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Old 11-29-2011, 11:52 AM   #41
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I don't think programs create mediocre lifters. I think mediocre goals and mediocre efforts create mediocre lifters. I've seen some guys go balls out on 5x5s and kill it. I've seen guys go balls out on 531 and kill it.

We all know this is true. I see it every day. The real key to success is hard work, persistence and resistance. Some programs are better than others, and some are better suited for certain people. But at the end of the day most lifters don't succeed or fail because of a program. They fail because they don't care enough and don't train hard enough.

I could have used any of these programs and would have succeeded. What they have going for them that other novice to intermediate program don't is a defined progression approach. Each week you have a goal. You might think this is a trivial point, but it is not. If you give people a path, they are more likely to walk the path. You have to help the people who want to succeed. You do so by helping them progress, and not just listing exercises.

98% of tripe on the Internet is merely a listing of exercises, a split, sets and reps. It's not a program. I deal with an army of novices each day and most of them have no clue how to progress.

All of these bodybuilding/magazine style programs that don't address progression are helping to creating mediocre goals. Instead of being focused on adding weight, novices want to know about magic splits, magic set and rep schemes, etc. They are sent down the wrong path.

If someone really "wants it" they are going to progress on Starting Strength, Stronglifts, the Texas Method, 531 and will learn a lot along the way. At some point they will be at a crossroads where lifts slow or stall. At this point things get hard and there are no magic one size fits all solution for advancement.

I personally believe programs like Starting Strength and Wendlers 531 help lifters AVOID mediocrity. Help, being the key word. They are merely tools. They might not be "perfect"; that is debatable. But they certainly provide vehicles that work if you work them.

Let's also not forget that goals are always a work in progress. People don't generally start out wanting to be Paul Anderson, and training accordingly. Life is not like this, and people who don't have specific goals are not idiots. Life is complex and a learning process. Over time many lifters gain confidence and start to set more concrete goals.

I agree with Ltl. I personally don't think Wendlers is the best choice unless you are an intermediate lifter. I prefer to see trainees push week in and week out on every set for a while. I think strength can be gained more rapidly this way.

In any case, I am starting to ramble...
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:08 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
I don't think programs create mediocre lifters. I think mediocre goals and mediocre efforts create mediocre lifters. I've seen some guys go balls out on 5x5s and kill it. I've seen guys go balls out on 531 and kill it.

We all know this is true. I see it every day. The real key to success is hard work, persistence and resistance. Some programs are better than others, and some are better suited for certain people. But at the end of the day most lifters don't succeed or fail because of a program. They fail because they don't care enough and don't train hard enough....
Ramble away good sir...

That's the nuts and bolts of it right there and why I get so disgusted with people that have the mentality that there is only one way to do stuff. Yes, I preach certain things that I have seen work for many people because it's something I trust. But I'm always open to the possibility that there might be better things for different situation. I also think that "good enough" is sometimes good enough.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:40 PM   #43
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5x5 sucks? Starting Strength for medicore goals? 5/3/1 is an off-season football routine? I'm not familiar with this Chaos and Pain stuff, but I'm always guarded agains somebody that has to put everything else down to prove his point. I know a heck of a lot of powerlifters that started with basic programs like Starting Strength. I know a lot of powerlifters that used 5x5 routines to work their way through the intermediate ranks. I also know successful powerlifters that use 5/3/1 with huge success. I've seen all the above routines recommended by some of the biggest and strongest lifters around. I know who I'll be listening to.
When did I state that 5x5 sucks? Yes, Starting Strength (not a true 5x5 program) is a good starting point, but that's it.

People love 5/3/1 because they're Wendler nut-huggers.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:43 PM   #44
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Ramble away good sir...

That's the nuts and bolts of it right there and why I get so disgusted with people that have the mentality that there is only one way to do stuff. Yes, I preach certain things that I have seen work for many people because it's something I trust. But I'm always open to the possibility that there might be better things for different situation. I also think that "good enough" is sometimes good enough.
F*ck "good enough". I want to be elite. I will accept nothing less.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:46 PM   #45
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F*ck "good enough". I want to be elite. I will accept nothing less.
Great goal. I wish you luck on the way.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:57 PM   #46
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People love 5/3/1 because they're Wendler nut-huggers.
I don't think that's true. Most will be attracted to 5-3-1 because it's become a popular programme. People look round the internet to see what's out there, discover others are doing 5-3-1. Then they try it. They stick with the programme if they like it or they believe they're making progress on it.

I bought Wendler's ebook without having much of an idea who he was (I still don't really - "some American powerlifting guy" is all I know or need to know).

One might argue using the same logic that chaos and pain devotees are nothing but Jamie Whatsit nut-huggers.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:38 PM   #47
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Very true. Seemingly "slow" progress still adds up in 5 years to some big lifts.

To piggyback on what Fazc said, one of the keys is to not backtrack or deload every time you experience a minor strain or bad workout.

I see far too many people deloading after a single bad training session.
This is a bad habit to get into. 10 to 25% of my workouts are complete crap. That doesn't mean I derived nothing of importance from them.

Over the years I would go through small periods or progression and then hit 2 weeks stalls. It's just part of the game. As long as a trainee is not into that overreaching zone, a bad workout should not command a deload week.

It's also become quite common to see lifters backing down on weight because progression starts to change the way a lift feels. They will cruise along and all of a sudden hit a workout where the weight is so heavy that it catches them off guard and a lift doesn't feel right. They lose confidence under the bar. The next step is usually a deload week followed by a reset with a much lighter weight.

This is part of the "demotivation" that Tannhauser mentioned above. Only a couple possible scenarios, but popular ones at that.

I certainly am not saying that deloads and periods of regression are always useless. I simply think a lot of them can be minimized or aren't needed.
I'm guilty there.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:57 PM   #48
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ONpump17- thats what training partners are for, to stop these cycles.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:07 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
I don't think programs create mediocre lifters. I think mediocre goals and mediocre efforts create mediocre lifters. I've seen some guys go balls out on 5x5s and kill it. I've seen guys go balls out on 531 and kill it.

We all know this is true. I see it every day. The real key to success is hard work, persistence and resistance. Some programs are better than others, and some are better suited for certain people. But at the end of the day most lifters don't succeed or fail because of a program. They fail because they don't care enough and don't train hard enough.

I could have used any of these programs and would have succeeded. What they have going for them that other novice to intermediate program don't is a defined progression approach. Each week you have a goal. You might think this is a trivial point, but it is not. If you give people a path, they are more likely to walk the path. You have to help the people who want to succeed. You do so by helping them progress, and not just listing exercises.

98% of tripe on the Internet is merely a listing of exercises, a split, sets and reps. It's not a program. I deal with an army of novices each day and most of them have no clue how to progress.

All of these bodybuilding/magazine style programs that don't address progression are helping to creating mediocre goals. Instead of being focused on adding weight, novices want to know about magic splits, magic set and rep schemes, etc. They are sent down the wrong path.

If someone really "wants it" they are going to progress on Starting Strength, Stronglifts, the Texas Method, 531 and will learn a lot along the way. At some point they will be at a crossroads where lifts slow or stall. At this point things get hard and there are no magic one size fits all solution for advancement.

I personally believe programs like Starting Strength and Wendlers 531 help lifters AVOID mediocrity. Help, being the key word. They are merely tools. They might not be "perfect"; that is debatable. But they certainly provide vehicles that work if you work them.

Let's also not forget that goals are always a work in progress. People don't generally start out wanting to be Paul Anderson, and training accordingly. Life is not like this, and people who don't have specific goals are not idiots. Life is complex and a learning process. Over time many lifters gain confidence and start to set more concrete goals.

I agree with Ltl. I personally don't think Wendlers is the best choice unless you are an intermediate lifter. I prefer to see trainees push week in and week out on every set for a while. I think strength can be gained more rapidly this way.

In any case, I am starting to ramble...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
Ramble away good sir...

That's the nuts and bolts of it right there and why I get so disgusted with people that have the mentality that there is only one way to do stuff. Yes, I preach certain things that I have seen work for many people because it's something I trust. But I'm always open to the possibility that there might be better things for different situation. I also think that "good enough" is sometimes good enough.
Great posts. I have to agree on these.
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ONpump17- thats what training partners are for, to stop these cycles.
Exactly.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:20 AM   #50
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Working in the natural bodybuilding realm I see lifters moving mountains of iron using approaches most powerlifters would scoff at. I am not trying to start a holy war here. Merely stating what I see.

Mr. North Carolina Joe Ohrablo lifts just about what I do at a weight of 210-220. On some lifts he beats me. I run into a lot of bodybuilders who are brutally strong, but don't realize how strong they truly are because they have never seen natural powerlifting Elite standards.

Back in 1997 I worked up to my personal best 430 bench press using nothing but 5-10 rep sets. I had no clue about different training methods. I just wanted to move iron. I was 220-240 pounds at this time.

I am not trying to discount approaches or lifting styles. I simply don't think it's rocket surgery to add strength the first several years of training. A trainee simply needs a good plan, and to stick to the plan. The problem is that most workouts are not "plans"...they are a listing of exercises, sets and reps.

Wendler does deserve credit. His system tells lifters how to progress. He provides them with a "plan". People needed that, embraced it and are thriving on it.
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