Matt & Scott developed the concept of Minimum Effective Dose programming (MED programming) through conversations on the podcast. Today, Matt and Scott discuss how to apply the principles of MED programming when PRs are behind you. No more PRs!?
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PRs are Behind You!?
This typically occurs for older clients with high-compliance (though even younger clients who have trained consistently for a long enough time run into this problem). If you’re a lifter who regularly takes vacations and misses training, you’ll continue to return to linear progression, so this doesn’t happen.
Eventually, you can’t recover from the stress it takes to hits bigger PRs. Older people tend to sleep less well and they cannot eat as many calories without adding bodyfat. Plus, the reality is simply that the body doesn’t react as well to things as it ages – it’s just a fact of life.
This also applies to those who find themselves suddenly facing a huge amount more stress. Scott, for example, besides being a bit older, is doing manual labor on his farmstead. This stress matters when it comes to his recovery and ability to stress himself in the gym.
Practically, what does this mean? It often means pulling slots – less frequent training and less volume. You may see 5s become 4s become 3s after awhile. More days of rest between training are needed. Eventually, weight will have to come off the bar, though. Scott has also found that he doesn’t program cycles longer than 4 weeks for post-advanced clients.
A disclaimer, though – if you’re an officer worker who has never done intelligent training, you need to do this, you need to chase numbers, and you need to get big and strong.
Matt & Scott finish their talk discussing the coach-client interaction and being coachable.
If you’re paying for coaching, your coach is probably erring on not enough stress, especially if you’re a general client trying to get stronger for general health and quality of life reasons. You’re not training for the Olympics.
If you decide to do 2, 3, 4 more reps than programmed because it’s there, especially if you’re older, you may have wrecked yourself for a week or more, and then the coach has to completely change the programming. If you do what is prescribed and you have 3 more reps, then it’s easy for the coach to increase the stress the next week.