Part III – The Way Ahead
It has been about a month since I completed my version of the 10,000 KBS program and I’m more convinced than ever that it was a worthwhile endeavor. I continue to feel strong as an ox, I’m making gains, and my engine is still pretty decent. While my shoulder is still a train wreck (multiple tears in the subscapular tendon, complete tear of the distal end of the bicep tendon, partial tear of the infraspinatus, impingement of and tears in the supraspinatus tendon, and a labral tear) I credit my continual KB work with allowing me to develop the ability to stabilize my injured shoulder, safely compensate for the injury, and remain somewhat effective in my training. One can’t over look the highly effective, powerful, yet non-impact nature of KBs and, when swung correctly, the constant time under tension in which it places the entire “yoke” and shoulder girdle. On what do I base these statements? 3 days ago day I lifted a 175# atlas stone over a 48” fence 50 times in 16:44. I’d say I’m able to compensate pretty well.
Where the hell is my training going from here and why?
The 10,000 KBS program set the conditions for a successful strength training cycle. My body is primed for some big gains in the big three lifts, and I’m in outstanding shape to handle some major volume, i.e. weekly tonnage. My goals for my next training cycle are the following:
• Get my no straps, no belt, no wraps deadlift back up to where it was (500#) and then beyond.
• Bring my ATG BS up over 400# for the first time. (I hit 405# but I was only below parallel.)
• I wanted to increase my single arm KB strict press strength. My eventual goal is to single arm KB strict press half my body weight.
• Perform the double KB Snatch with the 32 kg bells, for reps.
Based on a powerlifting template from Dr. Fred Hatfield, a pressing template from Strong First, and some stuff from Christian Thibaudeau, I put together my program. Who is Dr. Fred Hatfield, or Dr. Squat, as he is known and why am I using one of his powerlifting templates? 1) He was a Marine. 2) When he was 45 he squatted 1014 pounds at a body weight of 255lbs. 3) He earned his doctorate in philosophy from Temple University with competency examinations in motor learning, sports psychology and sport sociology.
Here is what I put together:
I have Max Effort (ME) and Dynamic Effort (DE) days for the DL, BS, and KBSP. I will train Presses and Squats the same day, and Dead Lifts on its own day. There is assistance work for each of the main lifts. I have two days of additional lifting. I dedicate one day to some Olympic Lifts (with my shoulder I’m sticking to Cleans and Clean variations) and one day for Atlas Stones and or Yokes. Stones and Yokes have incredible carry over to all my other lifts. Hoisting and squatting stones trains, in addition to the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, lower back) and anterior chain (abs, illiopsoas, and quads), the upper back and shoulder girdle, superbly. Yokes were a staple in my heavy training cycle last year around this time. A fantastic exercise to strengthen the hips, shoulders, and upper back, there is also the added benefit of overloading. Yoke walks allow me to lift more weight than I am capable of lifting when squatting or deadlifting. Walking with big weights illicits a great neurological response and helps my body adapt to moving and lifting heavier loads.
Using an undulating periodized model my volume will gradually decrease while my intensity increases. I will hit a max effort week, test 1 RMs, deload, and start again. I programmed in some metabolic conditioning work for each training day. I’m using double KB Snatches, and the rower. I alternate modalities each work out typically doing an EMOM style session with KBs and a “stroke drill” with the rower.
Ive been at it now for 3 weeks. My initial impressions are very positive. I’m feeling simply outstanding after each session, my engine seems to be doing well, and I’m making gains, weekly. At the end of the 12 weeks I do expect my DL to be at or beyond 500# and my BS to be beyond 400#. I know my KBSP will be stronger, though I’m not sure where it will be. I’m optimistic that my double KB Snatch will be much closer to where I want it. Who knows, maybe my shoulder will still be attached.