3/20/17 – Week 3, Day 1 – Max Effort Lower

With Spring Break out of the way its time to finish out my preparation for the World’s Strongest Boilermaker competition. Moving into this week I am excited to see where my strength levels are at after only being back into my offseason programming for a few weeks. There are a few things that I am focusing on during this time that I will talk about a little later but for now, here is how today’s training broke down…

  • Stretch and Warm-Up
  • SSB Box Squat
    • 45×5, 135×5, 225×5, 255×3, 275×3, 315×3, 345×3, 365×3 (PR)
    • 315×4, 315×3
  • High Bar, Narrow Stance Paused Squat
    • 185×10, 205×8, 225×6
  • Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift
    • 70×12, 80×10, 80×10
  • Pull Throughs – 4×20
  • Chair Deadlift – 3×10
  • Calves – 4 Sets
  • Reverse Hypers off GHR – 4 Sets
  • Lying Leg Raises – 4×10

Breaking my SSB Box Squat PR from the first week of this cycle felt great after essentially taking a deload week over the break last week. I was on a cruise for 6 days of the week and did train 4 times but without a rack or barbell I was reduced to using dumbbells and whatever machines they had available. After the first couple of days, my hamstrings started to feel as though I had crushed them with a training session but had not yet touched my legs with any movements. After talking with a couple of the other guys, we attributed this to the rocking of the ship and its effect on our stabilizing muscles. Although I can’t prove this, I truly believe that this is the case and found it interesting. I was still slightly stiff from this upon returning and warming up for this session but some extra attention to stretching and muscle activation was all I needed to feel just fine again.

As I mentioned earlier, there are a few items I have been focusing on/learning during my prep for a strongman competition that I think are worth sharing:

  1. I suck at overhead press. I have not been benching much to see if there is a correlation between my strength increase in overhead pressing and benching but I am excited to see if building my shoulders causes my benching to jump up. Finding a major weakness always sucks but it also can be a point for major improvement if you can get through the sucking phase to a point where that weakness has been brought up.
  2. I was far behind on both my cardiovascular and muscular endurance, and still am but not as badly. To counter this I have made sure to keep my accessory work at the upper limit of the rep ranges that Brandon prescribes. I have had to swallow my pride and lower the weights that I normally more for accessories but I can feel myself finishing session in a stronger fashion giving me time to throw in some recovery movements that I would normally be too beat to attempt. For my cardio work, that easy. I’ve had to actually start running *gasp*. Its funny how if you actually attempt to build something up that it will actually improve. I’ve been adding a quarter mile to interval runs each week, 2-3 times a week, and with the weather improving will also be attempting some 300m shuttles to switch things up a bit.
  3. Most importantly, this is my first time attempting a strongman competition and I have to approach it like I would if I could redo my first powerlifting meet. I’m not coming in with the expectation of claiming first place. I am going to use this competition as a learning experience and an opportunity to have fun with my teammates in competition one last time. It has been a great run for us and the only way I can fail is if I put myself before my team and let my pride get in the way.

There are only a few weeks left to go before August 8th yet a lot of work to be done. After almost a month of travelling every weekend I am looking forward to a more normal schedule in the coming weeks. Overall, things are looking very well and I am excited for this new challenge to face. Until next time!








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