And we’re back to the grind! This week was super tough, but before I get into the details, let’s recap where I am in my training cycle. 

 

 

Goals for Next Year

I am just coming off of a week of minimal movement, which was relaxing. From my last meet I set out some things to accomplish next year: Program wisely, hit proper depth every day, pick out the right attempts, warm up properly at meets, stay on top of my diet, and increase my mobility and recovery tactics. Since I am in my off season, I won’t have to worry too much about changing up meet day strategies. You better believe I’ll be hitting proper depth every day, though. 

 

"I’m just going to get more hours doing what I do best: squatting, benching, and deadlifting. I keep my training simple because the basics are what work best for me."

Breaking Muscle Shop

I want to stay on top of my diet, but much like training, nutrition is a gradual process. Nothing’s going to change overnight. For the first time in my life I have started a food journal. Crazy, right?! I’ve always been good with my eating habits, tons of veggies and protein, healthy fats, and carbs from good sources. Recording and analyzing my food journal will be lots of fun to see what the hell I’ve been doing all this time. I’m still at square one though, so we’ll revisit the food journal in a couple of weeks.

 

I’ve also added mobility work, more yoga sessions, and a ton of foam rolling. Boy, do I hate foam rolling. But the benefits…

 

My Next Cycle

This leads us to my next cycle. What do I want to do? Well, first off, I’m a number chaser. The whole point of my training is to get stronger and post larger numbers, so that’s always priority one. My body responds well to high-frequency training because my work capacity shot through the roof ever since I funded a long-lost relative, a Peruvian Prince who has been blasting me with e-mails. Good karma, yeah? 

 

All kidding aside, I’m just going to get more hours doing what I do best: squatting, benching, and deadlifting. I keep my training simple because the basics are what work best for me. 

 

"From my last meet I set out some things to accomplish next year: Program wisely, hit proper depth every day, pick out the right attempts, warm up properly at meets, stay on top of my diet, and increase my mobility and recovery tactics."

In my opinion, a bigger back translates to a better Big Three, so I want to strengthen my back during my off-season stint. I also want to build a better grip. Thus, my accessory lifts will primarily be rowing and walking like a farmer. I just finished ten months of working in the 1-5 rep range for the squat and bench, so I will explore uncharted territories. 

 

I’ve channeled my inner Smolov for this training cycle, so my rep ranges will mirror his infamous workout plan. This type of training is grueling, and the rep ranges will be challenging as my body isn’t used to doing more than five reps. Is it even possible to do more than five reps? I’m not sure, but I’ll find out.

 

RELATED: The Russian Squat Routine vs. The Smolov Squat Routine

 

I’ll be training this way for eleven weeks before I have to start my next training cycle (which will end in an actual meet). I loved working up to a training max in my last cycle, as the added confidence I’m always raving about is huge for me. I added a day of working up to a training max and I will continue to do this every week.

 

Here are my meat and potatoes for the week:

 

Monday

Squat

135 x 5 (4 warm up sets)

185 x 3

225 x 3

210 x 9 (4 working sets)

 

Bench

135 x 5 (4 warm up sets)

175 x 3

155 x 6 (6 working sets)

 

Tuesday

Pendlay Rows

155 x 10 (4 sets)

 

Dumbbell Rows

80 x 10 (4 sets)

 

Farmers Walks

70 x 30 seconds (5 sets)

 

Wednesday

Squat

135 x 5 (4 warm up sets)

185 x 3

225 x 3

245 x 3

225 x 7 (5 working sets)

 

Bench

135 x 5 (4 warm up sets)

185 x 3

165 x 5 (7 working sets)

 

Thursday

Deadlift

135 x 5 (2 warm-up sets)

225 x 5

255x 1 (8 working sets)

 

Bench - Training

Bar x 10

95 x 5

135 x 5

185 x 3

205 x 2

210 x 1

215 x 1

220 x 1 (training max for the day)

185 x 3 (3 back-off sets)

 

Squat - Training

Bar x 10 (2 sets)

135 x 5

185 x 3

225 x 3

245 x 2

255 x 2

265 x 1

275 x 1

285 x 1 (training max for the day)

225 x 2 (3 back-off sets)

 

Friday

Squat

135 x 5 (4 warm up sets)

185 x 3

225 x 3

265 x 2

240 x 5 (7 working sets)

 

Bench

135 x 5 (4 warm up sets)

185 x 3

205 x 2

180 x 4 (8 working sets)

 

Saturday

Pendlay Rows

175 x 5 (5 sets)

 

Dumbbell Rows

100 x 5 (5 sets)

 

Farmers Walks

70 x 30 seconds (5 sets)

 

Sunday

Squat

135 x 5 (4 warm up sets)

185 x 3

225 x 3

265 x 2

255 x 3 (10 working sets)

 

Bench

135 x 5 (4 warm up sets)

185 x 3

205 x 2

190 x 3 (10 working sets)

 

I was pretty much dead all week. The first day of squatting for nine reps was torturous on my lower body, but I wasn’t going to let a little (more like a lot) soreness keep my from putting in work. Sometimes you just have to work past it. I couldn’t bring myself to do yoga this week, but hey – nobody’s perfect. The training was brutal, which made the sense of accomplishment all the sweeter.

 

To anyone who reads or follows my athlete journals, don’t be afraid to ask questions or leave some feedback – it’s always appreciated and I’m more than happy to help. I know we're into the holiday season, so spend time with your families and stay active!

 

Ryan Seaver is a novice powerlifter who found his love for the sport after six years of going to the gym religiously. Follow Ryan's journals to learn how to get started as a competitive lifter.

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