Day 9/Day 10 – Playing Catch Up

Posted: October 13, 2011 in Sadiv Sets for Strength + Speed Work

With university hotting up, free time is starting to vanish hour by hour. Unfortunately, updating CommonStrength begins to slow during these busy times, but alas, there always will be an update.

Day 9:

Squat (Sadiv)
OHP (Sadiv)
Pull-ups (30 reps)

Squat was taken up by 2.5kg on each lift, with a final 1 rep at 132.5kg. The idea is that the lift increases each Friday by only 2.5kg. The Sadiv set was performed at 112.5kg – a lift which will also increase each Friday.

As can be expected with continued effort, our lifts are beginning to improve significantly. Where the Sadiv’s had at a point been a grind, the bar is beginning to get some brief flight at the top of the lift now. We had been paying particular attention to applying as much force to the bar as possible (think “barbell through the ceiling”, not “beginning of lift to finish”). This is a very basic consideration in lifting, but often forgotten. For those who are asking why, research has shown that via the “Size Principle” maximum effort application requires an increased number of muscle fibres to come into play. For someone wanting to build muscle/maximize weight lifted, this is a good thing as it encourages hypertrophy from an increased number of muscle fibres and further promotes the neurological adaptations (MU recruitment) required to improve strength.

Technical points were much the same – tense core, legs spread, break parallel.

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OHP has nothing major to report other than continued progress.

A recent Wendler post promoted the OHP as a total body lift (which it is) – so get that core tensed hard and tighten your glutes as you fire the bar up.

Again, following shoulder mobility drills, there were no pain issues.

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Another positive development in pull-ups here as 5 sets of 6 straight were completed. This means that the next time pull ups occur, the work will be divided into 4 sets – 8,8,8,6. Same idea as always, gradual improvements with attention to detail.

————

DAY 10:

Session:

Squats (Sadiv’s)
Bench (Sadiv’s)
Rows (Sadiv’s)

————

Squats repeated as Friday – strong result and prepared fully for 135kg in the next squatting session.

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Bench, well, I’m loving it.

As stated in a recent post, it was once my weakest lift (still is) but is one I am thoroughly enjoying.
Today saw a new 1RM record for myself at 92.5kg. A lot of changes have come recently – an increased number of dietary calories, improved bracing, wider grip and increased enjoyment of this lift and of course the new regime. As to which ones are most responsible for the improved 1RM, I am unsure, but you what you can see clearly is that continued effort within the 90-100% range of a 1RM with gradual increments and appropriate hydration/caloric intake will result in improvements in performance.

Sure, that’s not novel and it’s common sense – but it’s inspiration next time you think “I can’t be arsed” with regards to attending the gym/skimping on fluids.

On the contrary, Ross saw no increases and has not surpassed his old 1RM yet (he in fact missed it). Why? His Achilles’ heel – dehydration. He needs to get his lazy ass a water bottle!

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Rows were maintained at 92.5kg for all 10 reps of the Sadiv’s.

Though this was lifted last time (last time we had jumped ahead, feeling we would gain too slowly otherwise) it felt relatively easier this time around, hence the sense of improvement.

Biggest issue this time around was a slippy bar – the SPC can be a sweaty place…

Solution? Chalk.

Done.

————

Two days of knowledge:

– Gradual increments = gradual success. Lifting, ironically, is a marathon, not a sprint.
– More evidence for the relevance of hydration to performance.
– You’ll be immobile in places you don’t even realize – discover Eric Cressey!
– The Big 6 (Deadlift, Squat, Bench, Row, OHP, Pull-up) are total body lifts – tight core, squeezed glutes.

I’ve been repeating myself a lot recently, but I consider it apt – my old rowing coach used to say “perfect practice makes perfect”.

Common sense rules apply to all forms of training – repeated practice with adequate fuel and satisfactory recovery in between practices is the only real way to get to where you want to be in sport. Successful athletes, genetics aside, are simply motivated people who learned good habits – sleeping, hydrating, eating enough and consciously engaging in the gym.

That said, your habits can also crush you. If you’re used to drinking heavily at weekends, used to procrastinating and used to drinking cola over water, you’ll get good at it. Do you need to be freed from your own habits? Only you can break yourself free.

Most individuals aren’t actually aware there’s a problem as they feel “fine”. I’d wager these individuals have never been healthy in the first place and probably have a pretty skewed view of what “fine” should be. So, next time you’re given the opportunity to take either a healthy choice or an unhealthy one, take the healthy one…just once. Notice how your day isn’t any worse? But hey, perhaps it’s not any better…get into the habit and tell me how you feel. I guarantee you’ll notice the positive difference. You’ll thank yourself in a few days time.

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