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How do the templates work?

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  • How do the templates work?

    I'm new to BBM coming off novice LP and I think this is how things work, correct me if I'm wrong.

    Coming off of novice LP I should do The Bridge. Run that over and over again until I'm not seeing results. Then for me, I want to train strength, but I'd also like some more hypertrophy to look good and help with my strength goals. So I then get Hypertrophy 1 and Strength 1 and rotate those until I stop seeing results. Then I would do the higher level templates for Strength and Hypertrophy and/or get some personal coaching. Am I thinking of this right?

  • #2
    Approximately.

    If I was starting over I'd do the bridge just once, then alternate strength templates with blocks of the new BB template--it has 3 blocks, each 6 weeks so it works out nicely for 2/3rd STR templates with 1/3 hypertrophy focus.

    If STR template progress stalls you could either change variations, increase volume, or move onto powerlifting/strengthlifting II and III.

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    • Goblino
      Goblino commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the info, Smokes. Do you have any experience running powerlifting vs strength lifting? If so, is there really a big difference at all between the two?

  • #3
    The goal isn't to squeeze everything you can out of a program, but if you respond really well to a stimulus then it is reasonable to repeat it.

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    • #4
      Smokes

      Besides block lengths lining up well, are there other reasons you prefer the BB template to the hypertrophy templates?

      ​​​​​​

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      • #5
        HansAndFranz I don't have the hypertrophy templates, so I can't compare directly, but what I like about the BB template is the shorter blocks to interweave with STR focus. I'm still working on being able to fully customize my own programming so until I get there, it's good to have some levers I do feel comfortable changing (e.g. whether pin squat or pause squat assist my competition squat more) while others I don't feel I have a good enough feel for to change (e.g. programming an appropriate amount of intensity).

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        • #6
          Smokes

          Which loading scheme do you like best from the templates you've seen?

          The main ones in the beginner template are structured like this:

          @7
          @8
          @9
          then 1-3 backoff sets at 5-10% reduction. Squats and DL get three sets and 10%, tertiary movements usually get 1 set and 5%, secondary are in between


          ​​​​​​the other is:

          single @8
          5 @ 9
          24 reps @7-8 in sets of 4-6 reps



          I have been thinking of trying something like 30 reps @8 in sets of 4-6 for strength and some larger number in sets of 8-10 for hypertrophy. To me it seems like @9 causes a lot of interset fatigue and I'm wondering if it's worth the reduced tonnage that it entails.

          (I'm also interested in doing my own program and have already started adapting the template.)
          ​​

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          • #7
            Personal preference, I like the 2nd form because it's fun to do singles and I like the 9 to help level set RPE.

            When the 9 is more like 10, I definitely feel a little more drained than I do when I get 9 right.

            Ya, this is the point though at which I'm not sure what do to--when is the next logical step to add another set or are paused squats just not as useful as an assistance exercise on the squat for me compared to pin squats?

            I keep lifting and gathering both data and experience to try to figure it out. I think the biggest challenge is when I see movement on a lift (up or down) hard to correlate that with a cause.

            So I figure until I can start making those correlations; it's best to run the templates as stated which I think are designed to give the best improvement in the greatest percent of the population (which hopefully includes me :P).

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            • #8
              You could run Hypertrophy I as a five week block and then change programs if you wanted to. Hypertrophy I is ten weeks total split into two phases of five weeks each. Exercise selection changes and a low stress week occur at week 6. So if you needed to or wanted to switch after week 5, you could. Not sure if the other hypertrophy templates follow a similar format. I'm on my second run of Hypertrophy I now. It's a fun template. I enjoy the variation and I find pushing volume is less fatiguing than intensity.

              Lots of lifters report good results running The Bridge back-to-back. After the second run, you might want to consider alternating hypertrophy and strength templates depending on your goals.

              Good luck and have fun.

              Comment


              • Goblino
                Goblino commented
                Editing a comment
                That sounds like good news and a good plan to me. Are there a lot of isolation exercises in Hypertrophy I? Can I get away with just using a barbell for most of the program? Thanks for the info

              • Rod
                Rod commented
                Editing a comment
                Goblino There is some isolation work, but that is primarily on GPP days. Dumbbells would be nice, but not necessary.

                Hypertrophy I follows the 3 lifting days and 2 GPP days format. On the lifting days, there are three slots for compound movements and one accessory. The upper/lower split varies depending on the day.

                So, for example, a lifting day might be: squat, overhead press, RDL and dumbbell lunges. Another day might look like: Paused-bench press, front squat, incline press, dumbbell flys.

                GPP days are conditioning (LISS or HIIT), one or two upper back exercises, one bicep and one tricep exercise, and ab work. So, for example, I do pull-ups, lever row, dips, dumbbell hammer curls, and plank. For LISS, I jog. For HIIT, I either use the rower or skip rope. (An assault bike or airdyne would be better for both. LISS on a rower is painfully boring.)

                The volume is focused on the squat, bench, and deadlift muscles. (So some, but not a lot of direct shoulder, arm or back work.) Based on the program descriptions on the BBM website, it seems like it might be more difficult to run the bodybuilding template if your equipment selection is limited.

                While I don't think either program is a bad choice, based on your goals and equipment, Hyper I might be a better fit. Meaning, if your goal is to put up a bigger SBD total, then Hyper I. If you aren't focused on numbers and are more interested in developing a well rounded physique, the bodybuilding template would be ideal.

                You can always contact BBM support and ask. I've emailed them plenty of really stupid questions (not on purpose, but they were in hindsight) and they always get back in a few days.

              • Goblino
                Goblino commented
                Editing a comment
                Rod I didn't even consider LISS on a rower as a thing, haha.

                "While I don't think either program is a bad choice, based on your goals and equipment, Hyper I might be a better fit. Meaning, if your goal is to put up a bigger SBD total, then Hyper I. If you aren't focused on numbers and are more interested in developing a well rounded physique, the bodybuilding template would be ideal."

                Fantastic, this was the information I was looking for. Thanks again, Rod.

            • #9
              Originally posted by Smokes View Post
              Personal preference, I like the 2nd form because it's fun to do singles and I like the 9 to help level set RPE.

              When the 9 is more like 10, I definitely feel a little more drained than I do when I get 9 right.

              Ya, this is the point though at which I'm not sure what do to--when is the next logical step to add another set or are paused squats just not as useful as an assistance exercise on the squat for me compared to pin squats?

              I keep lifting and gathering both data and experience to try to figure it out. I think the biggest challenge is when I see movement on a lift (up or down) hard to correlate that with a cause.

              So I figure until I can start making those correlations; it's best to run the templates as stated which I think are designed to give the best improvement in the greatest percent of the population (which hopefully includes me :P).

              I wonder about when to substitute exercises. I have the impression that BBM personalized programming changes everything up on a monthly basis (everything meaning rep ranges and secondary/tertiary movements). Another idea I've seen outside BBM is to change up the assistance exercises as soon as you're not making progress on them.

              I am pretty sure they don't like the idea of carefully calibrating individual variables one at a time because they think the lifter is too dynamical of a target to for this to yield real knowledge. I think it's Renaissance Periodization they particularly have in mind when they say things like that. (RP advocates carefully testing volume one set at a time to determine MEV, MRV, AV(or whatever the term is).

              Comment


              • #10
                Yup, I've seen things on MRV before which is helpful I think for getting a rough range, but fully agree that applying what you learned about your current state 4 weeks in the future (next cycle) may not be right, and confounding that conclusion is all of the other external factors like what was your fatigue level when you started the cycle?

                It's almost like the right approach is to program in a ridiculous amount of volume and then when you have to start taking weight off the bar to hit a given RPE that you want to deload for a week and then start ramping it back up again; you just have to be convinced that the reason you have to take weight off the bar is that you've outstripped your body's ability to recover--which I think means you've wasted at least some time now accumulating too much fatigue.

                Stuff's complicated.

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                • #11
                  I have been consistently cycling strength and hypertrophy templates for a few years now and have made great gains. I alway make it a point to run the template as written the first time through, then I might make a few tweaks or change variations after that.

                  have fun

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