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by Carl Brewer last modified 2008-06-22 01:01

One of the ways to measure weight training is tonnage

Today, after finally finishing "Practical Programming for Strength Training" Mark Rippetoe And Lon Kilgore, and lessons learned from the AS&C course, I've changed my lifting program.  I'm basically a 'novice' in terms of strength development (not surprising, I've only been in the Power House for 4 months).  They define a novice as someone who's still able to improve at every workout (subject to a few backoffs and unloads every few months when you plateau), an intermediate who needs a structured week to improve, and advanced as needing month blocks or more as you approach your genetic limits it's harder to improve.  They say do 5 sets of 5 until you're no longer a novice lifter, as it's the most efficient way to use the time lifting and is a good balance of strength and hypertrophy.

The basic idea at this point is to keep it simple,  I'm doing squats every session, in 5 sets of 5 reps, with the aim of the final set being very hard to complete.  If I get all 5 sets of 5, next session, the weight goes up.  These are full (as full as I can on a reconstructed knee anyway) squats.  Today, 5 x 5 @ 130kg.  That's a tonnage squatted of 3,250kg. When you look at it like that, it's quite a lot of weight.  Anna Meares did 4 reps at 140kg the week before she rode an 11.178 flying 200 at Vodafone, I know I can do one set of 140kg 5's because I did that last week, so I'm stronger than Anna at squats! She's a little faster than me though...  A predicted indoor F200 time for me at the moment based on flying 100's is around 13.7s, and that's waaaaay too slow.

I'm doing jump squats every second session, deadlifts every second session (alternating them, basically) and lunges every second session.  That doesn't quite add up yet, I'm still working on the details.  Also doing bench every session, and either wide arm pullups or bent over rows every second session, so each session is around 4 exercises with a mix of pushes and pulls on the major groups.  Three Power House sessions a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. This meshes in with ergo sessions on the bike and DISC on Sundays over winter.  Over summer we'll be doing a lot more work at the Blackburn velodrome.

One of the key things to remember is that the Power House training is a means to an end, not an end in itself.  If I can end up deep squatting 200kg or so, that'll be great, but what I really care about is riding faster.  It's going to take time and patience, and I may end up being dog-slow at the end of it anyway, but there's only one way to know, and that's to give it a go.

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