Eight weeks out, time to start trying to push the volume

With the 100% Raw Easterns now eight weeks away, it's time to start my first four week mini-cycle. This four week mini-cycle will involve building volume via multiple sets with weights mostly in the 80-90% of 1 RM range. The second four week mini-cycle will concentrate in the 90-100% range.

Today's squat workout ended up at 17 total repetitions with weights between 80-90% of my last 1 rep maximum (372-418 lbs off of a 1 RM of 465). Each weekly volume workout will have a goal of at least 15 total repetitions up to as many as 25. My other weekly squat workout will concentrate on working up to 2-3 heavy singles with as close to a training maximum as possible followed by 2-3 sets of pause squats.

Total volume and intensity for each volume workout will depend on how fast the bar is moving that day. If any rep of any set gets 'grindy', that is the signal to back the weights down until I am able to move them with acceleration.

I'm still getting sore in the quads but the pause squats are getting more and more stable by the workout. The combination of loaded, specific core stability work with added emphasis on quadriceps involvement seems to be paying off. I also noticed in today's workout that my weight was starting to get forward towards the balls of my feet. I'll need to concentrate on keeping more weight on my heels in order to take advantage of the big muscles in the hips through the sticking point when the bar starts to get heavier.

It's very easy with weights in the 80-90% range to get a little careless with form since there's usually enough strength to complete the lift with minor technique defects. I need to really make every repetition both fast and perfect or else it won't transfer at the 90%+ levels.

The callus I tore off deadlifting this past Saturday is starting to heal but it looks like I won't be able to do any heavy pulling this week without tearing it open so I'll probably have to substitute barbell squat mornings (squat going down, good morning coming up) for my weekend deadlift workout.

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