Heavier than last week. Cleaner than last week. Faster than last week. More focus than last week. More sleep than last week. More food than last week. More fun than last week.
This month’s Talk Nerdy To Me pans out at the systems that we commonly need to optimize in order to perform at our highest level. Keep in mind that many of the items discussed could be Talk Nerdy To Me vids in and of themselves. However, this video is meant to provide you with a bird’s eye view of how we support our athletes with much more than just exercise.
This is the first week of a 12 week program. Each week will be posted on the Sunday before. The recommended split is Tues/Thurs/Sat/Sun as these are the days we have found that athletes are most consistently ready to train. The other option is Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat.Do what works for you.
There will be three programmed deloads within these twelve weeks. The goal for this program is to add strength, mass, and feel fucking awesome. Fuel accordingly. Please post your loads and any feedback you have below.
How does Autoregulated Progressive Resistance Exercise (APRE) work?
This protocol developed by Bryan Mann is extremely simple and effective. It involves back to back sets to failure and the weight goes up or down depending on how many reps you get for the next set and the next week.
Here are the two tables you will need.
What are all these acronyms?
Figure it out. It will make you better.
What if I don’t know my tempo row?
Great question, we will test this eventually but for the time being stay between 170-190 watts
Do I need to the Cs and Ds?
These are aerobic-ish circuits to aid in recovery and get in things to keep you fresh and moving well. So, yes do them!
How long should these workouts take?
All of these workouts have been timed. You should be out of the weight room in less than an hour. I would advise starting a running clock on your first working set. If it takes you longer than 55 min – you were talking/texting too much.
What if I don’t know an exercise?
We have most of our exercises listed on our youtube channel – here. If you don’t know what something is, post below and I will get it uploaded and available to you.
It is very interesting and scary when people get overly absorbed and maniacal with the science. They get tunnel vision and forget that science is incredibly slow and the academic structure and the medical system are very resistant to change. For example, think how long it took for us to ditch the Key’s cholesterol hypothesis while the general population still doesn’t fully understand either side.
These clingy science buffs get agitated when people use clinical or anecdotal evidence, but these are the very things that drive research to move forward. You can also swing this the other way with early adopters who don’t know how to break down primary research and change everything they do based of a two week study with an n of 8.
Like it or not science is incredibly powerful and has changed the world, but it doesn’t have all the answers. And oppositely, anecdotal evidence can and does fail, but you can’t have one without the other. I have literally been trained intensely for the last half decade to rip apart scientific literature. This has given me a respect for well performed and presented science, but also an appreciation for its short comings and the pace of the process.
There seems to be this war between Paleo Fanatics and Non-Paleo Fanatics. They cite the research over and over again which isn’t there yet, period. Paleo doesn’t matter to me and this movement will be very hard to test because – What exactly is Paleo? It was a pendulum shift back to food quality and generally away from carbohydrates but it can lead to a newfound obsession with “purity” which people of many religious backgrounds have been doing for centuries.
What someone should eat is highly individual and try writing the scientific study or budget to test that hypothesis. We will likely get there with our new knowledge of the immune system, nutrigenomics, the microbiome, and their interrelation with many other systems or by finding appropriately designating responders and non-responders with in trials. When you combine these fields and this increasing knowledge with will all the fancy gadgets we have to monitor other lifestyle factors we have a real shot.
Yet, lifestyle interventions are incredibly hard to control, especially for long periods of time. It is the nature of the beast. The study will never be perfect and the nay-sayers will always be there. It’s OK, they are needed to swing the pendulum back. Nevertheless, it is going to be some time before this type of big picture research comes together, but the best of the best of functional medicine docs have been individualizing and putting the puzzle together from the inside out for decades.
So in the meantime run your own scientific study, go to the best Functional Medicine Practitioner you can find in your area or online and do what they say, all of it, wholeheartedly. Run as many tests as you can afford. Accept that the placebo effect may be real and that you can’t let this attachment to purity make you a neurotic food nazi (which is equally, if not more unhealthy). Then go to the best nutritionist that myopically and perhaps biasedly searches the available research. They will likely write up some plan with whole grains, macros, and caloric restriction. The best of these nutritionists may even try to find what you will adhere to must, but without healing from the inside out they will only be giving you what your symptoms want or need. They may even get results and may even hit the right target for the mean of the people that come to them. But some people just won’t get results and even more won’t be able to keep them.
One of my mentors Dr. Culleton sent me this quote and it has stuck in my head every day since then.
“If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.”
– Henry Ford
Now if you went to a bone broth Paleo fanatic “nutritionist” you could get more effed up than the science expert above. (FYI I love bone broth) This is because both of these fictional characters have missed the forest for the trees – drive performance through health and individualize based on objective markers of health.
Among practitioners who look at biomarkers and individualize dietary and exercise programs based on objective and subjective data, arguments rarely ever happen and these folks tend to stay out of the storm of the interwebz.
How do I know the mind of all of these characters? Because over the last decade I have lived them all and experienced their shortcomings first hand in myself and my clients. To grow, these mindsets have to be able to have educated, sane, human conversations. We can’t just jackhammer anecdotal evidence or an idea to pieces just because it hasn’t been backed by an RCT which may not even be possible to build. We have to accept that there is more than one way that could work. We have to get objective measures rooted in good science and individualize based on the best available evidence based practices. We have to understand that science is a powerful, yet a slow and meandering beast, and that it can be wrong or inappropriately extrapolated for different populations.
One of the best ways to keep yourself from becoming an extremist or a crotchety old or new school professional is to read and follow people on the opposite end of the spectrum as you. You may not agree, but then you can investigate why and try to figure out if this methodology has a place for some clients. Thus, if you love Paleo follow some of the big guns from AND, ISSN, or ACSM. If you have been conventionally trained read up objectively on some of the alternative protocols that are out there. Expand your mind.
This is the start of the Talk Nerdy To Me series. These talks will be about 20 minutes in duration. The goal is to simplify complex and/or tabooed subjects. We will release one a month by myself or one of our many esteemed colleagues throughout the country.
Without further adieu…
And below are the individual images and a video with the animations of the slides for this presentation.