T Nation

What Training 'In the Zone' Means to Me


So today I was a little extra wired during my training session--perhaps from consuming Power Drive, or maybe because I was "in the zone." As a result, I happened to have a very productive workout.

I use quotes for this phrase because they're Christian Thibaudeau's original words. Being "in the zone" has powerful implications for autoregulatory trainining and thus your ability to get the most out of a workout. Hopefully we all know understand the basic methodology by now behind Coach Thibaudeau's principle of explosive, max force or "rocket launch" reps.

These are the reps that get us "in the zone." Today I had an epiphany during my training session. Nothing too groundbreaking--but my thoughts reinforce what I've learned and how much autoregulation has become a big interest of mine. More specifically, I believe training "in the zone" means being able to create as many opportunities as possible to maintain explosive capacity during anaerobic thresholds on a given day.

This takes into consideration what I (you) have learned over time that my (your) body responds best to while still incorporating high-threshold hypertrophy principles where appropriate. Such principles include--but are not limited to--ramping/loading methods, high reps HTH, deadstops and fast turnaround reps, or using the pins in either type. Therefore, the key to "training in the zone" is what Thibs has been explaining to us for a while now: increasing your work capacity based on how you feel for a given day.

As for how I increased my work capacity earlier, here's what I did.

A. Activation + Potentiation:

A1. Dynamic rollbacks into V-sits on floor (sets of 3 reps) - bodyweight
A2. DB swings (sets of 3-5 reps) - 40lb. DB
A3. Alternating "staircase" bench jumps (sets of 3 reps) - bodyweight

B. Front Squat, ramping (sets of 3 reps + 3,2,1 waves after max force set) - 65lb. x 3 (feel set #1), 85lb. x 3 (feel set #2), 95lb. x 3, 115lb. x 3, 135lb. x 3, 155lb. x 3, 175lb. x 3, 195lb. x 3 (max force set/ max training weight for today), 175lb. x 3, 175lb. x 2, 175lb. x 1, 185lb. x 3, 185lb. x 2, 185lb. x 1, 195lb. x 3, 175lb. x 3, 175lb. x 2, 175lb. x 1, 185lb. x 3, 185lb. x 2, 185lb. x 1, 195lb. x 3, 195lb. x 2, 195lb. x 1, 155lb. x 3-5

C. Close-grip bench press, ramping (sets of 3) - 65lb. x 3 (feel set #1), 75lb. x 3 (feel set #2), 90lb. x 3, 100lb. x 3, 110lb. x 3, 120lb. x 3, 130lb. x 3, 140lb. x 3 (max force set/max training weight for today), 130lb. x 3, 140lb. x 3, 135lb. x 3, 3/2/1 wave for 130 lb., 3/2/1 wave for 135lb., 140lb. x 2, dropped weight to 125lb. and performed 5 sets of 5 with plyo depth push-ups (stacked plates 4-6" high with some space in the middle) in between close-grip bench press sets


3/2/1 i figured you would do it the opposite way? Interesting wave loading. Personally when i hit my max force set i usually try to do 2-5 sets with the same weight. I don't use wave loading a lot so far.