The Joker - Week 1/Day 3 - Tuesday & Explanation on future training plans, revelations, and feelings on strength training.
Back - 17 sets
A. Meadows Rows
1, 25 lb plate x 8
2, 25 lb plates x 8
3, 25 lb plates x 8, 8, 6
2, 25 lb plates x 15 (was supposed to do this set with the same weight as the previous 3 sets but my lats were to fried)
B. One-Arm Supinated Pulldowns with Bands and isotension technique
Set up a bench in my squat rack. Sat down and performed this by working arm doing regular 1 arm supinated pulldowns, nonworking arm held the contracted pulldown position.
Used doubled red bands
Set 1: Right arm 10 reps, left arm 10 reps
Set 2: Right arm 4 reps, Left arm 4 reps, R 3, L 3, R 2, L 2, R 1, L1
Set 3: Left arm 10 reps, Right arm 10 reps
Set 4: L 4, R 4, L 3, R 3, L 2, R 2, L 1, R 1
C. Deadlifts off 4 mats (mid shin pull)
135 x 5 (no belt or straps, double overhand)
185 x 5 (no belt)
225 x 5 (no belt)
D. Scrape the Rack Rows with Shrugs - 4 x 8 w. 95
Elbows kept high to hit the rhomboids and traps. Did 8 perfect reps squeezing the muscles hard at the top, than stood up and did 10 shrugs.
Maybe could've used more weight on these but didn't want to risk form degradation on these, it has happened almost every time before.
E. Band Goodmornings - 3 x 20 with heavy green band
Used a more controlled tempo, concentric was not slow but definitely controlled. Used a speed and a shorter range of motion that allowed me to feel it all of the tension in the erectors. Rather than having a bend in the knees and pushing my hips back in a Romanian deadlift style form, I used more straight and stiff legs and bet over at the waist more to hit the erectors further. Also felt these tremendously in the glutes.
Another great session in the books; every time I return to this style of training I always think to myself, "Why did I stop training like this??" And every single time I ditch it because I "like going heavy and building a huge squat, bench, and deadlift." I guess wisdom comes with age; or maybe it was the time I spent as a client with George Leeman doing high reps and seeing that success; but whatever it was it finally hit me that I don't ever need to stop. First of all, Meadows' programs are already geared to be hard, intensive, and fairly heavy. Second of all I will just need to tweak things a little when I go back to building pure strength by applying peaking work to the lifts I want to build and set up a standard of rules and protocols on what to do.
This is just my bias, but I love using the fitness fatigue model to build my peaking programs. It keeps me feeling better, builds up muscle, and guarantees a PR almost every week. As the time goes by and the reps drop; the fatigue level goes down, the muscle is built up from previous weeks, and both combine to allow a synergy for better performance. I know people say high reps don't build maximal strength but I disagree here. As long as you peak up gradually over time; it will carry over. It all just comes down to how you go about it. If you are doing sets of 20 on weeks on end; than try to max out of the blue; of course your max will suck. But if you start at 20 and add 10 lbs to the bar each week; letting the reps drop slowly; you should have no reason why there would be an issue.
That's why some of my favorite cycles have fatigue built in.
For example my favorite cycle by far is set up like this:
We'll use the squat as an example
Wk 1 - do sets of 10 using 30 lb jumps working up to a weight that is challenge but not all out for a set of 10.
Wk 2 - do sets of 10 using 40 lb jumps working up to a weight that is 10 lbs heavier than the previous week.
Wk 3 - do sets of 10 using 50 lb jumps, working up and beating Week 2's PR but 10 lbs.
Wk 4 - do sets of 8 using 30 lb jumps working up to 10 lbs heavier than week 3's weight
and so on, continuing doing cycles for 8, 6, 4, 2, and finally 1 rep.
The reps dropping after 3 weeks allows you to keep hitting 10 lb PR's weekly due to the fact that the overall fatigue and volume drops by the drop in reps, despite the fact that you are doing 30 lb jumps again.
As you hit the weeks where you are doing 4, 2, and 1; you really have to dig down deep to keep hitting PR's. It may not be possible to keep hitting 10 lb PR's during this phase because they generate far less fatigue; but overall you can still guarantee yourself 5 lb pr's at bare minimum. This style of training of progressive overload can be a bit tedious at times but they always pay off.
On the same vein, this could be accomplished to a similar degree by meadows' style of prepump work, layering of exercise choices and so on. It all causes some fatigue before hitting the movement you want to build; if not a great deal of fatigue depending on the week. One way I could apply a strength cycle to some of these programs is that I could simply apply the rules and ideas that I picked up from Leeman in the way that I start pulling the exercises before the main left as the reps eventually drop.
For example (squats again):
The goal is to bring up quad size and strength, and transition to overall squat strength
-Build a 12 week program and understand what exercises I want to use, the order of the changes from week to week, and the rotation of reps, sets, and intensity for those exercises
-Start the program out where I am doing squats with chains third in my order of quad exercises as a speed exercise. Work up doing sets of explosive reps for the desired number of reps to the weight a weight I can do for a moderate set of 15-20 reps and do it .
- Keep adding weight to the bar each week
- When I can no longer get 10 reps on the squats, I pull one of the quad exercises and put it after squats so that squats are now 2nd in the rotation
- When I can no longer get 8 reps, either pull the chains or drop an exercise
- When I can no longer get 6, same thing
Anyway... rant over. Just getting ideas down lol