post-meet week, day 3, squats and bench presses

Since I number my training weeks starting with Monday, this is the last session of the post-meet week period.  The first two days felt pretty good but I deliberately focused on movements other than competition style squats, bench presses, and deadlifts.  Today, I did high bar squats and bench presses and it definitely felt like I was still in the post-meet hangover period.  Mentally I felt good and wanted to push some decent volume but the body wasn't quite right yet.  I still got in some good work but it's a good sign that I'll need to be patient.

Monday will be the 18th week out from meet week.  Based on what I'll need to lift the week of March 31, 2014, I'm going to spend as much of the 18 weeks on building up my ability to handle volume with 455 in the squat, 315 in the bench, and 545 in the deadlift.  Those poundages typically reflect a top double or triple.  My target by the end of the next 14 weeks is to be able to handle those loads for 5 sets of 3 in the squat and bench press and 3 sets of 5 in the deadlift.

My plan for each lift is pretty simple, it's mainly a case of doing more of what I wasn't doing.  For the squat, it'll be more high bar squats.  I got away from doing them for quite a while because I was so intent on working on my squat form but now that I'm comfortable with where that is, I need to get back to what will make me stronger.  I find high bar squats put exceptional stress on both my quads and lower back while keeping stress on my elbows to a minimum.  In addition to carrying over to my low bar squat, high bar squats carry over to my deadlift too so it's a 'kill two birds with one stone' win/win situation.

For the bench press, it's a simple matter of spending extra time on back and arm work.  To get my bench press to the next plateau, I need to get stronger everywhere.  If I put on a few ounces of upper body mass, that'll be a nice bonus that should add to my bench press too.

The plan for deadlift is to keep up a decent volume of stiff legged deadlifts with both a conventional grip width and a snatch grip width.  I'll also make sure I'm hitting regular deadlifts with more frequency.  I neglected it in the past to spend more time on improving my squat but now that it has regressed, I need more than ever to progress this lift.  If all goes well I should be able to put on the 20 kgs that I thought I was going to add for the meet last weekend.  If all goes better than expected, then I'll add enough to my total to compete with the best in my age and weight class.

Squats:  all high bar, 135x10, 225x5, 275x5, add belt, 315x5, 365x5, 365x5, 365x5

Bench Press:  all reps paused, 135x10, 185x5, 225x5, 255x6, 255x5, 255x4

Chins:  6, 5, 4, all sets finished with 3 lat shrugs


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