|By: Louie Simmons
Pre Meet Training
is the most stressful two weeks of your life? Two weeks before graduation
and youíre flunking out? Two weeks before your wedding and you know your
whole life will be ruined forever? Or how about the last two weeks before
a power meet? This is the most important time in training. It is ďmake
or breakĒ for many of us. How much or how little should you do? When is
the last work-out? What about taking openers? Should you use meet equipment?
Letís start with the squat. As you know, we use
a wave mini-cycle for the squat. We also train with a box at or below parallel.
I will use Rob Fusner as an ex-ample. His best squat is 875 at 275.
Week 1 425x8 sets of 2 reps
Week 2 455x8 sets of 2 reps
Week 3 475x8 sets of 2 reps
Week 4 495x6 sets of 2 reps
Week 5 425x8 sets of 2 reps
Week 6 455x8 sets of 2 reps
Week 7 475x8 sets of 2 reps
Week 8 425x8 sets of 2 reps
addition to the normal bar weight, we use chains, about 120 pounds, or
bands, about 150 pounds of tension. These sets are done on Friday, the
dynamic method day combined with the contrast method through the use of
bands or chains. The objective is to move the weights on Week 5 faster
than on Week 1, and Week 7 should be faster than Week 3. This will show
the development of force. That is the purpose of the dynamic method: to
build ac-celeration and reversal strength. Short rests between sets are
im-portant for increasing intensity; 45 seconds is recommended.
have found that the 50-60% weights work best for the squat. It is very
important to push up the special exercises such as the Reverse Hyper, abs,
sled work, and belt squats. Use only 3 or 4 exercises after squatting,
and donít forget to rotate when necessary. Remember that the goal is to
become faster with the same weight on each new wave.
can be accomplished by the use of Flex bands or chains or by increasing
the special exercises that build strength in the glutes, hips, ham-strings,
and abs. This will also build form by increasing the strength in the vital
squat muscles. Do not do regular squats after a box squat workout.
The squats will completely wear the vital squat muscles and make a regular
squat seem very hard and sluggish. We do a contest style squat only at
the contest, never in the gym. Also, if you do a max box squat, donít do
it the week before the meet. Two weeks out is OK, but 4 weeks out is best.
Donít get psyched up. Get motivated, but donít burn adrenaline. We never
use knee wraps or pull up the straps on the suit. Don't do an opener. Needing
to do this is just a lack of confidence. Think about it; if you are worried
about your opener, you are in trouble. Rather, think PR.
are two examples of a comparison of box squat max to a contest best. Amy
Weisberger's best parallel box squat is (82%). Her best contest squat 445,
at 123. Todd Brock had a parallel box squat of 710 (86%) and a contest
squat of 820 at 270. This shows a 15-20% carry over to a contest squat
from a squat PR. Most can use this reference.
seldom do any regular deadlifting at Westside. Jerry Obradovic does rack
pulls the plates 2 or 4 inches off the floor. This is done only one time
per month. The result is the highest deadlift/bench combine in the 275
class of all time: 804 deadlift, 644 bench. It is a rare combination to
be such a good bench presser and deadlifter. It requires two different
use the same day, Monday, to do max effort work for squatting and deadlifting.
About 6 out of 10 workouts are good mornings. They work most major muscle
groups that squat and deadlift: the glutes, hamstrings, spinal erectors,
and hips. About 3 of 10 workouts are special squats using a variety of
time you change bars, it will change the length between sacrum and the
center of the bar. This is possible by using a Manta Ray; it raises the
bar approximately 1 to 2 inches above top of the delts. A Safety Squat
bar, with its cambered design, also changes this length.
On max effort day, you must push the muscles to
their fullest extent. Try records in all types of good mornings, squats,
and pulls. On both the dynamic effort and max effort days, you must push
not only the major core exercises but also the special work, such as reverse
hyperextensions, pull--throughs, back raises, glute/ham raises, and lat
and ab work.
does not have to squat or deadlift to become a good squatter or deadlifter.
If it takes 3 seconds to do a max squat or deadlift and you place the right
muscles into play with a good morning or special squat, you have accom-plished
the same thing. The more exercises you become accom-plished in, the easier
it is to mas-ter any exercise, including squat-ting and deadlifting. Even
football players play football only 20% of the training time. The other
80% is for special drills and to raise GPP. Pick the exercises that work
best for you and use them closest to a meet. Rotate every 2 weeks and always
max out: do singles in squatting and pulling and triples in the good mornings.
is the conjugate method-using special exercises to raise absolute strength,
as well as perfecting form. This method will allow you to max out week
after week, year after year, and my friends, this is the only way to do
so. If you chose to max out in one particular exercise for 3 or 4 weeks,
you will stop making progress, for neurological reasons. Check your training
log if you donít believe me.
If you do pulls, donít do them
for more than 2 weeks and never the last 2 weeks before a meet. If your
form is good and your strength is up, then there is no reason not to break
your squat or deadlift record, assuming youíre not a head-case.
box squats on dynamic day are done with a pair of groove briefs or a suit
with the straps down. Never wear knee wraps, but wear a belt.
As you can see, speed work is done on one day
and max effort work is done on another, 72 hours apart. Friday is our speed
day, and Monday is our max ef-fort day. Speed day is designed for explosive
strength and accel-eration for the development of force. Max effort day
develops absolute strength. Chuck Vogelpohl, who has won every-thing from
the Y Nationals to the Worlds, simply says it is most important to push
up the special work and concentrate on bar speed for squatting and deadlifting.
Just remember to push the special core exercises that work best for you
closest to the meet.
the bench press, two work-outs are done per week: one for speed and acceleration
and one for the development of reversal strength. Yes, reversal strength
can be stored for the pause rule. Sunday is the dynamic method day. Always
train at 60% of a no-shirt max (240 for a 400 pound bench, 270 for a 450
bench, 300 for a 500 bench, and so on). We donít wave the weights in the
bench; we always train at 60%, 8-10 sets of 3 reps. Use close and moderately
close grips, with your little finger inside the narrow rings on the bar.
Lower the bar as quickly as possible. Reverse it as quickly as possible
and accelerate to lock-out. Always use chains or light Flex bands on these
sets. After the 8-10 sets, train the triceps very hard. Attempt new records
in a bar or dumbbell extension, J.M. presses, or any other triceps exercise.
are most important. Lats are next, followed by delt raises, upper back,
and fore-arms. All this should be done in less than an hour.
Three days later, Wednesday, is max effort day.
On max effort day you must max out (but not in a regular squat, bench,
or deadlift). Do a one- or three-rep max in exercises such as board press,
floor press, incline, decline, or seated press, or rack lock-outs. You
can have records with added chains or bands. Make as many combinations
as possible. This is known as the conjugate method. When one trains a particular
exercise maximally for even 3 weeks in a row, growth hormone production
is greatly reduced. That is why you must use special core exercises and
rotate them every 2 weeks. Sometimes we even modify a special core exercise
slightly each week.
to pursue greater bar speed in all lifts. Push up special exercises and
rotate as often as necessary to maintain progress. Stay with short rest
periods on dynamic day: for squats, 45 seconds; for bench, 1 minute. Any
faster and the CNS may be negatively affected. The short rest between sets
causes lactic acid to accumulate. By work-ing through the lactic acid,
growth hormone production greatly in-creases. So donít be a wimp. This
pain pays. Donít take openers. If you are worried about your opener, what
are you going to do with your second and third at-tempts? Pick the exercises
that work best for you closest to meet time.
hope this helps you as much as it does us at Westside.
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Copyright 1999 Louie Simmons.