12/28/15 – Week 1, Day 1 – Max Effort Lower

I am back from vacation and ready to get things cranked back up for this abbreviated offseason cycle I am running before getting into meet prep. For this “mini-cycle”, being 3 weeks in length, I have decided to hit heavy front squats for the 1st and 3rd weeks and a single heavy deadlift day on the 2nd week for ME Lower. I was very unsure of where my front squat was going to be coming off a full week deload and not using the movement with heavy weights since before my last meet. As you can see below, I was happily surprised by how well the front squats felt and can actually be considered a PR for me. The entire session looked like this.

  • Stretch and Warm-Up
  • Front Squat
    • 45×10, 135×5, 185×5, 225×5, 275×3, 315×3, 335×3
    • 225×5, 250×5, 285×5
  • Paused Back Squat
    • 225×6, 275×6, 295×6
  • Stiff Leg Sumo Deadlift
    • 225×12, 255×12, 275×10
  • Leg Curls – 4×20
  • Upper Back Extension – 4×20
  • Ab Pulldowns– 4×15

I woke up this morning feeling a little jet-lag left over from my return trip from vacation but made it a goal early on that I was going to train like I was feeling absolutely perfect. I have said it plenty of times but the mental attitude you bring to the gym is everything. Once you learn how to refocus yourself and block out all the BS training becomes very simple, you can then arrive, do everything you are supposed to do as well as you can do it, and leave knowing that you have put in the work that you need to accomplish your goals. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a point at which fatigue and stress can impact your performance but more times than not I have felt convicted by allowing myself to think that I cannot accomplish something but then take a deep breath and kicking it in the ass. It really makes one think about how much we could really get done and how much progress we could make if we took the time to believe in what we are doing. After a rough semester of school I really needed last week’s deload to do some self assessment and I now feel as driven as ever. There are a number of items I have identified in my training that I plan on adjusting going forward to optimize my progress over the weeks leading up to the meet. As always I will adjust my training slowly, hold onto the things that work, and eliminate those that do not.

The gain train chugs on as I will hit Max Effort Upper work tomorrow morning. I believe I will be using incline bench variations for this cycle as I always seem to seem a good amount of improvement when I use the incline bench as my heavy movement. Until next time!


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