I’ve been thinking about my strength routine recently, especially since watching the gymnastics in the commonwealth games. The ability of these athletes is absolutely incredible. These athletes have a much more complete and functional strength than I think my routine is setting me up for.
I think it’s time to make a few changes. I have been 5x5ing the main compound lifts, (squat, deadlift, bench press and military press) and have seen great improvements in those exercises, but I think i’ve started to lose sight of what i’m trying to achieve. Getting a bigger bench press isn’t the endgame, Gaining more vaulting power is, and squats don’t mean squat unless my jump and landings are improving. I don’t want to end up looking like a bodybuilder.
So far, i’ve found squats and deadlifts to be very beneficial to my jump, so I won’t be making any changes to what I’m doing there yet.
Bench pressing is going well, however, I think I need to work my vaults more on actual training days. The strength I’m gaining in that area isn’t much good unless i’m practicing how to apply it.
My shoulder workout however, I think has to change. Despite gaining strength in my military press, my handstands have suffered massively. My plan here is going to be to cycle weights for a month, and then handstand related drills for a month. This is one of the areas which watching the commonwealth gymnastics inspired. The strength in the pommel horse made me realise that I valued my handstands much more than I valued military press, so the emphasis should be on the handstands themselves. I used to train my handstands pretty much every day. See this old training video of mine.
My pull up routine is about to change for a third time. Initially, my goal was to get back up to 10 pull ups, which I managed. Then I started adding weight while following the same routine. In spite of this, I still don’t seem to have gotten much closer to my goal of double arm muscle ups. A movement which I have never had solidly. I’m going to continue training pull ups 3 times a week, but add more variation this time. On monday, I will follow a standard 5x5 with weight. On wednesday, I’m going to throw some variation into the grips. I have yet to try this, but I am thinking 3x5 on both close and wide grip weighted pull ups. On friday, I plan on going heavy. If I can manage more than 3 repetitions on one weight, I will up the weight. For all of my pull ups, however, I need to focus on pulling as high as I can. My range of motion is what (I think) is letting me down in failing to get double arm muscle ups. That, and I need to actually train split arm muscle ups. There must be some carry over from them.
In summary, I think I simply need to constantly change my routine, based on whatever my current targets are, and try to keep sight of why i’m doing what I’m doing, rather than getting obsessed with the weight side. I’ll go into a bit more detail on what new targets i’m setting for myself in a later post.