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Thread: Rippetoe's New Article - Must Read If You Have Strength Questions page

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    quikky's Avatar
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    Rippetoe's New Article - Must Read If You Have Strength Questions

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    Rip's new article on T- Nation:

    Rippetoe Throws Down

    This is an absolute must read for many. I see the mistakes Rip talks about being made here all the time, like "why am I not getting stronger on CrossFit anymore?", and "bodyweight exercises are the way to get strong".

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    Like it, and love that it reinforces what I'm doing with my trainer.

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    I pretty much agree with everything Rip is saying in the article i.e.

    More strength is always desirable
    The main compound lifts are the best way to gain strength
    An ordered routine is needed to prompt optimal strength adaptation

    Interestingly enough, I'm about to start Crossfit this week (have just passed my assessment). However, I'm doing Crossfit purely to work on my endurance and recovery ability i.e. using it as GPP. I'll do it a couple of times a week, but my main focus will remain strength work (I'm using Wendler's 5/3/1).

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    I agree that what he has to say is for the most part true. I disagree that it is optimal in consideration of each individuals goals.

    For instance this:

    "Training can't be accomplished randomly, because randomly applied stresses do not create a specific adaptation. For example, squatting 5 sets of 5 once every 3 to 5 weeks, or whenever Pukie posts it, doesn't apply a stress that can be adapted to – and built upon – before detraining to the stress occurs.

    This is especially true if during the intervening period many other stresses have been applied that conflict with the adaptation necessary to get better at squatting heavier sets of 5, like doing hundreds of reps of unweighted squats, for example. Or doing hundreds of reps of anything, if the performance goal is doing 5 reps or 1 rep with a very heavy weight. Or doing nothing at all, which in itself is a "stress" that will be adapted to."

    He is inherently correct, but he ignores the fact that for most athletes training has to be multifaceted for both strength and muscle endurance. Or at the very least periodized to get the desired response in time for a competition. Training in the five rep range to the exclusion of all else will get you really good at ONLY that. Diversifying your rep ranges for a specific response (see I agree training requires goals) is quite legit. But, hey lets face it Rip is a "strength training coach" not an "athletic coach". Anything outside of his very specific area of expertise is probably a bit unfair to judge him on.

    Oh, one more thing. I can't say for certain about squat, but its been 3 weeks since my last deadlift session and I just hit a new PR. Deconditioned? Somewhat contradictory info from him. He talks about how once built strength is the most versatile and long lasting adaptation (I agree).... and now deconditioning happens in 3-5 weeks? Maybe some of the neuroadaptive response to that particular exercise.... MAYBE.... but the strength/muscle is certainly not lost in this time. And I would think you could preserve much of the neuroadaptive response by training the movement unweighted....which would be a bit contradictory to what he states.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 04-16-2013 at 05:49 AM.

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    Winterbike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quikky View Post
    This is an absolute must read for many. I see the mistakes Rip talks about being made here all the time, like "why am I not getting stronger on CrossFit anymore?", and "bodyweight exercises are the way to get strong".
    Bodyweight exercises are a GREAT way to get strong and mobile, you just need a technical progression, not endless reps. People often think you can only progress through more volume/frequency/intensity, and they completely forget about the possibility of increasing technical difficulty. Bodyweight dips are effortless? Do them on gymnastics rings. Do them while doing a L-sit. Do handstand push-ups on rings. Walk on your hands. Climb stairs on your hands.

    You missed Rippetoe's main point, which is: train for future progression. What role does your current training session play in the grand scheme of things? How does it get you closer to your goal (strength, agility, ultimate sexiness, etc.)? If you can only answer ''well, I'm breaking a sweat, that has to count right?'', you're probably not going to progress on the long term.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Training in the five rep range to the exclusion of all else will get you really good at ONLY that. Diversifying your rep ranges for a specific response (see I agree training requires goals) is quite legit.
    That 5-rep range will get you strong, and supplementing your strength training with sport-specific days is ultimately what will get you your best returns for your sport. If you try to modify your strength training to simulate field conditions it's ultimately a losing proposition and you end up with something sub-optimal. Conditioning is another matter all-together.
    I didn't like the rules you gave me, so I made some of my own.

    Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general. - Mark Rippetoe

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    Good article. Thanks. Rage Against the Machine by Steve Kamb (Nerd Fitness) is a nice companion piece, I think.

  8. #8
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    I'm starting my own little n=1 on his premise. I've been whining for months that I'm not happy at crossfit because I'm not seeing the results I want (to get stronger, as measured by barbell strength). Today I cancelled my xfit membership. I am putting on my big girl panties and going to the local strength gym (owners are powerlifters) even though I'm intimidated to step foot in there... I've got SS printed out and am going to do my best to stick to it for 2 months and see how it goes. I still need to do my slow run with the dog in the morning and will do my little routine at the park while the dog pees on stuff (10 dead hang pull ups, 25 push ups, 25 pistols in sets of 2-5-5). I'm assuming if all I do is lift 3 days a week I'll see strength gains. But I'm also curious to see how some crossfit benchmark WODs do - Fran and DT are 2 I'd like to re-do in 8 weeks just out of curiosity since I've done them recently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by federkeil View Post
    That 5-rep range will get you strong, and supplementing your strength training with sport-specific days is ultimately what will get you your best returns for your sport. If you try to modify your strength training to simulate field conditions it's ultimately a losing proposition and you end up with something sub-optimal. Conditioning is another matter all-together.
    Yeah, like I said I'm probably speaking a bit too broad when his focus is strength training alone. I don't know why, but it gives me a sour taste when people like him seem to talk about working outside of the 5 rep zone is somehow detrimental. I mean sure, if your ONLY endeavor is to get stronger then by all means only train that... Strength is important to ALL athletes, but its not exactly MORE important than muscular endurance (for instance) in various sports. Guess I just got stuck on that one little portion where he said:


    "This is especially true if during the intervening period many other stresses have been applied that conflict with the adaptation necessary to get better at squatting heavier sets of 5..."

    Well yeah....but if there's a method to the madness, as in an athletic goal then this is a tradeoff you may just have to make.

    I totally agree that training requires goals. If you know WHY you are doing what your doing to day and if its a viable way to reach your ultimate goals for that training period then you've won.

    His article is for beginning lifters just looking to gain some strength though I'm sure.

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    lorichka,

    I've thought about doing the same, keep up posted on your results!

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