7/27/15 – 8 Weeks Out – ME Lower

I’m Back! I flew back to Indiana yesterday evening, against my will, and still have yet to get back into the swing of things. All day my head was still in vacation mode but I made it through a Monday back at work all the same. My deload week went as planned and I arrived at the gym feeling great today. I didn’t realize how beat up I was at the end of last cycle until I made it through a session without any aches or pains. Training today was noticeably less intense then off-season work but that is how its supposed to be. Over the next 8 weeks I will gently taper up and then back down trying to peak on meet day. Everything is on track for a great competition in September. Training broke down as follows.

  • Stretch and Warm-Up
  • Squat
    • Bar x15, 135×5, 225×5, 275×3, 315×3, 335x3x3
  • Sumo Deadlift
    • Bar x5, 135×5, 225×5, 275×3, 315×5, 365×3, 385x3x3
  • Rack Pull (Conventional at Knee)
    • 135×5, 225×3, 275×3, 315×3, 365×3, 405×3, 455×3, 495×3
  • Close Stance Front Squat
    • 135×20, 185×15, 185×15
  • Weighted Planks (45lbs) – 3x45sec

As you can see the movements have been reduced in this program as compared to my off-season work. This means I will be increasing my warm ups and getting some volume from there. Since the workload is reduced overall, technique will be of utmost importance along with intensity during my sessions. I will have about 4 weeks of reduced percentage sets of multiple reps followed by 4 weeks of workouts that include practice reps with the weights I will use in the meet for my first and second attempts. The speed days will be relatively the same with a slight difference here and there.

As I mentioned, last weeks deload went as planned. After 12 intense weeks, it felt good to get in the gym and just have fun. I was able to hit some movements that I haven’t done in years and pretend I’m a bodybuilder. The goal of the deload, simply put, is to do whatever is necessary to prepare yourself for the next training cycle. This can be different for each person depending on how their body responds to training. Some people only do the main movements with reduced weights and cut out the accesories while others simply keep the workouts the same just with reduced weight. I am of a third type which uses the deload by cutting out the main, compound movements and do high volume, low weight, bodybuilding style movements. I tend to recover very quickly which allows my to pump a lot of blood into the muscle with no lasting soreness or fatigue. Lucky for me, my coach is very similar so normally I can just follow his example for the deload and be set. This past week I definitely did not follow a program but followed a set of guidelines which I listed in my last post. Additionally, when training, I would do a push movement followed by an oppsite pulling movement. For example, I would start with a chest pressing exercise follow by a back pulling exercise (Incline DB Press followed by Low Cable Rows) or a pushing tricep movement followed by pulling (curling) bicep movement. I have found this to work well and will usually do two to three sets of the combination push/pull movements for each set of muscle split into upper and lower days. Overall I got the blood flowing, recovered completely, and only gained 2 pounds with a very very loose diet. Now its time to dial things in things in and settle in for an 8 week ride. Tomorrow will be a similarly structured bench day. Until next time!

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