EDITOR'S NOTE: Ever wonder how a world-class coach actually trains? Wonder what it's like to train as a "mature athlete?" Welcome to the athlete journal of Charles Staley. A big believer in practicing what he preaches, Charles trains and competes just like his clients. Now, every Friday read what Charles has done this week in his workout sessions, and how he feels about it.

 

charles staley, athlete journal, strength sports, mature athlete

I’m just coming off a one-week break from training due to an out-of-state trip. While I could have probably trained during this trip, I haven’t had a break in training for quite some time, so I decided to take it as an opportunity to take a bit of time off. If nothing else, I wanted to see how a week off might affect my performance in the subsequent weeks.

 

I’ve also been rethinking my preparation, and after some conversation with my training partner Bret Contreras, who has been doing some similar “soul searching.” I’ll be changing my weekly schedule beginning on July 1st.

 

A few things you might notice:

 

Leg Extensions

 

I’ve got a strong posterior chain, but very weak quads. It’s likely that this weakness is holding me back on squats, especially since shoulder pain has been forcing me to do high bar squats as of late. I haven’t done leg extensions since I was in my late 20s, believe it or not, and when I did an easy set of them on Friday, it was amazing to feel the tension and fatigue in my distal quad fibers (an area where I have very poor muscle development). My thinking is to do 2-4 sets of these twice a week — certainly there’s very little cost to this experiment, so it’ll be interesting to see what the results might be.

 

Arm Work

 

I’ve already been emphasizing arm work, because mine suck and are most certainly a weakness in terms of bench pressing, not to mention aesthetics. In my new plan I’ll be pushing arm work, particularly triceps, even harder.

 

Rows

 

Despite the fact that I’ve never really felt any benefit from them, I’m going to be giving dumbbell rows an honest run for the next three months. A lot of powerlifters notice positive carryover to the deadlift, and I have fairly poor back “thickness,” despite the fact that I’m a good chinner.

 

Hopefully that helps to explain my rationale to some degree. Worlds are thirteen weeks away, so it’s time to make shit happen!

 

Monday, July 1, 2013, 10:00 AM

 

Bodyweight: 198 lbs

 

Good opening session today. I didn’t mention earlier that while I was away I managed to cut my left index finger quite deeply on a razor blade the day before this workout (took 45 minutes to stop the bleeding), so I was especially happy that I managed a 455 pull.

 

HIGH BAR SQUAT

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 45 lbs × 5

Set 3: 95 lbs × 5

Set 4: 135 lbs × 3

Set 5: 185 lbs × 1

Set 6: 225 lbs × 1

Set 7: 275 lbs × 1

Set 8: 315 lbs × 1

 

BENCH PRESS

Set 1: 135 lbs × 5

Set 2: 175 lbs × 5

Set 3: 195 lbs × 5

Set 4: 215 lbs × 3

 

DEADLIFT

Set 1: 135 lbs × 3

Set 2: 225 lbs × 3

Set 3: 315 lbs × 1

Set 4: 405 lbs × 1

Set 5: 455 lbs × 1

 

HAMMER CURL

Set 1: 60 lbs × 10

Set 2: 80 lbs × 10

Set 3: 80 lbs × 10

 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013, 10:00 AM

 

Bodyweight: 197.4 lbs

 

FRONT SQUAT

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 45 lbs × 5

Set 3: 95 lbs × 5

Set 4: 135 lbs × 5

Set 5: 155 lbs × 5

Set 6: 175 lbs × 5

 

BENCH PRESS (DUMBBELL)

Set 1: 120 lbs × 10

Set 2: 160 lbs × 10

 

CHINS

Set 1: 197.4 lbs × 5

Set 2: 197.4 lbs × 5

Set 3: 197.4 lbs × 5

Set 4: 197.4 lbs × 5

Set 5: 197.4 lbs × 5

 

STANDING CALF RAISE

Set 1: 197.4 lbs × 5

Set 2: 197.4 lbs × 5

Set 3: 197.4 lbs × 5

Set 4: 197.4 lbs × 5

Set 5: 197.4 lbs × 5

Set 6: 197.4 lbs × 5

 

Friday, July 5, 2013, 10:00 AM

 

Bodyweight: 197 lbs

 

Good squat and bench numbers today. It was also interesting to do leg extensions after such a long time of not doing them.

 

HIGH BAR SQUAT

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 45 lbs × 5

Set 3: 95 lbs × 5

Set 4: 135 lbs × 3

Set 5: 185 lbs × 1

Set 6: 225 lbs × 1

Set 7: 275 lbs × 1

Set 8: 315 lbs × 1

Set 9: 315 lbs × 2 (Video Below)

 

 

 

 BENCH PRESS

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 5

Set 5: 205 lbs × 5

Set 6: 225 lbs × 4

 

EZ BAR CURL

Set 1: 80 lbs × 6

Set 2: 80 lbs × 6

Set 3: 80 lbs × 6

Set 4: 80 lbs × 6

 

LEG EXTENSION

Set 1: 90 lbs × 10

 

Sunday, July 7, 2013, 10:00 AM

 

Bodyweight: 198.8 lbs

 

Really working hard on keeping my elbows in tight on close grips. Good solid session today to end the week.

 

CLOSE GRIP BENCH PRESS

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 3

Set 4: 185 lbs × 3

Set 5: 185 lbs × 3

Set 6: 185 lbs × 3

Set 7: 185 lbs × 3

Set 8: 185 lbs × 3

 

KROC ROWS

Set 1: 95 lbs × 8

Set 2: 95 lbs × 8

Set 3: 95 lbs × 8

Set 4: 95 lbs × 8

 

TRICEP PUSHDOWN

Set 1: 90 lbs × 6

Set 2: 90 lbs × 6

Set 3: 90 lbs × 6

Set 4: 90 lbs × 6

 

HAMMER CURL

Set 1: 100 lbs × 8

Set 2: 100 lbs × 8

Set 3: 100 lbs × 8

Set 4: 100 lbs × 8

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