Neuro Type Training

JZB

Triple-Digit Post Count
I am not a fan of most of what I read on T-Nation, but every now and then you get a good one and somehow there is now a great series of articles on neuro type training.

It breaks down different neuro types, goes into detail for their recovery capabilities, how they hormonally respond to different stressors, figures out how their demeanor in the gym might be, etc. and determines the best way to program and train them. If you're a coach it's a pretty interesting series for learning about what might be a new way to program for your clients and if you are just training yourself it's great to see if you've been training in a way that matches your type.

I'm a type 3 to a T and found the most success with an EtK PM style program over the years and wouldn't you know that is essentially that is what is essentially prescribed for type 3s.

Here's the link to the last article in the series, and links the the previous articles in the series can be found right at the beginning.

The Neuro Type Workouts | T Nation
 
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Bill Been

More than 500 posts
Sooo..,. Christian Thibaudeau is a neuroscientist now? Mmmmm'kay.

People make crappy progress in the gym because they use crappy programming and are inadequately disciplined. This crap just isn't that complicated. Certainly not so complicated as to require an appeal to neuroscientific methods.
 

JZB

Triple-Digit Post Count
Sooo... you didn't read the articles? Mmmmmm'kay.

Makes no claims of being a neuroscientist. Says it's not an exact method. DOES say personality and behavior provide clues to neuro type and provides programs just as much to those personality traits and behaviors as he does the neurotransmitter type.

If someone calls themself a coach they owe it to their clients to provide them with a program that will get results. And taking into consideration habits, personality traits and underlying factors of those would be a big part of that. If you aren't giving someone a program that will work for them, you aren't a good coach and the responsibility for your client failing is more on you than them.

Starting Strength is a great program. But it's not for everyone and if you're over 24, work 40 hours a week, are already being expected to perform physically for a job or have to devote any of your energy to something other than your gainz, the "1 year to a 500lb squat" claims that many say that program will get you just aren't going to happen. And despite it being a good program, if the vast majority of dedicated people being put on it are not making those benchmarks then it's the fault of the coaches putting people on it that shouldn't be.
 

MikeTheBear

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Sooo..,. Christian Thibaudeau is a neuroscientist now? Mmmmm'kay.
Are you a neuroscientist?

People make crappy progress in the gym because they use crappy programming and are inadequately disciplined.
You're not wrong but you still need to read the articles. First of all, nothing in the articles says throw out everything you've known about program design and proper training and just base your training on neurotype. Man, nothing p*sses me off more than than "single factor" thinking and making incorrect assumptions. This is one factor of many to take into account when designing programs. Second, this is isn't based on if you were born a Virgo with Pluto descending behind the moon then you should do high-rep overhead presses while standing on one leg but only on the 15th day of the month. Brain chemicals are real and not only effect your thought processes but other bodily functions and chemicals. I know for a fact that I'm low serotonin, which means I also produce lots of cortisol. Lots of cortisol can be an advantage because it allows the release of energy which allows training strength, conditioning, and endurance all in one session. I've done really long sessions of strength with conditioning and survived. Problem is the next day, all that cortisol results in "workout hangover." I've experienced this. All you wanted to do after one of these killer workouts is sleep all day. So what I've learned from these articles is that some days I need to back off a bit even if I think I can power through, but eventually I can build the work capacity to do more. Seems like common sense, but in the past I blamed my age for workout hangover and my needing more time to recover. Sure, age is a factor, but so is my increased cortisol production, and I can now approach my training in a more educated fashion.
 

Alexander Halford

Triple-Digit Post Count
But it's not for everyone and if you're over 24, work 40 hours a week, are already being expected to perform physically for a job or have to devote any of your energy to something other than your gainz, the "1 year to a 500lb squat" claims that many say that program will get you just aren't going to happen.
I think that this is far more critical for building your program, than neurotypes. Hormones levels are variables, not constants. Because, depending on the period of time, I can match all those 3 types.
 

ali

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Same too. I'm all of them at different times. Knowing yourself is really the root of it, well trying to know yourself, recognise what you can and can't do, or shouldn't do, when to push it, when to not etc. Glancing through all the types and various templates made me go glycolytic in itself........I agree with the basis for the article and if anything it is a need to keep things simple rather than complex. There's a better answer to address the psychological components, I think......strongfirst philosophy.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
I'm all of them at different times.
Me, too.

I think an important variable is the lifts themselves. E.g., I use high volume, moderate frequency in the press but low volume, high frequency in the deadlift.

-S-
 

Geoff Chafe

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
People make crappy progress in the gym because they use crappy programming and are inadequately disciplined. This crap just isn't that complicated. Certainly not so complicated as to require an appeal to neuroscientific methods.
I agree, getting stronger is not complicated. You just need to lift stuff with purpose. Practice good technique, do more work year over year, recover adequately, and have patience. The industry build around exercise portrays it to be some mythical process.
 

Mirek

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I agree, getting stronger is not complicated. You just need to lift stuff with purpose. Practice good technique, do more work year over year, recover adequately, and have patience. The industry build around exercise portrays it to be some mythical process.
Yes. But apparently nothing is more mythical for some people, than stick to and focus on one thing for a couple years.
 

Bill Been

More than 500 posts
I took your criticism aboard and read all the parts of the articles despite his premise being wrong from the jump.

He is talking about motivation. Motivation is a farce. It's externally-derived. It requires other people and circumstances to adhere to what you prefer. This is why his premise is wrong. No amount of motivating will be enough to overcome the lazy sloth quitter that resides in us all. What people need is discipline. Discipline is not dependent upon your feels or the actions or inactions of others. Every area of life that you intend to have success in will require discipline. Discipline is doing "it" when you don't want to do it because you know it's the right thing to do, it needs to be done, and it leads someplace you want to go.
 

MikeTheBear

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
He is talking about motivation. Motivation is a farce. It's externally-derived. It requires other people and circumstances to adhere to what you prefer. This is why his premise is wrong.
I think it's a bit more than motivation, but even if it is just about motivation, I completely disagree that motivation is externally derived for everyone. My motivation is very much internally driven. One item that is on my "bucket list" is to finish a marathon. Why on earth would I want to do that? It's not like I'll win. It's not like I'll get paid to run it. I won't even get a mention on the news for finishing. So why would I or anyone else want to go through the effort of training for and running a 26.2 mile race? Answer: Because I want to do it for myself.

No amount of motivating will be enough to overcome the lazy sloth quitter that resides in us all. What people need is discipline. Discipline is not dependent upon your feels or the actions or inactions of others. Every area of life that you intend to have success in will require discipline. Discipline is doing "it" when you don't want to do it because you know it's the right thing to do, it needs to be done, and it leads someplace you want to go.
Ever have someone ask "What is the best exercise program?" The answer is actually very simple: it's the one you enjoy doing and will stick with. I don't believe in this Puritan philosophy of you need to do these exercises even if you don't like them because they're good for you. I work all day at a stressful job and when I do my workouts I want to enjoy them. Obviously this needs to be approached within reason. If a high school kid dreams of playing in the NFL and the only exercise he likes is barbell curls for big gunz, obviously that's a problem. But it just so happens that the exercises I like doing are also really good exercises: squat, deadlift, overhead press, and KB swings/snatches. Hardly "lazy" exercises. Give me a program that doesn't include all of these and I won't follow it. It's that simple. Some may ask why I feel the need to squat. Well, I don't really "need" to squat, but I want to. I fit in the neurotype that likes predictability. Over my entire training experience, these are the exercises that have given me the best results. I use Wendler's 5/3/1 template because I know what to expect each training session and I have a base percentage of 1RM that I work from. Predictable. Some may ask why I don't just do S&S as there are many accounts here of people who have had great success with S&S. My answer is simple: because it doesn't include all of the exercises I like and it doesn't have percentages of 1RM that I can use as a guide for weight selection. This is how I like to train and it's worked for me. Force me to train another way and my motivation goes down the toilet and I won't comply with the program. It's that simple.
 

JZB

Triple-Digit Post Count
GVT requires discipline. 5x5 requires discipline. Starting Strength requires discipline and so does Simple and Sinister. Crossfit, as much as I don't like it, requires discipline. There's not a single program or modality that he recommends in that series that does not require discipline. Nobody anywhere in those articles or on here is promising results for unmotivated or undisciplined trainees. Nobody. If I'm wrong and there's someone out there writing barbell or kettlebells programs that they say require you to be undisciplined for them to work please point them out to me so that I can avoid them.

And all of those programs will produce results for most people who start them because it's new and they will be adapting to do it. But different people respond to certain stressors, modalities and methods in different ways because we are all different (novel idea, I know), so it seems that we'd all respond to different programs with different results. Or maybe you're a genetic freak who can get on any style of program and get the maximum intended result. If so, I'm jealous.

So if you're a coach who wants to put your highly motivated and dedicated and disciplined student on a program, you'll probably want to make sure it is a program that they will likely see the best results from. Or whatever, you know... just say they're a special snowflake who is undisciplined and a pansy because you've only got one linear progression barbell program that you use for novices and they literally start getting ill the day after each session after three months of diligently following it. If you're trying to pay your bills by being a coach, that's entirely on you. Just remember there's very few coaches who have made a lasting career telling people who don't completely progress on their one novice program to hit the bricks instead of actually working with them further to refine their training.

So don't read or recommend the articles if you don't like them. If they don't apply to you personally, don't use them for self assessment. If that kind of concept doesn't apply to how you would want to better program for your highly motivates and disciplined yet singularly unique clients, then don't use them either. I'm not the boss of you, I just thought they were interesting.
 

Marlon Leon

Triple-Digit Post Count
Subject discipline

Discipline or willpower is a finite resource. Willpower can carry through the first two weeks of a program. In this time the trainee has to develop enthusiasm for what he is doing. Eventually the enthusiasm turns into love. Eveyone here that trains for several years does so because he loves it. Occasionally a compliment comes as an unexpected reward, but what makes us train is the love for what we are doing.

Some people with a habit and love for exercise like to feel superior to the couch potato. We have more discipline, more willpower and aren't lazy. But when we feel this way we forget that we are not more disciplined. For some reason we love what we do. Therefore we do it.

Hence when a person stops following a plan one should ask why instead of calling the person lazy. In many cases the answer might be that the person didn't see any results in the first two weeks and didn't see the point (no enthusiasm) to continue. Another point might be that the program simply doesn't fit to a person's personality or preferences (e. g. not everyone likes to squat, bench, and deadlift).
I like this forum, because people are always willing to help. I think such questions such as the articles discussed can be helpful in doing that.
 

305pelusa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I took your criticism aboard and read all the parts of the articles despite his premise being wrong from the jump.

He is talking about motivation. Motivation is a farce. It's externally-derived. It requires other people and circumstances to adhere to what you prefer. This is why his premise is wrong. No amount of motivating will be enough to overcome the lazy sloth quitter that resides in us all. What people need is discipline. Discipline is not dependent upon your feels or the actions or inactions of others. Every area of life that you intend to have success in will require discipline. Discipline is doing "it" when you don't want to do it because you know it's the right thing to do, it needs to be done, and it leads someplace you want to go.
I want to respectfully disagree with your impression from the articles. As he writes on the first Part of the series:

"Have you ever had to force yourself to complete a workout plan because it just didn't motivate you? Maybe you even felt guilty about it. Or maybe when you didn't see any gains, you just assumed that your "bad genetics" were the cause. Or did you think that the program just sucked, even though other people seemed to love it?

This is common. And the problem isn't the program, your work ethic, or your genetics. The problem is that the training program didn't fit your psychological and neurological profile – basically, your personality type.
"

I'm not sure the series has much to do with discipline or motivation. I think it's about training that resonates more with your personality, mentality and psychology.

The premise is that, for example, people who find high rep pump work "boring" and "annoying" won't get as good results from it from those who enjoy it, even if they follow the same routine. Or those who hate lifting heavy won't improve as much as those who like it, even if they both lift as heavy. I'm not sure I totally buy the premise, but it's an interesting take. The training plans seem sensible.

What I'm pretty sure it isn't saying though, is that you need to change your training until you like it, to improve, because otherwise you won't do it at all. I think it's more about results not being as good, for two different people, following the same template.

Anyways, that's what I gather from the series.
 

MikeTheBear

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
just say they're a special snowflake who is undisciplined and a pansy because you've only got one linear progression barbell program that you use for novices and they literally start getting ill the day after each session after three months of diligently following it. If you're trying to pay your bills by being a coach, that's entirely on you.
I'm glad someone got the "snowflake" word out in the open. It seems that whenever an article uses the word "personality" or "psychology" some people's immediate visceral response is "great, another article coddling the special snowflakes." CT ain't no snowflake. His programs are very difficult. Also, he trains higher level athletes and advanced trainees. This article is NOT meant for the guy who has spent the last 10 years on the couch and now wants to "lose weight and tone up" but doesn't want a plan that's "too hard." This is not for him, and CT is not his coach. As you pointed out @JZB, you don't seek out a coach like CT unless you're already motivated and disciplined.
 

Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Ever have someone ask "What is the best exercise program?" The answer is actually very simple: it's the one you enjoy doing and will stick with. I don't believe in this Puritan philosophy of you need to do these exercises even if you don't like them because they're good for you. I work all day at a stressful job and when I do my workouts I want to enjoy them. Obviously this needs to be approached within reason. If a high school kid dreams of playing in the NFL and the only exercise he likes is barbell curls for big gunz, obviously that's a problem. But it just so happens that the exercises I like doing are also really good exercises: squat, deadlift, overhead press, and KB swings/snatches. Hardly "lazy" exercises. Give me a program that doesn't include all of these and I won't follow it. It's that simple. Some may ask why I feel the need to squat. Well, I don't really "need" to squat, but I want to. I fit in the neurotype that likes predictability. Over my entire training experience, these are the exercises that have given me the best results. I use Wendler's 5/3/1 template because I know what to expect each training session and I have a base percentage of 1RM that I work from. Predictable. Some may ask why I don't just do S&S as there are many accounts here of people who have had great success with S&S. My answer is simple: because it doesn't include all of the exercises I like and it doesn't have percentages of 1RM that I can use as a guide for weight selection. This is how I like to train and it's worked for me. Force me to train another way and my motivation goes down the toilet and I won't comply with the program. It's that simple.
Same here. If I don't like a program I won't stick to it and if someone thinks that this means I lack character or whatever I really don't care and think that person is full of sh... I'm not a buddhist, so I think that I only got this one life on this planet and because of that I will only do the things I enjoy. Yes, there are things in life that suck and that you don't want to do, but you have to endure them no matter what. Taking a rather extreme example, if you happen to got a kid you didn't want, you don't run away and start a new life, because you think your current one sucks. You stay with it.
There will be phases in your relationship or job that will suck, but you stick with it if you overall like being in that relationship and working in that job.
Doing an exercise program that you don't enjoy and sticking to it no matter what is definitely not on the list of things you have to do.
A routine that wouldn't even be ranked as mediocre, but that you enjoy doing and therefore always show up will in the end yield better results than the "perfect routine" that you don't enjoy.
The only time you have to endure a routine you don't like is when it is for a specific goal, e.g. the mentioned NFL career. Even if you don't like barbell training, you simply won't be a 230lbs NFL linebacker if your only training tool is e.g. the kettlebell. Teams want you to have certain numbers in the basic barbell lifts, otherwise they don't even think about hiring you.
Except from special cases like this neither the routine nor the tool ultimately matters, just that you constantly show up and put in the work.
 
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