I wanted to give you a little update on my training lately! Today, I started week 4 of 4 of my fifth hypertrophy phase since my meet at the end of July. The goal lately has been to put on some muscle, get stronger, and figure out some things with my deadlift- and we have! My coach has my training days organized like this:
Sunday: Max Effort Lower Body (at the gym with him)
Tuesday: Max Effort Upper Body (garage)
Wednesday: High Rep Lower Body (garage)
Friday: High Rep Upper Body (garage)
Each day, I have variations of the three big lifts (squat, bench, deadlift), as well as accessory work and bodybuilding exercises. I add in low intensity cardio twice a week, and now that we are so super close to the gym, I actually find it even easier to get there and do it, so that's a good thing!
- Heavy, beltless back and front squats
- Heavy hip ups (barbell hip thrusts)
- Yoke walks and heavy farmers carries
- Clusters! I am doing these with bench press and push press right now and love the volume!
- Banded deadlifts and squats (force me to really fire through my hips and sticking points aggressively)
- Any and all bodybuilding stuff (barbell and dumbbell rows, different types of dumbbell presses, etc)
Least Favorites Lately
- Paused safety squats (I don't even have them this program, but I'm still mad about them)
My deadlift continues to be a problem haha. For the past few programs, I have been using a semi-sumo stance, and it was fine up until about two weeks ago. My lower back was never sore, my glutes and hamstrings were working overtime, and all seemed good. But, as the weights got heavier, like in the 90% range, I started having some pain in my left hip. I almost felt like I was pulling and driving through my right side more than my left, and then I was leaning into my left hip and favoring it once I had the bar at about mid shin, which made the stress on that hip worse.
Two weeks ago, my hip hurt after training on Sunday (week 2 of my program), and for the rest of the week I felt pain there and all the way down my leg. That Wednesday, when I had tons of back and front squats, it still hurt and it scared me because it was definitely out of the ordinary for me. I've gotten used to the normal aches and pains that come along with heavy lifting, but this was different, so I talked to my coach.
Last Sunday, he had me feel things out, and I went back to my conventional deadlift position. I was able to hit all my numbers with zero pain, beltless, and they felt really smooth and fast. He thinks that my adductors are just not developed enough, and since this is the second time I've had pain with sumo (first time it was knee pain, now hip- same leg) we are going back to conventional, and we are going to try and strengthen up my core and back a lot in the next program.
We were also talking about how I just feel so much more stable and solid and strong with my feet directly under my hips. On squats, I have a narrower stance too, and I have a pretty close grip on bench compared to most lifters. I just like having my hands and feet more towards my midline, so, core and back strengthening it is!
My yoga practice has been cut way down to allow me more time to recover. The Baptiste hot power yoga classes that I take are very physically taxing, and I am only going to be going one or two times a week for awhile. As much as I love it, my lifting is my priority and I have learned that I feel better and recover better when I really do nothing in the evenings!
Some people have been asking if I have any meets coming up. To people who aren't familiar with powerlifting, it's a little hard to explain how you need a good 6 months off (or more!) between meets if you want your numbers to go up. I did back to back meets this summer for a reason- to get the first one under my belt and establish a total, and then I did a push pull to try and lift smarter on my deadlift (which I did, and I actually was smarter with bench as well). I did not get any stronger between those two meets, I just had a slightly different goal and plan of attack. Getting stronger takes time, especially as an advanced powerlifter, so competing too often just doesn't make sense. It's not like Crossfit, where you can do a competition every weekend if you want to. My next meet will be sometime in the spring, but we have not chosen a meet or date yet! I will let you know as soon as I do!
Any questions- just ask!
What do YOU love seeing on your training programs?? What do you dread?!?