Saturday, November 2, 2013

Finally, The Rock Has Come Back To Long Cycle

This November 01, I resumed direct training in the kettlebell Long Cycle. I've had little emphasis on conditioning, so I never expected to finish 6 or 8 minutes. I did finish some warmup sets, some 2:00 sets at heavy and medium weights, and a 4:00 set at light weight with good form and pace. The strength and posture work hasn't quite made 2x24kg look easy yet, but it's made 2x16kg and 2x20kg a thing of beauty compared to last year.


 I also love Squat Day. Being of skinny build, middle age, and aftermarket components, I am the prototype candidate for high-volume squat training. I do it Olympic style, high bar, full depth, medium stance.

Nick Horton's Squat Nemesis has been a great fit for my daily variations in top-end performance, but I've never felt such a bodybuilding-style pump before. This has introduced a midweek recovery work session and moved Thursday squats to Friday. There's nothing wrong with recovery work and muscle growth and deeper stamina.

Why Squat Nemesis?

There are programs like (but not limited to) Strong Lifts and 5x5 that train several sets at a consistent weight, and other programs like Wendler's 5/3/1 and Squat Nemesis that work across a range of increasing weights. What's common to all of them is getting you to lift many times, and not just strain-yourself singles, at a weight around 3/4 of your max. With that commonality in mind, I'm loving Nemesis for its simplicity and the minimal planning for the amount of work I get done.

Some years ago, I stumbled across this elaborate kettlebell press program. I was a rank novice, so I accepted this as pure science at the time. I came to realize later that 3x8 one day and 4x7 the next were not the secrets to human performance, but just incremental increases in workload. Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 program includes options for assistance work like "5x10" with weights or "75+" in the bodyweight option. When the work is 3 sets of 5 but the assistance is " 75+", you should infer "a lot" instead of counting to 75.

This specificity and formality is written into the plans to provide focus and prevent boredom. A personal trainer would cheer "one more!" for the same reason. I don't need to add 10lbs to my powerlifting score every week, but I do need conditioning and therapy. Earlier this week, I added 10lb because I felt like it, and the lifts were good.  That was, frankly, enough. This morning, I walked in the door with my knee unsettled. I worked out the alignment problem and got my triples and my 50 done. My top end was off by 20lbs today, but that, too, was enough.

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