Monday, May 18, 2015

The Lift It off the Ground Routine


One-hundred days of squatting, with alternate days of bench pressing, had the effect of making me hate squatting and benching. Instead of focusing on powerlifting-type training, I decided to train like an old school strongmen, such as the great Arthur Saxon, who could lift 370 lb with one hand, a feat which has not be replicated to this day. Power racks and bench pressing had not been invented during the heyday of men like Saxon and Edward Aston. If you couldn't pick it up off the ground, you didn't lift it. Bent Pressing, one-arm lifts, Olympic lifting, overhead pressing, and deadlifts were more or less what you were restricted to. Here is the program I've come up with: you lift at least five times a week (old school strongmen trained constantly), choosing from the following pool of exercises--clean and press, military press, continental clean, jerk, snatch, deadlift, one-armed deadlift or press, heavy dumbbell swings, dumbbell curl and press, clean and front squat, barbell curl. Pick about four exercises, and go fairly heavy on most movements, keeping reps in the one to five range. The main muscle-builders are going to be your clean and press, and the deadlift, instead of the squat and bench press. For the press, get the weight to your shoulders by any method, and then use your legs and arms to press or jerk the weight overhead. This will build tremendous shoulder and back strength. Higher frequency deadlifting will also improve your entire back, posterior chain, and legs. Front squatting will be done for higher reps, since you probably can't clean your best front squat (if you can, you should be an Olympic lifter). Here's a sample day:


Clean and Push Press: 135*5 155*2 165 175 185 195
Strict Clean and Press: 135*3*5
Dumbbell Snatch: 40*5 60*5
Clean and Squat: 135*10 155*8

This will be a fun change of pace from constantly training like the squat and bench press are the only lifts that matter.

Click here for info on how the Saxon trio ate. It's ridiculous.

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