Week of Testing: Rest or Train?

TAGS: Chris Janek, strength and conditioning, powerlifting, strength training, strength coach, training

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So you just finished a great program, now what?

No matter which program you run, one will almost always lead up to a test day, meet, competition, or some sort of PR (personal record) measurement to see if improvements have been made. There are numerous debates on the best method to use building up to these, as well as how to approach what comes next.

After a long push 10+ weeks of meet prep, your body physically and mentally needs some rest before the powerlifting meet. I prefer my powerlifters do an opener or their last warm-up the week prior to the meet. I then have them do minimal work the week of the meet. Although this rest period is already known and not a new subject to experts, let’s talk about the general population.


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Most of my clients hit it hard every session. We always do a compound movement with a secondary along with a lot of assistance movements to compliment what was performed that day. Saturdays are the only day where we don’t touch weights and when conditioning with mid section work takes over. For the majority of my clients, they understand the purpose of a testing day. This helps me see if what we have been doing is working for them and if we need to tweak anything or address anything to better help them reach their goals.

Getting back to testing; during the week of testing almost all my clients still like to come in to the facility. Instead of turning them away, I invite them in and have them do a much lighter routine with the main movements. I’ll also address some assistance work to help improve any weak spots. We always test on a Saturday, as this is when most are available to come in to train/test. I have been doing this for almost 12 years and this has worked for my clientele and I. This might differ for your own career or clientele. Overall, our injury rate and success rate are both great with low to no injuries. Most all of my clients move forward on their lifts, a.k.a. set a PR.


RELATED: How to Set Up a Successful Meet Prep


With this in mind, here is an example for lower body work that we always do first thing in the week.

Monday/Tuesday

PRE-LIFT

  • Dynamic warm-up 5/8 minutes
  • Mobility work 3/5 minutes
  • Wall Squats
  • RPR 1/2 Minutes

LIFT

  • Squat (empty bar, depth focus) 5x10
  • Lunges 5x5 (each leg BW)
  • Leg curls (light) 5x10
  • Abs ‘choice’ 5x10
  • Conditioning (light)
  • Stretch

This workout is short and sweet; try to get them in and out 40 minutes. Have them spend extra time stretching working on troubled areas, too. Here is an example for upper body work which we always do second in the week.

Tuesday/Wednesday

PRE-LIFT

  • Dynamic warm-up 5/8 minutes
  • Mobility work 3/5 minutes
  • Wall W/Y pattern
  • WALL INT/EXT x 10
  • RPR 1/2 Minutes

LIFT

  • Bench press (empty bar) 5x10
  • Pull-Down 5x10
  • Triceps pressdown (SS) Curls 5x10
  • Abs ‘choice’ 5x10
  • Conditioning
  • Stretch

Again, this is short and sweet, getting them in and out 40 minutes with extra time stretching working on troubled areas.

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For clients who come in everyday on our unlimited package or those who just love to train, we add a third session. However, we pay close attention to their age range, as recovery is different for the high school/collegiate athletes and the weekend warrior type.

Wednesday/Thursday

PRE-LIFT

  • Dynamic warm-up 5/8 minutes
  • Mobility work 3/5 minutes
  • RPR 1/2 Minutes

LIFT

  • Deadlift (empty bar) 3x10 R.O.M.
  • Leg curls (light) 3x10
  • Abs (light) 3x10
  • Conditioning (bike - light)
  • Stretch

This workout is once again short and sweet. I try to get them in and out 30 minutes this time and also have them spend extra time on stretching and troubled areas.

If anyone tries to come in Friday, I have them bike some; followed by a stretch, and then make them go home and rest. Tomorrow (Saturday) is their game day, as some would say.

Rest and recovery is just as important as the work itself. As important as it is to reach PR goals, it’s important to do it safely. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to shoot me an email at Tankstrainingfacility@yahoo.com.

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