Once I requested for video content material requests about two weeks ago, the primary request, by far, was more program evaluations. The program that topped all the evaluate requests was “The Bridge” by Jordan Feigenbaum of Barbell Medicine. While this program isn’t strictly a powerlifting program, and isn’t even meant for powerlifters, I don’t need to let the PTW fan base down with out discussing it. Because it isn’t a powerlifting program, I don’t assume it makes quite a lot of sense to interrupt this system down block by block, week by week, set by set, and so forth. As an alternative, we’re going to concentrate on what we, as powerlifters, can study here.
Please, get your copy of The Bridge so you have got a reference for what we’re speaking about here.
In case you’d relatively watch than read:
Program Background Info
The Bridge was meant to be run after somebody has finished the Beginning Power Linear Progression (SSLP). Because the identify implies, this system makes an attempt to act as a bridge between novice linear progression and “true” intermediate programming. The authors, Jordan Feigenbaum and Austin Baraki, have been (previous tense) among the longest tenured Starting Power Coaches. They’ve as a lot hands-on experience with teaching the Beginning Power system as virtually anyone on the whole planet. As such, they’re intimately conversant in the issues an SS trainee faces after finishing the novice program. With that stated, let’s get into the large variations between the “style” of The Bridge and the SSLP.
Introduction of RPE
As I’ve mentioned at size on this website, the introduction of autoregulation can massively benefit trainees who are of the suitable advancement as a result of it permits us to account for fluctuations in readiness. With RPE coaching, “bad days” don’t mean missed reps and “good days” means you’ll be able to benefit from how robust you’re on that exact day. You’re not restricted to a predetermined, set development and you principally take what your body provides you. For extra about autoregulation, read our article on the subject.
There is only one drawback with this welcome addition: the SSLP doesn’t put together trainees for RPE fashion programming. In contrast to the novice packages in ProgrammingToWin which make use of rep ranges and encourage individuals to attempt to report RPE after every set, the Starting Power philosophy actively opposes using RPE. The truth is, they’ve even revealed articles on their website suggesting that intermediate and advanced lifters are better off with out RPE. You possibly can see how this may characterize an enormous difficulty for individuals just finishing that program.
In my brief time wanting over the Starting Power boards, most trainees coming off of the SSLP program are afraid that they can’t fee RPEs appropriately or, worse but, they don’t truly consider in RPEs by any means; they don’t consider individuals can truly price RPEs appropriately. I’m not kidding. This angle isn’t shocking because, in fact, you’re going to take heed to the those that helped get you began in one thing.
Nevertheless, in contrast to Rippetoe and lots of (most/all) of the Starting Power Coaches, Dr. Feigenbaum has a Prime 20 Complete All-Time in his respective weight class, which points to the truth that this isn’t simply theoretical for him:
Dr. Barkai and Dr. Feigenbaum have coached many national degree IPF lifters. This expertise has apparently taught them that RPE coaching is very effective so it isn’t surprising to seek out that their packages are autoregulated. The present literature surrounding the effectiveness of autoregulation in power coaching is just rising stronger and the idea has already proven itself amongst actual rivals. That is one cause you ought to be very wary of utilizing traditional Three×5/5×5 novice packages if your aim is to someday turn into a aggressive powerlifter. You need to begin studying RPE as quickly as potential. Again, for this reason all of the ProgrammingToWin novice packages embrace RPE fashion training.
One other change from the standard Beginning Power philosophy in both novice and intermediate programming that you simply’ll find in The Bridge has to do with train selection. Specifically, there are a TON more variations. In the SSLP, you solely use 5 workouts. Within the SS intermediate program, you MIGHT use slight variations of those 5 important barbell workouts. That’s it. Not so in The Bridge. There are multiple variations of every single carry throughout this system.
I hate to belabor the identical level, but this represents a big step-up in complexity versus the SSLP. Positive, I feel these additions are priceless and helpful in many instances, but I do assume there is a bit an excessive amount of selection launched too shortly. To go from never doing anything except squats, benches, deadlifts, presses, and energy cleans to having Three-Four variations of every carry in your program is a reasonably drastic change.
Many Starting Power trainees really feel the identical method. They take a look at this program and it’s intimidating as a result of it is just SO totally different than the SSLP. To me, that is less a criticism of The Bridge and extra of a criticism of conventional novice programming. All that stated, I do agree that the variability is just a bit too high for someone who just finished the SSLP. Bear in mind most individuals recent off of ending up novice program have far less than one yr of training expertise. In ProgrammingToWin, you’ll see that I improve selection and exercise selection in actually each single part of novice programming AND intermediate programming. This sluggish introduction of latest movements is less overwhelming for late-stage novice and/or newly intermediate trainees. If you’ve been introducing solely 2-Three workouts per part of coaching, there’s loads of time to get used to them and get used to new issues being introduced generally. Whenever you go from SSLP, which never introduces ANYTHING new, to all of the sudden having an inventory of 10+ workouts to carry out all through a block, many people are going to have hassle buying-in.
Whereas this is solely a minor criticism, I do assume there is a bit too much variety in The Bridge contemplating the audience.
Cardio, HIIT, and Work Capability
The very best modifications The Bridge brings to the table all need to do with growing work capability. Very briefly, work capability is the amount of coaching quantity you’ll be able to productively deal with. In different words, to quote Greg Nuckols, the amount of work you can do, get well from, and adapt positively to is your current work capacity.
Most novice packages are utterly bereft of any attempt to enhance work capacity in the long run. You might question why something like this even issues. Properly, to give you the brief model, long run progress will depend on muscular hypertrophy. There are only so many improvements you can also make to your method, you’ll be able to only get so good at using your gear, and neural effectivity solely improves so much. Once you’ve begun to tap these sources of power positive factors, you need to rely on greater muscle tissues producing more contractile drive to carry heavier weights. And what’s the main driver of muscle hypertrophy? TRAINING VOLUME!
To maintain progressing over time, you will need to progressively use increasingly coaching volume. In order for this to happen, it’s essential to challenge your current work capability limitations to spur variations that may permit for extra work. That is primarily completed, as I’ve already talked about, by slowly growing coaching volume all through a coaching profession. Nevertheless, cardio and interval coaching can be wonderful belongings to this goal. Whereas it’s weird to think about cardio as “training volume”, it nonetheless is. Having some kind of aerobic base is going to allow for higher barbell training quantity in the long run.
Because of this, multiple cardio and/or HIIT periods are included in The Bridge. In truth, this is the exact same purpose I’ve included cardio and HIIT in the ProgrammingToWin novice packages! I need to assist develop work capability from Day One. The cause why that is so key in The Bridge is that you simply MUST improve coaching volume as a trainee progresses (as we’ve already coated). If work capability isn’t addressed, and it by no means is within the SSLP, you run right into a state of affairs the place you possibly can’t truly get well from the training volumes that might be essential to spur additional progress. Principally, you’re stuck. Your only selection on this state of affairs is to take a step back from the heavier weights and begin utilizing programming aimed explicitly at enhancing work capability. Relatively than run into this difficulty somewhere down the road, I’d extremely advocate just following programming that aims to develop work capability from the very beginning. Again, that is why you’ll discover that every single part of ProgrammingToWin introduces barely more volume and each single part has some type of cardio or HIIT.
The Fatal Flaw with The Bridge
Man, that is actually onerous for me to say because Jordan is one in every of my favourite guys in the power and conditioning world, and I’ve never seen him be anything however super nice to everyone; nevertheless, I actually don’t like The Bridge as a “bridge” between SSLP and more complicated intermediate training. Nevertheless, I do LOVE The Bridge as a “bridge” for early intermediate trainees to transition into extra complicated intermediate programming. The drawback with The Bridge is that it’s hooked up to the SSLP. Now that Dr. Feigenbaum and Dr. Baraki have cut up from Beginning Power and are not affiliated with the model, I think we’d see a Barbell Medicine novice program some day.
That may merely make much more sense. The SSLP is simply too totally different each structurally and philosophically from the kind of autoregulated, comparatively high train selection training that is present in The Bridge. The Bridge has to repair all of those problems that SSLP trainees have and for what purpose? If you need to patch up the holes in a sinking boat, properly, I wish you the perfect of luck. Nevertheless, wouldn’t it higher to arrive on the shores of intermediate territory in a vessel without holes? As an alternative of doing SSLP, find yourself a novice program that already considerations itself with will increase in work capacity, studying to use RPEs, and infrequently introduces new, useful workouts. The truth is, simply for instance, The Bridge can be an EXCELLENT program to run after finishing up PIP1 from ProgrammingToWin.
General, I feel The Bridge nice program. I just don’t assume it is a nice program to run after the SSLP. It is just too totally different.
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