Monday, September 12, 2016

Programming for the old dudes

Not an old dude. Todd stepped up and did ring dips in that horrible workout last week.
I was reflecting on the last year of programming and how I structure the frequency and intensity of the movements that show up. The pattern I use falls on the side of frequent revisits to squats and presses and less frequent pulls (deadlifts, lifts-off, etc). The reason I chose that was most of the literature I read says that squatting and pressing is great for hitting the big muscles and building shoulder strength, and that deadlifting heavy takes too long to recover from, so it needs to be less frequent.

The difference, I'm realizing now, is that most of the literature is written by people who have experience with eighteen-year-old football players or powerlifters. Those guys go heavy enough frequently, so they need to pay more attention to the recovery from something like a heavy deadlift. They also have young shoulders and frequent pressing doesn't hurt them.

I recently took a break from my normal squat, press, deadlift routine - mainly because of time constraints - and for the last 6 weeks, I squatted about 4 times a week (whenever I could fit it in) and only did 2 sets of 5 (heavy though!).  No pressing, no deadlifting.  I noticed that with the lack of pressing my shoulders started to feel much better. (Randy's 10 minutes of kettlebell discomfort work didn't hurt either.)  I probably should have been deadlifting instead of squatting, but my rationale was that I didn't want to spend all that time loading and unloading the bar for deadlift - I need too many weights for a heavy deadlift (first world problem).  

Regardless, the squatting-only work plus some evil kettlebell stuff to keep mobile has been great for me.  I'm feeling good and still gaining strength with a shockingly little amount of work. And I think the lack of pressing has been a good thing for my shoulders - I probably should do more pulling, but the baby carries seem to be good for the upper back.

After chatting with some other masters clients at the gym, I've learned that they've been doing better on a higher squat and pull frequency with less on the pressing.  I think that has to do with the time it takes the shoulder to recover, and that most of you have real jobs and those jobs put your shoulders in a compromised position - and pressing exacerbates that bad position. I also think that increasing our pull frequency can help fix the other problems that come with the sit-eight-hours-a-day-at-the-computer job.

Over the next few weeks I'm going to play with our programming and see what works best for you guys. Expect more squatting and pulling and maybe a little less pressing. I love tinkering with the programming to match your needs.



Workout

press 3x5 (of course press happens to be in the rotation today, even after my anti-press rant...)
5 bent-over rows between sets (use press weight)

then

5 rounds
every 5:00
8 jump squats
5 tall box jumps
3 cleans (75-80%)
1 jerk



Endurance Option

accumulate 15 presses at 5RM
5 bent-over rows between sets (use press weight)

then/or

5 rounds
every 5:00
8 jump squats
5 tall box jumps
3 cleans (75-80%)
1 jerk
(this one is pretty power-heavy, don't worry about scaling it to AeroMAX - we'll take it easy tomorrow)



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