Although there are hundreds of different training methods currently being used by athletes at all levels, they all have something in common. All take into account the possibility of overtraining. In Westside, exercises are frequently rotated. DC training involves periods of blasting followed by easier cruising in order to recover. Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 has a deload every fourth week. All these great coaches acknowledge the dangers of constantly training hard. And yet John Broz, noted Olympic lifting coach, says that overtraining doesn’t exist. So what gives?
Who is John Broz?
John Broz is currently making waves around various internet forums with a radically different approach to training. John is a 41-year old athlete and trainer to various US Olympic lifting hopefuls. He has trained in various disciplines, including powerlifting and bodybuilding before following his current path in Olympic lifting. He lived for three years with Antonio Krastev, one of the greatest Olympic lifters of all time, and training with him seems to have been the defining influence on John’s methods. The reason why John Broz is attracting so much attention is mainly due to the YouTube videos of Pat Mendes. This is a 19-year old who is squatting over 700 pounds with no suit or wraps. Given that the squat is not even Pat’s main focus (he is an Olympic lifter), these numbers are phenomenal.
Training Heavy Every Day
Obviously, the sort of results that John has obtained with Pat and others make most trainers curious. John Broz bases his training on Bulgarian methods. This means training daily and often with multiple sessions a day. He also uses only a handful of exercises and has his athletes working up to a max at every session. This is heresy for many. Squatting up to a max every day seems like a recipe for overtraining. John says just the opposite. He acknowledges that doing this will lead to a decrease in performance in the short term and all the classic symptoms of overtraining (tiredness, irritability, insomnia). This is what he calls “dark times.” However, he also says that an athlete will eventually work through this and working up to a max every day will be normal. It is hard to argue with the results that he has had.
The John Broz Method For Average Joes
Pat Mendes is a full time lifter who can train multiple times a day. This is not the case for most people. So this seems to be a method that is useless for many. The principles can used by everyone, however. The important thing is to increase volume and intensity gradually. John Broz says that the squat is actually an easy movement to train daily because it involves little local fatigue (unlike a bench press, for example). Start by squatting every workout. This doesn’t need to be a maximum effort, but getting used to doing the movement is important. Keep repetitions low (one to five) and train even when sore from the previous session. It should be possible to work up to squatting every day in a relatively short time.
Once an athlete becomes used to squatting daily, each session should look something like this.
- squat, working up to a daily max
- squat, six to 50 repetitions of doubles and triples working back up beyond the daily max if the weight starts to feel light
- assistance or bodybuilding work, but only if time and energy permit
The John Broz system is certainly controversial and goes against many things held to be true. However, it is also certain that most trainers never really test their capacity for hard work. Spending more time in the squat rack will lead to bigger lifts and improved development for anyone.
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