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Barbell Why Squatting Every Day Doesn't Work

Geoff Neupert

Level 7 Valued Member
Beast Tamer
Culture and context matters, and you can't copy pasta Warsaw Pact methodologies (or Chinese methodologies) to American weightlifters, who don't have the same motivations or grow up in the same system, and expect the same results.
/\ This.

Two interesting side notes:

1. My coach trained in Cuba under the Soviet system. He said when the Bulgarians came for a visit, lots of the Cuban lifters were enamored with the "Bulgarian System." Those who made the switch, burned out and never recovered. That was the danger, the gamble, he said.

2. Pyrros Dimas, and Kakhi Kakhiashvili, both 3X Olympic Champs, and 4X Olympic contestants, trained under the Soviet system, competing for the Soviet Union. They then switched/fled to Greece and competed for the Greek team, which had a Bulgarian influence. Dimas has publicly said he thought the Bulgarian way of training was superior, but probably couldn't have survived training without the base that the Soviet training gave him.

So, take what you will from that.
 

Antti

Level 9 Valued Member
/\ This.

Two interesting side notes:

1. My coach trained in Cuba under the Soviet system. He said when the Bulgarians came for a visit, lots of the Cuban lifters were enamored with the "Bulgarian System." Those who made the switch, burned out and never recovered. That was the danger, the gamble, he said.

2. Pyrros Dimas, and Kakhi Kakhiashvili, both 3X Olympic Champs, and 4X Olympic contestants, trained under the Soviet system, competing for the Soviet Union. They then switched/fled to Greece and competed for the Greek team, which had a Bulgarian influence. Dimas has publicly said he thought the Bulgarian way of training was superior, but probably couldn't have survived training without the base that the Soviet training gave him.

So, take what you will from that.

I would imagine building the base is a major deal when it comes to burning out or not. I understand the Bulgarians started young.

It all takes a tremendous amount of work, effort and dedication.
 

watchnerd

Level 7 Valued Member
Didn’t/doesn’t Bulgaria have weightlifting in their public school system? That would be where their farm comes from, just an overall larger pool if mostly every child learns it at an early age.

I've read there was some kind of farm system in Bulgaria when it was Communist, but it wasn't as well structured and resourced as the USSR because Bulgaria was poorer.

I think there might even have been a reference to it in one of Pavel's books?

I don't know how much of that is still in place in modern Bulgaria.
 

watchnerd

Level 7 Valued Member

Why Squatting (performing any big lift) Every Day Doesn't Work​

What is unique about squatting here? Other than some have done it successfully and some are fascinated by the idea... where are the examples of great or extended runs of success doing other lifts daily?

Check out the Dan John video at the top of the thread.

He doesn't think squats work for Easy Strength (i.e. lifting almost every day) because everything has to be 'lit up'.

He contrasts that with other lifts.

I actually tend to agree with that. I've experimented with doing clean pulls every day in an Easy Strength manner and it worked fine. The progress was slow, but that was fine for my goals.
 

watchnerd

Level 7 Valued Member
/\ This.

Two interesting side notes:

1. My coach trained in Cuba under the Soviet system. He said when the Bulgarians came for a visit, lots of the Cuban lifters were enamored with the "Bulgarian System." Those who made the switch, burned out and never recovered. That was the danger, the gamble, he said.

2. Pyrros Dimas, and Kakhi Kakhiashvili, both 3X Olympic Champs, and 4X Olympic contestants, trained under the Soviet system, competing for the Soviet Union. They then switched/fled to Greece and competed for the Greek team, which had a Bulgarian influence. Dimas has publicly said he thought the Bulgarian way of training was superior, but probably couldn't have survived training without the base that the Soviet training gave him.

So, take what you will from that.

Sometimes I wonder if part of the appeal of the simple Bulgarian system is a backlash to the complexity of Soviet methods.

All the esoterica of cycles within cycles, 5+ year planning for the career development of an athlete (*very* Soviet), the political overlay at the time, and the complexity can start to look like a giant jobs program for coaches and S&C academics / apparatchiks.

"Ain't nobody got time for that -- just lift heavy, bro!"
 

Geoff Neupert

Level 7 Valued Member
Beast Tamer
Sometimes I wonder if part of the appeal of the simple Bulgarian system is a backlash to the complexity of Soviet methods.

All the esoterica of cycles within cycles, 5+ year planning for the career development of an athlete (*very* Soviet), the political overlay at the time, and the complexity can start to look like a giant jobs program for coaches and S&C academics / apparatchiks.

"Ain't nobody got time for that -- just lift heavy, bro!"
Forgot to mention -

One of my friends is a USAW Level 5 coach and has coached Olympians and World's competitors. He's been to Russia, Bulgaria, etc, and said that after to talking many Bulgarian lifters, that one of the reasons Abadjiev had such a brutal program was to make his lifters so tired, they had no energy for drinking and carousing in the evenings.

So, there's also that to consider.
 
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Steve A

Level 6 Valued Member
Check out the Dan John video at the top of the thread.

He doesn't think squats work for Easy Strength (i.e. lifting almost every day) because everything has to be 'lit up'.

He contrasts that with other lifts.

I actually tend to agree with that. I've experimented with doing clean pulls every day in an Easy Strength manner and it worked fine. The progress was slow, but that was fine for my goals.

Nah. I have no idea what counts for "working" with his program, but the fact is other high frequency squat programs have gotten positive results. I have trained in gyms with guys who did squat everyday and made progress. I think they could have made more progress with lower frequency, but obviously it did "work" for them.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
Does anyone have an opinion on doing big lifts every day and the tonnage involved?

What I mean is: squatting with your body weight or (sometimes significantly) less on the bar every day is different than doing 300-400 lbs every day. I imagine doing something every day works better with relatively lighter and moderately heavy loads. I bet that with significantly heavy loads it’s another story, as evidenced by all the burnout discussion regarding the Bulgarian method.
 

watchnerd

Level 7 Valued Member
Does anyone have an opinion on doing big lifts every day and the tonnage involved?

What I mean is: squatting with your body weight or (sometimes significantly) less on the bar every day is different than doing 300-400 lbs every day. I imagine doing something every day works better with relatively lighter and moderately heavy loads. I bet that with significantly heavy loads it’s another story, as evidenced by all the burnout discussion regarding the Bulgarian method.

Sure, I can squat my body weight (~100kg) on the bar every day for sets of 10 reps if I want with negligible recovery impact.

That's pump work and the kind of thing I do during hypertrophy blocks (well not every day, but 4x a week).

I've done it and my legs got bigger, but it didn't make my max squat (153 kg 5 RM) go up.

It's exercise. It makes me tired. Didn't make me stronger.
 
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Boris Bachmann

Level 7 Valued Member
Does anyone have an opinion on doing big lifts every day and the tonnage involved?

What I mean is: squatting with your body weight or (sometimes significantly) less on the bar every day is different than doing 300-400 lbs every day. I imagine doing something every day works better with relatively lighter and moderately heavy loads. I bet that with significantly heavy loads it’s another story, as evidenced by all the burnout discussion regarding the Bulgarian method.
"Works" is the thing in question here. Does it "work"? For improving your 1rm? No, not unless you are weak to begin with, or unless you cycle the load dramatically (essentially NOT squatting anything of significance some days), it's not going to do a lot for your 1rm.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
I guess “works” was a pretty vague word to use. What I should’ve said was, “recoverable” or something
 

watchnerd

Level 7 Valued Member
I guess “works” was a pretty vague word to use. What I should’ve said was, “recoverable” or something

Ah....but If it's completely recoverable quickly, then it's not driving much adaptation, sadly!

For example, I could do 3x10@100kg squats be completely recovered to do it again 24 hours later.

But all I'm doing is working. Exercising. Burning calories.

Adaptation is uncomfortable -- and if I'm actually driving physical adaptation, it will have a recovery cost.

If I have no recovery cost, I'm not driving much physical adaptation.

(motor skill adaptation and acquisition is another matter entirely)
 
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Boris Bachmann

Level 7 Valued Member
Adaptation is uncomfortable -- and if I'm actually driving physical adaptation, it will have a recovery cost.

If I have no recovery cost, I'm not driving much physical adaptation.

(motor skill adaptation and acquisition is another matter entirely)
You could do very light squats to help you work out soreness, etc. But, again, that's a different thing. Doesn't mean everyday is the answer, or even a good answer.
 

watchnerd

Level 7 Valued Member
You could do very light squats to help you work out soreness, etc. But, again, that's a different thing. Doesn't mean everyday is the answer, or even a good answer.

Or maintain / work on mobility.

But, again, that's a different thing.

I haven't seen much research on mobility, but I find frequency important and I'll regress quickly if I don't practice regularly.
 
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BJJ Shawn

Level 6 Valued Member
Tell that to Jocko (no days off)
I don't follow his programming, but does he go HARD every day? There's a big difference in practicing every day and pushing your limit every day. The last program I did had me working 6-7 days a week, but it had L-M-H days and it was so easy to get up and do it because the recovery was minimal. In 4 weeks I gained 5-10% on my max on all the lifts I was doing without going near a true max lift the whole time, some of which was due to the skill of the lift improving and some due to strength. I've never felt so good as when I was lifting daily, but again it was NOT heavy most/any days.
 

watchnerd

Level 7 Valued Member
I don't follow his programming, but does he go HARD every day? There's a big difference in practicing every day and pushing your limit every day. The last program I did had me working 6-7 days a week, but it had L-M-H days and it was so easy to get up and do it because the recovery was minimal. In 4 weeks I gained 5-10% on my max on all the lifts I was doing without going near a true max lift the whole time, some of which was due to the skill of the lift improving and some due to strength. I've never felt so good as when I was lifting daily, but again it was NOT heavy most/any days.

Who is Jocko?
 
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