Other Practice frequency: 5 or 7 times a week?

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Shawn90

Level 5 Valued Member
@Oscar I have tried daily training for maximum of 20 days and 4,5,6x per week. My observation: Daily training isn't optimal to get strong fast, you need at least 1 day off to fully recover. 6x per week currently seems optimal for me, and combined with a physical job 5x per week, sometimes 4. Another thing I realized is that taking 2 off days in a row seems to have some sort of negative impact on my practice. Also when it comes to de-loading I'd rather do 2 handed swings than drop a bell for one hand swings.

Of course this is rather personal. If you find a good groove that works for you stick with it for a while to reap it's benefits. Don't overthink it.
 

Sean M

Level 6 Valued Member
Was re-reading S&S recently and am not sure what to make of the chapter “A Little Every Day Goes A Long Way” (p. 75). It starts with:
...the swing workout that gives the most for the least: 100 swings total, three times a week
But on the following pages (particularly p. 77) talks about the importance of daily practice:
This is why the S&S program, while tolerating a minimum of two workouts a week if you are in a pickle, prescribes daily training.
“This” being (top of p.77):
Moderate daily training will keep the muscles’ fuel tanks topped off, while making tissues resistant to microtrauma and almost soreness-proof.
In the first quote, Pavel is attributing the suggestion of Michael Castrogiovanni, SFG Team Leader (at the time of writing). He also mentions Tim Ferriss, who found 150-300 weekly swings was the dose for him.

Is this chapter best understood as: “Some find 3x a week is most effective; here’s my case for near-daily practice (mindset shift from “workout” to “recharge”); experiment for yourself to find your most effective dose”?

If so: perhaps near-daily is the right answer for initial progress, while those who have attained the Simple standard find diminishing returns more than 3x/week, especially if doing S&S for GPP maintenance?
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
perhaps near-daily is the right answer for initial progress, while those who have attained the Simple standard find diminishing returns more than 3x/week, especially if doing S&S for GPP maintenance?
Yes, pretty much; I take it to mean near-daily 100 swings is the right answer for swings as one of two primary components of a complete program (i.e. S&S), whereas 3x/week is about right for swings as a component of other programming or GPP. If you're doing other things too (other than just get-ups per S&S), then near-daily 100 swings is too much and will probably bring diminishing returns. On the other hand, if you're not doing other things, than 3x/week is not enough to maintain Simple standard or the benefits attained from it.
 
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Oscar

Level 6 Valued Member
On the other hand, if you're not doing other things, than 3x/week is not enough to maintain Simple standard or the benefits attained from it.
Anna, you dont think that 3/week would maintain S&S? I always thought 3/week was the sort of the minimum for maintenance, and above that it would bring some progress.
 

Stefan Olsson

Level 6 Valued Member
Anna, you dont think that 3/week would maintain S&S? I always thought 3/week was the sort of the minimum for maintenance, and above that it would bring some progress.
Not Anna, but I could do S&S twice a week and still maintain my simple standard. Could probably not progress on only two days.
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
If you are doing other training, yes, I think it is enough to maintain; and depending on what the other training is, possibly enough to progress.

If 3x/wk S&S is ALL you are doing, then no, I don't think it is enough even to maintain.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Anna, you dont think that 3/week would maintain S&S? I always thought 3/week was the sort of the minimum for maintenance, and above that it would bring some progress.
@Oscar, I think it depends on what you're maintaining. If you're trying to maintain the level of fitness of S&S done 5-7 days a week, then it only makes sense that 3x/week would eventually see a drop-off in your fitness. OTOH, adopting a light/medium/heavy approach wherein you do something like 100/150/200 swings on your three days - that might work. Both are proven training ideas, 5-7 days of the same thing and 3 day featuring 1 heavy day.

-S-
 

Oscar

Level 6 Valued Member
@Oscar, I think it depends on what you're maintaining. If you're trying to maintain the level of fitness of S&S done 5-7 days a week, then it only makes sense that 3x/week would eventually see a drop-off in your fitness. OTOH, adopting a light/medium/heavy approach wherein you do something like 100/150/200 swings on your three days - that might work. Both are proven training ideas, 5-7 days of the same thing and 3 day featuring 1 heavy day.
Steve, thanks for the idea. I moved further from my office and this last month I´ve been struggling to do 5 sessions per week. So far I´ve been able to do 3-4 a week. That LMH alternative sounds good, until I can organize myself to do 5/week at least.
 
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Steve Freides

Staff
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There's a blog wherein Pavel gives a three-month plan for adding variety to S&S. That would be good for you. I think the number of days per week varies from two to five, and the volume varies - each four-week block is broken up into one week each of 300, 400, 600, and 700 swings. The volume per day varies between 60 or 80 on the low end and about 200 on the upper end.

So, if you're stuck with 3 days a week, or even 2, you can still make this work.

Here's a link to that blog

From Simple to Sinister: Waving Volume on S&S | StrongFirst

Here's what I think is a good thought about implementing a plan like this - my wife and I both use this approach for a variety of lifting things, just not swings:

Map out your months, map out the weeks for each month, map out the individual sessions for each week, and have that printed (or otherwise easily accessible). Then make it your mission to complete each month somehow, but vary the days within a week and the weeks within a month as your schedule allows.

E.g., every Sunday night, look at your upcoming work schedule and ask yourself where it works best for you to have days off, where you might fit in the highest volume days, and where you might be OK with some of the middle-volume days. Once you have a target for the week, as long as you meet the weekly goal, you should be OK, but there's nothing wrong with shuffling the order of the sessions within the week. And the same goes for shuffling the weeks within the month if, e.g., you know you need an easy week before a big work project or a trip (or perhaps you want the easy week after the trip instead).

Create your own target - if 2000 swings per 4-week period doesn't work for you, pick another number. If you need to fit in all your swings over 3 weeks instead of 4, just make the math work. If you know you're going to be on vacation, make it a lower-volume month.

And although the article doesn't touch on this (I don't think), play with varying volume over different months, too, e.g., instead of 2000 every 4 weeks, do more some months, less others, and make the average still be the kind of volume you want to achieve overall.

S&S is brutally simple; if you're willing to do the math, and adjust your training to your schedule while still keeping track of the math, you'll still reap the rewards of consistent training with sufficient volume.

-S-
 

Oscar

Level 6 Valued Member
Map out your months, map out the weeks for each month, map out the individual sessions for each week, and have that printed (or otherwise easily accessible). Then make it your mission to complete each month somehow, but vary the days within a week and the weeks within a month as your schedule allows.
Steve, thats a great idea, thanks a lot.
 

Oscar

Level 6 Valued Member
From the article, I have a doubt about programming the TGU. The article says:

"You can continue training the get-up in the usual S&S manner: five singles per arm almost every day. Or, if you feel up for it, add variability to your get-up training using the swing plan as a template. Note that the volume dynamics for different lifts are independent. In other words, a 30% week or day for swings can correspond to 15, 20, 30, or 35% for the get-up. Do not try to introduce a pattern (e.g. making them go up in sync or at counterphases) where there should be none."

I can try to keep 5 sessions per week of TGU as suggested by the article, they take about 10 minutes and I barely sweat, so I can fit them anywhere.

The second alternative suggested by the article, waving the TGU volume in a random manner, independent of the swing waviness, doesnt sound like a good idea in my situation. If I´m having a complicated week I would prefer not having to do a ton of TGU. It also becomes too complicated, following two independent cycles.

Having the TGU and swing waves in sinc would be practical, but it´s exactly against what the article recommends.

Finally, one last idea: The program has an average of 4 sessions per week. So how about doing 12 TGU per swings session, for an average of 48 TGU per week? This sounds simple and easy and idiot proof ( I will use myself to test the idiotproofness).
 

Sean M

Level 6 Valued Member
From the article, I have a doubt about programming the TGU. The article says:

"You can continue training the get-up in the usual S&S manner: five singles per arm almost every day. Or, if you feel up for it, add variability to your get-up training using the swing plan as a template. Note that the volume dynamics for different lifts are independent. In other words, a 30% week or day for swings can correspond to 15, 20, 30, or 35% for the get-up. Do not try to introduce a pattern (e.g. making them go up in sync or at counterphases) where there should be none."

I can try to keep 5 sessions per week of TGU as suggested by the article, they take about 10 minutes and I barely sweat, so I can fit them anywhere.

The second alternative suggested by the article, waving the TGU volume in a random manner, independent of the swing waviness, doesnt sound like a good idea in my situation. If I´m having a complicated week I would prefer not having to do a ton of TGU. It also becomes too complicated, following two independent cycles.

Having the TGU and swing waves in sinc would be practical, but it´s exactly against what the article recommends.

Finally, one last idea: The program has an average of 4 sessions per week. So how about doing 12 TGU per swings session, for an average of 48 TGU per week? This sounds simple and easy and idiot proof ( I will use myself to test the idiotproofness).
I would say you could mirror the swing volume, e.g. heavy swings = light get-up volume (3 x 1/1?) while the lightest swing day of the week is compensated with higher volume get-ups (6 x 1/1?) - but I think that's what is meant by "counterphases" that are not advised?
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Finally, one last idea: The program has an average of 4 sessions per week. So how about doing 12 TGU per swings session, for an average of 48 TGU per week? This sounds simple and easy and idiot proof ( I will use myself to test the idiotproofness).
Seems fine to me. Varying both lifts independently is best for the lifts but may not be best for the rest of life. :) Another approach, if it makes it easier for you, would be do always do 12 getups per session, but vary it so that, in a 4-week period, you have a least one 3-day week and one 5-day week. And sometimes, you could even vary the weight, e.g., if you're using a 24 kg, use a 16 kg instead but do 10 per side instead of 6. It is truly all good.

-S-
 

Sean M

Level 6 Valued Member
I used that to progress with 32kg getups. I can’t explain how only 10% of weekly lifts at the working weight (32kg) boosted my session rep max (every other week or so) to 5 per arm and then with less rest, but it totally did. I guess it’s that old 80%+ of lifts should be in the 70-80% range idea?
 

Oscar

Level 6 Valued Member
Another approach, if it makes it easier for you, would be do always do 12 getups per session, but vary it so that, in a 4-week period, you have a least one 3-day week and one 5-day week.
If the TGU are done after the swings, then this will be achieved automatically, since the program calls for weeks of 3 sessions and weeks of 5 sessions. The not-so-good thing is that the waviness will be in sync with the swings.

@Kettlebelephant , that folder you keep with all the good articles really comes in handy :)
 

Kettlebelephant

Level 6 Valued Member
I used that to progress with 32kg getups. I can’t explain how only 10% of weekly lifts at the working weight (32kg) boosted my session rep max (every other week or so) to 5 per arm and then with less rest, but it totally did. I guess it’s that old 80%+ of lifts should be in the 70-80% range idea?
IMO this fits into the discussion about how many S&S days you need quite well.
After all TGUs are also part of S&S. :)

I just went over it and actually you're not lifting 80+% in the 70-80% range. It's just ~30%.
You do 30-32 total lifts per week (I'll take 32 for the following).
16 light lifts (55-65%) -> 50%
10 medium lifts (75%) -> 31.25%
6 heavy lifts (85-90%) -> 18.75%

We need to establish a common definition of "working weight" to figure this out.
Do you mean your S&S working weight?
Because the way I think of it your S&S working weight actually is in the 70-80% of 1RM range.
Think of this: You just completed Simple and start to work on the 40. You can complete only 1 rep per side -> the 40 is your 1RM.
Do you consider the 40 or the 32 your working weight?
For the TGU routine your weight selection would look like this:
Light - 24 / Medium - 32 / Heavy - 36
Based on what you personally consider the "working weight" your number of lifts at the working weight will differ.
Did you define the 40 as the working weight? Then you don't even lift it once.
Did you chose the 32? Then you lift your working weight ~30% of the time.

Btw figuring this out might be hard, simply for the fact that TGUs (because of their super long reps) don't follow the usual guidelines and recommendations for weekly/monthly volume and intensity.
The light day for example uses doubles. There's certainly a difference between doing just 16 single lifts at that weight or doing 8 doubles.
 
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