Its been a couple weeks but we're back at it.
Today we're going to evaluate a program I did earlier in the year. We'll take a look at what worked, what didn't, why its there and what my goal was.
First, the workout.
I followed this for roughly six weeks. I did this program during May/June before I really started to focus in on training for running and obstacle course racing.
Lets break down the different exercises and why I prescribed them.
1A. Hang Clean
I love cleans and they are an excellent way to develop explosive power. I put these first because to perform a clean properly with maximum force you do not want to be excessively fatigued. They are also great for development of the upper back and posterior chain. I keep the reps low with cleans as they are a highly technical power based exercise. I use the hang position when there is lower body focused hinging later in the workout.
1B. NG Plank
Planks are great but no doubt boring. I work in planks with the Neuro Grips to get grip work alongside keeping me entertained.
2A. Trap Bar Deadlift
The trap bar is a great way to improve strength and power without the use of a barbell. It also allows you to stay more upright and move more weight than conventional deadlifting. At this time I had also recently listened to a podcast where Ryan Flaherty, director of performance with Nike, discussed the force number and his use of the trap bar. You can check out the podcast here.
3A. Split Squat
We all have muscular imbalances, single leg work like split squats are a great way to work on these. I love split squats and bulgarian split split squats. Mike Boyle frequently prescribes these and I trust him when it comes to performance.
3B. Single Leg Deadlift
These are another one of my go to exercises for balance and posterior chain development. I like to stack these with Split squats after a compound bilateral exercise such as squats or in this case the trap bar deadlift.
4A. and 4B. Glute Bridges and Abduction Walks
This is where we get into auxiliary exercises that focus on the notorious glutes. Glute bridges are excellent for developing strength in hip extension. We live in a seated flexed world so just about anyone can afford more focused glute work. Abduction walks develop the smaller gluteus medius which aids in stability through the lower limbs. I put these last because they're accessory exercises that are performed at a lower intensity. This allows you to wind down after the big stimulating exercises performed earlier. I also do one set of these as part of my warm up.
Overall this program did what I wanted it to. I built power with the cleans, went for a little more hypertrophy on the higher rep trap bar deadlift and improved balance with the split squats. The biggest downside to this block was the overall volume of leg work. As I started to build miles running I slowly moved away from high volume leg work so I could complete workouts with "fresher" legs. In revisiting this workout I would likely change the trap bar to a conventional deadlift as well as work in more squatting through the cycle.
Give this a shot if you're looking for a lower body focused day with a little extra power work built in.
Not confident with the movements described above? Consider coming by Podium and setting up a movement screen or training session with yours truly. If you're not local feel free to send me an email and I'll be happy to send you more resources on programming, exercise technique and training. Patrick.Morris@podiumsportsmed.com