Training | POSTED May 2, 2022
A Sneak Peek into Jake’s Training Week
We often have client’s ask us in their training session, “what does your training week look like?” So, we thought we’d show you!
As you may have noticed with your own training, you can’t always keep things the same. This doesn’t mean chopping and changing elements of your program day in and day out. However as time goes on your body will accommodate to the stresses imposed upon it, resulting in a plateau and inevitably, something will need to change (however small) to spur on future progress.
Seeing how both Rachael and I have recently competed (you can see her blog post here and we’ll cover another competition in our most recent newsletter) and this month we’re talking about personal lifting equipment, I wanted to simply highlight what an “ordinary” week of training might look post-competition for myself and how equipment is factored into that.
Considering my current goals
Currently my goal is to build more muscle mass for the purpose of getting stronger. With that in mind my current program involves the following key changes:
- High rep sets (average of 8-12 reps) and higher total training volume
- More exercise variation
- More isolation exercises
- Weak-point training
Higher training volumes generally (when all else is equal) provide a greater muscle-growth stimulus. Moreover, increased variation helps develop more overall musculature size and strength especially as hypertrophy and strength adaptations can be local to particular regions within a muscle belly. Isolation exercises are especially useful when trying to accumulate more volume. They allow you to better target a muscle group with less overall systemic fatigue.
That being said, the “skill” of lifting is still important to me. At least once a week I am performing some close form of the squat, bench press and deadlift. When considering exercise selection, we review how certain exercises can benefit an individual at a specific point in time. Below is an outline of my program which will also clarify the rationale behind certain exercises and uses of equipment.
What my training program looks like
Below is a sneak peek into a week of my training. You’ll see the specific exercises that I do on each training day, along with the sets and rep scheme and what lifting equipment I choose to use for each exercise. You’ll notice that on some exercises, I don’t use any lifting equipment at all! I am currently doing three “bigger” training sessions each week, paired with three smaller ones with some cardio, and of course a rest day.
Let me explain that in more detail…
Here is my hardest squat volume for the week. In particular I’m using the safety bar as I’ve had a peculiar habit of racking the bar incorrectly. By using the safety bar, I can squat for high-rep sets without having to worry about my bar placement. The incline press and snatch-grip RDL is simply there to develop more muscle mass. I’m using equipment across these three lifts to maximise load lifted and efficiency of this session. It’s also one of the sessions where I’ll move the most total weight.
On this day I’m working on some more powerlifting specific work including tweaking my grip for the bench press and securing a better bottom position in my low-bar squat. Reps are still somewhat high for the second movement. Here I’m using equipment but the planned RPE is lower and the goal is technical.
Here I’m performing deficit deadlifts as that’s where I’m currently weakest (off the floor). This is where I failed my third attempt deadlift at my latest meet. Reps are still somewhat high and I’m wearing equipment to maximise load moved. It is my main deadlift variation for the week. I’m also performing Larsen press and split squats, which are movements which load the muscles used in the squat and bench but at lighter weights. Even with a high RPE, I can’t move much total load due to how these exercises are set-up. This means I can accumulate more training volume but still be recovered by the time Monday comes around.
Days 2, 4 and 6
On these days I’ll be performing some lighter upper-back, arm exercises and cardio. Of most importance here would be cardio for my health and the upper back exercises to further develop the muscle group that supports all three major power lifts but isn’t directly targeted by them. Some of these exercises could be performed on the main days but I prefer not to train much longer than an hour across my main sessions (that’s just a personal preference). Finally, unless grip is an issue, I tend to not wear any personal lifting equipment on these sessions. I want the total load to be moved to be minimal.
Training is about the individual
Training is specifically designed to get the most out of the individual. That being said, there are principles that underlie effective training. You will find there are more similarities than differences across well written training programs. As you get more advanced you’ll also have better awareness about what you will best benefit from. At Ivy you can be confident that Rachael and myself are passionate about the training process as both participants of a strength sport and personal trainers. To that end, we’re here to help you get the best out of your time spent training which involves not only what your program looks like, but also when and how you use lifting equipment.