Working Out Workout Plans

TTSL Members: Max Effort Sets, Tempo Work, Nutrition & More

How to calculate percentage work

You will notice this week begins our percentage work in our strength cycle.  Your percentages will be based off of your 5RM results from last week’s training.  Please use the following formula to easily find your numbers for the day.

5RM x .80 = working set weight

EXAMPLE – if you moved 65# for your 5RM push press last week, you would use the following calculation:

65 x .80 = 52#(working set weight).  You can choose to round your number up or down based on how you are feeling for the day and what weights you have available.  

If you DID NOT find your 5RM last week

If you did not participate in last week’s training, please use this week as a “catch up” week.  Test any lifts you missed from week 1 following the template provided at the end of the week.  This will be your last opportunity for testing before we continue this strength cycle.

How to do a max effort set

You will notice your last working set in some lifts marked as “ME”.  This stands for “max effort”.  Once you have completed your first 2 sets of 5 reps, your last set will be as many reps as possible (maintaining solid mechanics) with your 80%.  A few tips to help you maximize these extremely important sets.

  1. Don’t sell yourself short.  You will be tired and fatigued.  This is when you need to FOCUS.  Dial in on your points of performance, take a deep breath, and tell yourself you can.  You always have one more rep in the tank.
  2. Pay attention to your core engagement.  This will be the first thing to be compromised in a max effort set.  Correct any breakdown in form – but DO NOT continue to push beyond what you can immediately correct.  Once a set has gotten to a place where form is being compromised, call it.

How to do tempo work

As promised, much of your accessory work will be done at a tempo.  Pay close attention to the required tempo and commit your absolute best efforts.  Mississippi is a long word, make sure this reflects in your tempo work and hold yourself accountable.  These accessory movements are designed to be fatiguing for your muscles, make sure you are not rushing through the tempo.

A reminder on 1 & 2 VS a) and b)

Please be careful when reading your programming to notice whether your strength sets are 1 & 2 or a, b, c, etc.  These are to be done differently.  If you see 1 & 2 – complete ALL sets and reps of exercise 1 BEFORE moving to exercise 2.  If you see a) b) c), etc – these are SUPERSETS, meaning do a set of a, followed immediately by a set of b.  

How to eat during a strength cycle

This will be addressed in the next few blog posts in the upcoming weeks.  Here are some basics to get you started this week in thinking about fueling appropriately to maximize your work in the gym.

When it comes to building strength, we want to ensure our muscles are being fueled properly both before and after workouts.  If possible, try to eat a light but nutrient dense meal prior to your session.  Ideally, this would be a meal high in protein.  After your session, a fast digesting protein source is important.

Remember – the best way to absorb nutrients is through whole food sources rather than supplements.  Try to avoid highly processed or sugar (this includes artificial sugars) filled protein sources whenever possible.

Hydration is incredibly important when it comes to building and maintaining muscle.  Even a low level of dehydration (2%) can cause a significant reduction in muscle endurance and power output.  It is extremely important that you are well hydrated coming into your sessions and that you hydrate properly throughout the day.  This will also be tremendously beneficial in reducing muscle soreness so you can go harder in your next session.

Carbohydrates are the last key in the building blocks we will discuss this week.  In short, carbs are vitally important when it comes to fueling your sessions, recovery, and the ability to build and keep lean muscle mass.  If you are typically used to following a fairly low carb diet – you may want to consider how this will affect your training during this cycle.  As always, source is the most important factor when trying to maximize your nutrition.  Black beans, broccoli, sweet potatoes, etc are examples of complex carbs that will help fuel your body appropriately.

Final words

As always, the coaching staff is available 24/7 to check your form on lifts, answer programming questions, and help you with anything you need to get the most out of this cycle.  


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