Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Making adjustments to max effort training

For those who do not know me most of my training is Westside based. I was fortunate enough to get to visit Westside Barbell when I first started powerlifting. I continued to visit every month and at one point I was there for six weekends in a row. I followed the basic template and did a max effort single every week. Now about seven years later I have made a few changes to my training.

I have found that I would do a certain lift and not come back to it for a long time. Then if I did not get a record, I would be disappointed and question my training. I found it hard to gauge if I was doing the right things week in and week out to make my lifts improve other than testing in my powerlifting gear. My bench for instance has always been a week point. With very long arms, I must do the right things or it suffers severly. I have tried doing the same exercise two or three weeks in a row but some exercises I could do for three weeks and some I could only do one before I stalled.

So this is how I set up my training over the last 12 weeks. This will look pretty vanilla but you should be able to get the idea. There are also a few things you will need to know.

I have been lifting weights for 17 years so I now feel a deload week should/needs to be added in to stay healthy and keep my mind/body fresh.

I do two main exercises. Thefirst exercise listed was done with the prescribed reps and the second exercise was done for sets of 3-5 for a couple of hard sets.

The first three weeks all max effort exercises were triples. Some exercises were done for singles if it was hard to do reps (like rack pulls).

Every fourth week we did a dumbbell press for three sets to failure on dynamic day and an exercise we do not normally do for a hard set of six on max effort day.

The second cycle doubles were done and the third cycle all singles.

This got me a raw bench pr (I do not normally train for a raw bench increase).

Here is how it would look.


1 - triples (floor press, cambered bar bench)

2 - triples (3 board, suspended lockout)

3 - triples (reverse green bench, 4 board)

4 - rep work, max 6 Illegal wide bench, goodmornings sets of 12, sled work

5 - doubles (same exercise as week 1)

6 - doubles (same exercsie as week 2)

7 - doubles (same exercise as week 3)

8 - same as week 4 - try to beat rep record

9 - singles (same exercise as week 1)

10 - singles (same exercise as week 2)

11 - singles (same exercise as week 3)

12 - new deload exercise

We kept the same assistance exercises for each 4 week cycle. Starting during the deload week.

On the other two days speed work was done and heavy supplemental exercises done second.

My upperbody work went very well and my lower went as well as possible while trying to deal with a knee problem. I am starting a new 12 week cycle and will see how this continues to evolve.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Kettlebell coaching

Here is a link some videos of Jeff Martone talking about kettlebell swings, Turkish getups and some kettlebell juggling. He has some good coaching points and breaks down each into small easy to digest chunks.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Live strong day

I think almost every person has a relative or friend that has/had cancer. Today is Live strong day. There are a number of events going on nation wide today. To learn more about Lance Armstrongs foundation visit the website www.livestrong.org.

My wife was able to contribute to Lift Strong a project created by Alwyn Cosgrove. He had cancer not once but twice! He fought and won both times. Now he is giving back. I get nothing from this but the satisfaction of trying to give back myself. This is a collection of over 800 pages of fitness information donated by some of the top fitness professionals around. Alwyn includes his personal emails and notes of his battles with cancer and much much more. Its only $25. Don't go out to eat this week and buy the cd instead. Here is the link again in case you missed it www.liftstrong.com. All Proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

This is a maximal effort!