From early in my career as a trainer I have been a big fan of Charles Poliquins work. I have read all his books and articles, and have attended many of his courses and seminars.
His routines and advice has consistently produced the best results for my clients and myself.
In my opinion what separates Charles from other great coaches is his attention to individuality.
As such for the longest time I have aspired to work with him directly to see what results I could achieve and what more I could learn.
It didn’t matter at what cost because after all, I would be only one of few and that would put me ahead of the game.
My experience working with Charles didn’t disappoint. We started training straight after my last show in October and 16 weeks later I was 6kg heavier at the same body fat.
That was more progress than I had made in the last 4 years combined!
And while I learned a bucket load in the process and I could ramble on to fill a novel I am going to narrow it down to 2 things;
- The Art of Coaching
Coaching is part art part science. A good coach can dissect what an athlete needs and prescribe the right training, nutrition and supplementation plan based on their physiology and psychology.
In my opinion no one does this better than Charles. He has a third eye for knowing exactly what an athlete needs and that comes from decades of experience.
Previous coaches I have worked with who are also among some of the top names in the industry I have found to be much more ridged in their approach. In other words they follow one method and don’t deviate much from it even when it fails to produce the desired results.
Charles wasn’t very structured in his approach. Things were always changing based on day-to-day feedback.
Without my knowing, the first cycle was deliberately intended to overtrain me in order to access my tolerance. From there he planned out the rest of the cycles and adjustments in volume and intensity were made based on feedback such as drop off index, progress from workout to workout, and psychological and physiological biofeedback cues.
Being a good coach is about communicating effectively with your clients by asking the right questions, listening, taking onboard what they say, and having the knowledge and skill set to make adjustments that will move them forward.
It’s not simply about following a particular method or system that may work 70% of the time.
- Concentrated Training Blocks
Charles is famous for producing astounding results with his athletes in record time.
After all on average during his career he only had about 12 weeks in the offseason to get an athlete strong and in shape so he had to become a master of writing routines that produce results in the shortest time possible.
That’s accomplished through concentrated training blocks termed super accumulation or overreaching.
There in a finite capacity to the amount of strength and muscle mass an athlete can gain in a year. However an athlete doesn’t necessary have to train all out year around to attain those results.
Through concentrated training blocks typically including multiple training sessions per day an athlete can make a lot of progress in a very short amount of time. Of course this rate of progress is not indefinite and is typically followed by a long period of stagnation or maintenance as the bodies adaptive capacity had been exhausted.
In fact my 6kg lean mass gain came about in the first 12 weeks of the cycle. The last 4 weeks was spent maintaining lean mass while dropping a bit of excess body fat that had accumulated.
I think for the general population the majority of time should be spent focusing more on basic training methods that bring about slow and steady progress. This type of progress tends to build ones base and is more sustainable long term.
In fact that’s exactly the type of plan Charles put me on after the concentrated training block.
However if a client has to get in shape for a special event in the shortest time possible then concentrated blocks is the way to go!
Clean Health – Education Manager & Level 5 Coach