So the idea for this strongman comp was for me to go back to my ‘roots’ per-se, and get back into some serious heavy barbell work so I can kick some ass at this comp.
There’s one problem: After 4 weeks of deadlifts, military presses, and bench presses – I feel like I’m regressing.
That’s not to say this stuff isn’t good for its purposes; but for the past 6 months I’ve been waking up more and more energised; having no DOMS sitting at my desk in the office; and basically feeling (to borrow a phrase from Pavel) “Fast and loose” – and I’m begrudged to lose that.
So for the past week and a half I’ve been attending Bikram Yoga classes (survived four so far; and to survive is definitely the appropriate verb), and have dropped deadlifts from my programme after hitting a comfortable 230kg for the second time in the training cycle.
That’s all I can say. Those two changes, and I feel like me again; this lead me to the following decisions (pretty much in this order):
- Deadlifts are off the menu;
- Stretching and yoga need to be put back on the menu (in the case of the former with greater emphasis).
I’ve also been checking out some vids of Scott Sonnon‘s, and re-reading a few books of his I’ve neglected for the past few months (Intu-flow; the big book of clubbell training) and I’m reminded why they struck a chord with me the first time. Given this, I’ve also decided to drop useless half-plane movements (namely the bench press, and the military press), and focus on functional, multi-planar strength.
Basically I’ve decided to instead do loads of power cleans every day; as part of a complex (or “superset” for all you bodybuilders) along with front squats, and agility band sprints.
I’m following this with a few circuits of multi-planar exercises, using a nice mix of plyometrics, single leg and balance drills, clubbells, kettlebells, and gymnastic rings. For example, today’s circuit (using gymnastic rings) was:
- 20 pistol squats (2 sets of 5 each side) with a 12kg kettlebell
- 10 jumps over approximately a 30″ box (so kind of a combined box and depth jump)
- Cutting side-to-side for 20 reps
- Dead-hang pullups with rings to 2 reps short of fail with legs held straight out in-front (about 8 reps)
- ice-cream makers to near-fail (4-6 reps)
- wipers to near-fail (core exercise – google it; 12-16 reps)
- skin the cat, 4 reps
- body flyes with rings set near the ground, 5 reps
- plyobox pushups to near-fail, 8-10 reps (see here, but more explsoive. Kudos to Tim Ferriss for showing me this)
Go straight from one to the next without significant pause. Total of 3 circuits; 2-3mins rest between circuits.
Yes, this was after 5 sets of power clean complexes. I swear my heart almost a-sploded.
So yes – no deadlifts in the run up to a comp. Am I nuts? Time will tell ladies and gentlemen, but know this: I feel much much better training this way.
This is, after all, FULLCIRCLESTRENGTH.
FUCK THE BENCH PRESS.