Thursday, December 29, 2011

Back to Basics

Well, that was fun. 2 months on a hypertrophy program was eye-opening for me. I learned some things about what I like and don't like about hypertrophy work, and took away some really useful knowledge. It is something that I can see myself doing every once in a while in order to give my body a chance to rest from lifting heavy stuff and to bring up any weak points that I notice. So, now what's in store for me?

It's game time baby!! Back to lifting heavy shit!!

I'm ready to make my long awaited return to the strength training side of things. I'm talking heavy weights, low reps and lots of testosterone. Adding plates to the bar, instead of endless amounts of volume. I actually did a workout a few weeks ago that ended up being around 500 total reps! That is ridiculous!! I'm ready to get back to doing something that I really love to do!

What will that entail? I'm going to be doing Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 template. It's a training system that is based on 3-4 main lifts. You perform these lifts based on a percentage of your 1RM for each lift. Each month you gradually increase the weights. When done correctly, and with the appropriate assistance lifts, people have seen some really great strength gains off of this template. My four main lifts are going to be Front Squat, Bench press (with a pause), snatch-grip deadlift and strict military press. I chose these lifts based on how much I dislike them. They are variations that tend to be more difficult than their counterparts. Back squats are easier, bouncing the bar off your chest is easier, conventional deads are easier and push presses are way easier. Why do what's easy, though? If I get good at the things I hate, then I'll have bettered myself. Plus, I think the front squat and snatch-grip deadlift will really help my maximal jumping ability!

Today I tested my 1 rep-max on my bench press and snatch grip DL. I ended up pressing 255 on the bench and pulling 375 with the deadlift. Using the pause and the uber-wide grip on the deadlift really changes the dynamics of the lift. I ended up using straps on the max effort sets, since I don't want my grip to be the limiting factor in that lift. From here on out, I will only use straps on my last max-effort set for each deadlift day. 

Since I was smoked after those lifts, I'm going to do my military press and front squat 1RM's this coming Saturday, so that I can start the program fresh on Monday for 2012! That'll be the best way to start my year off right!

I hope you all have a great New Year! Don't forget to lift something heavy!

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