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Barbell Logic

Dec 28, 2021

Matt & Niki discuss when the human element inhibits an MED modification from being the right change for a lifter. This is a re-release of episode 341.

Many BLOC coaches have found a pattern where advanced clients get bored with a program, and oftentimes this happens EVEN WHEN THE PROGRAM IS WORKING (i.e. producing PRs & achieving goals). 

You have to guard against program hopping or chasing the shiny object here, but if a client has trained a certain way for awhile (e.g. chasing numbers) then it might be time to make a bigger change.

This doesn't really apply to novice or early intermediate lifters, as they need to build the base of strength and some small changes can be made if they're looking for a bit of variety (more conditioning or more hypertrophy at the end of the workouts). 

Most advanced clients need something to train for--something that focuses their training and provide purpose. Some people can simply bear down and keep going when the goal is as vague as "let's get stronger and healthier," but this is fairly rare. If your client doesn't have a goal on the horizon, discussing one may help. 

Changing the goal could mean focusing on volume & hypertrophy instead of weight on the bar, trying to lose weight, focusing on conditioning or another physical activity outside the gym, or trying something new like Olympic weightlifting. 

The goal may remain but the means to achieve it may change. EMOMs, AMRAPs, tonnage totals, circuits, and Westside Splits are all great ways that lifters can still train their lifts and work toward their goals but that are different enough than typical sets of 5. 

Exercise variation may help as well. Playing with supplemental lifts you normal don't (e.g. front squats or sumo deadlifts) can help provide needed variety. You may still have one heavy lift at the beginning of the workout, but the rest of the workout involves more accessories done in a circuit or to get a pump. 

When considering a huge shift, you have to consider the means to achieve the end and the tradeoffs. Matt shares that when one of his client proposes changing the goal for a bit, he often changes his mind after Matt explains what that revised process will look like. 

If you're getting sick of what you're doing but don't just want to program hop, consider changing your goal, the exercise selection, or training method. Ensure you weight tradeoffs and how this may affect your long-term goals. 

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