Let’s Talk Details
1. The Plan
2. Your Job
Overhead Press (Key)
Deep Leg Press (Key)
Close-Stance Leg Press (Key)
Push Press (Key)
Barbell Back Squat (Key)
Overhead Press – I want you to practice getting as tight as possible before you initiate the lift. This means pulling your chest up by flexing your back, having a slight lean back to center the barbell over the center of your foot, bracing your abs, squeezing the bar hard, and keeping the legs tight to be a strong base. When you initiate the lift, focus on moving the elbows up and then out as you pass the face. Move your head through to get under the bar as you finish the lift and lockout.
Deep Leg Press – Cutting the range of motion short ends up with more time putting plates on the leg press than stimulating the muscle. Focus on getting the leg press deep with heeled shoes and warmed up hips and ankles. A wider stance can be a great stretch on the adductors and glutes when the knees come out and move towards your shoulders. It is your choice which stance you want to focus on. I like to use the same stance as my squat on the leg press platform.
Close-Stance Leg Press – A close stance can look almost like a compound leg extension for the quads. Wearing heeled shoes can be very beneficial for placing more stress on your quads rather than your ankles. Make sure to control the weight and maximize your range of motion.
Push Press – As you lower the weight, focus on keeping your elbows under the bar. This will make sure that you are controlling the weight with your musculature. When you initiate the lift, you dip and drive and then dip again. This means that as you press, you will drop down into a quarter squat to get under the bar as fast as possible. This makes the technique much more efficient.
Barbell Back Squat – Make sure you are using your entire body. Use the feet to grip the floor. Think about squeezing the floor with your toes. Rotate the feet into the ground to generate more tension and get the knees out. Think about spreading the floor to get the legs and core tight. Practice your brace and consider using a belt. Bend the bar over your back to activate your lats. Make sure each rep is as tight as possible to stabilize the weight and be explosive.
Stay in a Good Spot this Block
You want to add just enough sets and weight to feel like you worked out, but it is not quite a challenge yet. You want a solid workout where you leave feeling accomplished.
Plan your workout and write down the weight, sets, and rep range in the Workout Plan PDF to get you ready for Week 2.
The rep range will be the same. The only difference is that you may not be at the top of the rep range this week. This means you should still strive to hit 8 reps on key lifts and 12 reps on accessory lifts.
For your key lifts, consider doing an intensity technique on the last set. Keep in mind that the more you use these intensity techniques, the more you are training BEYOND failure. This means that they are extra fatiguing even if you lift with RIR.
Remember, for the first two weeks, DO NOT REST BETWEEN REPS. The goal of this block is to get gnarly pumps on your accessory lifts.
I encourage you to pick a single weight for your working sets for each exercise. As you add more sets, you will notice that on the last set, your reps are most likely to be the lowest.
As long as your last set is still in the rep range, this performance drop is okay and expected as your muscles get depleted. Make sure you choose a weight that allows you to be at the top of the rep range for most (if not all) of your working sets. RIR 3 is the goal for each of your sets, however, it is possible that your last set may get closer to RIR 2.
Stay away from RIR 1! You do not want to build fatigue too fast. It is better to have the reps drop and stay in the rep range. Achieving RIR 3 takes priority over staying at the top of the rep range.
Try to do the fewest amount of sets you need to get a good pump in the muscle. However, if you need more to feel a pump then this is the week to do a little more.
Do enough sets where you struggle to maintain RIR 3 on your last set of each key lift. This is a great way to measure your effort to make sure that you are not going too hard too early but also that you are not taking it too easy.
Week 2 is the Goldilocks week. We want just enough but not too much volume.
It is important to rest a little longer when the weights are heavier. If you struggle to maintain RIR 3 on your sets, you may need to rest a little longer between sets.
However, whenever your rest is shorter it does have the advantage of giving you a better pump and it prevents you from lifting too heavy, so you can do more sets in the same time span without giving excessive fatigue.
Above all else: Make sure your rest periods are not too short where it compromises your form!
Fill out the table with your expected weights and sets before you go workout, so you have a clear mission. Then adjust based on actual performance.
Here’s how I would fill it out for a workout: