What I know Now Way Outweighs What I “Thought” I Knew

Training with weights has always been a passion of mine dating back to my junior year of high school or so.  My school didn’t put as large of an emphasis on weight training as I did.  I lifted “hard” often five days a week, monday through friday my junior and senior year of high school.  I thought I was a pretty tough guy because I just threw on heavy weights and did as many exercises as I could until I got “tired.”  Back then I didn’t know any better I thought by doing this I was going to turn into Ray Lewis.  At first the results were great.  I was putting up huge numbers for about the first month or two and seen myself beating PR’s constantly.  After the two months I began to plateau and was puzzled to why?  Why would I not keep getting stronger if I was contantly lifting heavy weights with tons of different exercises a day?  This same thing went on until about half way through my Junior year of college.  For five years I thought I was big, bad, and a great lifter!  But was I?

The answer is no!  I didn’t know how to program a workout.  I didn’t follow a workout plan and I didn’t ever give my body the proper rest it deserved!  Second semester of my Junior year in college I had been amazed at the physical speciment Brian Cushing was so I youtube’d his training.  In one video he benched 225 35 times and from there I was hooked.  I began looking up workouts and lifts that were actually beneficial.  Then I met my boy Dylan Poesch playing semi-pro ball.  I thought I was pretty bad ass then I did a dynamic effort lower body day with him.  We did box squats with 225 and monster mini bands.  I was overwhelmed.  I never done anything like that in my life.  We did 8 sets of 2 and I was dead.  We then followed it up with some heavy ass one legged split squats and band good mornings but we didn’t stop there.  I was introcuded to heavy ass sled drags and prowler pushes.  I watched videos of guys sled dragging and thought man that looks easy.  We had over 200 pounds of weight on and dragged it 20 yards.  I never worked so hard in my life.  From that day I knew I was going to take my training seriously and start to sample a workout plan made famous by Joe DeFranco.

It was that summer where I saw my biggest gains!  Do you think I lifted heavy ass weights five times a week doing as many exercises until I “tired” myself out?  NO!!!  I trained smart, ate smart, and was in the best shape out my life!  If I wasn’t lifting heavy ass weights five days a week what exactly was I doing?  Well to start out I sank the five training days a week down to four.  I learned that rest is just as important if not more important than the workout itself!  My typical Monday included a “Maximal-Effort Upper Body” day.  In this I followed Jim Wendler’s 5-3-1 workout.  This program may not be liked by everybody but I love it.  I mean Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is that 400 pound bench everybody is after.  The 5-3-1 is designed to slowly increase your maxes by 5 pounds every 4 weeks.  Think about it, four weeks is roughly a month so if you increase your bench max five pounds every month and times that by the number of months in a year that’s a 60 pound increase in your bench over the course of a year.  I think I’d take a 60 pound increase rather than seeing huge gains right away then wearing out and plateauing because of overtraining.

My Tuesday was very similar to my Monday.  I did “Maximal Effort Lower Body.”  In this I also used the 5-3-1.  My main lift was a box squat and what I learned from box squats is that they are more benefical to me than regular squats.  I have a bad left knee and doing regular squats killed my knee!  When I switched to box squats with an adequate stretching routine my tendonitis in my knee got WAY better!  So the first time I maxed out in the box squat I was doing roughly 400 pounds.  By the end of the summer I put up a 1RM of 500 pounds.  Now I bounced off the box a little in doing it but still gaining almost 100 pounds in your squat in one summer is pretty good I’d say!  After I followed this up with a One-Legged exercise for example one-legged split squats, lunges, step-ups.  Then I finished with either band good mornings or glute ham raises.  Notice I only did three lifts on this day but they were VERY effective lifts and I saw major gains doing it.

Wednesday was my rest day!  But just because it was my rest day I didn’t take it lightly!  I still dieted well this day and I stretched out to keep the lactic acid from building!

Thursday was my “Repitition Upper Body” day.  On this day I benched 50% of my max on bench and worked on bar speed.  Notice I didn’t go heavy on bench this day!  I do a 50% day so I can work on good bench speed.  Bar speed is very important in having a BIG bench.  That is the major difference between my Monday workout to my Thursday workout.

Friday I did a Dynamic Lower Body day which I think is my favorite day!  This day you work more on speed and explosion and power.  Notice again I don’t go and squat heavy weight I go in and squat around 50% of my 1RM again working on speed and explosion while keeping proper form!  I didn’t limit myself on the other jumping/sprinting exercises I did either.

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “What I know Now Way Outweighs What I “Thought” I Knew

  1. I lke it man! but when we did dynamic squats weused AVG bands we didnt even use monster minis!! yeah man im glad i could introduce you to the Joe D methods, and you did a good job programming your article, mine is one paragraph haha

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