In this post, I describe the results of my barbell training and running in early 2015.
Per my last post on barbell training, I worked for awhile on a derivative of the Greyskull Linear Progression (GSLP), a program with a basic rep scheme of 5-5-5+, where the 5+ is an AMRAP set. Loading progress by 5lbs/workout for lower body lifts and 2.5lbs/workout for upper body lifts. Once the trainee fails at the third set of (at least) 5, she takes 10% off the bar for the next workout and works back up. The GSLP philosophy is that during the reset, one focuses on setting new PRs in the third set for rep maxes at each load: that way, one is always doing work which drives adaptation, not simply repeating the same work as before. During the reset, one is increasing volume rather than intensity. I decided to give GSLP a try, and ran it from late February to mid-May. In mid-April, I started running the famous Couch-to-5K running program as well (in an attempt to prevent my repeated calf strains, inflicted through my own greediness for progress).
I started GSLP’s back squat at a loading of 165lbs, which enabled a first workout of two sets of five, followed by a single set of 20 for the AMRAP. (The set of 20 was probably mildly sandbagged, so maybe an RPE of 8 or so with a couple reps left in the tank.) I progressed up to three sets of five at 230, and then stalled at 235—getting the first set of five, and then only three in the next set. The 5×235, in mid-April, was a PR, beating my PR of 3×235 in mid-late December (and getting stuck at 3×225 in mid-February). At this point, GSLP had already shown that I was getting stronger. Since I stalled, I dutifully reset back to 210. At 210, I hit a new rep max of 10 (besting my previous record of 8×210), and then hit the same again at 215 (besting 7×215).
During this time, I worked the press from 75lbs (first workout was 17×75 in the AMRAP set) up to 132.5, where I failed to get five in all three of the sets. At that point, I reset to 115 and continued to set rep PRs until 125, at which point I only managed three sets of five (worse than the first cycle), and then stalling at 127.5s in mid-May.
Running and GSLP
Around the time of my first back squat reset (mid-April), I started working the C25K progression. I usually (not always) had noticeably reduced physical ability when I lifted the day after running—a bit of a problem, given that C25K and GSLP are both 3x/week programs. Although I made new rep maxes for the first 15lbs or so of the squat reset, I stalled in the same place: a set of five and a set of three at 235. I suspect that my running—particularly my trying to run with a glute-dominant stride—contributed to this stall.
I also had to take a week or so off of running in mid-May due to a sore left arch, but it hasn’t been a major problem otherwise.
For now, I’ve decided to focus on a GSLP-style plan for working on my push press (rather than continuing to bang my head against the wall on my strict press), and then going back to the strict press later.
For the back squat, I’m doing 3×8 (three sets of eight) on Wednesdays and 5×5 on Saturdays. I’m running each as a separate linear progression. So far I’ve made it up to 5×5 at 210 without major issues, so I’m hoping to press it around 220-230 before needing to reset. I’m nowhere near the wall on the 3×8. I’m still running, and hoping that once I finish out the C25K and I’m just doing a 5K 3x/week, my body won’t be continually trying to adapt to that work load and I can focus on pushing the squat harder.