Home Posts tagged "Overtraining" (Page 2)

Clarifying A Jaw Dropping Study

Q: Just got The Art of the Deload. The overtraining study you quoted was fairly jaw dropping (for me). I always thought intensity overtraining was worse than volume, but it appears to be the opposite. Given that study, it would appear to me that the best way to induce hypertrophy (via rep work) would do a 1 set to within 1 rep of failure, then do rest pauses or drops, but not to total failure. Thus, you have minimum nervous system fatigue and little potentially anabolic hormone level lowering volume fatigue. Do you agree? A: I wouldn't say that one is necessarily worse than the other - just that intensity-related overtraining is tougher to detect. Basically, a performance drop-off is all that you'll see (nothing endocrine, and no muscle damage markers). I think the secret is fluctuation of training stress. It's always about finding a balance between stressors and tolerance to stress. Supplements can help, sleep can help, minimizing stress can help - and the same goes for a host of other factors. The right answer is constantly fluctuating based on what's going on in the world outside the gym. What you outlined might work one week, be too little another week, and too much in a third week. The secret is to listen to your body and eventually learn to be one step ahead of it. Eric Cressey Download My New Special Report: The Art of the Deload
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From Old School to New School

Q: I just ordered and downloaded your e-book, The Art of the Deload. I am going to scour and devour it, I am curious about my situation, I am about to turn 50, I am entering my 22nd year of competitive powerlifting, I am used to linear cycles ( I know, seriously old-school) I have toyed with a Westside type template, where I took their standard Max-effort/Dynamic Effort and rolled it over on a three day program (Mon-Wed-Fri Mon), But, when I jump-started my lifting career last Sept for a Push-Pull meet I went back to the standard linear cycle. After that long winded intro, here is my dilemma, I have a full meet on the last Sat of April (first time for a full meet in 5 years due to Five knee operations) Would a jump into a deloading cycle help me of hurt me this close to a full meet (Raw, no Gear, and no "Gear")? I have already written out and started lifting my typical Cycle, Should I "dance with the girl who brung me" or kick the old girl to the curb and consider a cycle with the deloading weeks built in? A: Thanks for your email - and your purchase. As you can probably tell from my e-book, I'm not a fan of linear periodization at all. If you look at the research (Rhea et al from Arizona State), you'll see that it's been proven inferior to undulating models on multiple occasions. And, anecdotally, the conjugated periodization have had much more success when they switched away from linear. And, to be honest, if you've had five knee surgeries in five years, you ought to take some PLANNED deloads so that you don't have to take UNPLANNED ones. Give this article a read; I think it'd interest you in how I structure my stuff: You can count backward from the date of your meet.
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Adrenomedullary Enlightenment

Sometimes, you need to be smart just for the sake of being smart. With that in mind, I present to you the first paper I wrote as a graduate student. While it undoubtedly made me a more informed researcher and student, it's still one week of my life that I'll never, ever get back. Enjoy. Introduction The adrenal medulla is well known as a powerful modulator of the physiological response to both exercise and rest via the "Fight-Flight" response. However, in light of opioid peptide research over the past few decades, it is now quite clear that the adrenal medulla plays a more prominent role than was originally perceived. Now, the study of adrenal medullary secretory activity, which was once limited to the catecholamines epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine, also encompasses the lesser understood proenkephalin family of opioid peptides. With that in mind, it is important to consider adrenal medullary response to exercise stress and subsequent recovery in a broader sense. The Catecholamines and Adrenomedullary Activity Before considering the widespread impacts of the catecholamines in relation to exercise, it is important to note the relative contributions of each. Norepinephrine secretion from the adrenal medulla is certainly a contributing factor to the overall sympathoadrenal-medullary response to exercise, as the plasma concentration of the hormone (which also acts as a neurotransmitter) can increase twenty-fold with high-intensity exercise (1). However, sympathetic nerve endings also directly secrete norepinephrine to target tissues; during exercise, roughly 50% of total norepinephrine secretion occurs in the active muscles (2). Dopamine is the first catecholamine formed after the conversion of tyrosine to dihydroxyphenylalanine (dopa), the common chemical precursor for the three catecholamines. Norepinephrine and epinephrine are formed thereafter from this same pathway (3-5). Dopamine is present in the adrenal medulla and cortex, kidneys, peripheral nerves, carotid body, and sympathetic ganglia (6). In fact, it is the most abundant catecholamine in human plasma (5). However, only 2% exists in the free form; the remainder consists of biologically inactive metabolites (5,6). And, though the plasma free form dopamine concentration rivals that of epinephrine (and 20% of norepinephrine), it is not capable of the magnitude of physiological effects seen with epinephrine and norepinephrine (6). As such, although dopamine certainly plays a role in the adrenomedullary cascade of events in response to exercise, it is a less utilized measure of adrenomedullary activity during exercise and in recovery. Although dopamine is the most abundant catecholamine in the blood, epinephrine constitutes the vast majority of adrenal-medullary catecholamine release. Shah et al. proposed that those tissues outside of the CNS that produce catecholamines be labeled the "sympathochromaffin system," and be divided into two components: the sympathetic nervous system (neurotransmitter norepinephrine from postganglionic neurons) and the chromaffin cells (which secrete epinephrine, norepinephrine, and/or dopamine) (7). In short, plasma norepinephrine concentrations best quantifies sympathetic neuronal activity, whereas plasma epinephrine concentration is the optimal index of adrenomedullary secretions of catecholamines (7). With all these factors in mind, one can surmise that changes in plasma free epinephrine concentrations serve as the measure of choice in the discussion of the adrenomedullary catecholamine response to exercise and subsequent recovery. Catecholamine Response to Exercise Various intensities, durations, and modes of exercise serve as powerful stimuli to the adrenal medulla to initiate the Fight-Flight response. Numerous studies have found that epinephrine and norepinephrine secretions increase as exercise intensity increases. For instance, Kraemer et al. found that plasma epinephrine (Figure 1) and norepinephrine steadily increased during graded exercise on a bicycle ergometer from 54% to 83% and 100% of maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max) in both trained and untrained subjects (8). Others have verified this relationship between plasma catecholamines and intensity during graded exercise sessions regardless of training status (9-12). Designation of a specific exercise intensity at which the adrenomedullary activity becomes significant is yet to occur, as catecholamines are always at work in the body. Unloaded cycling at approximately 10% VO2 max did not increase plasma catecholamines above resting values in young men (13). Likewise, as demonstrated in Figure 1, graded exercise on a bicycle ergometer did not increase plasma epinephrine above baseline at 54% VO2 max (8). However, Greiwe et al. demonstrated that norepinephrine and epinephrine (Figure 2) both increased with each 5% increment from 60% to 85% VO2 max before and after ten weeks of endurance training (14). Figure 1: Plasma epinephrine (Epi) concentrations at rest and after 15 min of exercise at the same relative exercise intensity before and after 10 wk of endurance exercise training. Greiwe et al. J Appl Physiol 1999. Designation of a specific exercise intensity at which the adrenomedullary activity becomes significant is yet to occur, as catecholamines are always at work in the body. Unloaded cycling at approximately 10% VO2 max did not increase plasma catecholamines above resting values in young men (13). Likewise, as demonstrated in Figure 1, graded exercise on a bicycle ergometer did not increase plasma epinephrine above baseline at 54% VO2 max (8). However, Greiwe et al. demonstrated that norepinephrine and epinephrine (Figure 2) both increased with each 5% increment from 60% to 85% VO2 max before and after ten weeks of endurance training (14). Figure 1: Plasma epinephrine (Epi) concentrations at rest and after 15 min of exercise at the same relative exercise intensity before and after 10 wk of endurance exercise training. Greiwe et al. J Appl Physiol 1999. (PICTURE)

As such, it appears that the cutoff point for significant adrenomedullary stimulation during endurance exercise is in the 55-60% VO2 max range.

Exercise duration is also of appreciable significance in determining the adrenomedullary response to exercise. Galbo et al. found that although plasma epinephrine increased steadily with prolonged treadmill exercise to exhaustion at 76% VO2 max, graded exercise in the same subjects at 44, 77, and 100% of VO2 max yielded greater increases (9). Others have verified the trend of increasing plasma epinephrine with longer duration exercise (15,16). Clearly, there is an appreciable lag time between the onset of exercise and increases in plasma catecholamine concentrations. In bicycle ergometer exercise to exhaustion at 36, 55, 73, and 100% of maximal leg power (the equivalent of 115, 175, 230, and 318% VO2 max, respectively), significant immediate post-exercise increases in plasma epinephrine were only observed at 36 and 55% of maximal leg power. The mean duration of exercise at these two intensities were 3.31 and 0.781 minutes, respectively. At maximal leg power, mean duration was approximately six seconds, and the significant increase in epinephrine was not seen until 15 minutes post-exercise (17). Jezova et al. examined the differential responses of two bicycle ergometer tests of the same total work output but different duration and intensities. The researchers concluded that the overall catecholamine response is more dependent on exercise intensity than duration or total work output (18). Resistance training also has a profound impact on adrenomedullary activity. Bush et al noted significant increases in plasma epinephrine following two different resistance exercise protocols –one high force and the other high power – of the same total work. There was not, however, a significant difference in adrenomedullary activity between the two (19). In another study comparing body builders with powerlifters, Kraemer et al. found that a ten station resistance training session (comprising 30 total sets at 10 repetition maximum for various exercises) with short rest periods increased plasma epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine significantly over pre-exercise values. No difference was noted between body builders and powerlifters on these measures (20). Pullinen et al. noted that although plasma epinephrine increased significantly with knee extensions to exhaustion at 20, 40, 60, and 80% of 1 repetition maximum (RM), the strongest stimulus to epinephrine, 20%, did not yield a significantly greater plasma epinephrine increase than the other three intensities (21). In contrast, Guezennec et al. observed that six sets of eight bench presses at 70% of 1RM yielded less of a plasma epinephrine and norepinephrine response than six sets of maximal repetitions at the same load (22). Therefore, intensity again appears to be paramount in determining the adrenomedullary response to exercise. Catecholamine Response to Recovery Several studies have noted abrupt drops in epinephrine values in the 5-15 minutes after the cessation of endurance, graded exercise, and resistance training sessions (8,17,19,23). In light of the aforementioned lag between the onset of exercise and increases in plasma catecholamine concentrations, one should note that epinephrine levels continue to increase for 15 minutes or more after very short duration, high-intensity exercise (e.g. sprints) (17,24). Additionally, 15 minutes following a 1000km ultra-marathon, free epinephrine concentrations remained well above pre-exercise values; clearly, the extensive nature of this duration appeared to be sufficient to elicit prolonged adrenomedullary activity (25). Chronic catecholamine adaptations to training have also been noted. Kjaer and Glabo found that endurance trained athletes demonstrated a greater ability than untrained subjects to secrete epinephrine in response to infusion of glucagon and acute hypercapnia and hypobaric hypoxia (26). This finding is significant, as Kjaer et al. had found previously (via epinephrine infusions in resting and cycling subjects) that plasma epinephrine concentration changes during exercise signify enhanced secretion rather than reduced clearance (27). In other words, endurance training appears to increase secretory capacity of the adrenal medulla. Lehmann et al. verified this phenomenon in finding that trained cyclists demonstrated lower plasma epinephrine concentrations than untrained subjects at the same relative oxygen uptake (28). The Opioid Peptides and Adrenomedullary Activity Since its discovery in the 1970s, the proenkephalin family of opioid peptides has become a recognized secretory product of the adrenomedullary chromaffin cells. Nonetheless, research regarding the opioid peptide response to exercise is limited (8,17,19). Perhaps the most studied member of the opioid peptide family is proenkephalin peptide F, which has responded to similar stimuli as epinephrine in previous studies (8,17,29).

Kraemer et al. noted differential peptide F responses during graded bicycle ergometer exercise in trained and untrained subjects. As Figure 2 demonstrates, in untrained subjects, peptide F increased similarly to epinephrine, whereas it peaked at 54% VO2 max and began to decline in trained subjects as exercise intensity increases to 83 and 100% VO2 max (8).

Figure 2: Plasma Epinephrine and Peptide F as a function of exercise intensity Kraemer et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1985 Note: squares indicate Trained group; triangles indicate untrained group. (PICTURE 2)

In a separate study, the differential responses between trained and untrained subjects were once again readily apparent when fit women had significantly higher plasma peptide F concentrations than their unfit counterparts at 80% VO2 max cycling (30).

Interpreting the peptide F response to varying exercise intensities proves to be challenging. Peptide F increased significantly during high intensity cycle exercise at 36% maximal leg power (roughly 115% VO2 max), but not at three greater intensities with shorter durations (17). Another study found that plasma peptide F increased significantly with graded exercise at 75 and 100% VO2 max (31). Conversely, recall that the aforementioned Kraemer study noted a drop-off point in plasma peptide F at 54% VO2 max in trained subjects (8). In support of this drop-off point, exercise at 80-85% VO2 max did not yield a significant increase in plasma peptide F (32). Likewise, when strength-trained men took part in separate high force and high power resistance training protocols, plasma peptide F was significantly decreased from baseline values at the end of the exercise sessions. Meanwhile, epinephrine increased dramatically as expected. The researchers hypothesized that epinephrine increases are made possible by decreases in enkephalin-containing polypeptides in the adrenal medulla (19). This theory is supported by research by Angelopoulos et al., who asserted that the opioid peptides have an inhibitory effect on the release of catecholamines during intense exercise (33). On a related note, in a study involving purposeful resistance exercise overtraining of trained subjects, peptide F concentrations were not significantly different between the overtrained and control groups. This similarity was present in spite of the protocol's previously demonstrated propensity to induce dramatic increases in epinephrine (29). The fact that chronic training increases adrenomedullary secretory capacity for epinephrine certainly supports this inverse relationship and helps to elucidate the question of why trained and untrained subjects have different peptide F responses during exercise. Opioid Peptides Response to Recovery Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the opioid peptides as they relate to exercise is the recovery period response. Increases in plasma peptide F have been noted not only in the first 5-15 minutes of the post-exercise period (9,17,19), but also at 240 minutes after resistance training sessions, when the mean concentration was more than 80% above the mean pre-exercise value (19). Researchers hypothesize that this post-exercise proenkephalin surge is indicative of the opioid peptides' crucial role in recovery (9,17,19,29,34). Additionally, enkephalin-containing polypeptides appear to play an essential role in the immune response through mechanisms such as neutrophil activation, natural killer cell modulation, and coagulation facilitation (29, 35). Given the negative impact of the catecholamines on overall immunity, the opioid peptides may serve as a means for the adrenal medulla to counteract immunosuppression during and after exercise (29). Conclusions The adrenal medulla is stimulated to secrete catecholamines by a variety of exercise intensities, durations, and modes, with a minimum intensity of 55-60% VO2 max likely being the most requisite factor. Generally speaking, as exercise intensity and duration increase, so does catecholamine secretion (most notably epinephrine) by the adrenal medulla. In untrained subjects, increases in plasma proenkephalin-containing peptides parallel increases in catecholamines. At the cessation of exercise, free catecholamine concentrations in the plasma decline sharply. Simultaneously, in trained subjects, concentrations of opioid peptides, which were relatively unaffected by exercise above 54% VO2 max, increase to values well above baseline. As the potentially immunosuppressive catecholamines (which are secreted at higher rates in trained individuals) dissipate, the enkephalin-containing peptides can begin to enhance recovery from exercise while enhancing the immune response. In spite of this theoretical paradigm, more research is clearly warranted in order to fully understand the causes of the differential opioid peptide response to exercise in trained and untrained subjects. Furthermore, the exact interaction scheme of the opioid peptides and the catecholamines remains to be definitively agreed upon.

References 1. Silverberg AB, Shah SD, Haymond MW, Cryer PE. Norepinephrine: hormone and neurotransmitter in man. Am J Physiol. 1978 Mar;234(3):E252-6. 2. Savard GK, Richter EA, Strange S, Kiens B, Christensen NJ, Saltin B. Norepinephrine spillover from skeletal muscle during exercise in humans: role of muscle mass. Am J Physiol. 1989 Dec;257(6 Pt 2):H1812-8. 3. Kvetnansky R, Armando I, Weise VK, Holmes C, Fukuhara K, Deka-Starosta A, Kopin IJ, Goldstein DS. Plasma dopa responses during stress: dependence on sympathoneural activity and tyrosine hydroxylation. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1992 Jun;261(3):899-909. 4. Goldstein DS, Eisenhofer G, Kopin IJ. Sources and significance of plasma levels of catechols and their metabolites in humans. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2003 Jun;305(3):800-11. Epub 2003 Mar 20. 5. Miura Y, Watanabe T, Noshiro T, Shimizu K, Kusakari T, Akama H, Shibukawa S, Miura W, Ohzeki T, Takahashi M, et al. Plasma free dopamine: physiological variability and pathophysiological significance. Hypertens Res. 1995 Jun;18 Suppl 1:S65-72. 6. Van Loon GR. Plasma dopamine: regulation and significance. Fed Proc. 1983 Oct;42(13):3012-8. 7. Shah SD, Tse TF, Clutter WE, Cryer PE. The human sympathochromaffin system. Am J Physiol. 1984 Sep;247(3 Pt 1):E380-4. 8. Kraemer WJ, Noble B, Culver B, Lewis RV. Changes in plasma proenkephalin peptide F and catecholamine levels during graded exercise in men. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1985 Sep;82(18):6349-51. 9. Galbo H, Holst JJ, Christensen NJ. Glucagon and plasma catecholamine responses to graded and prolonged exercise in man. J Appl Physiol. 1975 Jan;38(1):70-6. 10. de Diego Acosta AM, Garcia JC, Fernandez-Pastor VJ, Peran S, Ruiz M, Guirado F. Influence of fitness on the integrated neuroendocrine response to aerobic exercise until exhaustion. J Physiol Biochem. 2001 Dec;57(4):313-20. 11. Kraemer WJ, Dziados JE, Gordon SE, Marchitelli LJ, Fry AC, Reynolds KL. The effects of graded exercise on plasma proenkephalin peptide F and catecholamine responses at sea level. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1990;61(3-4):214-7. 12. McMurray RG, Forsythe WA, Mar MH, Hardy CJ. Exercise intensity-related responses of beta-endorphin and catecholamines. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1987 Dec;19(6):570-4. 13. Krzeminski K, Kruk B, Nazar K, Ziemba AW, Cybulski G, Niewiadomski W. Cardiovascular, metabolic and plasma catecholamine responses to passive and active exercises. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2000 Jun;51(2):267-78. 14. Greiwe JS, Hickner RC, Shah SD, Cryer PE, Holloszy JO. Norepinephrine response to exercise at the same relative intensity before and after endurance exercise training. J Appl Physiol. 1999 Feb;86(2):531-5. 15. Sothmann MS, Blaney J, Woulfe T, Donahue-Fuhrman S, Lefever K, Gustafson AB, Murthy VS. Plasma free and sulfoconjugated catecholamines during sustained exercise. J Appl Physiol. 1990 Feb;68(2):452-6. 16. Rostrup M, Westheim A, Refsum HE, Holme I, Eide I. Arterial and venous plasma catecholamines during submaximal steady-state exercise. Clin Physiol. 1998 Mar;18(2):109-15. 17. Kraemer WJ, Patton JF, Knuttgen HG, Hannan CJ, Kettler T, Gordon SE, Dziados JE, Fry AC, Frykman PN, Harman EA. Effects of high-intensity cycle exercise on sympathoadrenal-medullary response patterns. J Appl Physiol. 1991 Jan;70(1):8-14. 18. Jezova D, Vigas M, Tatar P, Kvetnansky R, Nazar K, Kaciuba-Uscilko H, Kozlowski S. Plasma testosterone and catecholamine responses to physical exercise of different intensities in men. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1985;54(1):62-6. 19. Bush JA, Kraemer WJ, Mastro AM, Triplett-McBride NT, Volek JS, Putukian M, Sebastianelli WJ, Knuttgen HG. Exercise and recovery responses of adrenal medullary neurohormones to heavy resistance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999 Apr;31(4):554-9. 20. Kraemer WJ, Noble BJ, Clark MJ, Culver BW. Physiologic responses to heavy-resistance exercise with very short rest periods. Int J Sports Med. 1987 Aug;8(4):247-52. 21. Pullinen T, Nicol C, MacDonald E, Komi PV. Plasma catecholamine responses to four resistance exercise tests in men and women. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1999 Jul;80(2):125-31. 22. Guezennec Y, Leger L, Lhoste F, Aymonod M, Pesquies PC. Hormone and metabolite response to weight-lifting training sessions. Int J Sports Med. 1986 Apr;7(2):100-5. 23. Ferrari R, Ceconi C, Rodella A, De Giuli F, Panzali A, Harris P. Temporal relations of the endocrine response to exercise. Cardioscience. 1991 Jun;2(2):131-9. 24. Harmer AR, McKenna MJ, Sutton JR, Snow RJ, Ruell PA, Booth J, Thompson MW, Mackay NA, Stathis CG, Crameri RM, Carey MF, Eager DM. Skeletal muscle metabolic and ionic adaptations during intense exercise following sprint training in humans. J Appl Physiol. 2000 Nov;89(5):1793-803. 25. Pestell RG, Hurley DM, Vandongen R. Biochemical and hormonal changes during a 1000 km ultramarathon. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 1989 May;16(5):353-61. 26. Kjaer M, Galbo H. Effect of physical training on the capacity to secrete epinephrine. J Appl Physiol. 1988 Jan;64(1):11-6. 27. Kjaer M, Christensen NJ, Sonne B, Richter EA, Galbo H. Effect of exercise on epinephrine turnover in trained and untrained male subjects. J Appl Physiol. 1985 Oct;59(4):1061-7. 28. Lehmann M, Keul J, Huber G, Da Prada M. Plasma catecholamines in trained and untrained volunteers during graduated exercise. Int J Sports Med. 1981 Aug;2(3):143-7. 29. Fry AC, Kraemer WJ, Ramsey LT. Pituitary-adrenal-gonadal responses to high-intensity resistance exercise overtraining. J Appl Physiol. 1998 Dec;85(6):2352-9. 30. Triplett-McBride NT, Mastro AM, McBride JM, Bush JA, Putukian M, Sebastianelli WJ, Kraemer WJ. Plasma proenkephalin peptide F and human B cell responses to exercise stress in fit and unfit women. Peptides. 1998;19(4):731-8. 31. Kraemer WJ, Dziados JE, Gordon SE, Marchitelli LJ, Fry AC, Reynolds KL. The effects of graded exercise on plasma proenkephalin peptide F and catecholamine responses at sea level. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1990;61(3-4):214-7. 32. Kraemer WJ, Rock PB, Fulco CS, Gordon SE, Bonner JP, Cruthirds CD, Marchitelli LJ, Trad L, Cymerman A. Influence of altitude and caffeine during rest and exercise on plasma levels of proenkephalin peptide F. Peptides. 1988 Sep-Oct;9(5):1115-9. 33. Angelopoulos TJ, Denys BG, Weikart C, Dasilva SG, Michael TJ, Robertson RJ. Endogenous opioids may modulate catecholamine secretion during high intensity exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1995;70(3):195-9. 34. Kraemer W, Noble B, Robertson K, Lewis RV. Response of plasma proenkephalin peptide F to exercise. Peptides. 1985;6 Suppl 2:167-9. 35. Hiddinga HJ, Isaak DD, Lewis RV. Enkephalin-containing peptides processed from proenkephalin significantly enhance the antibody-forming cell responses to antigens. J Immunol. 1994 Apr 15;152(8):3748-59.
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It Looked Good on Paper

Q: Eric – I read your article, “It Looked Good on Paper,” where you recommended the following for an experienced lifter who is too weak for his cross-sectional area: Week 1: 8 singles over 90% Week 2: 6 singles over 90% Week 3: 10 singles over 90% Week 4: 2 singles over 90%, or 2x3 easy (5RM load) My questions are: 1. Do you test out each week? 2. How many times do you do this protocol per week for an exercise - once I am assuming or am I incorrect. 3. When you hit failure just after PR , how do you approach the next set. Drop down slightly and try stay at the highest possible load or back off fully to the drop off threshold and try work back up again (does it matter)? A: This would only be performed once a week on a lower and/or upper body day. There are essentially tests built in to each session. For the singles over 90% stuff, how you get those numbers will depend on your best for the day. Here's what it might look like on a bench for you: 45x10 135x5 185x3 205x1 225x1 230x1 (PR for the day) - 90% of 230 is 207, so only the 225x1 would count toward your total (you've got two over 90% by this point) So, to get five more singles, you'd take between 210 and 220 for your remaining sets. If you MISS a rep, count it as two singles over 90%. The idea is to NOT miss reps, though. Remember that you aren't going to be using the same exercise each week; you'll want to rotate more frequently than that.
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The Neural Fatigue of CNS Demanding Workouts

Q: Why is it that training that is very CNS demanding requires such long recovery periods between workouts. I understand the need for long recoveries between sets, but not between workouts. So why is it that many coaches recommend training things like depth jumps, or speed and agility drills only 1-2 times per week?

A: The truth is that we really don't understand neural fatigue to the extent that we'd like simply because it isn't as easy to quantify or observe. With muscular damage, we can use biopsies in the lab and blood measures (creatine kinase, for instance). Neural fatigue is really only truly assessed by performance measures; it's why "a decline in performance" is about the only true definition of non-volume-induced overtraining.

Here's a very cool read on this front.

Some guys can train at a high-intensity more frequently, while others have to take more time between efforts. This is where it’s as much a science of interpretation as it is of experimentation and application; you’ve got to respond to how each athlete recovers a bit differently.

Eric Cressey
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One More Reason to Have Good Training Partners

I've written quite a bit in the past about the importance of having good training partners. These are lifters who know you and your tendencies: how to get you fired up, what type of training to which you respond best, and when to hold you back. Yes, a good training partner should know when to hold you back - just like coaches know when to play it conservative with their athletes at specific points in the season. Tony Gentilcore has been my training parter for over two years now. I know his strength levels, injury history, and what style of training best suits him for particular goals - and he knows the same about me. Last night, we were deadlifting for heavy singles on the trap bar, and Tony just didn't look good. Before he could even turn to talk to me after his last warm-up set (405 for a single), I told him to shut it down and do something else. His bar speed was down, and it just didn't look good. It was one of those nights to modify things on the fly and avoid getting hurt doing something stupid. So, he shut it down and went over to do some full squats with the safety squat bar for reps. He went on to get in some assistance work, and all the villagers rejoiced. With inexperienced lifters, sometimes, you have to push through not feeling so hot, as you're still dealing with an athlete who needs to practice technique. Or, in the case of in-season lifting, you may need to do what it takes to keep strength levels up. Ultimately, it comes down to asking yourself, "Can I achieve a training effect safely?" If the answer is no, you modify. If the answer is yes, you consider whether you need to play around with the loading parameters. Do you go from sets of three to sets of five? Do you drop a few sets? Do you swap some resistance training for added mobility and activation work? Extend the warm-up? Pick a different exercise and maintain the loading parameters? There are literally hundreds of potential modifications you can make. Only time, experience, and knowing the athlete in question will help you make the best decision. Eric Cressey
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  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
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  • 3 part follow up series