I realized today just how much I prefer pulling sumo style over conventional. It has been a good while since I last pulled anything over 75% using conventional stance and I gotta say, it was challenging. Another factor in my training today was the fact that since I am running one of Brandon’s older programs, one that I haven’t touched since probably 2014, I am getting into rep schemes to which my body is not accustom. I guess this is what they call shocking your muscles? Keep ’em guessing to make ’em grow? Either way, for my max effort work this week I pulled 455 for my top set of 5. For those of you wondering, yes, max effort deadlifts for a 5 rep max sucks a great deal. Training today broke down as follows…
- Stretch and Warm-Up
- Opposite Stance Deadlift (Conventional)
- 135×5, 225×5, 275×5, 315×5, 365×5, 405×5, 425×5, 455×5
- Deficit Deadlift
- 225×5, 275×5, 275×5
- Reverse Hyper – 3×15
- Straight Arm Lat. Pulldown – 4×15
- Cable Ab Pulldowns – 4×15
To be honest with you, after I finished my third backed down set of max effort work I was ready to assume the star position and wait for the good lord to take me away. I have the tendency to push through max effort sets a little faster than I should, especially when I am training solo such as today. This is something I have made an official note of and will be a point of emphasis on solo training days in the future. But being that this isn’t the first time I have gassed myself, I settled down for a minute, took a few breaths, and refocused to finish out the training day strong.
I was geeking out a little the other day and realized that I have never put together my meet results in such a way that allows me to view them as data points and see any trends that are occurring. Although I have a relatively low sample size it was kind of interesting to see how the different lifts have improved in different ways throughout the last few years. Below I have posted a picture of the data and also the chart that it forms.
I was surprised to see that my total has been improving in a relatively linear fashion over the past 3 years. From Fall to Fall the increase has been almost exactly 80lbs every year since I began competing. Now I think we all know that strength gains are not linear and in fact will tend to follow a positive root function curve but it is still fun to look at the data and calculate how long it will take me to get to a certain total based on the years past. At my current pace, I am about 2 1/2 years away from a raw elite total in most federations. Looking further at the data, however, shows that my bench press is greatly bogging down my total. Its progress is nearly stagnant! This is not news to me but with my recent jump in squat strength, I believe that my progress in the squat and deadlift will probably slow down. This is due to various reasons but a major one is that my technique is finally getting to a point where strength is my limiting factor for those lifts, not technique. Over the next offseason, the bench press will HAVE to be a top priority. I need to make improvements in technique and strength so that I can get it caught up with the other two lifts.
In the end, there is no real true way to quantify my true strength based on meet results unless I am performing at my absolute peak in each lift each time. There are many other factors that have gone into these meets from body weight to missed lifts based on technicalities. None the less, it shows me where I am improving well, how my numbers are improving, and where I need to put my emphasis in training to go. No improvement will be made without putting in the work so now it is time for me to go to work. Hopefully you guys find this approach interesting and helpful. Until next time!