Keep It Simple For Your Sake: Part 2

About a month ago I posted an article explaining my mistakes I made with my football training plan.  I briefly scanned it before I started pounding the computer keys with this gem.

Final analysis of my winter training plan: I was right.  No surprise.  When you've done this stuff as long as I have you should be able to recognize when things will go well and when they'll go poorly.

I had mentioned to my assistants about 6 weeks ago that I didn't think we'd test well.  The main reason - we trained too heavy.  I normally stay in the 70-85% range with all the big lifts.  On the 9th week we use 90%, but by that time it's no longer 90%.  This winter we hit 4 of our 9 weeks at or above 90%.

What I told my assistants 6 weeks ago was that we wouldn't test well.  I was partially right.  A few guys actually pushed up their numbers.  But, what we got were more accurate numbers.  Much lower rep maxes which leads to much more accurate estimated maxes.

Oddly (to me) we killed the Hang Clean and Push Press testing.  Really good increases.

Bench testing was similar to the Squat.

End result: The numbers I have now are much more accurate, so there's a positive.

We did some pretty high volume training this winter and their bodies show it.  Dudes got big!  This was my goal, so I got that right.

I used to notice this when I was competing.  I'd go through an Accumulation Phase and I'd put on some muscle, but I never really felt strong and certainly wasn't able to show my strength.  This is because of the high volume of work.  As we'd get a few weeks into a Transmutation Phase my strength would jump.  Why?  Lower total training volume.

I usually do Accumulation and Transmutation (Hypertrophy and Strength) Phases with my athletes.  I never do Realization (Peaking) Phases with them.  I don't see the point.  Lower overall training volume when the next "phase" they're going into is high volume (practice).  I know weight room volume and practice field volume are different, but the weight room creates a work capacity in conjunction with running.  Blah, blah, blah...

Anyway, my Strength Phase was too much volume.  It garnered the muscle mass I wanted, but their ability to show their strength on testing day was compromised.

In the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter.  They got bigger so they got stronger.  If we can get back to a normal training plan this summer I'll lower overall weight room volume in July and I'll see better testing numbers.  Exactly what I did last summer.

If this pandemic clears up and we can get back to normal life I'll be looking forward to putting all of this nonsense into practice.

This is why it's incredibly important for coaches to train themselves pretty hard and with a purpose.  You can learn so much from your own training.  Even if you're not training "like an athlete" you can still learn the basics of how the body responds to weight training.  I don't need a sport scientist to tell me what's going to happen when we do high volume for a long time.  I already know.  We're going to get big and may have a hard time "showing" strength.

Good thing being good at a sport doesn't correlate with how much you can Squat, Bench or Hang Clean on a test day.

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