The reason I have been thinking back to those days is because of my athletes and clients. I work with quite a few high school athletes as well as bodybuilders and regular clientele. A number of them have been asking if they should workout more days per week or use more volume in their program. The typical mindset is that more is better, which is not always the case. Dr. Antonio used to talk about dose and duration. This can really be applied to anything, but for now we are talking about resistance training. If you are or have athletes that are novices or intermediates (which most of them are, regardless of how much weight they can lift), then the programs can start out as linear programs. A lot of things will work with unadapted, fresh bodies. There is no reason to have your athletes or clients start using the glamorous stuff or more advanced programs until what they are currently on has stopped working.
As an example, a lot of basketball coaches where I am from ask about depth jumping for their kids which is absolutely crazy. Just because ‘Trainer X’ talked about it in his book as something he did with his NBA clients does not mean that a high school basketball player should be doing it. A young high school basketball player should work on jumping technique, a quick dip into his jump as well as strengthening his posterior chain and core to transfer power to the limbs. Sorry for the rant, I’ll continue with the topic now. If I were sick and my doctor prescribed 100 mg a day of such and such antibiotic for 1 week and it worked, why would I need to increase the dose or duration? Because more is better? I don’t think so.
The only thing that would happen is that I would need more and more each subsequent time until it didn’t work period. Equate this with your exercise program or the ones you prescribe. When the time calls for something stronger, you want to have it available. You don’t jump right to the most advanced thing out there in large doses and for long periods of time (even when you do become more advanced). Doctors that take this shotgun approach are on the borderline of malpractice. Next time you go to make a change in your program or your athletes program, ask yourself:
- Is their current program still working?
- Have we had any unloading weeks?
- What is the simplest change I can make to the program to continue progress?
These simple questions have helped me and held me back from prescribing too much too fast, hopefully they can help you as well.