Needless to say, Raw Nationals didn’t pan out for Sean and I as we had hoped. He covered the bulk of the why in his post, so rather than doing a recap myself, what I figured I’d do instead is give a brief overview of some thoughts on what we will be doing moving forward. We had many positive indicators throughout training of what his potential could be, but within that, obviously as a coach I need to do better. Sean and I have already come together with some ideas of some adjustments and changes we will be implementing moving forward to help realize the potential we see in training on the platform, so without further ado, let’s break down each lift.
Squat: We definitely learned through this prep that 3 days frequency is the way to go, but within that there are still some questions on how to properly allocate volume and intensity within that. One of the biggest variables is the overlapping of fatigue between squat and deadlift. We had actually started off this final block with some higher volume work on his secondary squat day. But we quickly realized this higher rep work was greatly suppressing his primary deadlift day that came just 2 days later. Typical Sean will hit his secondary squat day Monday, primary deadlift and tertiary squat day Wednesday, and primary squat and secondary deadlift day Friday. Moving forward, we are going to move that primary deadlift day to Monday as well, and see how that manages the crossover fatigue between squat and deadlift going into his primary days on both lifts. The hope is that this will open up some more options for volume and intensity manipulation by keeping the primary and secondary squat and deadlift days on opposite ends of the week and having less acute fatigue going into those sessions. You may also see some technique adjustments on squat, but first up is rehabbing that hamstring injury.
Bench Press: Bench training went about near perfect leading into the meet. While there is plenty of chatter about the ER rack, I can tell you that it had nothing to do with how the day went at Nationals. Sean actually felt great on the ER that day, and we knew that he typically has about a 7.5kg drop in strength from the Rogue bench to the ER, which we planned for. It didn’t play out like that due to some other variables, and we will have to adjust in the future to figure out how to manage those things accordingly. We have a pretty good system knowing that the introduction of a 6th bench day predictably adds 10kg to Sean’s bench, but I’d prefer to save that for meet prep time and not burn out the novel stimulus from that. So we will drop back to 5 days, but with some slight adjustments to his training structure. His 2nd primary bench day is on Tuesday, followed by a fairly easy low volume day on Wednesday, and then Thursday being off. We found though that having that single on Thursday with the 6th day was highly beneficial in creating the predictability of Saturday’s main primary day being the strongest. So the plan is to move that Wednesday low volume work to Thursday, keep that tempo single on Thursday, and then increase the average intensity of the rep work on Tuesday since he will now have Wednesday to recover.
Deadlift: For deadlift, we pretty much have the recipe for success. As discussed, the main change we plan to make is some adjustments to the weekly structure to see how that might manage fatigue better for squats. I’m fairly confident we could pretty much arrange deadlifts any way we wanted and Sean would continue to get stronger, but we need to be more mindful of how that affects squat as well. The one slight change to deadlifts we will make though is typically on both the primary and secondary days we’ve had a lower rep heavy set followed by high rep work. Earlier in the meet prep, we did an experiment for about 4 weeks in only having 1 heavy set a week on the primary day, and then all other work being high reps, and things went really well. Just because of the success on deadlift leading into the TSS meet, for the main meet prep we did go back to a similar structure of 2 heavy sets a week, as we knew exactly what to expect in regards to the outcome. But with how well that 4 week cycle went with only 1 heavy set, it’s worth coming back around to that structure now that we have some time to experiment and see what that yields.
Weight Class: 83kg