If you care about your lifting, it’s only natural to focus intently on the results of your efforts. There’s an intrinsic problem to this, however. Caring too much about the result of your effort can significantly impair the effort itself.

 

I liken this to the bushido code of releasing yourself from the fear of death. The utter disregard for one’s mortality is the key - the only key ­- that unlocks maximal fighting potential. The fear of injury or death creates doubt and hesitation, because the consequences of doing the wrong thing are unbearable.

 

Still not buying in? Consider the following example:

 

Breaking Muscle Shop

Your task is to walk for 75 feet on a twelve-inch wide plank suspended a foot off the ground. Can you do it?

 

Okay, now let’s perform exactly the same task, but with enhanced consequences: you’ll be walking 100 feet on that same plank, but this time, it’ll be suspended fifty feet over a shark tank. Still feeling confident? Why not? It’s the same task, right?

 

The key, then, is to release yourself from those consequences so that your actions are performed with full commitment. Which leads me to something I’ll often tell a client before he sets up for a difficult lift: “Now, there are no surprises here - you already know what’s going to happen - you’ll either make it or miss it.” The effect of this zen, koan-like reminder is that it releases you from potential negative consequences, which in turn frees you up to focus on the quality and quantity of your effort.

 

 

The take-home message is this: making an important lift isn’t as dangerous as walking over those sharks. It’s not like your life’s at risk. You can always come back another day. And in fact, you will. So focus on the process, because if you do it well, the outcome takes care of itself.

 

This Week’s Training

I’m pleased with my numbers this week, despite the fact that my overall volume was quite low. The only potential downside I’m experiencing is a bit of psychic fatigue from several weeks of uninterrupted hard training. I’m contemplating taking a scheduled back-off week soon, in fact. But again aside from that, everything is exactly on course. If you’ve got questions or comments about anything you’re seeing here, please leave a comment. With that being said, I’ll see you again next week!

 

Weekly Training Volume: 47,093 lbs (Last Week’s Volume: 54,389 lbs)

 

Significant Lifts:

  • Cambered Bar Squat: 335x1
  • Back Extension: 160x6
  • Bench Press 205x10
  • Deadlifts 400 (4x5)

 

Monday, August 11, 2014, 3:15 PM

Bodyweight: 201.4 lbs

 

Volume: 11,600 lbs

 

CAMBERED BAR SQUAT

 

Set 1: 65 lbs × 5

Set 2: 115 lbs × 5

Set 3: 155 lbs × 5

Set 4: 205 lbs × 3

Set 5: 245 lbs × 2

Set 6: 295 lbs × 1

Set 7: 335 lbs × 1

Set 8: 245 lbs × 3

 

SWINGS

 

Set 1: 100 lbs × 15

Set 2: 100 lbs × 15

 

BACK EXTENSION

 

Set 1: 135 lbs × 10

Set 2: 160 lbs × 6

 

LEG EXTENSION

 

Set 1: 165 lbs × 8

Set 2: 165 lbs × 5

 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 11:57 AM

Bodyweight: 201 lbs

 

Volume: 5,182 lbs

 

BENCH PRESS

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 175 lbs × 2

Set 5: 205 lbs × 10

 

CHIN UP

Set 1: 7 reps

 

Thursday, August 14, 2014, 10:20 PM

Bodyweight: 200.2 lbs

 

Volume: 13,145 lbs

 

DEADLIFT

 

Set 1: 135 lbs × 3

Set 2: 135 lbs × 3

Set 3: 135 lbs × 3

Set 4: 225 lbs × 3

Set 5: 275 lbs × 1

Set 6: 315 lbs × 1

Set 7: 365 lbs × 1

Set 8: 400 lbs × 5

Set 9: 400 lbs × 5

Set 10: 400 lbs × 5

Set 11: 400 lbs × 5 (Entire session with commentary below)

 

 

HIGH-BAR SQUAT

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 5

 

Saturday, August 16, 2014, 10:23 AM

Bodyweight: 201.4 lbs

 

Volume: 17,166 lbs

 

INCLINE BENCH PRESS

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 10

Set 2: 95 lbs × 10

Set 3: 115 lbs × 10

Set 4: 135 lbs × 8

Set 5: 135 lbs × 8

 

MILITARY PRESS

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 10

Set 2: 65 lbs × 10

Set 3: 65 lbs × 10

Set 4: 65 lbs × 10

 

PUSH UP

 

Set 1: 20 reps

Set 2: 20 reps

 

BICEP CURL (DUMBBELL)

 

Set 1: 60 lbs × 10

Set 2: 70 lbs × 10

Set 3: 70 lbs × 10

 

A big believer in practicing what he preaches, Charles Staley trains and competes just like his clients. Every Friday you can read what Charles has done this week in his workout sessions.

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