Day 8 – So you think you can train?

Posted: October 8, 2011 in Sadiv Sets for Strength + Speed Work

I’m playing catch-up with days 8 and 9 after a busy finish to the week – here goes nothing.

Day 8’s hard work and subsequent study have re-ittereated a well known fact…you’re always learning.

It’s not what you think you know, it’s what you know you don’t know.



Day 8’s lifts:

Deadlift (Sadiv)
Bench (Speed)
Row (Speed)


With the Deadlift, I felt a certain confidence return as we battled through the ramping stage until the Sadiv sets. Form was recorded at 110kgs and found satisfactory.

Focus points:

–          Feet placement (as if attempting to jump as high as possible)

–          Conscious tight grip of the bar

–          Chest up/forward until shoulders behind the bar

Definitely feeling the added benefit of recordings – initially a technique pointer, but when all errors are countered, it’s a confidence booster.

Ramped until 170kg where Ross failed (old 1RM). However he had been playing squash earlier and believes this to be the culprit, as he feels the same areas were being fatigued at the end of the squash session and the tail end of the Deadlift session.


Bench is fast becoming one of my favourite lifts. Normally people fall in love with what they’re good at – not the case here. Frankly, I’ve fallen into joy here because I was initially so terrible, yet have been coming along quickly.

Bench technique for myself used to be a non-entity. I knew what I had to be doing and figured I was doing it until watching the “So you think you can Bench?” series by Dave Tate. His focus on an ample warm-up and my new favourite concept of bracing put both of these ideas at the forefront of my mind.

Though warm-ups had been adequate, I have recently begun putting more effort into the warm-up sets as a way of truly preparing for the heavy work (focusing on rate of force development + muscular engagement), not just “warming-up”.  As for the bracing concept, I had always been aware of it and figured my core bracing was enough, but my focus on bracing specific to this lift (pulling the bar apart and shifting the shoulders back) has made me feel a lot stronger in the starting position as of late.

We ramped up to the old 1RMs (post 5×5) and blasted the speed-sets with an added 2.5kg.


Rows are the only lift which irritate that timeless shoulder issue, but unlike last time, I’m fighting with a strategy and I’m winning.

Warm-ups are a no-brainer, but added mobility work and conscious shoulder stability (shoulders back) mean that post-warm up, the pain is present with less and less vigour every time.

Focus points:

–          Shoulders drawn back

–          Elbows glide back (thinking lats, not biceps)

–          Get parallel (I’m slowly becoming a fan, but back fatigue will be an issue at heavier weights)

More recently, I’ve been concentrating on widening the base for this exercise (feet wider apart, hips back, chest up and forward). There is no detriment to this at all, purely gains via more focus on primary muscles activating and less on stabilizers making up a deficit from a narrow stance. On the whole, the centre of gravity is just a lot easier to control.


Learning things, smashing bars:

–          Go viral. If you get yourself on film, you’ll be much more aware of how you’re moving, and much more able to sort it out.

–          Think you know a lift? Re-think your strategy. Search it online and you may well re-learn something you’ve taken for granted.

–          Don’t slouch on the warm-up. Get warm, lift hard, lift heavy.

–          Exercise prior to…well…exercise…makes you less strong in the second effort. Simple, eh?

Day 9 posted tomorrow.

Go smash a bar.



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