TNT

Dave Tate wrote an article in T-mag awhile back. These are the first two paragraphs:

“I’ve titled this article TNT (Tips-n-Tricks) for a very good reason. Many times it’s the small things that make the biggest difference. Usually when reading a new book or article you walk away with one good idea. This one idea could’ve been presented in a paragraph or two. So I got to thinking, why not just provide all those great ideas in a format that cuts out the BS? What you’re left with is pure TNT, the stuff great explosions are made of.
Through my many years of training, reading and discussing training with other lifters and coaches, I’ve collected a ton of ammunition. When an athlete is really stuck and has tried everything else, I can pull a little TNT from this stockpile and blast through the barrier. Some of this information has come about by pure accident and some of it has been borrowed or stolen from others, but it’s all worked very well for many athletes. If you find yourself stuck in any of the following situations, add in a little TNT and get ready to blow up!”

On the CF forum, I think a lot of us are picking up a lot of good ideas and making minor, or even not so minor, especially for the less experienced members like me, changes to our programs. So, this is what I propose: any time you change something in your training and wouldn’t mind posting what it is, post it here. It won’t all be TNT, but it will be interesting for the rest of us to critique and steal. Here are a few changes I’ve made recently:

I dropped overhead squats from my program, but I did that a while ago

I started the Smolov Squat cycle. I’m doing the modified version that CoolColJ posted here on the old forum: http://www.charliefrancis.com/board/philboard_read.asp?id=1500. I’m doing this just before the season begins, which I know cannot be recommended, especially since our practices are going to start while I’m still doing it, but since I’m still young and slow I think I can probably get away with it. I’ve actually been doing just under 300m of speed work right before going to the gym to do it, but I’m sleeping well and my skin looks normal so I’m not going to cut back on speed work volume until I start seeing signs of an overly fatigued CNS. But, I will cut back at even the smallest sign. I’m doing the third workout in the cycle tomorrow. For upper body I’m just doing three sets of a bench-type movement and three of a pulling movement after the squat workout.

For the most part during winter I was just doing some sort of start variation (falling start, regular start, or lying down start) for 50-60 meters and occasionally shorter as my speed work. I don’t know why. Now I’ve been adding fly-ins and standing starts. Pretty soon I’m going to start doing speed endurance my third day. BTW, I’m just a 55 and 100 guy.

I purchased the Sissel Fit and will start using it when it comes.

I run tempo on the road outside my house. Running on another surface is not an option. I have not experienced shin problems or even shin soreness yet. I only do 1200m total, usually 24150, partially because I’m worried about what running tempo on the road will do to my legs, partially because I’m lazy. But in the beginning of the winter, I was usually only doing 450m total on a tempo day just because of laziness. And that’s not enough. So now that I’ve worked up to 1200m I’m going to stick with it.

I started a small recovery program. I’ve been using some recovery for a while, but now I’ve made a planned out a program:
CNS day: contrast shower
Tempo day:hot bath
CNS day: ice bath
Tempo day:very hot shower
I haven’t really been following through with the ice bath. But, I’m going to make myself.

I added the Cuban press to my routine. I’m going to do one set of 20 reps after any bench-type movement.

I’m going to order some whey from protein factory. I haven’t been using any supplemental protein. I won’t use this that much, but I feel it will be beneficial at times.

I’m going to drink less diet coke and more water. I’m also trying to drink more water in general.

I’m reworking my weight program. I will follow this throughout the season, doing small five-day tapers before meets:
I will do either 3 reps on an estimated 4RM or 5 reps on an estimated 6RM. I will do 3 sets, so it will go 3/2/1 or 5/4/3. I’m going to stop maxing out. I’m going to stop doing upper body isolation exercises every workout. Some days I will do lower body assistance exercises, but they won’t be isolation movements. I’m going to try to put bands into my program, how exactly I don’t know right now. I have two lights. Every other lifting day I will do either clean or snatch. I will probably just follow this with a bench-type movement and some lower body assistance work, but I’m not sure yet.

Lower body main exercises:
Good Morning
Just below parallel wide squat
Full front squat
Full back squat
Conventional deadlift
Sumo deadlift
Partial deadlift
Snatch-grip deadlift

Bench-type exercises:
Incline bench
Flat bench
Push press
Push press from behind the neck
Pushups for height

Back exercises:
Bent-over barbell row
Chinups
Wide-grip pull-ups
Lat pulldown
Cable row

I may drop one or two of the deadlifts variations.

In T-mag someone wrote in one of the articles from a while back that if you do thick-grip deadlifts not only will grip strength improve, but your deadlift will get stronger once you’ve adjusted to using the thick grip. I’ve heard this idea other places too. I’m going to give it a shot by wrapping a towel around the bar whenever I do deadlifts. I’ll report on the result.

That’s it for me for now.

Here’s a change to my program I’m going to be bringing in from next monday .
My weakest link by far is my acceleration - My max speed has improved really well over the winter months mainly due to improved relaxation and greater strength gains .
But my explosive strength altho improved hasn’t really transferred to the track - I accept that it’s harder to develop but after talking to some local international standard blokes I think I’m gonna start doing some squats and jumps squats b 4 accelerations one day a week .
I was recomended to try -
3 x 3 squats to floor
3 x 3 jump squats
3 x 3 Vertical Pit jumps
3 x 30m accelerations
As its totally new to me I was gonna keep it to 2 x 3 and squats at 60kg (I never squat heavy any way ), jump squats at 15 kg with dumbells til I can sort out a vest , an inner tube or a sandbag . ( I boned up on the jump squats thread ty to all ) .
This isn’t a move of desparation , but the explosive med-ball stuff and plyo’s isn’t enough at present .

To be more explosive, do you need to add something or take something out. The answer might be somewhere in the middle.

Thanks Charlie
I’m reorganising the monday workout by dropping all auxilary lifts and cutting back on the normal no. of acceleration reps to make way for the more explosive stuff .
There’s probably more CNS energy involved now so I’ll introduce the amounts gradually .
My other explosive work is spread over the week in small amounts with plyo’s after sprints on wednesday ( power skips 20m x 3 /standing long jump / vertical jump 3 x 3)and sets of 3 - 5 med-ball throws prior to reps wed and friday and power cleans ( 3x3 ) monday and friday .
Overall the program has kept me fresh as I’m cautious with the amounts I do and drop sets/reps while ahead - I’m also gonna try to relax more during acc - this I find hard - when I try it with less aggression I lack speed .