With the last 8 week deadlift and pullup cycle producing some pretty amazing results, it is time to set off upon our next round of focused training.  To say that I am excited to see how this all pans out is quite the understatement.  I’m taking the time today to explain my thoughts on where we are going and of course why.

The next 8 weeks will be devoted to overhead capacity in two forms:

1. Structural stability

2. Pressing strength

To build these two capacities, the programming will be primarily focused around developing a five rep max overhead squat and a one rep max push press.

I have chosen these two lifts and rep ranges for a variety of reasons.  In my opinion, developing the 5 RM OHS translates to better body awareness, structural strength, and muscular endurance most suited towards prolonged bouts of style workouts.  The 1 RM push press will be utilized in order to develop proper hip drive mechanics and bar awareness.  The focused work on the push press will also keep the intensity lower and allow for more protective hypertrophy in the shoulders.  Together both of these lifts will will set us up nicely for the focused weightlifting cycle that will be beginning in late September.

What the Cycle Will Look Like

Currently, the cycle’s work will be focused around 3 DAYS each week.  (*This could change depending how each athlete feels.  The increased volume will take some getting used to.)  Mondays will involve work on both of the focused lifts.  Expect these days to be the heaviest in volume.  Thursdays will focus on one of the lifts and then feature some type of gymnastics skill work as part of the accessory conditioning.  Saturdays will hit the other lift (either overhead squats or push press) that was not targeted on Thursday and then include aerobic intervals, either monostructural (rowing, airdyning, running) or mixed modality (bear crawls, weighted carries, various gymnastics movements) with a very low eccentric impact.

While weightlifting will not be the major focus, the cycle does include snatches, cleans, and jerks, albeit at lower intensities (<70% 1 RM).  This will allow you to focus most of your energies on developing the two lifts of the cycle, while at the same time keeping your barbell work fresh.

If you are worried about losing some aerobic capacity, fret not!  Each day of the cycle does include work designed to stimulate cardiovascular endurance.  As usual, do not expect many beat-downs over the next 8 weeks, but rather longer Zone 1 aerobic work on the airdyne, row, or run after the requisite strength work has been completed.

Closing Thoughts

While the cycle has nearly been mapped out for the next 8 weeks, it is no way etched in stone.  Consider this a living breathing program that is adaptable and capable of responding to the needs of each athlete who is participating in it.  With that being said, expect to feel sore and tired most days.  You will be doing lots of work throughout the week!  Still, should the program need to be tweaked here and there, it will not be the end of the world.  If something is bothering you, talk to a coach and we will do our best to make sure that you are getting the most out of your training.

We start next Monday.  Let’s get up all in it!!!

(*Note:  This cycle is specifically geared towards those in the Competitor track of programming.  Fitness track of programming will continue to be more generalized.)