Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Know your lifts (and download this)

Randy and I were chatting about the plethora of apps out there to use to do your programming. Neither of us like them. Randy didn't grow up with computers and spreadsheets, naturally he likes hand-written programs. I'm a computer scientist and write my own software to do whatever I want, but I still like hand-written programs.

From the simple spreadsheet to the services where you can subscribe to pre-calculated programs, I understand the allure of having a program that does the math and tells you exactly what to lift and when. But when you're blindly following some Internet celebrity's program what are you getting out of it?

Having a coach who is also your programmer means that the coach who knows your abilities can modify a personalized program for you on the spot. During practice, nothing is written in stone. If you're having a bad day, it's easy to drop your weight a little or change the rep scheme. It's harder to change a program ad hoc when it looks official with automatically calculated weights and in an app on your phone.

But more important, what are you learning? If you just rely on your phone to tell you what you're doing when you walk in to the gym, you're not mentally preparing for your day. You're not learning what's heavy for you, or to be in tune with your day-to-day feelings. If you have a hand written program and you have to calculate your percentages and interpret what the program means, you get an intuitive feeling for what your training is going to look like.

If you have to do the work, you'll actually learn your weights. In my lifting, if I have to do a 70% squat, I don't even have to calculate it, I know what 70% is for me. I want you all to get to that point.

In my S&C class, I program as easy/moderate/heavy rather than strict percentages because everyone is at a different point in their training. Jordan will be basing her Strength and Power class off of percentages, so you'll want to start getting a handle on what your percentages are. To make it easy, I made you a simple table to look up your weights when you're planning your day. I know you all have calculators on your phone, but it encodes differently in your brain when you have to do more work.

Get this percentage chart and bring it with you if you're going to do the Strength and Power class.


clean pull 5-3-3-3x3
2 windmills between sets


5 rounds for a sense of urgency:
10 KB snatch each arm
5 pull-ups
5 burpees

Endurance Option

clean pulls
2 windmills between sets


5 rounds below AeroMAX:
10 KB snatch each arm
5 pull-ups
5 push-ups

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