Neuro Type Training

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North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
Discipline is reinforced by success is reinforced by discipline.

Success without discipline is known as luck and will be tough or impossible to sustain. Discipline without success will ultimately weaken the will instead of strengthening it.

I agree the program should be tailored to the individual. I also believe this has to be based on their feedback (verbal, physical adaptations) after doing a lot of baseline work (which will have its own effect on neurotransmitter levels).

When dealing with a novice I have a tough time believing you can whip up a better program based only on someone's levels of neurotransmitters (who has ever had this tested, and how much will it change from day to day/time of day!?).

I like most of CT's stuff quite a bit, but this smacks of overthinking.
 

MikeTheBear

Level 6 Valued Member
When dealing with a novice I have a tough time believing you can whip up a better program based only on someone's levels of neurotransmitters (who has ever had this tested, and how much will it change from day to day/time of day!?).
As I mentioned, I don't think this was meant to be written for a novice. At a minimum I think this is for the intermediate whose progress has drastically slowed or halted despite tweeks to his or her programming and after other factors (diet, recovery modality) have been ruled out.

From what I understand the test that CT uses is a questionnaire, so it will be subject to a point. I happen to know that I fit the type 3, characterized by low serotonin, because I have mild depression and take a low-dose serotonin reuptake inhibitor. But even with the meds I still fit the profile: I don't like changing the core lifts in my program, I am a "technique geek" (which came in handy when I was doing Olympic lifting and is now handy for KB sport), I don't require much of a warm up BUT I require lots of ramp up sets before hitting a heavy work set. I've been training for many years so through experience I've been doing a program that fits my type. The article simply confirmed that I've been doing the right thing and don't need to change anything.
 

MikeTheBear

Level 6 Valued Member
Here is the description for a type 3: Never-Ending Natural Gains: Neuro Type 3 | T Nation

It is accurate for me. Is it perfect? No. I like some variety in my training but I get that by varying my assistance exercises and conditioning routine. But I really don't like variation in my core lifts and I don't stray from the 5/3/1 template. I'm also not afraid of attempting a 1RM as it states in the article, but I am cautious, and I definitely gauge my ability to do a heavy single by doing lots of ramp up sets.

One thing I learned is that type 3s produce lots of cortisol during a workout. This was important knowledge. I now make sure that I don't do heavy conditioning sessions two-days in a row, which is why I will never follow Crossfit's 3-on 1-off template. But I do well by alternating conditioning days and strength days.
 

Deleted member 5559

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Type 1: Novelty seeker
  • Progress by feel of the session
  • Not missing out on dynamic power attributes like swings while tending to static strength attributes like TGUs
  • Short frequent training sessions
Type 2: Reward dependent
  • Improve technique over time
  • Focus on few things each day
  • High frequency training
Type 3: Risk avoider
  • Gradual changes
  • Stable training schedule
  • Periodization and progression templates
That all sounds like S&S to me :cool::). Add one more reason to the list why the program is so great; now it also incorporates every neurological motivation type. Geez, why would anyone want to do something else?
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
As I mentioned, I don't think this was meant to be written for a novice. At a minimum I think this is for the intermediate whose progress has drastically slowed or halted despite tweeks to his or her programming and after other factors (diet, recovery modality) have been ruled out.

From what I understand the test that CT uses is a questionnaire, so it will be subject to a point. I happen to know that I fit the type 3, characterized by low serotonin, because I have mild depression and take a low-dose serotonin reuptake inhibitor. But even with the meds I still fit the profile: I don't like changing the core lifts in my program, I am a "technique geek" (which came in handy when I was doing Olympic lifting and is now handy for KB sport), I don't require much of a warm up BUT I require lots of ramp up sets before hitting a heavy work set. I've been training for many years so through experience I've been doing a program that fits my type. The article simply confirmed that I've been doing the right thing and don't need to change anything.

Up to a point that might describe me as well, including the ramp up to a solid working weight. CT nailed me with this:

The Best Damn Workout Plan For Natural Lifters | T Nation

Which pretty much fits my default training methods when I am not working circuits. I should check his bio and find out how old he is and what was trending when he was at his most impressionable. I mention this because the programming he describes above was used by myself and more or less every other GPP/physique enthusiast I knew when I was in my mid 20s - early 1990's. It works.

I do like variety too, and will use it in shorter programs/diversions for a few weeks at a time, my preferred methods get used in 4-6 week rotations. I don't sweat it if my programs evolve a bit. If they evolve into noodling is when I crack down and stick to a meat and potatoes program even if it doesn't fit my personality/mood of the moment.
 

Jevgenij

Level 6 Valued Member
These are surprisingly interesting articles. Thanks! I thought that CT is just a bodybuilding guru, but here he raises a completely new - at least for me - issue. I think it shows deep knowledge and experience he gathered from long time coaching a varied pool of athletes.

I'm definitely Type 2 - I need "rewards" and must see achievements and progress to stay motivated. It's 'interesting, that over time my training has instinctively become like CT recommendations for this type - 4-5 workouts a week, changing exercises/programming all 4-6 weeks. I like to combine exercises in slow circuits and dislike to do straight sets. I don't do singles and doubles very often, because I push too hard and it often ends with minor injuries, 3-5 reps is best for me, like CT says.
His nutrition predictions/recommendations for Type 2 are also true for me. I can't have cheat days and can't eat little sugar, so it's easier for me not eating it at all.

My wife is more Type 3. I now understand her better. She dislikes new exercises and get angry if I say "Hey you can try this out, let's do something new". She hates changes, has fear of injuries and can do same workouts for months and doesn't care about progressing. I didn't understand her because I become demotivated when not seeing progress. Now I see it in a different light. Same in nutrition - I say "you are either eating sugar or not, there is no in between", she says "Why? I just eat a little". We are both right, as it seems - just different types.

Fascinating read..
 

MikeTheBear

Level 6 Valued Member
@North Coast Miller I recall from CT's Facebook page that he was born in 1977, so he'll be turning 40 this year, so he's been around the block. I know that his biggest early influence was fellow Canadian Charles Poliquin. I stumbled upon CT around 2003. I recall the year because that was when I officially joined T-Nation, mainly because CT was a writer for them. At the time he was writing about Olympic lifting and I wanted to learn the lifts so I read anything I could on the Internet. I have literally followed his career for 14 years and it has been interesting seeing how his ideas have evolved. He has always produced quality articles, at least IMO, so he has lots of credibility with me. His articles have always combined research with his own personal coaching experience. That's why I got a bit irked when people were criticizing his neurotype article. If it were written by some kid who just got his personal trainer certification, then I'd be criticizing too. But because CT wrote it I knew it was based on something more than the latest edition of Personal Training for Dummies (although the "For Dummies" series isn't all that bad).
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
Just to put in my two cents: I've read research which found that some people respond better to a certain workout than others. And when they changed the workout parameters the people who were high or low responders changed.

Besides, why wouldn't you try to give someone a workout that matches their personality?
 

305pelusa

Level 6 Valued Member
That all sounds like S&S to me :cool::). Add one more reason to the list why the program is so great; now it also incorporates every neurological motivation type. Geez, why would anyone want to do something else?
S&S seems to me like the exact opposite of what a novelty seeker would want though. That isn't good or bad, but S&S just isn't that kind of program I think.
Besides, why wouldn't you try to give someone a workout that matches their personality?
I think what others want to say is that you should give a workout based on goals. If you have multiple programs that can fulfill those goals, it makes sense to give the one that closely matches that person's profile. I can't think of many obvious cases where there aren't, but if there weren't, then you still should give out the one that leads you to your goals, regardless of whether it excites you/resonates with you, or not.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@305pelusa, I'm glad you brought up goals because goals are why articles and approaches like those we're discussing don't resonate with me. I love pursuing a goal.

-S-
 

Mirek

Level 6 Valued Member
Type 1: Novelty seeker
  • Progress by feel of the session
  • Not missing out on dynamic power attributes like swings while tending to static strength attributes like TGUs
  • Short frequent training sessions
Type 2: Reward dependent
  • Improve technique over time
  • Focus on few things each day
  • High frequency training
Type 3: Risk avoider
  • Gradual changes
  • Stable training schedule
  • Periodization and progression templates
That all sounds like S&S to me :cool::). Add one more reason to the list why the program is so great; now it also incorporates every neurological motivation type. Geez, why would anyone want to do something else?
@Bro Mo thanks for the summary! Looks like I am mostly Type 1 (with some admixture of Type2) as I recently find myself happy under the load as heavy as possible done as frequently as possible.
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
I think what others want to say is that you should give a workout based on goals. If you have multiple programs that can fulfill those goals, it makes sense to give the one that closely matches that person's profile. I can't think of many obvious cases where there aren't, but if there weren't, then you still should give out the one that leads you to your goals, regardless of whether it excites you/resonates with you, or not.
If there was one well-defined "best" way to reach a goal then the choice would be clear. People don't always respond the same on a given program though. Some people need higher or lower frequency/volume/rest/etc and it makes sense to me to adjust for that as well as you can.
 

305pelusa

Level 6 Valued Member
@305pelusa, I'm glad you brought up goals because goals are why articles and approaches like those we're discussing don't resonate with me. I love pursuing a goal.

-S-
Everything needs to be to a reasonable extent Steve.

Let me give you an example. A popular mass building approach for legs is the Milk n Squat routine. A gallon of milk a day, plus workouts where you take your 10RM Squat, and attempt to squat it for 20 consecutive reps by breathing and pausing enough between reps to survive.

The nutrition is already downright brutal, but those workouts are simply hellish. You could tell me that's the fastest way to grow, and I still would pick a more conservative program. Even if the results were slower, I don't think I would do well on such an extreme routine.

Everything to a reasonable extent. No one is picking routines just based on what they like. But if you can design a routine in a way that feels easier on your brain and makes you enjoy it more and feel better about it, why wouldn't you?

That's how I see it anyways.
 

Antti

Level 8 Valued Member
An interesting discussion.

For myself, I am a bit of a sloth. Another person would say very much like one, and another one only a bit like one. The attribute has it's own expressions.

I love lifting heavy things. However, I do not like exerting myself too much while lifting heavy things. Things like GTG are instinctively natural to me.

But there is a fine line between goals and the effort to reach them. Like in all areas of life, they are closely intertwined. I find that I often have to force myself to train. I have a goal, after all. But I don't see me forcing myself as a bad thing, I do it all the time while working. Do you know what's the gist of work? They pay you to do it. Do you know why they pay you for it? Because no one wants to do it. Do you know why so few are very strong? Because so few are want to endure the effort.

So I think that having to endure discomfort is a necessary thing. The extent of the discomfort depends on the goals and the efforts. We all have our individual variances. But the most important thing is to be 100% honest about oneself and the two variables.
 

elli

Level 9 Valued Member
His writing makes sense to me and it actually makes me think about a few things (better and worse ones) regarding my 'behaviour' in certain parts of work out -> type 3.
There is e.g. Type 3's fear of getting injured, not feeling well when going too heavy, prefering shorter rest instead. This is not only true for strength training, it is transferable to what I do (bouldering)!
Re-reading the article because of this discussion makes it even clearer to me!
Thanks for bringing it back on the menu for me :)
 
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MikeTheBear

Level 6 Valued Member
For those who still do not like this article or think it sends a "bad message" to not work hard or to ignore what you've learned from experience, someone on CT's forum asked "What if I'm a type 3 but like training like a type 1?"

Here is CT's exact response:

Train the way it appeals to you. Sometimes you might think you are a certain type through learned behavior but in reality you are a different type. The message is to train the way that motivates you. The neuro typing approach only gives you a short cut to find out what that is

The last two sentences are key. At the end of the day, train the way that motivates you. Neurotyping is a short-cut to finding what that might be. That's it. That's all this is.
 
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