Category Archives: Anthony Mychal

The Return of Aerobic Work

The Return of Aerobic Work
Not long ago, I frequently used the word “conditioning.” I thought the best way to condition athletes was through anaerobic workouts that tested the limits of pain and pushed the boundaries of regurgitation. After all, we’re taught that sports are anaerobic, and that blasé aerobic work has no place in a serious program.
Today, the word “conditioning” makes me cringe. As you can imagine, I cringe a lot. And, unlike before, vomit-inducing anaerobic work is rarely in the cards for me or my athletes. Thanks to people way smarter than me (Joel Jamieson, James Smith, Buddy Morris) I have an appreciation for different types of “conditioning,” much like I have an appreciation for different types of strength.

Conditioning Conundrum

I can’t define “conditioning” as the very word is akin to the phrase “lifting weights.” You can lift weights in many ways and for many reasons. Most of us do it to get stronger. But others do it for more specific reasons, like training for strength-speed, strength-endurance, and starting strength. For those of you that managed to get past the first ten pages of Supertraining, you know this list continues seemingly ad infinitum.
So if we lift weights to get stronger, do we perform conditioning to become more conditioned? The problem is ambiguity. We have different types of “conditioning” just like we have different types of strength.
Conditioning, in its true sense, refers to training the body’s energy systems. We easily distinguish between the anaerobic (without oxygen) and aerobic (with oxygen) systems. We even associate different body types to proficiency in each system. Jacked football players and sprinters are anaerobic beasts. Gangly marathoners, however, are aerobic creatures.
But neither stereotype is correct because jacked football players frequently rely on the aerobic system. Yeah, I said it. Football is aerobic. Before I face the stones, let me explain.

Energy Systems

The Return of Aerobic Work
Breaking the energy systems into anaerobic and aerobic isn’t enough. The anaerobic system can be further split into the  and the . Each corresponds with the energy deriving metabolic processes.
ImmediateIntermediateLong term
Bottom line is, all anaerobic work is not created equally. Football is a prime example. In an effort to “condition,” coaches rely on suicides, Prowler pushes, and Tabata intervals until their athletes’ legs are loaded with lactate and loopier than Gumby’s.
Anaerobic? Absolutely.
But the right kind of anaerobic? Nope.

Another Dimension

Next, it’s important to know that each metabolic pathway has a power component (how fast the system can derive energy) and capacity component (how long the system can be sustained).
So someone with great alactic power can produce a few intensive bursts of energy at a high level. This, for example, includes an Olympic weightlifter, powerlifter, 100m sprinter, javelin thrower, shot-putter, etc. These athletes give a maximal effort, blow their load, and take a long time to recover. Just think of hitting a PR in the gym. It’s not easily repeatable.
Someone with great alactic power and capacity, however, can replicate intensive efforts over time – a baseball pitcher, for example. A pitcher with amazing alactic power will hit triple digits on the radar gun. But if their capacity sucks, their speed will diminish with each successive throw. So a pitcher with good capacity and decent power is likely to be a starter. One with a lot of power and shady capacity, however, more likely a closer.

Importance Of Capacity

The Return of Aerobic Work
Many sports require short-term explosiveness – alactic anaerobic power. This is why the NFL Combine gawks at 4.3 speed.
Over the past few years, aerobic work has been vilified for decreasing absolute explosive potential. But most sports require  in addition to power. There are problems if 4.3 speed turns into 4.7 speed during the second quarter, 5.5 speed during the third quarter, and 6.1 speed during the fourth quarter.
Ray Lewis isn’t known for playing six downs and calling it quits. He’s known for being on the field every play and always performing at a high level.
So what’s more important, absolute power, or the capacity to sustain power? Wouldn’t it be better to run a consistent 4.5 and sacrifice a little power for a lot of capacity?

The Aerobic System’s Role

There are two underappreciated aspects of the aerobic system. First, it’s very important in developing alactic anaerobic capacity (think explosive stuff). Second, most sports are aerobic despite the common perception.
Upon exercise, all energy systems turn on. The power clean is rooted in alactic anaerobic power because of its short duration, not because the aerobic system fails to ignite. The duration, not the intensity, determines energy system involvement.
As repeat sprint exercise continues, the energy system contributions become “truer” to their respective time zones.  (1)(2).
But studies emerged about aerobic work diminishing explosive ability. And we all got caught up in absolute power, foregoing capacity.
 Joel Jamieson says, 
Basketball is another example. There are some sprints and jumps here and there, but for the most part you see guys trotting up and down the court. Yeah, they’re jogging. Fancy that.
Somehow we’re brainwashed into thinking that athletes never jog, but it happens in nearly every sport. In soccer, unless the ball is in their vicinity, athletes lazily move about the field. Football? Jogging to and from the sideline and back to the line after every play.
And what about athletes with their faces in oxygen masks (even though they don’t really work)? I don’t foresee Boba Fett inspired uniforms with oxygen tank backpacks anytime soon, so these guys better start fixing their shitty aerobic development.
To be fair, the sports mentioned also have a short-term explosive component, which makes respecting the work-to-rest interval important. A 2009 study found that, “More than 70% of the total [soccer] match duration was performed at low “aerobic” intensities, while only 1-3% of the match was performed at high-intensities (“sprinting”) (3). The overall work-to-rest ratio of these soccer players averaged out to a 2-4 second sprint every 90 seconds.”
In math speak that interval looks like 4:90. Football usually shakes out to 6:40, barring a two-minute drill (in which case it becomes even more aerobic). Olympic weightlifting, at minimum rest, is about 3:120. Truer alactic anaerobic sports like javelin and the 100m have even longer rest periods.
Compare those ratios to Tabata’s 20:10. Not even close.

Aerobic Work vs. Lifting Weights

The Return of Aerobic Work
Way back, nearly all athletes performed aerobic work. Bill Starr writes about running in The Strongest Shall Survive. Thomas Kurz in The Science of Sports Training notes that weightlifters jog in the early off-season. Old school fighters were known for doing roadwork. Hell, even Ricky Bruch, the eccentric discus thrower, jogged.
Now, aerobic work is shunned. But the aerobic system not only increases overall health markers but also aids in recovery from heavy weight training sessions.
As discussed in Heart Rate Variability Training, an over active sympathetic nervous system – a pitfall of shitty aerobic development – destroys performance.

It’s like this: a developed aerobic system kick starts the recovery process. More time recovering means more recovery.
Also, you’re able to save and concentrate “intense” bouts of energy for when they really matter. The opposite of this being in a constantly amped up state and slowly wearing yourself down – this is what I referred to as “idling” in 12 Tips to Tune the Nervous System.

Methods of Aerobic Development

The Return of Aerobic Work
Aerobic doesn’t always mean distance running. As long as your heart rate stays around 120-150 BPM (everyone has a different lactate threshold) and lactate doesn’t accumulate, you’re training the aerobic system. “Fun” things outside of distance running are stringing together a circuit of the following:

  • Rope jumping
  • Calisthenics
  • Mobility exercises
  • Tumbling and locomotor movements (cartwheels, forward rolls, backward rolls to handstands, inch worm walks, and bear crawls).

But if you enjoy running, tempo runs, essentially “low intensity” interval training, are a great choice. Tempo runs involve running a predetermined distance in a time window that’s of a low enough intensity to tax the aerobic system and yet fail to go anaerobic (70 yards in 20 seconds, for instance). Once the distance is covered, the runner can rest for thirty-or-so seconds to keep the heart rate in check before doing another heat.
More specific to a lifter, however, is a method used by track coach Dan Pfaff that consists of doing many sets of Olympic lifts over the course of 50+ minutes for 1-2 reps, striving to keep the heart rate around 150 BPM.
 A circuit of push-ups, squats, and pull-ups can train the aerobic system, but it isn’t ideal for a soccer player. Lance Armstrong isn’t a world class marathon runner. His adaptations are specific to riding a bike.

Conclusion

Aerobic work is making a comeback. All conditioning isn’t created equally. What’s the work : rest interval? What energy system(s) are utilized? Do you need capacity? Power? Or both?
One thing is for sure: you could stand to do a bit more aerobic work. That is, unless you’re holding out for the Boba Fett technology.

Sources

1) Parolin, M., et al. (1998). Regulation of skeletal muscle glycogen phosphorylase and pdh during maximal intermittent exercise. American Psychological Society227(5), 890-900.
2) Haseler, L., et al. (1999). Skeletal muscle phosphocreatine recovery in exercise-trained humans is dependent on o2 availability. American Psychological Society86(6), 2013-2018.
3) Osgnach, C., et al. (2010). Energy cost and metabolic power in elite soccer: A new match analysis approach. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise42(1), 170-178.
4) Oetter, E. (2011, October 10). [Web log message]. Retrieved fromhttp://www.8weeksout.com/2011/10/10/research-review-energy-systems-interval-training-rsa/
5) Jamieson, J. (2012, February 23). [Web log message]. Retrieved fromhttp://www.8weeksout.com/2012/02/23/roadwork-2-0-the-comeback/

11 Training Tips for the Skinny Fat Ectomorph

11 Training Tips for the Skinny Fat Ectomorph

I’ve got a confession to make: I’m your prototypical skinny-fat ectomorph.
Tall. Narrow shoulders. Wide waist. It’s the recipe needed to look thin while simultaneously sporting a muffin top. It’s also the combination that gets called “lanky,” a word I’ve grown to hate.
The truth is that I’m tired of seeing the skinny fats (as I like to call them) falling victim to advice given by the, “I’ve-been-lean-since-I-was-a-fetus” guys. The same guys that told me that I needed to shovel sustenance into my mouth without regard for body composition.
That might have worked for , Mr. Lean, but it sure as hell didn’t work for .
Skinny fats can’t play by the rules of the rest. With that in mind, here are 11 tips for the skinny fat ectomorph that wants to look good naked. Keep in mind that these are my personal reflections that worked for me, given my lackluster genetic makeup.

1. Stop Cutting and Bulking

Yes, traditional bulking allows you to gain more muscle when compared to the infamous “clean” bulk. But we skinny fats are terrible nutrient partitioners, so more of our excess calories are stored as fat, not used for muscle. This means that without performance enhancing substances, our cuts will be so long and intense that most of the muscular gains wither away.
We don’t prosper in malnourished environments very well. Hell, we don’t even prosper in nourished environments. Going through the whole bulking thing isn’t worth the roller coaster of weight fluctuation and the filling (or perhaps creation) of fat cells.

2. Carb Cycle

11 Training Tips for the Skinny Fat Ectomorph

There’s nothing wrong with taking your time to add muscle – especially when trying to stave off fat accumulation – but the problem most have is that they eat like an emaciated Ethiopian. Maximizing muscular gain, while limiting fat gain, is about optimizing the body’s hormonal profile at the right times.
For the natural trainee, this means cycling carbs according to training. I’m not going to go into detail as there are tons of articles devoted to this. Let’s just say: more carbs, less fats, and enough protein on training days; less carbs, more fats, and more protein on rest days.

3. Get Lean, But Forget About Abs

One of the biggest rules I have for skinny fats is to lean out first and never go on a traditional cut ever again. This, of course, requires never getting so fat that you need to cut. Most skinny fats will operate best (as far as gaining muscle is concerned) just outside of the six-pack zone in 11-12% bodyfat (assuming 10% is six-pack level). This is lean enough to be considered lean and “fat” enough to gain muscle.

4. Don’t Underestimate Bodyweight Training

It’s common for trainees that want to build muscle to revolve around the barbell, as it’s the most fabled piece of equipment. Squats, bench presses, deadlifts – ahh, smell the manliness. But don’t neglect bodyweight training like push-ups, pull-ups, chin-ups, dips, muscle-ups, and perhaps even some handstands, planche training, and front levers. Not only do these lifts keep your bodyweight in check (performance decreases if you’re overly puffy), but they can build muscle and stave off body fat accumulation.

5. Don’t Neglect Isolation, and Use Thick Bars

11 Training Tips for the Skinny Fat Ectomorph

Compound lifts work better for just about everything. But without isolation movements, a skinny fat’s arms will have about as much definition as a PVC pipe. Don’t neglect direct arm work. You need it.
Our breed is known for having tiny wrists, which is why I also recommend using thick bars (or Fat Gripz) for all pressing and all biceps work. You can also throw in some thick bar pulling exercises for good measure. This will be the bane of your workout, but you’ll see growth in your forearms, upper arms, and shoulders like never before.

6. Sprint, Carry

Don’t worry about “conditioning” work to “burn calories.” Become a short-term power machine. Run sprints, be it on a hill or a track, from 40-100 meters, but don’t turn it into a high intensity interval feast. Sprint, walk back to the starting line, catch your wind, and then go again. Also, do farmer’s walks, waiter walks, and carries. You’ll know why soon.

7. Be Cautious of Max Effort Work

Skinny fats have terrible recovery capacity. Shorter, brick house powerlifters, with their shortened range of motions and supreme levers, can lift maximally with less trouble. Our lanky stature is inferior in this regard. Be mindful of the recovery process.

8. Be a Bodybuilder, Not a Powerlifter

Similar to above, skinny-fats won’t thrive on minimalistic powerlifting routines. That’s not to say you can’t train in the lower (3-5) repetition ranges, or that all powerlifting routines are bad, but we’re much more suited to higher repetition ranges, training at a lower percentage of our maximum, and using a little more volume.

9. Shoulders, Upper Chest, Lats, Upper Back

11 Training Tips for the Skinny Fat Ectomorph

Skinny fats are pyramids: their waists are bigger than their shoulders. This needs to change. Focus on everything above the deltoid tuberosity – shoulders, upper chest, upper back, and neck. Also include lats in there, as wide wings make the waist look smaller.
A steady diet of chin-ups, incline pressing, dumbbell floor pressing, heavy lateral raises (with body English), overhead work, and rows with the elbows flared will do the trick. Oh yeah, remember when I told you to carry stuff? Farmer’s walks are your new BFF.

10. Wave Your Repetitions

Skinny fats tend to need variation to kick start progress. This doesn’t have to be complicated. One of the oldest methods of progression was to increase reps and not weight.
Let’s say you’re benching 225 and you can get four sets of six reps. All future workouts stay at 225 until you work up to four sets of twelve. Once you hit that, add 10-20 pounds to the bar and repeat the process.
This forces you to train with heavier weights and lower repetition ranges for a while, followed by a period of lighter weights and higher repetition ranges. Most everyone benefits from altering intensity and volume, so don’t convince yourself that the end all of strength and size development is five reps.

11. Every. Damn. Day

I’m going to end on a crapshoot. Some skinny fats are soft because they’re babied. From a biological standpoint, having muscle is an artifact of living a lifestyle that demands its creation. So it may be worthwhile to try training every day to provide a signal to the body that being a skinny fat just isn’t going to cut it.
Something tells me that running a combination of Waterbury’s PLP and Dan John’s 40 Day Program could do wonders for anyone.

Conclusion

Skinny fat sucks. There’s no denying it, sugar coating it, or trying to pretend it has any redeeming qualities. But it doesn’t have to be a life sentence of avoiding public beaches and swimming with your shirt on. If you’re tired of hiding love handles and having the hormonal profile of an ovulating woman, give these tips a try.

Wikio

The Snatch Grip Deadlift

The Snatch Grip Deadlift

Strength coach Charles Poliquin introduced T Nation readers to many strength-training tenets like squatting past parallel, body part splits, and the value of compound lifts.
One of his more radical ideas was doing snatch grip deadlifts from a 4″ podium. He loved this exercise, saying it was among the best for putting on mass, fast. Sadly, with the advent of maintaining a neutral spine, this exercise has been snatched from existence.
Many coaches opt for safer, shorter ROM deadlift variations, especially when working with populations sporting the posterior chain mobility of a crowbar. But not having the mobility now doesn’t mean you won’t have it in the future. You just have to put in extra time if you want to do one of the most underrated exercises in barbell history.

Why Snatch Grip Deadlift?

If getting “walking-like-you-have-Sidney-Crosby’s-Olympic-Gold-winning-hockey-stick-up-your-ass” syndrome after a heavy session of snatch grip deadlifts isn’t enough proof that they “work,” here are some other reasons to do the exercise:

1. Upper-back development.

Olympic weightlifters have very impressive back development. Outside of pulling from the floor with insane frequency, one thing they do that most others don’t is pull with a snatch grip. So if band pull aparts aren’t exploding your posterior delts and upper traps as planned, consider adding this lift into your program.

2. Posterior chain development.

Conventional deadlifting is known for developing a muscular back more than it is for developing muscular legs. This is because, all things considered, the lift doesn’t require a lot of range of motion in the hips and knees.
Even though you’re not lifting as much weight when you use the snatch grip, it’s more of a leg exercise because of the starting position depth. Your hamstrings and glutes gets stretched considerably more, and this is what packs on the size.

3. Assisting conventional deadlifts.

The deadlift, for all practical purposes, is like a half-squat. There’s nothing “normal” about the height of forty-five pound plates, they’re that size because of tradition. To increase ROM, many lifters will pull from a deficit.
The snatch grip deadlift is essentially a deficit pull because the wide grip forces you to get deeper in the starting position. You can now stop balancing on stacked plates like a jackass.

4. It can boost your vertical jump.

I’ve researched vertical jump training thoroughly to prepare my athletes that go onto combine-esque tests. Although journal articles are insightful, nothing compares to analyzing video footage of people attempting vertical jumps.
I’m looking at two stills taken from YouTube. The quality is too crappy to post here, so take my word for it. Both shots show jumpers stopped in the amortization phase of a vertical jump.
The guy on the left boasts a 30″ vertical. Honestly, with the setup he’s using, I doubt it, but for the sake of conversation, let’s say he’s telling the truth. The dude on the right boasts a near 50″ vertical. Since that’s very high, I’m going to bump it down to 40″ to account for YouTube inflation.
We’re left with a 10″ difference. Apart from the guy on the right being noticeably more muscular, they have dramatically different body positions. The guy with the higher vertical is relying much more on hip extension, which equates to more glute and posterior chain use. The other guy is all quads and calves.
Although there are probably many reasons why the one is jumping higher, his body position isn’t hurting him. And strangely enough, it’s a position that resembles the beginning of a snatch grip deadlift.

Get a Grip!

Many who try snatch grip deadlifts get as far as the first set and never to do them again because gripping the barbell mangled their hands into a pseudo-cramped claw. But this lift isn’t meant to be grip work, so don’t fret.

The Snatch Grip Deadlift

Most Olympic weightlifters use straps in training and the hook grip in competition to save their hands. The hook grip is a gripping technique where your fingers wrap around the thumb instead of the traditional thumbs-atop-fingers monkey grip. But it’s not really meant to be done for long duration sets, and is much more of a “singles” friendly technique.
If you’re serious about the snatch grip deadlift but want to save your hands, you’re going to need straps. Forgo them on the warm-up sets, however, and save them for the work sets.

The Setup

In the Olympic weightlifting world, it’s customary to setup and start with the shoulders behind the bar so that the quads help the initial push from the floor.
But since we’re not Olympic weightlifters, I prefer to use the pulling mechanics that most heavy deadlifters abide by: shoulder blades directly above the bar, and the bar kept close to the body (scraping the skin off of the shins).

What Not to Do

Having a form breakdown during the snatch grip deadlift is about as easy as a guy having an affinity for Jamie Eason. Since the wider grip stresses the upper back, it needs to stay rigid to keep the system intact. But the upper back is a mixture of many smaller muscles, and it’s not nearly as strong as we’d like it to be. When it fails, the shoulders round over and the lower back soon follows.
Because of this, I prefer “mastering” an easy weight to ease the upper back into the lift. This means volume is added before weight. If you deadlift anything above 350 pounds, a good starting point is 225 pounds for five repetitions. Yes, this will feel “easy,” but it’s necessary to prepare for higher intensities down the line.
Weight on the bar should only be ramped up after you’ve solidified the mobility to use maximum grip width, and have built the upper back tolerance for it.

Disclaimer

Before I go further, this article is about snatch grip deadlifts from the floor. Most lifters have enough trouble keeping the back in a good position without the extra height a podium offers. If you toy around with this lift for a while, however, and decide you want to kick it up a notch, feel free to pull from a deficit. At that point you should know whether your back can take it.

Strategies

Since we’re easing into this exercise, it’s perfect for a “light” lower body day (or light deadlifting day). You can also incorporate it into your conventional deadlifting warm ups. Again, if you’re handling anything above 350 pounds, do your warm ups up to 225 pounds with a snatch grip. The extra range of motion will make your conventional pulls feel easier.
Let’s start at the beginning: “Where should I grip the bar?”

The Grip

When people think of taking a “snatch grip,” they envision grabbing the bar from collar to collar. But the widest grip I advise (and this is for tall folk) is with the index finger just outside the last ring on the barbell. The narrowest grip would be a grip where the pinky finger is just inside of the last ring. Most, however, will settle in between these two grips.
The Snatch Grip Deadlift
To find your starting grip, you’re going to have to do some testing. Grip the bar one thumb length away from the smooth. Do one or two deadlifts to groove your form. If you hit them without problems, move your grip out an inch further. Again, one or two reps should tell you whether you’re ready for the grip width.
The Snatch Grip Deadlift
Repeat this process – re-gripping, testing, and resting – until you’re unable to keep your spine in a good position. Take note of where your hands are because that’s the grip you’ll use until you become flexible enough to hit your optimal width.
If you get as far as pinky finger just inside the ring, then you won’t need much work. Hell, if you’re a shorter person don’t worry about going further. For most, however, it’s best to have at least your fourth finger gripping overtop the smooth ring on the barbell.
To make this clearer, here’s a standard.

This certainly isn’t gospel. If you’re shorter and want to shoot for a wider grip, then I encourage you to go for it. But if your form is breaking down with a not-so-wide grip, you need to work on your flexibility.

Flexibility

To get more flexible for the snatch grip deadlift, you need to practice the snatch grip deadlift position. Complicated stuff, I know.
Load a bar with 315+ pounds (you need enough weight on the bar so that you don’t actually end up lifting it), get into the starting position (the sequence is described below), and then anteriorly rotate your pelvis while lifting your chest up. Use the bar to pull yourself into the ground. You’ll feel this most in your lower back and hamstrings.
Hold the position for 20-30 seconds. Stand up and shake yourself out. Go back and take a wider grip on the bar and do the same, holding for 20-30 seconds. Again, stand up and shake yourself out. For your third set, grip the barbell at what you feel is your optimal grip. Another 20-30 seconds and another shake out concludes your stretching.
Do this as frequently as you can, but especially after your lower body lifting days.
For those already at your optimal grip, take a collar to collar grip and do this stretch for one set after your deadlifting days to develop a safe net of flexibility.

How To

Despite the snatch grip deadlift appearing to be technical wizardry, it’s an easy maneuver to master as long as you’re working within your means.

Feet

Start by settling your feet underneath the bar, lining it up over the mid-foot. Your feet shouldn’t be quite as wide as squatting width, but they shouldn’t be quite as narrow as deadlifting width, either.
You need to give your torso some room, so point your toes out anywhere from ten to twenty degrees. This makes getting into the bottom position easier, which helps keep the lower back rigid.
The Snatch Grip DeadliftThe Snatch Grip Deadlift

Grip

Take your grip on the barbell with the same width that you tested into earlier. Along with having a suicide grip on the bar, make sure you lock your elbows.
Think about pulling the bar apart with your hands. This keeps both the elbows and upper back tight. Losing slack in either of these areas is a recipe for hunching over and losing spinal position. It’s common to “forget” about the elbows because they’re not normally a concern during conventional deadlifts, so make it a point to remind yourself.
The Snatch Grip Deadlift

Finish

The feet are in place and the grip is settled. To finish the setup, bend your knees until your shins hit the barbell. Once contact is made, lift your chest and settle the lower back into a neutral position. You’re now ready to pull.
The Snatch Grip Deadlift

The Pull

Drive the bar off the ground using your legs. Envision squeezing yourself into the floor. Be sure to keep your back angle constant during the initial leg drive. When the bar passes your knees, drive the hips forward to a strong lockout with tight hips. Remember to slide the barbell up your body. For the sake of your lower back, don’t let it float away.
The Snatch Grip Deadlift
As a small aside, be sure to bring your shoulders with you at lockout. If you don’t, depending on your grip width, there’s a good chance the bar will settle right across your junk. Guys, consider yourselves warned.
To set the bar down, reverse the directions above, breaking at the hips until the bar reaches the knees. Reposition yourself after each rep to ensure that your back stays in good position.

Programming the Snatch Grip Deadlift

Most people don’t like to pull heavy twice in one week, and for good reason. Between the squats and other leg work, the lower back and nervous system can fatigue quickly.
The good news is that snatch grip deadlifts will be anything but “heavy,” especially compared to conventional pulls. Approach this exercise with a tortoise mentality. Start at 225 pounds for sets of five.

Cycle #1

The Snatch Grip Deadlift

The purpose of the first cycle is to gradually introduce the snatch grip deadlift and to work on any flexibility issues you may have. Since three weeks of hard training followed by one week of deloading is a common training strategy, that’s the format I’m going to use for this example.

Week One

Day 1 (Light day)

Exercise Sets Reps
A Back squats 3 6
B Snatch grip deadlifts+ 3 5
C Glute-ham raises 3 8
D Ab wheel rollouts 5 8

Day 2 (Heavy day)

Exercise Sets Reps
A Power cleans*
B Conventional deadlifts+ 2 3-5**
C Good mornings 3 8
D Bulgarian split squats 2 8
D Band hip rotations 2 10

Week Two

Day 1 (Light day)

Exercise Sets Reps
A Back squats 3 8
B Snatch grip deadlifts+ 4 5
C Glute-ham raises 3 10
D Ab wheel rollouts 5 10

Day 2 (Heavy day)

Exercise Sets Reps
A Power cleans*
B Conventional deadlifts+ 2 3-5**
C Good mornings 3 10
D Bulgarian split squats 2 10
D Band hip rotations 2 10

Week Three

Day 1 (Light day)

Exercise Sets Reps
A Back squats 3 10
B Snatch grip deadlifts+ 5 5
C Glute-ham raises 3 12
D Ab wheel rollouts 5 12

Day 2 (Heavy day)

Exercise Sets Reps
A Power cleans*
B Conventional deadlifts+ 3 3-5**
C Good mornings 3 12
D Bulgarian split squats 2 12
D Band hip rotations 3 10

Week Four (deload)

Day 1 (light day)

Exercise Sets Reps
A Back squats 2 5
B Snatch grip deadlifts+ 2 5
C Glute-ham raises 2 10
D Ab wheel rollouts 3 10

Day 2 (Heavy day)

Exercise Sets Reps
A Power cleans*
B Conventional deadlifts+ 2** 5
C Good mornings 2 10
D Bulgarian split squats 1 10
D Band hip rotations 2 10

Less Reading, More Lifting!

Whether you’re interested in strength or size, the snatch grip deadlift is worth the investment. It’s a great exercise that can complement and improve a traditional deadlifting program while adding extra mass to the upper back, glutes, and hamstrings.
So man up, work on your mobility, and start gripping the bar wider and wider to master snatch grip pulls from the floor. Just don’t complain to me when your friends start making off-color jokes about your newly acquired walk. Of course, once their girlfriends start checking out your beefed-up glute and hamstrings, you might hear a lot less laughing.
Anthony Mychal is an athlete consultant, writer, teacher, and coach. In his free time, he publishes a blog about his musings on athletic preparation at http://www.anthonymychal.com

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