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Thread: Training as a beginner & when to introduce more complex methods..

  1. #1

    Training as a beginner & when to introduce more complex methods..

    AlexH wrote:
    Hi all,



    Firstly apologies if this topic has been covered in depth before on the forum - if thats the case please feel free to curtly direct to the appropriate threads

    Secondly - if this topic is covered in depth by any DVD/book, again please feel free to point out which one to buy and leave it at that.



    I'm look for some advice on how to structure training for the beginner, when a beginner is defined as someone with less than 3-4 years consistent training experience.



    Is it better to stay with something like linear progression for as long as possible, or is there room to introduce awareness of RPE from an early (training) age?



    When would be an appropriate time to introduce more advanced methods? How would these methods be seeded into a persons training schedule? Alternatively, consider the trainee who has been on an LP program for sometime - what would be the most effective way of introducing these methods then, considering it may require some extensive un/re-learning?



    The arguments for most beginner pattern templates seem to be that they are hard to mess up - where as the kind of awareness required to appropriately gauge an RPE or fatigue can take a while to fully develop.

    However in the Fred hatfield model of "good, better, best" is it not a "better" to have trainee's thinking about these components (RPE, fatigue, etc) as early as possible?

  2. #2
    Butcher wrote:
    The RTS manual is set up in a way where basically it says, "Here is this concept, once you have a good grasp on it we will expand on it/introduce another concept in the next chapter."

    As for adapting RPEs I see that as appropriate at anytime. The way I see it everyone already uses RPEs, its just that most people express RPE as "that was easy" or "that was really hard." However using the RTS RPEs will help you become more critical of just how hard a set was and how, even if you are not basing any decisions off of that RPE.

  3. #3
    Mike Tuchscherer wrote:
    I think at the 3-4 year mark, you should DEFINITELY be making heavy use of lots of RTS concepts. If you're under 1 year training age, then you probably want to go a little slower.

    Remember, if you're under a year, you have a lot to learn. Which exercises work what, proper technique, etc... all that has to be learned. So learn all those basics. After that, yeah, start gaining an awareness of your RPE. RPE judgement gets better with practice, so practice it. I would wait for the other concepts until at least your second year. Even then, I would break into them slowly.

  4. #4
    BobW wrote:
    I think, in general, the concept of autoregulation should be introduced early. Maybe not autoregulation in the sense that RTS applies it; but in a broader sense. A lot of beginners think that they have to ignore their body in order to progress - which is the exact opposite of the truth. If you can get them thinking about, for example, overall session RPE (that was a piece of cake, a ballbuster, moderate, etc.) and explain that not every session should be a ballbuster, that would be a huge step in intuiting autoreg.

    Once they are comfortable with this, then you can start introducing more advanced concepts, taking your time, and letting them sink in.

  5. #5
    AlexH wrote:
    Awesome responses, thanks everyone.



    Generally i think i concur with the attitude towards RPE inclusion in a program - its such a fundamental thing that at least bringing it into a trainee's awareness early on is the best way, and in fact most trainee's already have the vocabulary to appraise the relative difficulty of a set (that was easy, that set was less than my max but very hard etc etc).



    I think using RPE's as a base and then scaling the inclusion of more advanced concepts as training age increases is a very easy way of progressing into more complex training methods as well, although my concern is that RTS style training is not just about utilizing RPE's appropriately - if anyone has taken this approach with beginner trainee's have they encountered any difficulty when progressing training methods? Or perhaps im overthinking it - can you just program on behalf of the trainee? How much of an understanding would the trainee need to properly benefit from an RTS program?



    EDIT - the above was written late last night when i was considerably tired I will clarify the last question briefly.



    Speaking of the benefit to a new trainee - this can be considered as both the impact the RTS model can have on their understanding of programming and how they approach training and, almost more importantly, how much of an effect it will have on their weight progression. Perhaps based on training age using something like linear progression to move weights up would be more suitable? At what point would this be phased out for an RPE system?

  6. #6
    Mike Tuchscherer wrote:
    I would say at the point where the trainee can accurately rate their RPE. I've thought about several other factors, but I don't think they would matter at the end of the day.

  7. #7
    AlexH wrote:
    Thanks mike, this follows with my current understanding of autoreg vs the more common linear progression with resets, but it really helps when an expert clarify's it for you

  8. #8
    AlexH wrote:
    Sorry to resurrect this thread but i have one (EDIT - several!!) lingering question(s).



    When programming for the beginner, would it be more beneficial to have the trainee run a transition type block to have them become familiar with RTS concepts, or run a straight volume block to have them learn proper technique and form a base of conditioning?



    How long would you run each variation for? What indicators would you use to recognize the need to move to separate blocks of training?



    For instance, in the situation where the trainee is "post-beginner" (form is good, mobility and conditioning has improved, strength is at a below average level - for sake of argument we will say a 225lb squat, 180lb bench and 300lb pull) would it not be more beneficial to run a conjugated/concurrent training scheme where hypertrophy and maximal strength are improved together? Perhaps some form of DUP?



    I would consider at this stage of training power and speed-strength would not be required, would that be an accurate assumption?

  9. #9
    Mike Tuchscherer wrote:
    <<When programming for the beginner, would it be more beneficial to have the trainee run a transition type block to have them become familiar with RTS concepts, or run a straight volume block to have them learn proper technique and form a base of conditioning?>>

    If you are coaching someone who is so "beginner" that they need to learn proper technique and develop basic conditioning, then I wouldn't start them out with RTS programming. I'd start them with something more basic where the weights are hard-coded and the reps are high. I'd stop the sets whenever technique breaks down. Once they get that down pretty well, I'd have them start tracking their own RPE so they get used to observing themselves. Let the rest of RTS programming evolve organically from there.

    <<For instance, in the situation where the trainee is "post-beginner" (form is good, mobility and conditioning has improved, strength is at a below average level - for sake of argument we will say a 225lb squat, 180lb bench and 300lb pull) would it not be more beneficial to run a conjugated/concurrent training scheme where hypertrophy and maximal strength are improved together? Perhaps some form of DUP?>>
    I'd look at something simple like a 5x5 program for a beginner. Just have them monitor their RPE. When they can do that reliably, evolve the program. Evolution, not Revolution.

    <<I would consider at this stage of training power and speed-strength would not be required, would that be an accurate assumption?>>
    Probably yes.

  10. #10
    AlexH wrote:
    Mike, thanks again for the lengthy answer. Your input is highly appreciated.



    Your points confirm my inital assumptions - I was generally thinking that the sanest way of starting out with a beginner would be to leave it fairly pedestrian - but have them log the estimated RPE alongside the weights each session. At the end of each week the log could be reviewed and used as a learning tool of sorts.



    I was going for K.I.S.S but "evolution not revolution" is a better way of putting it.





    EDIT - the more i think about it the more i really like the idea of using "technique stops" when training beginners to manage the per-set volume, do you think this could be applied to the entire workout?

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