Time is the ultimate judge


How do I know our AGT and A+A training works? Really, I don’t, but I have a good set of heuristics that point towards it being more right than not.

I got into a conversation over at the StrongFirst forums about if I had any good evidence of why AGT is the right way to do it and why I’m so passionate about it. My reasoning is that, from what I’ve seen, people last longer on AGT-style training than anything else.

What is the Lindy Effect? Stealing from Wikipedia:

The Lindy effect is a concept that the future life expectancy of some non-perishable things like a technology or an idea is proportional to their current age, so that every additional period of survival implies a longer remaining life expectancy. Where the Lindy effect applies, mortality rate decreases with time.

Basically, the longer something survives in a culture, the higher the probability that it was that thing that contributed to the survival of the people in that culture. This is why things like religious dietary restrictions exist - they gave a survival advantage to the cultures that practiced them, so those cultures thrived.

Ok, so what’s that have to do with AGT? I’ve participated in many different styles of training over the years - from long distance cycling and running, high-intensity CrossFit-like stuff, high volume weight training, and the list goes on.

In general, I’m pretty resilient and can stick with a modality for a pretty long time. I had a particularly long stay in the cult of CrossFit. One thing that I noticed was that training partners kept coming and going. Very few people could stay with the high volume and high intensity for long.

I finally burned out on HIIT too, and I stumbled across what I later learned was called A+A work - which is the stuff I have you do now. Then when it was time to open our own gym, I had to decide the basis of our programming. It’s been basically A+A since the start. Maybe earlier it was a little more glycolytic than it should have been - I’ve been learning and tweaking constantly.

Regardless, the one thing that I’ve noticed is the extreme longevity of our members. That’s what speaks to me as evidence that we’re doing the right thing.

A+A style training gives you a higher survival probability, which itself is evidence that A+A promotes survival - at least according to the Lindy Effect.

The disadvantage of A+A is that noticeable changes come slowly and you don’t realize that you’re getting better. It’s hard to convince people that they workout that didn’t feel like it was hard actually did something good for them. So the initial sale to the HIIT-friendly folks is pretty hard. But patience and persistence pays off.

Michael Deskevich