Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Phil Horwood - Week 2 - Monday 4th April - Speed squats / deads

My training has finally taken shape now after a not-so-successful competition the other week.  I took a week of light lifting after the comp.  I trained 5 times in total but each session only went up to 60-65% maximum.  In my competition I only went 5/9 with a 260kg squat (opener), a dismal 165kg bench (opener) and a 272.5kg deadlift (which was my only saving grace as was a 2.5kg PR which I pulled with a severe lat cramp that I picked up on my 2nd bench attempt). This left me with a 697.5kg total. The deadlift was ok, but the squat and deadlift were a big disappointment to me and I know I am capable of more like a 730-740 total.  For a multitude of reasons, the last few weeks of my preparation were not great. I won't bore you with details or excuses but bottom line is that it just didn't come together on the day.  I did qualify for nationals at the end of the year so will most likely, training going well at the time, be competing again then.

For the moment, I have decided to get back to the training I enjoy and feel is most beneficial.  I have some methods of training over the last year which in hindsight were not the best option for me.  I have every faith that they work for many others, but a traditional linear pattern and simply rotating sets and reps did not build my lifts as much as previous methods I had used in the past.  There are a few weak points I have chosen to work on and I have built a training system for myself which enables me to recover whilst allowing me to train with quite high intensity and moderate to high volume as well.  

One important thing for me is to begin to enjoy my training more again.  I have found the last few weeks building up to the competition very boring and dissatisfying.  Whilst I appreciate peaking for a meet is necessary (for the most part), I am glad now to be back into training properly again.  I am including some strongman events (both for fun and to improve all round strength especially in the abdominals and trunk in general), more grip work (not so much because my grip has ever failed me, but just because I love doing it), more speed work and a few other elements which I feel will develop me not only as a powerlifter but as a strength athlete in general.  I wanted a higher level of conditioning and to regain some strength in areas which had dropped off due to specifying my training so much towards powerlifting.  

My training is split up like this currently.

Monday - Speed Squats, followed by either speed deads or deadlifts for reps (alternate each week, progressively building up the rep work %), deadlift builder (eg block pulls), Trap Bar Walks (inspired by Pete Rubish)

Tuesday AM - Reverse hypers, RDLs, Light Front Squats + stretching

Tuesday PM - Bench Max effort movement (becoming more specific closer to a testing day/practice meet), Bench against bands, Log / Axle Strict or Push Press (alternating movement each week), Chins, Dumbbell Rows, assistance

Wednesday - Recovery day - stretching and shoulder stability work.

Thursday - Heavy Squats (alternating raw and wrapped squats, low rep ranges mostly), Pause squats, Deadlift variation (rotation of movements), Heavy Abs

Friday - Bench Accumulation Day (focussed on building volume in the 80-90% range), Close Grip, Bench Rows, assistance

Saturday - Squat Variation (rotating bars) always raw, 3-5 reps per set, then Strongman Events Training.

Sunday - Stretching/Rest/Recovery protocols

Monday 4th April was the start of my second proper week back into training.  This consisted of...

A. Squats (belt and sleeves) + green bands + 20kg chain - 8 x 2 reps @ 50% (using wrapped max)
B. Speed Deads - 8 x 2 @ 60% 1RM (no chains or bands this week)
C. Block PUlls - trebles, up to a moderately heavy set of 5 reps. 
D. Trap Bar walks (I did tuesday morning instead as I ran out of time on Monday) - 6 x 15m.

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