1/16/17 – Max Effort Upper – 5 Weeks Out

Bench pressing continues to feel very solid as I move into week 2 of meet prep. The percentages were bumped up slightly this week with reduced rep schemes. Everything is moving fairly quickly and by that I don’t just mean the weights, I mean this prep itself! The sessions are flying by but maybe its just me getting used to this prep schedule. Either way, my bench attempts and accessory work went as follows…

  • Stretch and Warm-Up
  • Bench Press
    • 45×10, 95×5, 135×5, 185×5, 225×2, 255×3
    • 285x2x3
    • 295x3x2
  • Dumbbell Incline Bench
    • 50×12, 60×12, 70×12
  • Chest Supported Row
    • 110×12, 120×12, 130×12, 140×12
  • Dips – 3×12
  • Band Flys – 50 Reps
  • Band Pressdowns – 50 Reps
  • Band Pull Aparts – 100 Reps
  • Band Ab Pulldowns – 4×12

I could definitely tell that the extra 10 pounds had been added to the bar when I moved to 295 for my three doubles but I set up like I have been practicing, let it sink in and moved all three sets just the way I wanted to. After having ran a volume program for 4 weeks, these training days feel like they are too short but I know I need to let myself recover more from these bigger weights. Whenever I find myself second guessing something that I am doing I just have to remind myself that I have Brandon write these programs for me for a reason. He hasn’t let me down yet and knows what he is doing. The last thing you want to do during a meet prep is to overdo it and put yourself out of a meet (e.i. train smarter not harder). There is no sense in hitting a bunch of accessory work if it does not help you move toward peaking on meet day. There is definitely a time and place for volume work to build a muscular base but during meet prep is not that time, especially a six week prep. I will be taking my first heavy squats tomorrow evening after our Spring Call-Out. Hopefully I will be able to get some videos for those. Until next time!

1/11/16 – Max Effort Lower – 6 Weeks Out

Meet prep has arrived. Today was my first of three max effort deadlift sessions during this program leading up to the RPS Mafia Mayhem meet in approx. 6 weeks. I was very happy with how my pulls moved today and was even able to get a couple of my top sets on video for once. My four week stint in hypertrophy work seems to have my joints and back feeling great. I can already tell that I am going to enjoy this prep and feel like I am set up to knock down some big numbers come February 18th. Here is how training broke down today…

  • Stretch and Warm-Up
  • Sumo Deadlift
    • 135×5, 225×3, 275×3, 315×3, 365×3, 405×2, 445×2, 475x2x2
  • Rack Pull (Below Knee)
    • 315×3, 405×3, 455×3, 495×3
  • Leg Press
    • 585×15, 635×15, 675×15
  • Glute-Ham Raise – 3×12
  • Stir the Pot – 3×15

Between max effort bench and deadlift over the last couple days all of my numbers have felt to be on point. It seems like the last month or so has been a rollercoaster of moving around and working out in new places so it feels nice to be back in the corec around the equipment I have been using the most over the past 4 years. I love being able to meet new people and train in new gyms but when it comes to meet prep I will take consistency over a lot of things. I was not able to get my second set of 475 on deads videoed today so you will just have to believe me when I say that it moved a lot faster than the first set which is shown above. Overall my body is feeling better than it has going into a prep in a long time but I have learned that when you feel the best is when you have to put the most effort into recovery techniques and warming up properly. This will be my final powerlifting meet with Purdue Barbell and I intend to go out with a bang. Two more dynamic day are left this week before we roll right along into week two of meet prep. This is gonna be a good one. Until next time!

1/4/16 – Week 4, Day 2 – Chest/Shoulders

This volume program keeps moving right along and brings me to the final chest/shoulder day before I start my meet prep next week. Technically, I am 7 weeks out from the RPS Mafia Mayhem meet that we will be competing in and I am very ready to start moving bigger weights in preparation for the platform. I have been enjoying the amount of incline and dumbbell work that this program contains. Taking this time to focus on building muscle groups instead of individual lifts has allowed my little nagging aches heal up and, in my opinion, has my bench feeling better than it ever has. I look forward to a great inprovement on the bench press come meet day. Today’s training went as follows…

  • Stretch and Warm-Up
  • Slightly Inclined Dumbbell Bench
    • 85x3x8, 90x2x8
  • Incline Bench Press
    • 185×8, 205×8, 225×8, 245×7
  • Machine Press – 3×8
  • Dips – 2 Sets (10 Reps, 11 Reps)
  • Rear Delt Raises – 3×25
  • Lateral Raises – 3×10
  • Machine Overhead Press – 95×10, 115×10, 135×10
  • Band Pull Aparts – 3 AMRAP Sets
  • Ab Wheel Rollouts – 4×10
  • Deficit Pushups – 3×12

For the rest of this week, I am not sure if I am going to finish out the final back day and arm day of this program. On the one hand I would like to finish all of the training days, but on the other it may be beneficial for me to take a small deload from the gym until I jump into heavier weights once met prep begins next week. I believe it will just have to be a day to day decision as to what I feel is the best move for me in order to begin meet prep at 100%. The current goals from now until meet day is train as hard as possible and smartly as possible meaning to gain as much strength as possible while also avoiding injury. For now I will rest up and begin preparing both mentally and physically for a great run these next six weeks. Until next time!

12/27/16 – Volume Legs – Week 3, Day 1

My time being spent running a volume program has officially passed the halfway point. Every time I get in the gym I feel a little bit healthier and with a higher level of mobility. This being the case, I am beginning to get the itch for moving heavy weights again. It will be another 2 full weeks before I begin my meet prep and start putting circa max weight on the bar. Knowing this has me excited to see how going into a meet prep free from nagging injuries will have me feeling but also makes the time seem to drag by. Today’s volume leg training went as follows…

  • Stretch and Warm-Up
  • Seated Leg Curls – 4×10
  • Leg Press
    • 3 Plates x8, 4 Plates x8, 4 1/2 Plates x8, 5 Plates x8
  • Single Leg, Leg Press
    • 2 Plates for 3×8
  • Paused Squats
    • 135×8, 165×8, 185×8, 225×8, 275×8
  • Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift – 3×12
  • Calf Raises – 4×10
  • Cable Ab Pulldowns – 4×15

This being the halfway point for my volume training, I thought I would take an inventory of sorts to see what I have noticed over the last two weeks and what I may change for the next two. Here are a few items that came to mind…

  1. Development: My muscles have not grown as they have in the past while running volume programs in the past which puzzled me at first but I now attribute that to the lowered rep schemes this program utilizes. Although this program is technically a hypertrophy driven program, Brandon has dropped the reps enough on the bigger, compound movements in order to allow me to get a taste for what could be considered higher rep powerlifting training. I am hoping that this pays big dividends when I hit meet prep and I will be ready to handle to big weights.
  2. Remembering my purpose for training: Running this program does me no good if I am still banged up at the end. My reasoning for using this program was to allow my lower back to heal up before attempting to prep for a meet. After the leg day during the first week, I realized that I had put a little too much strain on my back and that if I expected it to recover as quickly as possible, I needed to protect it. Instead of attempting heavier weights and going all out I have had to be patient and focus on time under tension instead. This small change in focus has paid off greatly.
  3. Conditioning: It doesn’t matter how strong you are if you aren’t in condition to finish the workout or even all the sets. Looking back to the first week of this increased workload, my muscular endurance was certainly lacking. Granted, I rarely train compound movements with sets of 20 and don’t necessarily need to to increase my single rep capability on the big three lifts but it is still an important component in training. The better my training conditioning is, the harder I can lift.

I plan to take very few days off from the gym during the next week and a half. I still plan to condense the next seven days of training into a week and a half in order to take a mini-deload next week before getting into meet prep. I am already stoked to get back on campus and start prepping with my teammates. The countdown has started for me and my days are numbered until I get back on the platform. Until next time!