of old time fighter).

    Plus, some folks also recover better from high rep low weight than high weight low rep training. Basically, this tends to be my case.

    I am aware that this is not the best solution to develop max strength. Nonetheless, due to the volume, IMO, it remains "correct" to develop more than enough strength for every day purpose or even Spec Ops purpose

    Kind regards,

    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  16. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Certified Instructor

    @pet' Let's agree to disagree on the benefits of high rep training,

    I am not saying it is wrong per se - I just think the purpose is different.

    And as for high rep spinal flexion training "ab training", I have not only my doubts (and plenty of students who did this kind of training in the past, until their back finally gave up), but I also trust the gentlemen I mentioned.

    I can't not recall who was it who named high reps situps and crunches "patient makers" - I believe it was Doc (yes, a doctor) Michael Hartle, Master SFG.

    Plenty of old-timers - boxers and lifters - did a lot of great stuff. But also lots of useless, stupid, and sometimes plain dangerous stuff, and I am saying that as a huge fan of old-time lifting and combat arts who did his homework. This still goes for some of modern fighters (and lifters).
    pet' likes this.
  17. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts

    Hello @Pavel Macek

    I get your point. I guess this is a matter of purpose, as you just stated.

    Nonetheless, as a more general question, why the does military (including elite forces then) keep using this kind of methodology for ages to select and train the soldiers ? Indeed, if they are not healthy they can not perform. It remains - at least for me - difficult to consider that the best soliders we have are not healthy.

    If we consider myself as the guinea pig, most of my training is consider high rep by SF standard. I admit I keep doing pistols and OAOL PU and also a few weighted pull ups on GTG. But I can still lift close to 2x bdw without never training for it.

    However, when I used to train heavy and low rep only, I did not have such a transfer to endurance.

    Kind regards,

  18. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Certified Instructor

    Select is one thing. Train - exactly what? How about mental toughness, and not necessarily strength or endurance? Are you following the changes they are incorporating in the army physical tests and prep? They are moving away from it, and they know why.

    To quote your example - with 1APU low rep training it takes me quite a short time to get lots of regular pushup numbers. Not vice versa.

    Endurance - again, what kind of endurance? Staying in the middle, no mans land, which is exactly the case of many so called "high rep" (bodyweight) workouts", is imho the least productive training. Etc. etc.

    So let me repeat - let's agree to disagree on the benefits of high rep training.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
    pet' likes this.
  19. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    @pet', there are a lot of assumptions in your previous several posts that are, IMHO, old thinking that has been largely disproven. "Disproven" is not the right word, really, but rather superceded by other ways of achieving the same results at a lower cost.

    A lot of high-rep training is simply self-selecting - those who are young enough, healthy enough, and already strong enough survive, but many stop training due to burn-out, fatigue, injury, or some combination thereof.

    Stu McGill is where I learned the term "self-selecting" - the idea is that a particular approach will allow only some to see it through to a successful result while others will have stopped training. Watching the peloton in the TdF is an example. Most of us have lower back that wouldn't survive that riding position for that many hours on that many consecutive days, but on television, we watch over 100 riders doing it.

    That's what I mean - if it works for some people in Special Operations, that's great, but that isn't a reliable predictor of it working for other people or other populations.

    Bunn, offwidth, Tim Randolph and 3 others like this.
  20. Bunn

    Bunn Triple-Digit Post Count

    As a retired military guy who did decades of “more and faster” workouts, I can tell you that you get beat up and don’t know it until it’s too late. Once my community got smart and started programming fitness programs based on the latest research (not popularity) we started turning out absolute beasts. Sustainable beasts. It follows with the military mantra “train smarter, not harder”, that doesn’t me easy, just smarter.
    Anna C, pet' and Boosh32 like this.

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