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28 September 2010

When A Good Idea Goes Horribly, Horribly Wrong

Power Factor Training is a pretty good idea.  Initially, I planned to build upon their equation utilizing a percentage of a one repetition maximum to calculate an adjusted total workload on an exercise thatd look like this:  %1RM x (Total Poundage/Time taken to lift it).  I know, that's a pretty fucking cool idea, and would be an awesome method to track progress.  I abandoned it, however as it's unnecessarily complex, essentially useless inside the gym, and I'm an angry, over-educated weightlifter who vastly prefers screaming death metal and violently lifting huge weights in a cloud of chalk dust rather than a spectacled goofball busily scrawling figures, double-entry accounting style, into a lab notebook.  That shit, my friends,  is not my fucking style, in spite of my overbearing erudition and general amazingness.
Fuck.  That.  Shit.
In any event, Sisco and Little, the authors of Power Factor Training, had a pretty fucking cool idea that made sense- it's not just the total volume of weight you lift, but the amount of weight you lift in a given amount of time that determines total volume.  Additionally, they championed the idea that a full range of motion wasn't necessary to achieve maximal hypertrophy, as the lifter would be limited by the weakest point in their range of motion, and would thus have their gains retarded by the fact that they have to train with comparatively light weights to "get the full benefit of the exercise".  This premise, my friends, is where retards really jump on board, due to the fact that they feel justified in doing comically tiny ranges of motion for thousands of reps on machines.  I've already stated that I think that shit like deadlift and squat partials are awesome, but that's because they're systemic exercises, rather than localized bullshit like the leg press.  These exercises accomplish a great deal, as the stress they place on your body strengthens tendons, jacks up your GH and test, and prepares your CNS to handle much heavier workloads, as I've explained here.  Other than fraying your acls, however, the leg press accomplishes two things- jack and shit, and Jack just left town.  That, however, is hardly an impediment to these fucking asshats milling about half the gyms in America, and one of those asshats lifted at my old gym.

"Training to failure in your strongest range of motion with much heavier weights is a lot more intense and demanding than training to failure in your weakest range of motion"(8)  He could not have misinterpreted that statement more ridiculously than he did.

The idea of judging a worout or workload in pounds per minute is cool as shit on it's face- if I had an assistant with a stopwatch and a notebook, furiously recording everything I did, I might try this method.  As I don't, however, I'm not getting involved in this tomfoolery.  For those of you who are curious as to how it's done, you record shit thusly:
Then, you divide your total workload for a given exercise by the time it took you to get it, and you get your Power Factor, which is poundage lifted per minute.  According to Sisco and Little, this is a failsafe methodology for determining the efficacy of your workload, and the ideal number sets and reps scheme for any given person, through trial and error.  Thus, once you've tested out certain poundages with a variety of rep schemes, you come up with something like this:
To me, this seems like a tremendous fucking waste of time, unless you conducted it solely on major exercises like the big three powerlifts, and then applied what you gleaned from those exercises to every other lift you did.  Would it be a failsafe method?  Probably not, but for people who spend far too much time obsessing about programming rather than actually doing what they fucking enjoy in the gym, this might be a good idea.  If you, however, find yourself enjoying the shit out of leg presses with a two inch range of motion and don't have the musculature to justify it, methinks you've taken a good idea and made it go horribly, horribly wrong.  This can happen with any training style, lift, or frankly anything you do in your life, and we've all seen the results- the chicks who wear more makeup than an LA prostitute; the guys who drown themselves in Axe bodyspray because it smells better than their ass; people who eat ten fucking bags of those dumbass 100 calorie snacks at a time... the list is endless.

In short- don't be that fucking guy.  If you stumble upon something good, don't fuck it up and make yourself and the progenitor of that idea look like assholes.  By the same token, keep trying new shit, fucking get educated about what you're doing, and bust your fucking ass to get better at everything.
Source:
Power Factor Training : A Scientific Approach to Building Lean Muscle MassSisco, P. and Little, J.  Power Factor Training.

28 comments :

  1. When I last tried to gain weight, the program called for making the workout more dense. It was also geared towards heavy military pressing. To make it more dense each workout I would do the following: Before I started a set, I would look at the clock and note the time. By the time I finished my sets and was done, I would look again at the clock. I would note the time it took, and try to reduce it next time. It worked, and it sounds way easier than this.

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  2. EDT-esque style programs seems more efficient in terms of tracking progress (for those not into bringing a calculator to the gym.)
    Nice "Army of Darkness" quote, but the way, haha.

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  3. Interesting...though, like you, I find it much too complicated to be doing in the gym. haha

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  4. LOL, stupid fucker on the leg press. Reminds me of that asshole Pat Robertson (the crazy religious nutter) claiming to leg press 1000lbs or 2000lbs or whatever the fuck it was. Absolutely hilarious.

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  5. Would "standing military press" count as one of those exercises you can cheat on range with?

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  6. I bought "Power Factor Training" years ago, gave an an honest go (using their machine recomendations) and made zero progress.

    The concept of it relating to workload is brilliant. The application of it as they presented it is rediculous however especially when doing 2" reps on machines.

    It DID leave me realizing how amazing 600 lbs close grip rack lockouts can pump the triceps however once you build up enough strength to do them. LoL

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  7. Got to love the "I can squat 405 (2" after taking a baby step out of the rack)" crowd.

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  8. I got linked to this blog a few weeks ago, and I really enjoy it so far, but this post made my head hurt. I'm not that smart of a guy, this shit is confusing.

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  9. That's 'cause you're a twat John.

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  10. At least the doucher on the leg press was grunting like he was tough...and the skullcap was fantastic, as well.

    I was doing cleans a few weeks ago, as I'm trying to improve my deads. A guy came up to me to "give me a few pointers" and not wanting to be un-coachable, I obliged. He then advised me to work with just the bar and get my form down and when he went to show me, he tripped over his own two feet and fell, sprawling on the floor, ass over tea kettle. After I refused to help him up, he left, and I re-loaded the bar and went about doing my heavy cleans with shitty-ass form.

    The next day he tried to give me pointers on squats by telling me to squat on a Smith machine. As soon as he said that, I put the earbud back in my ear and went back to lifting. He walked away, shaking his head and probably grossly offended.

    Moral of the story: any time there's a miracle shortcut guaranteed to help with your lifts (i.e. machines, limited reps, and light weight with perfect form), it's a load of horseshit and the purveyor of the "advice" should be dragged out into the street and shot.

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  11. I was doing deadlifts once back in high school. The weight room only had one bench, one bar and one of each plate (290 lbs total). Other than that it was just a Universal machine, a hack squat machine, some kind of jumping machine that most people just used for calf raises and dumbbells up to 35 lbs. Anyway, since there wasn't much weight and no squat rack, I used to just rep out on deadlifts with 290 lbs. Some skinny goober tried it and couldn't even budge it off the floor. To make him feel better, we stripped the bar down to 135 and I started doing power cleans. When it was his turn he deadlifted it for one rep and while he had it up he said, "Fuck, I could THROW this!"
    He tried a power clean on his next rep and fell over backwards with the barbell on top of him. The only thing that saved him was that he was so skinny that the bar didn't even hit him in the chest.
    Fucking hilarious.

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  12. That wasn't me btw John. Now I am being imitated as well. LoL

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  13. I like fried chicken and watermelon.

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  14. Don't dog those leg presses, those are LEGIT!! Haha, man I just stumbled across this site a little while ago and fucking LOVE IT! Keep up the good work. Also, as one of the earlier commenters noted, I think EDT would work a hell of a lot better (and there's no math!).

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  15. Brock, you sound a twat. Go away. Jamie has enough bitches here, me, Glen etc.

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  16. ^You want the comments section all to yourself, huh?^
    Like your bedroom.

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  17. Haha some goof went to the effort of making a fucking blog for me. For the record I've been on holiday living it up while some geek has been pretending to be me. I think I made it clear that I don't want a blog. Fucking tool.

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  18. What the fuck?!! That's not me above either!! I've been mothafuckin havin' my ginger hair removed by laser all month. That and bech pressing, follow my youtube link muthafuckers. It'll be on my blog too.

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  19. The first one is probably the closest impersonation I've seen of me yet. Somebody is getting better. I tend not to use the insult "tool" though. Very rarely anyway. "Haha" either. Geek and goof however, are words I definitely throw around pretty often. Good eye, goof.

    The second guy is way off. There's a certain style and personal rhythm to everyone's writing and if you were hoping to pass for me with that one you're obviously counting on everyone else being as retarded as you are. Good luck with that.
    As far as spelling and grammar are concerned, aside from the occasional typo due to human error I use the Canadian Press (or CP) style of writing that I learned while studying journalism in college.
    A little bit of research would go a long way. It takes more than acting "stupid," pissed off and swearing a whole lot. From your language and behavior, even though you're pretending to be me, you seem like a young dork. I'm guessing late teens or early twenties. Probably not very smart and definitely not very popular. Identity theft is a serious crime so you might as well be good at it. Practice makes perfect.

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  20. Looking sharp, Glen.

    Whichever Glen here is the real Glen.

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  21. Well, like I said, the first one was almost dead on. He even linked to one of my videos. If I hadn't made this account, that probably would have passed for a post made by me. He'll expose himself sooner or later though. Spend a few weeks trying to perfect the character, convince himself that he's convinced enough of you and then come out of the closet or something. Something to try and embarrass me. You know, because being humiliated on a website full of people you've never met and will never meet is the absolute worst thing that can ever happen in this day and age. Seems like a lot of wasted effort just to get back at somebody for being featured in a few blog posts but whatever, it's not like he's got anything better to do.

    The second guy was shit. Just another wannabe. He saw the first impersonation, was impressed with how close it was to the real thing and wanted to play too. Total lack of creativity, clearly retarded. He'll try a little bit harder next time but will never even come close to pulling it off. Some people just aren't good at things. Can't lift weights, can't talk to girls, can't pretend to be Glen...

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  22. "For the record I've been on holiday "
    Are you from the UK? Most Canadians call it vacation, not holiday. Reading your impression for a second time, it wasn't as good as I initially thought it was. Oh well.

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  23. For a guy with nothing to say, you sure go on endlessly.

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  24. For a guy who wants to be me so fucking badly, you should pay attention and shut the fuck up.

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  25. Oh, is he still yapping away? This guy yammers on like a lonely old lady.

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  26. Am I bothering you? Because that would break my fucking heart.

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  27. @JasonDB - So sorry to have offended you. Was that you in the video?

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  28. Guy in that video is more rediculous than anything so far i have seen in RL.

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