So begins the 6th and final cycle of my 6 week/cycle program. I’m really enjoying the progress of the program so far and feel like I’m making steady gains. The structure of the program is fun, and I love that as I go I get to tweak and make it better. One chronic issue of the program so far is my first and second workout days often do deadlifts a little too close together, but that’s not so big an issue honestly. At least not for now. I may tweak the lifting pattern though to accommodate it better if I can’t get a rest day inbetween those two workouts more often.
So today was heavy lifting day, and for the first time I decided since I’m going to go to near maximal loads (above 90% of my one rep max) that I’d wear a belt. This is my first time wearing a belt, I can’t say I like it, but it definitely adds to core stability. I would certainly wear a belt for weeks like this where I’m lifting at near my max, or for competitions, but I don’t want to rely on it for every lift.
One thing I felt was I could feel how much more solid my core was and it almost felt like it might be easier to grind part of my back up with that extra friction. It doesn’t exist when you rely on your natural weight belt, your transversus abdominus & thoracolumbar fascia. I feel better lifting without it, but I know for anytime I’m going very heavy close to my max, I probably should get in the habit of using it.
So once this last week of workouts is over, I’ll be starting my next workout rotation by figuring out a new “training” max rep range. This will increase the base weight of all the next 6 weeks worth of workouts. I figure after I’ve completed the second mesocycle I should have a week of actualization – try to hit new real maxes. So this means I won’t be doing max rep attempts only but once every 3 months, which I think is a good format. I may deload after this week is done or may just start the next 6 week cycle, not sure will play that by ear.
Enough jibba-jabber, on to my log of an excellent workout. Cycle 6 is acclimation to heavier weight. So I’ll be going straight to the pork belly, ham.
Deadlifts: Set 1) 5 reps @ 255lbs (80.9% of my One Rep Max). Set 2) 3 reps @ 270lbs (85.7% ORM). Set 3) 2 reps @ 285lbs (90.4% ORM). The final set was intended to be to failure… Set 4) 2 reps @ 300lbs (95.2% ORM). I almost hit a third rep on this. My performance at this level will determine how much I will bump up my training number I use for a one rep max.
I’m going to estimate a new training max of 325lbs for my deadlift, based on how this set and cycle have gone so far. This number will be used for future weight calculations for my next cycle. After my next 6-week cycle I’m going to do a week of actualization, to find out if my one rep max estimates reflect reality.
Front Squats: Set 1) 3 reps @ 150lbs (85.7% ORM). Set 2) 3 reps @ 155lbs (88.5% ORM). Set 3) 3 reps @ 160lbs (91.4% ORM).
1-Armed Dumbbell Rows: 3 sets of 8 reps @ 80lbs, this felt real good, but was difficult.
Bent Over Rows (Barbell) / Pendlay Rows: 5 reps BOR rows / 3 reps pendlay rows @ 165lbs. This weight level was too high to get very good form out of the exercises, but I was intending to test my heavy limits. The lifts above expended a lot of my energy, so that was a factor to these sets not being ideal.
Tire Flips: Wanted something strength focused and what is better than 3 sets of 6 flips with the heaviest tire available.