Monday, October 11, 2010

Columbus Day Double Wammy...Or Not.

Today, to celebrate Columbus Day (or, just to celebrate getting to workout with Lindsey on a Monday because she's off from work) we attempted to hit up two good workouts:

Workout 1:
2 x 400 meter sprint
2 x 800 meter sprint
500 meters total swimming (no specific pattern on swimming)

So, this one looked like like a great time when we walked out the door; but, three hours at the DMV later, getting our new CA licenses and plates, and with the Burlingame High School track and pool swarming with student athletes for after school practice, it became a no-go.  So, with energy levels insanely low, we lumbered down to the garage to attempt workout number 2.

Workout 2:
5, 5, 5, 3, 3, 3 Power cleans

This marks the spot of my new strength training program.  I am doing Micheal Rutherford's Max Effort Black Box (MEBB) program.  From here out though, I am calling this just max effort, or ME, still not totally understanding as to what the "black box" aspect of the name even means.  I was able to pull 235# pretty easily off the ground after a great deal of volume, and felt good with that.  However, my form is all around sketchy.  My legs pop out dramatically on the catch, I find myself leaning back a bit here and there as well.  Also, right off the ground I tend to drive my legs to a lockout way too early, and end up almost RDL-ing the bar to the hang position before snapping the weight up.  I have the strength for this exercise, big time.  My proof is that I smacked my chin with the bar on 235#; so yeah, it's getting up there easy enough.  I just need to work on my mobility and confidence a good deal more.

So, Max Effort program.  Here's how it works in a nut shell:  Max Effort day 1 is a total body lift (I am doing power cleans), ME day 2 is a lower body lift (I am doing front squats) and ME day 3 is an upper body lift (I am doing strict press).  You can choose any lift that falls into the category, and you do that lift for the entire collection of cycles before moving on to working on another lift.  Similar to the 5/3/1, it is based around 3 increasing weight cycles. 

Cycle 1 - 5, 5, 5, 3, 3, 3
Cycle 2 - 3, 3, 3, 1, 1, 1
Cycle 3 - 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1

This is how I am doing it.  Some people do 5x5, then 3x5 then 1x5 (that is how it was originally written), others repeat cycle 2 for their 3rd cycle, just at a higher percentage of their 1RM.

I will be working the 5's on cycle 1 at around 75-85% of my general 1RM.  The 3's of cycle 2 around 80-90%; and the 1's of my final cycle around 90-100%.  Then, I will mix metcons and activation and mobility work in for these days as well.  I am doing ME work on Mon/Wed/Fri and will fill you all in to what my Tues/Thurs and weekends are looking like when I work them over the next couple days.  So, I did power cleans today, front squat Wednesday, and strict press Friday.  Here is what a day (this coming Wednesday) will look like:

Template ME day:
  • Warm up with dynamic stretches and specific mobility moves
  • ME lift
  • Workout/metcon
  • Engagement exercises (mostly posterior chain and core work for me)
  • Rolling and static stretching
Specific Workout:
  • Dynamic warm up with hip mobility and shoulder mobility focus 
  • 5, 5, 5, 3, 3, 3 Front Squats @ 75-85% of 285#
  • 10 minute AMRAP of: 15 OH squats (w/ 115#) and 200 meter run
  • 3 x 6-12 of weighted bridges and GHD back extensions
  • Foam roll and stretch
My goals are to reach a 275# clean, a 325# front squat and a 180# strict press by November 1.  Not sure if that is a little overzealous, but I'll find that out by the end of the week. I'll post more on this program as I progress into it, it seems like a very interesting one.

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

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