We are often asked what our secret is for lifting heavy. Surprise! It’s no secret, our coach, Jim Laird programs our training. We are very lucky to have a coach that is concerned about our long-term health as well as our current personal goals. Really, this is the key to our success. We consistently under-lift during training, saving our max effort lifts for meets, which occur twice a year. This doesn’t mean we throw around pink dumbbells, our training is still heavy, but is based on a percentage of our max. This allows us to focus on proper form and building strength throughout the training cycles, saving our bodies from unnecessary wear and tear.
I recognize not everybody has access to a coach like Jim, and that’s sad, but all is not lost. Molly Galbraith wrote an article on how to tell if your trainer knows what they’re doing, which you can find here. If a trainer is not an option in your area, there are great coaches that do distance programming. I think it’s important to at least have someone check and correct your form if needed. With distance or online coaching you can send videos for critique, which is not as ideal as live corrections, but it’s definitely better than nothing.
For strength goals, some sort of periodization program is typically used, which is basically just having a plan for your workouts over a set number of weeks with changing percentages of load. Jim used a modified version of Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program for our first meet and a version of Brandon Lilly’s cube method for our past two meets. You can design your own program if you’re so inclined, but I find the details quickly become overwhelming. One of the many advantages of having a great coach is eliminating the guesswork from your training. I show up, do the work, and don’t have to worry about the plan. Jim knows what he’s doing, the results speak for themselves.
If you are interested in hands on training with Jim and several other fabulous coaches, the Train Like a Girl 2 seminar is your opportunity. See the website for complete details, and as always, feel free to email us with any questions- firstname.lastname@example.org.