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  • Can't we all just get along?

    Here is an excerpt from SS programming guru Andy Baker's recent HLM FAQ:

    How do I know if my volume and intensity is set up correctly?

    Are you more or less making regular weekly progress on the Heavy Day and not feeling beat to shit?

    If you are making regular progress on the heavy day (are you setting a PR in some rep range?) then you are creating enough stress to drive adaptation. If you are making progress but feel like death, then perhaps you could be making the same progress with a bit less work. If you are not making progress then either (1) your program is too stressful (2) your program is not stressful enough. Which is it? Use common sense and instincts. If you are squatting 12 sets per week (M-5, W-3, F-4) then you don’t need more sets. Maybe you need more intensity on light or medium days. Do they feel too easy? They should be doable but challenging. Are your light/medium days ball busters? Missing reps? Drop the intensity. Or your programming strategy is just bad / unrealistic / non-existent.
    "They should be doable but challenging" is a pretty vague phrase. If only there were an established language for coaches and trainees to communicate about the intensity of their sets...

    In fact, if you followed all of Andy's advice in this post to setup a 3-day HLM template for intermediate lifters, you could end up damn close to The Bridge, except with RPE swapped for suggested percentage ranges. Which is how the BBM eBook recommends you to select your target weights using the e1RM calculator anyway.

    Seriously, we're not that far apart here. The insistence that we are is fracturing a group that would be better off staying together.
    I'm not gonna waste time with an intro.  We're gonna go right into the heart of the issue with 16 of the most frequently asked questions I get about Heavy Light Medium Programming.   If you don't know what HLM programming is you can look it up in Practical Programming for Strength Training or search my blog

  • #2
    So, who are you specifically addressing this post to?
    IG / YT

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    • #3
      I am addressing the BBM community. I’m certain I’m not the only person still trying to process the SS split, and this link from their site in particular set me to wondering what it is we’re really feuding about. I considered posting it in the unmoderated section, but I thought a touchy subject like this could use some oversight. Feel free to move it if you disagree.

      As a strength training “child”, it feels like mom and dad are breaking up. I still visit both, but now there is an undercurrent of coded bad-mouthing from both sides. Maybe I’m just shouting my grief into the void, but I’m hoping some of the other folks here can illuminate what I’m missing.

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      • #4
        I shared many of your feelings a while back. I got over it.

        You don't need to pick a side, just enjoy the great information you find. There is lots of great information from both groups and we are lucky to have the opportunity to benefit from it.

        Experiment and see what works for you and makes sense for your situation. There isn't one right way and there most definitely is not one response to training.

        I think you can find great training advice in either place. I prefer the programming advice here but that's because I'm finding it works better for me.
        You can't beat SS if you need a free form check though.
        I can say confidently if you want medical advice or nutrition advice BBM is the best source I have found. If you want to know the best bourbon go to SS.

        I will also say no one here has gotten mad at me for thinking my own way, only for occasionally sticking my foot in my mouth.

        I think the dichotomy in the definition of "get along" speaks to this situation perfectly:

        get along
        phrasal verb of get
        1.have a harmonious or friendly relationship.

        2. manage to live or survive.
        "don't worry, we'll get along without you"
        Keep Getting Stronger!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Eric Mark View Post
          I’m hoping some of the other folks here can illuminate what I’m missing.
          That Andy isn't SS; Rip (and apparently Reynolds and SSOC) are. SS is a brand that used to be focused on the methods for lifting barbells and programming early novices. More recently the brand has expanded to include how to program late novices and intermediates. And while it's been somewhat of a "lifestyle" brand for some time, it has recently started taking that branding way more seriously. Much of what BBM coaches and recommends for late novices and beyond is inconsistent with the SS brand. Frankly, that's true of Andy too.

          Also -- basic capitalism. SSOC competes directly with BBM. How are we supposed to inform ourselves as consumers if they're "the same?" Andy's services compete with SSOC less directly as well, and more directly with BBM. I think it's harder for Andy to abandon the brand when his name is on PPST -- but if you look at his new website you'll notice very few, if any, mentions of SS.

          As Rip said in the SS forum thread that kicked this all off, everyone had been pretending for far too long that these "products" were the same. They're not. And now we, the consumers, get to benefit from having well defined choices. I for one think that's a HUGE win.

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          • #6
            Everyone is getting along BECAUSE of the separation. Trying to have a harmonious super collective would be at best confusing and at worst a compromise for everyone.

            Originally posted by MorganIsm View Post
            I If you want to know the best bourbon go to SS.
            Easy. Baker's.

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            • #7
              I understand that change is unsettling, and so is knowing that likely more went on here than you will ever be privy to. And I won't deny that there was some tension in various conversations online there for awhile. However, I am confident that both BBM and SS are carrying on with their work. I don't see that we as the BBM staff are codedly bad-mouthing SS with what we are putting forward right now. I think we are very freely presenting our ideas, work, and having on-going discussion about those things. I'd challenge you to take in and examine a lot of what is being said about programming right now. There are actually quite a few things to consider, and it might take multiple exposures to the articles and podcasts to have a better understanding of some key differences.

              Morgan is also right to point out that there is no need to choose a camp. We want you to learn, be challenged with ideas, train well, and be healthier. So you can go to many different places to make that happen.

              It can be unsettling to have thought that you were in the one place for the "right" information. That feeling of having found a group that you resonate with, that helps you out, all of that is good, but challenging ideas of that group is not a bad thing, even though we might not always want to admit that we need to keep thinking and learning, and that it might not all be figured out. We don't have everything all figured out here at BBM, but we're very committed to learning, questioning, examining, piecing things together logically, and working to make all of this accessible to a very broad audience.
              Last edited by Leah Lutz; 04-04-2018, 05:53 PM.

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              • Eric Mark
                Eric Mark commented
                Editing a comment
                Your first sentence rings very true, so thanks for that.

                As for the coded language, look no further than the April Fools Day blog post: "USELESS RPE", "other coaching organizations", etc. I'm not saying it's wrong to have a sense of humor about it; I did find parts of the post quite funny. But like it or not the two organizations have begun to become the butt of one another's jokes.

            • #8
              Hey, if you ain't grindin' then you ain't voluntarily hardshippin'. Might need an intellectual LP to get your mind right, pajama boy. *snort*, *burp*
              Last edited by Radford McAwesome; 04-04-2018, 04:26 PM.

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              • #9
                Having two training camps that disagree with what is optimal shouldn't be a shock to anyone. There have been like 1,253,629 camps with different methods over the years.

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by Eric Mark View Post
                  I am addressing the BBM community. I’m certain I’m not the only person still trying to process the SS split, and this link from their site in particular set me to wondering what it is we’re really feuding about.
                  I still find it interesting that you're directing it to this community.

                  Did you happen to read through the last thread on the SS forums where we attempted to have a discussion about these ideas?
                  IG / YT

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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Austin Baraki View Post

                    I still find it interesting that you're directing it to this community.

                    Did you happen to read through the last thread on the SS forums where we attempted to have a discussion about these ideas?
                    For those who didn't read the thread, Austin and others raised very reasonable questions and the discussion was shut down without a coherent response. https://startingstrength.com/resourc...ml#post1657873

                    Post #66 in the thread is interesting in light of that result.

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                    • #12
                      I've been doing some kind of program for the last 15 years, and whatever program/brand it is, there is always a passionate religious like following and it's comical. BBM and SS are significantly more similar than different. The main difference is what to do as an early intermediate and not to baby old folks ( BBM says to do stock TM for trainees over 60) JK . Bottom line, you can always learn, and can take away plenty of good info from either cult.

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                      • #13
                        I have and continue to recommend lots of people, most of whom have never touched a barbell, to barbell training. If, like me, you constantly have to try to convince people to ignore all of the meathead crap, bullying and political garbage and just pay attention to the methodology and the lifts to help themselves, then it's a relief to have a straightforward apolitical presentation of the material that handles individual variation in both goals and training response in a mature and logical fashion. Also helps that BBM is a respectful environment and doesn't feel the need to inject a bunch of political garbage that we drown in everywhere else.

                        Just to put a fine point on this.. if you had posted this exact post on the moderated SS forums, my guess is the best case scenario is the thread gets deleted by Rip. If that didn't happen, you get to wade through a bunch of sarcasm and shitposting to find a handful of thoughtful posts by some SSCs who aren't running Aasgard or SSOC and the discussion goes nowhere. Contrast that to Leah's response or really any of the other ones here.

                        ​​​​​frankly I do think any acrimony is a real shame, bc both sides are doing a lot to help people, but I think at least the public presentation of it that went down on the SS forums was pretty much all on Rip. Rip wrote the intermediate article directly referencing Jordans article and critiquing it, then refused to engage in the following discussion, then locked the thread altogether whilst throwing sarcastic shade on BBM.

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                        • #14
                          Eric, what we have to stay about RPE isn't coded and neither is Rip's opinion about he. He will tell you it's bull-shit. We say it's not. That's the way things are, and all of that is out in the open and clear.

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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by Austin Baraki View Post

                            I still find it interesting that you're directing it to this community.

                            Did you happen to read through the last thread on the SS forums where we attempted to have a discussion about these ideas?
                            Yes I've read it. My first visit to the forums here was actually via the link Rip posted in that thread.

                            I thought you and Jordan acquitted yourselves better in that discussion, and that is one of the reasons I am more on the BBM side of the fence at this point. It is also the reason I wanted to ask this community. I thought I might receive a more (dare I say it?) nuanced answer.

                            It was easy to spot the dissonance over the past few months (Alan asking about RPE in Rip's Q&A video, the competing intermediate programming articles, and of course the thread you mention), but it never struck me as serious enough to cause a schism. I mistakenly believed that the SS-BBM relationship was capable of containing the disparate ideas and increasingly large personalities that fell on either side of the dispute. As Leah said, I will never be privy to all the details, but the answers provided here have definitely helped me think about this more clearly. Thanks all.

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