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Corry McLaughlin
07-24-2012, 10:19 AM
I started the 12 Week Complete Cycle in an attempt to build my overall strength and to continue to get comfortable with the olympic lifts, and as I was going through the first couple of days a question keeps popping up.

How difficult should the lifts feel? I know its just the beginning of the cycle, but they seem pretty effortless to me. For example, here was today's workout, my weights and how each exercise felt to me:


- Jerk behind the neck - 70% x 3 x 5 (135#x2 / 145#x3) First two sets felt easy so I added 10#s. First set of 145# was easy and then I didnt feel any difficulty until the last rep on the last two sets.

- Push Press - 75% x 5 x 4 (125#) - All four sets went up pretty easily, with only the last 2 reps of the final set feeling difficult.

- Jerk dip squat - 80% (of jerk) x 5 x 3 (160#) - I bumped the weight up a bit compared to the jerk behind the neck, but it still felt pretty easy.

I based today's workout off a 190# jerk 1RM and a 165# push press. Granted, I have not tested these in about 6-7 weeks, but I wouldnt have expected them to jumped significantly over that time period.

At no point during the workout did I feel like I was being challenged by the weight. So, I've come up with some possible explanations, but I'm not sure which, if any, apply.

1. Its early in the cycle so as time passes the program will require more effort and feel more demanding. In short, what I am feeling is normal.
2. I am resting too long between each set. Currently resting between 2-3 mins, where as in the past I've usually rested 60-90 secs.
3. My 1RMs have increased significantly over the past 6-7 weeks and I need to recalibrate my #s for this.
4. My form is sloppy and I am cheating the lift. I don't think this is it, as I work out at a CF where the instructors are technically sound and are pretty vocal in form correction.

Any thoughts or insights would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Corry

Greg Everett
07-25-2012, 12:26 PM
I would say it's probably a combination of #s 1-3, although 2-3 min is not too long - 60-90 sec is too short in most cases.

You're right to move the weights up a bit when they feel way too easy. You're also right that the first wk of a program should typically not be that tough.

When you're about to embark on something as long as a 12-wk program, it's important to be working with accurate maxes if you're calculating weights based on them. That said, you can make it work by feeling the wts out this first 1-2 wks, then simply making the increases in wt as prescribed relative to your altered wts rather than as a % of your 1rms.

Corry McLaughlin
07-25-2012, 12:50 PM
Thanks Greg.

I cut my rest time today to 2mins and bumped my weights up a bit and it definitely turned the heat up. I think with a little more tinkering I'll be able to find the sweet spot.