I'd like to challenge you to explore your personal system of training. And more specifically, I'd like you to take an assessment of your personal values as they pertain to training. In other words, what's your training operating system?

 

All of us already have a set of habits, paradigms, proclivities, or beliefs that govern our decision-making under the bar. For example, I've written volumes about a belief that many people hold, which is that pain equals gain. The more something hurts, the better it must be.

 

RELATED: The Truth Behind "No Pain, No Gain" in Weightlifting

 

If you happen to hold this point of view, you're likely to manage your workouts differently than someone who holds a contrasting belief (for example, that "performance equals gain").

 

 

Paradigms → Decisions → Consequences → Results

Needless to say, if you operate from accurate, productive paradigms, you'll make good decisions that will lead to good results. If you operate from incorrect assumptions, you'll make faulty decisions and suffer unwanted consequences. Let's examine a few common belief patterns so you'll have a concrete understanding of this sequence of events:

 

Belief Pattern A

  • Paradigm: "John" is (unconsciously) overly enamored by novelty. He's always looking for the newest, coolest training system, diet, or training equipment.
  • Decision: Every time John becomes aware of a new system, diet, or tool, he immediately discontinues what he was previously doing in favor of the new discovery.
  • Consequence: John never makes any progress because he never does anything long enough for it to work. Interestingly enough, he always has a convenient excuse: his current methods are behind the times.

 

CAUTION: Beware of Snake Oil Salesmen (Especially Ones With Science)

 

Belief Pattern B

  • Paradigm: Jenna believes she is weak and needs to be a tougher person, mentally and physically.
  • Decision: Every time Jenna encounters pain during a workout, she chalks it up to personal weakness and continues despite the pain.
  • Consequence: Jenna is nearly always injured, which reinforces her paradigm. She's caught in a vicious cycle, and she's completely unaware of it.

 

RELATED: The 3 Fitness Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes

 

Belief Pattern C

  • Paradigm: "Joe" is fascinated by, believes in, and has extensively studied periodization.
  • Decision: Joe plans his workouts months in advance. Every exercise, set, rep, and weight is pre-planned.
  • Consequence: When Joe inevitably encounters a workout he isn't able to complete by the book, he gets frustrated and immediately starts writing a new macrocycle, convinced he made an error on his last plan. Like John and Jenna, his faulty paradigm is self-replicating.

 

RELATED: You're Not Ronnie Coleman - Don't Be Afraid to Tweak

 

Like John, Jenna, and Joe, we all have productive paradigms and faulty ones. How can we reinforce the former and eradicate the latter? Simply by increasing our own self-awareness.

 

I'd love your input on this discussion, so if you'd like to share your own paradigms- good or bad, current or former, leave a comment below.

 

This Week’s Training

I only ended up completing three workouts this week, partly because I’ve been feeling under-recovered, but also because I’m changing to a Mon-Tue-Thu-Fri schedule next week. No particularly noteworthy lifts this week, and no video this week, I’m afraid. I’ll be sure to have some interesting video content in the coming weeks.

 

"If you operate from incorrect assumptions, you'll make faulty decisions and suffer unwanted consequences."

I thought I would point out something I’ve been working on lately, which is hitting multiple heavy sets of 1-2 on lifts such as the squat. In the past, if I managed to hit a big single on the squat especially, I’d be done for that lift. Once I’ve already hit a certain number, it’s unappealing for me to repeat it - I guess because there’s no glory in repeating something I’ve already done. But the key to progress is increasing volume and work capacity, so as of late you’ll see me hitting several heavy, low-rep sets on key movements.

 

That’s all for this week. If you have any thoughts on this week’s article, please leave your comments below!

 

Weekly Training Volume: 38,295lb (Last Week: 57,359lb)

 

Significant Lifts:

 

  • Squat 355x1
  • Power Clean/Push Press 165x1
  • Deadlift 435x1

 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Bodyweight: 200.8 lb

Volume: 12,028 lb

Average Weight/rep: 148 lb

 

Squat

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 3

Set 5: 225 lbs × 2

Set 6: 275 lbs × 1

Set 7: 315 lbs × 1

Set 8: 345 lbs × 1

Set 9: 355 lbs × 1

Set 10: 335 lbs × 2

Set 11: 335 lbs × 2

Set 12: 315 lbs × 2

Notes: IQ: 188

 

Power Clean

Set 1: 88 lbs × 3

Set 2: 110 lbs × 3

Set 3: 132 lbs × 3

Set 4: 154 lbs × 2

Set 5: 176 lbs × 1

Set 6: 198 lbs × 1

Set 7: 198 lbs × 1

Set 8: 198 lbs × 1

Notes: IQ: 137.86

 

45-Degree Back Extension

Set 1: 120 lbs × 12

Set 2: 120 lbs × 12

Set 3: 120 lbs × 12

Notes: IQ: 120

 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bodyweight: 200.4 lb

Volume: 15,267 lb

Average weight/rep: 127.22 lb

 

Power Clean & Push Press

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 88 lbs × 3

Set 3: 99 lbs × 3

Set 4: 110 lbs × 2

Set 5: 121 lbs × 2

Set 6: 132 lbs × 2

Set 7: 143 lbs × 2

Set 8: 154 lbs × 1

Set 9: 165 lbs × 1

Notes: IQ: 100.80

 

Bench Press

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 115 lbs × 5

Set 3: 155 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 5

Set 5: 205 lbs × 3

Set 6: 205 lbs × 3

Set 7: 185 lbs × 5

Set 8: 185 lbs × 5

Notes: IQ: 155

 

Chin Up

Set 1: 1 reps

Set 2: 2 reps

Set 3: 3 reps

Set 4: 4 reps

Set 5: 5 reps

Set 6: 6 reps

Set 7: 1 reps

Set 8: 2 reps

Set 9: 3 reps

Notes: IQ: 200.4

 

Bicep Curl

Set 1: 60 lbs × 12

Set 2: 60 lbs × 12

Set 3: 60 lbs × 12

Notes: IQ: 60

 

Workout Notes

IQ: 127.22

 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bodyweight: 200.6 lb

Volume: 11,000 lb

Average weight/rep: 161.76 lb

 

Deadlift

Set 1: 135 lbs × 3

Set 2: 135 lbs × 3

Set 3: 135 lbs × 3

Set 4: 225 lbs × 3

Set 5: 315 lbs × 2

Set 6: 365 lbs × 1

Set 7: 405 lbs × 1

Set 8: 435 lbs × 1

Notes: IQ: 219.11

 

Safety Squat

Set 1: 65 lbs × 5

Set 2: 155 lbs × 5

Set 3: 205 lbs × 5

Set 4: 205 lbs × 5

Set 5: 225 lbs × 1

Notes: IQ: 153.40

 

Back Extension

Set 1: 130 lbs × 10

Set 2: 130 lbs × 10

Set 3: 130 lbs × 10

Notes: IQ: 130

 

Workout Notes

IQ: 161.76

 

A big believer in practicing what he preaches, Charles Staley trains and competes just like his clients. Every Friday you can read what Charles has done in his workout sessions.

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