John Broz Philosophy
- work up to a 1 rep max every day.
- back off 20-40 pounds or so and do 20-50 reps (sets of 2 or 3). Vary the weight based upon how you feel.
- do at least 1 rep max on big rowing or running days or if time is tight.
Squat to a daily 1RM, drop 15-20kg and do volume. That's all. When you lift more weight you work more weight in volume. When you feel like crap, just work up to a daily 1RM and skip the volume for that day. The body will regulate the weights you can lift but at the same time make you mentally exhausted.
The 1RM teaches you how to fight with max, but the 2's and 3's with 10-20kg less are what give you the power to go up.
The answer is simple. The squat is the most basic of exercises. Sit down then stand up. whatever happens with your ankles, hips, butt or whatever - don't over analyze. Just sit down and stand up.
Make sure you are sweating before you add weight to the bar. Squat the bar as many times as needed to get warm.
Training lifts will eventually start to go backwards as you enter into the "dark times". When you are so sore and fatigued that you cant even imagine lifting weights. This time is CRUCIAL to training. You MUST persevere and continue to train! Eventually your lifts will begin to improve and you will make progress and PR's while in a totally fatigued state. When you can make progress when feeling like this, this is when you are going somewhere.
To quote Antonio:"the day will never come when you can't lift the bar"
To quote my first coach:" If you wait til you feel good with no aches or pains to train, you will never be here"
Train til you can't walk, eat, sleep, repeat.
IF you cant' squat everyday, lift heavy everyday then you are not OVERTRAINED, you are UNDERTRAINED!
Look up at the ceiling. The body follows the head. If you are looking out or down this is usually the result.
When you get set to un-rack the bar, look up. Walk out and don't EVER look down to see where your feet are. If you maintain your head up, your upper back will stay tighter and your chances of keeping your hips under you increases.
day 1,2,3,4,5,6: squat to max (best weight at perfect competiotion technique) + back off sets of minimum 3x2, upto max of 50 reps. going back up to max or beyond if the weights start to feel light enough
The more often you attempt max, the more opportunities you are giving yourself to feel what max feels like, make max attempts, hit PR's, and it builds confidence. Eventually max is usual and as routine as walking down the street. Every morning I would squat at least 220 (usually more, but that was my "minimum" I HAD to do regardless of how I felt) like clockwork. I could do it just as easy as walking to my car to drive home. Pat is currently doing 250 every morning. It is so routine that at any given time, night or day 7 days/wk he would be able to do it without even blinking.
NOT training everyday leads to more injuries! IF you train everyday then your entire body is fatigued. Muscles, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, etc. When you train every other day, then the muscles and avascular tissues don't recover at the same pace. What happens is the muscles become fresh and recover but all the connective tissue is NOT. When the additional stress put on these weakened tissues (that never really got a chance to recover) by fresh muscles = injury. Lifting everyday keeps everything in a state that is equal and consistent within the system. A balance or harmony within. The fatigued muscles can't contract enough to harm the other tissues. The weak link moves from body part to body part, and in a sense is not letting the other parts max so that's when they are resting!
The progress from this program is because of the volume. Most people don't even come close to the amount of volume that it demands in regular workouts. The progress is wrongly attributed to the %'s and reps scheme. It's not. IT's the workload.
Squats take no or very little mental energy or stress on the CNS. squatting heavy should become as regular as a walk down the street.
The BS or FS only 1 or rarely 2 misses is allowed to daily max.
jump in with both feet! You don't necessarily have to go max every session, but doing them daily - even up to 80% or so just to get used to the work is a good start. You will see that you will adapt faster than you realize. Squatting will be just like walking. Progress the weights to max as soon as you realize that squatting daily is a joke.
don't take days off if you have access/availability to train. Go in and at least squat 30-40% or something. Squat the bar for 30 reps. Something! it will hurt, but it will help the adaptation progress faster. Don't abandon days if you can help it, simply just go in and bob around and do something - anything! Whatever you can do is better then riding the couch.
"Every time you touch the bar it is a +. when you take a day off it's a -" -Krastev
This applies to any weight lifted, even if it's just the bar.
It's very hard to coach a program based on shear #'s. Without seeing how the attempts were done, with how much enthusiasm, speed, overall attitude - it's almost impossible. this is where having a coach will help. Just keep pushing yourself as much as you can. Your legs hurt? Forget pain. Like I explain to every lifter...
"The lifter that can endure the most pain will be the most successful"
Again, since doing squats daily is new, start going for maxes daily then add volume. If the thought of going max feels discouraging (take the bar out of the rack and it feels like a ton, bad night sleep, etc) then go to where you could at least do the dubs at and put in work.
There was this time when I was supposed to C/J and S max. I was tore up. Krastev told me he was gonna be a nice guy and just let me BS. I was soooo happy. I went up to a max. I was so crushed that it was only 190 and it was a griiiiiind! He told me to do it again. Well, that ended up being my workout for 3 1/2 hours. doing 190 for singles over and over again. I'm not even sure how many I did. I would venture to say over 60 singles. 3 days later I did 235 for a PR.
feet position is not super important. experiment with what feels the most comfortable/powerful for you in the bottom position. whatever that is, just keep it consistant.
When you are training 2x/day, everyday you never really get that tight that requires "stretching". When we warm up we use a stick (or the bar for bigger guys) in the lifts. by doing the lifts over and over with a stick you sit in the positions. In essence this is our way of "stretching". I usually don't let them take any weighted attempts until they have broken a sweat from using the bar/stick.
This is one of the reasons I suggest doing squats everyday. It's important that you go up to maximum, but you must condition yourself to daily squatting or doing a combination of squats and the full OL. I commented on this earlier in the other thread about circulation of muscles vs connective tissue and the dangers with taking days off. When any of my guys miss a day I never let them go max the first session back.
I can almost guarantee without even seeing you lift that if you focus on keeping your air when you go down (which helps the torso stay big and rigid) and keep your chest up and out, you will probably add 10-15 kg immediately to your BS.
A typical session to max might look like this:
bar x 5 x 2 sets (warming up positions)
70 x5 (possibly a 2nd set here as well depending on how fast and the overall positions)
120x3 (possibly a 2nd set here as well depending on how fast and the overall positions)
230x2 x 8
Train til you can't walk, eat, sleep, repeat.
The day will never come when you can't lift the bar
If you wait til you feel good with no aches or pains to train, you will never be there
When the dark times pass then you feel better mentally - except for the "floating pain"
This you have to play by ear. I ask each of my lifters daily how they feel. sometimes multiple times during a session. I try to use my instincts to feel how they feel - to push but avoid injuries at all costs. There is a HUGE difference training through discomfort and training through an injury. You will be the only one to know how hard you can push yourself through your recovery.
Ideally, a 1RM followed by 90% or greater for multiple sets of 2-3 reps. 14x/week.
Elbow, wrist, knee, back, hip, etc. There will ALWAYS be something that is hurting.
My coach used to look at me and ask "do we need to go to the hospital or can you train?" there was no other option. If I was injured and needed medical attention then we must go to the ER, if not - then I had to be on the platform. There were countless times that I thought my knee was going to tear or my elbow snap because they hurt so bad. Just the THOUGHT of squatting down or straightening out my arm made me cringe. I would be instructed to "put something on it". Usually like bengay, equiblock, nicoflec, etc. If it hurt so bad that I would start to twist or really favor it a lot then we would skip that exercise and continue with something else to train around it (for that session). The next session we would try again. If the same thing happened, then we would respond identically. Every session was like this until I could continue with tolerable pain and without the possibility of injuring something else. There were numerous occasions when I felt a terrible pain in my right elbow. After warming up longer and putting some cream on it, I could manage to get through the session. Looking back years later I don't remember exactly how painful it was, but I do know that I went through it and I have no long term issues. My elbows, knees, back, hips, etc. are all fine.
People might take this the wrong way, so I'll try to clarify:
I'm not suggesting that you train if you are seriously injured. If you can't hold the bar and are twisting all over the place then skip it for that day and just do pulls, squats or something that doesn't irritate it further. What I am suggesting is that you push yourself a little harder then you typically would. Everyone's pain threshold is different. When is too much? For ME it was if I knew it was an "injury" and had to seek medical attention. There were dozens of times that I was feeling considerable pain, didn't want to train, felt compelled to and ended up setting a PR.
Doing some BB exercises always seemed to help too. After the session if I had some issue that needed attention, I would address it by doing an exercise that would pump blood into the area. ex. for elbow, I would do curls with the empty bar for sets of 15. Work the joint through it's full range of motion to get it working normally while increasing circulation to help to get it flushed out.
Training with this philosophy is not fun! It WILL test your determination and fortitude down to the last degree because you will fail- a lot. That's the point. People who talk the talk will have the opportunity to walk the walk. Most times it's out the door.
If the volume work is 10-20kg less than the daily max, then do singles. Just get the reps in for total work volume
The volume is equally as important as the max attempts. The 1RM fatigues you, while teaching you to fight with "maximum" weights, but when you drop down to get the "volume" you are also fatigued so it teaches you how to become more efficient and quicker under the bar. Both the Max and Volume are important. Again, if they get difficult and you start missing too many, then drop a few more kg, or do singles.
Yes. There were times when I was so mentally drained that I couldn't drive home. Taking a nap on the gym floor sounded better than to have to drive. Eventually I would get home, sit in a chair and stare at a blank wall for hours. Starving, with food already pre-made in the fridge but too exhausted to get up and toss it into the microwave. 4 hours later I was somewhat functional. During that time I couldn't talk to anyone because the energy to listen or just move my lips was too much.
As far as literature, it is sparse. I have seen bits and pieces of things around, but nothing that truly captures the essence of the program. I suppose the quote from Ivan sums it up best - "continue to the maximum"
on the day that the 180 felt easy, after 2 reps, go 190x2, then maybe 200x1 continue to the maximum -whatever that might be.
When training all the time, you always have some sort of ache or pain. Because of this, you try to compensate by twisting or tilting one way. I watch VERY closely to these things. They will only lead to a serious injury or missed lifts.
Squat daily, but don't go max for at least 4 weeks. Just do sets of 3+ reps, no doubles or singles. after you begin to build a base, then you can add one max day/week and continue to either add intensity or volume as time passes. Take your time and build a strong foundation.
When I was a young kid I had to promise my coach that I would come train everyday that the team was lifting. I literally had to beg him for 3 years to coach me. After this, I gave my word I would go in everyday no matter what. The rules were simple: show up, bring your bag/gear and lift. If you couldn't make it for some unexpected reason you had to call and let him know.
One day I was so crushed - my back was so sore that I had to kneel on the floor to brush my teeth cause bending over was too painful. There was NO WAY I could train. I called him and his reply was simple: "come here and watch. You can always learn technique and be involved." Ok, so I grabbed my bag (following the rules) and walked to the gym. After I got there I sat down to watch other lifters. As they were lifting, they all began, one at at time asking me why I wasn't training. After making up excuses for the 7th and 8th time I began to feel like such a puss. One lifter finally said "hey, why don't you just stretch with the stick. you can work technique and warm up. Might make you feel better?" Ok - so I put on my shoes and began to warm up. After about 10 min another lifter says "Hey Broz, why not come over here and do some snatches with us. We are just starting and you can jump in. surely you can do 40kg!" So here I go doing 40kg. I eventually keep doing more work up and setting a lifetime PR!!
As I was getting ready to leave the gym my coach looks at me and says "If you wait for the day to train when you feel good, you will lift about 2x/year. Those days are few and far between." As I walked home I was elated but still in shock that as horrible as I felt earlier, I actually set a PR and felt better then before I walked in the door. That was a lifelong lesson I will never forget. YOUR MIND PLAYS TRICKS ON YOU! Learn to ignore it and keep training.
Since that time I have seen that happen to hundreds of lifters, thousands of times. It just happened last Sat with a master lifter in our gym who, during warmups another master asked him if he was going to hit a big one and his response was negative. He had already determined his daily fate. I questioned him and said "how do you know? Do you have a crystal ball at home?" After about a 2 min conversation about his ability to not be able to see in the future he went on that day to set lifetime PR's in Snatch, C/J and total!
The mind of a champion is developed just like your body.
One of my guys now has a hand injury and can't do anything but squats and pulls, so he squats for 2 hours. I don't count the sets. If you can keep going then keep going. every single rep you do puts you 1 step closer to your goals.
17 hours ago