Hell yeah blog update!
Life’s been great lately. Work is going well, lifting has been super solid, and everything outside of that has been pretty awesome as well.
As of now, I’m in the process of writing a 12-week summer program for the men’s and women’s swim teams. I’m basically taking the program they’re on now and tweaking it here and there to stretch it out to 12 weeks as opposed to 4, and placing a larger emphasis on developing strength and power as opposed to improving work capacity. I won’t lie, it’s a bit of a challenge, but I honestly believe I’m making it more complicated than it needs to be. I just need to maintain a strong emphasis on basic compound-joint movements that will give the biggest bang for the buck. Though it’s one of the most effective and efficient movements an athlete or lifter can perform, I’m going to stay away from the barbell back squat, for the sole reason that I won’t be there to teach/coach it. Yes, anyone can squat. It’s a movement most of us perform everyday. But, not everyone squats properly. I honestly wouldn’t mind if the athletes squatted, but it takes a lot of time and effort from both the coach and the athletes to unlearn old, bad habits and to implement proper technique. So, if I’m going to take the time to teach them to squat at all, it’s going to be on my terms, and I want to do as little backtracking as possible.
So, they’ll be performing lots of dumbbell squats, lunges, and split squats, as well as RDL (Romanian deadlifts) and good-mornings to work their posterior chain. There will also be a very large emphasis on pulling movements to strengthen/improve the upper back. I have to keep this as simple as possible and take into consideration that, wherever they might be, they might not have access to equipment like bands or chains or boxes. Everything is going to be kept to free weights with either dumbbells or barbells. There’s going to be lots of rowing, lat pulling-down, and pulling-up. There are, in truth, only so many pulling movements that one can perform, and I have to accept that there is going to be some major overlap between weeks. That’s okay though–like the bench, squat, and deadlift, DB/BB rows (and their variations) are/should be constants in any strength training program. I want to progress them from doing lat pull-downs to pull-ups, but don’t think they’re quite ready for them yet. I think I’ll stick with lat pull-downs for the first 4 weeks, then progress them to multiple sets of low-rep pull-ups. (Any input on this from my friends with programming experience would be appreciated.)
It’s still in the works, and I need to run it by Coach Frey, but it should turn out alright.
Lifting has been, as I said, super solid lately. I’m on my third cycle of 5/3/1 without a deload and am feeling, for the most part, fantastic. I continue to crush weight, and, ruling out injury or other unforeseen influences, will continue to do so until camp.
Here’s how last week broke down.
Dead: 354×5, 400×5, 455×10
Bench: 190×5, 215×5, 245×11
Squat: 290×5, 330×5, 375×7 (video)
Snatch: 95×4, 115×4, 135×4, 155×4
I figured that I might as well start recording my lifts, if, for nothing else, self-critique. But really, who am I kidding? I’m fulfilling a very masturbatory need for people to see me and give me praise. I’m aware of it, and I don’t care who thinks it’s silly, stupid, dumb, or who just doesn’t give a damn. So the squat video is from last week’s session, and I’ll be uploading today’s deadlifts soon.
Lifting for today went as follows.
Dead: 375×3, 430×3, 480×7 (video)
After watching the video of the lift a few times over, I realized that I lock out my knees/hips too early and do a lot of lifting with my lower back. Obviously it’s worked so far, and my back can handle it, but as I climb up to higher poundages I know I’ll have issues with lockout. It’s just a matter of keeping my ass down longer rather than letting it shoot up. My strength in the deadlift has a lot to do with the time I spent working as a mason, and I can’t help but think that those years picking up rocks and bags of concrete had an effect on my technique as well. Yes, I know it’s considered “wrong” to lift with one’s back, but whatever.
Okay folks, that’s all for now. I’ll post the deadlift video either tonight or tomorrow. Thanks for reading.
Stay yoked and loked.