• The Arts
  • August21st

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    One of the favorite 5/3/1 set/rep variations from the Beyond book was S.V.R.  I believe this new version greatly improves on the original S.V.R.  Like always, I experimented with a few different options and found that the new version is superior and I’m always looking for ways to make it better. One of the mistakes I made was making the second week too high in volume – this completely screwed up the third week and ruined the programming.  This new version adheres to the Medium/Light/Heavy programming that has been so successful.


    Week One

    70%x5, 80%x5, 90%xPR set, 70%xPR set

    Week One Notes

    • When doing the 70% PR set for the deadlift, you can choose to do this double overhand.  This would be kept as a separate record and be a great way to add some variety into your training, put a new challenge into your programming and improve your grip. If you find doing 70% for 5 reps with a double overhand grip to be too challenging, simply perform the final PR set at a lower percentage. But whatever you choose (60%, 50%, etc.) be sure to use the same percentage each week.  In other words, be consistent.
    • Another deadlift variation for the 70% set is to use straps.  Strap up and go nuts.  Obviously this is the only time you would use straps on the deadlift and again, be consistent.
    • For the squat, you could use a SS Bar for the 70% set.  I don’t think you would have to use a different percentage as the SS Bar is harder but not that much more difficult.  Perhaps if you are unfamiliar with the bar you could do a cycle or two of a lower percentage but I see no reason why you couldn’t use 70% once you got use to it.
    • For the bench press or press, you can always use a different grip for the 70% set but I don’t know if this would make much of a difference in training.

    Week Two

    65%x5, 75%x5, 85%x5, 3-5 sets of 5 reps@ 65%

    Week Two Notes

    • As usual, this week is the boring week of the cycle. But this is not to be taken lightly or to be taken out.  This week serves as a bridge between the two heavier weeks.  And allows you to build but not destroy.
    • The 65% work at the end of the training should be tailored to the individual lift. For example, you may find out that your squat responds better the following week when doing triples. Or your bench press feels good on the third week when you do all 5 sets of 5 reps but keep the rest periods short. This is going to require some experimentation on your part which is the best part of training process – besides setting PR’s and getting strong as hell.
    • Don’t make this week any harder – for example, I can see a million people strapping 100 bands “Westside Style Bro” to the squat because it needs to be harder, damn it.  Or turning the second week into a Boring But Big workout.  That’s fine for the challenge but not for S.V.R. II.  So understand what the S.V.R. II is all about. Don’t make every week and every workout impossible. That totally fucks with the entire training plan.  In other words, follow the damn program.
    • For each lift, make sure your do the appropriate amount of FSL work.  For example, you may do 5 sets of 5 reps for the bench and press. But due to your work with the Prowler, jumps, bike and hills, you keep the squat and deadlift work to 3×5. See why an athlete and a true man of strength has to alter his lifting due to his training?  I’m still amazed at the ignorance of many “trainers” on sport programming and the belief that each part of a total program can be separate for others.  This is the biggest mistake with people trying to combine conditioning work and lifting.  You must learn how to eliminate bodybuilding tendencies and learn the push/pull of a training program (and no, this doesn’t mean rows and presses).
    • For the squat, you could use a SS Bar for the FSL set.  I don’t think you would have to use a different percentage as the SS Bar is harder but not that much more difficult.  Perhaps if you are unfamiliar with the bar you could do a cycle or two of a lower percentage but I see no reason why you couldn’t use 70% once you got use to it.
    • For the bench press or press, you can always use a different grip for the FSL set but I don’t know if this would make much of a difference in training.


    Week Three

    75%x5, 85%x5, 95%x5, 100-105%xPR set, 3 sets of 3-5 reps @ 85%

    Week Three Notes

    • We eliminated the singles on this day due to the ineffectiveness I’ve seen in all the athletes I trained.   While going for a 1RM is fun and I have no problem with some people doing them occasionally, the big picture must be taken into account.  This day is a great time to blow away some rep records and if weeks 1 and 2 are properly programmed, we invariably hit a big PR on this day.  The key is being smart on week one and week two.  Remember that training is bigger than the day.
    • Again, the supplemental work (in this case, SSL) can be done differently for each lift.
    • I wouldn’t change the lift for the SSL lift – keep to the original lift.

    As for assistance work, the only thing I had people do was some chins.  Every workout started with mobility work/jumps/throws and ended with Prowler work.  The Prowler work was either light weight x 10 sprints or heavy weight for 6 sprints.  I tried to keep this constant throughout the program.  The only change I made was one day (when it was icy rain) was doing the Weight Vest 100 rep squat challenge. The point is this: you can periodize the conditioning work (if you do heavy conditioning work) or you can choose to keep it constant. If you periodize the conditioning, be sure to follow the same rules of the lifting – on week one, do the medium conditioning, on week two, do the lighter conditioning, etc.  Don’t do the heavy conditioning on week two.


    For those of you that love PowerViolence (and who the hell doesn’t?) – check out Water Torture. They are sadly no longer a band.  The noise elements between songs might be too much for some but if taken in the right environment, they can be incredibly effective. This is bass heavy music and probably not recommended for the Binary Band Lovers (1/0/1/1/1/1/0/0/0/0/1/1/1 for those that know guitar tab).  Preserve what is great in metal/hardcore/punk and support the underground.

  • August20th

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    This article originally appeared at EliteFTS: you can read it here.

    Note: I’ve updated a few things to fit my current mood of hate towards the misinformation being thrown at kids by ignorant adults.

    1. Don’t worry about your bodyweight – too many kids want to gain too much weight too quickly. Just train, eat and run; you don’t have to be X amount of weight to play any position on the field. Plus, more often than not the force feeding to get that extra 10-15 pounds may make you look better in the media guide, but it’ll make you a fatter, slower player.  It still amazes me how many times I STILL here kids, coaches and parents that think an extra 15 pounds on an already slow, fat kid is going to make a difference.  If anyone cares more about how much you weigh versus how well you play – that is called being a fucking moron.

    2. Condition for practice, not the game - I hate it when “performance coaches” try to tell everyone how long a play lasts and the demands of the sport and conditioning should all be based on that. Well, listen up Sherlock, or should I say, “Guy who never played the game?” You don’t see the field if you don’t practice well. And if you’re an average, borderline player who needs to “Impress to Dress,” you have to kick ass during the summer two-a-days. I know because that’s who I was. So you need to be able to run, run and run some more. You need to be in shape to handle these practices. This doesn’t mean you have to give up speed training or strength training – just remember that you got to be in shape. Also, (caps lock alert)….IT TAKES NO TALENT TO BE IN SHAPE. So if you aren’t in shape, you just don’t care.  I can already see the Energy System Kvlt screaming about this/that and ruffling their lab coats.  Listen, if you don’t like it make a fucking change and be a football coach.  They make the decisions. Believe it or not, your Facebook post/rant doesn’t hold much weight. And here’s a clue: football players have THRIVED well before your pointless opinion had a vehicle to be heard.  Idiots – all of you.

    3. Have a role and fulfill that role to the best of your ability - this is something that I did well in college. Find something you do well and do it to the best of your ability. Not everyone can be a superstar, but sometimes you need a punt blocker or a wedge breaker. Pete Hansen, now a coach at Stanford, is probably the greatest example of a kid who had a role and made a huge impact. Pete was/is around 6’8″ or so and had a vertical jump of over 40 inches. This is rare amongst big, tall people. Pete made a name for himself (and earned a scholarship) by becoming a tremendous field goal/extra point blocker. He changed the game entirely because you couldn’t kick field goals or extra points against us without a huge chance of them getting blocked. Do you have any idea how huge this is? So find something you do well and exploit it. Just don’t be upset if it’s not getting 20 tackles a game.

    4. Don’t be a dumb jock – Please don’t feed this stereotype. Read a book and go to class. You don’t need to be a genius to do both of these things. People get VERY upset when you have interest outside of what they peg you to be. It makes them uncomfortable because they usually suck at everything. This is good. Make them upset by being better.

    5. Treat the people around you with respect – This includes the trainers, student trainers, weight room staff, tutors, media personnel, volunteers and fans. I hated when I saw some kid get shit on by a player because he/she was merely taping an ankle. Or never saying “thank you” to someone handing you a water bottle. That shit drove me nuts. We all have bad days and I do too, but it doesn’t hurt to simply tell someone “thank you” when they do something for you.