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Programming Knee Flexion for Athletic Gains

james thorpe, [28/12/2022 01:45]

In dense, we have ‘knee flexors’ or Nordics on Monday and Wednesday.

However, a lot of what I hear and read here suggests that once a week is plenty, and there should be more time for recovery. Am I misreading or misunderstanding?

I’m aware that Wednesday could be ham curls…but the video shows eccentric Nordics 3 x 5 for both workouts. Can someone clarify please?

Ben Patrick, [28/12/2022 01:50]

Knee flexion can actually be used often. Dense isn’t getting into full Nordic reps. Ham curls have been used as often as daily. Full Nordic reps seem to work best once every two weeks, and in rotation with RDLs as well. Programming is art and can have tremendous variance. I’ve done just about anything in ATG - DAILY - and been fine. Dense is trying to really get the knees stronger with more repetition and less intensity. Standards then seeks the ultimate 2-week formula to not overtrain, but make continual gains.

Nordic, 45-degree Back Extension, Seated GM, RDL are my top 4 choices BUT… Ham curl machine, 90-degree Back Extension I would add to the 2-week mix if that equipment was available

The original ATG program used ALL the variations over 2 weeks, then Covid led to, Zero - literally nothing, or gradually adding Nordics or super minimal stuff, Dense - what can be obtained easily in a home gym, Standards - currently rebuilding to former glory. We also had a program in-person where you train split squats and posterior chain every day 6 days a week for 6 weeks, feels like a year. Done right you can make a year of speed and jump gains. But no one ever succeeded without a team of 3 people. It’s not conducive online or long-term. The overall style I’ve found I like best for myself and my clients is rotating exercises. But as the coding continues to develop it will be easy to customize Example: Step up, Split squat, Slantboard squat, Squat, repeat. Absolute gold for long-term athletic change. While doing: Nordic, Seated GM, RDL, Back extension, repeat. You could run those formulas for a few years and consistently make freakish athletic change. The extreme programs we used had side effects:

No energy or time for the lower legs, hip-flexors, etc. to stay up to par is just one example. Often overuse tweaks develop. So the effort for more gain in 6 weeks vs 6 years is very different.

Currently, I rotate, and man… EVERY session feels amazing because I’m only doing each key exercise once every 14 days. Step up improves split squat improves Slantboard squat improves full squat. But I test rotations and then update online, continually, year after year. I’m usually either right on time online or 2-3 weeks ahead of updates. And updates are always incredibly slight.

ATG is still a very new system and it’s been more of a journey of:

Creating the “perfect” program in person. Rebuilding that experience online - which results in a lot of barriers due to equipment access. We’re probably 2/3 of the way through the journey. In person it was very simple and if something was an extreme weak link, well that would be done on all lower or upper sessions rather than just once every 2 weeks. So it’s very easy to bring up a weak link while still training the whole. Pullover improves shoulder press improves incline improves dip, over two weeks.

But dips all upper sessions we saw more elbow tendinitis. Frequency CAN be magical for strength but let me find a quote, and an amazing article, from Poliquin…

Amazing article

Justin 🕺, [28/12/2022 02:04]

So for someone with access to the equipment is it best to work dense and after 12 weeks start hitting standards?

Ben Patrick, [28/12/2022 02:05]

@sledjunky yep 👍 And you can always make your own versions:

Dense means using many sets, on the minute, which ensures you’re DOMINATING a weight… Putting in the volume. Standards you then allow yourself full breaks between sets and see what you’re made of. Alternating those styles of lifting is a simple concept. Coaches can and should try them but also make their own versions. And I suggest reading all of Poliquin’s work and you’ll see all the clues.

But I then applied it for the goals of freaky athleticism and bulletproofing. Not bodybuilding or max strength building. So while I’ve had success doing the same lift daily, I prefer once every 14 days in rotation with other exercises, all of which flow to each other. Mentally this helps me always be excited to train. If you read the article above, you’ll see the symptoms of the daily hard training on same exercise lol! So I think this is a good illustration of how programming is art, the exercises are science. Same exercises can be programmed so many different ways

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