Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Back in powerlifting mode

When in January I laid out my plans for the year I settled on generic 2-4 month blocks with the following structure:

  • Jan-apr powerlifting, using roughly a beyond 5/3/1 approach (2 days for the competition lifts and 2 days for becoming more explosive -sprints and throws)
  • May-aug for improving the Olympic lifts, cleaning up the technique a bit but doing basically snatch, C&Js and squats (which I started doing high bar for its supposed better transference to the Snatch and C&J)
  • Sep-? for becoming more explosive in order to put the shot farther, using submaximal loads in Oly lifts and some power lifts (specially squat, still high bar, and getting some bench press back in, plus lots of explosive pulling -but no DL's)
Now, depending on how the first two months of the last cycle went, I would either keep on trucking around shot putting, or switch back to powerlifting mode. As the weather has consistently worsened (it is Autumn allrighty), and seeing in vid that my putting technique is not that far off (so many years practicing seem to have left a pretty stable sediment after all) I fnially decided to give my powerlifts a final push within 2014, as I am slightly behind the goals I set at the beginning of the year. I'm also curious to see how the investment in "explosiveness" pays off after I go back to slow, grindy lifts.

So from the last two weeks, and up to the first months of 2015 (probably until feb-mar) I'll be training in full powerlifting mode, to see where I can take the three main lifts (I intend to do a couple fake meets to test maxes). The program is structured around 8 days microcycles (which I've seen work better for me than the traditional weekly microcycles), training 4 days per microcycle, one centered around squats (Low bar again), another one around BP (competition stance and grip), another one around DL (again, competition stance, although I'm toying with some sumo sets) and finally one light, fast & easy session to keep the Olympic moves groove greased . Each day will have a main block around the power lift, going to a daily max (w good form and keeping good sped on the bar), then an AMRAP set starting around 75% of my current Training Max (as long as the set goes at least to 10 reps, I will add 5 kg the next week to the lower body lifts, and 2,5 kg to the bench press) followed by back off sets w the same weight to get some volume in. After that I'll do an additional block of accesories to round up the needed frequency for the muscle groups involved in the main lifts (so I'll squat every session to keep an f4, I'll do some heavy dips to keep the pressing muscles on an f2, and I'll leave the Dl with an f1). It looks something like this:

Day 1:

  • Low bar Back Squat : singles to a daily max, then AMRAP set (starting w 120 kg), then 4 x 5 w same weight
  • Push press: 4 x 5 starting around 70 kg
  • Chin ups: 5 x 6 (or as many as possible, trying to improve each week over previous one)
Day 2:

  • Bench Press: singles to a daily max, then AMRAP set (starting w 85 kg), then 4 x 5 w same weight
  • Power Clean: 8-10 total reps, as fast as possible (starting around 80 kg)
  • High Bar Back Squat w 80% of the weight used in the AMRAP set of prev day
Day 3:

  • Deadlift: singles to a daily max, then AMRAP set (starting w 150 kg), then 2 x 5 w same weight
  • Power snatch: 10-12 total reps, as fast as possible (starting around 60 kg)
  • Front Squat: 4 x 5 w 80% of weight used in HBBS of previous day
Day 4:
  • Full Snatches: 6-8 singles, or 4-6 doubles with a weight that allows for perfect form
  • Full C&J: 4-6 singles or 3-4 doubles w 20 more kg
  • Paused low bar back squats: 4 x 5 w same weight used in day 2, 3-4 secs pause at bottom position
  • Weighted dips: 4 x 3-5, starting w 20 additional kg
  • Farmers' walks: 6-8 30 yards walks w 46 kg in each hand (increase around 5 kg per hand per week)
Every week the AMRAP stays above 10 reps, I add 5 kg (to lower body lifts) or 2,5 kg (to upper body). Accesories move up based on feeling and available time (I may do them w less weight bumping up the reps to finish faster, as needed). After 4-5 weeks working w 5's in the 75% range I'll probably move to 3's (I should be in the 85% range already), and after 2-3 weeks there I intend to have a week of heavy'ish singles (95% 1RM range) and then test maxes again. Let's see how it works

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