The group of students that I coach from Akron Barbell Club continue to do an amazing job this semester. The past 9 weeks I had them working on a lot of variations to the big 3 to help them address some weaknesses and build strength in some ways they hadn't before. This past week they performed some max squat/bench/deadlifts to give me some good info as I program their next weeks leading into competition.


Because I design this semester from a big-picture perspective with their meets as the primary focus, I stressed to them not to over-think these max lifts, because they are a part of the bigger picture. The purpose of these was to see technical breakdowns, and have maxes to base the coming weeks from. They did incredibly well, all getting valuable feedback/info on technique issues we need to address, and many of them hitting huge PRs (some of over 80lbs!). The picture below of my computer as I started to enter in their lifts says it all. We don't do anything incredibly complicated, it is the combination of consistency + constantly improving technique that has been paying off for so many of them.


Some of the students are competing at the USAPL Battle of the Great Lakes April 18th (5 weeks), and the others are competing at the UPA Old School Iron meet April 25th (6 weeks). Over these final weeks leading into competition, they will perform the competition lifts specifically (as opposed to variations/special exercises) as we take a linear approach to the meet with their main movements. In addition, submax (but still heavy) singles will be taken every other week, to work on their technique for singles (many are good at reps but struggle with heavy singles), and work on the commands/rules for the meet.

AK Barbell

I'm incredibly proud of how the group has been doing, and they will only continue to get better and better. The biggest thing I have continued to stress to them is the importance of trusting in the process, and understanding that there are mental, physical, and technical aspects to every plateau or missed lift. Many of the students have been consistently getting stronger, but as we fix some technique issues and build their confidence under the bar it will allow them to DISPLAY the strength they're building even better.  I continue to remind them the importance of staying even keel throughout training, and not to over-react to the good days, or the bad days (training isn't a perfectly linear process in the day-to-day, you'll drive yourself nuts if you expect it to be). They're on a roll, and I'm incredibly excited to see many of them compete for the first time.

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