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Drop Sets For Strength: How I’m Programing Now [Free Template]

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As I went over in my previous post, I have been using drop sets for strength gain. Drop sets are when you build up to a max effort of 2-10 reps, then drop to 90% of that weight and that will be your working weight. These are excellent for strength gains, at least when they’re programed correctly… Programing is just like cooking, it takes preparation and forethought to what the ultimate goal is and I have found an excellent resource in Quick Paleo Meal Prep for this area of my life. The book goes over the specific needs of individuals and how to structure your diet accordingly, I helped co-author this book so I fully support it’s contents. As for drop sets, I’ve learned that the programing for these requires a bit more thought than “JUST DO IT!” so let’s look into the smart way to get you as strong as possible using drop sets.

 

WHAT WORKS FOR OTHERS

 

Westside Barbell is a group that I’ve been following for about 2 years now, and aside from producing the strongest powerlifters on the face of the earth, the owner Louie Simmons is a wealth of knowledge about all things liftng. If you have studied Westside’s training at all you know the term “conjugate“, which basically means you’re not lifting exclusively heavy for the sake of lifting heavy, instead you’re training all aspects of the art of lifting heavy. With the conjugate method that Louie teaches you will lift for a max effort on one day and for speed on another day, this is incredibly helpful when you are at a meet or competition and are going through what would be a “grinder” (very slow and painful rep). Instead of just grinding through the rep in hopes of actually completing the lift you have trained to not only lift weights, but to lift them FAST. And along with learning to lift weights fast you have given your mind and muscles a break from the damaging affects of lifting heavy every single day!

 

LESSON LEARNED

 

So after running myself into the ground for a few weeks with drop sets with a PURE STRENGTH focus I’ve gone till the wheels started coming off and brought back a little common sense. So I will keep using drop sets in my strength program, but there will be designated days for speed training or “dynamic effort days” as Louie calls them to focus on lifting fast and efficient, along with allowing my body to rest the needed amount to continue on the gains train! I will still build up to a heavy double or triple on speed days, but instead of taking it down only 10% I’m going to bring it down 40-50% so that the weight is light enough to move at the right speed but heavy enough to be an actual stimulus. I think this will be a great switch and I recomend it for anyone who’s looking to get strong, and linear programing just isn’t working anymore.

 

MY TRAINING SPLIT NOW [FREE TEMPLATE]

(Drop Sets will be used every day to figure out the weight for the lifts, and the reps and lifts will vary depending on how you’re feeling that day and what weaknesses you need to work on. This is just a general outline, learn what you need and program that in to win!)

WEEK 1

Monday- Squats DYNAMIC

Tuesday- Press HEAVY

Wednesday- REST

Thursday- Deadlift HEAVY

Friday- Bench DYNAMIC

 

WEEK 2

Monday- Squat HEAVY

Tuesday- Press DYNAMIC

Wednesday- REST

Thursday- Deadlift DYNAMIC

Friday- Bench HEAVY

 

I don’t focus just on heavy lifting in all of my sessions, this is usually just what the first 20 mins looks like. After the strength work with drop sets I will use a crossfit/bodybuilding hybrid style of training to work on weak points and improve muscular endurance. But again you need to design your program for follow one that fits your needs.

YOUR CHALLENGE

If your focus is on strength right now, which it should always be if you’re looking to increase your lifting career, then take a few months to follow this outline. Check out Westside Barbell for ideas on how to use different lifts to fix your weaknesses and get stronger in all areas (not just the bench…). Strength is the key to everything!

 

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How Your Fitness Affects Your Business

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If you haven’t already, please check out the YouTube channel
Are you ever so tired after a long day at work that the thought of working out just sounds exhausting? Or you wake up in the morning after snoozing through 45 mins of alarms to avoid the workout? This could be related to your diet, which is easily remedied in the book Quick Paleo Meal Prep, this book outlines how to structure your meal plan and get ahead of the potential hindrances to your workouts. But above all else you need to find a way to get through the 5pm or morning blues, because you could be leaving hundreds if not thousands of dollars in revenue on the table! 
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT WORKING OUT?


Well for starters there’s no better way to get yourself firing on all cylinders than to apply a jolt to your system! Let’s look at your morning workout, you’ve been asleep and mostly motionless for a good 5-8 hrs, and I’m assuming your not vibrating with energy once you get your 45 minutes of 5-10 minute broken sleep cycles from hitting the snooze over and over. This isn’t going to fade away as the day goes on either, you might get a pick me up if someone cuts you off in traffic or spills their coffee on you, but the tired feeling will stay with you. 

Now I’m sure you know the inverse of this story, you wake up and force yourself out of bed and into your workout clothes, get a decent breakfast and head to the gym. After 45 minutes you would have spent half asleep and procrastinating, you’re now amount the top 20% of performers! You leave the gym with momentum and success on your mind. You get to work and hit the ground running, while leaving the other morning zombies in the dust! You out perform everyone consistently all day, and all because you made one decision to get the day started with activity! The same goes for the afternoon workouts. 
WHICH WORKOUTS FOR THE MORNING


You want to do something that’s going to involve as much physiology as possible to get the full benefit. I recommend a compound movement that focuses on STRENGTH! Not only does heavy training get motor skills working, but if your training at or above 80% of your max then you’re involving the nervous system, and you’ll be vibrating by the time you’re done! Follow this up with some high intensity something or other and you have a recipe for a great start to the day! Stay strong! 
YOUR CHALLENGE 

Don’t skip your next workout, and implement some sort of moderately heavy training followed by high intensity cardio for 4-8 minutes. I promise you that you’ll be able to note a lasting surge in energy for the rest of the day!

Are you getting things done, or being busy?

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there is a difference in the two, and the difference can give you the life you’ve dreamed about, or keep you in the same rut forever. And example of getting things done is the book I collaborated with, Quick Paleo Meal Prep, this took time that was reserved for Netflix and mentally unoccupied time. Through that adventure I learned that time I had previously been wasting on tasks I thought were meaningful were seen as what they were, a glorious waste of time. I could have been growing my knowledge of the paleo lifestyle and other areas 6 minutes at a time, instead of watching 40 different 3 minute clips on YouTube of the same stupid stuff people do. My eyes are open now and I’d like to challenge you to do the same

MY NEW HABBITS

I used to binge on Netflix religiously on Monday and Thursday nights when I could, these nights were like a mental coma that separated me from my problems 45 minutes at a time. Now I’ve set up a “buy in”, for every episode I watch on Netflix I have to do 10-15 minutes of research or some productive activity. The best part is that most of the time around, 8 minutes, I’ll get so caught up in what I’m reading or doing that it might be an hour or so before I get back to Netflix if at all. This has been fruitful in many ways, most of all the amount of meaningful stuff getting done has increased exponentially! 

BEING BUSY


After starting this challenge I realized the amount of “busy work” that gets done is ridiculous. By busy work I mean when you know you have a paper due that could mean pass or fail or paycheck or no paycheck. You’ll sit down at your computer to do the thing, and then you see that you have 3 unread emails from friends or “potential clients” so you respond carefully to them and spend the next hour and a half in a back and forth conversation about nothing with people who don’t want to do what they need to either. Now you’ve cut into the time that you could have spent doing the thing that was gaurunteed to pay you, doing things that made you feel like you were “busy”.
I COULD GO ON FOREVER


But I won’t (because that would just be busy work lol), but you get the point right?? Instead of going home to watch tv for hours take the commercial breaks as an opportunity to do exercise or read or anything besides give your time to be persuaded to give your money to someone else through commercials! Better yet just skip the TV time and talk to friends or family in the room and bond with them in a REAL way. 
YOUR CHALLENGE

If you watch tv most nights anyway, then take time tonight to do something productive during commercials. Reading exercise, talk to your spouse or girlfriend etc.. Using tvo is not a valid excuse!

Take A Step BACK

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ok first thing’s first before I forget, I collaborated with a book that has been recently published to kindle, Quick Paleo Meal Prep. And want some HONEST input. If I gift you the book will you post an HONEST review, it’s a bit more professional/technical writing. But if you could help me out then just leave a comment with your email (I’ll delete it as soon as I get it to avoid creepers). 
BACK TO BUSINESS


I decided to get a friend to video my squat to see if there were any technique issues I needed to workout. In short, I pretty much hung up lifting for about two weeks. Between the rounding of upper back and butt winking (when your lower back curves), and the knees diving in, I basically looked like hammered dog poo in the bottom of my squat. This is especially rough for me since I’ve worked my way from a 285 one rep max, to 305 for somewhat easy working sets. All at a body weight of 173 lbs., but here we go. 
SO WHAT TO DO?


Well after crying in a dark room for a few hours and eating my feelings, I came back to the gym with a goal to fix me. I started by subscribing to the Crossfit journal (only $30/year I think), and watched every video by jelly starrett that I could on fixing these issues. I started with ankle mobility and worked my way up. It’s challenging to not go all out on stretches. After all, you see him glide in and out of these positions that I’m shaking and panting in like an uncontrollable furbie doll (aging myself with that reference). 
THE PROGRESS


I’ve mobilized the nasty tissue and now I’m strengthening the muscles that are probably on par with a 5th graders at this point. However the form though is looking much better, and I feel more solid in the bottom of the squat. So that’s a plus! It’s going to be a long journey back to the top, but I’m confident that it’ll be a higher peak once I get there! 
YOUR CHALLENGE 
Video an exercise you enjoy and compare it to a professional with their technique. Analyze what they’re doing that you’re not, and how you can get better. 

Your Opinion Matters!

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Too many times in life we accept ourselves as someone with nothing to offer. We have things that we know, but shrink ourselves so as to not stand out. Nothing could be further from the truth! 
YOU KNOW IT ALL


Not in the literal sense of knowing everything, but your life has afforded you the unique experiences to grant you knowledge in different  areas. You may have grown up in an area that is filled with wealth, therefore you have the inate knowledge of sophisticated living that others couldn’t attain through years of study. The opposite is just as true, you could have bee so poor that you learned to appreciate life in it’s most simple elements. Either way, you and your experiences MATTER!
YOU HOLD THE KEY


There are things that you have a passion for that no one else does. You’ve taken the time to learn and grow your knowledge in this area, and that is an invaluable resource! Whether it’s fashion, investing, history or door knob shining, you hold the key to that information. Without people like you this world would be filled with the same person multiplied hundreds of thousands of times. It would be LAME! So thank you for your interest and passions. 
YOU EARNED IT!


I wanted to share this with you because I was involved (hopefully we have more content headed your way!) with the writing of a short kindle book “Quick Paleo Meal Prep“. It’s in the Amazon kindle store, just search the title and it’s either free or .99. But after it was done I couldn’t help but realize that if it weren’t for two people being passionate about something, things and information would never be shared like that. So anyway, you’re special and I support you! 
YOUR CHALLENGE
Find an area of your life that you’ve excelled in and take a moment to realize the joy it’s brought you. Also how that knowledge has been able to affect others lives. 

Eating Paleo For Muscle

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Yea that paleo thing is fine if you wanna loose weight or stay lean, but I wanna get JACKED! If I had a nickle for every time I heard this I’d have a lot of nickles. “Paleo” isn’t just a diet that people go on to loose weight, it’s a lifestyle. 
WHAT IS A DIET?


A diet is a short term way  of eating that restricts calories to promote weight loss. There is certainly emphasis on the “short” term. Most people get to where they want to be and then go off the rails in a big way, gain all the weight back, and start the cycle over again in a year when they’re heavier than the last year. It’s a cycle that 80% of people subscribe to and accept. 
PALEO FOR WEIGHT GAIN


So if a diet is a restriction of calories then weight gain is a surplus right? YUP, true you’ll need to eat more, volume wise, if you’re focusing on paleo, but your gains will have much more quality! So how I did it was about as simple as it gets. I ate balanced portions to total higher than average calories per day, but after my workouts I would have about a pound of mashed sweet potato and two cups of ground beef (fat drained). 
WHY DOES THIS WORK?


Because that’s the only time your body is willing to shuttle nutrients focused on muscle growth! Your muscle size is almost dead last on your bodies priority list, so when it’s been pushed to the limit or close, that’s when you need to cram all the QUALITY food in you can. Do a little home research on the glut4 compound and how it aids in muscle growth, you’ll be glad you did. For now you need to focus on totaling up how many calories you need to gain weight (300-400 over normal per day), and make that post workout meal as big as you can stomach without throwing up your gainz. Don’t factor in the post workout as your daily expenditure, as your body will put those foods to use ASAP. 
YOUR CHALLENGE


If your goal is weight gain then put this to the test. However if you’re focused on weight loss I would still add the post workout meal in there, just a whole lot smaller. This helps your body restore glucose stores after intense workouts and gets rid of the shakes of you’re training on a deficit. Again these calories basically don’t count if you put in a high quality workout, cause your body will put them to use right away. 

Cheat Day: Mission Complete!

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You have been maintaning a paleo diet for six days, nothing but the paleo all day every day.  And then God said “let there be calories!”, and there were and they were good…soooo good :P. 

HOW IT WENT DOWN


My Saturday began just as any other would, eggs with spinach and black beans in the morning (kept under 450 calories), but then something changed.  I drove to Waffle House at 8am, and before I went in I downed 6 oz. of grapefruit juice (to reduce insulin spike and promote fast passing). Then I walked in and ordered the all star breakfast with an extra waffle (two eggs, two sausage, hash browns, toast and a waffle). After I ordered I went to the bathroom and did 60-90 sec. Of high intensity cardio. I came back and squeezed lime juice into my water (reduce insulin spike further), and proceeded to gorge myself for the next 10 min. syrup flowing and smiles all around! 

CAN YOU EAT MCDONALDS ON CHEAT DAY?


I’m not sure if you “can”, but I did. Yup, two quarter pounder delux with cheese! This was the point where I didn’t want to look at myself for about 3 hours. Luckily we were on a road trip to Baton Rouge, so I sat in the back and questioned if I was going to live or not. But then we arrived…

HOW MANY CRAWFISH CAN YOU EAT?


6 lbs. after a big plate of dip and fruit, the dip must have been a Paula Dean recipe due to the pools of butter at the edges of the dish. After I push away from the table I smell something in the air….CAKE!! Suddenly I find room for two large pieces of chocolate and strawberry cake. At this point I’m not sure if I’m over-doing it, but I like to push the limits so let’s go! 

WHO WANTS CRACKER BARREL?


I questioned my future after saying I would go, but my friend who was allergic to most of the food served was hungry and wanted a dinner buddy. So we saunter over to the barrel, and wanting to test my bodies limits, I order the chicken fried steak with two orders of mashed potatoes and green beans (after the plate of cornbread and apple butter). I was half way through my plate and was seeing spots so I decided to live to gorge another day. We waddle back to the hotel, and hugging my belly I roll into bed and pray I wake up tomorrow. 

DID I GAIN ALL THE WEIGHT BACK??

Nope, I weighed 174.6 lbs. Friday, weighing Monday morning I was a bloated 175.3 lbs. just one pound over where I started. So all in all I would say that cheat day was a success and I look forward to next Saturday already :)) just FYI as well, I lost 4.6 lbs. that first week on this regimen. 

Your challenge: starting today, even if you’ve downed a few donuts already, start the paleo diet with the intention of pigging out Saturday to restart your body. It’s amazing!!