Before I just lay shit out though, I want to talk about WHY I am doing what I am doing and break some things down, at a layman level.
One of the things I drive home all the time in my articles is to know WHY you are doing the shit you are doing. Not just WHY, but legitimately why. For example......
"Why are you doing board presses?"
"Because my lockout sucks."
"But you can already board press more than you bench. So you don't really need to work on your lockout."
Thus, board presses aren't a legit "why".
My "why" for doing these phases are as so.....
- Overdevelop the areas that do the big work in the deadlift.
- Use the deadlift to build the deadlift after development is complete.
My feeling after the last meet was that I'm still underdeveloped in the areas needed for pulling big weights. My traps, hamstrings, and erectors all need to shit ton more development, size, and density.
Trap training twice a week will continue, however two more exercises will be introduced to help the erectors, rhomboids, and hamstrings. This pretty much completes the areas involved in big pulling.
The exercises I will use, and why I will use them goes like this.......
- Shrugs - Shrugging will continue. I feel once my shrugging is in the 700+ range for 5+ reps then upperback strength will not be an issue. My shrugging has always been weak, and while improved, still has a way to go. I also think that, regardless of what popular opinion is, traps play a big role in strength off the floor. Ever notice when you see a picture of a guy pulling with the bar just a few inches off the floor his traps look like they will explode? I also noticed when I emphasized shrugs this past summer that my strength off the floor improved, and I felt more "stable".
- Russian Leg Curls aka natural glute ham raises - These are hard and I suck at them. I spend a lot of time doing research on movements and everytime I looked into functional movements for the hamstrings, that also caused the most activation of the hamstrings, these popped up first. I won't lie, I hate these fuckers. I am terrible at them. Which is probably a good reason to do them, because they involve so much ham activity. Remember, do the shit you suck. The things you are good at will take care of themselves. Which also bring me to.....
- Hypers - I suck at these too. Again, this is probably indicative of the fact that my erectors aren't as strong as they need to be. I could have done GM's, but I can get good at GM's pretty easily. I gave GM's a run many years ago and never found them to do as much for me as advertised by some. In other words, they didn't cure cancer like I was told they did. So I will give hypers a run.
- Rows - This will include cable, pendlay, barbell, and dumbbell, whatever. This one is pretty simple. More rhomboids = more room for lockout strength. Contrary to popular belief, shrugs do not help with the lockout. Your rhomboids are the muscles that help your lockout in the deadlift. The bigger your rhomboids are, the higher the strength ceiling. Well, that pretty much goes for all of this.
So how am I going to set all this bullshit up? Let's talk about it.......
The next 4 weeks (I said 6 initially, but I may just go 4)
Press - usually an incline press or overhead. I'd like to incline 405 in the next month or so but it's not exactly a priority. Just something that would be nice.
Rows - 5-7 sets of 5 with a static weight. Usually t-bar or pendlay.
Rows - different row for 1 set of high reps to failure. Db or cable.
Curls - elbow health
Mid-shin deadlifts with shrug - 7-10x3, 1x10-20 as usual
Above the knee timed hold - 1x1 Will do these to improve grip.
Russian Leg Curls - until I die
Hypers - same as Russian leg curls
Restorative work -
PVC rolling on back and stretching.
Pause Squats - 3x3 Not going to try squatting heavy while I'm doing all of this low back work. That would be fairly stupid. However I still want my squat to stay strong, so I will push the pause squats a bit during this time. 455x3 is a best. So 475x3 would be a nice goal here.
Glute-Ham - until I die
Calves - Because I like my calves to stay big. That's the reason, and it's good enough.
Shrugs - 5x5, 1x20 as usual
Row - Probably Pendlays working up to a top triple
Weighted Hypers (on an angle) - These will be done on the angled hyper, using a bar. Not on my back, but from the floor. I have no idea what a decent weight for these are, but I suck at these so I will push hard.
Russian Leg Curls - Until I die
Weighted Ab Wheel - 3x10
Arms - a couple of sets for the ladies.
I will be dropping a little bit of cardio as well. Mainly because I'm working on a more areas, and rather than bump up calories, I am just going to drop cardio because I can sleep in a little later (I hope) and use a little less energy overall.
The results for the trap work exceeded my expectations. Now because of that, I won't accept anything less this go round for the back, erector, and hamstring work.
Also, if I get into the gym or a few weeks into it and something just isn't "right" I will make a change. This usually doesn't mean wholesale changes, but if I feel like my erectors get chronically overtrained or if I feel like an overuse is coming on, I will immediately change something. There's always going to be some trial and error in these things.
Let me also add, I will be taking this week off for the most part, in order to rest up a bit and get my neck worked on. I might do some light stuff but this will not start until next Monday.