Top set with back off versus Sets Across on Heavy Day of HLM Top set with back off versus Sets Across on Heavy Day of HLM

starting strength gym
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Top set with back off versus Sets Across on Heavy Day of HLM

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    32

    Default Top set with back off versus Sets Across on Heavy Day of HLM

    • wichita falls texas june seminar date
    • woodmere new york july seminar date
    • las vegas nevada august seminar
    I understand that HLM is a template and that there are innumerable ways to configure it for an intermediate trainee. However, from what I have learned from PPST3, Andy Baker's articles and video lectures, the content in this forum, and many HLM training logs, I have come to conclude that the HLM programmes can be broadly classified into two types based on how one sets up the Heavy day:

    a) One top set of 1 to 5 reps followed by 2 to 4 back off sets at -5% to -10% load.
    b) 3 to 5 sets across (5x5 being the most popular choice)

    Which set up is usually more suitable for an early intermediate trainee? How does a coach determine which one is suitable for a someone who has just finished NLP?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1,064

    Default

    I'm gonna lead towards sets across every time simply because it's more work and it's impossible mess up.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    East Haddam, Connecticut
    Posts
    52

    Default

    As with most programming questions, the answer is “it depends.”

    Typically I will have lifters end their NLP with a top set of 5 reps followed by backoff sets. So when the time comes to make a change over to HLM, I’ll keep the heavy day weights the same as their last successful top set of 5 on LP, and then build volume back up over time. So, in other words, if the lifter ends their LP with a top set of 5 at 350, he may begin his HLM program with a heavy day target of 350 pounds for a single set of 5, or maybe even a couple triples. I’d then figure out their light and medium days (typically 10-20% reductions on light days and 5-10% reductions on medium days). Next, after starting their HLM with just a single set of 5 or a couple of triples on the first heavy day, I’ll have them build volume up over the next couple of weeks. Once they achieve their target volume, typically 4 or 5 sets of 5 reps, I’ll start regular weekly increases in intensity on the heavy days.

    Here is how a sample progression may look:

    Start HLM
    Week 1: 350x5x1
    Week 2: 350x5x2-3
    Week 3: 350x5x4
    Week 4: 355x5x4
    Last edited by Cody Annino; 01-20-2020 at 07:44 AM. Reason: punctuation

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Thank you coach Cody for introducing yet another way of transitioning from Novice to Intermediate training. No wonder why Andy Baker said that there are 9872 ways (I think he hugely underestimated this number) to set up the heavy day of HLM in his HLM video lecture.

    So in the first week of HLM, there is actually a reduction in the volume on the Heavy day as there are no back off sets (do correct me if I am wrong). I guess that would be a welcome relief to someone who is grinding out the NLP.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    East Haddam, Connecticut
    Posts
    52

    Default

    Correct! Usually, it is a much-needed reduction after griding through a really tough LP. This strategy tends to work well with older clients. Sometimes when you're working with younger guys, you can be a bit more aggressive and start their HLM right where NLP leaves off and never look back. Usually, for those guys, I'll have them spend some time doing heavy triples or top sets with backoffs.

    Here's how that might look for the hypothetical lifter in my previous post:

    End of NLP:

    Monday: 345 x 5 reps + Back offs
    Wednesday: light
    Friday: 350 x 5 reps + Back offs

    Monday: 355 x 4 reps + Back offs (miss)
    Wednesday: Light
    Friday: 355 x 3-4 reps + Back offs (miss)

    Start HLM
    week 1: 355 x 3 reps x 2 sets
    week 2: 360 x 3 reps x 2-3 sets
    Week 3: 365 x 3 reps x 3 sets

    As you mentioned, there are endless ways of running an HLM. The amount of flexibility that it allows both the coach and the lifter is why it's one of my favorite programming models.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Thank you coach.

    Hope someday someone will codify the intermediate training rules into a more fixed framework as Rip did for novice training so that even the most ignorant among us can cruise through the strength journey in an auto-pilot mode as we do during the NLP. (I understand why an "Intermediate Strength" book might never happen, but just hoping).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Wichita Falls, TX
    Posts
    937

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PuliMorgan View Post
    Thank you coach.

    Hope someday someone will codify the intermediate training rules into a more fixed framework as Rip did for novice training so that even the most ignorant among us can cruise through the strength journey in an auto-pilot mode as we do during the NLP. (I understand why an "Intermediate Strength" book might never happen, but just hoping).
    Once you've done the NLP, there's no more autopilot. The changes that need to be made to your programming to continue progressing have to be deliberate and informed by what has happened over the last few months of the process. All novices do the same program, early intermediates benefit from simple templates with slight modifications, late intermediate and advanced lifters will be doing individualized programming that will vary significantly from what another late intermediate/advanced lifter will be doing.

    So the point is, what you need are some rules to follow so that you can use programming templates like HLM, Texas Method, etc to make good programming decisions, as few at a time as possible.

    Rule 1 - Stress has to increase. If you reduce intensity, volume goes up. If you reduce volume, intensity goes up. Pretend you're the sound guy at a death metal show. You can turn down or turn up the bass or drums, reverb, or any other parameter on your mixing board, but you don't want the overall volume level coming out of the speakers to decrease or you may be sacrificed on stage. Some things will have a greater effect on the overall stress than others - your program can tolerate (and sometimes requires) reductions in volume and frequency on the squat and deadlift, but will completely tank with reductions in volume and frequency on the press, for example.

    Rule 2 - Make small changes with the goal of adding weight to the bar in a timeframe that's appropriate to your level of training advancement. Every workout at first, twice a week later on, every week when you're starting intermediate stuff, then every two weeks, then three, and so on. If you're not increasing the weight on the bar regularly, your programming or consistency is off.

    Rule 3 - NEVER plug and play any template as written beyond the SS NLP. If you like a programming template. Work your way into it over the course of a few weeks or a couple months using the principles in rules 1 and 2.

    Believe it or not, all of this is covered in Practical Programming.
    Last edited by Nick Delgadillo; 01-22-2020 at 11:36 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    32

    Default

    I get it Coach Nick. I am reading the Intermediate chapter of PPST for the third time.

    One can imagine the possibilities of HLM programming when one realises that none other than Coach Andy Baker himself actually presents a Heavy - Medium - Light order for press and pull (Squat follows H-L-M order) for the distributed load model in his lecture on HLM that can be found here:YouTube

    In the screenshot from his lecture (attached along), you can see that in the right hand column on his whiteboard.

    Screen Shot 2020-01-23 at 12.04.43 AM.jpg

    In case Coach Baker is around, I have a question: I found it amusing to see H-M-L order on a lecture in H-L-M programming. Is there any specific reason why this order is recommended here for press and pull? To keep the daily volume / intensity / duration constant? Or is it to enlighten us on the endless possibilities?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,872

    Default

    It's a flexible approach where the point is to have variation in how hard you're pushing, Puli. Note that order changes with how you count in your week and that moving to different number of workouts per week can be done. Don't let that throw you off or start you talking about MHL, HHL, HMHL, HHHL, HMHHL, HHHHL or HHMHHL programs . They're all under the HLM umbrella. Expand your thinking.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    32

    Default

    starting strength coach development program
    Going through the vast and invaluable content in Rip's books and SS website has expanded my views about almost everything in life and it is much beyond my success with NLP, Dr. Bradford.

    I am beginning to understand that the linear thinking has to give way to a nonlinear narrative when it comes to intermediate and advance training. No wonder why you came up with the barbell with brain logo for your coach development programme:

    training-coach-development-prep-course.jpg

    (I have a special interest in logo design and I have to tell you that this is an excellent logo. It does its job by conveying a powerful message through a simple image).

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •