workout programming addendum
Oh, and on some days I superset my front squats with making bros put away their weights.
I like to program my bro-talks with a warm-up set of incredulous staring while standing over their discarded pile of assorted plates. Then I do some front squats. After that I move into a set of direct shaming through conversation, then smash some front squats with the power of indignation. I finish up with a final set of bro-mocking (using a weight of “this is everyone’s power rack, not just yours”) before squatting however many sets are left while the bros clean up.
Yet again he describes his workout programming
After a period of training for other goals (read: cycling 80km a day with 30kg of gear), I’m again in a back-to-basics phase of lifting. For the moment I must work around BJJ twice a week, Tuesday/Thursday, which is a scheduling challenge. So, with the goal of reaching some basic strength benchmarks and not interfering with BJJ, I started program design.
I want a 1.5xBW squat. Although the front squat will be much harder to hit that kind of weight with, I’ve found it helps hip and ankle mobility, and I’ve found transitioning from a 100kg front squat to a 110-120kg back squat was no problem last time. So: front squats 3x5, aiming for 100kg, at which point I’ll consider alternate rep schemes (e.g. 3x3, then 3x4 in the next session, then 3x5, then add weight for 3x3) and perhaps integrating back squats. I considered lowering the number of sets to allow for BJJ interfering with progress…but no.
Because my hamstrings are short and they go so well with front squats, I picked RDLs over straight deadlifts. The goal is 1.5xBW for a set of 12, then switch to sweet, sexy off-the-floor DLs.
At first I tried including power snatches, but the weight, equipment, time, and energy levels didn’t work. During that period, I was doing pull-ups and dips. After dropping the snatches, I returned to an old staple: the slow circuit, three times through:
- Pull-ups (each workout using a different grip out of a set of 4)
- Dips (each workout using a wide, medium, or narrow grip)
- Box jumps
…with brief rest periods between each exercise. This allows me to A) bring down on my rest times (from 3-5 minutes to 1-2) while still hitting strengthy numbers in my upper-body exercises, and B) get in some explosive training at a low “training cost”. The box jumps are quick, and insignificant with regards to my recovery demands. (The snatches, being a new skill that needs warm-up sets and its own rest periods, failed in both regards. I love ‘em, I want to train ‘em, but not now.)
I aim for three times a week, auto-regulating my attendance depending on how burnt out BJJ makes me. I’ve found that if I feel a little overexerted, I can just not increase the weight for my squats and RDLs, and things go fine.
This is a slightly tweaked version of previous “beginner but not novice” programs I’ve used for myself. The biggest change is the half-hour of dynamic mobility work I do in the beginning of the workout, which is producing the same excellent dividends I expect from the rest of the workout: my squat feels deep and upright, my hamstrings are lengthening, and I’m almost at my near-term goals of 100kg front squat / 120kg RDL / 15 pull-ups for sets across. I already hit my “easy” dip goal of 20 for sets across, and found that adding a 20kg kettlebell barely slowed me down. Next stop: 2x20kg for 10.
With my strength starting to return, I am on the lookout for injuries and I am brainstorming the next phase. Once I reach my basic strength benchmarks, I plan to put those lifts into maintenance mode and focus on the power clean and power snatch, with the squat, deadlift, and upper-body work all secondary. Citius, altius, fortius.