Monday, December 1, 2008

Enjoying the challenge of 8x3

Lately, I’ve had more structure with my squat training and it's doing me good. I’m focusing on front squats but I also do back squats. Both are assistance training exercises for the Olympic lifts, thus I concentrate on very low squat depth and very upright upper body uprightness.

This month my goal is to do squats three times a week, alternating between heavy, light and medium training days. Since I have no hypertrophy goals, I perform many sets of low reps. After much trial and error and wise counsel from others, I’ve settled into a progressive resistance cadence of 8 sets of 3 reps with plenty of recovery between sets.

Sometimes I’ll do a squat workout but first perform 3 reps of another exercise such as the overhead press or the split jerk, done one after the other like a superset.

Here’s a planning template I generally follow for a heavy training day, consisting of 3 reps of the split jerk followed by a quick rest then 3 reps of the front squat for one superset with a longer rest between supersets (all percentages are of my one rep max):

Set #1 – 50%

Set #2 – 60%

Set #3 – 70%

Set #4 – 80%

Set #5 – 90%

Set #6 – 90%

Set #7 – 90%

Set #8 – 90%

This workout is slowly but surely giving me additional strength. While it’s tough, done only once a week, I am enjoying the challenge of 8x3.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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