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-   -   Abbreviated routines. (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6825)

colin dore 11-05-2012 04:12 PM

Abbreviated routines.
Due to work and family responsibilities, I have to cut my workout time down. I have been liftiing 4X/week, each session lasting approx 2 hours. My new schedule allows for just 30-45 minutes per session, but I will be able to lift pretty much every day. I've done this before with a general fitness routine, but I have made excellent progress following a 'pure' weightlifting program, and would like to continue with the sport. Any tips or ideas with regards to brief warm-ups and programming would be greatly appreciated.

Javier Sanjuan 11-05-2012 10:32 PM

I honestly wouldn't ever sacrifice a warm-up, but I guess stretch out during various parts of the day; meaning, if you can avoid sitting down, then do it. If you're standing around, work some leg swings or roll your wrists around to keep loose throughout the day. This way, when it comes time for you to throw your workout clothes on, you don't necessarily need to take so long to get warmed up. I do this because of my work schedule, too.

As far as breaking up your routine, if you have 30-45 minutes, consider this:

Day 1: classic lift, classic pull
Day 2: back squat, RDL/GM
Day 3: classic lift, classic pull
Day 4: front squat, RDL/GM
Day 5: Rest -- maybe even light power lifts as an active recovery
Day 6: Heavy singles
Day 7: Rest

It'll be very important to be disciplined during the workout. You don't want to continue pulling at a weight because you "feel like you can get it." Not only will this bust your time limit, but you'll also end up sacrifcing your performance later on down the week. I would also focus on your recovery methods (i.e., hot/cold baths, icing, etc.). They help a lot.

I hope this helps you in some way.


colin dore 11-06-2012 01:50 PM

Thanks for the response - the schwedule you put down is exactly what I was looking for. Iwas thinking for warmups to do some olympic lift-based barbell complexes, so that I could at least get some extra technique drills in while getting prepared for the heavier weights.

Javier Sanjuan 11-06-2012 09:31 PM


Glad to hear it helped you. I would agree with the barbell complex, but don't go too crazy, which is easy to do with lighter/warm-up weight. I would say to keep it simple with examples like 1 pull + lift, hang lift + lift, or 3-stage lifts. This really should only be for the first two weights or so, in my opinion.

Good luck to you and your training.


colin dore 11-10-2012 07:39 PM

would 3-stage lifts be a good choice for the active recovery session? I'm pretty keen on keeping up my total weekly volume of the competitive lifts (heavy or light) as I am somewhat paranoid about regressing on technique development - I know I can improve my strength with short workouts, but the high volume sessions were working the best for keeping my form consistant.

Javier Sanjuan 11-10-2012 10:12 PM


My suggestion to you would be to use those types of lifts (3-stage, 3-pull, triples/doubles) if you a) feel as if you have a flaw during a particular part of your movement, or b) are in a deload week. If you feel like you have a flaw, fit those types of lifts or complexes in with the respective days (i.e., if you have trouble with getting fully extended and getting under the bar, work triple of double hang/block snatches in on your snatch day). The active recovery/rest day should be just that -- a very light day to keep the joints "greased" up so that you don't wake up stiff and immobile the next day for heavy singles.

I particularly use 3-stage/3-pull + lift/complexes during my deload week when weights are much lighter. It's an opportunity to beat good technique into memory and make it become second nature. It also provides me an opportunity to take that entire week to actively recover and work on speed.

If I had to pinpoint a cycle that's worked for me, it would look something like this:

Week 1: Power (with heavy singles to full lifts at the end of the week)
Week 2: Hang (with heavy singles to full lifts at the end of the week)
Week 3: Deload towards end of the week -- 3 pulls + lift, complexes (e.g., 1 clean pull + 1 clean + 1 PP + 1 pause jerk ... at the end of the week, I go through my warm-up weights as if I were getting ready to compete in each lift)
Week 4: Taper off in the beginning in prep for classic lifts testing (mock meet)

Some might see my third week and not consider it a "deload," but I do taper off at the end of the third week into the fourth week in prep for my "mock meet." It looks a little confusing; however, due to my schedule, it works for me -- it took some time to find what works with my time. More importantly, I found out how maximize my time more effectively given my workload here. I wouldn't worry so much about volume as much as you are executing each lift correctly. Consistency, as you know, is key, and if you focus on numbers of lifts executed per week over making each lift count by putting your absolute mind, body, and soul into it, then you're going to burn out and become frustrated. The bar always wins in those situations; furthermore, you're exposing yourself to injury. I made that mistake about planning certain percentages and felt like I had to hit those numbers. I became obsessed with having to hit those numbers and felt like I wasn't improving if I wasn't hitting those weights. When I inevitably didn't hit those weights, I kept trying instead of realizing that I just didn't have it in me and was probably pulling all sorts of wrong. In reality, I was destroying myself -- I was always slow, in pain EVERY session, and just not adapting/recovering properly -- and lifting wasn't FUN anymore. I was making no progress by forcing that volume and load on me on top of just walking away frustrated from something I love to do. If I had gone off of feel, I think I would be performing at a higher level at this point. Some days you'll feel like a million bucks, and some days you'll feel like the bar alone might crush you -- listen to your body at all times. It doesn't lie to you. If you focus on volume, this may happen to you, too. Instead, focus on making each of those lifts count. Visualize the things you need to and execute -- good things will come from this.

Most of the time, less is more -- this was a HUGE lesson for me to learn and for my development. The beauty about the breakdown I gave you, in my opinion, is that it allows you to focus on particular movements exclusively for your daily training. For example, doing your classic lifts and then pulls gives you the opportunity to work on the technique of your lifts, while the pulls focus on developing the strength portion. Come the end of the week, you put them together for heavy singles.

I hope this makes sense and helps you in some way.


colin dore 11-11-2012 02:56 PM

good stuff. You've given me lots to work with here, thanks again. I do think i am over thinking my current schedule, so I really should just focus on being consistant with my lifts, and using the time I have to get in quality training.

Javier Sanjuan 11-12-2012 01:20 AM

No worries -- I'm glad I can help. I hope this goes works well!

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