Being Stronger

Following on from the outline of my strength training program in Getting Stronger, I thought it was relevant to discuss what progress I have made. Currently I have completed Phases 1 & 2, which has covered General and Maximal Strength along with setting the platform for the next Power phase.

The key difference between any previous programs that I have followed is that I have moved away from the higher repetitions and reduced the number of overall exercises. Furthermore, I have moved a little further away from isolated muscle work and machines. The main focus is on the basic compound movements such as squats and chin ups.

So how has the program gone?

FATIGUE

I haven't felt the usual, almost debilitating local muscle fatigue immediately after the session that I have experienced in the past. The shakes and difficulty in walking down stairs just haven't appeared. Furthermore, I am able to train hard in the sport specific work after only 36-48 hours instead of 72 hours as is the past. The strength work, does not seem to be limiting my sport specific training at all.

INJURY RISK

This is always hard to qualify, so this is mainly based on subjective observations. I haven't had an injury during this program, my muscles and joints don't feel extra tight after weights and most importantly my range of movement actually appears to be increasing. All this suggests to me is that I am now at less chance of sustaining an injury.

STRENGTH

This is the key. At every single strength session I have made substantial improvements. This is not just in one or two lifts per day, but almost always across the board in every lift performed. The weights have gone up nearly every time, and for those time they haven't, then the repetitions have increased. I am now able to lift heavier than I ever have in the past. For I am now able to do a full back squat at 120% of my bodyweight for 3 sets of 5 reps. This is the first time I have ever lifted more than my bodyweight, even for a single lift on partial squats.

POWER

Hard to define at this stage as I have been very conservative on the weights for the snatches and cleans, but I do feel very comfortable with techniques now. I guess the next four weeks will show how this goes.

SUMMARY

I am extremely happy with the program. I am setting personal bests in strength, have less fatigue and the strength work actually takes up less time than it used to. Looks like its all been win, win, win with this new program.

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