I like following a program that is designed by other coaches for my own training. There is something about having someone else design the program in which I follow along.
For the past year, I have been following the Right of Passage from Enter the Kettlebell by Pavel. This was a great program to help me prepare for the RKC while getting stronger with swings, snatches, clean and presses, and pull ups. I knew that for 3 days per week, I would be doing kettlebell clean and presses and pull ups. I really liked the simplicity of the program. The goals of the program are to press the kettlebell closest to ½ of your bodyweight and also perform 200 snatches in 10 minutes. Although I haven’t pressed ½ of my bodyweight yet (44k) or performed 200 snatches in 10 minutes, the program definitely works. Why? I got stronger at pressing and have done more snatches in less amount of time. Yes, I should probably stay with the program until I can press the 44k and snatch 200 reps. However, the longer that I have been doing this program, the longer I’ve been away from other lifts. For example, in the ROP, other than swings, snatches, and get ups, there isn’t much leg strengthening. Yes, for lots of people these 3 exercises would be sufficient leg strengthening. However, when you have been squatting both double leg and single leg variations and then not doing them for almost a whole year, your body and your strength will miss them. Also, what I felt missing from the program was some basic barbell work. Although I am not the best at the bench press, I definitely felt like my one arm presses were missing something from not bench pressing. Maybe it was from not pushing heavy loads with 2 arms or my triceps strength was lacking due to not bench pressing. I don’t know, but I was missing something when it came to my pressing strength.
What I would like to do is spend a little bit of time away from the ROP and work on getting stronger globally. I want to work with the barbell once again and get my legs and bench press stronger. However, I would like to be able to press a good amount of weight overhead. The end goal is still the ½ bodyweight press. I think that by not doing the ROP for a little while and getting stronger in other areas will help me with this.
Like I said before, I like following other programs. In this case, I knew I wanted to work with the barbell and keep getting stronger at the one arm press. Enter Mass Made Simple by Dan John. Why? Well number one, I know Dan John knows his stuff. Two is the simplicity. What I also really liked about the ROP is the direct instructions. “Do this, not that” is very common. In Mass Made Simple, you have this for 6 weeks straight.
This program has what I am looking for- barbell work, one arm overhead kettlebell work, and leg strengthening. Yet, it is simple. It is the same exercises every workout. Bench press, Bat wings, one arm presses, bird dogs, barbell complex, and the high rep back squat. All you have to do is follow the program.
Although it is Mass Made Simple and it involves ingesting more calories, I won’t be doing that. Yes, I know that the program is supposed to allow you to gain some serous size. I don’t think it is something that I need at this part of my life. I just want to get stronger but I realize that added muscle can be a result- not a bad thing.
I have started a Training Log page on my blog. Feel free to check it out. I am already 4 workouts in and I am feeling great. There is something about high rep back squatting with light weight. I don’t know, but I feel like I am putting on some lean body mass while losing body fat. I think high rep squatting has lots to do with it.