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wwqll

Stopped progressing...

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Joshua Naterman
I dont know why I didnt ask this from the start but, will this work if you want strength+size (my goal)? This being having a heavy and a light workout and repeating the cycle of 12 weeks doing both then 8 weeks only strength.

Yes, but if you are specifically interested in getting bigger as a shared priority then, at least for those muscles that you want to grow more, you will get the BEST results with the mixed workouts and not ever running a specific strength cycle.

Remember, each muscle responds to how you train it. If you are out of balance in certain areas you can use this strategy to correct the problem while perhaps keeping more of a strength-maintenance focus on the muscles that are a bit too strong, so that they grow less quickly than the muscles that need to get bigger. As the lagging muscles grow, their strength grows as well.

You can absolutely train your traps and rear shoulder girdle completely differently than you train your chest, lats and front shoulder girdle and correct muscle imbalances quite easily this way. Whatever needs to get stronger, focus on building some mass in that area. For whatever is a bit too strong at the moment, just maintain the strength with 1-3 heavy sets using 10-20s of TUT total. That is usually your normal TUT range for strength work when not specifically focusing on TUT but simply 3-7 reps with 80-90% of 1RM.

That lets you keep the muscle without building much more. Don't shoot for failure, just a good workout that keeps you from losing your strength. Do the 3 sets to failure with lighter work only for the muscles that you want or need to grow bigger and stronger to correct imbalances.

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Eric Kamhi

This is an excellent thread. Thank you so much Joshua, Blairbob, Nic and Cole for your great tips to this thread. This got me thinking a lot. I never thought about this type of routine before so it is quite new and maybe very beneficial for someone like me who has some problems with burning out and progressing in some specific movements.

I'm having problems applying this to a 3 day a week schedule though. I've put together something in my mind with what was said here, but I'm not sure it is correct.

My workout routine is AxBxCxx. X being work days and ABC being work days of different routines in FBE work. Every day I do the same FSP's but vary the FBE work that follows it. After about 5-6 weeks my body gets so tired and sour that I usually tone it down a bit for the next week and either take the whole week off if I have too much pain/tiredness or drop the thing down to two days a week at the gym while I recuperate. I'm really a nut about form, ROM and control during my FBE work and almost never do full dynamic explosive training (currently). Some weeks I do add some explosive work If I feel the energy and to break the routine a bit. I usually do all my repetitions in control and without bouncing or bobbing but I'm probably not doing 3 seconds up/down

I've been getting good progress on a lot of things since November but some parts are lagging. In particular I cannot seem to progress in my front lever or my L Sit and planche work. And I do feel like this tempo gets very tiring after five weeks of it. My core is still stronger than my shoulder/upper back in a lot of aspects. I almost do not feel my abs working during my L sit/Lever work. My failure is usually from shoulders or upper back.

If I were to work the suggestions in this thread into my workout, would I need to change my whole ABC routine? Each ABC day had different exercises so unless I rework the whole spread-out I cant really do one day easy as that days exercises are nowhere else.

Would I just do one week light and one week heavy? Two weeks heavy one week light? Or 4 heavy 2 light? Would this work? Or should I not worry about this altogether and keep doing what I am doing until I start to plateau everywhere?

I spend about 2hrs at the gym the days I go, and due to the way I live I don't think I could go in four times a week consistently.

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Joshua Naterman

In your case I would do a full body routine 3x per week.

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Nic Branson

Don't get caught up in thinking you need to train every skill every week all the time. It is easy to go too many directions at once. You know where your weak points are change your fbe to address that, run with it for 2-4 weeks. The adaptation phase varies for everyone hence the range. You can change the contents of those workouts, I bet you're getting more cross over then you think. Also and more importantly not shoring up those weaknesses will stagnate much of your progress.

First move well.

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Eric Kamhi

Thanks for the pointers. My ABC are all full body, just different muscle groups. For example if A is pull intensive, B is push intensive and C is always combination push pull exercises that are not exact duplicates of what is in A or B and working on weak points.

So for example if my A's are pulling, they will have pullups/chinups (pronated, subpinated, behind the neck) rows, etc followed by core and leg exercises (lets say deadlifts and regular core work)

B's will then be pushing intensive, headstand pushups, dips, ring pushups, plache pushups, followed by core and leg exercses such as overhead squats, pistols and other core/ab work.

Then my C day will be the day I do all my muscle ups, snatches, swinging planche work (I don't know the exact name but when you try to go from the L sit to the plance), front lever rows, straight arm 360s on rings etc. Followed by some ab/core work, lunges and shoulder work (swings or static holds with weights).

I'm trying to address my weak spots on my C days (what I am doing with shoulder work and 360 ring work). Should I not worry about doing lighter weeks with this schedule?

Thanks again. :)

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Nic Branson

Why are you only looking to address weak areas one day a week? Non-taxing movements can and should be incorporated into every session. Scapular retraction for example. It's the little things that will add up and allow the big stuff to happen. Those small stabilizer muscles really respond to more frequent work.

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Eric Kamhi

I thought once a week was enough to focus on weaknesses since the main muscles groups involved work out with the main exercises on their respective day anyway. Thanks for the heads up. I'll try incorporating them more in every day.

One clarification though, when you say non taxing, what exactly is meant by this? Days I work on weaknesses are usually the hardest days for me.

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Nic Branson

Light work. It should be relatively easy. I'm not talking about working your entire shoulder for example here, just your rear delts / scap retractors basically.

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wwqll

16 days later.........

I'm about 400-500g heavier.

My arms are about 2mm bigger (only thing I measured)

My light workouts gets better, I see noticeable improvements. My ring hold gets better as well.

BUT

No progress on 'heavy' workouts. The heaviest things like HSPU and weighted pull ups could even maybe be going backwards.

I'm afraid the progres on light workouts is pure adaptation and not strenght gain.

I don't think I'm gaining much fat, if not getting leaner recently. With the total of 15kg weight gain, I would have a huge belly if it was fat. But my strenght don't seem to get better, I don't see someone beeing heavy and lean while beeing weak :oops: .

What should I do ? Maybe the 4 light workouts except one day with hard statics ?

Thanks a lot.

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Rik de Kort

Dude, you gained 15 kg. And since we're working with bodyweight here, that means you basically started doing all your exercises with 15 kg extra weight. That's HUGE. And awesome!

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wwqll

Thanks.

But I was told I should see strength gain even on weight gain, if that's not fat, that's why I'm worried. I don't really know what to do.

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Nic Branson

You did gain strength it just may not seem readily apparent. You are performing the same skills as before but with an increased load (your increased BW). Now keep training and be patient, you will start to see strength improving if you maintain your current weight. If you continue to increase you may not advance on to more difficult skills as fast as you think you should as you will be constantly adapting to doing your current skills with more weight and slight leverage changes caused by mass changes.

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Joshua Naterman
Thanks.

But I was told I should see strength gain even on weight gain, if that's not fat, that's why I'm worried. I don't really know what to do.

In addition to what Nic has said, with higher volume training you are building the muscle mass. Like I said before, you will not be training your body to actually use that mass very efficiently if all you do is lighter training. The strength loss is an illusion. It does not mean you are building muscle that can't do anything.

All it means is that your body is forgetting how to use all the motor groups synchronously. After the 12 week cycle of lighter training, you can go through a 12 week cycle of heavier training. You will quickly surpass your previous abilities and reach new heights, which will confirm for you the fact that when you build muscle it is not just for looks. It can actually do what it looks like it should once you teach the nervous system to use it effectively.

I believe I mentioned earlier that if you want to maintain a reasonable portion of that strength then you should have a heavy day each week.

Do not freak out.

1 lb of muscle gained in 2 weeks is very good. If you are getting leaner but still getting heavier, you gained more muscle than that which is even better. Keep up the good work!

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wwqll

I'm not doing only light work as you seem to think (I do 2 days light and 2 days hard). But I guess and hope that's the same thing, and that that will come after that cycle.

Thanks for your time ;) .

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Quick Start Test Smith
I'm not doing only light work as you seem to think (I do 2 days light and 2 days hard). But I guess and hope that's the same thing, and that that will come after that cycle.

Thanks for your time ;) .

wwgll, Josh said:

I believe I mentioned earlier that if you want to maintain a reasonable portion of that strength then you should have a heavy day each week.

As he says, even during your light cycle you should devote one day a week to maintaining your strength.

Josh, this is accurate, right?

Light cycle = 12 wks of light work + one day of heavy training to maintain strength.

Heavy cycle = 12 wks of heavy work + 1 set of each exercise with slow tempo (5-7s per rep) to maintain tissues.

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wwqll

I am devoting 2 days for heavy day, as Josh said on his first post here :

If you want more regular progress you need to be working on longer static holds twice per week and you also need to be working much higher reps and slower movements than you are currently using for at least two of those trainings.

So, one set of AB should be "easier" meaning a lighter resistance

[...]

Keep the second AB workouts of the week the way they are if you like,

The 2 other days are for the light workouts.

That's for the "light cycle" supposed to build LBM, and Josh recommended an other cycle after this one with only heavy days to 'learn' to use the new muscle.

Well... if I understood correctly, you're making me doubt now :mrgreen: (check the first few posts)

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Quick Start Test Smith
I am devoting 2 days for heavy day, as Josh said on his first post here :
If you want more regular progress you need to be working on longer static holds twice per week and you also need to be working much higher reps and slower movements than you are currently using for at least two of those trainings.

So, one set of AB should be "easier" meaning a lighter resistance

[...]

Keep the second AB workouts of the week the way they are if you like,

The 2 other days are for the light workouts.

That's for the "light cycle" supposed to build LBM, and Josh recommended an other cycle after this one with only heavy days to 'learn' to use the new muscle.

Well... if I understood correctly, you're making me doubt now :mrgreen: (check the first few posts)

Hahah! Sorry for making you doubt... :lol:

I guess that is a combination of the two. Not necessarily better than the combined separate 12 wk chunks but more regular progress.

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Joshua Naterman

Right. Sounds good to me. Your body is growing and getting stronger, you just have to give it time. After 12 weeks go back to doing just your strength-oriented work with the new muscle you have built and you will see the progress manifest.

Also, you will need more food after the lighter workouts, as the total amount of work you are doing is much greater. That is important.

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Redwan Haque

Glad I found this thread as I am in a similar situation to OP. Have a question though...

Josh - if I only have Mon/Wed/Thur/Fri to work out, would it be best to go Heavy/Off/Light/Heavy/Light/Off/Off or some other configuration?

Thanks a lot in advance.

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Joshua Naterman

I can't tell you that, it will require experimentation on your part. You may find that a single set on your second heavy day is doable, or a full workout, but you will probably be best served by using Thursday as mobility and active recovery. Use it as a day to play around with movements you don't normally do.

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wwqll

Some news, about 7 weeks after....

I gained 2.7kg +-

About 0.7cm in the arms, about 1mm a week (probably less due to mesuring inacurracy).

Gained size in my legs, maybe fat ? (I run a little bit every day).

Did not noticed fat increase in upper body.

My strenght don't get any worse or better, except for the newly introduced ring work: got my support to 60sec, working toward rings Lsits now.

Is that how it is supposed to go ? Isn't 4 X full body a week a bit much to grow ?

139lbs now, going to reach 150lbs. I think I'll make it so the time where I cut down fat will be when I do the 'strenght cycle' with only heavy workouts because it's hard to build muscle on a kcal deficit anyway, I heard. And hopefully weight loss plus strenght gain will make my ability skyrocket :lol: . Good idea or not ?

Thanks !

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Joshua Naterman

It is virtually impossible to gain muscle on a kcal deficit without steroids.

The goal when running a deficit is to try not to lose very much muscle.

The biggest mistake people make is not eating enough after the workout. There's almost no such thing as too much. I do say almost for a reason, I mean it's possible to screw just about anything up if you really try.

Just remember that PWO is NOT the time to run a deficit. It is the time to run a small to moderate surplus.

Keep doing what you're doing, you are doing well.

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wwqll
Just remember that PWO is NOT the time to run a deficit. It is the time to run a small to moderate surplus.

Thanks for your post !

PWO = post workout right ? So basically even if I want to cut weight, I have to eat (a lot) after my workout, right ?

Nowadays I'm eating tuna, 2L milk, and sometimes some additional carbs after workout, before bed (just before bed if no workout).

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wwqll

Again, a bit more than 1 month later...

Gained again 7 more mm in the arms. (0.275 inches google says)

Don't really gained strength, maybe even lost some, not sure. Except for the rings, I can hold L-sits on it.

I don't really know what to think, I'm not convinced at all that changing my routine later from 2 light 2 hard days to 4 hard days will really make me gain strength later, not that I don't trust advice on here :)

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Joshua Naterman
Again, a bit more than 1 month later...

Gained again 7 more mm in the arms. (0.275 inches google says)

Don't really gained strength, maybe even lost some, not sure. Except for the rings, I can hold L-sits on it.

I don't really know what to think, I'm not convinced at all that changing my routine later from 2 light 2 hard days to 4 hard days will really make me gain strength later, not that I don't trust advice on here :)

It is very hard to make any kind of accurate assessment online. Please define what your comments mean! "no strength gain, no loss" doesn't mean anything to anyone but you without explanation.

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