Back to basics, and changing the way I think

edit: 265×20 will be my max attempt at the end of my 20 rep squats this cycle, barring any injuries. I did not scoll down far enough on the list of weeks when writing this post.

One unexpected carry over from the SealFit experience was the change in my approach to working out. All of the two a days, WOD’s, and high rep marathon sessions were awesome at the time, but switching gears back to a strength focused regimen has been harder than I thought.

I have set the goals for the year, and they are focused on hitting several heavy weights on the three main lifts. To get to those goals will require lower reps, a lot more recovery time between sessions, and a focus on basic exercises with progressive weight increases. Overall I need to calm down and focus on the work at hand and less on how much I am doing.

So far, it has been difficult. I have to stop myself each time I finish the planned workout from going and doing more. I know I did enough work, but that exhausted feeling I was getting from longer workouts with minimal rest had become my new measuring stick for what was a good w orkout. I can’t afford to be exhausted, I need to be able to recover, and build.

Currently, I have the next 34 weeks of squats planned out. The squat work is a rebuilding of my base, and then a very slow build up to my longtime goal of 400lbs. I am working on the dead lift progression for later next month, but the dead lifts are secondary to the squat work right now. I will add the dead lifts in when my body is ready. If I can get to the squat of 400lbs, then my dead lift will have gone up as well is my reasoning.

Reps are mainly following a 5×5, 5×3, or singles. The 20 rep work is for now, a secondary goal, and I will attack that one again later this year. For the next 6weeks or so I will continue to do 20 reps, but my top weight, barring any injuries will be 265×20, not the 290 I was wanting to do. 300×20 by years end is totally doable.

Having cut back on the volume, an d sticking to the plan has paid off. Last week with weighted dips, I could only muster one single with 135lbs. Yesterday I hit 2 good singles with 135. They were hard to get, but one single gained is closer to getting reps with the same weight. Tomorrow I see if I get another rep with bench press at 225. If I do awesome, if not oh well, slow progression takes time, food and recovery.

I never thought going back to 5×5, or 3×10 style work would be so difficult, or that the high volume workouts would change my thinking so much. The lessons learned from stepping outside the box and trying new things have continued to roll in.

Till next time, never stop learning,
Tim

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