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Old 02-20-2011, 02:07 PM   #1
Philip Stablein
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Location: Baltimore, MD
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Default Modification to Strength and Power Dev. Program

Hi Catalyst community, and Greg specifically,

I am working my way through the strength and power development program found in your book. The program was selected by my coach to address some of my weaknesses (volume, positional strength). Prior to this program I was lifting 4 days a week, and the strength and power development program pushed that to 5. I only Olympic weightlift and have plenty of capacity to recover.

At the end of the 4th week and beginning of the 5th, I had an ankle tendinitis flare up that has made squatting very painful. I am aggressively treating the tendinitis (anterior medial impingement due to a deltoid ligament tear 2 years ago), but would like to continue training.

How can I modify the program? This week begins the mid-hang block work phase, with percentages higher than week 4. I cannot squat symmetrically until i get this impingement resolved. This is less of an issue for back squats, since I can shift to a low bar position which needs less ankle flex, but the FS, clean and snatch cannot be similarly compromised. Is there a systematic manner in which I can modify the program to continue training ? (its been very effective so far)

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Old 02-21-2011, 07:05 PM   #2
Emily Mattes
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 727

Two initial suggestions (probably obvious):

- Drop back to four days while your ankle heals (as perhaps the increase in volume aggravated the condition)
- Catch everything in the power position for now

From there, you can have two different takes: try to find approximate substitutions that strengthen the same areas that are strengthened by the offending exercises, or address weaknesses that contribute to the overall problem. During injury recovery you sometimes have to reorient your goals from fulfilling the exact goals of the program to addressing contributing weaknesses.

The former would be something like using lunges (with shin perpendicular to the floor to minimize dorsiflexion), planks, and general back work for front squats. Not ideal, but better than nothing. The latter would be aggressively addressing a particular weakness in the movement--for instance, if you fail front squats consistently due to weakness in your upper back, now is the time to hit barbell rows/"Zercher back curls"/whatnot hard.

Are you still able to pull from the floor? If so, this opens up a lot of possibilities, especially if your problem is positional strength. Pause pulls/deadlifts (like pausing at the knee, etc) and pulls from blocks, hang, etc can be tremendously helpful for developing positional strength as well as drilling those aspects of the movement.

Granted, these are all ideas for substitutions rather than anything one-to-one. You have to look at the exercises that you can't do, decide for each one whether you lack overall strength in it or if there's an area that's particularly lagging, and make appropriate substitutions.
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