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Personalize Your Training Program!

If you are failing to make gains with your program then it could simply be a matter of when you are doing a particular exercise. Find out more here and switch it up from time to time.

I've long been urging people to personalize their training programs. What may seem to be just a minor change, can, however, have a major impact on overall progress.

Struggling With Squats

Last year my squatting progress was grinding to a halt, and pre-workout trepidation was becoming extreme. At the time, I was squatting (Tru-Squat) one day each week, and stiff-legged deadlifting the other training day.

I thought that seven days between squat workouts was enough time for recovery. So to help recovery I dropped the stiff-legged deadlift. Immediately, progress on the squat started moving easily. I could guarantee getting my 20 reps with half a kilo more on the weight carriage each week.

Not only that, but the intensity of effort needed to get the 20 reps actually dropped. I still had to work hard, but not as hard as before even though the volume of squatting was identical to before, and the resistance actually more.

Not training my lower back, hamstrings and glutes at the second workout day each week enabled me to recuperate fully from the squat workout.

A Glitch:

    I continued to progress steadily for several months. The only glitch was a "down" period due to an overseas trip in December followed by a week of sickness.

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    I needed several weeks after returning from the trip before I was back to where I was just before I left the island. Then progress continued as before.

    And still the intensity of work needed to get all 20 reps did not increase noticeably, despite a tad of iron going on the carriage nearly every week.

    Training & Vacation:
    What Do Our Forum Members Deal With Thier Time.

      "Anyone have any tips/tricks/advice on what they do when not able to get to the gym for an extended period?" - Intellectural

      I'm Back From Vacation!
      "I'm ready to hit the weights again and my metabolism is on fire so time to get started again!" - UCLABruin

Reintroducing The SLD

Recently I wondered whether the explanation for the boost to my squatting was the result of dropping the stiff-legged deadlift, or of not working my lower back, glutes and hamstrings at a second day each week.

So, I reinstated the stiff-legged deadlift. The squat is still the focus exercise, so the squat is done first in the workout and the stiff-legged deadlift later on in that workout.

Click To Enlarge.
Stiff-Legged Deadlift.

While the latter will suffer a tad relative to if it was done first, the difference is marginal so long as enough rest is had between the two exercises. So far, progress on the squat is unaffected.

If I'm able to work into new ground on the stiff-legged deadlift while not hampering the squat, I'll know that the former wasn't the problem earlier on, but where I had it in my program.

Deadlifts: The King Of Mass-Builders?
As the king of mass gaining exercises the deadlift cannot be ignored. In this article I will be sharing with you extensive details about the deadlift.
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Minor Adjustments For Major Differences

Of course, my situation is not yours. But I reckon that some people are struggling because they are squatting one day each week, and performing some form of deadlifting on a second day. That means two heavy poundings over the week for the lower back.

Putting both exercises in the same workout, and thus giving a full seven days between heavy lower back work, may make all the difference. While overall training volume, frequency and set/rep format may be bang on target, if the arrangement of exercises is not right for you, the progress of the whole setup will suffer.

How Many Days Recovery Do You Give Yourself Between Lower Back Work?

Seven Or More.

An apparently minor adjustment of exercise arrangement can make a big difference. Don't necessarily go making wholesale changes if your training is not going well.

Relatively minor adjustments may be all you need, assuming you follow an already abbreviated and sensible training program.