Wolfgang, whom is a world leading strength coach who is most famous for his transformation results with all clientele. He also is the head coach and founder of Your Personal Strength Institute (YPSI) in Stuttgart, Germany. Wolfgang lectures and presents globally on performance enhancement and recovery optimising through training, nutrition and supplementation. After great demand across Australia CHFI decided to bring him out on tour in November.
Ahead of Wolfgang Unsold making his way to Sydney and Melbourne for his YPSI Body Comp Weekend we sat him down to discuss his results based methods.
Q: Wolfgang, a squat seems to be your go to movement, what is your favourite version of a squat? (High bar, low bar, heels elevated, etc)
Wolfgang Unsold: It depends! That is the best answer I can give. A major point I make is that basically, every form of squatting has its benefits.
- Box Squats are great for Powerlifters that compete with a squat suit as the box mimics the Strength curve of a suited squat.
- Low Bar Squats are great for powerlifters in general due to the high mechanical advantage of using higher loads, yet they lead to a decrease in hip and ankle mobility, knee stability. Lastly, it increases the torque on the hip by about 1000% compared to a squat where the toes are allowed to move past the toes according to a study done by the University of Memphis.
- Heels elevated squats are big in my work, for many years it was seen as a disadvantage for those who can’t squat with flat heels, yet the heels elevation brings many benefits to the table such as a great loaded stretch on the ankle, less stress on the lumbar erector spinae and an increase in Vastus medialis recruitment, which makes it a variation especially in beginning phases.
- The Klokov squat is one of many other variations that I use to achieve certain goals and get past certain hurdles, with 7610 Tempo that primarily improves the control during the eccentric and in the bottom position to a 50 rep Quad Squat. This uses a 15cm elevation of the heels and 50 repetitions for a very high metabolic stress on the quadriceps to increase work capacity and glycogen supercompensation.
In the end ‘The Perfect Squat’ is a question of the mechanics, status and goal of a client and athlete, which has to be chosen specifically and carefully to get the fastest progress possible.
Q: You are known for your amazing before and after photos and results, what is the most common missing factor for a trainer to get elite before and afters?
Wolfgang Unsold: In 2010 I visited former Russian Weightlifting National Team Head Coach and Olympic Gold Medalist Weightlifting at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics Rudolf Pflugfelder at his home for 6-hour conversation. He was the coach of Vasily Alexeev, the first man to ever Clean & Jerk 500lbs, David Rigert one of the most decorated Russian weightlifters of all time, and hundreds of other elite weightlifters and broke over 200 world records in the 60s and 70s. Rudolf Pflugfelder figured out the effects of post-tetanic-potention in practice over 20 years before sports science proved it.
My main question for him was ‘How did you produce results that were this far ahead of your competition!’, his answer was simple. Due to spending 7 days a week from morning to evening in a training hall with over 200 athletes doing the same every single day – to observe, to experiment, to analyze, to observe, to experiment, to analyze, and so on. Simple, but not easy.
So to answer your initial question. I do the exact same thing. Day in day out. Being the biggest critic of my own work. Continuously trying to improve my methods and systems in nuances. To get even faster and better results and transformations. Simple, but not easy.
Q: You have your own supplement line, what is the most bang for your buck supplement that you think a client should be having?
Wolfgang Unsold: There is only two supplements that I use with every single client and athlete independent of the skinfold measurement which is the YPSI MultiKomplex, a broad-spectrum multi-vitamin-mineral in capsules and the YPSI Vitamin D/K. All other supplements are dependent on the skinfolds. With 4 others that every single client and athlete will use at one point working with me. And over 60 others that I use sporadically depending on skinfold measurement and goals. To highlight one other supplement next to the first two, it would definitely be chlorella, a sweet-water micro-algae which contains magnesium malate, methylated B12 and the highest concentration of chlorophyll in all plants.
Q: What is your preferred rep range for putting on muscle with your clients?
Wolfgang Unsold: That answer is easy. The best rep range is the one you currently can progress in towards your goal. Can a beginner progress multiple workouts with 3 sets of 15-20 reps? Absolutely. Can an intermediate client progress multiple workouts with 3 sets of 15-20 reps, most likely not. Can a bodybuilder progress multiple workouts with a giant set consisting of 6 exercises an 10 reps each, yes, most likely. In the end, the most advanced one is, the more advanced is training and rep range have to be. A beginner can make progress in strength and hypertrophy with 3 sets of 8-12 reps. An intermediate to advanced trainee can not. So instead of focusing on a specific rep range overall, I rather focus on a specific rep range per stage. Yet the functional hypertrophy rep range of 4 to 8 reps is statistically the most underused, most underdeveloped and the one with the greatest progression potential.
Q: What is your advice for trainers in the industry today, whether starting out or industry veterans?
Wolfgang Unsold: My advice is to focus on the following three factors for any trainer:
1. Get results, be of value. – the definition of success varies a lot. For some, it’s a 200kg Squat. For some getting below 10% body fat. For some losing 10kg on the scale. And for most it is just feeling better in their body, having more energy and a better life quality. In the end, the trainers’ job is to support them to get them there. The more steps your clients make towards their goal the more successful you are as a trainer.
2. Its the client who defines the goals, not the trainer. – Trainers become trainers because of their love for training and their motivation to spread that love. All trainers are fascinated by some extreme in training. A huge and strong Ronnie Coleman who won the Mr Olympia 7 times. Ed Coan who deadlifted over 400kg at under 100kg. A Bikini Model with 17 million followers on Instagram. The sports science philosopher who can recite literature like poems. And so on. Yet, very few clients have these goals. Their goals are simpler. And their goals are determined by themselves. Listen to them. And get them to where they want to go. As that’s what makes them happy and successful.
3. Progression is the name of the game. Do today what others copy tomorrow. – Protein has fulfilled the same tasks in 1954 as it does today. And the biceps has to be in the same anatomical position for a while. Yet the industry of personal training is just in his teens. And it’s progressing like a teen. Figuring out what works. And what doesn’t? So as a trainer, if you just started out or you work and live this job for 10+ years, do the same. As Bruce Lee said: Use what works. Don’t use what doesn’t.
Yours in health,
Wolfgang Unsold/ YPSI Head Coach
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