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  • Variable Intensity and Volume

    I'm currently training Mountain Dog Style with John Meadows and seeing some impressive results (surprising strength gains and growth in prior weak areas). John varies intensity and volume throughout your training (usually a 12 week period).

    This type of training would of course be on the more advanced level. I was curious if anyone takes this approach with their own training. There is a lot of misinformation out there, especially in the magazines. Sometimes this makes it look like advanced guys use the same routine all the time, or that they just haphazardly do what ever they feel like when they get to the gym.

    Now, although we train "body parts", I believe this cycling of training makes sense as the body works as a system. So in my opinion over training is more of a systemic issue as the result of doing to much over all, for too long and without enough nutritional/supplementation support.

    That being said I remember a book that was put out years ago on HIT by Dr. Ellington Darden in which he had people train the entire body in a workout, but when you did these sessions you would concentrate on a specific muscle group, while doing more of a maintenance workout for the rest of the body. In other words you might do 1 or 2 sets for everything else, but would do a high intensity style workout for the selected muscle group (ie. negatives, supersets, pre exhaust etc.)

    Now I don't believe this to be a productive routine, but it got me thinking if you combined this idea with cycling training as I mentioned earlier. So the idea would be to have each body part peak with volume and intensity at different times. So you may be on lower volume on most body parts one week, but your chest would be high volume, high intensity. This pattern would change week by week so you would have each body parts volume and intensity peak at different times.

    On paper this sounds good, but again I believe over training is more of a systemic problem than a problem with over doing a specific body part. I'm not sure if this would be beneficial over cycling the entire body.

    I'm not sure if this makes sense the way I'm writing it so here is a basic example of what I'm thinking:

    Week 1
    Chest Lower intensity, lower volume
    Back medium volume, medium intensity
    Shoulders Medium volume, High intensity
    Legs High volume, high intensity

    Week 2
    Chest medium volume, medium intensity
    Back medium volume, high intensity
    Shoulders high volume, high intensity
    legs low volume, low intensity (or) high volume and low intensity

    ...and so on.

    Again I don't believe this would be any better, but I was interested in peoples feedback to see if anyone had done something like this. I may have some of my clients volunteer to try this to see if there were any difference in their results.
    1994 Ohio Gran Prix 4th place
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  • #2
    I actually did something similar when heavily involved in powerlifting and running 5/3/1

    I did something like this:



    M - Squat (3 x 5)
    W - Bench (3 x 3)
    F - Dead (3 x 5, 3, 1)

    M - Military (3 x 5)
    W - Squat (3 x 3)
    F - Bench (3 x 5, 3, 1)

    M - Dead (3 x 5)
    W - Military (3 x 3)
    F - Squat (3 x 5, 3, 1)

    M - Bench (3 x 5)
    W - Dead (3 x 3)
    F - Military (3 x 5, 3, 1)



    that way each lift was getting the hardest workout (5,3,1) on a Friday with the entire weekend to rest, and Mondays at the start of each week were the easiest (3 x 5)

    I skipped the deloads per lift because those lifts had in a built in off week following the 5,3,1 day

    I would do no assistance work on the 5,3,1 day and the most assistance work on the 3 x 5 days, with moderate assistance work on the 3 x 3 days

    Doing it like this prevented burnout and injuries/overlap and made sure I was able to give full attention to each lift on essentially on it's own week
    Last edited by bhman6; 07-11-2012, 01:03 PM.
    CEO of Morphogen Nutrition
    MorphogenNutrition.com



    2012 NPC Natural Ohio
    2010 NGA Pro Universe
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    2004 NPC Natural Northern USA

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bhman6 View Post
      I actually did something similar when heavily involved in powerlifting and running 5/3/1

      I did something like this:



      M - Squat (3 x 5)
      W - Bench (3 x 3)
      F - Dead (3 x 5, 3, 1)

      M - Military (3 x 5)
      W - Squat (3 x 3)
      F - Bench (3 x 5, 3, 1)

      M - Dead (3 x 5)
      W - Military (3 x 3)
      F - Squat (3 x 5, 3, 1)

      M - Bench (3 x 5)
      W - Dead (3 x 3)
      F - Military (3 x 5, 3, 1)



      that way each lift was getting the hardest workout (5,3,1) on a Friday with the entire weekend to rest, and Mondays at the start of each week were the easiest (3 x 5)

      I skipped the deloads per lift because those lifts had in a built in off week following the 5,3,1 day

      I would do no assistance work on the 5,3,1 day and the most assistance work on the 3 x 5 days, with moderate assistance work on the 3 x 3 days

      Doing it like this prevented burnout and injuries/overlap and made sure I was able to give full attention to each lift on essentially on it's own week
      That's is an interesting take on 5/3/1, curious why you ran it like this?
      Just read something called big beyond belief that mental posted and I think it uses alot of what you're talking about here.

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      • #4
        I had recovery issues and injuries I was dealing with so I switched to 3 days instead of 4


        I also did some auxillary work on each day that had carryover to the other days, i.e. leg press or front squat after deads, laterals raises after bench, etc., so the frequency that each muscle got worked was more than what it appears, while the frequency of the big 4 lifts remained less
        CEO of Morphogen Nutrition
        MorphogenNutrition.com



        2012 NPC Natural Ohio
        2010 NGA Pro Universe
        2010 NPC Monster Mash
        2010 ONBF Natural Fall Classic
        2010 NPC Natural Pennsylvania
        2010 NPC Natural Northern USA
        2010 INBF Cardinal Classic
        2008 NPC Natural Northern USA
        2008 NPC Ohio State
        2004 NPC Natural Northern USA

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        • #5
          These past few weeks I've trained "chest" pushing day really, really light. Like sets of 40-50+ on incline, bodyweight dips, etc while going pretty heavy on my shoulder day, and have set PR's on seated db presses. Might be no correlation, but considering how hard it is to set PR's on overheads past a certain stage I thought it was interesting. I am just getting back into it after taking 10 days completely off, so it might just be the extra rest though.
          PM me to discuss website/video/dvd etc. related work.

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          • #6
            BBB advocates six days a week training. I'm an ecto so that scares the shit out of me lol. I would have to eat armies of small children to keep growing
            :preach:

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            • #7
              Originally posted by liftweights View Post
              BBB advocates six days a week training. I'm an ecto so that scares the shit out of me lol. I would have to eat armies of small children to keep growing
              Its been some time since I read BBB but I do recall a 4 day template as well.

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              • #8
                http://www.bigbeyondbelief.com/BigBe...lief-eBook.pdf

                Yeah I re-read it, your correct. There is a four day program. I thought the program was ramping you up from 4x/week to 6x/week+2x/day lol.
                :preach:

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                • #9
                  love john meadows training. Its the only volume type training that I like. Focus on great exercises and a perfect mesh of volume but brutal intensity.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tacoman View Post
                    love john meadows training. Its the only volume type training that I like. Focus on great exercises and a perfect mesh of volume but brutal intensity.
                    I'm in week 7 and am loving the challenge.
                    1994 Ohio Gran Prix 4th place
                    2010 Kentucky State Championships 1st place
                    2011 Northern Kentucky 4th place
                    2012 Kentucky Grand Prix 1st place
                    2014 Francois Classic 3rd place
                    2015 Francois Classic 2nd Place

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                    • #11
                      I've seen a lot of people lately having success with Mountain Dog training - definitely something I'd like to try at some point.

                      Mark Dugdale has been working with John Meadows on his off season training and it looks like he's put on some good size in a fairly short amount of time so far.


                      2017 NPC National Championships Classic Physique, Class D - 4th Place
                      2017 NPC New England Championships Classic Physique, Class C - 1st Place
                      2017 NPC East Coast Cup Classic Physique, Tall Class - 1st Place & Overall
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                      2013 NPC Europa Battle of Champions - 1st Place Novice Heavyweight, 2nd Place Open Light-Heavyweight


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                      • #12
                        any chance we can get a link to mountain dog's routine? I'm not finding it

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by youngbb View Post
                          any chance we can get a link to mountain dog's routine? I'm not finding it
                          He customizes it to each individual and each week is different - gotta pay for it:
                          http://www.mountaindogdiet.com/programs.php


                          2017 NPC National Championships Classic Physique, Class D - 4th Place
                          2017 NPC New England Championships Classic Physique, Class C - 1st Place
                          2017 NPC East Coast Cup Classic Physique, Tall Class - 1st Place & Overall
                          2015 Arnold Amateur Men's Classic Bodybuilding, Tall Class - 4th Place
                          2013 NPC Europa Battle of Champions - 1st Place Novice Heavyweight, 2nd Place Open Light-Heavyweight


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                          • #14
                            John has a series of articles on another website which won't be named that outlines the type of training he does. It's undulating periodization and yes I personally think it has merit since you are adjusting you weekly workouts based on volume and intensity so you don't burn yourself out.
                            Last edited by DCBliever; 07-12-2012, 09:08 AM.
                            For Training Inquiries go see the HNIC [email protected] anything else is uncivilized

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                            • #15
                              I've known John for a long time. He has put a ton of thought into the way he puts together a routine. This is something that has evolved over the last 20+ years since I met him. The basic premise for the routines are similar, but they are put together for each individual. He uses a changes almost everything from workout to workout (intensity, form, volume, speed of movement). This is what I like about it. He doesn't just have a cookie cutter approach, and you never get bored with your routine. Every week when John gives me a new weeks routine it's like Christmas. I don't want this thread to be an add for John, but the results have been extremely promising. I can't say enough about his knowledge of training or diet. Obviously, you do have to pay for this kind of coaching, but if you want some ideas about it check out his articles at T-Mag.

                              With that all being said I might have a trainee of mine be a guinea pig and do what I proposed earlier in the thread. I doubt it would be more effective than what I am doing now, but then again, it would be cool to stumble upon something new that worked.
                              1994 Ohio Gran Prix 4th place
                              2010 Kentucky State Championships 1st place
                              2011 Northern Kentucky 4th place
                              2012 Kentucky Grand Prix 1st place
                              2014 Francois Classic 3rd place
                              2015 Francois Classic 2nd Place

                              Truenutrition.com
                              Use Discount Code AMJ

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