At this point in my fitness journey I thought that it was time to make some adjustments. I’ve been going strong for a little over a month with heavy volume. This style of exercise has served me well but I wanted to dial down the volume and increase intensity for this next cycle (listen to me – using the word cycle as if I have any idea what I’m talking about).
I’ve been spending a fair amount of time watching videos from Alan Thrall (Untamed Strength) and Mark Bell (Super Training Gym) about improving the main lifts. The main sticking point in these videos was form. How do I identify where my form is failing and fix it?
I’ve been shooting a little video in the gym and tweaking things as I go. I think the biggest change for me was seeing my squat and how much lower back I was putting into the movement due to poor bar path and mobility.
On Monday I started using 5lb plates under my heels and slowed down my descent. Focusing on the movement has taken it from feeling like a quad-heavy exercise to a full body exercise (my back, shoulders, arms, and core were fatigued from squeezing so hard).
With the bench press my focus was to remain tight at the top and bottom of the movement. I’m also working on setting my feet so that it helps stabilize me when the weight begins to get heavy.
The most shocking video was probably my deadlift form. I’m naturally rounding my upper back when I begin to pull. When I try and correct it, it appears as though I’m rounding my lower back (in the opposite direction) and creating more problems. I think the focus is going to be on putting less weight on the bar and working on keeping my back flat throughout the movement.
If you’ve been following along with my workouts for the past month, you’ll probably notice that the spreadsheet I’m using has changed. I did this to reflect the reduction in volume and make it easier to change up exercises as I go.
You’ll also notice that Friday is blank. This will continue to be the day that I work arms but I wasn’t able to make it to the gym. As long as I get in my four main lifts throughout the week, I’m not going to stress over missing the occasional arm workout.
The Cardio tab is a copy/paste of my Fitbit Activity Report. Since my Fitbit Charge HR automatically categorizes activities, there may be one in there that doesn’t make sense from time to time.
Workout of the Week
9 Power Cleans
Row 2,000 Meters
15 Power Cleans
Row 1,000 Meters
21 Power Cleans
Row 500 Meters
I completed the circuit in 23 minutes 23 seconds and, despite Power Cleans being an exercise I don’t like, this wound up being one of my favorite weekly workouts.