Welcome to “March Madness” at Training Ground Athletic! Beginning Monday, March 2, 2015, we will be testing your PRs or Personal Records for our three major lifts (straight bar deadlift, back squat, and strict overhead press). If you are unfamiliar with weightlifting terminology, a PR is the heaviest amount of weight you can lift for a given amount of repetitions. For our purposes, your PR will refer to the absolute heaviest amount of weight you can lift for ONE repetition. PR testing will only be done during Group Strength Classes and will go on for four (4) weeks. From now on, we want you to think of March as your “competitive season”.
At TGA, we use a percentage based strength training model with your weights calculated based on a percentage of your PR. We train sub-maximally throughout the year, usually in the 65%-90% range. We have seen tremendous strength gains using this programming model. It has been a safe way to calculate your training numbers. After “March Madness” is over, we will be stepping it up and calculating your training numbers based off a percentage of your NEW PR!
In any sport, a measure of a successful training program is how well you do in competition. Your training must be intentionally programmed for optimal results. For competitive weightlifters, the training floor is not where the heaviest lifts take place. Like competitive weightlifters, you will be training sub-maximally during the off-season, saving your best performance for competition. This sub-maximal training model works really well for getting you stronger and more powerful without taxing your body too heavily. The workloads we program (60%-95%) must facilitate adaptation and also allow for proper recovery. True maximal 100% lifts are the most stressful lifts on the body and the central nervous system, causing technique breakdown and a higher risk of injury. Training at max effort every session will eventually wreck your body. For this reason, we feel that 100% max effort lifts shouldn’t be included very often in your training. Our goal at TGA is for you to recover quickly so that you can come back tomorrow and train again! You simply cannot continue to lift at such a high intensity without risking overuse injuries. We believe that there is a very fine line between getting stronger and getting injured. My job as a successful coach is to keep you “behind the line.”
Our training philosophy with athletes has always been “more training, less testing!” Let’s save the PR testing for competition. At TGA, YOU are the ATHLETE and we are going to treat our PR testing in March like a competitive sport! Remember, intense training during the year is NOT the same as competition. Get hyped up for competition! Make sure you walk through the doors in March mentally prepared and ready to lift HEAVY! Let the endorphins flow!!!
This is how PR testing works: we will test 1of our 3 main lifts during every Group Strength Class. After your designated warm-up sets, you will have 5 attempts to hit your PR, which is the maximum weight you can lift for 1 repetition while maintaining PERFECT FORM. Depending on how often you train in March, you will have the opportunity to test each lift twice. Please plan your schedule appropriately so you don’t miss a lift! We will take your best numbers and base all future programming on a percentage of your new PR.
Deadlift- bar MUST be pulled from the floor, NO lifting blocks and NO Straps
Back Squat- you MUST squat below parallel unless you have a pre-existing knee issue
Overhead Press- bar MUST start on sternum and be pressed to a full 3 second overhead lock-out, NO dipping or low back hyperextension allowed
Please let me know if you have any questions. Let “March Madness” begin…….