Day 7 – Smile, it’s Monday.

Posted: October 5, 2011 in Sadiv Sets for Strength + Speed Work

Across the board, you’ll find that many athletes have pre-determined mental triggers to get them into “the zone”. For myself, music has always been a pretty sound bet – particular songs associated with previous mindsets or successes can bring back that drive in times of need.

The process before hitting the gym, personally, is always the same: drink a very milky coffee (a “Moffee”), get into the gym gear (same old beaten Eastern European circa 1991 tracksuit top) and listen to “Fame” by Kontraband (a song associated with an EliteFTS motivational video).

Normally, anything breaking that trend tends to throw me off a bit – Monday COULD have been such an occasion…we’d ran out of milk. It sounds like nothing, but it’s just part of the rhythm – one that I’ve grown used to. Couple that with some perceived dehydration and a low-calorie morning and I felt a bit miffed.

However, it was overcome in a pretty simple fashion – it pissed me off. If there’s ever a motivational emotion, it’s rage. It’s not a pleasant one, but it works nonetheless. We also knew we had carb-loaded the night before, muscular glycogen stores would not be an issue.

Point is: looking for motivation? Think about the last time you had a notable success. What was different? What were you listening to? What did you do prior to the gym? If it’s something as simple as a nutritional difference, that little change might be the key to a whole new league of performance.

————

We had a kick ass session.

First up – Squat.

We repeated the previous session and this time put up the 130kg in a much stronger/technical fashion. It had previously been “thrown” up – this time, we “drove” it up, so to speak. (more control of the bar and improved co-ordination)

There was some added confidence on my own part today. I asked Ross to tape the 110kg 5-rep set via my phone.  I’d suspected some off technique at the bottom of the squat, but wasn’t sure where my suspicions had stemmed from. Little did I know, I was actually performing better than I had thought.

We’ve been training without a mirror recently, purely by chance, you take whatever rack is available in the SPC. It has brought forward some confusion as I usually use it to track technique. Without the mirror, I’m relying on proprioception (the ability to sense where your body is). This is actually an advantage as I’m more aware of which muscles are coming into action. In time, this could actually cause improvements in lifting numbers as more attention is being paid to technique, co-ordination and order of muscular contractions.

I’ve read of this before courtesy of T-Nation, but seeing as you never really “choose” your rack in the SPC, I’ve never been able to put it into action. In future, if given the choice between the mirror or the wall, I’ll be taking the concrete.

However, if this does cause some uncertainty as it did in our case, see if you can get your technique filmed – you might be surprised or at least enlightened.

————

OHP was next.

Gains were apparent from the get-go – everything felt a tonne lighter. It’s too early to say that the Sadiv’s and speed-work is highly effective as a gainer, but what I can say so far is that it’s a cracking way of getting back into the game.

I certainly recommend using Sadiv sets to get yourself back on form after a lay-off. That said, I believe our combined speed-work has also been a factor, therefore what I can honestly say from our recent performance is that Sadiv Sets accompanied by speed-work will bring you back to lifting form in a very short amount of time.

Important focus points on the OHP:

–         Elbows forward, elbows high (sitting the bar on your anterior deltoids)

–         Press over-head and get UNDER the bar (tilt the torso forward)

Recently, I’ve opted the press overhead with a false grip. There’s not a tonne of difference, but the small difference there has been for myself has been a positive one. Grip is less challenged (if at all) though I feel this is beneficial as the lift is being powered by the triceps and shoulders exclusively (as well as the core/legs, of course).

————

Next-up, pull ups.

I’m continuing with sets of six in this exercise.

So far, success has been granted, being that it went from blatant failure and mild crying to 6,6,6,6,4,2. I will continue this until all 5 sets are carried out as sets of a straight 6.

Technique has improved, which is why I’m none too concerned about the slow development of the endurance – I’d been giving myself a free-pass with depth at the bottom of the pull. This type of self-pity will not get me anywhere…after “sucking it up”, I have begun progressing more honestly.

————

The Daily Know-How:

–         Mental triggers for success – do you have yours? Think about past achievements.

–         Technique curious? Record yourself – the mirror perspective is not perfect.

–         Feel like trying something new? With a spotter, lift with your eyes closed. The level of focus required increases, which may highlight hidden technique faults…get some feedback from your spotter!

–         Overhead press – the moment between reps is a short rest. Get the bar sitting on your deltoids. (Elbows forward, elbows high)

–         Get a grip – try the false grip on the overhead press (also recommended by Jim Wendler) but be wary if you have recent wrist issues.

–         A mistake without a lesson is a crime against mankind – if you’re forgiving yourself for a weakened performance, first ask why it was weak in the first place and make a plan to never let it happen again.

–         Suck it up.

Go train.

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