Transferability of Barbell Strength

Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
That's controversial.

My heart rate spikes higher doing a set of 5 or 10 2HS vs 1HS with the same weight.

1HS certainly gives you the anti-rotation benefits but I think you can express more power in the 2HS. As to what carries over best to GPP? I have no idea at all.
Of course you can debate almost anything, but there's this word "general" in GPP.
GPP-training should prepare you for a wide variety of things and build a big base for your SPP (if you have such aspirations).
1H-Swings simply build more things. It's not like they don't improve your power output. They do, just a little bit less than 2H-Swings, but they also yield the anti-rotation benefits, which 2H-Swings don't train at all.
So we have a version that builds 2 qualities versus a version that only builds one. Even though it builds the one quality slightly better than the other version it's still no question which version is better for GPP.
And I'm not even including the higher recruitment of muscles and the better grip training in 1H-Swings.
Slightly higher HR? It's debatable whether that's even a good thing.

I'm not saying you should stop doing 2H-Swings. In the paragraph from S&S that I quoted, Pavel even says you should do both. What builds more power than 2H-Swings? Shadow-Swings with your 30% bodyweight KB! Guess what's included in S&S.
For GPP the majority of your training should be done with the version that builds more qualities and that simply is the 1H-Swing and IMO that's why Pavel chose it as the version you use the most in S&S.
 
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jef

I am a student of strength.
Certified Instructor
Steve Freides said:
The deadlift has tremendous carryover for lots of people - it changed my life, and that's why I started doing it.
For example, learning to stand closer to a bar may transfer to pickup up a rock because you learn to stand closer to the rock, too.
I could not agree more!
There is the old talk about "gym strength" not being useful in real life, not being functional, etc.
Let's take the deadlift. I can deadlift twice my bodyweight (140 kg) pretty much anytime. My best try so far has only been 160kg. Not bad, not extraordinary either.
Here is a video where I am lifting a 40kg block of cement. I moved about half a dozen of those that day.
For me, the deadlift had a clear carry-over.
 
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Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
That's controversial.

My heart rate spikes higher doing a set of 5 or 10 2HS vs 1HS with the same weight.

1HS certainly gives you the anti-rotation benefits but I think you can express more power in the 2HS. As to what carries over best to GPP? I have no idea at all.
And this is why it`s a big question for me. Much more cardio is happening with 2h swings (heavier ones of course), and my whole body is engaged whereas with 1h one of my arms is not half the time, which is an important part of my body.
I keep asking the question differently because I don`t understand what the relative benefits are. Partly it`s because I don`t clearly understand the relationship between power and strength.
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
Of course you can debate almost anything, but there's this word "general" in GPP.
GPP-training should prepare you for a wide variety of things and build a big base for your SPP (if you have such aspirations).
1H-Swings simply build more things. It's not like they don't improve your power output. They do, just a little bit less than 2H-Swings, but they also yield the anti-rotation benefits, which 2H-Swings don't train at all.
So we have the a version that builds 2 qualities versus a version that only builds one. Even though it builds the one quality slightly better than the other version it's still no question which version is better for GPP.
And I'm not even including the higher recruitment of muscles and the better grip training in 1H-Swings.
Slightly higher HR? It's debatable whether that's even a good thing.

I'm not saying you should stop doing 2H-Swings. In the paragraph from S&S that I quoted, Pavel even says you should do both. What builds more power than 2H-Swings? Shadow-Swings with your 30% bodyweight KB! Guess what's included in S&S.
For GPP the majority of your training should be done with the version that builds more qualities and that simply is the 1H-Swing and IMO that's why Pavel chose it as the version you use the most in S&S.
Thank you. That is quite clear. I`ll be redoubling my efforts with the 1h swings at 32kg.
 
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ClaudeR

Triple-Digit Post Count
And this is why it`s a big question for me. Much more cardio is happening with 2h swings (heavier ones of course), and my whole body is engaged whereas with 1h one of my arms is not half the time, which is an important part of my body.
This is where I don't follow...
How do you only use half of your body while doing a swing? Use only half of your abs, back, legs, glutes?
Arms and shoulder have no active role other than guide the bell anyway (they do, but it doesn't make much difference), and grip is actually much more emphasized in 1h versus 2h swings. Arms do actually get less of a workout in 2h swings due to grip usage

I think this part of the question does not make much sense at all

I think your real confusion is around the difference of power versus strength (and stability), but that is really a personal matter, there is no universal "better" between those 2
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
This is where I don't follow...
How do you only use half of your body while doing a swing? Use only half of your abs, back, legs, glutes?
Arms and shoulder have no active role other than guide the bell anyway (they do, but it doesn't make much difference), and grip is actually much more emphasized in 1h versus 2h swings. Arms do actually get less of a workout in 2h swings due to grip usage

I think this part of the question does not make much sense at all

I think your real confusion is around the difference of power versus strength (and stability), but that is really a personal matter, there is no universal "better" between those 2
I feel a lot more beat after 100 swings 2h with the 40kg than with 100 swings 1h (10r-10l...) with the 32kg. This is what is confusing me.
 

jca17

More than 300 posts
High heart rate, how beat one feels: these don't necessarily mean the exercise has had the most generally beneficial effects. Ten minutes straight of burpees would leave one more beat than S&S, but that isn't the goal.
Focus on power and heart rate? More 2 hand swings. Most bang for your buck GPP? My brother plays hockey and when he focused just on S&S with arm swings, he felt the benefits to his skating more than any exercise program he had done when he was in high school.
As for the thread topic, barbell strength transfer, I know that I felt the benefit in the other direction, with one arm swings benefiting my deadlift grip strength very well. In return, when I came back from my first venture into barbell training for a few months, even just doing 5x5 DL at 1.55BW with double overhand grip has made my grip feel more solid than I remember on swings.
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
I feel a lot more beat after 100 swings 2h with the 40kg than with 100 swings 1h (10r-10l...) with the 32kg. This is what is confusing me.
A video of both might tell of some differences, too. 1H and 2H swings should look pretty much the same (i.e. if I saw you from a distance and couldn't see your arms, I shouldn't really be able to tell which one you are doing); however, for a lot of people this isn't the case.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
I feel a lot more beat after 100 swings 2h with the 40kg than with 100 swings 1h (10r-10l...) with the 32kg. This is what is confusing me.
At the risk of telling you what you already know, feeling more beat doesn't mean it's better, it only means it made you more tired, and since it's 25% more weight, that makes sense. And we'd have to monitor rest periods and the like to really compare ...

-S-
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
At the risk of telling you what you already know, feeling more beat doesn't mean it's better, it only means it made you more tired, and since it's 25% more weight, that makes sense. And we'd have to monitor rest periods and the like to really compare ...

-S-
Yes, and I`ll add the 1h swings leave me `feeling it`more the next day than the heavier 2h swings.
 

Kozushi

More than 2500 posts
It may have already been said @Kozushi but 1A swings work your grip far more along with the other mentioned benefits. You don’t have to choose though. Why not do both? Currently, I prefer doing heavy 2A swings and 1A snatches.
Yes, I could do significant amounts of both. I do think they both have their merits and they are quite different merits. Anti-rotation is a hugely important strength to carry around with you. Explosive power with heavier weights is also important. In any case I think that not only is Sinister well within my ability and a worthy goal, but it`s something I want to be all around powerful as a human being in this still physical world as virtual as we may want to think it has become. Diminishing into a worm at a computer screen is not on my bucket list.
 

MikeTheBear

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Just read this on the blog for where I do (did) Olympic lifting. Nerdy but interesting. It tries to answer the question "How many good reps do you need to make up for a bad rep?"

Last week I was listening to Randy teach a new lifter how to snatch. One thing he said was "Every lift goes into the bank; if you do a bad one you need to do good ones to make up for it" (or something like that, Randy's more eloquent than I am). The basic idea is that you don't want your brain to learn how to do something wrong because it will be more work to undo it later - especially once you get to the point of "muscle memory" (Side rant from Amy, the brain doctor: Don't say "muscle memory"! There is no memory in your actual muscles; it's spinal cord and cerebellar programming plus slow cortical learning, which results in automatic coordination without obvious awareness.)

It's the same reason that I make everyone in my class do 3-5 perfect light reps when you miss a PR attempt. I don't want the last thing your brain remembers to be how to not lift the weight. And it's why I always make fun of the CrossFit "Grace" and "Isabel" workouts (That's 30 C&J for time at 135lbs and 30 Snatches for time at 135lbs, respectively). Olympic weightlifting shouldn't be done for time.

Can we quantify how bad a bad rep is for you? Maybe.

I found a really cool paper last week written by a computational linguist. He was studying how children learn to count and when they switch from memorization to pattern making (I care about this stuff because of my side-work in machine learning). If you think about it, learning "one", "two", "three", "four", "five", "six", "seven", "eight", "nine", "ten", "eleven", "twelve" is completely arbitrary. There's nothing encoded in the language that maps to the actual concepts of those numbers. When you get to "thirteen" (almost three-teen), "fourteen", ... you can start to grasp a pattern. How quickly a child learns to count is a function of how many "exceptions" to the rule they run into. In English, once a child gets to about seventy, they have seen enough of the pattern to overcome the exceptions, and being able to count to seventy means that they can go on forever. (In Chinese languages, it's about 40 since their language is more regular, and it's longer in less regular languages - there's a whole bunch of literature on this.)

It appears that the learning research has a well-established model across many domains that if there's a rule with exceptions, you have to see n examples where n/ln n is greater than the number of exceptions to grasp the rule. Huh?

In our language example, the first exceptions to our counting rule are "one", "two", ..., "thirteen", "fifteen", "twenty", "thirty", "fifty" - 17 of them. And 73/ln 73 is greater than 17 - and that's what they see, once you get to 73, you've learned enough to override the 17 exceptions. That is, you need to know 56 correct examples to undo the 17 bad examples.

Since this shows up across all kinds of learning domains, I wonder what it's like in learning a movement, like the snatch or clean and jerk, which are very dependent on motor patterns. Or even something simple like a squat or deadlift? I don't know, but I imagine that there's going to be some overlap. Just like learning to count, it's your brain learning how to do something over time and with practice.

So if you do one bad rep, how many good reps to you need to undo it? One. But if you do 10 bad reps, how many good reps do you need? 26! What happens when you try to set a new sub-2:00 Grace time? According to this model, you need 121 good reps to undo those 30 crap ones.

Bad Reps Additional Good Reps Needed To Undo The Bad Reps
1 1
2 2
3 2
5 8
8 19
10 26
15 47
20 70
30 121

Moral of the story? Make your practice count.
 

Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Moral of the story? Make your practice count.
Very true!
The rest of your trainers (?) stuff is very speculative and controversial.

For example my common sense (which might differ from others) tells me that this...
t's the same reason that I make everyone in my class do 3-5 perfect light reps when you miss a PR attempt. I don't want the last thing your brain remembers to be how to not lift the weight.
...does absolutely nothing to "reverse" the effects on your brain if the good reps are performed with significantly lower weights. You'd need good reps with the same or almost the same weight.
Assuming that the brain only recognizes the movement and the varying loads are not relevant for your brains experience is totally wrong IMO.
You brain will connect the failed PR experience to that specific weight and not to the movement as a whole.

When a quarterback has some bad throws (bad from a technique standpoint) he doesn't start throwing a lighter ball to make up for this. Instead he works on his technique with the regular ball. Skilled quarterbacks even recognize slight changes to things like weight or air pressure of the ball, because it throws off their mechanics.
Technique is very specifically connected to load.
Strength training is simply connecting technique to increasing loads.
Learning to count, throw a football, kick a soccerball or whatever lack the varying load. When learning and perfecting the technique to throw a spiral with the football you'll never have to adjust your technique to a varying weight, because it's always the same.
Different story with strength training. There you'll have to learn and assimilate a certain technique first and then constantly apply it to different loads.
Therefore technique becomes specific to the loads.
Therefore failed PR attempts affect your technique for that specific load.
Failing a 100Kg snatch won't affect the technique on your 50Kg snatch, because although it's the same movement your body will recognize that it's a different load.
Failing at 50Kg will affect your 50Kg snatch technique.
Therefore there's no need to make up for the failed 100Kg attempt with 3-5 reps at 50Kg. You'd have to make up for this with a load that's very close to 100Kg, but where you still have perfect technique. In this case probably something like 90-95Kg.

Everyone who has strength trained for some time knows that improving your technique with a light weight doesn't necessarily carries over to a better technique at higher loads. Just to give another example that shows that technique is connected to load.
There are some things like the principles taught through SF, that help you to carry over your technique from load X to load Y, but you still have to connect your technique to the new load.

It's true that you need a lot of good reps when you start to learn a new movement (see all the references to 10k reps for learning a movement), but once you establish that good technique it's very hard to unlearn it. So there is no need to make up for bad reps with a certain amount of good reps unless you start piling on thousands of bad reps.
Takeaway from this? Stay within your boundaries when you're still learning technique and don't go for weights that are too challenging or even PRs too soon.

Bad Reps Additional Good Reps Needed To Undo The Bad Reps
1 1
2 2
3 2
5 8
8 19
10 26
15 47
20 70
30 121
I see no explanation where those numbers come from and they seem arbitrary.

Keep in mind that's all just my assumption based on my common sense and experience. I can't prove this, but neither can the guy who wrote that blog post (maybe he can, but there's no sign of it here).
Not trying to be a d@#$, just being sceptical about things that are written/said without proof to back it up.
 
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Antti

More than 2500 posts
I have to agree with @Kettlebelephant . It is of course a given that one should strive to use perfect and similar technique no matter the weight. But the feel of the lift is drastically different between a light weight and a weight that demands effort. This is one of the reasons why I've grown to not like programs which have a great number of reps at low intensities and an expected peak far from the weights in the program. Like a 200kg lifter using 140-170kg weights in training and expected to lift 210kg after the program. I'm happy if it works for some people but I don't think I'm one of them.

Also, in my experience PR lifts are extremely stressful and I don't think it's a good idea to lift more after one, especially a failed one. The body can take only so much of stress before something gives in.

YMMV, etc.
 

MikeTheBear

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Not trying to be a d@#$, just being sceptical about things that are written/said without proof to back it up.
Didn't take it that way at all. I like discussions and you did a good job of picking this apart. As I read this I was thinking the same thing about max lifts and submax lifts. I am part of that wonderful club of lifters whose technique on a 50 kg snatch is great but when I approach my max things fall apart.
 

Kettlebelephant

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I am part of that wonderful club of lifters whose technique on a 50 kg snatch is great but when I approach my max things fall apart.
Exactly what led me to write my post :)
Let me backsquat 1 plate and I'll show you perfect technique, but give me a 3 plate squat and even though I'm concentrating on doing exactly the same, it just doesn't happen and buttwinking, knee valgus or whatever re-occurs. I can still make the lift, but it definitely wasn't the same technique.
I can squat with perfect technique as much as I want with only the bar, 60 or 70Kg, but this doesn't improve my technique at 140Kg. Believe me I tried that...
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
I cannot comment on the numbers of rep required to reprogram/unprogram poor form in the world of lifting, but in the world of music, I can tell you those numbers don't get close. I'd say between 5 and 10 reps to correct a single practiced mistake for most people. There's a well-known drum method book that's filled with 2-bar-long exercises - that's very short, takes a few seconds to do each. You are not allowed to progress past any exercise until you can perform it 20 times in a row, without stopping between, and without any errors. That's a high standard but a good one.

-S-
 

Manuel Fortin

Triple-Digit Post Count
Like a 200kg lifter using 140-170kg weights in training and expected to lift 210kg after the program. I'm happy if it works for some people but I don't think I'm one of them.
That describes many of the recent Strongfirst programs (lift between 65% and 85%) of your max most days, and they seem to work for many. It's almost a necessity for kettlebells, but many barbell programs are just like that. Even 5/3/1 is within this range: your training max for a 200kg lifter would be 170. In your first and second cycles, you would not lift anything heavier than that, and most of the time would lift lighter. Do you have an idea why they don't work for you and give an example of what you do instead? This is not a critique. I am just interested in learning what others are doing so that I can incorporate this in my training.
 

Kettlebelephant

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
That describes many of the recent Strongfirst programs (lift between 65% and 85%) of your max most days, and they seem to work for many. It's almost a necessity for kettlebells, but many barbell programs are just like that. Even 5/3/1 is within this range: your training max for a 200kg lifter would be 170. In your first and second cycles, you would not lift anything heavier than that, and most of the time would lift lighter. Do you have an idea why they don't work for you and give an example of what you do instead? This is not a critique. I am just interested in learning what others are doing so that I can incorporate this in my training.
I'm obviously not @Antti ,but I think he just came up with those numbers on the fly without noticing that 170Kg would be 85% of 1RM, which is a proven percentage range to increase 1RM.

The recommended training max for a 200Kg lifter on 5/3/1 would actually be 180Kg (TM = 90% of 1RM), not 170Kg, but that's just me being a smartass here :p.
5/3/1 is a great program, but for everyone who makes great progress on it there's probably another person who doesn't progress at all, because either the frequency and/or the intensity is too low. If you go for the original template you only do each lift once per week and only at submaximal weights. Considering this it's not surprising that I've read a lot of times that people didn't progress or even regressed on 5/3/1.
Not to turn this into a "5/3/1 pro vs. con" thread, but over the years Wendler transformed it into something that's not 5/3/1 anymore IMO.
5/3/1 was all about rep-maxes/high reps at submaximal weights. Now it's all about Joker sets, 5x5 FSL and stuff like that. For a lot of variations he now even recommends to stop your 5, 3 or 1 set after reaching 5, 3 or 1 reps respectively and actively avoiding the rep-max, which (like I just said) once was basically the main point of the routine.
 
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