Think about your training goals (and more specifically, the process you’re using to attain them) as a system composed of several interrelated components.

 

I’ll use myself as an example, as I believe my goals probably look a lot like yours: I want to be as strong and muscular as possible, and I also want to look like I possess those attributes, which means I also want to be fairly lean. And of course, along the way, I want to stay safe and healthy so I can keep doing this stuff long term.

 

 

Step One: Identify And Itemize Your Components

The achievement of these goals requires that I commit time and energy to a variety of categories, which for this post, I’ll call components. They include, but are not necessarily limited to:

 

  • Facility and equipment
  • Coaching and social support
  • Personal knowledge of my craft
  • Nutrition and supplementation
  • Age
  • Overall health and specifically, orthopedic status
  • Lifestyle (does it support/facilitate optimal training?)
  • Discipline and motivation
  • Flexibility and/or mobility
  • Optimal programming and/or periodization strategy
  • Hormonal status
  • Personal finances

 

Now depending on how you think, your list might be a bit different, but it’s the overall concept that’s most important here. The basic idea is to list every possible factor that actually or potentially is involved with the attainment of your big goal(s).

 

The next step (and I’ll just call it a sub-step here because it’s so quick and simple) is to remove any items that are not within your control. In my own case, my age gets deleted. Every other component is partially or completely within my control.

 

Step Two: Find Your Weakest Correctable Component

Now that you’ve got your itemized list of components identified, the next step is to determine which one(s) to shore up first. To do this, think about a log jam, which is when one stuck log slows all the logs from advancing down the river. Loggers call this one log a kingpin. The unique characteristic of the kingpin is that it is the only log, which, when removed from the jam, restores the continued progress of the remaining logs down the river. What we need to do is identify your personal kingpin to continued progress.

 

Step Three: Take Action!

If a chain is only as strong as your weakest link, then I think it’s obvious that you need to identity and then strengthen your weakest link(s) if you expect your overall performance to improve.

 

I hope this short article helps you to get clear about how to do just that. As always, please leave your questions and comments below!

 

This Week’s Training

I’ve had some satisfying lifts this week, including an easy 365lb squat. I’ve had few surprises throughout this entire cycle, which leads to a sense of confidence and predictability going into this next competition. Just as importantly, my orthopedic health and bodyweight are also on track.

 

Weekly Training Volume: 54,389 lbs (Last Week’s Volume: 43,842 lbs)

 

Significant Lifts:

  • Squat 365 lbs
  • Dumbbell Bench Press 100s x 8

 

Monday, August 4, 2014, 2:05 PM

Bodyweight: 200.6 lbs

 

Volume: 5,015 lbs

 

SQUAT

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 3

Set 5: 225 lbs × 2

Set 6: 275 lbs × 1

Set 7: 315 lbs × 1

Set 8: 365 lbs × 1

Set 9: 315 lbs × 1

 

POWER CLEAN

 

Set 1: 95 lbs × 3

Set 2: 95 lbs × 3

Set 3: 135 lbs × 3

Set 4: 185 lbs × 1 (Video of this entire session with commentary below)

 

 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 3:10 PM

Bodyweight: 201.8 lbs

 

Volume: 21,746 lbs

 

BENCH PRESS

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 3

Set 5: 205 lbs × 1

Set 6: 220 lbs × 1

Set 7: 220 lbs × 1

Set 8: 220 lbs × 1

Set 9: 220 lbs × 1

Set 10: 220 lbs × 1

 

CHIN UP

 

Set 1: +25 lbs × 1

Set 2: +25 lbs × 2

Set 3: +25 lbs × 3

Set 4: +25 lbs × 4

Set 5: +25 lbs × 5

Set 6: +25 lbs × 1

Set 7: +25 lbs × 2

Set 8: +25 lbs × 3

Set 9: +25 lbs × 4

Set 10: +25 lbs × 1

Set 11: +25 lbs × 2

Set 12: +25 lbs × 3

 

PUSH UP

 

Set 1: 15 reps

Set 2: 15 reps

Set 3: 15 reps

 

HAMMER CURL

 

Set 1: 80 lbs × 10

Set 2: 80 lbs × 10

Set 3: 80 lbs × 10

 

Thursday, August 7, 2014, 8:50 AM

Bodyweight: 201.2 lbs

 

Volume: 17,408 lbs

 

FRONT SQUAT

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 3

Set 4: 165 lbs × 3

Set 5: 185 lbs × 3

 

DOUBLE KETTLEBELL SWING

 

Set 1: 106 lbs × 15

Set 2: 106 lbs × 15

Set 3: 106 lbs × 15

 

LUNGES

 

Set 1: 12 reps

Set 2: 12 reps

Set 3: 12 reps

 

BACK EXTENSION

 

Set 1: 135 lbs × 8

Set 2: 135 lbs × 8

Set 3: 135 lbs × 8

 

Saturday, August 9, 2014, 10:12 AM

Bodyweight: 201.2 lbs

 

Volume: 10,220 lbs

 

BENCH PRESS (DUMBBELL)

 

Set 1: 100 lbs × 15

Set 2: 160 lbs × 10

Set 3: 200 lbs × 8 (Video Below)

 

 

INCLINE BENCH PRESS

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 8

Set 2: 95 lbs × 8

Set 3: 115 lbs × 8

Set 4: 135 lbs × 8

 

BICEP CURL

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 10

Set 2: 65 lbs × 10

Set 3: 65 lbs × 10

Set 4: 65 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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