Hi all, this post is to challenge much of the wisdom circulating out there which claims "less is more" where exercise is concerned. The claim is that periods of resistance training that follow conventional protocols are preferable where lifespan and quality of life are concerned and that the party line of many PALEOs that it should be limited to only a few times per week is mythical if not for all, then for most people.
Ivan Abadjiev, coach of the Bulgarian Olympic Weightlifting team had prescribed multiple sessions per day for his lifters limitint them to under 1 hour each, on the assumption that this time-frame optimizes testosterone secretion and strength development. I would agree-would you? In hypertrophy terms this also seems true, steroids or no, that multiple sessions are preferable when kept within these limits, if not many per day then many more per week than the three or even two or less sessions many contend is best. In terms of CNS output and activation these protocols of Abadjiev also enhance rather than inhibit. Circulation improves, brain function, respiration, muscle tonus and electrical exitation. These are surely indices of health? As to rest and recuperation, the term 'active' appears more significant in light of higher volume/intensity training than the stronglifts or similar commercialized variants: Abadjiev incorporated in the lifter's meso- and macrocycles lighter periods of reduced volume to maintain neuromuscular efficiency and prevent deconditioning while enabling recuperation. I agree this works--do you? Currently I have been doing an AM/PM daily split following a 6x6 routine on a 3-day cycle using mainly compound exercises. I would like to know if people out there believe that this routine is best for testosterone secretion(the fount of youth many would claim), longevity and functional fitness in daily life. Also, I am on a VLC diet and have never felt better. In the past I used to follow a 3-3.5 days per week training schedule doing 1 hour workouts per time and was in much worse condition(I also consumed many more low G.I carbs in regular intervals throughout the day as many bodybuilders do). I would like people to provide reasons why this routine is undesirable given the practitioner's liking for weight-training and not having a desire to avoid the gym. All feedback is appreciated.
Ibadjiev was a great coach BUT a lot of his athletes got injured. I have practiced under a coach who used the bulgarian method. I got hurt. Maybe it's ok for you youngsters but at 51, I have finally learned my lesson: I need to stick to 3 times per week weightlifting. More than that I will get injured and it's only counter-productive. Different people are different though.
The tolerance of increased volume/frequency is markedly higher in those receiving exogenous anabolics in supraphysiological doses. I'd be really surprised if a successful Eastern European weight lifting team were not doing this. The difference between 800 ng/dL and 3000 ng/dL is massive.
Olympic lifting itself is also more about technique and explosive power, with hypertrophy coming as a disadvantageous side effect, since these guys are usually in weight classes. Not sure that it would necessarily carry over even if they were clean.
That being said, I agree that hitting a muscle group once a week as many do these days is less than ideal. I never really started to make progress until I started to hit groups 2-3x a week. I'd never do multiple times a day however. Additionally, although I've increased frequency, I haven't really increased volume. I can't seem to find it now, but I was reading a study recently where they had trained individuals either do X volume once a week or X volume split into 3 workouts, and the latter program was significantly more effective.
This is the kind of realm in which no amount of clever argumentation is particularly persuasive to me, because it is too easy to appeal to "common sense", authority, or biological mechanisms that may or may not have any relevance in practice, all in support of opposing positions. Show me the studies!
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