Workout Programming 3 / 4 (Featuring Confucius Quotes)

In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.

This part talks about individual differences between people and within people.

In hindsight, I should have written this part first, but in hindsight you’re always smarter.

Axiom time again:

XXXI. The ratio of fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers can vastly differentiate between people and muscles. This is an examplary reason for why some people don´t grow as large as others. Some people will (almost) always have vastly superior genetics.

XXXII. Some people can do more volume and recover from more. This also changes with muscle groups. E.g. 1 set of quads leaves my legs shaking so hard I have trouble getting up and I´m sore for 5 days while I can do 5 sets a day for calves everyday easily without even getting sore.

XXXIII. People have different insertions and limb lengths. A midget with long muscle bellies will have no problem developing proportional biceps. On the other hand, a tall person’s biceps may reach 42 cm (18″) and still won’t fill out their upper arm.

XXXIV. Some people can go harder than others, this is especially obvious in gender differences. This is due to neurological and psychological factors. Stimulants can help with this one a lot.

XXXV. Everyone, for optimal gains, has to individualize his programs. To do this, you need to get to know your body.

To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle.

How to modify programs according to your needs:

XXXVI. Do a low-rep test program and a high-rep test program. All other variables being equal, this will tell you which muscles respond better to what kind of training.

XXXVII. Once you figured that out, start with a low amount of sets per muscle and slowly (perhaps every 2 weeks) add a set until you can´t recover. Note that increasing the volume for the entire body will cause you to find a lower set limit than if you only increased the volume of one muscle group / exercise. This is called systemic fatigue and is the reason why specialization works.

XXXVIII. According to your weaknesses and goals, emphasize certain exercises while only maintaining other things. Due to “muscle memory”, you might not even have to do maintenance training for unimportant aspects.

XXXIX. See which exercises work for your goals and which don´t. E.g. I only feel medium-to-high-rep squats in my lungs (which is why they were often recommended for “ribcage expansion”) and perhaps in my glutes, but weighted bulgarian split squats are perfect for quads.

XL. Consider whether you can train like this for longer periods of time. Short-term overreaching can be helpful. You will, of course, have to change some things once in a while, if just for variety and balance.

Further example for point XXXIX.: I once chose a 50-rep-max for barbell curls based on calculations. After 20 reps I started feeling intense pain in my biceps, so I thought they were working. I struggled and barely did 20 more reps. I had to do those in rest-pause style because the pain was for some reason unbearable even to me, my biceps could hypothetically have done those last 10 reps to failure easily. The next day my arms felt weak, but not sore. Thus, high-rep barbell curls don´t work for me, I suspect because of the tension distribution throughout the movement.

If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?

I know this article is sort of garbage (specifically: my writing style). I´m busy and am not going to spend hours on a medium-length article. I will put in more effort into my next articles.

Zi-gong asked: “What should be thought of someone being popular everywhere?” Confuzius stated: “That is not enough yet.” “And if he is hated by all?” In response the master said: “That also is not enough yet. It is better, if a person is loved by the good and hated by the bad.”


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