If you read my last rant on the Tabata protocol, you’ll know one of the reasons that I’m not a fan of it is that I think most people aren’t in good enough shape in order to actually do it correctly. (If you missed the rant, you can read it HERE, but be warned – it’s NSFW.)
Along those same lines, I’ve gotten into a few email conversations with people about how I design my programs, and them wondering why I don’t used more advanced tactics in my workouts. About the most complicated I get is with supersetting exercises, and/or complex training. I even use percentages in the original Body Armor. But outside of that, there’s not much that’s overly advanced. You won’t see my programs with bands, chains, mind-numbing percentage charts, complicated rest-break scenarios, or anything else like that.
Now, that’s not to say that this stuff doesn’t work – because when done correctly, it most assuredly does.
That’s also not to say that my programs are easy or for the non-trained noob. While they work well for the inexperienced, my programs, while simple (not easy – learn the difference between the two), are the kind that work for trainees of almost any capability, as the harder you work at them, the better results you get.
Take the set/rep/percentage scheme I mentioned that was part of the original Body Armor. If you can bench 200 lbs, you’re going to get very good benefit out of it. If you can bench 350, you’re going to get the same kinda benefit – only more of it.
Same goes with something like Working Class Cardio. Just getting through the workouts using moderate weight and taking short mini-rests between exercises, it’s one thing. But if you’re doing the workouts with say 80+ lbs dumbbells and barely resting 60 secs between circuits (no mini-rests at all during), then your increased input into the program is gonna result in seriously increased output (gains).
See how that works?
BUT, that ends up begging that one main question be asked – why is more complicated stuff never used?
(This is the point that I have to channel my inner Jack Nicholson…)
The truth of the matter is…that…YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!
Here’s what most people don’t wanna admit to themselves – they are not in remotely good enough shape to take on any kinda ‘advanced’ training protocol, let alone make that protocol effective.
Going back to Tabata for a minute…
If you go back to my blog post and read the info on the original Tabata study, you’ll note that it was conducted on fairly high-level, experience, well-trained athletes. In other words, these peeps were in really good shape from the get-go. The whole reason why Tabata’s intervals worked so well for them was because they *were* in such good shape already. They had the capacity to be able to work their asses off, and put sufficient work and effort into the protocol in the first place.
If you’re not in good shape from the beginning, you won’t be able to illicit the same kinda results, simply because you’re not capable of putting the right kind of work in.
Remember the Tabata stats – the study’s participants were working at 170% of their current VO2 max. Do you have any idea how hard it is to even do something like that? Fact of the matter is that most regular folks aren’t in the physical condition to perform at that level, nor do they have the mental toughness to push themselves to that level.
And most regular folks just aren’t at that level. Sorry.
Let’s use an analogy.
As many of you know, I’m a car guy. I’m also into motorcycles (though not as much). The sport bikes you can buy off the showroom floor just astound me – dollar for dollar, the kind of performance you can buy stock on a many sport bikes is just crazy. These bikes have INSANE capabilities – IF they’re ridden by somebody that knows what the hell they’re doing.
I guarantee you that most people riding sport bikes on the street today will never fully realize the true potential of the bikes they ride. Why? Because they’re not good enough at riding. In fact, it’s my contention that most people who ride have bikes that are too big and have too much power for their current abilities. They don’t respect what the bike has to offer, and instead of putting in the time to be a better and more skilled rider, they simply just go out and buy a better bike. When the reality is that in anything but a very long straight line, a skilled rider on a 750 will run off and leave most guys on their 1000s.
The same goes with workouts.
It’s not that these advanced methods don’t work – they’ve proven that they do time and time again. However, most of the people that do them have no reason to be, as they should be spending their time and effort on programs that were based more on basic principles (like mine are), and taking those to the fullest.
Don’t look to try out something more difficult and ‘advanced’, when you have maximized what you’re doing yet.
Have a kickass weekend.
Posted in Cardio, Character/Motivation, Circuit Training, Muscle Building, Strength Training | 1 Comment »