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Old 02-25-2012, 01:17 PM   #481
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Well I will say this. I'm sure if you met him in person that you could bust his balls in return and he would get a kick out of it.
I'm sure he wouldn't mind, but you never know how some people take guys like him.

@Pull: Thats a really good point brought up, he doesn't have a main focus just on the powerlifts and there variations.
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:52 PM   #482
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I don't want to come across as someone who thinks you can only make great strides with steroids or chemical help because that's not what I think at all. Such a stance would make me no better than the brigade who whine about others using drugs while they make no progress, not realising that they simply don't work hard enough.
Good points by everyone, I just want to pick this up in particular to continue this line of conversation a little with Kuyt.

I don't think there is, or ever should be such a distinct line between what a druggie can do and what a natural trainee can do. Some people just look at a routine and say 'must be drugs', but like many things in life, it isn't as black and white as that.

Part of what makes this thread so useful is that we're pushing the boundaries, not only of what we are capable of achieving but also what we are capable of handling in a given week or three weeks. Pushing boundaries is bound to make some people uncomfortable, and again that goes for every walk of life not just the weights room, but on the flip side it's also useful.

If the one thing that people gain from this thread is a belief that, in the face of overwhelming negativity and mediocrity, they can achieve more then it has been worthwhile.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:14 PM   #483
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For how few actual working sets I have been doing on squats the last 4 months, it should be interesting to see how additional volume impacts strength gains.

I already suspect my squat is up 50 pounds in the last 4 months.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:43 PM   #484
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@Fazc: With that last post do you mean any routine or do you mean any routine cut down on volume.

For example I don't think any natural could do lets say the Ronnie Coleman routine as is, even with a rest week every two weeks. I mean I really don't know but it seems to me at least unless you cut the sets in half it wouldn't work.

Or are we just speaking of strength routines?
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:59 PM   #485
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Just want to mention that Ronnie himself rests up to 3-4 months per year. He was interviewed here at MAB and that was brought up. Obviously other bodybuilders don't rest in this manner, but I figured since we were talking Ronnie I would mention his recovery time.

I know a lot of natural bodybuilders that train without periodization and still lift heavy every week. I believe the giant killer Shaun Clarida lifts 2.5 hours a day. Emeka and Rich from the forum both do a lot of volume, frequent workouts and the intensity is rather high pound for pound.

Rich does a double split. I have trained with him several times and can tell you his conditioning is freaky! He grinds me into dust, and lifts heavy. Iron Maiden and TitanCT from the forum are bodybuilders and they not only train strong but long.

I really have never tried volume bodybuilding training for an extended period of time, but working with naturals for a living and having spent a substantial amount of time filming and doing documentary work, I can tell you most of them do a lot of volume, have amazing conditioning, and are pound for pound amazingly strong. In fact I don't know many pro naturals who are near, or closing in on elite level natural strength standards.

What we can learn from this is that these guys have build work capacity up over time. Frequency is low, allowing for generally more recovery. These guys are ramming volume and intensity without periodization. Sure, most of them have a lot of nagging injuries...hence why I believe deloading would work for them as well.

Point being here...most naturals I know train moderately high volume and fairly high intensity. They don't generally train above 80% work, but they move scary iron.

Here is one of the elite naturals, Doug Miller, at work. He weighs 225 max here. You can learn more about his training in my interview with him here:

http://muscleandbrawn.com/forums/art...ug-miller.html

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Doug: Sure. I mean, try not to really complicate things. I mean, you know, I’ve always been a believer in all-out intensity and just you know…our kind of claim to fame is just always going into the gym and crushing it, you know? Going in there, working hard, you know, high volume, you know, heavy weights kinda…if you think about it, some IFBB pros kinda like Ronnie Coleman style, you know, obviously not to the same level but, you know, a lot of people overthink training, and there’s always a new gimmick, a new training “technique of the week” but I’ve found with myself, and even with the hundreds of clients that I’ve worked with, I’m a big believer in high volume.

I’ve taken some people from a low volume approach to a higher volume approach, and it’s amazing what the human body can do. Now everyone is slightly different but, you know, I really believe in a higher volume. I’m not saying, like, 3 hours of training crazy here but, you know, an hour and fifteen minutes, hour and a half workout, where you know bigger body parts you’re training, you know, maybe five exercises, 3-4 sets each, going pretty close to failure, you know, and just trying to lift heavy.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:03 PM   #486
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@Fazc: With that last post do you mean any routine or do you mean any routine cut down on volume.

For example I don't think any natural could do lets say the Ronnie Coleman routine as is, even with a rest week every two weeks. I mean I really don't know but it seems to me at least unless you cut the sets in half it wouldn't work.

Or are we just speaking of strength routines?
I personally know nothing about the Ronnie Coleman routine, but with any advanced lifter or their programming, it has often taken a decade or more to work up to something that makes everyone else go "holy sh..." Some get it faster than others, but drugs or no drugs, it takes time.

It all comes to adaptation and conditioning both of which are developed over time; one pound, rep, set, session at a time. For conditioning I mean getting good at how you train... you dont get good at 5x5 sets across by only working up to a 1x5.

As long as you ignore the absolute extremes (top of the elite lifters), I agree with Fazc, there is no clear line between what a natural lifter can do and what a drugged lifter can do and that goes for any iron sport. Our bodies and capabilities are so incredibly diverse its impossible to determine our realistic limits. What any individual is capable of achieving is not known until its accomplished... within reason.

We to often setup boundaries which create the impossibility of ever achieving something significant. In terms of natural vs drugged, the drugged guys are continuing to move up while way to many natural guys are telling themselves "I'll never be able to do XYZ." Like the point of this thread, get ride of negative thought and take a few leaps out of your comfort zone. Find out for yourself, often you'll be surprised.

On a side, look at US weightlifter Donny Shankle. Trains clean in the 105 class for a country known for its zero tolerance of drug use and also horrible performance at international events. He has a very real shot of making it to the Olympics and competing against the worlds strongest oly lifters most of whom train with some wonderful supplements. You think he would have gotten to where he is at now if he told himself, "I can't because..."

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Old 02-25-2012, 10:34 PM   #487
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@BtB: I knew he rested 3-4 months, but isn't that only after a competition? When he is training he does that for 16+ weeks straight doesn't he?

I'm not really sure how a routine like his would work for a natural with planned deloads. Would really like to see someone try it.

@Pull: Very good point about having to build up to that kindof of conditioning. I wonder how long it would take for someone to work up to that kind of condition without drugs and while deloading every few weeks.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:53 PM   #488
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@BtB: I knew he rested 3-4 months, but isn't that only after a competition? When he is training he does that for 16+ weeks straight doesn't he?
Sounds like it's every year.

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Muscle and Brawn: Ronnie, you mentioned that you take several months off from training each year. Mentally, what is this like for you? Are you still hungry to hit the gym during this time off, or is a welcomed break?

Ronnie Coleman: I would love to train all the year round but I’ve convinced myself that this is really prolonging my bodybuilding career because I want to do this until the day I die – bodybuild, not compete.
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:34 AM   #489
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@Fazc: With that last post do you mean any routine or do you mean any routine cut down on volume.

For example I don't think any natural could do lets say the Ronnie Coleman routine as is, even with a rest week every two weeks. I mean I really don't know but it seems to me at least unless you cut the sets in half it wouldn't work.
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As long as you ignore the absolute extremes (top of the elite lifters), I agree with Fazc, there is no clear line between what a natural lifter can do and what a drugged lifter can do and that goes for any iron sport. Our bodies and capabilities are so incredibly diverse its impossible to determine our realistic limits. What any individual is capable of achieving is not known until its accomplished... within reason.
Yes, there are two things at work here and Pull picked up on both of them:

1) Adaption is very real and can happen if it's allowed.

2) Getting away from this idea of routines as 'absolutes'. A very famous (in some circles) educational reformer called John Dewey put forward the idea that there were 3 Stages of Learning in any endeavour. To apply these to lifting weights we have the following; a phase of being told what to do, a second phase of adapting to routines by reacting to previous routines and a final third phase of reflexively producing routines ourselves.

a) Discussing 'routines' with beginners is a necessity, because they don't have the ability yet to act reflexively to training or even the ability to react to training because they do by and large have little or no training experience. So they need a certain amount of spoon-feeding. This is the reason that countless answers to beginner training questions often end with 'Do Madcows'. Which is not bad advice really, they don't need to know more than that for the first few months.

b) The next step in training education is to begin to think somewhat reflectively on training. To look at what has worked for you and then to try and apply that again. However, unless they are coached the next step in their training education must come from the trainee themselves and this is where people begin to show signs of a deeper understanding of training. When they actually stop bouncing around from one routine to another and start to really think about the principles of what works and what doesn't for them.

c) The final step in training education is to be able to create effective programmes yourself freely. At that stage you have enough training knowledge to engage creatively in the creation process of routines.

Most of what we are doing engaging in this thread is third level learning. Which is why you don't tend to see much by Btb, Pull or I talking about the particular's of any given routine. This is why I also completely dislike favouring one routine over all others and consider that to be close minded and ultimately self-defeating. By and large we discuss principles behind routines and what we are left with is completely original ideas and discussions which are tailored to us. That is what I hope yourself and Kuyt can realise are the possibilities. It's all too cliche to say 'find what works for you', however I hope what I have illustrated above is a realistic way to determine why and how you can arrive at finding what works for you. At a certain level you won't need to concern yourself with this routine or that one, you can pick out various aspects of routines which work for you and match that with your own experience, then concentrate in a very real way on what works for you.

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Old 02-26-2012, 10:20 AM   #490
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c) The final step in training education is to be able to create effective programmes yourself freely. At that stage you have enough training knowledge to engage creatively in the creation process of routines.
This is the prime reason you never follow the routine of an advanced lifter. Sounds obvious based on the post by Fazc, but it's still commonplace for beginners and intermediates to use so and so's workout.

It's certainly ok to try things and experiment. This is part of the learning process. But I do think when trying things they should be experience level appropriate.

A key question should be...what are others at my experience level doing to be successful? Successful beginners are not doing a lot of heavy singles nor using programs like Coan/Phillipi or Smolov/Sheiko. They are doing Starting Strength, Madcows, Stronglifts.

When we analyze the commonalities of successful lifters at a given experience level we can start to see trends and themes. When I try to apply a concept found in the programming of an advanced lifter I fit it to my needs and experiences. I also approach it with caution, allowing for periods of conditioning and adaptation to the approach's specific demands.

For example, you don't see me doing the Coan/Phillipi deadlift program as written. But I certainly study it and learn from it. I have analyzed the percentage structure, volume, etc. I know it has very few heavy/intense reps, but frequent heavy training. I know that it is very upper and lower back focused with regards to assistance work.

When you start to look at dozens of other structures used by advanced lifters you start to collect ideas, and these ideas get applied sooner of later. I might not mention them, but I am always thinking about what I have learned.
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