1/27/16 – Week 2, Day 3 – USPA Strode Station Open Meet Prep – Dynamic Effort Lower

We were joined during our session today by the one and only Brandon Smitley. Brandon has been affiliated and coaching with Purdue Barbell since its creation. He has given us access to countless opportunities over the years which otherwise would have been impossible. Me personally being one of his clients may make me slightly bias but I can say in all honesty Brandon is one of the best there is when it comes to powerlifting athlete-coaches. Having Brandon there was just what we needed to pay extra attention to detail and the session went very well. Training broke down as follows…

  • Stretch and Warm-Up
  • Speed Squat (vs. Elitefts Pro Light Bands)
    • 200x12x2
  • Speed Deadlift (vs. Elitefts Short Light Bands)
    • 275x8x1
  • Leg Press
    • 480×15, 570×15, 660×15
  • Dumbbell Shrugs
    • 90×15, 100×15, 110×15
  • Reverse Hypers – 50 reps (in 2 sets)
  • Russian Twists – 4×10 (tosses w/ 15lb med ball)

Dynamic effort days are great for fine tuning technique and focusing on weak points during the lifts. Having less weight on the bar and being able to explode through the movements really lets me feel what proper position and movement works best for me. It is easy to see why muscle memory and technique are learned with submaximal weight on the bar as these two factors decline as you reach your one rep max. I remember reading an article by Dave Tate in which he explained that one of the best things you can do for “greasing the groove” is to double the amount of warm up sets you are taking. This not only ensures that you are properly warmed up but also gives you that many more practice reps. I like to think of it as shooting free throws before or after a basketball practice. The more you do, the more you make. I hate to use the word perfect because that is an unattainable end but in a sense that should be the goal of all these reps or “shots”.

Having Brandon in the gym with us today gave me a chance to ask real time advice about my setup and execution on the squat and deadlift. Obviously the flaws in my form that will only come out when I have 500+ on my back weren’t apparent during this session but the fundamental setup and movement was out there for him to address. In addition to having Brandon around, a lot of the team came to lift before the callout. It is always nice to have this group of people around and we never fail to have a good time. Its amazing what a bunch of guys and gals can accomplish when we are all in pursuit of the same thing. Friday will wrap up the second week of prep with dynamic upper. This prep is moving incredibly fast but the excitement for meet days grows right along with it. Until next time!

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