As many of you know, Eric Cressey and I launched an awesome new product this week. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can do so here BuildingTheBig3.com. I know you’re really going to enjoy the material, as well as benefit from it.
I have to admit, this being my first product, it’s tough to write up something that you feel will universally work. A lot of thought went into the approach, and I know it will meet the demands of most any gym goer who is looking to boost their Big 3.
The manual already includes A LOT of customizable material. For example:
– Modifications for people who may not be able to perform certain movements.
– A detailed description of how to manage training maxes based on experience, and how you feel (this section in particular I think is different then what you will find in any program, and is applicable to more than just The SSG).
– Tons of suggestions and off day material, for those of you who like to stay active all week. Not to mention some poignant tips on how to structure these days yourself.
– Three, 15min Squat, Bench, and Deadlift tutorials where I aim to get some fundamentals across, not completely change your approach.
That’s A LOT of great material already, but I want to share some other things you can do with this program. After all, no program is perfect for you. The key is to start with something solid like The SSG and then tweak it each time you run it to fit your needs.
Let’s get started:
The SSG follows a different approach than you may be accustom to. Instead of reloading every 4 weeks like some of you may be used to with programs like 5/3/1, or The High Performance Handbook, The SSG uses a linear progression scheme. Over the course of 12 weeks the volume is drastically reduced while the intensity continues to climb.
For most folks, this approach is what I find ideal. Too often people back off too often. Instead, what we have done is consolidate the means of training slowly over the 4 weeks so that the volume doesn’t become to high.
However, some more advanced lifters, older lifters, etc. may still want to unload the bar during the program. I personally do this, and it can be useful as you become stronger and capable of greater outputs. Here is how you can plan back off weeks on The SSG.
Insert a week 5, after week 4, and before the actual week 5. On all competition lifts, perform 2 sets of 2 reps at 70%. Continue to do all the other exercises but use weights that are a good 20% less than you finished up with in week 4.
Insert a week 9 after the actual week 8, and before the actual week 9. On all competition lifts perform 2 sets of 2 reps at 75%. Continue to do all the other exercises but use weights 10% less than you finished up with in week 8.
Insert a week 12 after the actual week 11, and before the actual week 12. On all competition lifts perform 2 sets of 2 at 70-80%. Do only one top set of all the other exercises, using the same weights as you did in week 11. Use this week to really rest and recover before going for new PR’s in the actual week 12. Some may opt to just take this extra week 12 off entirely, and that is also fine.
I like to utilize jumps into my routine. They have been very helpful for me in working on my ability to create force more quickly. I tend to use these instead of traditional “speed” work, or olympic type movements. Adding in jumps is something I highly recommend for those who have both the time, and a little bit more training history. Furthermore, these will appeal to those of you who like to stay more “athletic” in their powerlifting type approach to training. Here is an easy set up:
Use this same sequence on any of the three programs. The jumps will be performed after the warm up, and before the main lift for the day. These should not be included on deload weeks, if you choose to apply them.
Squat Day Phase 1:
Box Jump – Week 1: 5×3 @ 80% (of max box height) , Week 2: 4×3 @ 85%, Week 3: 4×2 @ 90%, Week 4: 3×2 @ 95%
*box jump is your traditional vertical jump to a set box height. Make sure to step off box, and not jump off. Allow at least 60sec between sets.
Deadlift Day Phase 1:
Seated Box Jump (Static): Week 1: 5×3 @ 80% (of max box height) , Week 2: 4×3 @ 85%, Week 3: 4×2 @ 90%, Week 4: 3×2 @ 95%
*seated, static box jump is performed by sitting on a 18″ box. From the seated position, with feet flat on the floor, you will jump to the higher set box height. Again, step off, allow for 60sec rest.
Squat Day Phase 2:
Drop Squat To Box Jump: Week 1: 4×3 @ 80% (of max box height) , Week 2: 3×3 @ 85%, Week 3: 3×2 @ 90%, Week 4: 2×2 @ 95%
*drop squat to box jump is performed by performing a QUICK PULL down into the floor, so that you essentially lift the feet briefly, make a ground contact and then immediately perform a box jump to set height.
Deadlift Day Phase 2:
Seated Box Jump (Reactive): Week 1: 5×3 @ 80% (of max box height) , Week 2: 4×3 @ 85%, Week 3: 4×2 @ 90%, Week 4: 3×2 @ 95%
*same as the seated box jump, but you will actively squat to the 18″ box, allow the feet to rock off the ground, and then immediately jump to the set box height once the feet come in contact with the ground again.
Squat Day Phase 3:
Contrast Weighted Box Jump (10-15lb DB’s): Week 1: 5×2 @ 80% (of max box height) , Week 2: 4×2 @ 85%, Week 3: 3×2 @ 90%, Week 4: 4×1 @ 95%
*In this variation you will hold DB’s in each hand. Perform a slight in place jump, once the feet contact the ground simultaneously drop the DB’s and explode into the box jump without the weight.
Deadlift Day Phase 3:
Seated Box Jump (Reactive, Contrast Weighted w/ 10-15lb DB;s): Week 1: 5×2 @ 80% (of max box height) , Week 2: 4×2 @ 85%, Week 3: 3×2 @ 90%, Week 4: 4×1 @ 95%
*performed just like the seated reactive box jump, but you will hold DB’s in each hand. Once the feet retouch the ground, after squatting to the 18″ box and rocking them off the ground, drop the DB’s upon ground contact and explode into the box jump.
These two modifications can elevate your success on The SSG. For more information on the manual, and 36 weeks of programming visit the informational site, and grab your copy today! Just click the book cover below.