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Old 03-22-2012, 10:29 AM   #521
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5 months into this program. My raw totals are up nearly 200 pounds during this time.
Excellent.

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Recently I fell into a pattern of only working to a heavy single or double on most squat and deadlift days. While this is not optimal, I found it allowed me to heal several minor strains, and will return to using method this when I pick up a strain or pain. My numbers still appear to be going up, even with this minimal volume. I have hit PRs during this time, including a huge squat PR.
Just to play Devil's Advocate, what could be more optimal than hitting the lifts in the exact manner you wish to display strength in them i.e, for singles?

Something to bear in mind post-Meet, your numbers are going up and injuries feel good. That's not to be underestimated especially at your level of strength.

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I am currently squatting heavy 3x a week, working to a max set for that day. Some days it's a max double, some days a single, some days are merely survival mode. Bench I have been hitting heavy 2-3x a week, and deadlifts have been 3x a week but using:

Day 1 - Heavy deads
Day 2 - Rack pull and shrug
Day 3 - RDLs

At my first meet 5 months ago I hit a 1501 raw total. At minimum in April I expect a 1650 total, though 1700 is a possibility.
Excellent, can you see yourself using a 4x a week frequency in the future?

In regards to your question, I generally gravitate towards singles and unless I have a very good reason not to (long-term stalling etc) I probably will stick to singles for the main lifts. I'm a little more open to sets/reps on the other stuff though, like upper back and shoulder work.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:43 PM   #522
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Just to play Devil's Advocate, what could be more optimal than hitting the lifts in the exact manner you wish to display strength in them i.e, for singles?
Point taken.

I guess in only hitting 3-4 max lifts per week in squats I feel mentally underworked. I've been asking myself, is this enough? Can it be enough?

The result of the progress answers the question...is it enough? It has been enough. Sometimes I feel I should be doing more, but I guess it comes down to...why do more if I am healing and hitting PRs?

I know this is pretty much all Aita did each day, though more frequently than me. He's also half my age and prettier.

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Excellent, can you see yourself using a 4x a week frequency in the future?
I really can on bench and squats. Easy. Bench I rarely see a short circuit caused by benching. Most times if I feel wobbly under the bench it was from a max squat session. When I say max, I mean a new squat PR.

When I max squat my CNS crumbles for 3-4 days. Everything feels re-wired. I get shaky and everything feels unbelievably heavy - not just squats. All lifts.

If I stay below 95% I think I could bench and squat 6x a week if I wanted to, if done wisely. The question for me is all about programming...when to add them, and how to add them. Part of the solution will require me to lift earlier in the day so I am not rushed. This isn't an issue. I just need to get in the habit.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:53 PM   #523
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The result of the progress answers the question...is it enough? It has been enough. Sometimes I feel I should be doing more, but I guess it comes down to...why do more if I am healing and hitting PRs?
I think that mentality and that dichotomy is something I struggle with as well. For me the singles offer something which multiple sets/reps perhaps don't; exercise form.

For me, reps done as singles for the main work represent the ultimate in specificity. As long as enough singles are done (in the region of 10) I can concentrate on form from light to maximal. When I do sets/reps the emphasis is more on focusing on 'getting your reps' rather than what the reps look like. Now this might just be me being amateur! But perhaps not.

For me a sets/reps workout might look like this:

140kg x 3, 3, 3, 3, 3

Whereas a daily max might look like this:

100kg x 1, 110kg x 1, 120kg x 1, 130kg x 1, 140kg x 1, 150kg x 1

Each rep I can concentrate on my set-up, form, breathing everything.

I know, I should be able to do that on the sets/reps as well and more chances to do so but for whatever reason it's not the same. Perhaps it's because of fatigue or that a rep in between others isn't the same as a rep on it's own. I don't know!!!

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If I stay below 95% I think I could bench and squat 6x a week if I wanted to, if done wisely. The question for me is all about programming...when to add them, and how to add them. Part of the solution will require me to lift earlier in the day so I am not rushed. This isn't an issue. I just need to get in the habit.
Right, so staying under 95% or even 90% may possibly work better with more frequency.

Some of what I've said here doesn't seem to make much sense logically, but instinctively this feels right.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:01 PM   #524
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A very broad article but one that I found interesting and sparked some thought...

The Immense Respect I Have For Ivan Abadjiev. | Stronger and Faster Than Yesterday
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:47 PM   #525
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I think that mentality and that dichotomy is something I struggle with as well. For me the singles offer something which multiple sets/reps perhaps don't; exercise form.

I know, I should be able to do that on the sets/reps as well and more chances to do so but for whatever reason it's not the same. Perhaps it's because of fatigue or that a rep in between others isn't the same as a rep on it's own. I don't know!!!
Well I am the same way. It's harder to put all my focus into perfect form on a set of multiple reps. I am focusing on form, no doubt, but I also have to concentrate on other things like...am I going to hit failure, why did my hamstring quiver, and is it going to be ok on the next rep, etc.

Thinking about singles, and how much is needed, I wonder if the question is more:

How many minimum do I need each week to practice my form as opposed to the question...what is the bare minimum I need for progression?

I fear doing only 3 max singles each week can be too little simple from a form standpoint. Merely speculation, but a good question.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:50 PM   #526
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A very broad article but one that I found interesting and sparked some thought...

The Immense Respect I Have For Ivan Abadjiev. | Stronger and Faster Than Yesterday
Good read. Pulling some quotes:

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In weightlifting, I strongly believe, periodization is probably the one thing that destroys progress in weightlifting more than anything else. Based on my studying of Tudor Bompa’s books (I don’t believe in reading notes of people that interpret and add their things. I want the authentic ones, to understand the creation of the idea and how people used that as a root to develop things) one comes to understand, the PURPOSE of periodization was to help athletes of sports, that do not specifically training in weightlifting, improve their performance in their given activity. The strength and power developed in the weight room was to assist in their bloody sport.

There needed to be a balance between time spent developing their own given sport and time in the gym. Now… that makes perfect sense. That’s extremely smart.
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However, when you’re already in the gym and your sport, is LIFTING the barbell…in the gym. Do you think there’s any need, to “PERIODIZE?” Right so maybe you’re a swimmer, you’ve got to balance aerobic strength, anaerobic strength, technique and consuming 10,000 calories a day. Of course you’d have to back off a bit as competition closes. But your sport is weightlifting!! What the hell, are you doing, backing off for? What? You’re going to need to sacrifice your explosive power for aerobic strength because your competition is 2 hours long? Yeah, 2 hours, but you lift for maybe 30 minutes after including warm ups.

So what Ivan Abadjiev has done is, thrown that mentality out and made athletes really work, hard in the gym and behave like it’s a competition. And that’s worked fantastically.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:30 PM   #527
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5 months plus in and I realized I no longer bat an eye at training squats and deads whenever I want. It feels natural to train hard, and if I want to do squats and deads in the same day it's second nature. It has become easy, and mentally easier.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:07 AM   #528
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Learned some interesting things about volume and frequency on the deadlift the last 2 months. Body handled deads 2x a week if they were variations and not from the floor. In fact, using this my deads are moving back up again. So I think I found a nice sweet spot.

Been sticking with RDLs, low rack pulls and Rippetoe/Starr/Uber shrugs.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:32 AM   #529
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I think variations are key for the deadlift, seems to be what people are doing with this type of training (Tom Martin, Siders etc). I think at least some if them need to be rotated off the floor though.

In regards to stuff feeling lighter, I'm the same way. It wasn't long ago that 400 felt rough on my back, yesterday's 600 though didn't feel too bad at all.

On another note; i feel like after the meet, some more balanced training will be useful long term, leading into next year.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:43 AM   #530
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Yeah I'm not saying I never pull off the floor. Simply that it's the most taxing variation. I did low rack deads twice in 4-5 days this week and they don't tax me nearly as hard as floor pulls.

On another note, I have some changes planned myself. My bench is in a holding pattern so I am going to introduce a bit more volume. Nothing substantial, but a little tester.
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