OK So Maybe Just One More…

GOALS FOR 2016

  1. SQUAT 415+
  2. BENCHPRESS 300+
  3. DEADLIFT 500+

As of two weeks ago all of these goals were met. I managed to pull off a new squat PR during openers testing week and then matched a benchpress PR a few days later. The deadlift had already been completed after I managed a 501lbs pull at my last meet in July. Since finishing all of these goals I began brainstorming what I had planned for in 2017. But before I could even come out with those goals…

2017 goals to become published after my next meet in December. More info on that to come in a post soon!

-TTPL

An Announcement & A Programming Adjustment

If you haven’t heard by now (why aren’t you following me on INSTAGRAM) I will be competing again on Saturday, December 17th in a USPA sanctioned event in Indianapolis! Because of this sudden change of pace my programming has changed (again) to allow me to peak for this meet!

For peak programming I have settled on a Sheiko routine. Originally a 10 week program I shaved the first 2 weeks off to make sure the peaking aligns with the meet. Here is a little glimpse at what I’m in store for.

WEEK 2 – DAY 1

SQUAT
135×5
230×5
270×4
315×3,3
355×2,2,2,2

BENCHPRESS
150×5
180×4
210×3,3
240×3,3,3,3,3,3

MORE SQUATS
210×5
250×4,4
290×3
330×3,3,3,3

GOOD MORNINGS
150×8,8,8,8

It’s gonna be a fun ride…

-DJ

Week 3 Begins – What Is This Program?

gorillaffSo I’ve talked and I’ve teased this program that I’m doing for the past few weeks now and now that I’m finally moved into my new place with the INTERNET and things have finally calmed down I can finally get to writing this up! I’ve tried many programs in the past and this one has been set up differently than what I’m used to – as it progresses from week to week within a training block, the volume remains the same but the weights lower by 5-7% (so intensity drops). Once you hit the next training block, the volume prescription drops but the weight increases above what you had started with from the previous block (intensity ramps back up), rinse and repeat until about Week 11-13.

I have tried multiple programs in the past: Starting Strength, 5/3/1, Sheiko, The Cube Method, Candito’s 6 Week Strength program, etc. and the one thing they all had in common was their setup for LINEAR PROGRESSION (you could argue some wavered slightly but the theme was the same!). Simply put, linear progression allows you to make gains in the heavy ass weight department by slowly ramping up the intensity – doing more sets/volume with lighter weight to get you acclimated for the heavier stuff which ramps up and up and up the more your body gets used to it.

And linear progression has always been a tried and true method of establishing a good strength base… for at least the beginner or even moderate lifter. Once you move develop your CNS to a point with linear progressive training you will eventually run into diminishing returns and you will need to change your plan/program to continue to allow yourself to gain strength (for most of us, anyway).

Enter a man with a different train of thought. A man who is an IPF World Champion with a world record in the squat, bench and total as well as the HIGHEST WILKS EVER (691)…

… Blaine Sumner.

Just this summer Blaine launched his own website, www.blainesumner.com, and as part of the launch (you can still do this now!) he included 5 of his programs FOR FREE. I took a look at them and settled on what I thought would be most beneficial to me, his Frequency Freak program [he totally missed the opportunity to go with FREAKQUENCY but I digress].

This program is 12 weeks longs and is split into 2 main training blocks with two peak-specific week blocks leading into the last week for a potential PR. This is what the volume/percentages look like for the main lift within each week (2 accessory movements are included in Days 1,2,3 at varying percentages until Week 11 when they disappear. Day 4 is its own day with bands for each “big 3” lift at considerably lighter weights to make up for added band tension):

Week 1-4: 5×5, 78%/76%/73%/68% of max
Week 4-8: 4×3, 84%/82%/79%/74% of max
Week 9: 3×2 83%
Week 10: 2×2 88%
Week 11: 1×1 87%
Week 12: 1×1 102%

As you can see this program is a little different in the fact that the intensity actually decreases slowly into Week 4 before dropping the volume and ramping the intensity, slowly decreasing until Week 9 when the volume drops and intensity ramps again, and continues to do so through Week 12. Here is a graphical representation of Volume vs. Intensity through the 12 weeks:

gorillagraphThis is the first program I have ever tried that actually tapers down the intensity before dropping the volume and ramping the intensity back up. Hopefully this “micro-deload” will help prep my CNS to get shocked for when the intensity ramps up and prepare it for heavier weight.

Most programs typically follow in a linear fashion where you consistently work up the intensity while keeping the volume the same (for example 225×5 benchpress in week 1, 235×4 in week 2, 245×3 in week 3 and as long as you hit all reps, reset to week 1 and now use 235 instead of 225, etc). Linear progression is an excellent gauge of strength but somewhere along the line you will eventually plateau and have to look for another outlet or style of training that will continue to let the strength gains come!

Hopefully thats what I’ll find here with Blaine Sumner’s FREQUENCY FREAK.

As a reminder, 2016 year end goals are still to hit a 300+ benchpress, 415+ squat and to hit 500+ with a sumo deadlift. With the way I currently have the program set up, I will be testing each of those on their own leading into the 12th week which will occur right in the middle of December [305 bench/425 squat/515 dead].

I’m looking forward to the challenge.

-DJ

New Program: Week 2, More Info To Come!

WEEK 2

DAY 1

SQUAT
135×5
185×5
225×3
275×1
315×5,5,5,5,5

CLOSE GRIP BENCHPRESS
95×5
135×5
165×3
185×1
200×5,5,5,5,5

STIFF-LEGGED DEADLIFT
135×5
225×5
275×3
305×5,5,5

DAY 2

BENCHPRESS
95×5
135×5
185×3
205×1
230×5,5,5,5,5

SNATCH GRIP DEADLIFT
135×5
225×5
275×3
300×5,5,5

PAUSE SQUAT
135×5
185×3
230×5,5,5

DAY 3

SUMO DEADLIFT
135×5
225×5
315×3
365×1
380×5,5,5,5,5

PIN SQUAT
135×5
185×3
225×1
240×5,5,5

CONVENTIONAL DEADLIFT
295×5,5,5

DAY 4

*Green Bands used for all lifts (+65lbs single, +130lbs double)

BANDED SQUAT
210×3,3,3,3,3

BANDED BENCHPRESS
150×3,3,3,3,3

BANDED SUMO DEADLIFT
255×3,3,3,3,3

-DJ

New Programming To End 2016 (and hopefully PR!)

NEW PROGRAM

  • 12 Weeks Long (10 week main, 2 weeks Big 3 maxing)
  • Big 3 Primary-Focused
  • Different accessory work than I’ve used before
  • Looking forward to something new

WEEK 1

DAY 1

RAW SQUAT w SLEEVES
135×5
185×5
225×3
275×1
325×5,5,5,5,5

CLOSE GRIP BENCHPRESS
95×5
135×5
185×3
195×1
205×5,5,5,5,5

STIFF LEGGED DEADLIFT (w/ deficit)
135×5
225×4
275×3
320×5,5,5,5,5

DAY 2

RAW BENCHPRESS
135×5
185×5
205×3
225×1
235×5,5,5,5,5

SNATCH GRIP DEADLIFT
295×5,5,5

PAUSE SQUAT
240×5,5,5

DAY 3

SUMO DEADLIFT
135×5
225×5
275×3
315×2
355×1
395×5,5,5,5,5

PIN SQUAT
250×5,5,5

CONVENTIONAL DEADLIFT
315×5,5,5

DAY 4

BANDED RAW SQUAT
225+130lbs x 5,5,5

BANDED BENCHPRESS
165x65lbs x 5,5,5

BANDED SUMO DEADLIFT
285×5,5,5

– DJ

Rewriting The Gameplan ft. Sumo deadlifts!

C1W3D6
Accessory Day

PENDLAY ROWS
135×90 in 7 minutes

HAMMER CURLS
30s x 76 in 7 minutes (ea. arm)

HYBRID SKULLCRUSHERS
50 x 63 in 7 minutes

NEUTRAL GRIP PULLDOWN
90×15,15,15,15

STANDING BARBELL OHP
115×6,6,6,6,6,6

FARMERS WALKS
275×4 of 5 reps (1 rep = half a completion)

ABDOMINAL COMPLEX
HyperCrunch BWx25
ToeTouches BW x10
AbWheel x15
Side Crunch 110×20 ea. side
Green Band x 50 forward crunches

– DJ

Formulating a New Gameplan

In July (of 2016) I competed in my first powerlifting meet since February of 2014 and came away with some fairly decent numbers. I had previously set goals for myself for the year to hit a new squat PR, a new deadlift PR, and to finally bench of 300 (either in a meet or in the gym). Technically I achieved all of those things with a 413lbs squat, a 501lbs deadlift and a gym touch-n-go benchpress PR of 300. After the meet I took some time of to recover, went on vacation and came back ready to start a new training cycle and an elevated program… which has since fallen flat.

IMG_1714-01(1)

Squats feel heavy again. Benchpress is abysmal. And deadlift… well actually deadlift feels pretty good still but I have decided to give my lower back a break and switch over to sumo for a few cycles which drops my training max down a good 50lbs.

I had originally planned on using PTW’s PIP3 programming for my cycle, but after the 3 weeks were split up due to a vacation in the middle I feel like its time to go back to the drawing board and reformulate a plan thats better specified to myself and my goals.

GOALS FOR THE REST OF 2016
Squat: 405×2
Benchpress: 315×1
Deadlift: 495×1 sumo

20160811_205357-01-01

To help me achieve these goals I am going to revert back to the program that had been working for me so well before which is PIP2 (ProgrammingToWin Intermediate Program 2). I am going to start with the maxes from my meet (415/280/500) and drop them to 90% and restart. PIP2 is broken down into 3 weeks and here is what the numbers will look like within the first week of the new training block:

WEEK 1
Squat: 350×3
Benchpress: 250×3
Deadlift: 425×3

Very low numbers with respect to the maxes. But this is what will be necessary to rebuild and start over. I’m eliminating wide grip benchpress from my training as I’ve found it to be detrimental over the last month. Of all three lifts benchpress has by far been the worst and I have a plan to tackle it which will include more volume (and backoff sets), floor press and Slingshot work. I really want to throw 3 plates on and smash it!

This will of course be a huge work in progress project but I’m excited to give my body a chance to redevelop at lower weights and get back up. Will be interesting to see what kind of weight I’m moving towards the end of the year!

IMG_20160808_233735-01

Bodyweight goals is to slowly creep up to ~270-275. Hoping the added on mass helps me back on pounds on the bar. We’ll see. Pizza please.

– DJ