Strong, Ugly Jerks and Buff Women

Since Kyle (KG to my JB) and I have been training together we’ve been doing some kind of olympic lift variant before every training session; hang snatches on deadlift day, rack jerks on bench day and hang cleans on squat day. The rationale, in case you were curious, is that deadlift day is our heaviest day so we use our lightest oly lift, and vice versa on squat day. Jerks seemed like a good speed/preparatory movement for the bench.

That’s the plan anyway. In reality, the oly lifts turn into a second max effort movement, so we hit a heavy single, double or triple every session. This is probably because we’re all big dumb animals and we have to show who’s boss. I’ve been hitting PR’s for myself on the jerk, and I think it’s starting to impact my subsequent benching. The snatches and cleans don’t seem to be negatively affecting my deads and squats, but I’ve seen it written that what’s good for the squat isn’t always good for the bench. It’s also possible my upper body just can’t keep up with that much abuse, either by design or because of conditioning. It might not be an issue anyway, because once I take a deload I may find that my bench is stronger than I thought it was. After all, all of my accessory work has been going up.

power jerk from the rack: 135×3, 185×3, 205×3, 225×3, 235×1, 245×2 PR These were ugly too. I’m good for more when I get my drop into the split stance improved.

2-board bench: 225×3, 275×3, 315×3, 335×3?, 365xmiss I also think a factor is that I’m going too heavy. I either need to do higher reps (3-5) or make smaller jumps so I’m getting more volume in. It feels more aggressive to use larger jumps with higher reps, but I feel the other approach may ultimately be more successful.

incline log press: 180×8, 230×8, 270×2 This was a PR. Two weeks ago, 270 straight-up stapled me.

pull-ups: bwx5x4 (setsxreps) These felt good. I must be losing more weight because my pullups feel strong.

one arm dumbbell bench: 60×25 I’ve been doing these with my left arm first, since I can tell that it’s less strong/stable than the right.

cable crossover: 50×10

YTWL: 5×12 I don’t know if we used a different incline for these or what, but they were hella hard today.

face pull: 6x2x15

one arm pressdown abs: 200×15, 190×15 I’m pretty sure I didn’t use the same weight for each set, and at least one of them I did the whole stack. I have a bad habit of just doing whatever is on the machine/bar even if Kyle changes it. I don’t mind if this means I do more work/weight, but I don’t like to shortchange myself.

Our female partners did:

jerks: I don’t know what they worked up to, but they really got the hang of these. I was a little iffy on these, and didn’t want to devote a lot of training time to them if they didn’t pick them up right away, but it only took a couple sets for them to bust them out like champs. I like to have them start out with the same “big lift” that we do, so our team has a little more solidarity. I never want them feeling left out or segregated.

zercher squats with the EZ bar

band assisted pullups: I could tell they were a little apprehensive about these. I don’t blame them, even a lot of fellas can’t do a pullup. I also had them using partner assistance to get one or two good reps, with no help on the eccentric. The idea for the progression is to go from partner+two bands ->two bands->partner+one band->one band->partner+no bands->no partner+no bands and then once they’re doing regular pullups just progress in reps. Just in case you’re curious, I would then progress from regular pullups to partner resistance eccentric->weighted pullups->partner resistance eccentric+weight.

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Strong, Ugly Jerks and Buff Women

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