In the lifting world, and especially on internet forums, there are always ongoing debates and often all out wars regarding what methods are the ‘be all end all’ of methodologies, and endless people are continually writing their opinions on just why this is so. It usually starts out with one person stating that method ‘A’ is superior because of various components of the system. Good enough, but then it downward spirals when the ‘lifter comparisons’ start entering the picture. And of course while I am sitting here writing this I am going back through memories of all the times when I have been the one doing the comparisons. Comparisons that are as about apples and oranges as it gets.
Expert ‘A’ who happens to be fan of extreme volume training is perhaps the best example. They will give you a guided tour of every pro since Larry Scott though Jay Cutler that has successfully used volume work and then conclude that if this were not the best way to lift the vast majority of the pros would have used some other system. They of course always tend to leave out the fact that these guys have designer genetics and use lots of drugs – but perhaps they don’t think that is a pertinent issue.
Better yet the guys that say genetics are a non-factor and it all boils down to hard work and determination and applying ones self with the proper methods and diet over the long term that makes a champion. As someone that trains an extremely large segment of the training populous I can tell you with all certainly and honestly that the three most important things in BB’ing, and PL’ing are:
Everything else is way below that, with all factors remaining constant i.e, dedication, consistency and proper diet. Now having said that, I will tell you that you have the genetics that you have and with proper diet and training and a complete supplementation program applied over the long term many of you can and will get results that will make people believe you have awesome genetics; but it won’t be anything like the true freaks I can assure you.
Guys that believe in extreme frequency will point out the fact that eastern bloc Olympic lifters often train multiple times a day 5-6 days a week and then tell you that if they can do it anyone should be able to. Never mind the fact that for every guy that made the team 100s were rejected, and even those that make the team have a high fall-out rate. They also don’t mention the fact that much of the Olympic lifts do not have an eccentric component, which largely negates DOMS and makes recovery easier. Bu…it sounds like a good argument to the unknowing.
The HIT crowd points at Mike Mentzer, Dorian Yates, and now Mark Dughal (and often without even bothering to make mention of the fact these guys built most of their size doing volume work), simply state that if the volume guys trained that way they would be even better! Now THAT is some statement.
Powerlifters these days will almost always point of the supremacy of the WSB system, never mind the fact that the metal Militia bunch does quite well at the bench side of the meets. Old style powerlifting is a non-player and anyone using it is living in the stone age – never mind that perhaps the greatest PL’er of all time used a simple progressive method; namely Ed Coan. But here we are back again at the fact that most people will agree that Eddie had perhaps the best genetics for PL’ing the world has ever seen.
Stuart McRobert hardgainer style converts have almost made it a religion and I often have to almost un-brainwash these guys when training them trying to make them understand that with proper diet and methods, often MUCH more workload can be used. But Stuart set the standard and thousands have used his system with success and will now argue tooth and nail that it s ALL that will work for a hardgainer, until I prove many of them wrong if they work with me.
We all tend to use poor examples when arguing about favorite lifting methods, usually by pointing to the best of the best in the sport and then somehow thinking it applies to Joe average lifter with Joe average genetics. With current training clients I use:
- 4,2,3 (meaning training frequency changes each week)
- 5 x 5 periodized DFT
- 10 x 3’s, can be 2,3,4 day a week
- Mid-volume for guys that are pretty strong
- Advanced BB’er/Volume
- Hardgainer, LOW volume, low frequency UNTIL I can get work capacity up for those that are not genetic trash bags
- Powerbuild, usually 3 day body-parts once every 5 days strength oriented, usually WSB inspired
- Pure BB (for guys that have 315-450 benches, 450-650 squats/deads
- Restricted Lift Routines for the cripples
- Standard WSB
- WSB with equipment
- Varied day routines
I switch it up a LOT on long term clients and it is make or break IMO to “keep the target moving” and not get stuck on one method. Which method is superior? All of them depending on the lifter and their stage in the game. So quit arguing about how since so and so uses this and he has the best physique this method is the best and find what works for YOU.