With USS Strongman Nationals behind me, it was time to change up my training with two goals in mind. First, to get stronger (duh), and second, to actually "LOOK" strong. With that in mind I went to my girl Becca to get some programming advice. We came up with a Strongman/Hypertrophy/Powerlifting hybrid and after one week, I'm stoked.
How is it different than what I've been doing?
Previously, I followed established powerlifting routines (Wendler, Cube, etc.) which consisted of 3 training days (Squat, Dead, Press) and just added in my strongman events here or there. There wasn't a lot of rhyme or reason for some of the accessories and I didn't always get to accessories or assistance lifts. I literally "sprinkled" my events when I had time during the week. As I got closer to comps, I focused more on events and less on assistance lifts or main lifts.
This program has a nice focus on my main lifts, lots of accessories with higher reps, and provides good amounts of time for events a couple times a week. Instead of doing 3 main days, I will be doing four (Squat, Dead, Overhead, Bench) plus an events day. I decided to focus on front squats this cycle and add an extra round of back squats in on events day. I'm training a total of 5 days and because I'm trying to cut fat, I may add a sixth day at some points.
My first week looked like this:
Mon - Rest after Sunday comp
Tues - Front Squat 5 x 8 at 55% plus assistance lifts, glute work, and finisher
Wed - Overhead - Log Press focus - sets of 5 reps 60-110# plus upper body assistance & finisher
Thurs - Deadlift 18 inch - ORM Test plus 3 x 8 at 55% or lower plus assistance & finisher and glute work
Friday - Rest
Sat - Events (Log, Stone, Sled Pulls, Glute Accessories, Back Squat 5 x 8 @55%, Squat Bar Static Holds 275# for 20-30 seconds each)
Sun - Bench 5 x 8 @55% plus assistance rope slams tabata style
The week felt great. Despite the scale not moving much, my recovery and training felt solid. I was a bit sore from front squat max testing and deadlift max testing, but by Saturday I was ready for events and had a strong events day.
I was in disbelief that after front squats, I was sore mostly in my abs and upper back/traps. It's insane how much moving the position of the bar worked new muscle groups. This change will be good for my strongman events!
I'm shooting for 1800-2200 cals per day and currently sitting at 197lbs body weight. I'd like to cut to 175 or so. I'm using MFP to track calories and macros with an emphasis on protein (130g+ per day) and keeping carbs under 200g. Each week I plan for one cheat/refeed and try to make that as high carb as possible and time it before events, deadlifts, or squats. I am not eating back my calories.
So far, I feel really great. I can tell my upper body is going to respond well because I can already see definition in my shoulders. Two days of squats will also be good for my quads and the extra glute work (I'm trying to do glute stuff daily) should give my legs a nice pump.
The new training (and after nearly 5 weeks off regular training due to comps) has caused my body an adjustment and I am sure that's part of why the scale hasn't moved quite yet. I will be diligent.
I'm still not dropping under the log quite the way I should, consistently, so I will continue to work on that. One thing I'm happy to see is the log clean portion is becoming more efficient and intuitive. I am also working to active my glutes and hams on deadlifts as this is something I've struggled with for a LONG time.
My shoulder/bicep tendinitis is still an ongoing issue. I am sleeping on my right side or back and icing my shoulder 1-2 times per day plus using liniment/biofreeze. I'm hopeful that the extra shoulder stability work at lower weights will be helpful.
This is a 10 week program, and I will end up competing midway through. But I plan to recover and then continue. I'm excited for the changes and challenges ahead!
I'd love for you to follow me on IG, MFP or Twitter to follow my training, trials and tribulations. Here's to getting stronger! <3