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Training Plan: Dec-Jan 7th 2012

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I thought I’d let everyone know what I’m doing for my training over the next month.  Initially I planned on moving straight into another 16 weeks of the Jugg Method but I found out yesterday the gym I train at is going to have a push/pull meet on January 7th.  Since I left a lot on the platform during my deadlift at the last competition I’m going do the push/pull meet and skip the push portion.  My right wrist has been bothering me the last month or two and the last week and a half has been the worst of it so far.  I think it’s a combo of some tendonitis and an imbalance between flexor/extensor sleep in my wrist.  To take care of this I’m doing a “No Push December”.  I’m cutting out all pressing to give my wrists a break and bring my back size and strength up to par.  Here is what my training template is looking like for the next 5 weeks.

Monday- Horizontal Pull/Tricep Ext/Unilateral Carry
Tuesday- Squat/Posterior Chain/Abs/Biceps
Thursday- Vertical Pull/Shoulders/Abs
Friday- Deadlift/Single Leg/Bilateral Carry/Abs

Here is what yesterday and todays training sessions ended up being.

Monday-
Barbell Row- 135# x 5 x 10
Dumbbell Row- 80# x 3 x 5
Dumbbell Tricep Extension- 25# x 3 x 10
Face Pulls- 60# x 12, 70# x 12, 12
Suitcase Carry- 65# x 20 yards x 2 trips

Tuesday-
Squat- 200# x 5 x 6
Deadstop RDL- 135 x 8, 185 x 8, 8, 8
Barbell Rollout- 3 x 10
Reverse BB Curl- 75 x 8, 8, 8

The squat and deadlift I have planned numbers I’m going to use but the Monday and Thursday workouts will be more by feel. I’m aiming for a 460# deadlift in January so I have to work on what I suck at. Namely that’s lower body and posterior chain strength so I’m going to hit those like a madman. I’ll let you know in January how it went.

2011 NASA Regionals

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Back in March I started my journey into powerlifting by competing in the NASA Kansas State Meet.  I only found out about it 2 months prior to the meet but I went for it anyway.  I ended up with a 957 total (341 Squat, 220 Bench, 396 DL) at a body weight of 200.

The following months I bought and followed the Juggernaut Training Manual from Elitefts.com.  It’s a 16 week program that’s geared towards powerlifting.  Chad wrote a hell of a book and the program is great.  I really had to take a step back and evaluate where I really was with my lifting strength.  I ended up finishing the program 4 weeks prior to the meet I competed in this last weekend.

Throughout the Jugg Method program I utilized a Modified Warrior Diet and was able to really grow into my body weight versus dropping a bunch of weight or gaining a bunch.  My recovery was great, I got stronger, added muscle and didn’t move my body weight 1 pound.  I didn’t weigh and measure any of my food so my macro’s were always changing.  The one thing that stayed consistent was that my lifting days were higher carb, off days were very low carb, and my underfeeding meals were kept very small and spaced 3-4 hours apart.

The last 4 weeks prior to the meet I added creatine monohydrate to my workouts (5g pre/5g post) and just 5g on off days.  As for my training the last few weeks I subbed some fat bar chain lockouts for military pressing.  I didn’t work off of any percentages or anything I just went by feel.  All of my sets were kept to 5 reps and under for the lockouts, squats, bench, and deadlift.  To be honest I only deadlifted twice in those weeks because of a hectic travel schedule.  The week prior to the meet I set my openers and did minimal assistance work, a little cardio, and rested.  The Monday prior to the meet I did some easy benching and squatting and that was it.

The end result was a 991 total (347 squat, 231 bench, 413 deadlift).  Those are 10-15# PR’s on each lift so I’m pretty happy.  I’ll be doing another cycle of the Jugg Method this winter and possibly competing again in March.

Squat

Bench

Deadlift

There are  two things that I did not mention that I believe helped greatly.  The first is that I dropped caffeine two weeks prior to the meet.  I was developing some cortisol and dependency issues that I needed to address.  Aside from a little green and black tea I had zero caffeine.  Needless to say what I was setting my openers that week they felt heavy as hell.  To help get the ship back to an even keel when I dropped the caffeine I added in 500 mg of ALCAR first thing in the morning and before lunch for both weeks.  In retrospect I should have went with a higher dose but even that low dose helped.  If I had it to do over again I would have went for about 1-2 grams at each dose.  The reason for the ALCAR is because it helps to balance out cortisol levels.  If they are low and should be up (such as in the morning), ACLAR will bring them up.  If they are high and need to come down (afternoon/evening) ALCAR will bring them down.  Since it interacts with the brain and elevates acetyl choline production it can have a mild stimulatory effect so don’t take it right before bed.

The second thing I did was to add in a Neural Charge workout the 5 days prior to the meet.  I picked up the Neural Charge stuff from Christian Thibaudeau over at T-Nation.  To be honest I wasn’t a huge fan of the T-Nation in the past and I still make this recommendation with a few caveats.  The content they’ve been putting out has been much better but it’s still loaded with ads for their BioTest products which I don’t believe to be bad products, just over priced.  I have not, however, actually used any of their stuff so take what I say with a grain of salt.  Now, the premise of the Neural Charge training is to excite and stimulate the nervous system early in the day, or at least preworkout, in order to enhance performance.  The workouts are short and focus on explosive exercises like jumps, med ball throws, and med ball slams.  This isn’t a workout you perform for tons of reps and work until you are worn out.  Once your performance begins to decrease you either drop reps or drop the exercise.  You should feel better at the end of the workout than you did at the beginning.  Here are what my workouts looked like:

Elevated Plyo Push Ups x 5
Med Ball Slams x 5
Broad Jump x 5

I did a few rounds and dropped reps when I felt I couldn’t perform the next rep as well as the previous.  Between these workouts, the extra rest, and the ALCAR I felt great Saturday morning.

Meet day I took this prior to warm ups for each lift:

5g Creatine Mono
2g ALCAR
Sipped on Sugar Free Monster

See you guys in 2012.

My FAVORITE Meal & and Update

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Has nothing to do with food.

My absolute favorite meals are the ones I get to have with close friends and family.  I don’t really care whether it’s 100% paleo or not.  As soon as Halloween is over people start putting up Christmas lights and buying Christmas presents and it makes me sick.  Thanksgiving just kind of gets swept under the rug.

I personally don’t really like Christmas that much anymore.  When I was younger it was great.  Lot’s of presents and the WHOLE family got together.  The presents were cool but it was more fun playing with my cousins and relatives that I rarely got to see.  Now that I’m older and my family gets more spread out I just don’t care about the presents.  What I miss is having the family together.

Remember that this next week at Thanksgiving.  It’s not about the food, it’s about the people you get to share that food with.

As far as the update goes I’m going to be taking a break from blogging for a bit.  I haven’t been real consistent anyway so until January I’m putting it completely on the back burner.  I’ll also be cleaning up the site some and getting better quality links up so you have access to better information.  So until 2012, lift heavy, eat smart, sleep a little more, and enjoy the time you get to spend with your friends and family.

A Tool by Any Other Name…

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Every time you get online there is a new article about the latest, greatest fat burning or muscle building tools.  One week it’s bands, the next it’s dumbbells, the next it’s kettlebells.  The sad truth is, they’re all wrong.

The best tool for body transformation is WILLPOWER.

Do I not use any of the aforementioned tools when I train my clients?  Of course I do.  When it comes to changing how you look the only universal tool is willpower.  Barbells are a specific tool with some specific applications.  Even movements like the squat have a specificity to them. Willpower is your only all-encompassing tool that you have.  Willpower can keep you on your diet, it can push you for that extra rep, and it can make you turn off the boob tube at night and get some sleep.

So where do we get willpower?  It’s something that comes from inside you and no amount of external motivation can change that.  No amount of positive notes you write to yourself and no amount of cheering from your friends can change whether or not you are willing to make the necessary changes to reach your goals and maintain those results.

Changes don’t have to me huge either, they just need to be sustainable over the long term.  This is why having a professional in your corner is so important.  You need someone who is going to teach you proper exercise form as well as how to eat.  Trainers or programs that don’t teach you anything don’t do you any good!

If you have questions about training or nutrition email me at info@driven-training.com.

The “E” Word

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I hate the E word.  The E word has made us soft, weak, and lazy.  I’m talking about the word “Easy”.  Just typing it makes my nauseous.  Does that mean that everything about fitness and weight loss is hard?  Not by a long shot.  But there is a huge difference between simple and easy.  Easy rarely requires change, dedication, or execution.  It also rarely gets you anywhere.  Simple, on the other hand, usually requires change, dedication, and execution.  It may be small progressive changes over time, but they’re there none the less.  Next time some one pitches you an “easy” scheme just turn around and walk away.  If it really was easy everyone would be doing it.

Interesting Reads

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Here are some cool articles from around the web that I found useful.  This is weeks topic is Fat Loss Nutrition.

How to Find the Right Nutrition Coach- Jen Comas Keck

17 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight- Mark Sisson