Jan 21 2014
Every athletes who crushed some squats yesterday did an amazing job. The First part of any effective squat program is always going to be a little brutal. Why?
Building Strength – a completely non-scientific primer
I like to think of building strength as having two very distinct parts: Beginner’s and Developed.
Beginner’s strength is exactly what it sounds like – Strength developed by a beginner athlete. These gains are easy and immediate. In fact they are so relatively easy that no program or thought is needed to wring them out of an athlete. We see this all the time with new members who are de-conditioned or have never trained. An athlete comes in and simply because they come in and do a couple push ups and air squats they get stronger! Anyone who starts ANY program will see beginner gains – even if that program sucks.
Developed gains are where true training and performance live. I think of developed gains being in athletes who have trained a significant amount. They’ve likely plateaued their progress at some point and to break through their stagnation they need a specific program with structure, consistency, and purpose.
Any credible program we choose from will follow tried and true concepts laid out in Prelepin’s Table. When you study one of these programs what do you see? All of them are structured in a vary similar way: Build Muscle then get that extra muscle to work.
It’s that building muscle phase that really sucks for us right now. Higher reps at heavy weights creates hypertrophy – building new muscle fibers. That building of muscle makes us sore. The building of muscle week after week after week at the beginning of a strength program makes can make even the most experienced athletes sore and tired.
You would be so lucky to build enough muscle to physically and noticeably GROW your legs/arms/shoulders/etc. This is a common concern especially among women but it really comes down to this: how is your diet? More muscle fibers from squatting heavy will burn more fat and lean out your body all while making you more functional and able to do things. You would need significantly more volume and training to build enough muscle to see a physical growth in your muscle (Think squatting heavy 3-4 times a week not just on Mondays). What can happen though is that as we gain more muscle we start to eat slightly more and that keeps fat built up over our newly sculpted backsides. Did you read yesterday’s post about tracking what you eat? Maybe you should.
Soon the type of work we’re doing will shift from building new muscle fibers to making that muscle work. Without the training to actually fire those new muscles they’re just dead weight. That’s what the second phase of successful programs do. And they do this with higher weights and less reps. These rounds tend to make us less sore but more effective overall as athletes. They are essential to maintaining lean body mass and making us strong efficient movers.
15 Push Ups
15 Sit Ups
– Rest 3 Min –
30 Double Unders (10 Attempts)
10 Power Snatches (95/65)
– Rest 3 Min –
5 Muscle Ups (15 Pull Ups)
Yes, that last AMRAP is ONLY muscle ups. It’s written as 5 so that you can get a couple rounds worth and add it to the score. If you can do muscle ups you CANNOT start on the last station
12 Min – 2 Hang Power Cleans and 1 Push Jerk for max weight
5 OTM – 3 Hang Power Cleans and 2 Push Jerks at 85% of above.
4×16 Front Rack Lunge Steps – As Heavy as Possible. Keep stationary. Step one foot out and without moving the back foot in anyway press off the front heel and return to the start position.