gymrob

Ido-Just a little information on progression and programming

15 posts in this topic

Hi all,

I am sure that you have noticed that forum member Ido portal has provided us all with such quality information that particularly compliments that of Coach Sommer's fantastic advice. I have also noticed that many people recently have been seeking advice particularly that about program design and how to program exercises to compliment eachother and about cycling loads etc etc. So by having this post I feel that a little addition information would benefit all forum members aswell as myself. Here is some of the key points that Ido has written about:

1. Supersetting exercises that in particular are antagonists with rest periods in between is a more efficient way of programming. Eg:

A1 HSPU's

A2 Pull up's

2. Concentrate on a limited amount of goals and do exercises that help you achieve your goals. Don't spread them too wide i.e a strength and endurance goal.

3.

Alternate frequent (daily) training with low volume and less-frequent training with higher volume, change back and fourth between them, each 2-4 weeks. You want to avoid stagnation.

This is a very limited list but these are just some of the main points Ido has made about programming design.

Now a couple of things that I am unsure about and would love to know the answers to by Ido are:

1. Do you advise unloading regularly? By this I don't mean intensity but halving the volume? For instance Charles Poliquin recommends halving the volume every third workout and Pavel recommends every third week (for the whole week). What is your take on this?

2. In weekly routine is it essential that you include:

Horizontal push and pull

Vertical push and pull

Quads & Hamstring exercises for legs

Or for instance if your goals are to achieve a planche pushup and front lever pullup is it only necessary to work a horizontal push and pull? Also, do you recomend doing as few exercises in a weekly routine?

3. Do you prefer whole body routines or split routines?

4. With progressing Coach Sommer has written that you could:

Stick with say 3X3 for a week then move to 4X3 and stick with that for a week until you reach say 5X5 for instance then take 3-4 days rest then move onto a new exercise variation. Are these days rest just instead of the unloading I talked about in point 1 or in addition to?

Sorry for the length of this post but I feel it may really help others as well as myself.

Thankyou very much!

:)

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1. Absolutly. I cut the volume by 40-60 % every 2-5 workouts. It is one of the most neglected issues in training. Most people do not have the work ethic to train regulary enough to use and enjoy this concept, though. If you train religously and never skip a workout, and you cut volume according to the guidlines above, results are promised. It is not for someone who trains three times a week and then takes a week off, etc..

2. It is not a must to do this 'movement' balance at all. It depends on the person. For example, I could do a full bw harop curl the first time I tried it, and my hamstrings are very strong as opposed to my quads. It is a rare phenomenon, as most people are the other way around, but I do not train my hams at all because of this, and this allows me to reach balance. So it depends. Another example is my student and 'right hand man' Tom who can Chin up with more than 50kg attached to him with ease, but can barely complete a full ROM HSPU between the Pbars. Does he need to train vertical pull together with vertical push to reach balance or will a strategy of specialization in vertical push movements together with a complete neglection of the vertical pull will allow him to achieve balance more rapidly? You get the drift. (If you are espcialy 'talented' in certain areas you will not detrain this ability so easly)

Also doing too many things is counter productive. I'm more in favor of building brick upon brick and reaching the sky. Build a base with basic movments, advance to more advanced movements and decrease the amount of base work and go on. For example, I know very few elite gymnasts who routinly perform pull ups. Its a waste of their time. they have done it as 6-8 year olds and built a base and now they do not need it. We have a limited amount of recovery ability, you do not want to waste it on something less than efficient, just because it is a dogma.

3. Neither and both. I'll use anything for a while and then change. Also if you are using coach sommer's concepts then you are doing most of the time something between a split routine and a full body split. It is more a 'movement based split', and I use it often also. (not a 'direction of movement based ssplit' -v pull- v push which is also good)

4. It is also a type of unloading, but I believe a less efficient and less scientific one. The guidlines for unloading I provided above have been researched and tested by many coaches and found to be correct. This type of unloading by feel can be good if you are highly sensitive to your own bodie's reaction to training, but most people are not.

I hope you find this useful. Soon I will post a couple of new posts on advanced training methods I am using to complement coach sommer's work.

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Ido,

Thankyou very much for taking the time to write a reply. It is very very interesting to read and I have most definately gained a better understanding. Your insight into training always interests me.

I really appreciate it.

Thanks!

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1. Absolutly. I cut the volume by 40-60 % every 2-5 workouts. It is one of the most neglected issues in training. Most people do not have the work ethic to train regulary enough to use and enjoy this concept, though. If you train religously and never skip a workout, and you cut volume according to the guidlines above, results are promised. It is not for someone who trains three times a week and then takes a week off, etc..

2. It is not a must to do this 'movement' balance at all. It depends on the person. For example, I could do a full bw harop curl the first time I tried it, and my hamstrings are very strong as opposed to my quads. It is a rare phenomenon, as most people are the other way around, but I do not train my hams at all because of this, and this allows me to reach balance. So it depends. Another example is my student and 'right hand man' Tom who can Chin up with more than 50kg attached to him with ease, but can barely complete a full ROM HSPU between the Pbars. Does he need to train vertical pull together with vertical push to reach balance or will a strategy of specialization in vertical push movements together with a complete neglection of the vertical pull will allow him to achieve balance more rapidly? You get the drift. (If you are espcialy 'talented' in certain areas you will not detrain this ability so easly)

Also doing too many things is counter productive. I'm more in favor of building brick upon brick and reaching the sky. Build a base with basic movments, advance to more advanced movements and decrease the amount of base work and go on. For example, I know very few elite gymnasts who routinly perform pull ups. Its a waste of their time. they have done it as 6-8 year olds and built a base and now they do not need it. We have a limited amount of recovery ability, you do not want to waste it on something less than efficient, just because it is a dogma.

3. Neither and both. I'll use anything for a while and then change. Also if you are using coach sommer's concepts then you are doing most of the time something between a split routine and a full body split. It is more a 'movement based split', and I use it often also. (not a 'direction of movement based ssplit' -v pull- v push which is also good)

4. It is also a type of unloading, but I believe a less efficient and less scientific one. The guidlines for unloading I provided above have been researched and tested by many coaches and found to be correct. This type of unloading by feel can be good if you are highly sensitive to your own bodie's reaction to training, but most people are not.

I hope you find this useful. Soon I will post a couple of new posts on advanced training methods I am using to complement coach sommer's work.

I have a question on #2. Ido saids:"...and decrease the amount of base work ..." and than he saids: " For example, I know very few elite gymnasts who routinly perform pull ups. Its a waste of their time. they have done it as 6-8 year olds and built a base and now they do not need it. We have a limited amount of recovery ability, you do not want to waste it on something less than efficient, just because it is a dogma. " What does he mean? I thought he said that was good? Don't you suppose to decrease the intensity over time? Isn't that a good way to?

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I imagine there is a shortage of replies because your question is a little confusing?

George.

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Titan,

I'll try to answer ur question. Ido means for elite gymnasts pullups are no longer performed as they have progressed far beyond this difficulty. As u have a limited ability to recover from excercise, decrease the base excercises that utilize first and focus on progressing through harder skills. For example if u can do planche pushups then u probably should not bother with regular pushups as ur body can only recover from so much excercise. Another example is a guy called Jasper Benincasa (a chinning legend) apparently considered doing a pullup with two arms a waste of his time as he could perform several OAC's.

Hope that clears things up

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Kind of a simple way of periodizing, Ido. I might give it a try. I've been stuck on dips for too long, and have cranked up the frequency to everyday in hopes of busting the plateau. In 4 weeks I might give you idea a shot.

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I cut the volume by 40-60 % every 2-5 workouts. It is one of the most neglected issues in training. Most people do not have the work ethic to train regulary enough to use and enjoy this concept, though. If you train religously and never skip a workout, and you cut volume according to the guidlines above, results are promised. It is not for someone who trains three times a week and then takes a week off, etc..

I found this a very helpful piece of information. I've been doing a half volume day once a week for couple of weeks now and feel it's brilliant for recovery if you're on the edge of your work capacity and starting to feel a bit drained. Definitely helps your will-power too, half your normal volume seems like a breeze in comparison.

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When you talk about cutting volume, do you simply mean doing less reps/sets of whatever exercises you have been doing? Or do you mean doing easier variations of the exercises with the same or more reps/sets?

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I just cut the sets in half (if I can). So 10 sets of 1 becomes 5 sets of 1, 5sets of 5 becomes 3 sets of 5, 6*10second static holds becomes 3*10sec holds etc.

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When you talk about cutting volume, do you simply mean doing less reps/sets of whatever exercises you have been doing? Or do you mean doing easier variations of the exercises with the same or more reps/sets?

I imagine you could benefit from either or. The overall idea is to promote rest. Whether it will be cutting down volume or intensity will promote rest compared to the full on workout.

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Cutting volume is not always related to cutting intensity. When you only do 1 set of something you still get a training response, but it is primarily neurological because you haven't done enough tissue damage to give the body a good reason to adapt the tissue very much. If you're used to doing lots of sets this will be a great healing workout for you, and you should noticed that you feel better than usual for 1-3 workouts afterward. By repeating that cycle you're lowering volume without lowering intensity. That works best when you're not working at super high intensities like 85-90% or higher. When you work hard like that, cutting the intensity helps more because you're allowing the CNS to recover more. That is the key to strength gains at this level of intensity. Continually training that high will lead to temporary CNS depression, and backing off a bit and building back up will allow the CNS to recover. Pavel's PTTP covers that fairly well. The basic idea is that if you're doing chins with 30lbs added for like 2-3 reps, and that's your 3RM, you will benefit by dropping back to maybe just 5 lbs added, keep the sets and reps the same, and add 5 lbs per workout until you hit your old 3RM. Usually you will find it is easier than it was the last time you did it, and you will probably PR either in reps or by going heavier your next workout. It really helps to build up to doing weighted bodyweight basic strength stuff, because then you have this fine control over the load. As I mention later, the other way is to use a pulley system or to use bands on a suspended waist belt.

The WODs are uniquely effective partially because there are deloading principles at work in the scheduling itself. Notice how we haven't really worked our legs hard in a week or so? Guess what's coming soon: probably some WODs with shuttle runs and sled sprints as warm ups, and then the actual leg WODs. During that time, the only work our shoulders will be doing within the WODs are in the statics, which should be very very easy. However, when we actually WORK the muscles they get a variety of different stimuli which prevents CNS fatigue and the time off is healing and growth time. We don't lose anything, and that's why the gains come so fast.

Now if you're on more of a "set" schedule that has very consistent lifts all the time, like squats, HSPU, SLS, PPP, etc. then you should be just performing 1 set every 3-5 workouts. You may find that you don't have to cut the intensity at all.

There's another way, which is to keep the reps the same but cut weight off of what you're doing and then build back up in a series of pre-planned progressions. This allows the body to recover while still doing enough work to keep the strength and muscle gains from the workouts. For example, let's say you're doing HeSPU with your hands elevated 6 inches. You might go all the way back to the floor for one workout with the exact same sets/reps. Each workout you might elevate the hands another inch, so that 6 workouts later you're at 6 inches. You may find that your numbers have actually gone UP by doing this. That is normal, which is why a lot of successful coaches use these principles. They are a bit easier to do with external loads and bodyweight work that has become weighted, because while we are changing the ROM we are NOT changing the load. Changing the LOAD is what allows these gains to happen most efficiently. Ideally you'd want to keep the ROM as full as possible and just lower the load by using a pulley system or bands tied to a waist belt for the HeSPU and stay at 6" elevation.

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So basically you should still be giving it all your all (cutting volume doesnt mean being lazy or slacking), but simply decrease the load by either changing reps, sets, ROM, static hold time, or cutting back to an easier progression of an exercise?

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Only an easier progression is changing the load. If you do 1 rep of HSPU or 10, you weigh the same so the load does not change. You have to manipulate the load if you use cycles where you get close to max. The WODs are different, they are more like the stair cycle I talked about, which is similar to the SSC. You do submaximal work for the muscles, and you do so frequently, and you only increase the load, which means moving to a harder progression for much of our work and/or adding weight, when the current load feels a little bit TOO easy for a few weeks on end at least.

This process allows you to work many, many different skills and develop strength in all of them.

Because very small amounts of load manipulation is almost impossible in most of the FSP we use the SSC. It's not really efficient to add weight to PL, BL, FL, or Manna because advancement means decreasing the leverage and changing the position for these. With that kind of exercise you really can't control things finely enough to try and use a linear cycle.

Now, I suppose you could add ankle weights to L-sit and Straddle-L, but I don't actually know if that's worth doing. Certainly not in the beginning, because you can add resistance slowly bu straightening your legs and slowly raising up to parallel. Getting into proper position is the first step. Once you hit the real L-sit and Straddle L and can do them for 30s, I'm sure adding a few ounces at the ankles every other week wouldn't be a problem and could quite possibly be very beneficial.

You're never giving it your all in the sense that you are putting everything into any one set, unless you're using the linear or wave cycles that I mentioned, which is when you increase the weight each workout at more or less set intervals until you hit a new 3RM. That one single workout would be where you put EVERYTHING into it. When you get to your old 3RM you could either go for as many reps as possible or just do 3, realize you could have done more, and add more weight the next workout to try and set a new 3RM. After you set your new record, go back and drop weight again so that you can build back up.

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