This week marks the beginning of a new training cycle. My son and I have completed 12 weeks, with both of us making some great progress in the end. For 10+ years, my training has been so squat-focused: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday was a certain rep scheme of front squat and back squat, and there was usually one or both of the olympic lifts thrown in the beginning of a training session. Globo gym trainers said I was not supposed to be able to squat that much in a week. I told him my numbers and that I continued to grow, but he just wasn’t having any of it. Whattya do. Maybe you’ve never heard of the back squat or front squat? Those in strength sports (powerlifting, strong man, olympic weightlifting) are familiar with the terms, but it’s less commonly used outside those circles. In the front squat, the barbell’s resting over the front of your shoulders, and in the back squat, it’s resting just behind your neck.
These next ten weeks will include a more rounded set of exercises and less squats, but it’s all weightlifting-specific: squats, pulls, shoulder work, cleans, and snatches. Previously, my program would have a one rep max (1RM) day twice a week (front and back squat). There would also be a rep max (RM) day, which would range between two and ten reps. Lastly, there was a volume day, which would be three sets of a given rep range (10, 5, 3, or 2). Within a week, I will have subjected myself to a variety of rep ranges and loads, so the total volume was large and it was very taxing. Warm up and stretching are important, but then again, they always are. This upcoming program adjusts the loads from week to week, and it resembles a stair step pattern with progressively heavier loads with regard to squats. I’ll still be squatting three times a week, but only one type of squat each day. An exercise that I’ve not done in years is the tricep dip; I may add that in for fun so that I can get back to doing weighted ones. Here are examples of the snatch pull and clean pull.
I have been working through minor issues with my right shoulder, so I have had to be consistent with pre-workout stretching and conditioning with resistance bands. And for the weeks to come, I’m hoping to develop speed with the second part of the clean and jerk – the jerk. The great benefit to this sport is that all of the associated work helps you to pick things up, put things down, and put things overhead – an everyday task we’ll be doing for the rest of our lives! I had chosen this sport in 2008 because it simply looked challenging, and it involved heavy weights. I’ve never been one to do any sports involving endurance. Lastly, this sport requires a unique combination of strength, speed, and flexibility.
What kind of work do you do, and what kinds of ways do you physically challenge yourself? I’m primarily at a desk, so weightlifting is the perfect complement for the type of work that I do. I know some that work with their hands all day, and sometimes that is enough to keep them in great shape. Some even push themselves after a physically demanding day at work. Keeping yourself in great health pays dividends as you get older. You’re simply able to do more!