Heavy-Light-Medium DAY or EXERCISE????
Can Heavy-Light-Medium day approach or Intensity-Recovery-Volume day for intermediate lifters (Starr/Texas) approach be applied to exercises (with rotation) instead of full day?
For example, I guess Starr developed a program where:
Monday (Heavy Day - > 85%)
Squat 1x5 ramp for 5 sets
Bench 1x5 ramp for 5 sets
Deadlift 1x5 ramp for 5 sets
Wednesday (Light Day - <70%)
Squat 3x5 with 60% of Monday weight
Bench 3x5 with 60% of Monday weight
Pull-ups 1x5 ramp for 5 sets
Friday (Medium Day - 70-85%)
Squat 5x5 with 80% of Monday weight
Bench 5x5 with 80% of Monday weight
Rows 1x5 ramp for 5 sets
For example, can we have different 'emphasis' of the day:
Squat (Heavy) 1x5 (5RM)
Bench (Easy) 3x5 @60% 5RM
DeadLift 1x5 ramp for 5 sets
Squat (Easy) 3x5 @60% 5RM
Bench (Medium) 5x5 @80% 5RM
PullUps 1x5 ramp for 5 sets
Squat (Medium) 5x5 @80% 5RM
Bench (Hard) 1x5 (5RM)
Rows 1x5 ramp for 5 sets
This way each 'core' exercise has its own hard-easy-medium cycle rather than full day cycles.
Anyway, the question is: IS the hard-easy-medium scheme geared toward 'total body' (as a system) stress or can it be applied to individual exercises (more 'local' stress) instead? Will this cause 'overtraining' or staleness compared to full day H-E-M approach?
Thanks for your time Mark.
I have used it both ways productively. If overtraining is becoming an issue, you have correctly observed that this rotation would be an effective way of keeping the systemic stress distributed more evenly throughout the week.
Depending on both intensity and volume, it can be excessive systemic stress for some lifters IME. Looking at the 'light' day in the Texas-method, you're still doing heavy front squats (vs. lighter back squats), a top (heavy) set of deadlifts, then 5 sets across of both shoulder presses and chins (volume and medium loading) - heavy chins can equally taxing as bent rows IMO.
To spread out stress even further, I tend to view deadlifts as "heavy horizontal pulling" - so by implementing the correct sequencing it would be 5 sets across of bent rows on Friday, then 2 x 5 (light) or something like inverted rows for higher reps on the following Monday.
A question to Mark, though:
- have you compared and seen any difference in the sequencing between MEDIUM - LIGHT - HEAVY (presented as the Texas-method in PP) vs. LIGHT - MEDIUM - HEAVY?
One, obviously, having the recovery day prior to the heavy workout, and the other having the recovery day prior to the volume workout.
Also consider that the 'light' day isn't really light - you're doing a topset of deadlifts (heavy) and 5 sets across of both presses and chins (medium). In my opinion, the latter is about equal to bent rows in terms of loading.
A minor tweak is to consider deadlifts as 'heavy' horizontal rowing, so Friday would be 'medium' with 5 sets across, then Monday 'light' e.g. 2 x 5 reps rows or even high rep work on inverted rows.
And a question to Mark:
- Have you seen any difference in terms of recovery or progress between the MEDIUM - LIGHT - HEAVY sequence (Texas-method in PP) vs. a LIGHT - MEDIUM - HEAVY? The difference, obviously, that you have the 'light' day prior to the 'heavy' day in the 1st example and the 'light' day prior to the 'medium/volume' day in the 2nd...
These are fascinating observations. But there is no way in hell that heavy chins are as taxing as heavy barbell rows, because not as much tissue is involved. Unless you're not doing enough weight on your barbell rows. And I tend to view deadlifts as "heavy vertical pulling", but that's just me. By inverted row" I think you mean what I call hanging rows, and they are similar to chins in stress level.
Now your question about sequencing: the difference between MEDIUM-LIGHT-HEAVY and LIGHT-MEDIUM-HEAVY is that there is more rest between the HEAVY and the MEDIUM workouts using the latter. And if that's what you want, doing it that way will work well by providing exactly that type of distribution of work as opposed to doing it the other way, which would not.
Well, since you're continuing the sequence the week after - there is only one day extra between the 'medium/volume' and 'heavy' days if you're on a MWF schedule. To make it clearer, you basically have a H-M-L vs. L-M-H sequence. So I was just wondering if there would be any practical difference in terms of volume/loading or criteria for selecting one vs the other.
Deadlifts a vertical pulling exercise? Interesting. I'd say it was closer to a bent row in terms of what muscle groups are involved (upper/midback), the only difference being more hip dominant leg work and higher loading obviously.
Maybe I'm confused here. Which direction does your bar move when you deadlift? And you really believe the only difference in a deadlift and a row is "more hip dominant leg work and higher loading"?
I don't see how that's a valid argument? In that case - which way does the bar move when you do bent rows? Alright, if you say the deadlift is a vertical pulling exercise I'll go with that, I'm not here to argue biomechanics with you. I just wanted to offer an alternative programming option for rows since I've seen many people who jump into the Texas-method without working up to that volume get into problems with their lower backs.
Now, do you have any experience or input on the H-M-L vs. L-M-H sequence?
Okay, here's the deal. You apparently don't understand much about the deadlift or the barbell row, and I'd suggest you buy my book, where it is explained at length. When the bar moves vertically, the movement would be referred to as "vertical", which seems rather obvious.
And it doesn't matter that much what sequence you use, as long as the light day provides some unloading. The whole point is that you think in terms of the week -- not the day-to-day.
And you're not here to argue anything with anybody at all. You're here to ask, be answered, and discuss.
I have both of your books, and given your classification here I still don't see bench press discussed as being a vertical pressing exercise.
No, I'm not here to argue, but I'm not here to just take things at face value without questioning them either, just because you authored a book and have your own forum. There are quite a few other things in your books people disagree with, and going public with material, you should actually be expected to provide valid arguments for your statements - so you can drop that patronizing tone of yours.
Thanks for the feedback, though.
It is now obvious that you are referring to the position of the torso when speaking of "vertical" and "horizontal". I don't see that this is a particularly useful distinction; all barbell exercises obviously operate the resistance perpendicular to the floor, and classifying them as horizontal or vertical depending on torso position accomplishes what good thing? What does that make a low-bar squat? Do we have Horizontal Day on Monday and Thursday and Vertical Day on Tuesday and Friday? And then 45-degree day every other week? What about 60-degree day? Dare we leave that out?
I don't need your advice on my tone. I have not asked anyone to take anything at face value. If there are concise, useful questions about the things in my book that people disagree with, ask them, or get these other people to ask them, and I will either provide a valid argument or concede the point and add it to my revision notes. I learn as much from this type of discussion as you do. And you're welcome for the feedback.