Recent Gym PRs

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Just a quick update with my training. I’ve been a PR machine lately. Funny how PRs make the day so much more enjoyable.

 

Yesterday I pulled 515 x 3, then followed it up with 535 x 3!

 

Several days ago, I front squatted 300 x 1, then 275 x 3. Then, I hip thrusted 635 x 2 and 585 x 4.

 

What’s really nice about this is that I’ve lost 8 lbs since my meet and I’m still setting PRs. My benching this week was good but military presses seemed to be affected slightly by the weight drop. At any rate, I think I could have pulled 545 x 3 with the deadlift had I not done the 515 x 3 first, and I think I have a 305 lb front squat in me. Can’t wait to hit 315 one day on those! I also think I have a 650 lb hip thrust in me. I’ll probably give this a whirl next week. My sumo and conventional pulling strength flipflops; right now I’m wondering if I’m better at conventional. A front squat, deadlift, and hip thrust PR in one week? I’ll take it!

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Reduced Load & Effort for Increased Results

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One reason why my strength has improved is because I quit maxing out so often and quit taking every set to failure. If you train a lift once per week, then you can go all out. But if you train more frequently, then you have to be conservative.

I’ve found that one heavy session and one submaximal session per week per main lift provides a potent strength-building stimulus; a 1-2 punch if you will that maximizes results. The maximal stimulus packs the bigger punch, but the submaximal stimulus builds weak links, grooves technique, and adds volume/frequency without compromising recovery.

In the video below, I demonstrate the 3 submaximal methods that are utilized in 2 x 4: Maximum Strength, namely the super-strict method, the pause method, and the explosive (aka dynamic effort or compensatory acceleration training) method.

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Know Thy Personal Records: Are You Aware of Your Indicators?

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Everyone should be aware of their personal records (PRs). You should know multiple PRs for each variation.

Before I did 2 x 4 Maximum Strength, I didn’t have an adequate grasp of my PRs, therefore I wasn’t fully aware of my training efficiency.

I wanted you all to have this PR Sheet (click to download) from 2 x 4 so that you can know your indicators of progress. 

2 x 4 will help you determine these PRs within 14-weeks, which will benefit your training immensely. With my second time running 2 x 4, I found that my PRs were even more accurate/reflective of my true strength, and I believe that this made a big difference in helping me do well at the powerlifting meet a few weeks ago. Even if you don’t do 2 x 4, you should figure these PRs out over time.

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Why Percentages Fail Some Lifters

The following is an excerpt from 2 x 4: Maximum Strength

Many programs utilize percentages for loading schemes. To name a few, Shieko, Smolov, and The Russian Squat Routine each provide the lifter with detailed set and rep schemes based off of percentages of 1RM. For example, a particular training day might have the lifter performing 7 sets of 5 reps with 80% of 1RM. These types of programs are very convenient as they take all of the guesswork out of the equation and allow the lifter to get in and get the job done.

Sounds incredible in theory, right? Problem is, programming just isn’t that simple. My colleague Brad Schoenfeld and I recently collected data for an upcoming study we intend on publishing that examines the EMG activation in the leg muscles with heavier weight (75% of 1RM) versus light weight (30% of 1RM) to failure. While we weren’t particularly interested in the number of repetitions the subjects achieved during exercise performance, we were intrigued to find that with the 75% of 1RM loading, the ranges of repetitions achieved by the subjects varied dramatically from one lifter to the next. While most subjects performed between 10 and 15 repetitions, one subject performed a whopping 21 repetitions, and another subject performed just 7 repetitions (with 30% of 1RM, the range was 30 to 71).

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