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Old 07-17-2011, 10:26 AM   #1
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Default How To Help, or The "Right" Questions to Ask

One of the most common things I see on forums is the "plateau and do this" thread.

A poster (generally a novice/beginning trainee) will state that he has hit a wall and isn't making progress. This may be on bench press, chest development, or general muscle and strength gains.

Folks will jump in to help. They lead with good intentions, and this is nice to see, but generally the advice given - the "do this" - is based upon major assumptions. These assumptions are:

1) The lifter is eating properly.
2) The lifter is persistent and doesn't miss workouts.
3) The lifter has a sensible workout approach.
4) The lifter is focusing on progression of weight.

The truth is, most novices that have hit "walls" aren't doing any combination of numbers 1-4. In addition, some of them are, but think that adding only a rep or two to a lift each week is "poor" progression (a wall). Obviously it is not.

So the next time a novice states they aren't making progress on bench, etc., instead of advising board presses and close grip bench presses and dumbbell bench presses and face pulls, ask them about "numbers 1-4".

Quote:
What does your eating look like, do you miss workouts, what does your workout plan look like and do you focus on progression weight (adding reps and weight) on every set, when possible?
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:38 AM   #2
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I should add a number 5: poor exercise form.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:28 AM   #3
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Good points made.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:24 PM   #4
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Very good point.

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Old 07-17-2011, 11:45 PM   #5
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Things to consider myself! I generally fail at least one of those a week.

I realize this is meant to be a "simple" thought, but maybe add a 6th for sleep. I never considered how important completing my sleep cycle each night was until I'd done it consistently for about a week and felt amazing while lifting with no other changes.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepingdog View Post
Things to consider myself! I generally fail at least one of those a week.

I realize this is meant to be a "simple" thought, but maybe add a 6th for sleep. I never considered how important completing my sleep cycle each night was until I'd done it consistently for about a week and felt amazing while lifting with no other changes.
I agree - #6. Sleep

I always ask about daily stress. It's just a big cortisol dump out there.
Commuting, work, kids, bills, politics, etc....
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wlfdg View Post
I agree - #6. Sleep

I always ask about daily stress. It's just a big cortisol dump out there.
Commuting, work, kids, bills, politics, etc....
I was thinking rest as well, sometimes when tired from the previous day, training would suffer and the next session things were great again.

So, probably 6 initial areas to consider, the first 4 (in the top post), rest/sleep and form.
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:40 PM   #8
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What is this sleep you mention?
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
What is this sleep you mention?
My thoughts exactly... with 4 kids i cant remember i had a complete night of uninterupted sleep

But they're worth it....
























Sometimes

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