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What is the reasoning behind when to change exercises?

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  • What is the reasoning behind when to change exercises?

    I've been a lurker of the forum for a while although just signed up so that I could ask something about the DC training method. I've had a bit of an issue recently wondering when in fact I should actually change my exercises (i.e. perhaps changing from something like Barbell Shoulder Press to Dumbbell Shoulder Press, etc.).

    I'm just curious of the reasoning behind the DC method in changing your exercises only when you fail to progress anymore. This is copy/pasted from a DC article I read online somewhere, but it says:

    The answer is pretty straightforward: "As soon as you're no longer adding weight to the bar, or if your progress has significantly dropped off, then you know it's time to switch the exercise up. One of the worst things you can do is to change exercises while still gaining strength on your current program. The idea is to squeeze everything you can out of each exercise you do. Once you've topped out, try something else ... and squeeze the hell out of that one, too."
    That seems fairly straightforward, although this sort of throws out the window the basic saying of "to get better at something, you do it more". Instead, DC turns this around completely and basically says as soon as you reach a point where you're unable to progress anymore, then change the exercise. What's the reasoning for this? Will the change in exercise then cause an increase in strength on the exercise you were unable to progress with in the first place, once you go back to it?

    Using this method of changing exercises, in theory you could switch to a different exercise and not progress, so have to then switch back to your original exercise which you weren't progressing in either, and it'd become a vicious cycle of just switching exercises over and over again, yet never progressing on either of them.
    Last edited by Van3; 06-28-2019, 02:17 PM.

  • #2
    I don't change exercises right when I don't beat the log book. If you did that a bad workout from being tired, unfocused, or a bunch of other reasons would have you changing up. I usually wait until I don't improve twice. Reps or weight.
    You need to remember there are more than two exercises......so if one isn't working you go to another, not back to the original.
    It's difficult to work out too hard, it's easy to work out too long.............

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Van3 View Post
      That seems fairly straightforward, although this sort of throws out the window the basic saying of "to get better at something, you do it more". Instead, DC turns this around completely and basically says as soon as you reach a point where you're unable to progress anymore, then change the exercise. What's the reasoning for this? Will the change in exercise then cause an increase in strength on the exercise you were unable to progress with in the first place, once you go back to it?
      See dens22 post. It's "as soon as" you reach a point where you can't progress and all variable are accounted for. (i.e., it's not a lifestyle factor, diet, etc)

      Using this method of changing exercises, in theory you could switch to a different exercise and not progress, so have to then switch back to your original exercise which you weren't progressing in either, and it'd become a vicious cycle of just switching exercises over and over again, yet never progressing on either of them.
      In the context of Dante's whole system, by the time you went back to the "failed" exercise, you would be a larger, more muscular and stronger version of yourself across the board. You would then start up the game again with that "failed" exercise, and likely, will eventually be stronger on it than you were previously. Chances are good, whatever exercise you swapped out to will have a great deal of carry over in strength in the muscles worked, and also may strengthen whatever the weak link was in the "failed" exercise that was preventing you from progressing in the first place (that would be ideal, and something you could consider with exercise selection). You'll theoretically also just be bigger, which alone can help with strength.

      ps: I am not Dante, and I have never played him on TV. This is just my take on it.


      2014 Greater Gulf States 2nd WPD Class B
      2010 Jr. USA 2nd LHW
      2009 Houston Pro/Am 1st LHW & Overall (Am)
      2008 Jr. Nationals 5th LHW
      2007 Greater Gulf States 1st LHW
      2007 LA Championships 1st LHW & Overall

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