Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Why we are deadlifting every day

Yesterday's post about deadlifting every day prompted a bunch of questions of why we're deadlifting every day. The main reason is that I know who our members are and what their constraints are. Our goal is to be ready for the Tactical Strength Challenge in 6 5 weeks. So you need to be good at deadlifting, pull-ups, and snatches.

Snatches are "easy." I mean, it's easy to prepare you for them. It take years to master the snatch, no one is going to master it in time. So I'm just using AGT to build up your strength endurance so that you can suffer through it. (See what you signed up for?)

There's not much I can do exciting or fancy about training pull-ups. You just need to keep doing them or scaled versions of them. I'm using a typical add-one-more-each day progression, but everyone does something like that.

So what about deadlift? There are many different ways I could train the deadlift, some of them get fancy and are the kind of programs that powerlifters would use. We can play with intensity (max weight), volume (numbers of reps), or frequency (how often you revisit the exercise). Ideally, we'd probably do something like a Wendler 5-3-1 or Bill Starr 5x5, but that would require you to have a regular schedule to make it to the gym. And it would require everyone to really be on the same schedule.

Since that will never happen, I wanted a flexible program that everyone could follow, yet still get good results. I've always like Pavel's Power to the People program, so I adapted that to fit our schedule. The goal here is to lift every day with small increases. If you're constantly lifting around 70-75% effort and your 70-75% goes up, then your 100% has to go up. It's just math. (Some folks may disagree that you just get really good at lifting light and if you never push it heavy you won't see the gains. That may be true for top-end competitive athletes, but I've used a variant of this program many times and people are always shocked at how well they improve even without going crazy heavy.)

Regardless of your schedule, if you just come in and do what's on the board, my bet is that you'll do really well at the TSC on April 14 (be there!). But you don't have to take my word for it, I believe in the program and I'm doing it with you. If it doesn't work, it also won't work for me (that's why Skin in the Game is the cover picture today).

A slight digression: as I was thinking about putting together this TSC prep program, I had to align my goals (get you good at those three movements) with the constraints we have (you guys are all busy and can't make it to the gym every day). But what if you went to a gym that bought programming? We couldn't make those changes. I read two articles today that got me fired up (and now you get a rant on it...joy).

The first one marketed to me as a gym owner was telling me "5 reasons I should buy programming from a pro" I'm sure there are hundreds of better programmers out there than me. But none of them know you. You're paying us to work with you and your constraints. What value do you get from me if I just buy the programming and feed it to you?

Then I saw this one about a new studio that opened in 29th street. This is a typical franchise model where the corporate office not only creates the program, but broadcasts it on a TV for everyone to follow at the same time. The trainers are there to walk around to help you with your form, but you're a slave to the corporate clock. That sure does sound fun. The programming here has to be lowest common denominator because there is explicitly no time for teaching or bringing a newbie up to speed.

There is a method to our programming, and we all think hard about it. It even drives Randy to drink.

Today's Workout

front squat 8-5-3x5
5 push-ups between sets


next step in pull-up progression and
deadlift 5x35%, 5x50%, 5x80%, 5x70%


heavy snatch day:
snatch, bell size +2, 8x(4R+4L)/1:00