Wednesday, November 14, 2012

When in Doubt, Do Less?

As with every person there are seasons in which things slow for me and more gets accomplished. As a teacher and a coach I get the most done during summer break.  During this time, I am able to train people, look further into my own progress and also rest and restore like no other time.

Once school rolls around, football season starts, HxC Strength is rolling my training gets put on the back burner.  Should I stop training all together?  Damn.  That's a terrible idea.  The best plan is to reduce.

Less time training and less exercises.  When you first hear this idea, questions immediately come to mind.  How much do I need?  Will my muscles waste away?  Can I get stronger?  All valid questions, but stay focused.  To start, think of a full body warm-up that does not take long to complete.  I like lower body PVC rolling, 100 push ups, 100 band pull-aparts.  Next, I add Tabata Jump Rope to get the blood flowing.  Now pick a main lift of Overhead Press, Dead Lift, Bench Press, Squat.  Each week will have a different percentage of your training max for sets of 10.

  • Week 1-5x10x60%
  • Week 2-1x10x55%, 1x10x60%, 3x10x65%
  • Week 3-1x10x50%, 1x10x60%, 1x10x65%, 1x10x70%, 1x10x75%
After the cycle is completed, 5 pounds is added to the training max and the cycle is restarted.  I always like to superset the main lift with an exercises that complements.  Finally, my assistance work is 2 exercises designed to increase muscle size and efficiency.  

Example: Overhead Press

  • 1A Pushup 3x33
  • 1B Pullapart 3x33
  • 1C Jump Rope 20:10x8
  • 2A OH Press Bar x 20 x 2, 135x5x10
  • 2B 5 Pullups between each OH set
  • 3A Dips 3x10-15
  • 3B Blast Strap Curls 3x10-15
Now might look like there is a drastic change, but if you ever lifted with me or attended HxC Strength, you know this is not close to the normal workload.  I have also been battling a strained oblique and some sciatica, so too much variety would aggravate the symptoms.  To train or not to train, is not a legitimate question.  You should devise a plan on how you can work with your schedule.  A total reduction in stimulus can turn into some solid gains because of increased focus.
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