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ics1974

I was wondering in regards to bodybuilding methods how long do you try something to know if it was successful or not. Obviously if there are results then the test was a success but if you are not seeing results, how long to you continue trying before you consider it a failure?

When I say methods I mean anything from one set vs 2, set extenders, warming up vs not warming up, different rep speeds or even different routines etc...

Thanks

ics
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

If you are serious about trying something out, I suggest giving it at least two or three months.
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logicbdj

Ontario, CAN

2-3 workouts... something effective will be instantaneous in how the body responds to it. It's like tanning... if the stimulus is strong enough, you see a color change even from one session (if you can tan), and the same is true with any other stress stimulus on the body.
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ics1974

Wow!! two very differnent answers. Can you explain why 2 to 3 months Drew?

Thanks

ICS
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ics1974

logicbdj wrote:
2-3 workouts... something effective will be instantaneous in how the body responds to it. It's like tanning... if the stimulus is strong enough, you see a color change even from one session (if you can tan), and the same is true with any other stress stimulus on the body.


So are you saying if the change doesn't work within a few workouts it probably will never work?
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Michael Petrella

Ontario, CAN

I will have to agree with Brian on this one. When I met him in at his training facility he put me through a chest workout, JREP style. I wish I had the foresight to take measurements or even before and after pictures. My chest was full for days. Although the pump did wear of, the chest has remained bigger since then. That was a few weeks ago and I have trained everybody part since then.

Also I have tried Negative only training, negative accentuated training, 2 workouts a week fullbody, 3 workouts a week fullbody, 3x per week with splits, Heavy Duty and ofcourse volume training up to 5x per week.

When my recovery system is not taxed during the offseason, twice per week fullbody with only a little negative work thrown in, increased my size and strength from workout to workout.
So when something works for me, it works right of the bat.

Hope this helps

Michael
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day

logicbdj wrote:
2-3 workouts... something effective will be instantaneous in how the body responds to it. It's like tanning... if the stimulus is strong enough, you see a color change even from one session (if you can tan), and the same is true with any other stress stimulus on the body.


Ha ha. I seem to remember you lambasting folks who had attempted J(erk)-reps, and after a workout or three deemed they were ineffective, upon which you instructed them they hadn't given it enough time.

For most of us genetically average people, what you do doesn't matter so much as how you do it, and even then we only have a quite a limited scope for improvement.

If you're quite consistent and exert yourself with whatever you're doing you'll get close to your potential within a year or two which I'd guess would be something like 20-40lbs(depending on genetics) of lean.

Everything you change after that is just to keep you interested and in the gym. The time elapsed when doing something new is not to see if it works, but is how long it takes you to get bored of it which is going to vary from person to person.

It's time to change when you don't look forward to going to the gym
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ics1974

bigmikep wrote:
I will have to agree with Brian on this one. When I met him in at his training facility he put me through a chest workout, JREP style. I wish I had the foresight to take measurements or even before and after pictures. My chest was full for days. Although the pump did wear of, the chest has remained bigger since then. That was a few weeks ago and I have trained everybody part since then.

Also I have tried Negative only training, negative accentuated training, 2 workouts a week fullbody, 3 workouts a week fullbody, 3x per week with splits, Heavy Duty and ofcourse volume training up to 5x per week.

When my recovery system is not taxed during the offseason, twice per week fullbody with only a little negative work thrown in, increased my size and strength from workout to workout.
So when something works for me, it works right of the bat.

Hope this helps

Michael



Thanks for you opinion and example Mike.

The only thing that concerns me of a quick conclusion is that something may work "right away" but maybe it was just a small growth and is not noticeable at first glance. If you give yourself more time to come to the conclusion then you may have 2 or 3 growths spurts that add up to something that you can conclude as real growth.

So I agree that results should occur right away but they may not be noticeable and dismissed as a failure.

ics
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Growl

ics wrote:
logicbdj wrote:
2-3 workouts... something effective will be instantaneous in how the body responds to it. It's like tanning... if the stimulus is strong enough, you see a color change even from one session (if you can tan), and the same is true with any other stress stimulus on the body.

So are you saying if the change doesn't work within a few workouts it probably will never work?


I have to go with Brian here. When something has worked for me, it worked instantly. I have been training for a long time and the best routines that I followed worked so quickly that it was almost like a pump that didn't go away.
You may need a little extra time to get the weights down for a particular method such as Zone training, stage reps, or Casler's DCT. Once you get the weights down, you'll know right away or within a few workouts. If something doesn't work right away, then I don't think it's anything special.

When I change routines, I'm looking for something to work a little better than just attempting to add another pound per month to the bar.

Jeff
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ics1974

bigmikep wrote:
I will have to agree with Brian on this one. When I met him in at his training facility he put me through a chest workout, JREP style. I wish I had the foresight to take measurements or even before and after pictures. My chest was full for days. Although the pump did wear of, the chest has remained bigger since then. That was a few weeks ago and I have trained everybody part since then.

Also I have tried Negative only training, negative accentuated training, 2 workouts a week fullbody, 3 workouts a week fullbody, 3x per week with splits, Heavy Duty and ofcourse volume training up to 5x per week.

When my recovery system is not taxed during the offseason, twice per week fullbody with only a little negative work thrown in, increased my size and strength from workout to workout.
So when something works for me, it works right of the bat.

Hope this helps

Michael



Thanks for you opinion and example Mike.

The only thing that concerns me of a quick conclusion is that something may work "right away" but maybe it was just a small growth and is not noticeable at first glance. If you give yourself more time to come to the conclusion then you may have 2 or 3 growths spurts that add up to something that you can conclude as real growth.

So I agree that results should occur right away but they may not be noticeable and dismissed as a failure.

ics
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Growl

Funny thing is, I wrote my response out before reading Michael's. Sounds like we are describing the same thing.

Jeff
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eintology

California, USA


When I say methods I mean anything from one set vs 2, set extenders, warming up vs not warming up, different rep speeds or even different routines etc...


Would be completely dependent on the level of understanding the individual has with they're own body, it's interactions, and the degree in which they are affected by all the variables involved.

As with any task involving the human condition, I wouldn't feel comfortable putting a time line on it, for the above reasons....

It would depend on who we are talking about, while taking into account they're apptitudes, and in this instance, level of 'mental and physical connectedness.'

And what it is exactly the person is striving to accomplish? I often get the impression that a good many people don't have a clear understanding of what that is.

For some, they would know with near immediacy. For others, the quest....

Erik

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ics1974

I know this has nothing to do with my original post but thought this was too funny.

Ad posted in a Utah newspaper.
Post Date: Aug 7th, 2006
Expire Date: Sep 6th, 2006


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I'm selling it because it was purchased without proper consent of a
loving wife. Apparently "do whatever the f*** you want" doesn't mean
what I thought. Call me, Steve. (801) 800-555-8292

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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

ics wrote:
Wow!! two very differnent answers. Can you explain why 2 to 3 months Drew?

Thanks

ICS


Depends on whether you're trying to find out whether something will work, or how well it will work compared to other methods.

You should be able to tell very quickly whether something works, in which case I believe Brian is dead-on. If the method works, and you're doing it properly, you should see some kind of improvement right away.

However, if after a few workouts you can tell it does work, and you want to see how well it works compared to other things you've done in the past, you should give it a little more time. Especially if it's very different than what you're used to, in which case more time may be required to rule out skill improvements as a factor in perceived strength increases, if strength is the goal.
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logicbdj

Ontario, CAN

Day:

When you know what you're doing, and how to apply exercise strain relative to your individuality, then the effect is quick. Those who did not find the effect of Zone Training, that others have, often did not apply it relative to their individuality... and often did not even apply the method properly, which is why a demo is on the Zone site, as well as a DVD (and another to come). I tried to write a detailed 'how to' in the first book, and yet it still was/is bastardized. Many people learn best by seeing rather than reading.

On another note, unrelated to your post, but relative to a few other posts, when I know something is working, I stick with it... I don't need months to comparison shop. When it no longer works, that is a sign of adaptation and something new needs to be implemented, but still within your individuality... which aspect goes over most people's heads since they fail to track patterns and responses and start at square one each and every time. That is why a person with 20 years experience still is confused.
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Tougher

Alberta, CAN

I agree with both Drew and Brian on this one. If you've been training long enough and know your body, you should be able to tell if a new routine, rep sceme, etc., will be beneficial after a few workouts - at least for a short term change. But if you want to COMPARE methods, then you need longer than 2-3 workouts.

For an example, let's look at switching to HVT. For the first week or so, you may feel a good pump during the workouts, soreness after and even see results, however, as we all know, prolonged HVT can quickly lead to over training and ultimately slowing or ceasing of positive results.

So, like Brian stated, 2-3 workouts should be all you need to determine if a new method is of ANY use. This, however, will not tell you if it is good for the long term or if it is necessarily better than another method. Like Drew said, if you want to compare methods you should aim for 2-3 months. I guess it depends on how long you intend on using the new method for and what your goals are. From the examples you gave for changes, ie. set extenders, rep speeds, 1 set vs 2, etc. I feel that 2-3 months is a good timeline for comparison.

Ben
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logicbdj

Ontario, CAN

Nothing is good long term; the body adapts, thus making any 'comparison' pointless (particularly as you close in on your genetics). What is good now will be next to useless later (sometimes unable just to maintain what you achieved). After all, if something that was good at first was as good thereafter, no one would be on these boards looking for answers.

And often what one would think is no good or the antithesis often is what is required to stimulate further progress, which is why you have HIT people talking about sub-fatigue, and HVT people talking about HIT... only to change their minds months later for a different version of what they left behind. Simply focusing on one's patterns and understanding basic GAS would clarify this, but it goes ignored.
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BIO-FORCE

California, USA

logicbdj wrote:
Nothing is good long term; the body adapts, thus making any 'comparison' pointless (particularly as you close in on your genetics). What is good now will be next to useless later (sometimes unable just to maintain what you achieved). After all, if something that was good at first was as good thereafter, no one would be on these boards looking for answers.

And often what one would think is no good or the antithesis often is what is required to stimulate further progress, which is why you have HIT people talking about sub-fatigue, and HVT people talking about HIT... only to change their minds months later for a different version of what they left behind. Simply focusing on one's patterns and understanding basic GAS would clarify this, but it goes ignored.


All excellent points.

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Ryo

Switzerland

I think 1 month is enough to see if the method works or not. Only beginners or people who are not making gains or very little gains can except to see a difference within 2-3 workouts. After 3 workouts (1-3 weeks) an intermediate lifter won't gain 1/4'' not even 1/8'' on his arms nor add a lot of weight on his curl.

So you cannot know if what you are doing works or not. If such gains were possible then we would reach our potential in a few month. (Un)Fortunotely it takes longer than that.

After a month if your (strict) curl didn't increase by at least 0.5kg then what you are doing is of very little value or you are totaly overtrained and your strength gains are masked by nervous fatigue. So what I would do is :

Test a method for 1 month take a few days off, sleep and eat well and test your strength on a "control" exercise (if possible a single joint exercise to be sure the strength gains are due to hypertrophy and not better skills or nervous efficiency).

I think that if people don't reach their potential as fast as it should be done it's because they lose a LOT of time with experimentation. If you test a method for 2 month then realise that it don't work and try another one for 1-3 month and again a third method which doesn't work better. You already lost 4-8 month and most people continue like that again and again...

WHY ? Because they want to make fast gains they want to believe there is an easy way a better way but in most case this strategy is a TOTAL failure (that's my own experience). The people who make the best gains and the fastest gains are the people who choose a valid method (acceptable rate of progress) and STICK to it for MONTH or even YEARS. That is HARD WORK !
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

Whether something works or not should be apparent pretty quickly, if you are keeping records and using an appropriate means of evaluating whether the desired result is being acheived or not.

How well something works compared to something else may take more time. There is a reason most exercise research lasts longer than a few days.
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logicbdj

Ontario, CAN

Ryo:

Workout effectiveness is not based solely on the gains you achieve from the workout (that comes after the fact), but the immediate response of the muscles... something simply feels good or better than usual... there is a higher connection between the mind and muscle as it pertains to the QUALITY of the workout (of the stimulus) in general. Certainly you must have walked away from a workout and thought "wow... that felts so good... better than usual." When that is experienced you will note a bigger pump and better muscle fullness hours and days after the workout than you would with a workout of lesser quality.
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gorlando

logicbdj wrote:
Ryo:

Workout effectiveness is not based solely on the gains you achieve from the workout (that comes after the fact), but the immediate response of the muscles... something simply feels good or better than usual... there is a higher connection between the mind and muscle as it pertains to the QUALITY of the workout (of the stimulus) in general. Certainly you must have walked away from a workout and thought "wow... that felts so good... better than usual." When that is experienced you will note a bigger pump and better muscle fullness hours and days after the workout than you would with a workout of lesser quality.



bdj,

have you found a direct correlation between a great pump and amount of muscle gained? have you also experienced a great workout/pump and no muscle gained? I'm asking because I presume you've been more rigorous as far as measurements than I have.

I'm getting an incredible pump lately even on chest/back and I visually seem to be growing and have added some bodyweight, but I don't measure - I was curious as to your experience.

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logicbdj

Ontario, CAN

I can tell you this, when progress happens, it happens quickly. Whenever I put on size, and I'm talking about a quarter inch on arms and upward of 3/4 inch on thighs, it occurred within 3-5 workouts.... and then... nothing. And whenever I did something very different and unusual, another spurt of growth occurred. Very basic GAS, which does not support the notion of slow and steady wins the race (since sustaining the same protocol, even with progressive overload, allows the body to adapt to the stimulus... you must seek that which is different, which supports part of the basis for the book Tactical Fitness: Rules of Advanced Gym Warfare).

Further, I would say that every time I got a growth spurt that I achieved a very intense pump, but that likely is a coincidence or the result of a great workout, whereas a huge pump does not mean necessarily that you produced a lot or any growth. For instance, I still get incredible pumps but I'm not growing much if any as of late, at age 42 and at 203 pounds of body weight.

However, having said that, I find that if I achieve a huge pump, and although I may not be getting any larger, I do look better between workouts... more full and solid looking. That may be chalked up to 'cosmetic' appearances, but I'll take it over looking flat and anxious to get back in the gym because I'm not looking full and solid.

As well, there is research evidence to suggest that congestion is associated with increases in gH, mitochondria, sarcoplasm, and other aspects not associated with an increase in fiber size. In other words, very intense training will increase muscle fiber size, but work toward that max pump and you will see size occur not associated with muscle fiber size. Bodybuilders have known this for decades, but with the advent of steroids, volume got out of control since it allowed them to train with less intensity.

The one problem I have with full body training is the inability to achieve that huge pump, since there is insufficient volume. However, specialize within full body training (Dr. Darden has written about this in several books) and it affords you to focus on 1-2 select muscles, to increase volume (while decreasing volume for the remaining body parts), and to experience superior growth in those muscles. If you do full body training, that is the only way an advanced trainee will push the envelope toward his or her genetic limits. Jones spoke of this as well, years ago, when he recommended a back routine that consisted of 6 different exercises.
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gorlando

logicbdj wrote:
I can tell you this, when progress happens, it happens quickly. Whenever I put on size, and I'm talking about a quarter inch on arms and upward of 3/4 inch on thighs, it occurred within 3-5 workouts.... and then... nothing. And whenever I did something very different and unusual, another spurt of growth occurred. Very basic GAS, which does not support the notion of slow and steady wins the race (since sustaining the same protocol, even with progressive overload, allows the body to adapt to the stimulus... you must seek that which is different, which supports part of the basis for the book Tactical Fitness: Rules of Advanced Gym Warfare).

Further, I would say that every time I got a growth spurt that I achieved a very intense pump, but that likely is a coincidence or the result of a great workout, whereas a huge pump does not mean necessarily that you produced a lot or any growth. For instance, I still get incredible pumps but I'm not growing much if any as of late, at age 42 and at 203 pounds of body weight.

However, having said that, I find that if I achieve a huge pump, and although I may not be getting any larger, I do look better between workouts... more full and solid looking. That may be chalked up to 'cosmetic' appearances, but I'll take it over looking flat and anxious to get back in the gym because I'm not looking full and solid.

As well, there is research evidence to suggest that congestion is associated with increases in gH, mitochondria, sarcoplasm, and other aspects not associated with an increase in fiber size. In other words, very intense training will increase muscle fiber size, but work toward that max pump and you will see size occur not associated with muscle fiber size. Bodybuilders have known this for decades, but with the advent of steroids, volume got out of control since it allowed them to train with less intensity.

The one problem I have with full body training is the inability to achieve that huge pump, since there is insufficient volume. However, specialize within full body training (Dr. Darden has written about this in several books) and it affords you to focus on 1-2 select muscles, to increase volume (while decreasing volume for the remaining body parts), and to experience superior growth in those muscles. If you do full body training, that is the only way an advanced trainee will push the envelope toward his or her genetic limits. Jones spoke of this as well, years ago, when he recommended a back routine that consisted of 6 different exercises.


thanks very much for your quick reply. Ok, so I will not make the mistake of thinking that a great workout/pump will lead to more strength and size. I'll keep varying the workouts, which is what I've been doing.

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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Now that I know what to look for I can differentiate positive results from none or negative results from only one to two workouts. To know if growth has actually occurred and as a direct result of the new approach takes maybe 2-4 workouts. After a productive session my muscles stand up at attention, not just bloated pump but fuller/harder, deeply fatigued and almost buzzing. Example:

About 5 weeks back I had a shoulder specialization day, lots of great stuff I strategized and put a lot of concentration and effort into the session. Zip, nadda, nothing came from it and I knew it because they just did not look of feel right during or after the session, I did not bother repeating anything similar. Then just lately I trained shoulders and boom they grew in two sessions. I felt it, saw it and measured it. In the sack my better half said she could see a feel it and I never prompted her to comment. This was several days out from the last shoulder work and not just glycogen retention or swelling. The added size stays with me today.

I had read a post here about the Nautilus reverse pullover and it reminded me that I had never tried it in Zones. I could never get it to work for me in full range reps so I had dropped it from all routines. It just hit my chest and front delt too much, plus the intense burn was a major distraction. Anyway, I worked it in halves and then 1/6 reps then followed this with Nautilus side raise but facing the back pad. I trained the side raises by alternating sides and zones and boom in two workouts my shoulders grew.

Regards,
Andrew
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