I listed a failed lift this week as one of the “noteworthy lifts,” which might strike you as odd. But I’d like you to notice something about that miss that can be instructive. Even though I was struggling against a weight that was a few pounds too heavy for me that day, I never allowed my form to fall apart. In other words, I didn’t round my low back, my knees didn’t cave in, and so on.

 

In my way of thinking, there are three distinct stages of technique development in any type of skill, but its particularly relevant to resistance training:

 

  • Stage 1: Incompetent - You’re a beginner and your technique sucks, regardless of the load.

 

  • Stage 2: Unstable - You display good/correct technique until the load exceeds a certain amount, and then you start falling apart as your body resorts to anything and everything in order to accomplish the task.

 

  • Stage 3: Stable - Your technique is the same, regardless of the load. This is the level we’re all looking to achieve. It doesn’t mean your technique is necessarily "perfect," and to be honest, I never liked that descriptor anyway, since it’s a hypothetical state by simple definition. What stable does mean however, is that your technique doesn’t change with additional weight on the bar. Every rep always looks the same, with the exception of the fact that heavier loads will slow you down. But other than that, you look like you’re in a Smith machine, no matter what the weight. That’s always been my goal, and I hope it’s yours too.

 

This week my right shoulder has been feeling better, in face of the fact that I’ve been doing heavy barbell bench presses twice a week. Why is it better, you might ask? Sorry, I’ve no clue.

 

I’m in the final month of contest prep now, and so far, everything’s on track. The primary goal at this stage of the game (as I’ve often said) is staying safe and healthy. Further fitness increases are secondary at this stage.

 

Hope everyone’s crushing it out there - see ya next week!

 

Weekly Volume And Noteworthy Lifts:

 

  • Volume: 33,985 lbs (Last Week: 45,550 lbs)
  • Bench Press 255x1
  • Squat 335x2
  • 4” Block Pull: 515 Miss

 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 10:20 AM

 

Bodyweight: 201.4 lbs

 

Volume: 13,860 lbs

 

SQUAT

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 3

Set 4: 185 lbs × 3

Set 5: 225 lbs × 2

Set 6: 275 lbs × 2

Set 7: 315 lbs × 2

Set 8: 335 lbs × 2

 

BACK EXTENSION

 

Set 1: 130 lbs × 10

Set 2: 130 lbs × 10

Set 3: 130 lbs × 10

 

LEG EXTENSION

 

Set 1: 150 lbs × 10

Set 2: 150 lbs × 10

Set 3: 150 lbs × 10

 

SWINGS

 

Set 1: 100 lbs × 15

 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 10:18 AM

 

Bodyweight: 201 lbs

 

Volume: 6,215 lbs

 

BENCH PRESS

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 2

Set 5: 205 lbs × 1

Set 6: 225 lbs × 1

Set 7: 245 lbs × 1

Set 8: 255 lbs × 1

 

CHEST-SUPPORTED ROW

 

Set 1: 90 lbs × 8

Set 2: 90 lbs × 8

 

SEATED DUMBBELL CURL

 

Set 1: 70 lbs × 10

Set 2: 70 lbs × 10

Set 3: 70 lbs × 10

 

Friday, May 2, 2014, 6:40 PM

 

Bodyweight: 203 lbs

 

Volume: 4,380 lbs

 

4" BLOCK PULL

 

Set 1: 135 lbs × 3

Set 2: 135 lbs × 3

Set 3: 135 lbs × 3

Set 4: 225 lbs × 3

Set 5: 225 lbs × 3

Set 6: 275 lbs × 1

Set 7: 315 lbs × 1

Set 8: 365 lbs × 1

Set 9: 405 lbs × 1

Set 10: 455 lbs × 1

Set 10: 515 lbs × 0 (Video Below)

 

 

Saturday, May 3, 2014, 8:00 PM

 

Bodyweight: 203 lbs

 

Volume: 9,530 lbs

 

BENCH PRESS

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 10

Set 2: 95 lbs × 10

Set 3: 135 lbs × 10

Set 4: 155 lbs × 5

Set 5: 175 lbs × 3

Set 6: 195 lbs × 2

Set 7: 215 lbs × 1

Set 8: 225 lbs × 1

Set 9: 225 lbs × 1

Set 10: 235 lbs × 1

 

CHEST-SUPPORTED ROW

 

Set 1: 70 lbs × 8

Set 2: 70 lbs × 8

Set 3: 70 lbs × 8

Set 4: 70 lbs × 8

 

EZ-BAR CURL

 

Set 1: 65 lbs × 10

Set 2: 65 lbs × 10

Set 3: 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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