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.
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
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.
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.
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
Sipped on Sugar Free Monster
See you guys in 2012.
The competition is coming up fast and I’m excited to see how this short training cycle and the Jugg Method I used over the summer will bring up my total. I don’t have any plans right now as to what my openers or anything will be but all my lifts are definitely up. After the meet is over I might post up the training cycle I’m using to peak for the meet. At the last meet I lifted in the 220 weight class (weighed in at 215) but I’m going to try and get down to the 181 weight class. I’m setting at 198 as of this morning as I still have plenty of fat to lose. Here is how my training and diet are currently set up.
Monday- AM Cardio/Abs, PM Lift
Tuesday- PM Lift
Wednesday- AM Cardio/Abs, PM Recovery/Restoration
Thursday- PM Lift
Friday- AM Cardio/Abs, PM Lift
I’ll add more cardio I go. The Recovery/Restoration could be anything from sled dragging, body weight training, or just some more cardio and stretching. I’m training the hell out of my abs and lower back both around my cardio as well as during my training sessions since that’s a major weakness for me.
I’m using a Modified Warrior Diet along with some Creatine Monohydrate. I’ll only train in the mornings if I have to and if that does happen I’ll backload 99% of my carbs so that I don’t wreck my hormone levels during the day.
Don’t have the details in front of me but I hit all my reps on bench and deads last week. My back, however, wasn’t really agreeing with the deads. I was sore then I helped move my grandmother in-law move on Saturday and I was crazy stiff all weekend. Got into the chiropractor Monday and got it put back in but I’m not going to be squatting or deadlifting this week. The military pressing went great Monday night (hit 140 for 8 reps) then did some machine work for back then some random stuff for shoulders. I attempted to squat yesterday but I was still feeling my back a bit so I called it am just taking it easy. I’ll be sled dragging today and Friday and possibly Saturday in order to make up for it. I will be benching tomorrow and hopefully get some video. I’ll also have some updated pictures and measurements to post Saturday morning.
Axle Military Press-
95 x 2
115 x 2
130 x 4 sets x 5
FG Deadstop DB Row-
95 x 8, 6
FG CG Incline Bench-
135 x 5
155 x 5
165 x 5
Rolling Tricep Ext-
35 x 12, 12
195 x 2
215 x 2
230 x 4 sets x 5
Yesterday I felt great. I trained with the Dino crew again Monday night which was great. Since they were heading out to Al’s tonight to train I decided to squat earlier in the day. I felt great while I was squatting but I have to get into the chiro tomorrow. Last week squats felt heavy as crap the entire time, today felt way better. I didn’t understand why at first but then I remember that out at work the squat bar is a virtually smooth barbell while the one I squatted with today had knurling all the way across and actually stayed where it was supposed to on my back.
I’m not going to be making the July 2nd NASA meet so I’m going to go full on with the Juggernaut Method training for 16 weeks and see how it goes.
Military Press- 95 x 3 x 10
FB DB Row- 115 x 5
DB Row- 115 x 10, 10
Incline DB Bench Press- 75 x 8, 85 x 6
I haven’t done any military pressing since December so these high reps killed me. The program actually calls for 5 sets of 10 this week but I didn’t have the endurance so I stopped it short at 3 sets. That won’t happen again though, from here on out I’m going to shoot for exactly how it is laid out.
I’m bumping my training back up to 4x per week so this should be interesting.
High Box Squat-
225 x 5
245 x 5
275 x 5
BW x A bunch
Bar x 5
95 x 5, 5, 5
This Mornings Training
Paused Bench Press-
185 x 5
195 x 4
Incline Dumbbell Press-
65 x 8
70 x 6
BW x A Bunch
BW x A Bunch
I’m still getting used to this training early in the morning thing. I need to get some whey or BCAA’s to take preworkout. I’m up at 5, have a client at 6, and then I train at 7. I don’t have any kind of appetite so liquid calories are going to be my friend. I also need to integrate more plyometric/explosive movements into my warm up to get my CNS fired up before I lift. It wasn’t much of an issue when I trained in the evening but in the mornings it’s a big deal. I’ll get over to the other gym tomorrow night for some deadlifting then I’ll be in Lawrence Friday and Saturday for a Sports Performance Conference.
This last weekend I competed in my first powerlifting competition. I didn’t lift as well as I would have liked but I at least got 1 good lift on each event to get a total.
I was ridiculously nervous for my first attempt and just didn’t get set up right which is why I missed depth. After that first lift though I got back into the groove a bit and hit my next attempt. My third attempt I had Scott wrap my knees and it was my best lift of the three. I’m pretty sure I had another 15-20 pounds in me.
Smoked my first attempt and then just made to big of a jump and got pinned on the next two attempts.
This was the one lift that I thought I was going to perform well in but it turned out not be to so. I pulled my opener fairly easy, then pulled my second but got called for hitching. Since my first two events hadn’t gone that great I wanted to get a good lift at 450 since it was something I knew I could pull but I was just worn out and it didn’t happen.
The meet only had about 30 lifters so it went faster then I had anticipated and I didn’t really eat anything once the meet started. I also spent at lot of time walking around between attempts and events which probably wasn’t smart. Whatever the reasons, I didn’t lift as well as I had liked but it was a good first meet. There is another meet in July that I think I’m going to do and I’m looking forward to competing again!