Monday, March 13, 2017

Strength and Power Cycle 2 Week 3

Siri getting in her last workout before racing this weekend.
I read a great article last week about being smart about your strength training so that you can keep progressing without injury for years. I was working with someone a while ago and they said that, done right, strength training is an AMRAP for 20 years. That's so true. You don't want to get injured because it sets you back too far. As your training age and biologic age progress, you need to modify your programs a bit to allow more recovery and not push the threshold too much.

I'm a little crazy and I always have graphs and charts in my head. I have a hard time drawing them, but here's my best attempt at depicting what was going on in my head as I read that article last week.

The program Jordan has us on is peaking this week with heavy singles. Next week we're going to retest our maxes, and then we'll adjust the program based on our new maxes. If you plot the effort over time for Jordan's program, it would look something like this.
The grey line is the threshold of effort that you can easily recover from. The program ramps up to a heavy week - a little bit heavier than you should recover from right away. Then we drop the effort and build back up - this time a little heavier. Then we'll have a good rest and re-test. You need to overreach a little if you ever want to progress; without overreaching you never teach your body to adapt to the stress.

The problem with most programs, especially in the high-intensity, functional-fitness world, is that you overreach every day. I'll save my addicted-to-stress and adrenal fatigue rant for another time, but for now, believe me that this will eventually burn everyone out. The young kids can keep after it for a while, but sooner or later everyone will end up injured or burned out.

I would expect all of our members who are new to strength training and the younger folks to follow the program written just how it is. But I'm not quite doing it that way. For me, it was intuitive how to adjust Jordan's program, but I didn't have the words until I read that article. We all know that as you age you can't overreach as much and as often as you did when you're younger. But you also can't afford to spend much time working really light and recovering from your overreaching. That is, you need to lose a little bit of the variability and work closer to (but not over) your recovery threshold.  This is what I imagine it looks like for me on Jordan's program.

If I had an older masters athlete on this strength program, I would recommend even less variability. That is, I would keep the hormetic stressor more constant so that there's a constant stimulus to grow muscle while avoiding injury. As you age, if you take time off to recover, either from an overreach or an injury, you'll likely lose your gains too fast. In my mind, this is how I see that approach.
Restricting the variability as you age may sound contradictory to my previous rants (here, here, here, and here) on the need for variability in biological systems (i.e., you) - but it's not. More on that in part 2...

S&P Week - Fill out this form to get your week's program pre-calculated for you

Day 1

7x2 Split Jerk - heavy, rest 60s

Press: 75%x5, 85%x3, 95%x1+

Close Grip Bench: 65%x5, 75%x5, 85%x5 

Lats, Upper Back, Triceps, Biceps 

Day 2

7x3 3-Stop Snatch Pull + 1 Hi-Hang Snatch - heavy, rest 40-60s

Deadlift: 75%x5, 85%x3, 95%x1+

Front Squat: 65%x5, 75%x5, 85%x5

Hamstrings, Low Back, Abs 

Day 3

5x3 Hang Clean (just below the knee) + 2 Push Jerks - heavy but fast, rest 60s

Bench Press: 75%x5, 85%x3, 95%x1+

Lats, Upper Back, Triceps, Biceps 

Day 4

5x3 Hang Snatch (just below the knee) - heavy but fast, rest 60s 

Squat: 75%x5, 85%x3, 95%x1+

Straight Leg Deadlift: 65%x5, 75%x5, 85%x5

Hamstrings, Low Back, Abs 


row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips


front squat 8-5-3x5


2 TGUs between strength sets

Group Workout

row 4:00
4:00 to complete 40 heavy swings
row 3:00 
3:00 to complete 30 heavy swings
row 2:00
2:00 to complete 20 heavy swings
row 1:00
1:00 to complete 10+ heavy swings
aim for about 80% effort on the row today

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