Serious Lifting: 4 Weeks of Programming

Suzanne —  April 23, 2015 — Leave a comment

When prepping for a meet, my ideal training week includes a squat day, a bench day and a deadlift day. If I feel good at the end of the week, and if time permits, I like to add in a fourth day for some conditioning work. I squeeze in a walk whenever I can, even if it’s just around the block, because it helps me manage stress and also speeds recovery.

Getting it done on the big boat.

Getting it done on the big boat.

When I’m traveling, my workouts are largely determined by equipment access. Hotel fitness rooms (and cruise ships) are not exactly set up for serious lifting. But, with Jim’s help, I’ve learned how to get in quality work with very little equipment. When I’m in Orlando, I have several gym options with everything I need to squat and deadlift. I don’t, however, bench press when I travel, choosing instead to stick to dumbbells.

As I mentioned in my earlier post “Winning,” I will be traveling for a significant portion of our current training cycle. Below I’ve provided the details of the last four weeks, including two travel weeks, of my programming. I am determined to be platform ready.

I start every workout with foam rolling, a dynamic floor warm-up, and an extended warm-up. The extended warm-up usually includes glute-ham raise, lat pull down or inverted row, carries, and bear crawl.

Training Week #3: Lexington, with coach

Day 1: Squat sets 45×10, 75×5, 105×5, 135×5, 165×3, 185×3, 185×2 (with focus on speed out of the hole) for 6 sets, 215×1

Accessory work included double goblet squat, glute ham, back extension, side plank and slow mountain climber. Finished with 4 sets of rope slams.

Day 2: Bench sets 45×10, 65×10, 80×5, 90×5, 100×5, 105×5, 105×5, 100×3 (with long pause at bottom) for 3 sets

Accessory work included DB press, one arm row, hammer curl, band triceps extension, and straight arm row.

Day 3: Low pin pull sets 95×10, 135×5, 165×5, 195×3, 235×3, 275×3, 315×3, 345×3 for 2 sets

Accessory work included DB press, split lunge, band pull apart, drunk turtle, and Jim’s glute blaster circuit. Finished with 8 sets of KB swings.

Day 4: Medicine ball throws and slams, prowler drag and push

Mental check: All the lifts felt great this week. Squats were light and explosive; bench felt solid; and I renewed some confidence after my heavy pin pulls.

Training Week #4: Travel week, 4 Day Cruise

Day 1: Wall sits, DB press, one arm rows, DB RDLs, static bear crawl holds, split lunges

Day 2: Push-ups, pull up holds, goblet squat, planks, carries, single leg glute bridges. Finished with 4 treadmill ‘pushes’.

Day 3: Deadlift sets 90×10, 135×10, 165×5, 195×5, 225×3, 255×3 for 4 sets

Accessory work included squat sets 45×10, 75×10, 105×5, 135×5, 155×8 for 3 sets. Also, band pull apart, DB press, split lunge, back extension and bear crawl.

Mental check: I gave myself permission to take this week off but I took ‘just in case’ programming with me. As it turned out, I got in my first workout in a hotel fitness room before getting on the boat. Day 2 was on the boat and I got in my last workout in Lexington (without Jim – he had left for his own cruise) before I jumped on another plane to Orlando. I was in Lexington for one day. As a side note, using the stairs provided some bonus conditioning – getting on the boat after our excursions at level 3 and going straight to the buffet (hungry teenagers!) on level 11 kicked my butt a few times. All in all, we had an amazing trip and I was satisfied that I got in ‘enough’ work.

Training Week #5 Travel Week, Orlando

Day 1: Squat sets 45×10, 75×10, 105×5, 135×5, 165×3, 185×2 for 6 sets, 215×1

Accessory work included band pull apart, DB squat, RDL, back extension, side planks and mountain climbers.

Day 2: DB floor press, single leg lowering, arm bar, one arm row, push-ups, assisted pull ups, hammer curls and triceps extension

Day 3: Jumps off a box from a seated position, DB floor press, single leg lowering, split lunges, knee raises while holding self on dip bar, single leg glute bridges, pull up holds, turkish get-ups, and finished with 4 sets of swings.

Mental check: My first two workouts were in Orlando and I felt good. I intentionally saved my deadlift workout for my first day back with Jim, so I admit I wasn’t thrilled that he opted for a ‘deload’ workout instead. It was Saturday and he had heavy squats planned for Monday….so I shut up and did what I was told.

Training Week #6 Lexington, with coach

Day 1: Squat sets 45×10, 75×10, 105×5, 135×5, 165×3, 195×3, 225×3, 240×3, 235×3 for 2 sets, 285 walk out only, 200 with 3 sec pause in the bottom x 3 for 3 sets

Accessory work included back extension holds, mountain climbers, and single leg glute bridge.

Day 2: Bench sets 45×10, 65×10, 75×5, 85×3, 95×3, 105×3 for 3 sets, 95×8 (close grip), 90×8 (close grip) for 2 sets

Accessory work included hip abductor with band around knees, one arm row, inclined DB press, half kneeling band pull apart, and Jim’s glute blaster circuit, “drunk turtle”, and finished with 2 rope slams

Day 3: Deadlift sets 135×10, 165×5, 195×3, 225×3, 255×1, 275 for 12 singles

Accessory work included pulls from blocks 275×8, 305×6 for 2 sets, 305×3. Also, DB press, band pull-over breathing. Finished with heavy (460#) prowler drag down and push back x 3.

Day 4: Inverted rows, medicine ball throws and slams and Turkish get-ups

Mental Check: Heavy squats felt a bit tentative so we reduced weight a wee bit. Not something I’m worried about. Pause squats are super challenging and they really help build my confidence. Jim’s three second count is the longest three seconds EVER! Walk outs are an important part of my mental game because I need to be familiar and comfortable with how heavier weight feels on my back. I was satisfied with bench especially given I’ve not been under the bar in 2 weeks. Deads felt heavy but it’s more of a mental issue; my technique is solid and Jim says I’m where I need to be. I anticipate some really challenging deadlift sessions to come and it’s going to be important that I stay out of my own way.






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