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S&C Questions Thread

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S&C Questions Thread

Postby TheAssassin » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:24 pm

I always read articles or watch seminars and have questions that aren't addressed or that I can't find a reliable answer to online. Here's a thread to ask any and all S&C questions in the hopes of either a quick answer or decent discussion.


The conjugate method is maximum effort + repeated effort + dynamic effort. The dynamic effort involves using 50-60% of your 1RM for a lot of sets at very low reps with all emphasis on speed.

1) Is dynamic effort lifting only for elite lifters?
2) Can dynamic effort lifting be done on it's own?
3) Can it be done intermingled with a linear periodization program? If you're doing 2 bench workouts a week could you do a 3x5 with 200 on Monday then a 8x2 with 100 on Thursday and still put add 5 pounds weekly?
4)What would be the results of such a program in regards to strength and speed development, relative to something like SS?
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Re: S&C Questions Thread

Postby KC Masterpiece » Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:08 pm

Buying the Westside Book of Methods is the only way to find definitive answers to those questions, short of talking with someone who has run a Westside template for a long time, of which I think there is only one person on this board. There are also two, very informative threads on the subject here and here.

That said, I don't think it should be intermingled with any program at all. There are sometimes ways to mix programs intelligently, but to get the full effect of the WT, you have to run it as is, imho. Starting strength should be done alone as well, and I really think it is without a doubt the fastest way to progress from beginner to advanced-beginner/intermediate. There's nothing preventing anyone from doing something else as a true n00b, but a Westside Template is absolutely not an option for someone with no training experience.

People get overzealous with "prohibiting" someone from doing this or that program, often without cause, but really I think a WT should only be done by someone with at least a year of solid lifting experience, and ideally run in tandem with at least one other person of equal or greater experience, though that requirement isn't as stringent.
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Re: S&C Questions Thread

Postby TheAssassin » Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:46 pm

I'll try and find an online pdf of the book then or something like that.

I've just been interested in the rate of force development and explosive strength lately. Lifting heavy weights in a program like SS will obviously increase those, but would lifting using only the dynamic method have better or worse results in that aspect at different levels of lifting experience?

May have to guinea pig myself for 2 months. :lol:
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Re: S&C Questions Thread

Postby red_donn » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:31 pm

TheAssassin wrote:
1) Is dynamic effort lifting only for elite lifters?
2) Can dynamic effort lifting be done on it's own?
3) Can it be done intermingled with a linear periodization program? If you're doing 2 bench workouts a week could you do a 3x5 with 200 on Monday then a 8x2 with 100 on Thursday and still put add 5 pounds weekly?
4)What would be the results of such a program in regards to strength and speed development, relative to something like SS?


Let me give you the simple answer first:

The real way to incorporate the notion of dynamic or speed training as a beginner is to try to complete each rep with as much speed as good form allows. You are working with light weights because you are a beginner and the percentage difference between top, very heavy singles and general multi-rep worksets will be much smaller than that of a skilled powerlifter.

1) Real point of the dynamic effort method comes down to speed, rather than just the weight on the bar. Louie Simmons talks about measuring the precise time for each concentric part of the repetition for various lifts to make sure that they are of the appropriate speed. With that said, it is more accurate to say that people use anywhere from 40-70% on what they describe as dynamic days, or speed work in general. Very strong lifters can get benefits from lifting as little as 40% with appropriate speed and technique.

Beginners, however, don't have a properly developed 1 RM, so working with 60% of an undeveloped lift for extended periods is of more questionable value. Learning to lift fast is great, but setting aside dynamic effort days when your weights are admittedly puny just doesn't seem optimal.

2) You mean without any grinding lifts at all? No heavy sets, either for low or high reps? Sure it can be done on its own, but for beginners I really wouldn't see the point.

3) I haven't seen one set up that way. The closest were the heavy/light days that some top powerlifters (Coan, etc) liked to incorporate. Since Westside work is based off of percentages, you'd be building up a routine without experience in the proven variation.

4) Louie Simmons does talk about his method as working for beginners, but his idea of a beginner might be your idea of an advanced lifter. Dave Tate has hinted before that he would like to see people take the linear method as well early on, though he has also written articles talking about using Westside from the very start.

My honest advice to anyone (of normal lifting ratios) is that they should use linear progression to squat 1.5 times bodyweight for 5 reps before they try experimenting with made-up routines. Beginners, including me, are too likely to dick around.
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Re: S&C Questions Thread

Postby red_donn » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:47 pm

TheAssassin wrote:I'll try and find an online pdf of the book then or something like that.

I've just been interested in the rate of force development and explosive strength lately. Lifting heavy weights in a program like SS will obviously increase those, but would lifting using only the dynamic method have better or worse results in that aspect at different levels of lifting experience?

May have to guinea pig myself for 2 months. :lol:


I used a dynamic-based method, though without the maximal effort portion, to recover my strength after my ill-fated combination of 20 rep squats and escalating density training. It only got me back my old lifts, except for my overhead press, which benefited considerably from pressing 4-6 times a week.

Most linear progressions, particularly in regard to the squat, will yield reliably good results. The problem with lifters, again and again, is that we don't want to force ourselves through the hard work that these programs demand.

Inclusion of speed work in linear programs can certainly be done. One option is to do the warm-ups, and all worksets, with as much speed as possible for every rep. At the beginning of a linear progression, this will allow you to hit all reps with good speed.

The other option, in the case of deadlifts, is to use progressive pulls - powercleaning the lightest weights, high pulls on the heavier ones, and then deadlifting when that is too heavy. I wouldn't recommend this for beginners because the pulling form for the Olympic lifts should be different than that of conventional deadlifts.
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Re: S&C Questions Thread

Postby TheAssassin » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:36 pm

So essentially the answers are:

1) Is dynamic effort lifting only for elite lifters?
2) Can dynamic effort lifting be done on it's own?
3) Can it be done intermingled with a linear periodization program? If you're doing 2 bench workouts a week could you do a 3x5 with 200 on Monday then a 8x2 with 100 on Thursday and still put add 5 pounds weekly?
4)What would be the results of such a program in regards to strength and speed development, relative to something like SS?

1) No but it's stupid for beginners to do.
2) Yeah, but alone it's stupid.
3) Nothing official like that exists, it's better to do just linear until your gains stop.
4) Speaking very optimistically, maybe equal to, and realistically probably less than.
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Re: S&C Questions Thread

Postby TheAssassin » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:50 pm

What are the physiological results of post workout fasting?

Intermittent fasting leads to an increase in HGH secretion which in turn results in an signalled consumption of stored fats.
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Re: S&C Questions Thread

Postby red_donn » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:20 pm

TheAssassin wrote:So essentially the answers are:

1) Is dynamic effort lifting only for elite lifters?
2) Can dynamic effort lifting be done on it's own?
3) Can it be done intermingled with a linear periodization program? If you're doing 2 bench workouts a week could you do a 3x5 with 200 on Monday then a 8x2 with 100 on Thursday and still put add 5 pounds weekly?
4)What would be the results of such a program in regards to strength and speed development, relative to something like SS?

1) No but it's stupid for beginners to do.
2) Yeah, but alone it's stupid.
3) Nothing official like that exists, it's better to do just linear until your gains stop.
4) Speaking very optimistically, maybe equal to, and realistically probably less than.


In a nutshell, you got it. Just lift the weights that you do lift fast. :mrgreen:
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Re: S&C Questions Thread

Postby red_donn » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:55 pm

TheAssassin wrote:What are the physiological results of post workout fasting?

Intermittent fasting leads to an increase in HGH secretion which in turn results in an signalled consumption of stored fats.


You can never just state the effect an action has on just one hormone, in my experience. In this case, insulin, cortisol, and HGH each play important roles.

Post workout your insulin sensitivity spikes, which allows you to process sugars/carbs better. However, your HGH also spikes for 30-60 minutes and carbohydrate consumption can kill this spike particularly quickly. I'm sure cortisol fluctuates with these, as they all are heavily related, but I'm not really up to snuff on cortisol manipulation. There's also leucine (branch chain amino acid that makes up a large portion of whey) sensitivity going up in the initial 30-60 minutes post-workout.

Luckily, for me this was determined by listening to my body. Eating within 30 minutes of a workout killed my appetite, so I would eat much less in the ensuing two hours, and made me feel sluggish and just plain shitty. Waiting over 90 minutes would also result in a drop-off in hunger, and a feeling of exhaustion. In between is the sweet spot for me.
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Re: S&C Questions Thread

Postby TheAssassin » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:15 pm

red_donn wrote:
TheAssassin wrote:What are the physiological results of post workout fasting?

Intermittent fasting leads to an increase in HGH secretion which in turn results in an signalled consumption of stored fats.


You can never just state the effect an action has on just one hormone, in my experience. In this case, insulin, cortisol, and HGH each play important roles.

Post workout your insulin sensitivity spikes, which allows you to process sugars/carbs better. However, your HGH also spikes for 30-60 minutes and carbohydrate consumption can kill this spike particularly quickly. I'm sure cortisol fluctuates with these, as they all are heavily related, but I'm not really up to snuff on cortisol manipulation. There's also leucine (branch chain amino acid that makes up a large portion of whey) sensitivity going up in the initial 30-60 minutes post-workout.

Luckily, for me this was determined by listening to my body. Eating within 30 minutes of a workout killed my appetite, so I would eat much less in the ensuing two hours, and made me feel sluggish and just plain shitty. Waiting over 90 minutes would also result in a drop-off in hunger, and a feeling of exhaustion. In between is the sweet spot for me.


Yeah, I read a couple articles, some bro-sciency and some not mostly focused on fastings effect on adipose tissue. I haven't read the whole thing, but this seems like a good interview on the topic.

http://chadwaterbury.com/the-truth-abou ... nutrition/


I drink 2 liters of milk within 20 minutes of finishing the workout, and then eat when I get hungry which is usually 40 minutes or less after that.
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Re: S&C Questions Thread

Postby timbercutter » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:22 pm

red_donn wrote:
TheAssassin wrote:What are the physiological results of post workout fasting?

Intermittent fasting leads to an increase in HGH secretion which in turn results in an signalled consumption of stored fats.


You can never just state the effect an action has on just one hormone, in my experience. In this case, insulin, cortisol, and HGH each play important roles.

Post workout your insulin sensitivity spikes, which allows you to process sugars/carbs better. However, your HGH also spikes for 30-60 minutes and carbohydrate consumption can kill this spike particularly quickly. I'm sure cortisol fluctuates with these, as they all are heavily related, but I'm not really up to snuff on cortisol manipulation. There's also leucine (branch chain amino acid that makes up a large portion of whey) sensitivity going up in the initial 30-60 minutes post-workout.
Luckily, for me this was determined by listening to my body. Eating within 30 minutes of a workout killed my appetite, so I would eat much less in the ensuing two hours, and made me feel sluggish and just plain shitty. Waiting over 90 minutes would also result in a drop-off in hunger, and a feeling of exhaustion. In between is the sweet spot for me.


so all I do is chug like 40-65 grams of some body fortress or universal whey right after I workout...is that good or bad and should I add anything?....I admit that I don't keep up with the latest info....any suggestions Red?
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Re: S&C Questions Thread

Postby red_donn » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:42 am

(Bunch of nutrition talk coming up, so I've underlined the direct pieces of advice)

If you like how that works, run with it timber. I don't do that because I feel like shit after and can't eat nearly as much "real" food if I do.

I've read in a few areas that post-workout carbs, being more easily absorbed, help draw in other nutrients and amino acids after a workout. Protein, including whey, is slower to digest, but I don't know if that means protein would hit the bloodstream after the carbs, or if it would slow the carbs down and they would enter together - probably a bit of both.

The speculation is that making sure to have some quick-digesting carbs with the protein will help maximize protein synthesis and the absorption into muscle, while insulin sensitivity blunts fat gain. A popular combination is something like waxy maize with branch chain amino acids. I don't know a damn thing about what ratios they might use, and looking for that sort of info would lead into supplement advertisement hell, so I'm content with my ignorance.

Since you are looking at losing weight right now, I think it would be kind of stupid for me to tell you to ditch a high-protein focus for more carbs and smaller amounts of fast-absorbing protein.

The research behind the whole "take whey in the anabolic window" trend is actually quite misconstrued from what I've seen and heard. Turns out that the research about 30 minute absorption was done on the BCAA leucine. Whey is choc full of leucine, but the digestion of whey powder and a BCAA pill is markedly different, so it actually takes considerably longer to come into use. Also, the difference in post-workout absorption (the "anabolic window") of those BCAA's mainly came from studies with elderly subjects, and the elderly have different rates of protein absorption than the young, which render it questionable.

I've even read one study that described how damaged muscle tissue is temporarily poor at absorbing nutrients. However, this could be over-extrapolation of something like a muscle tear compared to microtrauma from weights. I also didn't see a recommended timeframe for this, so I pretty much tossed that notion out for the moment.

Frankly, I don't know a whole lot about the intricacies of these matters. I think it does people good to eat something within two hours of a workout at least, because most people do just that and I feel horrendous if I don't. Exactly the timing of that meal or shakes, and the effects of specific nutrients in a post-workout environment, go a little beyond my knowledge of nutrition and physiology.
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Re: S&C Questions Thread

Postby TheAssassin » Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:39 pm

Matt Wenning recommends looking up high while squatting so you can keep your chest up.

5:20


Starting Strength 3rd Edition Page 21:

"Looking up at the ceiling when squatting has so many detrimental effects on proper technique that is is absolutely amazing that so many people still advise their lifters to do it. It interferes with [...] correct chest position."

Is this because they're teaching two different squats (high bar/low bar), because Wenning is advanced enough as a powerlifter to know what works for him personally and is teaching others to use that way, or some other factor? Which is the correct position?
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Re: S&C Questions Thread

Postby red_donn » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:58 pm

Some recommend looking up, some don't. You've got guys like Tate and Rippetoe on opposite sides of this, and either can produce images of top lifters with various head angles. I like a neutral head all the way down, but look a little more up as I start rising in the squat - it's definitely the best way for me to lift, but not at all the best for others.

I found my biomechanical reasoning for my preference when I played about with bodyweight, goblet, front, overhead, and back squats in succession. Shifting my hands from in front of my body tends to induce over-extension in my thoracic spine, and looking upwards also encourages this extension. I can feel this over-extension all the way to my glutes and groin. Hence, on the way down, my neutral head position helps me settle into the hole more comfortably, without feeling like anything in my hips is going to pop.

However, when I drive up, looking at the floor sends mixed signals. Looking just a little up - roughly meeting my own eyes in the mirror if I haven't blocked it - helps this.

I've had people try to get me to do "head up" all the way or "neutral head" all the way. Usually they come across as self-important, if well-meaning, and are convinced that they somehow know "the right way" to squat rather than knowing that they know one way to squat fairly well.
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Re: S&C Questions Thread

Postby TheAssassin » Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:57 am

I've only ever done high bar squats and the way I like to check depth is while I'm warming up I look at something in line with my eyes when I'm in the deepest portion of my squat. I then try to get to the point where the line between my eyes and that object would be parallel to the floor. I used to squat without a mirror but would always bitch out depth wise on the last repetition. This way I force myself to this clear bench mark.

I experimented today with looking down 5 feet in front like Rip says and it is actually easier to squat low that way. The problem is the chest falls and the hip drive in the squat is uncoordinated with the rise of the bar so I end up in a sort of bent over row position, with a barbell on my back. Needs work.
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