It’s about fixing my squat.
As I thought about the problem, I realized I wanted a few things:
- More warmup
- More workup
- Perhaps less volume
I want more warmup because I have my knee issues and noticed that things still felt tight and creaky when I hit the top sets. I’ve actually noticed that across the board a little more warm-up is proving to be A Good Thing™ for me. I figure if I can get more comfortable, more in the groove, that should help. Plus, it’s more opportunities to feel right about and work on technique.
More workup because I felt like I didn’t have enough opportunities to ensure I was where I needed to be. Traditional 5/3/1 is 6 sets, but if you look beyond (no pun intended), there’s a longer workup. Again, I think I need that to help with my groove, technique, and just getting my body in the right place.
Singles. Because those will give me better confidence. Put everything into that 1 rep, because I have a tendency to try to spread/pace things if I know I have to do more reps. I expect this should help me with technique and confidence – esp. because I can tell myself I just have to nail this rep 110%.
And less volume? Yeah, because the irritation in the knees is flaring up a bit. I love volume. I love just doing lots of work. However, I expect it’s taking a toll on my aging body. Long have I heard part of the trick is doing as little work as possible that still enables you to make progress. Not necessarily embracing that yet, but it’s certainly on my mind more to try to find out how far I can dial it back and still progress.
As I started to figure out what I wanted to do and laid some things on paper, I realized it was starting to look like Paul Carter’s Strong-15 progression. Not exactly, but close enough that I opted to just pull out that Strong-15 spreadsheet to get myself some numbers. I plugged in 355 as the 3rd cycle goal then it scaled back from there. Given where I am in the current progression vs. how things looked, I started at the “cycle 2, week 2” which is basically where I am in this current 5/3/1-based cycle. Just went with that, with a little more warm-up.
I liked how things went. I used the extra warm-up to get in the groove and loosen myself up. For example, with the empty bar I would sit in the hole, let things stretch a bit, and work to just let things feel better.
Then the work up was longer, a little less weight, which I felt let me focus on making what work I had to do be good work.
Then the singles, and I got a little unsure about the top set, but I kept telling myself it’s just 1 rep and just sink it and make it work well. I wish I had videoed it because it felt like I hit depth but it also went quick so I’m not 100% sure. Oh and there’s that — I’m working on keeping tight in the descent because that helps me a lot, but before I was going very slowly; now I’m trying to find how fast I can go but still be tight. I want to ensure I get some sort of stretch reflex, but the tightness on the descent is still vital. So I was a little faster, it’s not a huge speed-up, but something. I’ll find it.
Anyways, I was pretty happy with how it felt. Time will tell if this is what I need or not.
Pauses were fine. I think down the line I might want to change them to high bar, but for now as I’m trying to get my groove back, I’ll keep it low bar. Hip draaave (said like Marc Rippetoe).
The leg presses were fine. I want to start upping this slightly, so I did.
I am dropping front plate raises due to the elbow. I was going to try cable lateral raises but all the equipment was taken up by classes today, so I just did DB’s. It was a little stressful on my elbow area, so I just gotta keep it light. I might even go lighter next week with more reps to see how that fares.
Then I tried the reverse curls. No go. That was just too painful on the elbow. Straight bar and total pronation was no-go. EZ-bar with slightly less pronation was better but still too much. Oh well.
5th cycle, leader-2; was 5/3/1-based, now trying to fix my squat
- Squat (superset with band pullaparts)
- bar x 10
- 135 x 8
- 165 x 5
- 190 x 4
- 225 x 3
- 250 x 2
- 265 x 1
- 290 x 1
- 300 x 1
- Pause Squats
- 230 x 3
- 230 x 3
- 1-Leg Leg Press
- sled x 20e
- 45 x 12e
- DB Lat Raises
- 20e x 12
- 20e x 12
- 20e x 12