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!
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!)
Monday- Squats DYNAMIC
Tuesday- Press HEAVY
Thursday- Deadlift HEAVY
Friday- Bench DYNAMIC
Monday- Squat HEAVY
Tuesday- Press DYNAMIC
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.
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!
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.
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.