muchluv wrote:When I grow up I want to be Gelert.
Mikhail Koklyaev wrote:Benedikt he is deadlift god , I'm only amateur
Section Five: The ‘Greyskull Reset’; Enter the ‘Periodized’ Linear Progression
Ok, now we’re going to get deep into the ‘magic’ that makes this thing so damned
effective at getting people strong, and keeping progress going for long periods of time,
without interruption or stagnation.
As I discussed in the origins chapter, in my opinion, the largest single flaw (there are a
few) in the conventional linear progression-type model is how the ‘reset’ is handled, or
what to do when the lifter is failing to make the requisite repetitions per set to warrant
continuing to add weight to the bar. This program is set up to address that inevitable
situation with a proactive and productive approach that will ensure the negative aura
surrounding the reset in conventional programs is set out to sea. I really can’t fault
anyone for their negative associations, I mean who wants to take several steps back after
working so hard to get to where they are?
The trick is developing the association that the resets are an inevitable and tremendously
valuable part of the program. We are not using bar weight as the center of our universe
here, so it is just one variable.
The Greyskull Reset as applied to a bench press that has become stuck at 210 lbs would
look like this (notations are weight x reps x sets, and all weights are in pounds):
First the lifter would calculate 10% of the bar weight, or simply work from the other
direction and determine 90% of the previous working weight as the start point for the
210 lbs x .9 = 189 lbs
I always have the lifter round down to the next nearest 5 lb (or 2 kilo) increment, so in
this instance the starting weight would be 185 lbs.
The next several workouts may look like the following:
185 x 5 x 2, 185 x 11 x 1
187.5 x 5 x 2. 187.5 x 11 x 1
190 x 5 x 2, 190 x 10 x 1
192.5 x 5 x 2, 192.5 x 9 x 1
195.5 x 5 x 2, 195 x 10 x 1
Notice a few things.
-The weights were being increased by 2.5 lbs per session (this will require the use of
-The repetitions remained constant at 11 for the first two workouts. This isn’t always
going to be the case, but it should be the intention of the lifter to beat or at least tie the
previous workouts rep max sets with the new, heavier weight each time they hit the gym.
-By the third workout, the repetitions on the last set started to decline. This is entirely
normal, and is expected. The repetitions will drop as the weights increase over time.
-After managing 9 reps with 192.5 lbs the lifter was able to hit 195 lbs for 10 on his last
set. This happens sometimes as well. It does not mean anything is wrong. It can usually
be chalked up to an especially good workout due to any number of variables. Accept
these when they happen, they are a good thing.
We’ll rejoin our lifter now as he approaches the weight that he was unable to complete
three sets of five with before…
205 x 5 x 2, 205 x 8 x 1
207.5 x 5 x 2, 207.5 x 7 x 1
210 x 5 x 2, 210 x 7 x 1!
Success! The lifter has now passed his sticking point and is breaking new territory again
with the bar weight. He will continue to add 2.5 lbs to the bar each workout until he
cannot successfully complete five reps on the last set. When this happens he will back the
weight up by 10% and begin the reset process again.
This ‘peaks and valleys’ approach to loading is invaluable in its ability to allow a lifter to
progress in strength and lean mass gain for quite a while without requiring any major
program component be altered.
Here we will take a look at the reset approach applied to the single working set of the deadlift:
315 x 4 (did not complete five rep minimum for last set, so time to reset).
315 lbs x .9 = 283.5 lbs
This means we will be using 280 lbs as the weight for the first workout. The following
example illustrates how the following workouts may play out (remember, here we will be
making 5 lb increases since we are deadlifting):
280 x 10
285 x 10
290 x 9
295 x 9
300 x 8
305 x 7
310 x 8
315 x 7
The above lifter is able to push past their previous sticking point, as well as set rep
records at the lighter weights on the climb back up to new territory.
Let’s assume the lifter in the case above makes it out to 335 before needing to bump it
back again. With a conventional approach, 20 lbs of new territory may seem
disheartening as an increase before a reset is needed. This type of thinking leads people to
abandon ship on a program that would continue to work just fine if the resets were
Let’s say in the first ‘wave’ the lifter gets stuck at 315. At that point he resets to 280 and
gets 10 reps with that weight on his working set. The same lifter, being unable to
complete five reps on his work set with 335 would take 35 lbs off of the bar for his reset,
bringing the bar weight down to 300 lbs. In the first reset he was able to hit 300 for eight,
how many do you suppose he will get this time remembering before he got stuck he was
able to lift 330 for five, at least?
Let’s be modest and say he squeezes 11 reps out at 300 this time around. Enough
stimulus to build strength again, if he is capable of getting 335 for four? Absolutely.
How about muscle growth? Can you imagine 300 x 11 on the deadlift not being a good
growth stimulus for this individual?
See where we’re going with this?
The belief that bar weight is the only variable that can be adjusted is extremely limiting.
The lifter may not be able to get the new PR bar weight for five, but the strength they’ve
built on this cycle (the climb in weight and subsequent reduction in completed working
set repetitions) will enable them to smash a lighter weight (which not too long ago was
the PR working weight) for a PR in a higher rep range. This allows progress to be made
during the reset. The overload idea is continued albeit through a different mechanism.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
While we’re on the subject, let’s examine the conventional wisdom regarding rep ranges
in regard to the specific adaptations they are traditionally considered to deliver?
Low reps with heavy weights for strength, high reps with lighter weights for hypertrophy,
We will get a bit more specific for our purposes here. Many sources agree that sets of five
are ideal as a strength and mass builder, while lower reps are more suited for maximal
strength, and higher than five rep sets are more for ‘sarcoplasmic’ hypertrophy, or the
building of muscles that are ‘all show no go’.
Too many take this idea too seriously in my opinion, possibly due to a body of scientific
and anecdotal evidence. However, Can you imagine someone training only 12 to 20 rep
sets on the squat and taking their working set of 12 from 155 to 315 lbs and not having
more maximal strength, meaning a higher one rep max?
Dorian Yates and many other very successful bodybuilders long observed that certain rep
ranges lend themselves very well to muscular development in certain exercises. For
example, sets in the six to eight rep range (working at or near failure) were money for
growth in the upper body pressing and rowing movements, while the Squat and leg
movements in general seemed to work best with higher, double digit rep range sets.
Additionally, single joint movements like curls and triceps extensions were most
productive in the 12-20 range, near failure (no one wanted to tear a triceps tendon trying
to use a huge three or five rep max poundage on a single joint movement.)
The single joint stuff I will touch on in a later chapter about add-ons, but at this point you
are probably beginning to understand why structuring the program in the manner I have
outlined; making incremental increases to allow continued progress in setting rep records
(training near or at failure), and spending time hitting records from 12 reps or so on down
to five with heavy loads is very conducive to developing a tremendous amount of
muscular growth as well as getting significantly stronger.
A win-win situation; brute strength and muscular development in one program, with a
stunning longevity rate in terms of your ability to make gains in both.
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