Thursday, April 24, 2014

Campusing Base and Component Moves + Exercises Page

Maintaining Power
Regardless of if and how you cycle your training, I'm convinced that maintaining power is critical. Not at 100%, but at maybe 80-90% of your peak at all times. Power can disappear quickly: if I don't train monos, I lose my mono strength very fast. But campusing, is powerful by nature, how does one best incorporate it into a training cycle? This was the problem I faced in my current cycle. The approach I took was new - to me.

Campusing Base and Component Moves
"Base Moves" refers to moves that you can hit consistently, say 85+% of the time. I targeted 20 moves; 10 different moves performed on each side (right & left.) Every three minutes, I did a move, so the entire workout is 1 hour. That was my Tuesday campusing workout (Tab: Base Moves.)
   On Thursdays, I did the "Component Moves" which refers to three partial movements done in repetitions. These three component moves are: Bumps, Low Explosive, and High Shrug. Again, I did my sets every 3 minutes and did a 1 hour workout  (Tab: Component Moves.)
   A "Bump" is when you start one hand on rung 1 and the other higher, say rung 4. Then the high hand bumps up to 5 and then back to 4 for the targeted number of repetitions. (I don't like the more common version of this where you start on rung 1 and then bump one hand higher and higher. That movement gets exponentially harder as you get more tired, which is usually not a productive configuration.)
   For the initial portion of a long move, the "Low Explosive" exercise does only the initial reach from rung 1. Thus, starting matched on rung 1, pull as fast as possible up to the target rung and grab it. Do not match it with the other hand. As soon as you grab the high rung, let go, drop to the ground, and restart on rung 1 for the targeted number of repetitions. Do not rest between drops and use the same side (right/left) for the entire set. (The more common of this exercise, "Touches" involves dropping back and catching rung 1. This is a good exercise for recruitment, but too hard for other phases.)
   The "High Shrug" exercise completes the series, focusing on the high hand in long moves. Start off-set, as with high bumps, for example, rungs 1 and 5. Then, the hand on rung 1 goes to the target rung, say 7. As with the low explosive moves, do not match, drop to the ground as soon as you grab rung 7. Then restart on rung 1 for the targeted number of repetitions. Again, do not rest between drops and use the same side (right/left) for the entire set. I often bump the moving hand up after hitting a rung; for example, if I first hit 6, I'll bump it to 7 and then 8. The key here is to generate the maximum amount of the continued upward force with your low (non-moving) hand.
   Target a 6-8 reps for hypertrophy and 3-4 for recruitment. I started this approach during my hypertrophy phase and also did it (weighted) in my recruitment phase; I have not yet applied it to foundation training. I did 6 Base Moves workouts and 7 Component Moves workouts and could not have been happier with the results. It's very rare for me to be so convinced that an exercise routine works after only 13 workouts; but I am. Clearly, there are more improvements/refinements ahead - I'd love to get some feedback on modifications or how it works for you.
   I should add here that there's clearly no magic to the Base Moves - it's just doing standard moves on an interval. I think what helped me is that it forced me to change intensity. Otherwise, I would just try my goal moves over and over every workout - which is not productive. The Base Moves might be less productive for people that rotate their intensity.

Finally, I created an exercises tab. Nothing too original there; but it contains all the exercises I've used for the last year. I will add proven exercises only after they withstand the test of time. I don't think researching the newest, hippest exercise usually yields very much. I'm quite particular about how exercises should be done, so if you want to know the right way, check it out.

I get motivation from athletes of many different sports. This week, I found a John Brzenk compilation. My favorite part is at 1:18.