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http://articles.elitefts.co m/training-articles/co ncurrent-strategies-in-strength-training-part-2/

Concurrent Strategies in Strength Training, Part 2


This is part two of a three-part series. Waves are very similar to pyramids. Heres an example of the wide wave loading protocol: Set Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Set 6 Reps 15 reps 10 reps 5 reps 15 reps 10 reps 5 reps

Stages or plateau loading are a combination of pyramids and straight sets. Here are a couple of examples:

Set Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Set 6

Reps 15 reps 15 reps 10 reps 10 reps 5 reps 5 reps

Set Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Set 6

Reps 10 reps 10 reps 10 reps 3 reps 3 reps 3 reps

For more examples regarding loading protocols, I highly recommend reading Christian T hibaudeaus, Black Book of Training SecretsEnhanced Edition. Most of these graphs are taken f rom there. Another interesting book to consider is Joe Kenns, Coachs Strength Training Playbook, which is another awesome read.

My opinion regarding waves, pyramids, and stages is that they are very usef ul when the load stays within 10 percent of 1RM. In other words, narrow variants are ok. But I think wide variants (those explained) are mostly crap (although a gross amount of liters still use it so I guess they havent read Z atsiorskys book f rom 95 or Poliquins stuf f ). It is ok if you utilize reps and loads f rom two near repetition zones (ME/SE, SE/RE), but if you try to utilize whole repetition continuums, I guess you are conf using your body (whatever that would be). Also, you dont have appropriate volume within each zone to drain potential adaptational ef f ects compared to narrow variants. I again highly suggest looking at Black Book f or great ideas on how to organize narrow variants f or dif f erent levels of athletes. To conclude, rep schemes (utilizing whole repetition continuums) on a given exercise as a f orm of concurrent training is a bad choice. Avoid it. Daily undulating periodization (DUP) T he idea of daily undulating periodization (or what is also called non-linear periodization in some circles) is to basically devote a whole training session toward a given goal (maximal strength, muscular hypertrophy, muscular endurance). Suppose you have two dif f erent training sessionstraining A and training B. Training A 1. Squat2. Bench press 3. Romanian deadlif t 4. Pull-ups Training B 1. Front squat2. Inclined bench press 3. Lunges 4. Horizontal rowing

Now, you identif y dif f erent training goals that you want to concurrently (parallel) achieve at the same time. Suppose they are maximal strength, muscular hypertrophy, and muscular endurance. To achieve them, you plan to use ME, SE, and RE methods and loading protocols. Now, you can mix and match and get this kind of training organization: Session 1 Training Protocol Reps/Sets A ME 5 X 13 Session 2 B SE 4 X 68 Session 3 A RE 3 X 1012 Session 4 B ME 5 X 13 Session 5 A SE 4 X 68 Session 6 B RE 3 X 1012

You have six combinations of training sessions combining training A and B and the three dif f erent loading protocols ME, SE, and RE. If you do three training sessions per week, you have two weeks to pass the f ull circle. T his kind of planning allows f or week long loading waves (or undulations) that may provide variety and some kind of integrated unloading. T here are a couple of studies (which Im too lazy to f ind) that show better goal achievement with DUP than with linear (or traditional) periodization. I dont want to open a huge can of worms discussing the study design and subjects, but I guess this kind of concurrent training organization has its place under the sun f or a given individual aiming to achieve specif ic goals under a specif ic situation. Coach Alwyn Cosgrove believes in DUP. I trust Alwyn Cosgrove. So, I guess I f ind DUP a good tool in your toolbox. Use it when you f ind it appropriate. To be honest, I havent used it yet, not on me, nor on the people I coach. However, that doesnt necessarily mean that I will not use it one day. Now, lets discuss priority lif t strategies. Priority lifts

I openly admit it. T his is my f avorite approach to concurrent strength training. I dont know if anyone called it priority lif ts bef ore me or if anyone knows what the hell Im talking about here, but Ive called it that somehow. Because we are going to dif f er between dif f erent exercise categories and give them priorities, I hope that calling this method priority lif ts was a smart idea. If you think it is not, f eel f ree to contact me and curse me. According to its importance, each exercise can be classif ied into a separate group. Depending on the author, there could be dif f erent classif ications of the exercises. For example, Joe Kenn, in his book, The Coachs Strength Training Playbook, uses the f ollowing classif ication of exercises: Foundation exercises Supplemental exercises Major assistance exercises Secondary assistance exercises One classif ication of exercises that I will use here is the classif ication that Christian T hibaudeau presented in his series of articles entitled, How to Design a Damn Good Program published at T-Nation.com. If you havent read this series of articles (and actually everything this guy has ever wrote), you are missing a lot because there is more practical inf ormation in those couple of pages than in 500 plus pages in a strength training textbook. It is an awesome article and one of my f avorites. Exercise classif ication by Christian T hibaudeau Primary exercises Secondary exercises Auxiliary exercises Remedial exercises T his category includes a small number of multi-joint, multi-muscle, f ree weight, and pref erably multi-plane movements. T hese movements allow you to use the most weight f or each muscle group and place the highest demand on the body and nervous system. T his is similar to the above except that the exercises in this category place a slightly lower demand on the body and central nervous system. T his very broad category includes the isolation movements and most machine exercises. T hese exercises allow the use of considerably less weight than exercises in the f irst two categories and so place f ar less demand on the nervous system. T his category contains movements, mostly isolation, whose purpose is to correct problems such as muscle imbalances or very specif ic weak points. Rotator cuf f work, balance, and proprioception drills also f all into this category.

Basically, Joe Kenn and Chris T hibaudeau use the same classif ication with some minor dif f erences between groups. Most coaches usually reduce exercise classif ication to core and assistance exercises, which is more practical and easier to use. Again, everything depends on the goal of training and the context and so does the exercise classif ication that you use. If exercises are tools, their classif ications can be dif f erent types and organizations of the toolbox. Be f lexible with classif ications. T hey are not set in stone. According to your sport and goal, dif f erent exercises may be considered under a given group. For example, Olympic lif ters may use the f ollowing classif ications: Olympic lif ter Primary exercises Secondary exercises Auxiliary exercises Clean and jerk, snatch, squat, deadlif t, press, push press Hang clean, hang snatch, high pulls, f ront squat Romanian deadlif ts, lunges, step-ups, bench press, chins, rows, shrugs

Remedial exercises

Rotator cuf f , adductors/abductors, calves

T his could be an example of exercise classif ication f or a powerlif ter: Powerlif ter Primary exercises Secondary exercises Auxiliary exercises Remedial exercises Squat, bench press, deadlif t Front squat, box squat, sumo deadlif t, good morning; Romanian deadlif t, wide/narrow grip bench press, military press, f loor press, chains, bands, incline/decline bench press Pull-through, glute ham raise, lunges, step-ups, rows, chins, Bulgarians, reverse hypers, dumbbell variations and isolational stuf f (delts, triceps, biceps, calves) Rotator cuf f , shoulder stability work, T KE

For an average athlete looking f or strength training, the f ollowing classif ication could be used: Athlete Primary exercises Secondary exercises Auxilary exercises Remedial exercises Clean, squat, deadlif t, bench press Front squat, Romanian deadlif ts, lunges, military press, chins, rows, dumbbell variations Dips, delts, calves, biceps, triceps, grip Shoulder, ankle, and knee pre-habilitation, neck

Please note that dif f erent classif ications may be used depending on the weak and strong points of the athlete, his level of development, training period, emphasis and other stuf f . T hose classif ications are used to help the coach organize the training system and prioritize things according to the demands of the sport and position. With average athletes, the primary exercise would be those that give the most bang f or the buck and have the greatest transf er to the f ield while other exercises will aim to assist that transf er and provide whole body development and injury prevention. Because exercise categories can (or should?) have their own planning (dif f erent loading, progression, and periodization plans f or dif f erent exercise categories and their usage/rotation in the training system), concurrent training can be easily achieved. For example, a powerlif ter would build explosive strength with DE box squats, chains and bands, bench presses, and speed deadlif ts. He would build maximal strength with ME squats, presses, and deadlif ts and their special variations (secondary exercises), and he would build muscular hypertrophy with SE and RE single-leg exercises and dumbbell variations of presses, some chins, and rows. With an average athlete, explosive strength would be developed with Olympic lif t variations, plyometrics, and explosive jumps, and maximal strength would be developed with ME/SE squats, benches, and deadlif ts. Muscular hypetrophy would be developed with SE/RE single leg stuf f , dumbbell variations, isolation stuf f , chins, and rows. In other words, primary exercises may use the ME loading protocol. Secondary exercises may use the SE loading protocol, and auxiliary and remedial exercises may use the RE loading protocol to achieve concurrent training approach.

Concurrent training with priority lif ts Exercise group Primary exercises Secondary exercises Auxiliary exercises Remedial exercises Training goal Explosive strength, maximal strength Maximal strength, muscular hypertrophy Muscular hypertrophy, muscular endurance Muscular endurance, anatomic adaptation, pre-habilitation Loading protocol DE, ME ME, SE SE, RE RE

However, if someone wants to nitpick (and that would be me), this can be considered concurrent training as a whole (because all loading protocols are present). It may not be considered concurrent training depending on which movement pattern or muscle groups we are talking about. For example, in the athletes situation mentioned earlier, the legs would receive explosive strength work, maximal strength work, and muscular hypertrophy work. T he situation is similar f or the upper body push muscles, but the upper body pull muscles (used f or chins and rows) will receive only muscular hypertrophy work. Ring a bell or not? To be considered totally concurrent, all movement patterns must receive the same treatment (ME, SE, and RE work; not necessary f or DE) in a training program or it would be only partially concurrent. For this reason, most, if not all, concurrent powerlif ting, Olympic lif ting, and athletic training programs are partially concurrent because only the legs and push muscle groups receive concurrent treatment (with the exception of upper body pull muscles). Is this a bad thing? Certainly not! Im just pointing it out, and because most sports revolve around legs and push muscles, this is a f ine situation f or me. However, in bodybuilding, this would under develop certain muscle groups. T hats f or sure. And because goals in athletic training, Olympic lif ting, and powerlif ting are not bodybuilding in nature and because I dont talk about bodybuilding here (although some ideas can be certainly used with minor modif ications), there shouldnt be much concern about it anyway. Certainly, it would be very usable to classif y exercises f or every movement pattern (or muscle group) in addition to the sport classif ication already explained. T his way we could dif f er between: Sport-based or athletic-oriented classif ication of exercises (according to the greatest transf er to the f ield or event or the most used muscle groups/movement patterns in sport) Movement pattern or muscle group (bodybuilding) based classif ication of exercises Because Ive already given hypothetical examples of the exercise classif ications f or Olympic lif ting, powerlif ting, and average athletic training, here is a modif ied exercise classif ication based on movement patterns taken f rom the already mentioned awesome article by Christian T hibaudeau, How to Design a Damn Good Program. Knee dominant pattern (or quads) Category Primary Secondary Auxiliary Remedial Sample exercises Olympic back squat (hip width stance, upright torso), power squat (wide stance, moderate torso lean), f ront squat Lunge variations, split squat variations, leg press, barbell hack squat, dumbbell squat Machine hack squat, step-up variations, leg extension variations, sissy squat Terminal knee extension (with band), band leg extension

Hip dominant pattern (or hams/glutes) Category Primary Secondary Auxiliary Remedial Sample exercises Deadlif t, Romanian deadlif t, stif f -leg deadlif t, sumo deadlif t, snatch grip deadlif t Good morning variations, glute ham raises, leg press (f eet high on pad), single leg Romanian deadlif t Reverse hyper, pull-through, leg curl variations, cable hip extension, hyperextension X-band walks, Cook lif t, Swiss ball leg curl, band leg curl

Upper body horizontal push (or pecs) Category Primary Secondary Auxiliary Remedial Sample exercises Bench press Incline bench press, dumbbell bench press, dumbbell incline press, neck press, plate loaded push-ups Cable cross-over, f lyes variations, pec deck machine, chest press machine Swiss ball push-ups, wobble board push-ups

Upper body vertical pull (or back width, lats, and teres major) Category Primary Secondary Auxiliary Remedial Sample exercises Pull-ups, chin-ups Parallel pull-ups, mixed grip pull-ups, towel pull-ups Lat pull-down variations, straight arm lat pull-down, pull-over External/internal shoulder rotation, scap push-up

Upper body vertical push (or shoulders/ delts) Category Primary Secondary Auxiliary Remedial Sample exercises Military press, push press Press behind the neck, log press, seated press, dumbbell press variations, Bradf ord press Machine shoulder press, lateral raise variations, f ront raise variations, lateral raise machine Cuban press, external shoulder rotation

Upper body horizontal pull (or back thicknessrear delts, traps, rhomboids) Category Primary Sample exercises Barbell rowing, log row, chest supported rowing, seated rowing

Secondary Auxiliary Remedial

One-arm dumbbell row, corner row, f atman pull-ups, dumbbell chest supported rowing High pulley cross-rowing, low pulley cross-row, bent over rear delt raise, machine rear delt, chest-supported incline rear delt raise Chest-supported incline dumbbell shrugs, seated cable shrugs (scapular retraction), traps three raise, YT WL, Cuban row

Elbow f lexion (or biceps) Category Primary Secondary Auxiliary Remedial Sample Exercises Standing barbell curl, Scott bench barbell curl Hammer curl, seated dumbbell curl variations, Scott bench dumbbell curl, reverse barbell curl (standing or Scott bench), Z ottman curl Machine curl, cable curl variations, concentration curl Upper arm supination with sledgehammer or T hors hammer

Elbow extension (or triceps) Category Primary Secondary Auxiliary Remedial Sample exercises Close grip bench press, close-grip decline press, triceps dips Close-grip incline press, reverse-grip bench press, JM press, decline barbell triceps extension, decline dumbbell triceps extension, f lat barbell triceps extension, f lat dumbbell triceps extension Overhead dumbbell triceps extension, overhead bar triceps extension, cable triceps extension variations, triceps extension machines Close grip push-up on Swiss ball, close grip push-up on wobble board

Total body (Olympic Lif ts) Category Primary Secondary Auxiliary Remedial Sample exercises Clean and jerk, snatch Hang clean, hang snatch, push press, pulls, shrugs Jump squats, depth jumps, split squat jumps, step-up jumps Dumbbell clean and snatch variations

Using this movement pattern-based exercise classif ication, dif f erent goals can be achieved via dif f erent distributions of loading protocols. I will give an example using Chris T hibaudeaus classif ication of loading protocols. Distribution of loading protocols according to the goal selected Relative strength Primary Strength Absolute strength Strength Muscular hypertrophy Functional hypertrophy

Secondary Auxiliary Remedial

Strength Strength; f unctional hypertrophy Strength endurance

Strength; f unctional hypertrophy Functional hypertrophy; Total hypertrophy Strength endurance

Functional hypertrophy; total hypertrophy Total hypertrophy Strength endurance

T he training sessions f or intermediate lif ters can be easily designed using the presented inf ormation. T he attribute, intermediate is based on the work of Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore, authors of Starting Strength and Practical Programming. Both books are a must in your training library. For more inf ormation, please read my review, What I Have Learned f rom Practical Programming published at EliteFT S.com. I will give two examples aimed at increasing explosive strength (via Olympic lif ts and explosive jumping), maximal strength, and muscular hypertrophy. One is based on the whole body split and the other is based on a lower/upper split. Here is the example of the whole body split: Whole body: Training session A Movement Pattern A. B. C1. C2. D. E1. E2. Total body Knee dominant Vertical push Vertical pull Hip dominant Horizontal push Horizontal pull Category Auxiliary Primary Primary Primary Secondary Auxiliary Auxiliary Example Step-up jumps Squat Military press Chin-ups Romanian deadlif ts Push-ups Cuban row Loading protocol DE ME ME ME SE RE RE

Whole body: Training session B Movement pattern A. B1. B2. C. D1. D2. E. Total body Horizontal push Horizontal pull Knee dominant Vertical push Vertical pull Hip dominant Category Primary Primary Primary Secondary Secondary Secondary Auxiliary Example Clean Bench press Barbell row Front squat Dumbbell press Pull-ups Single leg Romanian deadlif ts Loading protocol DE/ME ME ME SE SE SE RE

Whole body: Training session C Movement pattern Category Example Loading protocol

A. B. C1. C2. D. E1. E2.

Total body Hip dominant Horizontal push Horizontal pull Knee dominant Vertical push Vertical pull

Secondary Primary Secondary Secondary Auxiliary Auxiliary Auxiliary

Hang clean Deadlif t Dumbbell bench press Seated rowing Lunges Dumbbell l-rises Pull-over

DE/SE technique ME SE SE RE RE RE

Here is the lower/upper split: Training A: Lower body squat Movement pattern A. B. C. D. E. Total body Knee dominant Hip dominant Knee dominant Abs and pre-habilitation stuf f Category Primary Primary Secondary Auxiliary Example Clean Squat Romanian deadlif t Lunges Loading protocol DE/ME ME SE RE RE

Training B: Upper body horizontal Movement pattern A1. A2. B1. B2. C1. C2. Horizontal push Horizontal pull Vertical push Vertical pull Horizontal push Horizontal pull Category Primary Primary Secondary Secondary Auxiliary Auxiliary Example Bench press Barbell row Dumbbell press Pull-ups Push-ups Cuban row Loading protocol ME ME SE SE RE RE

Training C: Lower body deadlif t Movement pattern A. B. C. D. Total body Hip dominant Knee dominant Hip dominant Category Secondary Primary Secondary Auxiliary Example Hang clean Deadlif t Front squat Single leg Romanian deadlif t Loading protocol DE/SE technique ME SE RE

E.

Abs and pre-habilitation stuf f

RE

Training D: Upper body vertical Movement pattern A1. A2. B1. B2. C1. C2. Vertical push Vertical pull Horizontal push Horizontal pull Vertical push Vertical pull Category Primary Primary Secondary Secondary Auxiliary Auxiliary Example Military press Chin-ups Dumbbell bench press Seated rowing L-rises Pull-over Loading protocol ME ME SE SE RE RE

Once we arranged the training sessions, we can plan progressions f or loading protocols. Weekly progressions f or loading protocols Loading protocol ME SE RE Olympic lif ts Week 1 5X3 4X6 3 X 12 ME: 5 X 1SE: 4 X 2 RE: 3 X 5 Stay tuned f or part three!! Elite Fitness Systems strives to be a recognized leader in the strength training industry by providing the highest quality strength training products and services while providing the highest level of customer service in the industry. For the best training equipment, information, and accessories, visit us at www.EliteFTS.com. Week 2 3, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1 5X5 3 X 10 ME: 5 X 1SE: 4 X 2 RE: 3 X 5 Week 3 6X1 5X5 3X8 ME: 5 X1SE: 4 X 2 RE: 3 X 5 Week 4 unload 4 X 1, 10% weight 3 X 5, 10% weight 2 X 10 ME: 5 X 1SE: 4 X 2 RE: 3 X 5