The time has flown by faster than expected, but I’ve never felt better in the gym. This week I just want to look back on what I’ve learned so far over the past month with high frequency training, and how my training goals and hopes have come to fruition

 

I have one more week of training after this, followed by my competition week (which is similar to a deload). Around this time I get antsy to get into the gym, as my motivation has never been higher. I haven’t been sore at all this week, so I got a fifth day of practice in.

 

 

Simplicity Is Key

Breaking Muscle Shop

I’ve been training for so long that I’ve tried every program: 5/3/1, Westside, circuit training, Smolov, and bodybuilding programs. I would’ve done dumbbell curls on a BOSU ball with Jillian Michaels if she told me it would increase my bench. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned this year as far as training for powerlifting goes, it’s that simplicity is king. I’m going on the platform to perform three exercises. Shouldn’t the bulk of my training be performing those three movements?

 

They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at any one thing, and I’ve set out to hit that number as quickly as possible. Don’t worry, it’s still going to take forever. When I was working on building one lift once each week, I would spend around thirty minutes doing that lift, and then an hour and a half trying to build that lift. This means I would perform a competition barbell squat for thirty minutes once per week. 

 

I think I’d be dead before I hit 10,000 hours at that rate. With my higher frequency training, I get to squat for thirty minutes five times per week. That’s five times the amount of actual practice! Sweet.

 

RELATED: The Art of Practice: 5 Key Elements for Perfect Practice

 

 Training Focus

One phrase I hear time and time again is, “Don’t major in the minors.” I think we’ve all been guilty of this. My next meet will mark my fourth of the year, so I’m basically a beginner. My time shouldn’t be spent doing accessory lifts to build my big three.

 

I would benefit much more from practicing only the big three. Dedicating the majority of my time to these lifts alone will provide roughly one zillion benefits, including increased motor unit recruitment, firing rate, and intra- and inter-muscular coordination. These three movements will become second nature. I’ll improve upon my technique, and my body will know exactly what to do when I get on the platform.

 

"The week was great. I hit some big weights with ease, and oddly enough it felt natural to squat and bench so often."

My body has adjusted to squatting and benching nearly every day, and my numbers have shot through the roof. Other than the performance benefits of practicing so often, having confidence under a heavy bar is huge. This week I topped off my squat and bench at 300 and 215, respectively. Both lifts felt easy and I still had a few more reps left in the tank. Meat and taters time:

 

Monday

Squat - Heavy

Bar x 10 (2 sets)

135 x 5

185 x 3

260 x 3 (5 working sets @ 5 lb increase)

270 x 1

280 x 1

290 x 1 (training max for the day)

 

Bench - Maintenance

Bar x 10

95 x 5

135 x 5

175 x 2 (5 working sets @ 80%)

205 x 1

215 x 1 (training max for the day)

 

Deadlifts – Technique/Speed

135 x 5 (2 warm-up sets)

260 x 1 (6 working sets @ 75%)

 

Tuesday

Bench

Bar x 10

95 x 5

135 x 5

185 x 3 (4 working sets @ 85%)

205 x 1 (training max for the day)

 

Squat (2-second pause in the hole)

Bar x 10 (2 sets)

135 x 5

185 x 5 (3 working sets @ 65%)

205 x 1 (training max for the day)

 

Dumbbell Row

40 x 5

65 x 5

85 x 2 (2 sets)

105 x 5 (5 working sets)

 

Wednesday

Yoga

 

Thursday

Deadlift – Heavy

135 x 5 (2 warm-up sets)

225 x 5

275 x 1 (6 working sets @ 80%)

 

Bench - Floor Press

Bar x 10

95 x 5

135 x 5

185 x 2 (4 working sets @ 85%)

205 x 1 (training max for the day)

 

Squat - Reps

Bar x 10 (2 sets)

135 x 5

185 x 3

220 x 8 (3 working sets @ 5 lb increase from last week)

265 x 1 (training max for the day)

 

Friday – Extra Day

Squat - Training

Bar x 10 (2 sets)

135 x 5

185 x 3

225 x 3

245 x 2

265 x 2

285 x 1

295 x 1

300 x 1 (training max for the day)

225 x 2 (4 back off sets)

 

Bench - Training

Bar x 10

95 x 5

135 x 5

185 x 3

205 x 2

210 x 1

215 x 1 (training max for the day)

185 x 2 (4 back off sets)

 

Hanging Leg Raise x 10 (5 sets)

Planks (15 second holds)

 

Saturday

Bench - Pin Press

Bar x 10

95 x 5

135 x 5

195 x 1 (4 working sets @ 90%)

215 x 1 (training max for the day)

 

Squat - Goblet Squats

35 x 10 (2 sets)

55 x 5

90 x10 (3 working sets @ 5 lb increase from last week)

 

Bent-over Row

95 x 5

135 x 5

200 x 3 (5 working sets @ 5 lb increase from last week)

 

Sunday

Rest

 

The week was great. I hit some big weights with ease, and oddly enough it felt natural to squat and bench so often. Next week is my last week of training in the gym, so I’ll be hitting some big daily maxes and picking out my first attempts. 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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