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Barbell Club – Structural Balance Testing 3/5/2016 – 8/5/2016

Posted 2nd May 2016 by Jenna Fisher

Barbell Testing Week 3/5/2016 – 8/5/2016

Barbell - Simpsons Homer bench press

Due to the bank holiday there will be no class on Monday. The remaining three classes will focus on structural balance testing and the new phase will begin on Monday 9th May when we have a full training week.

Structural balance tests are just as important as your usual training programme, if not more. If you are lifting weights regularly and you have a substantial imbalance this can lead to injury. By doing these tests you can determine the accessory work you may need to do to correct imbalances, strengthen stabilisers, and in turn build a stronger body.

The primary focus for this week of testing is the upper body external rotation and trap 3 (based on your biacromial bench press, which you will need to test first). Everyone must do these ‘A’ tests. If you do not pass these tests I highly recommend that you include the external rotation and trap 3 exercises into your training routine every time you come to the gym. Please ask me if you need guidance on this. 

The second set of tests are the supinated chin up (to compare your pull to your push) and the Bulgarian split squat (to compare your left and right leg before we start single leg exercises in the next phase of the programme). 

The third list of tests are the options available for people who attend more than one class this week, or who have done the ‘A’ and ‘B’ tests recently. Do not try to complete all of these in one class or one week. There will be opportunity to test again over the coming months, or you can use open gym. 

The percentages you should be able to achieve for structural balance and the sets/reps to use to build to the 1RM/8RM are in the class spreadsheet.

Main Tests: 

A1. Biacromial bench press (1RM) – must be biacromial width, no wider. Please be strict on this. 

A2. External rotation (8RM) – 9.8% of 1RM bench

A3. Trap 3 raise (8RM)  – 10.6% of 1RM bench

B1. Supinated chin up (1RM)  – 87% of 1RM bench

B2. Bulgarian split squat (8RM) – one third of bodyweight in each hand

Extra Tests:

The list of options are on the spreadsheet along with the weight you should be able to get for these lifts as a % of your biacromial bench press. Do not try to do all of these in one class! – ask your coach for guidance on your selection.

NB: If you are fairly new to training do not try to test a 1RM. Ask your coach for guidance on an alternative.

Keep a record of your results so that you can take the appropriate action (ask me if unsure) and track your progress when we test again in a few months.

If you have time spare after completing the tests you can do the biceps/triceps finisher from the Friday/Saturday class in the last phase. Feel free to increase the reps and switch the bicep curls to chin ups if you need to make it harder.

See you for the new phase next week.

Class spreadsheet