Random Training Thoughts #7 Heavy Front Squat and Bench, Bodyweight Guru Edition

Random Training Thoughts heres #1,#2,#3,#4, #5,#6 Golf

#1 For those of you that don’t know I’ve been running Bulgarian Method ala Greg Nuckols. I’m currently on week seven as of writing. Front Squatting nearly every damn day has made me really good at front squats. I front Squatted 170kg’s 5 days out of 7 on week 6. I number I could have never imagined hitting earlier this year. What surprised me was the organic technical overhaul my front squat went.

My stance is now narrower allowing for greater forward knee projection and greater stretch reflex from my quads, my grip wider with very deliberate finger placement and my breathing and unracking, now get all my bracing done before I even take the bar out of the rack. Also my head position is much higher. Heaviest front squats have to be approached with extreme confidence as with all heavy lifts, unlike the back squat I’ve found myself having to stay far calmer when setting up and lifting.


#2 General trend in my Pressing programming for fighters is Bench Heavy and Volume for vertical pressing this seemed to keep shoulders far happier than any other intensity/volume set-up. We use a lot of behind the neck press, seated DB press and landmine pressing.

#3 I’ve been programming for a few crossfitters and the feed back seems to be that and not much to my surprise, Strength is crucial, I honestly believe that most serious competitive crossfitters should take 6 months out from wodding and get strong and I mean really strong with extra focus on eccentrics. Eccentrics seem to really help injury proof the crossfit athlete. Once we approach comps regular wod style workouts and lactic conditioning become the mainstay we even use elements of the local lactate GPP method. 

#4 I’ve had a few conversations about steroids and lack of hard work required for recreational users, its the reasons why some guys can get so big on otherwise awful programming.

What you see here from this study in the NEJM is that fat free mass went up in subjects who just took steroids and didn’t exercise, more so than those who exercised! Exercisers still made more strength gains because lifting is a skill. But still when someone tells me “You still have to work hard on steroids” remind them we all work hard, you can just work harder if you want, but you probably won’t because most people take steroids for easy gains.

#5 Bench press grip train narrow, PR wide. Those few inches of change is ROM allow you get a little more out on bench especially with very heavy loads.

#6 There is a real functional movement guru trend sneaking into MMA and BJJ right now it needs to stop! Things like balance beams, quad movement and abstract callisthenics (basic tumbling is useful) are largely context specific, getting good at balance beam only helps you at using balance beam, I find most athletes master this stuff far too quickly to be of any real use.  Only athletes who struggle with this stuff are either heavy, un-athletic or immobile. Keep squatting keep mobilising, leave the straddle planches and spiderman crawls for the under 145lbers.

I do however recommend tumbling for junior athletes.

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