Monday, March 20, 2017

Strength and Power Cycle 2 Week 4

Lily squats so fast she's blurry, Todd sits on the box really well so he's nicely in focus.
This is a deload week for the strength and power class. Take it seriously. You're testing all the lifts next week, so you'll want to be rested.

I'm finally getting around to an anti-climatic part 2 to last week's post. To recap: good periodized programs have you cycle between overreaching to stimulate your gains (like last week's incessant heavy singles) and recovery (like this week). Everyone serious trains like this, not just weightlifters. The only way to get better is to work harder than you should and then recover.

Why? Well, yet again the answer is non-linear effects. You need a punctuated stimulus to get your hormones to respond. The recovery phase serves two purposes: one, to let your muscles actually recover so that you can go harder again later, and two, to allow your hormones to go back to baseline. Everything in nature measures differences, so if you always have growth hormone (insulin, etc. always high) your body will become accustomed to it and will ignore the signal. Just like hearing a pin drop if the room is quiet enough, if you keep your baseline hormone levels low, then the punctuated spikes work better.

When it's time for you to deload and recover, don't let your ego get in the way. You may feel like you're wasting your time, but without this phase you will eventually burn out. How much should you deload? The younger you are, the more you should deload. You likely pushed it crazy hard last week, so you need the rest the most during deload time.

For us older guys, we can't go relatively as heavy on the big weeks, and going too light on deload week will actually allow us to detrain more than we want. Basically, you want your training to match your hormonal response. As you age, the variability in your hormones decreases a bit, so you should slowly shift to a less variable strength program (of course erring on the side of going too easy rather than turning it up to 11 every day).

I use the form below to precompute my weights for the week (and you should too). So how do I manage my heavy weeks and my deload weeks? On heavy weeks I always round down to the nearest good weight*, On light weeks, I round up.  That's enough flattening of the peaks and valleys to keep the program working great for me.

*What's a "good weight?" Well, I'm crazy and I've spent a lot of time in a gym, there are weights that are natural combination of plates.  I like to stick to the weights that you can make with just a few plates: 75, 95, 115, 135, 165, 185, 205, 225, 255, 275, 315, 365, 405, 455, ...

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

Day 1

5x3 Split Jerk - heavy, rest 90s

Press: 40%x5, 50%x5, 60%x5

Close Grip Bench: 40%x5, 50%x5, 60%x5

Lats, Upper Back, Triceps, Biceps 

Day 2

10x2 3 Stop Snatch Pull + Hi-Hang Snatch - heavier than last week, rest 40-60s 

Deadlift: 40%x5, 50%x5, 60%x5 

Front Squat: 40%x5, 50%x5, 60%x5

Hamstrings, Low Back, Abs

Day 3

7x2 Hi-Hang Clean + 1 Split Jerk - heavy but fast, rest 60s

Bench Press: 40%x5, 50%x5, 60%x5

Lats, Upper Back, Triceps, Biceps 

Day 4

7x2 Hang Snatch (just above knee) - heavy but fast, rest 60s 

Squat: 40%x5, 50%x5, 60%x5 

Straight Leg Deadlift: 40%x5, 50%x5, 60%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


squat 8-5-3x5


2 pull-ups + 2 dips between strength sets

Group Workout

10 rounds at your own pace
15 double KB jerk

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