So when I last updated this blog series I was heading down to London for the first time using the ironically titled Gold service down to London offered by megabus. Since then I have been up and down twice utilising both airplanes and megabus and I can confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt that budget travel options suck. The reality of my current life situation and work necessitate that I need to leave weekends free for travel either to and from away games or down to visit Laura.
If you ever get the chance to visit London you should definitely check out one of the food markets (there are quite a few)! Some of the best food I have tasted came from the huge variety of stalls on show if you can only visit one I would strongly suggest trying the Borough food market located in the centre of town some spectacular food to choose from.
Side tracking to an end, my current situation means I only have an option of a Monday – Friday training week which constrains automatically a lot of options that might have proven useful such as an ability to take an extras day’s rest after a particularly heavy work out however which would have an immediate knock on affect for when the next day of training would be in the following week but this will not be feasible with my current situation.
The end of block 1 and the start of block 2.
So since the last update I finished the full first block of training which ended up in me pulling my first milestone deadlift of the programme of 300 kg (660 lbs).
As discussed in the last blog update there where several changes along the way made to the frequency and weights lifting in some of the sessions however the programme was successful. Moving into block 2 I leaned heavily on a lot of the things I learned from the Boris Shieko seminar I attended in the middle of Febuary.
The key tenants of the new training block will be as follows
- 2x per week deadlift variations
- 2x per week squat variations
- 3x per week bench press variations
- there will be 3 powerlifting specific exercises per session
- The choice of deadlift variation will be relevant to my current technical flaws
- Week to week the programme will flip flop from volume and intensity focus. During the intensity focused weeks I will look to achieve one of the subgoals of the landmark lift which for the next block of training is 310 kg.
- Volume will be spread over the session between various percentages from 50-100% RM.
I am now in week 3 of the second block of training and after getting over the train wreck that my body was after the initial volume week I have achieved my first sub goal for a 310 kg deadlift. I pulled 250 kg for 2 sets of 5 at the end of week 2 which puts me on target for 310. Below you can see the full list of sub goals for 310.
Using Goals to try and guide your progress through a non linear process.
The fact that the first 6 week block which followed a linear programme worked so well is probably a good indicator that trying to replicate that programme wouldn’t work so well. Since I am iterating this kind of programme for the first time I am using the sub goals as a water mark from which I can track my training progress I don’t have set time lines on when these will be achieved but they will prove useful since I am not following a typical peaking routine.
I think a lot of lifters would do well to have these kinds of smaller stepping stone goals to help them concentrate on achieving positive momentum towards their larger goals. These sub goals will also allow me to lift with a sufficient intensity (sparingly through the block a maximum of two times) to see where my technique is breaking down which in turn can feed into my exercise variation selection.
Bringing back in squat and bench press.
The last block also put squat and bench press into the background of the programme in this they are back into the forefront of what I am doing although deadlift is very much still the focus of my training I am looking to train the other two core lifts with the goal to bring them up slowly. Currently I have hit a squat personal best of 260 kg x 3 reps belt-less and equalled my previous best bench press with 200 kg x 2.
The biggest shock to the system on the new block is without doubt the inclusion of the squat focused day on the Monday the leg DOMs where off the scale on week 1-2. However it is obviously paying off as evidenced from my last intensification week.
I will monitor this as I go if deadlift progress begins to slow or if I find that I am struggling to recover from my squat workloads then I will pull back on squat training I don’t foresee bench press prosing to much of a road block when it comes to progressing in the deadlift.
The worth of assistance exercises and variations
I am aware that I have previously stated the lack of use that some assistance exercise can have for getting your numbers moving in the right direction but I can happily confirm the I was wrong in this instance. So gladfully wrong.
During Boris’s practical element to the seminar he came across a gentleman who was locking his legs out too early in the pull the proceeding 10 minutes he spent with him rang true his advice was to practice some pause deadlift from the knee. I included this exercise into my training and now it is a permanent feature of my training block this coupled with his advice on lock out (actively pulling the bar in against your thighs in the lock out and squeezing your hips forward). With in a week of the workshop I warmed up with pause deadlifts and then proceeded to pull probably the easiest 260 kg sets of my life to that point. I believe it is what was referred to as a light bulb moment.
This has also been something I have been experiencing in both bench press and squat with the new training programme. I don’t know if it is because the amount of work I have done on the competition lifts has made this novel training stimulus much more effective or that is the case for all lifters regardless of training history. However it has shown me the utility in this approach.
I am a very skeptical man and quick to judgment faults that I will openly admit however I am also a pragmatic person so if you show me the utility in a concept or the results it can achieve then I am very quick to become a convert.
I fully expect the next part of this programme to 310 to take slightly longer than the 300 kg pull If I was to be a betting man I would say it will happen sometime on the next 10 weeks so somewhere between week 14-18 of this project.
If you want to follow my progress in more detail or more regularly then please check out the following places
Youtube for weekly vlogs and session to session videos.
Thank you very much for reading and I will catch you in the next few weeks for the next blog.
If you have any questions or requests please leave a comment below or shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org