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Will Peaking Just Slow Me Down!? / How Do I Add Volume? - Intermediate Questions

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  • Will Peaking Just Slow Me Down!? / How Do I Add Volume? - Intermediate Questions

    Hi Jordan and Austin and all other people of the Interwebz!

    I'll try to balance both being as concise and detailed as possible for my questions:

    Question #1:

    After seeing the Stress-Recovery-Adaptation Snippet Q&A from New Zealand, Jordan stated that if you drop volume to increase weight (3x5 down to 3x3 but up the weight), you are effectively "peaking". The primary purpose of peaking is to DISPLAY built strength. This is where "building" takes a backseat. In order to "build" we will need MORE volume. Not Less.

    This is where I need clarification: Will peaking (upping weight and dropping volume) just slow down my progress IF I HAVE NO PLANS TO COMPETE IN A MEET? The reason why I suspect peaking will slow me down, is because when volume gets reduced, we're essentially de-training. And most "peaking phases" usually end up being around 2-3 weeks long. Those 2-3 weeks, could've been put towards higher volumes focused at around the 70-90% 1RM range to drive hypertrophy.

    So as a very fresh post-novice lifter (let's call this being an early intermediate) who has no plans to compete, is peaking a complete waste of time? If not, then when would be an appropriate time to peak? My gut tells me that it would be most appropriate with "resensitizing" yourself to volume due to the volume drop. But if the volume drop is what causes resensitization, maybe it would be more productive to just take a low stress week and then hop right back into higher volumes vs tapering down volume over 2-3 weeks.

    Question #2:

    How would I go about adding in more volume? Do I just add more sets per training session until it becomes next to impossible to recover from that extra volume per session and then spread it out over a few days?

    For example:
    If I no longer respond to 3x5 per session, up it to 5x5 per session. If I no longer respond to 5x5 per session AND CAN'T RECOVER by the next session, I could maybe do 4x5 on Day 1 and 3x5 on Day 2 (making a total of 7x5 over 2 days) and then elongate the training week. Meaning that instead of having a 7 day week, extend it to an 11 day training week, which I BELIEVE, coaches refer to as a "cycle". Whether it's micro/meso/macro I'm not sure. LoL.

    More interestingly: If we zoom out on a larger scale, this almost seems like a more "smooth and natural" way of introducing "volume" blocks into a trainee's career. Just an observation that I could be wrong about.

    Hope I gave enough info for an answer!

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Hey there,

    Thanks for your question. We're glad you listened to the Q&A snippet and have been chewing on these ideas.

    Have you had a chance to listen to our 3-part programming podcast series?
    IG / YT

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes I have! Parts 1 and 3 were my favourite.

      It's from listening to those podcasts and watching the YouTube videos that I came to my own "half thought out, probably wrong" answers to my own questions that I asked in this post.
      Can you confirm, deny or correct what my potential answers are?

      Comment


      • #4


        Question #1:


        After seeing the Stress-Recovery-Adaptation Snippet Q&A from New Zealand, Jordan stated that if you drop volume to increase weight (3x5 down to 3x3 but up the weight), you are effectively "peaking". The primary purpose of peaking is to DISPLAY built strength. This is where "building" takes a backseat. In order to "build" we will need MORE volume. Not Less.

        This is where I need clarification: Will peaking (upping weight and dropping volume) just slow down my progress IF I HAVE NO PLANS TO COMPETE IN A MEET?
        Short answer: Not if you do it how we do it.

        Long answer: You'll have to alternate periods of training with higher and lower volumes, in general. You don't have a choice. That said, doing this very early on in training in order to stick to a rigid program that is potentially lacking in a number of key areas seems like a bad idea.

        So as a very fresh post-novice lifter (let's call this being an early intermediate) who has no plans to compete, is peaking a complete waste of time? If not, then when would be an appropriate time to peak?
        Honestly, it depends on what you mean by peak and more context. That said, if you're following our programming then I think you're likely on the right track with the caveat that all programs may benefit from adjustment to the individual.


        Question #2:

        How would I go about adding in more volume? Do I just add more sets per training session until it becomes next to impossible to recover from that extra volume per session and then spread it out over a few days?
        Short answer: We think our examples of programming templates and the large amount of material we've published on the matter are good examples of "how-to" do this.

        Long answer: You (and everyone else) likely don't fully recover between sessions so let's not consider that. But "just adding more sets" is not terribly good advice, similar to "just add weight."
        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
        ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

        Comment


        • #5
          In a practical example, the 12wk strength program has a peaking phase.
          If there is no plan whatsoever to compete for the next 6-10 months, and no interest to test their 1RMs, should one still run the realization week? Or can it be skipped?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by leGDE View Post
            In a practical example, the 12wk strength program has a peaking phase.
            If there is no plan whatsoever to compete for the next 6-10 months, and no interest to test their 1RMs, should one still run the realization week? Or can it be skipped?
            You could skip it.
            Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
            ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

            Comment

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