MED Programming when PRs are Behind You – Pt 1 – 421

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. 

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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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.

Learn how Scott’s reading the book the Restoration of Christian Culture caused Scott to move his family out to the country and start a homestead operation, growing food, planting trees, raising chickens, and living more simply (simple, hard, effective?). You can buy the book here:

Training has changed for him, because he performs much more physical labor in a normal day than he ever did as the CEO of a data storage company.

Training occurs for injury prevention and bone density, mostly.

Enjoy this wide-ranging conversation.



This is Barbell Logic, where we believe that health and fitness should be approached with simplicity, logic and reason.

We focus on strength, health & longevity. Our goal is to present strength & fitness in a systematic logical progression. This channel aims to be a breath of fresh air in the fitness industry. Our teaching methods and programming for strength are simple, hard and effective.

We will cover topics under the umbrellas of barbell training, conditioning and nutrition. We’ll show you that barbell training is for everybody.

Join us for a lifetime of success under the bar. This is the foundation of our journey together.

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