I continue to impress myself with my bench progress. It is always encouraging to put together a great week of training and this session finished my week beautifully. Nothing super exciting but after looking through my hard copy training log I noticed that on my final set of close grip bench vs. bands I improved by 5 reps compared to my last training cycle. Small victories and visible improvements.
- Stretch and Warm-Up
- Speed Bench (vs. EliteFTS Mini Bands)
- Close Grip Bench (vs. EliteFTS Mini Bands)
- 150×3, 170×3, 195×14
- Arnold Press
- 70×15, 80×15, 90×10
- Reverse Grip Cable Rows (Using Lat. Pulldown Bar)
- 120×20, 140×20, 150×15, 170×12, 180×10
- Straight Bar Front Raises
- 30×10, 40×10, 40×8
- Bench Dips – 4×20
- Reverse EZ Bar Curl
- 50×8, 60×8, 70×8
- Pulldown Abs – 4×10
I decided to hit a different grip with my rows today just to see how if felt on my back. Reverse grip rows (or underhand rows) are slightly easier to do than regular rows, at least in my opinion, and I can feel them hitting a different set of muscles in my back. This feels good, especially later in the week when my back is beat up from my heavy movements, and also works my grip/arms in a different way. Balance is an important part of training but not to be taken to extremes. A good skill to have is the ability to “listen” to your body and figure out what works and doesn’t work for you. Now let me clarify that when I say “doesn’t work for you” I don’t mean “squats make my legs sore so they don’t work for me, I’ll do leg press instead” I’m talking about legitimate training strategies that work better in your programming, quit whining and eat a banana.
As I mentioned earlier in the week, I have been reading a lot of EliteFTS articles as of late and one of the common themes has been the idea of figuring things out for yourself and developing your own philosophies about training. This made me step back and ask myself whether or not I think for myself when it comes to being in the gym and my own health. Since joining Purdue Barbell I have been given access to a world of training knowledge from both text and certified professionals. It is very easy to start trying to copy what these people are doing, but that can only get you so far. For the beginner, any decently put together program can add muscle on a frame rather quickly and seem like the best training regimen ever. As time goes on though, we are forced to start changing things and developing a system which works for ourselves. Early on, we tend to believe everything we are told without considering the source or doing the research for ourselves. Even now, I am just beginning to really develop my own ideas and move away from just going with the flow when it comes to training information. For example, personally, I recover very quickly from my training sessions. The reason for this might be genetic, conditioning levels, nutrition, etc… but a major contributor is the fact that compared to professional lifters, I do not move near the weight that these guys are. This lowers the wear per session on my muscles overall. Eventually, I will hopefully be at a level where I am moving that much weight at which point I will likely need more time to recover in between training days but I don’t know, I will have to see how my recovery works at that point in my career. Where I am going with this is to explain why thinking for yourself about your training is so important. If it were 6 years ago and I read an article about a pro lifter that only lifted 3 times a week and takes every 5th week off for recovery I probably would have done the same, I mean he is a pro right? He must know what is best! In reality, this wouldn’t have been the best plan for me because I would recovering much faster and be missing out on technique work, especially at the beginner level with a lower strength base. As I said, make sure that what you are doing is benefiting you the most at your point is development.
Hopefully this all makes sense, I have been thinking about how to write about this concept for a while and finally decided to stumble through it. If nothing else is taken away just remember that everyone is at a different place in their training career and have different needs. Get your information from trusted sources. Make sure if you have a question you find the right person to answer it but never be afraid to do a little research of your own.
Tomorrow we deadlift. I bought some ammonia tabs just for it. Better strap, in this will be a good one. Until then!