Week 20/52: Cycling squats and deadlifts

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Gosh, 20 weeks into this whole “52 weeks of being more awesome” stuff.  Have you missed the other posts? If you have, just click here and all the other ones will pop up.

I’ve been giving a variety of info on nutrition, body types, hormones, fat loss, training cycles, workouts and even resources outside of myself that I have found useful and want to pass along to you.  This week, we are talking training.


I took the last 6 weeks after my physique shows to do some hybrid training to transition back into powerlifting. You might be wondering why I didn’t just make the switch right away and here’s why:

1. The drastic switch in volume and intensity from bodybuilding to powerlifting is much more than people realize. Bodybuilding volume is high but intensity relative to your max is moderate. Powerlifting training intensity is high and I felt it best to slowly transition back up to the heavier weights and not risk getting injured.

2. To slowly decrease my cardio volume and gradually increase food intake to not gain weight too rapidly. While it seems like a fun thing to do, stuffing your face for a month after shows does absolutely nothing for performance or body fat levels. I decided that slowly reverse dieting to keep from putting on an excess amount of fat (some fat will happen), that I would be in a better position to train optimally and also stay within my weight class.

3. The mindset is completely different. After training extremely high volume for 12 weeks, your mind is set on high volume mode. Nothing else seems like enough when you’re used to grinding out drop sets, giant sets, and challenge sets. So the slow transition helped me to find a good volume in my accessory work and still make strength gains.

I have completed my first week of meet prep training. On Friday, I did heavy squats with a cambered bar. If you’ve never tried one, I highly suggest it.

What’s the difference? Well, as you can see the weights on the bar are down lower, and the camber (bend) in the bar puts the weight out in front of your center of gravity.

Have you ever pitched forward in the squat or have a hard time keeping your chest up? This bar will train you to help that.

As you can see, as the weight gets heavier, it gets harder for me to stay upright, but that is also a common mistake I make in my heavy squats, so this trains me to keep fighting that.

After my heavy work, I did a close stance set with 155 to hit my quads a bit.

After squatting, I did goodmornings with the Yoke bar (safety squat bar), some single leg split squats, leg curls and ab work.


Now, since we are learning, why did I do goodmornings after my heavy squats?

Well, the squats are for nervous system training, learning how to strain through a maximal weight.

I chose goodmornings to hit my hamstrings, glutes and lower back in a hip hinging exercise. I had been previously doing a lot of RDL’s and stiff legged deadlifts, so I chose a different angle to hit those same muscles.


Here are a few variations that you can take and use in your training:

Week 1: Heavy squat, hip hinging exercise for reps
Week 2: Heavy deadlift, squat variation for reps (front squat, yoke bar box squat, etc)
Week 3: Heavy squat, deadlift varation for reps (snatch grip from blocks, deadlift with chains, rack pull against bands)
Week 4: Heavy deadlift, squat variation for reps (Anderson squat with chains, cambered bar close stance squats, etc)


This would only be your first lower body training day. The other day would consist of percent based work that is done for speed and explosiveness.

Putting together training that makes sense from week to week takes time and thought, and some trial and error. There are tons of good coaches and resources out there who can do this. Elitefts.com is a great place to start.


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