Training Update – Getting Realistic

Had to make an adjustment to my training for a couple of reasons.  First, no matter how I try to convince myself otherwise, I’m not really in a position to focus on Powerlifting or am I prepared physically or mentally for the training.  Second, I need to stop thinking about training and just go train.

I really have no business training using a Westside style/template.  It’s one thing if I actually trained at Westside, and had someone coaching me where I didn’t have to think, I could just do.  But I have to figure it out, and I’m spending too much time and energy worrying about what lift to do, what my PR is, and how many reps to do today.

So I’m going to use Wendler’s 5/3/1.  It’s simple, it’s effective.  Sometime later this year I’ll decide if I can really focus on Powerlifting.  I expect I will at some point, but not right now (and to be honest, I’m at a point where it just doesn’t matter, if I get stronger I can always just show up and lift in a meet).

If you are unfamiliar with 5/3/1, I recommend you buy the book.  It’s something like $20, and it’s worth it.  Out of respect for Jim Wendler, I’m not going to publish all of the percentages or routines (you can probably figure them out if you try), but I will give you an idea of how it works.

I’m taking my 1RM for the Press, Deadlift, Bench Press, and Squat, then taking 90% of that to get a training max.  I then use that training max for all percentage calculations.  There’s one day a week for each lift.  Week 1 is 3 sets of 5, week 2 is 3 sets of 3, and week 3 is a set of 5, a set of 3, and a single.  Each set is at a prescribed percentage of the training max, and each cycle (3 weeks, 4 if there’s a deload) I increase the training max by 5-10 pounds.  The last set can be more than the prescribed reps if I feel up to it.  While this might sound a little complicated, it’s not, and once I plug everything in to a spreadsheet, I have a year of training set, all I have to do is write down what to do that day and go lift.

Assistance work is not all that important, I tend to just pick 3-4 things to do after the main lift that compliment it and stick with them.  Volume and intensity can change, but again, there’s not really much thought.

You’ll also start to see more consistent conditioning work.  Call it whatever you want, but I need to improve my conditioning, both for health reasons (I’m not getting any younger), and to put me in a position where, should I decide to refocus on Powerlifting, I will be physically prepared for it.

I went today and pressed.  I’ll post about that in a minute.


About Paul Stagg

Husband, lifter, MBA in Baltimore, MD. Will post about Powerlifting, politics, Classical Liberalism, Economics, building wealth, self improvement, productivity, heavy music, wine, food, beer, and almost anything else. View all posts by Paul Stagg

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