Below is an article from Charles Poliquin that I really, really agree with. And that is....."experts" do not agree and yet have great success. Each individual is a unique human specimen and will respond to training differently. While there can be a wide range of what is optimal for each athlete, there are some constants, and overload is the big one. Experiment and learn to listen to YOUR body. Observe what other successful athletes are doing,but don't blindly follow anyone else's program. Champions find their own way and have confidence in what they are doing.
The above video of the legendary Paul Anderson is a great example of this.
The Only Two Things Strength Experts Agree On
November 10, 2014 by Charles Poliquin
Over the years, I have met some excellent strength experts who certainly practice what they preach.
The most interesting part is that there is a lot they disagree on.
For example, in terms of frequency Ed Coan is diametrically opposite to Dr. Abadjiev, yet you cannot disagree at the results they produced. Regarding reps, Roger Estep trained almost only on singles while Anthony Dittilo liked multiple sets of 3 to 5 reps. Bill Kazmaier used a great number of reps. Confusing? Yes. However, after spending 37 years interacting with the World’s best strength experts I can advance that there are two things they all agree on.
Agreement #1: Experiment, experiment, to find out what works best for you
At the end of the day, all of them tried multiple systems and they evolved into a groove/system that worked best for them. All of these experts tried loads of systems that had various degrees of results, and then made up their own mind. I have spent the last three weeks teaching with one of the World’s strongest men, Dmitry Klokov. He has been training twenty years, the first twelve years, he followed very strict programs. In the last years, he has followed more of an instinctive approach.
To be fair, the instinctive workouts are based on the workouts that were part of the systematic approach. He also stated that for peaking purposes i.e. World Championships, he has a favorite 3 week program which he never changes. Has kept it the same for the last 8 years. He advanced that the unloading approach particular to it made him peaked at the right time.
Getting strong is a quest. One must go do several roads to ultimately find out the ingredients that work best for him.
Agreement # 2: Overload will get you there
If you don’t coax your muscles into getting stronger, nothing will happen. The rule is rather simple: in order to get stronger, you need to lift heavier weights. However, besides simply increasing the weight on a regular basis, there are many ways to overload.
For example, here is a video of Dmitry paused for extended length of time in the back squat, he strongly believes, as I do, that dead stop pauses in extensor chain movements (squats, presses, and deadlifts) is a short-cut to maximal strength. Matt Kroc likes reverse bands, Dittillo liked functional isometrics.
At the end, experimentation and keeping accurate records will help you determine what works for you.
Always make progress,