Tag Archives: barbell training
Is that weight too heavy for you?
A solid question, however the answer is not always the easiest thing to ascertain.
The other day I saw a cracking little video that displayed some new tech available on an app to measure bar speed.
I know right, it’s pretty cool.
Back in the day you could only track this with some elaborate contraption or a rather costly tend unit, now though we have a whole host of tool available for the cost of a mere tuppence, yay for technology.
All you need do is type in ‘Bar speed tracking app’ on the google’s and boom, endless options.
So, bar speed.
Do you know what it should be?
Based on the collective data (mostly from weightlifters) you want to me moving the bar at 0.8m/s to achieve optimal rates of force development.
*m/s=meters per second
Depending on what info you read and the context that comes with it you may see the bar speed range being 0.6-0.8m/s, however you’d do far better to aim for 0.8m/s.
Hitting this every rep would mean a high level of motor unit recruitment, a decent amount of muscle fibres hit (1,2 a/b etc), you can also find a lot of this linked in with the older work of Dr Squat (Dr Fred Hatfield, a great mind and damn strong lifter).
Tracking you bar speed and trying to keep in the 0.6-0.8m/s will yield some rather positive results because it means the loads are optimal.
How can this help you understand/track your strength?
As you get stronger you may find that in a set of say 6 reps at the start it looks like this:
That shows the loads was just about right, if the reps had dropped below the 0.6m/s, while you could have ground out the reps you’d be actively making yourself slower.
Louis Simmons of WSBB compares it to, Tow Truck VS Ferrari, one is slow and constant,the other is powerful, worth digging in to.
Back to the point.
If you get stronger over time the above set of 6 may end up looking like this:
Give the higher velocity overall adding some load to the bar would be useful.
How much load?
For arbitrary purposes I’d say one that takes off about 10% of your bar speed, so if it topped out at 0.9m/s about, then that would take the average down to about 0.8m/s again, you get the idea.
*Of course the opposite to the above is also relevant, if you can’t maintain bar speed then you should lower the load by around 10%, just as a starting point.
We have all these lovely tools at our disposal.
First things first though, know how to use them because once you do you’ll find your programming knowledge shoots through the roof.
There you go, a basic breakdown.
This is a massive topic and one that is well worth your time delving in to.
Any questions, pop them down below.
If you’re not interested in hitting some new PB’s, that’s cool, feel free to skip reading this.
Let’s say you are interested though, keep reading.
Below you’ll find a simple protocol to help you improve on one or multiple lifts.
This is not something you’d find in body building very often, it’s for people who chase strength.
The information in question is a favourite of many a Russian athlete oddly enough and one I’ve done many times to hit new heights.
I first learnt of this from reading older writing by Dr Fred Hatfield, if you’ve not read any of his books you should, they’re amazing resources.
As you may have guessed I quite like the Russian methodology.
Here is the premise:
– 80% 1RM is starting load, 105% is the end game
– Double Progression is applied
– Intensity is increased incrementally
– Train a 2-3 times per week
– Rest as needed
– Stay tough and you’ll reap the rewards
– Don’t get greedy, follow the protocol
This is how the classic program looks based on 3 days training per week (Mon-Wed-Fri or Tue-Thur-Sat):
*All 6x sets are at 80% 1RM, % changes will be listed below.
^^ If you don’t know yours or your clients 1RM, use an RM calculator to establish an estimated one and go from there.
– 6x2x80% 1RM*
– 6×3* (the volume progression begins)
– 5x5x85% 1RM
– 2x2x100% (old 1RM)
– 1x1x105% (aim for a new 1RM)
Week 7 Deload
Congratulations, a new PB to help you drive up old RM’s and add some much sought after muscle/strength.
Thats the typical way to do it, however if you’re short on time then this may be of use.
The new twist for those short on time –
If you with to do this twice per week the cycle will end up being 10 weeks long (9 with the last being a deload).
Week 9 – Week 10 Deload
– 1x1x105% (aim for new 1 RM)
From experience you can pair two lifts together when doing this and PB on both so long as they don’t interfere with each other.
It’s also good because you get a heavy day and a light day each week meaning you can really go for it each heavy session as it makes the overall progression far more manageable.
DL & Press (or weighted dip)
Squat & Pull Up
Bench Press & Row
You’ll find that some token accessory work of say 30 reps per accessory lift is enough to help the other lifts keep up and maintain some form of muscular balance.
Here is how I planned my sessions using the twice per week training schedule. I was forced to train this way because of upcoming events and life doing what it does best, however I hit new numbers and intact made progress.
Sometimes less really is more.
Lifting Day 1 & 2:
A1 – DL – sets/reps as above
B1 – Press – sets/reps as above
B2 – Chin – 5 reps each set
C1 – Squat 1×10-20
- I would add in perhaps some postural work and make a few sets for smaller muscle groups if I had time
- You can also add in some CV training (sprints etc) a couple of times per week that don’t require you going to a gym
The funny thing with this is it’s so simple people will ignore it.
We live in a world where people think that unless they’ve destroyed themselves they haven’t had a good training session.
This is not true.
Especially when you look at MRV (maximum recoverable volume) vs MED (minimal effective dose), however that’s for another day.
Give the above a go and see how you fair.