Squat Every Day Off-Season

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Squat Every Day Off-Season

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An offseason is a time of the year where there are no competitions. A lot of strength athletes don’t have off-seasons. I believe that this is a bad idea. Actually I believe that this is the reason that most strength athletes don’t last long in their chosen sport.

Ed Coan, the greatest powerlifter of all-time, enjoyed a career lasting longer than 25 years. Not only did he compete during those years, but also he was setting world records the entire time. He set records in the 181, 198, 220, and 242lb weight classes. No other strength athlete has dominated at that level for that length of time. The biggest reason that he was able to compete at that level for that length of time was taking scheduled off-seasons. He normally only competed two times per year the National Championships and the World Championships.

Competing only twice per year takes up about 26 weeks with training and competing. That leaves an athlete half the year to rest the body, focus on weaknesses, and to rest the brain mentally. It’s a smart approach that most of us ignore.

We would rather compete four times per year to show the world how tough we are. We are really just showing them how dumb we are. I am talking about myself right now. I wish that I had listened to Ed’s advice to only compete twice per year. I am sure that I could have stayed on top for a lot longer if I had listened.

Now at 43-years-old I am finally listening. Right now I am in a scheduled off-season. I just came off of my best competitive strength season in over ten years. I competed in my first super total meet, and I loved it. I am going to commit to competing in one or two of these meets per year with the rest of the year committed to working on weaknesses and resting the brain.

Last year, I hit the following numbers:

In Training

Snatch- 135k/297lb
Clean- 170k/374lb
Jerk- 182k/400lb
Clean & Jerk- 165k/363lb
Squat- 290k/638
Bench Press- 400lb
Deadlift- 660lb
Standing Strict Press- 115k/253lb

In Competition

Snatch- 130k/286lb
Clean & Jerk 166k/365lb
Squat 295k/650lb
Strict Press 116k/255lb
Deadlift 700lb

I am happy with all of those numbers, and next year I will hopefully beat all of those personal records. Right now I am focusing on my family, my team, my business, and my weaknesses. In January, I only worked out about three times per week. That gave me the rest that I needed mentally. A workout could look like the following:

Monday
OH Squat warm up
Front Squat up to a max 1-5 rep with or without a pause
Bench Press up to a max 1-5 rep with or without a pause
Assistance work

Wednesday
OH Squat warm up
Front Squat up to a max 1-5 rep with or without a pause
Strict Press up to a max 1-5 rep with or without a pause
Assistance Work

Friday
OH Squat warm up
Front Squat up to a max 1-3 rep
Bench Press up to a max 1-3 rep
Assistance work

I didn’t do any Snatch or Clean & Jerk mainly because I strained a bicep towards the end of last year. This forced me to give it a rest. However the OH Squats and Front Squats have kept my mobility in check, so I will be ready to jump right in to training.

You may notice that there are no back squats at all. I am sticking with Front Squats for a while for two main reasons. First, Front Squats allow me to sit deeper and more vertical, which makes them better for my overall mobility. The main reason is that Front Squat simply feels better on my body. Back Squats tend to tweak my back and hips, so for right now they are out. My priority during the off-season is to heal the body and mind, so that concept helps me choose the exercises that I am to perform.

My assistance work has consisted of a lot of overdue posterior chain work. I have focused on wide good mornings to strengthen my hamstrings and low back. I have also focused on a lot of rows to strengthen my upper back.

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This month I am going to increase the frequency to five times per week, and it will look more like this:

Monday
OH Squat warm up
Front Squat up to a max 1-5 rep with or without a pause
Bench Press up to a max 1-5 rep with or without a pause
Assistance work

Tuesday
OH Squat Variation (Snatch Balance, Heaving Snatch Balance, or regular OH Squat) max 1-5
Snatch from Blocks multiple triples
Snatch Pulls from Blocks multiple heavy triples

Wednesday
OH Squat warm up
Front Squat up to a max 1-5 rep with or without a pause
Jerk from Blocks working up to a heavy single
Strict Press up to a max 1-5 rep with or without a pause

Thursday
OH Squat Variation
Clean from Blocks multiple triples
Clean Pulls from Blocks heavy triples

Friday
OH Squat warm up
Front Squat up to a max 1-3 rep
Bench Press up to a max 1-3 rep
Assistance work

As you can see, this is not a true squat every day, but more of a “squat most days”. Overhead squats will be two of those days, so the intensity will not be as high as during the in-season training. I am really focused on positions and mobility right now. If those improve, I know that my Olympic lifts will improve.

When making exercise selection, I recommend focusing on the following:

• Strength and weaknesses
• Mobility issues
• Stability issues
• Priority lifts

Right now, I am not deadlifting at all. My deadlift is the strongest of all my lifts. It always has been. As long as my squat strength is up, I know that my deadlift will be somewhere near 700lb or more. I will start to practice the lift more towards the middle of the year.

This workout will advance each month, and I will let you all know how it changes. It will change based on a couple of things:

• How my body feels
• How busy I am
• How I feel mentally

Yes that is subjective, but as a veteran athlete I know my body better than anyone. When I am feeling 100%, then I will turn it loose. I hope that this helps you guys find an off-season, and I hope it helps you pick the exercises.

If I could change one thing about the way that I used to train, I would only have competed twice per year. I would have chosen scheduled off-seasons to focus on weakness and let the body and mind heal. I have no doubts that this approached would have lengthened my career substantially.

Don’t make my same mistakes!

Check out one of our five E-Books:

• “Squat Every Day”
• “Eat What You Want”
• “Squat Every Day 2”
• “No Weaknesses”
• “Mash Program Sampler”
• “The Mash Blueprint for Program Design”

Check them out here: ⇒ Mash Elite E-Books

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