8.5 Weeks Out - January 5, 2015

My Previous Program:

So, here's what my previous program looked like:
MONDAY - max effort, lower body
TUESDAY - cardio
WEDNESDAY - max effort, upper body
THURSDAY - cardio
FRIDAY - dynamic effort, lower body
SATURDAY - dynamic effort, upper body
SUNDAY - off
x 4 weeks
DELOAD WEEK - week 5
TEST MAXES - week 6 
BACK TO PROGRAM - weeks 7 and 8

Max Effort = 70-90%, rep ranges of 6 to 1, 7 to 8 sets
Dynamic Effort = 50-70%, rep ranges of 10 to 6, 7 to 8 sets
Lower body = squats and deadlifts
Upper body = bench press

The accessory exercises I used were curls (added in on the max effort upper body days), and military press and pendlay rows (used on dynamic effort upper body days). 
**Because I was on vacation out of the country for a week and then got sick right after that vacation I wound up being ~2.5 weeks behind on the program as it was written, so I took out the deload and max-test weeks as well as two more programmed weeks.**

A Reflection On Said Program

So, IMMEDIATELY after looking at the program I can see two flaws:
(1) Way too much cardio for a program meant to build strength
(2) Very volume heavy based on the "7 to 8 sets" for squats, bench, and deads

After actually PERFORMING this program I can report on one additional flaw:
(1) Too many reps at too high a percentage, aka: the program was WAY. TOO. DIFFICULT.

When I first started this program it was definitely very challenging. It was doable, and I did it, but it was noticeably more taxing than it really should have been. After I went on vacation and got sick the program became downright unreasonable. I lost a fair amount of strength (and conditioning, too) in the time I took off, and I had to alter the daily regimen in order to even be able to complete it. It's my opinion that, yes, a program should be challenging. But when you're in a position where you have to take a break from it like I did, then altering the program by CHANGING THE WEIGHTS ONLY should be enough to make the program doable with the strength loss. However, I found myself having to alter number of sets, number of reps, AND the weights I was using.

This past Saturday was my last day on the program *thank god*, so this week I'm doing a REAL deload week. (I've had trouble actually sticking to one in the past, because I much prefer to push myself to the limit even though I know deloads are good for the body. #stubborn) Next week, probably on Monday, I'll be testing all three of my maxes! HOPEFULLY I will see at least a 5 pounds increase in each lift despite my strength loss. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. 

8.5 Weeks Out!

I'm officially eight and a half weeks away from the meet! (Assuming all goes well with registration.) So, my immediate to do list looks like this:
- Research proper procedures for testing max weights on the Big 3
- Look for, ask around, and brainstorm a new program... something much different that what I did last time!
- Schedule a weigh-in session
- Fantasize about the belt I'm going to buy :P
- Buy plane tickets

I'm extremely excited! As I mentioned in my first entry, the results of this meet hardly matter to me. I mean, yes, it would be super awesome to do well, but I'm not at all expecting it. I'm just expecting to have a great time doing what I love, and I get the chance to go home and visit family and friends in the meantime! :)