A new training cycle starts today with some old favorites, a few old friends we haven’t seen in a while.
The main strength lifts that we will see consistently each week and max on week 8 (May 5th-9th) are scheduled as follows:
Monday: Front Squat, Bench Press (choose to max either overhead or bench)
Tuesday: Deadlift, Pull-ups
Wednesday: Overhead Press
Thursday: Front Squat, Jerk (not maxing Jerk)
Friday: Deadlift, Rope Climb (not maxing Rope Climbs)
Saturday: Overhead Press
Ideally, you hit 1 Front Squat day, 1 Deadlift day, and 1 Overhead Press day. If you make it a 4th day, squat or press again, and if you make it a 5th then do whichever you didn’t on day 4. If you have an extra squat day, do Back Squat instead of Front Squat. Squat the same percentages but with 1 less rep per set. When it starts getting into singles territory, do the singles at 5% less weight. This is written into the exercise notes on TrainHeroic, but in class you will need to ask the coach if you need a reminder.
If you make it to the gym less than 3 days per week, pick a lift or 2 that you would like to focus on and or max this cycle and follow the strength programming for that lift regardless of the actual day that you make it into the gym.
The schedule for Advanced is as follows:
Monday: Front Squat, Bench Press
Tuesday: Clean & Jerk, Deadlift, Push Press
Thursday: Snatch, Back Squat, Weighted Pull-ups
Friday: Hip Thrusts, Rope Climbs
Saturday: Overhead Press
The Advanced program is intended to be a 5-day, do-it-all program. However, if you are not able to make it on the day of the lifts you want to work on, feel free to swap. You may need to have the coach help you adapt the conditioning in the event that it doubles up on a muscle group so that you’re able to lower yourself to the toilet the next day.
The Beginning program does not follow classic maxing cycles, rather we focus on strengthening and improving general movement patterns like lower and upper body pushing and pulling, etc through a variety of rotating exercises.
A word about Front Squats.
These are a full-depth squat.
Front squats are not a break-parallel-for-the-judges-and-come-back-up squat. A good Front Squat will give you grass stains where your inseams meet. Why do we have to squat so low, you wonder? Because Front Squats are squat training for great big heavy cleans. To get under a really heavy bar you just pulled off the ground, you’ll have to get low and you’ll have to be strong when you get there. How do you get strong way down there? Well, you squat heavy weights way down there.
Back Squats can go either way- all the way down, or just past parallel. In the professional world of weights, powerlifters back squat to parallel and Olympic weightlifters back squat all the way. These choices reflect the different end goal for each of these sports.
In the gym, most of us squat to parallel because we “butt wink” and miss Mobility class. If a coach tells you to “stop right there” when you’re squatting, it’s likely because of the butt wink, not because it’s bad to squat all the way down. Our goal for everyone is that they be able to squat all the way down as this strengthens full range of the ankle, knee, and hip. This has to be achieved with good biomechanics though.
This leads us to the big POINT which is that Front Squats are not appropriate for everyone. If you are one of these aforementioned folks with tight ankles and or hips that can’t break a parallel squat without rolling onto your toes and rounding your back (pooping dog pose), and or if you are tight in the shoulder girdle and can’t get your shoulders up and forward or elbows up to create a rack position … Front Squats are not yet for you. If you’re not ready for them they will aggravate your wrists and back. Continue to work back squats and get yourself to mobility class so that we can get back that squat you had when you were 2.
See you all in the gym and congratulations to those of you who hit some PR’s last cycle!