Specificity is both necessary and problematic. Not enough and you don’t make progress. Too much and you’ll fall prey to stagnation and overuse injuries.

 

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution. Let’s say that you’re focusing on your squat, and you’re on a program that has you squatting three times a week - the rationale being that high squat frequency will translate to quicker gains. While I agree with this rationale, if I were using such a program, I’d use (at least) three different types of squats, not the same squat every workout.

 

 

And by “different,” I don’t necessarily mean radically different - for example, I’d probably use different types of bars and or bar positions. Currently I rotate between low-bar squats performed on a cambered bar, along with high and low bar squats both done on a standard barbell. These three different types of squats all contribute to leg strength and hypertrophy, but the small variations in each reduce the possibility of overuse injuries. They also make me less inclined to getting bored with my training program, since each squat day I have something a little different on the menu.

 

This approach can take many different forms. You can use different grip or stance widths, different implements, different ranges of motion, different tempos - the potential list is almost endless, but the central idea is that you change something about the movement without changing the fundamental essence of that movement. When you do, the advantages increase, and the disadvantages decrease. Nothing but win!

 

This Week’s Training

I'm still recovering from my recently tweaked knee. It’s coming along well but has prevented me from hitting any truly notable lifts this week (although I did manage fifteen total reps with 425lb on pulls). That’s also why my training volume is so low this week. In any event, I’ve still got five weeks before Worlds, so plenty of time to re-set and get back on track. At this stage it’s more important to stay healthy than to risk my health by pushing too much.

 

Thanks all - always appreciate your questions and comments, so please chime in below!

 

Weekly Training Volume: 27,548 lbs (Last Week’s Volume: 44,099 lbs)

 

Monday, September 8, 2014, 3:18 PM

 

Bodyweight: 203.8 lbs

 

Volume: 10,345 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 × 1

Set 6: 275 lbs × 1

Set 7: 325 lbs × 1

 

BACK EXTENSION

 

Set 1: 160 lbs × 8

Set 2: 160 lbs × 8

Set 3: 160 lbs × 8

 

SWINGS

 

Set 1: 125 lbs × 10

Set 2: 125 lbs × 10

Set 3: 125 lbs × 10

 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 3:25 PM

Bodyweight: 201.6 lbs

 

Volume: 7,980 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: 225 lbs × 1

Set 7: 245 lbs × 1

Set 8: 225 lbs × 5

Set 9: 185 lbs × 10

 

BICEP CURL (DUMBBELL)

 

Set 1: 60 lbs × 10

Set 2: 60 lbs × 10

Set 3: 60 lbs × 10

Set 4: 60 lbs × 10

 

Thursday, September 11, 2014, 9:20 PM

Bodyweight: 201.2 lbs

 

Volume: 14,335 lbs

 

DEADLIFT

 

Set 1: 135 lbs × 5

Set 2: 135 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 225 lbs × 3

Set 5: 275 lbs × 1

Set 6: 325 lbs × 1

Set 7: 385 lbs × 1

Set 8: 425 lbs × 3

Set 9: 425 lbs × 5

Set 10: 425 lbs × 5

Set 11: 425 lbs × 2

 

HIGH-BAR SQUAT

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 135 lbs × 5

Set 3: 225 lbs × 5

Set 4: 225 lbs × 5

Set 5: 225 lbs × 5 (Video of this complete session with commentary below)

 

 

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 10:17 AM

Bodyweight: 201.2 lbs

 

Volume: 13,213 lbs

 

BENCH PRESS (DUMBBELL)

 

Set 1: 100 lbs × 15

Set 2: 160 lbs × 10

Set 3: 160 lbs × 10

Set 4: 160 lbs × 10

Set 5: 160 lbs × 10

 

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

 

BICEP CURL (DUMBBELL)

 

Set 1: 80 lbs × 6

Set 2: 80 lbs × 6

Set 3: 80 lbs × 6

Set 4: 80 lbs × 6

 

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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