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Author Topic: Varying your training constantly really neccessary?  (Read 1185 times)
Domthemilky
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« on: March 01, 2012, 12:36:56 AM »

Bit confused as to whether or not you really do need to 'switch things up' every 4-6 weeks or so to 'shock' the body. Seems like some people think the body will adapt very quickly to stress from certain programs so you need to change it up every so often. However there is also people that think all you require is progression from workout to workout with deloads every few weeks until you stop getting stronger.

I never really bought into 'shocking muscle growth' or any of that when training. I have found personally that small weight increments are definetly the way to go for me. Although i remember back when i started training I used to simply go into the gym and do whatever i felt like and tried all sorts of different programmes and i definetly made progress but maybe that was just beginners gains.

Was also reading this article which was what sparked my question; http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/weight_trainings_dirty_little_secret

Although I know t-nation is generally a load of crap but he makes some interesting points.

Then on the other hand there is this article which makes a lot of sense and seems very logical and is generally what i follow: http://www.leangains.com/2011/09/fuckarounditis.html

Some of the points martin makes in case you guys cant be fucked to read it all;

"The only thing that should be changing from week to week is the load on the bar or the reps with the same load you used last time. If you're doing it right, these should be increasing. Everything else stays the same; the movements and the order you did them in, the sets and the rest periods in between sets. You don't add in new stuff.

This is the only way you can fairly evaluate your progress and see if you're headed in the right direction. It might sound tedious to keep doing the same movements every week and the appeal of "mixing it up" can seem strong.

However, the tediousness will soon be replaced by the much stronger joy you get from seeing your lifts go up on a weekly basis. Don't fall for "muscle confusion" bullshit. The only ones confused are the people who keep talking about such nonsense."

"Never choose training weights at random. You look at what you used last session and make the choice based solely on that. Not on your ego. Not because you feel like trying higher or lower reps for shits and giggles.

There many good progression models but I will recommend two common models that I use depending on the situation."

I think its true about too many people training 'instictively' im making great progress doing a simple strength programme at the moment, squatting 3 x a week and adding weight to the bar every workout till i stall.

Opinions? Sorry for the wall of text, but im bored and killing time before going to the gym this morning  Grin
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Donny
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2012, 02:39:08 AM »

well funny enough did a full body workout yesterday and i have not done it for a long time. I did...
 Squats
 stiff deads
 Bench press
 BB rows
 BB press
 Close-Grip Bench press
 BB curls

apart from a bit of leg soreness today i do not feel sore in my chest as i normally do...or do i get that tight flexed feeling in my lats... as for changing exercises every 4-6 weeks why bother if what you are doing works?. I would use what works until you feel you are not getting the results you should or are getting stale. The muscle confusion ( Joe old Fart Weider Principle...lol ) is for me just moving your training Day around..if you start with flat bench..try doing inclines first.
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Yev33
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2012, 08:59:05 AM »

I vary my training every 12 weeks, sometimes longer if I am still progressing on the movements that I am using. I think that whole shock the muscle idea is based off of some intense bro-scinece.


Using a system that allows you to get stronger on a consistent basis is the the most important thing. I always hear things like well if you could continuously get stronger everyone would be able to bench 1000lbs.. What do you think the guys that bench 600+ raw did? They focused on getting stronger little by little and their genetics allowed them to take their strength to a higher level. Difference between them and the rest of the population is that a lot of them started out considerably stronger than the rest of us, and were able to progress in strength at a quicker pace.

And once again, before anybody says: "Well this bodybuilding, were not so concerned about strength. there is plenty of big guys that are not that strong".
Drugs aside, guys who are big and weak are the exception not the rule. Just like the guys who are strong are usually &guy. People go off of the exceptions just cause it makes them feel better about themselves.

For just about everyone getting stronger is the only way to get bigger ( drugs aside ).
 
 
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2012, 09:05:15 AM »

I do something different everytime I hit the gym....if I didn`t,after training all these years,I`d be bored to tears.

Keeps things fresh,and interesting.
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2012, 05:50:54 PM »

i tend to follow the same training routing 3 times before changing it for one week and then going back.... i train almost exclusively with free weights most of the time, so once every 3-4 weeks i'll switch to machines only for a week...
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2012, 08:41:49 PM »

I switch every 2 weeks, usually same exercises just from db's to barbells and back, seems to work for me. It's a relatively new thing for me, only a few months this way but so far I like it.
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« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2012, 04:07:49 AM »

its true though that is hard to evaluate strength gains if u constantly change the order of exercises. for example one week doing incline dumbell presses with 40 kgs and benching 120 kg after then the next week starting wit bench press doing 125 kg but find you can only press 34 kg's cause you are fatigued from benching this time. see what i mean. you can't really monitor your progress accurately if you are always changing up the order and it makes it more difficult to chart progress. though in the ideal world you are getting stronger on every exercise but this is rarely the case.
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wes
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2012, 07:04:22 AM »

I have no problem remember the weights I use from previous workouts and I can`t remember shit as a rule!  Wink

EXAMPLE:

My best Incline Dumbell Press is 100-5 reps....I usually only use the 80` or 90` these days and try to get an extra rep or two if at all possible.

Next time I feel really good,I may try the 100`s for 5 again,and possibly could get 6 instead,but my point is,I`m not gonna` lose power if I train with the only the 80`s or 90`s if I go all out which I usually do unless sick or sore.

At my age,and at my stage and my lighter bodyweight,I could give two shits if I ever bench 500 pounds because I know it ain`t just gonna` ever happen.

If I add a rep or two when I can,cool,if not,still cool as I tax my muscles 100% anyway,plus I`m not a powerlifter.

If we could always get endlessly strong over the years without hitting a wall,we`d all be curling 500 pounds and literally benching a ton after 10 or more years of training.
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« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2012, 08:26:03 AM »

True wes..i go for the "Feel" and i see results in the mirror. Sure Powerlifters lifts massive weights but who wants to sit in a wheel chair later on? ( ok extreme ) but look at the old timer Clancy Ross..lifted heavy weight for a bodybuilder and later had severe problems and said he wished he had trained lighter. Go for the feel.
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« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2012, 08:41:33 AM »

True wes..i go for the "Feel" and i see results in the mirror. Sure Powerlifters lifts massive weights but who wants to sit in a wheel chair later on? ( ok extreme ) but look at the old timer Clancy Ross..lifted heavy weight for a bodybuilder and later had severe problems and said he wished he had trained lighter. Go for the feel.
I`ll tell you Donny.....my lower back is a complete mess as is my neck............always in some degree of pain.  Sad

I go heavy for me but as you said,going for the "feel" is very much more important in the long run.
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dantelis
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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2012, 08:46:07 AM »

I do something different everytime I hit the gym....if I didn`t,after training all these years,I`d be bored to tears.

Keeps things fresh,and interesting.

That is the key.  I don't know that "muscle confusion" works, but you are absolutely right that you need to occasionally change things up to keep it interesting.  If nothing else, it helps you to experiment with other exercises that might work even better.  If you just do the same thing, you might miss out on an exercise that will give you better gains.
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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2012, 09:44:54 AM »

That is the key.  I don't know that "muscle confusion" works, but you are absolutely right that you need to occasionally change things up to keep it interesting.  If nothing else, it helps you to experiment with other exercises that might work even better.  If you just do the same thing, you might miss out on an exercise that will give you better gains.
I love it....used to train on a set routine for lots of years.......this feels so much better and like you said,lots of different movements to choose from.

The body adapts very quickly to a set routine also.
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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2012, 09:50:04 AM »

I suppose it's like a woman...always the same thing then you need fresh meat Cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2012, 11:04:55 AM »

Believe that training is just as much of a mental pursuit as a physical one. So a workout change, however slight, can make quite a difference where unbroken progress is concerned.

Periodization has pro's & con's (somewhat falling out of style of late), but for the most part seems to encourage steady progress in most types of training. I'll usually stay on a set protocol from 6 to 8 weeks of training. One to two weeks is considered a breaking in period for any new workout plan. If finding that after 8 week the progress is still somewhat steady, than 10 weeks will usually be the max time on a program. Even if still making some gains.

I use three workout phases withing a year;

Phase 1...Partial rep and Power Rack/Cage. Using way beyond the weight normally used. Rep from 6 to 9.
Phase 2...Square root training, like GVT or 8X8's. Might also do higher reps of 15-20 for squats, Romanian DL's, pullover & press, etc. Either training protocol is easier on the joints/ligaments/tendons after the heavy PR work.
Phase 3...General power BB'ing, which will include things like heavier lateral /anterior raises, dips, uprights, etc
Will take at lease a week off between lifting phases. After Phase 3 is over with, it's back to phase 1 again.

At times I will play it by ear (no matter the phase) and do things like set's of 2's or 3's for 12-15 sets for just one compound exercise the whole workout. Gotten in some great workouts that way. Kind of like a mental release thing, almost a vacation from the regular training plan. Change does a body (and workout) good, from time to time. Good Luck.
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2012, 01:18:21 PM »

my normal routine is pretty much constant but i change things up routinely.

for example...  throw in a a super heavy set on occasion.  throw in a couple extra pump sets on occasion. focus on constant tension with partial reps sometimes, other times focusing on full range of motion stretching as far as a i can go in both directions. etc.

but its usually about the same. form first. squeeze the muscle. slow negatives. powerful but controlled positives. 6-12 reps. always at leats a rep shy of failure. 1-2 warm up sets, light weight, just a few reps, getting the muscle primed and ready but not taxing it to any degree.  just one or two work sets per exercise. usually a total of 4 work sets for bigger muscles, 2 for smaller muscles. one day on, one day off, repeat. body broken up into two workouts so everything gets hit every 5th day. 
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Yev33
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2012, 03:50:27 PM »

I guess it all depends on how you approach your training and what your goals are.
I set up each training cycle with specific goals in mind, then I create a training plan to reach them.
This entails progressively improving each training session, and tracking progress. Going into the gym and winging it, simply wouldn't work with an approach like this.

 Going to the gym with the goal of getting bigger, is like going to work with the goal of making more money. It's what you may be hoping for, but without a more detailed plan it's wishful thinking.

Now if I was going to the gym to simply maintain, then I could see just going in each day with the general idea of what body parts to train and choosing excercises sets/reps on the fly.
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jon cole
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« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2012, 04:36:35 AM »

"just setting a plan and sticking to it" from ed coan.
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asstropin
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« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2012, 07:57:14 AM »



I think a periodized plan is a good thing to have. Map out a workout, follow it for 6-8wks and then change it up and repeat.

Change your exercises, order of them, rest periods during the workout per exercise, rep range (also from exercise to exercise), how many overall sets per body part etc...

If you can do the workout the same way each time, great. But if someone jumps on your machine or steals your weights, it won't kill you to change the order this one time.

I also find/happen to think that if people do a different order or routine every time, the old Weider Instinctive Principle I think it was once called, your body will just say "fuck you!" and become resilient to anything you do. The body doesn't like to change and by doing different exercises each time you tell it to resist everything you're doing instead of a more defined plan. This is not to say a different workout each time does not work, only that it is not the optimal way to go.
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Donny
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« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2012, 09:30:14 AM »

yes Weider "named" a lot of things after himself..guys were doing it long before him.
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« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2012, 11:23:25 AM »

yes Weider "named" a lot of things after himself..guys were doing it long before him.

That he did. He never denied that at least in any of the articles I ever read. He always said something like "I saw Clancy Ross doing cheat curls and dubbed them the Weider Cheating Principle. But Clancy would tell his partner to use strict form and the poor kid didn't think he was as strong because Clancy was using 2x the weight he was. Then I told Clancy to use strict form and less weight and his partner was actually stronger than he was."
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Donny
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« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2012, 01:28:09 PM »

That he did. He never denied that at least in any of the articles I ever read. He always said something like "I saw Clancy Ross doing cheat curls and dubbed them the Weider Cheating Principle. But Clancy would tell his partner to use strict form and the poor kid didn't think he was as strong because Clancy was using 2x the weight he was. Then I told Clancy to use strict form and less weight and his partner was actually stronger than he was."
yes very funny. doubt Clancy Ross needed Joe Weider to train him. The Weider's were business men and did what they did very well. The fact is one was a so called Bodybuilder and Ben Weider was a sick man who loved and worshiped Napoleon....  Huh He used to wear a uniform of the Royal Regiment of Artillery( Canada ) i do not think he ever served behind a field Gun..I did British Royal Artillery.
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« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2012, 05:47:29 PM »

I think change is necessary to give both the mind and body a break.  I couldn't imagine doing the same things over and over again.  Why not do 6 weeks of military presses then 6 weeks of dumbbell presses? Maybe after that 6 weeks of press behind the neck.

Doing the same split, cardio and exercises will be a real drag for a training year. It's also good to train in cycles too. I think the current fancy word for this is periodization.

Imagine a runner who is runs the same 3 mile course every training day?  He would be considered nuts. Why not one day run 4 in the park? Maybe the next day run 5 miles on the board walk by the ocean. The next day hit the track for intervals. I know a well planned out training schedule works but sometimes for mental peace you just have to wing it.
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