Greetings! A new training cycle starts today and I wanted to fill you in on a few details.
We’re going to keep our focus on tempo, but shift gears this cycle, back to the good ol’ concentric portion. We’ll be working on SPEED. Speed standing up, lifting up, pressing out, pulling up. This is the secret sauce that will make your lifts great again. We’ll also be adding in some snappy, explosive plyometric training to superset with the lifts to help grease the neurological groove of quickness.
Along with the fast-moving main lifts, this cycle will incorporate some higher volume, timed sets of bodyweight movements for metabolic stress and muscle endurance.
You will continue to see eccentrics in some of the secondary lifts this cycle, such as weighted dip negatives (or unweighted) and Bulgarian Split Squats.
One more thing before I fill you in on the schedule… I wanted to go over the Law of Specificity.
It’s this unavoidable thing which states that if you want to get better at something you have to do it a lot.
For example, if I told you that I was going to enter you in a half marathon, you’d probably want to log some road time. If I told you you’d be doing a powerlifting meet in a few months, you’d better be squatting, benching, and deadlifting a whole bunch. If you tell me that you want more flexible hamstrings, I’m going to tell you to do PAILs and RAILs for your hamstrings a lot.
This makes perfect sense and yet we seem to avoid the specificity principle in earnest.
Some of us just want to get better at too many things all at once. Jacks of all trades, masters of none. Some of us only want to do what we feel like doing that given day- on that given day, we commit to a full squat cycle, get super pumped up about how awesome we’re going to be and then wind up finding an excuse not to squat for 6 weeks.
Most of us want to walk in the door to the gym, look at the board and see a list of all the things we’re good at and therefore find “fun” or don’t require us to re-use a sore muscle. Or we want to see something totally novel and exciting that maybe looks really hard but doesn’t look like anything we’ve done in a while. Or we want to see a list of things that don’t challenge that old injury, reminding us that IF YOU WANT YOUR SHIT TO WORK NICE, you have to use the law of specificity to work your way back out of that hole. Fixing a problem is a better goal than avoiding a problem.
Another facet of this specificity thing is that the more stuff you try to get better at, the less better you will get at each thing. So it doesn’t really behoove us to try to get better at everything all at once.
When you walk in to the gym and look at the board and say, “Push-ups again!? Isn’t that all the same stuff we did last week?” – my answer is, “Well, do you want to get better at push-ups?”
All that being said… the strength training this cycle is going to be highly consistent. We can save the “constantly varied” for the conditioning… well kind of. Same rules apply!
Here’s the schedule:
M/Th – Back squat w/ plyo work (max week 8)
M – Hip Thrusts, Push-ups
Tu/Fr – Deadlift w/ plyo work (max week 8)
Tu – Pull-ups, accessory hamstring/core
W/Sa – Bench w/ throwing (Wendler cycle, ends week 7)
W – Bulgarian Split Squat eccentrics, shoulder blade strength/stability
Th – Rows, Kneeling Hip Extension work
Fr – Single leg strength and range, Weighted Hand-Foot Crawl
Sa – Weighted Dip eccentrics, Hamstring Curl eccentrics
M – Back squat w/ plyo work (max week 8), Hip Thrusts, Push-ups
Tu – Deadlift w/ plyo work (max week 8), Pull-ups, accessory hamstring/core
W – Off
Th – Snatch, Squat volume, Rows, Kneeling Hip Extension work
Fr – Clean & Jerk, Single leg strength and range, Weighted Hand-Foot Crawl
Sa – Bench w/ throwing (Wendler cycle, ends week 7),Bulgarian Split Squat eccentrics, Weighted Dip eccentrics, Hamstring Curl eccentrics
Beginning mirrors many of the movements and conditioning seen in Intermediate at a level appropriate for beginners. We follow linear progression but do not max in beginning. There is more movement variety to get better at overall athleticism and improve movement quality.