straight up strength

straight up strength

I’ve been mixing up my training a bit over the last few months. Mostly because of travel (for work and for fun), but also because I love learning and I’ve had a few opportunities to work with different trainers which means I get to learn new things. Yay!

My training (with Ten) right now is focusing on getting competition ready, but for the previous six weeks or so, I was training with Jeff Smith, who taught me some new ideas for getting stronger. Since Tricia asked what a week’s worth of training looks like, and I happen to have videos for that particular program, I thought I’d share them here. Next up I’ll share what my powerlifting training looks like.

Time to Get Stronger

So, with Jeff, I was working on getting stronger, not with a sport specific focus, just straight up strength. I really enjoyed this change of pace because I got to try new things and to see how different strategies can work towards moving past a plateau. Jeff taught me about:

  • compound sets (my new favorite thing is to work the same muscle group back to back – especially glutes!)
  • isometric holds (strangely satisfying)
  • the value of variation (a lot of powerlifting training is focused on training specificity, but we talked a lot about identifying and addressing weaknesses through variation)
  • upper / lower splits (technically, he convinced me to try an upper / lower split, and so far I like it)
  • creatine (after hearing about this supplement for at least a year from various people, Jeff’s super simple and concise explanation for how it works and why I should try it actually got me to put some in my Amazon shopping cart and try it out. I’m anxiously awaiting my gainz)

A Week of Straight up Strength

So, here’s what a sample training week, with an upper / lower body split, focused on straight up strength looks like:

Monday: Lower Body – Squat Focus

Switching up my #training from full body to an upper lower split... Today was #legday

Here’s exactly what we did on this day:

1a. Barbell split squat (lunge) 40kg 5×5/leg

1b. Squat 40kg 5×10

2a. RDL 55kg 3×12

2b. Hanging knee raise 3×12

3a. DB Lateral lunge 6kg 1×12/leg, 4kg 2×12/leg

3b. DB Russian twist 9kg 3×12

4a. Cable abduction (aspire 2) 4×15

4b. Weighted Bird dog plank 5kg4x12/leg (so hard)

4c. Sled push 40kg (on sled) 4x back & forth

Tuesday: Upper Body – Bench Focus

Today's #training with @jeffsmithfitness (upper body focus)... Managed to film my last set of almost everything, so #exhaustion...

Here’s exactly what we did on this day:

1a. Bench 40kg 5×5

1a. Push-up 15, 15, 13, 10, 8

2a. Elbows out row 12.5kg 2×12/arm 15kg 1×12 

2b. DB Curl to press 6kg 3×12

3a. Sunrise/sunset 18kg bar 3×12

3b. Weighted dips chains 4×10

4a. Cable abduction (aspire 2) 4×15

4b. Jump squat 4×15

4c. Sled push 40kg 4xback & forth

4d. Cable kick back (aspire 5) 4×15

Thursday: Lower Body – Deadlift Focus

#legday is my favorite day! Today was #deadlift day!

Here’s exactly what I did on this day:

1a. Sumo Deadlift 75kg 5×5

1b. Banded KB swing 16kg 5×15 

2a. Deficit deadlift 60kg 3×10

2b. KG single arm Bulgarian split squat 20kg 3×10 

3a. KB Walking Lunges 12kg  3×12/leg (no 14kg KB, 16kg was too much)

3b. Single leg RDL 16kg 3×12/leg

3b. Bird dog plank 3×12/leg

4a. Cable abduction 5kg 4×15/leg

4b. Squat jump 4×15

4c. Cable adduction 3.75kg 4×15

4b. V-ups 4×15

5a. Flexibility for bench

5b. Thoracic mobility

Friday: Upper Body – Row Focus

#upperbody #training today, focus on #back & #shoulders. Somehow I managed to restrain myself and not do a single thing for legs!

Here’s exactly what I did on this day:

1a. Row 37.5kg 5×5

1b. Inverted row 5x to failure

1b. Band Face pull 5×15

2a. OHP 25kg 3×10

2b. Assisted pull ups 3×6

3a. DB Decline press 12kg 3×12

3b. DB Back fly (prone rear delt raise) 4kg 3×12

4a. Landmine row 20kg 3×12 

4b. Landmine press (single arm) 5kg 12, 8

4c. Landmine sunrise-sunset 3×12

4d. Reverse crunch 3×12

5a. Standing single arm cable row 7.5kg 4×12/arm

5b. Pallof press 7.5kg 4×5 with 10 sec hold

5c. Cable Straight arm Lat pull down 7.5kg 4×12

5d. Push up 4×12

Saturday: My choice!

This particular week, I did a full body hypertrophy day:

Just for fun I did all the #powerlifting things today, all at 60% and paused, in #compoundsets (thanks @jeffsmithfitness). It was a 💩load of #volume and super fun!

Here’s exactly what I did that day:

1a. Pause squat 50kg 5×10

1b. Jump squat 5×15

1c. Wall sit 5×30 sec

2a. Pause DL 60kg 5×10

2b. Double front rack Bulgarian split squat 8kg 5×10/leg

2c. Hamstring curl 5×10

3a. Pause bench 30kg 3×10

3b. Push up 3×10

3c. DB bent over row 18kg 3×10/arm

4a. Constant tension hip thrust w/band 40kg minibar 6×10

5a. Band shoulder activation 3×15

5b. Scapular wall slides 3×15

5c. Mobility for bench

5d. Thoracic mobility

I really enjoyed this style of training, it was fun and quick on most days, and combined a lot of what I learned from the powerlifting training I did with Jamal, as well as the two programs I completed, but just different enough to be interesting. Depending on how my current training goes, I could see myself trying this style again, maybe with some adaptions here and there to keep up with what I’m learning from Ten now.

What does a week of your training look like?

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