I have had a few questions on what we will be working on next now that the squat cycle is over. To answer that let’s look at where we have been. We have spent the bulk of the last 22 weeks building base strength. With Wendler (started back in April) we hit a number of upper body and lower body pure strength movements for 12 weeks to help build a solid base. With the most recent cycle we had some maintenance upper body movements but the bulk of the work was a Rippetoe squat cycle focusing on increasing leg strength. Our primary focus on the snatch and clean and jerk have been positioning related. Conditioning has been largely cardio based with a lot of running and rowing.
Moving forward we will work on upper body strength and more explosive movements while moving to maintenance related lifting for the legs. We will also be working on more pulling and pushing related movements as an accessory.
This coming week will be a back off week. Not a full deload but nothing really above 80% of a max. The goal is too keep moving, work on form and use heavy enough weights to not lose confidence at those heavier loads.
The following week will start our new cycle. THE WEEK WILL START WITH 1RM TEST ON MONDAY. SO, plan ahead if you are in to that type of thing. This cycle will be a mini one of sorts. It will be 3 weeks of work and then a deload. The work will focus on stamina lifting for the legs and strength and explosiveness from our upper body movements.
After this mini cycle we will move to another 12 week strength cycle. I am especially excited about this since I think it will be a much needed break from all of the pure strength movements and will allow us to work on a number of movements that have been missed while squatting. We will be working on time under tension and a lot of pulling and pushing movements. Our conditioning will incorporate more barbell cycling and less running. The aim is to help you get better conditioning and aerobic capacity while building strength. Stamina will be the primary focus.
If you have concerns about losing strength by not squatting every day, don’t. The body adapts to change. So, if we are constantly doing strength we lose the ability to trick the body and force adaptation. Sure, your numbers may go down slightly or remain steady but when we hit strength hard again you will be ready to grow quicker and with less risk of injury. And honestly, that is the big thing here. We have been pushing the strength pretty good so a back off is necessary to avoid over training.