Team Training Cycle Complete: Brick and Mortar.

September 17, 2014

This week, the team is completing the first phase of their mesocycle building towards the American Open.  The way I format my team, we all follow the same schedule as if we’re all competing at national meets.  I e-mail them each a copy of a 4 week lifting block and an 8 week individualized squat cycle.  Actually it’s not a squat cycle.  In general, I’m not a fan of squat cycles.  They play a part in a lifting program as a whole, so I send them “squats within a lifting program” cycles.

Usually these cycles will be a combination of “daily max” and % based work.  For the percentages, I go through the effort of plugging in their actual max and the program will automatically subtract 10% of that for their training max and then all their working weights for the next 8 weeks will automatically fill in.  I’m strict that my trainees stick to their target weights for a number of reasons, but mostly because it makes it easier for me to track progress.  My philosophy is: “you’re welcome to do less if you’re feeling banged up.  But if you want to do more, lets have a conversation about it.”  For this particular cycle, we (I took most of it off) did 3x a week of back squats and no front squats.  I wouldn’t say that’s common and if someone were to ask me, “hey, if I want to get good at weightlifting, should I just back squat only?” I would say no.  But it made sense within the context of our training schedule and I saw fantastic results with the majority of my trainees, both with the lifts and back squats.  I’ll post some video of some recent training PRs made by my athletes when I get some time.  Over the next 8 weeks, we’ll again shift focus, including front squats.  Less back squatting within a program opens up room for other things like more accessory pulling work, so I’ll most likely include more of that.

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