Drive 65 to 85
When driving on the highway, I advocate driving between the speeds of 65 to 85 mph. 65 is just fast enough for me and others to not want to kill you by slowing us down. 85 mph is the top speed you want to go in most cases. The reason is, if you see a cop ahead, this can allow enough break time to get you down below 10 over. Most police officers won’t stop you on the highway, going less then 10 over. If you’re “that guy,” you sir, are dead to me. Now, the occasional 90 to 100 is and should be saved for emergencies (like pregnancy, near death, or your Penn Station is getting cold).
Training is kind of the same way. Living within these percentages will elicit the most gains. I know what some are thinking, Westside! 100% on all lifts week in and out, get some! Yes, I feel the Westside method is great! So, before you go completely off the deep end rapping, “I got 99 problems but a bench ain’t mine,” in the best Louie impersonation. I am not putting their method down in any way, just giving a different view and also agrees with a lot of what Louie advocates. In fact, Louie actually wrote in an article, that most of your work needs to be in this range.
The problem that I have seen with myself, training partners in the past and my clients is, when you always have a 1 rep max in mind when entering the gym, that is ALL you care about. You rush through your warmups, in an effort to save all your energy for that 1 lift. Well, what inevitably happens when you miss? Your whole session was garbage! You feel like crap physically and mentally. So, now it carries over to your other movements of the day (if you even do them). Max effort singles have a way of bogging you down mentally and physically more then a rep set or a rep scheme. Trying to replicate this week after week becomes taxing.
So, what to do, what to do after missing that big weight??? Well, the next week you can try it again. Well, this has a HUGE potential for epic failure. Ok, try changing the movement. Great! That will work fantastic. Trying a new movement will be great. Everything is a pr (I am piling on the sarcasm at this point). While this might be a good bounce back mentally, how long can you effectively do this? Having too many movements to max with, can lead to stagnation and even regression real quick. The problem is, you don’t know what or IF it is working.
This is where we come full circle and realize we need to STOP the madness! I am not sure where we lost the way, that we actually thought that, NEVER doing the actually movement we do in the meet, was going to “magically” carry over. Practice what you are actually competing at, PLEASE! The way to do this is repeated effort with the big 3. Stay in that 65 to 85% range. The lower end can be more speed work, while the upper can be your working sets. Another Louie/Westside principle is not doing the same movement 3 weeks in a row above 90% or you will regress. Well, don’t go above 90% week in and week out. Problem solved. Waving the weights, intensity and rest times can keep your body fresh and progressing, while practicing the movement.
I DO advocate getting in the 90% plus range in training. I recommend it maybe every 3rd week. I also feel it’s very beneficial to do this AFTER work sets. Make 90%, seem like 98%. Being able to get the weight fatigued, will benefit you in a few ways. It will help you learn to strain while already tired (might happen in a meet…go figure), it’s easier on your body, and it teaches body positioning. You will be amazed, at how much more you listen to your body, when trying to perform a heavy lift, while already fatigued.
Do not be afraid of reps! Rep prs lead to 1 rep prs. I especially feel this is true raw. When I got out of gear, I felt this to be true and it was. Every time I focused on rep prs it paid of big. When I went away from it, I felt over trained, flat, and my speed went down (even if I did speed work). Let me be CLEAR! I am NOT talking of offseason training either. Leading to a meet, rep prs should still be a big focus. I am also Not saying to abandon heavy training. I like working to around opening wts for multiple singles leading to a meet. This again goes back to practicing how you will play, without getting sloppy. No reason to max out on the lift, you should have a good idea what you can do. Also, you can pick a few times within a cycle to go for something on an indicator. Max out and have fun on it. Just limit these. It’s like an Ozzie Smith hitting a home run, it feels great when you do it, but when you try to force it, you will probably ground out.
Candles for trade…If it’s on the net, it must be true 😉
“You never know how strong you are, until being strong, is the only choice you have.”
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