Barbell Club – November 2019
There are big changes ahead for BBC. This post will give an outline of what the future holds before moving on to this month’s program.
This year, and previously, BBC has moved through an annual programming cycle of muscle endurance, hypertrophy, strength, endurance, hypertrophy, strength. This provided progression and increased rep records. A rep record is where your squat has progressed from 100kg for 5 reps to 100kg for 10 reps, for example.
In the words of Jim Wendler, whose strength program we will be following: “Most people live and die by their one-rep max. To me, this is foolish and short-sighted. If your squat goes from 225 x 6 [reps] to 225 x 9 [reps], you’ve gotten stronger” (https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/531-how-to-build-pure-strength).
So, although we have focussed less on a strength program in the second half of this year than we did previously, you have increased your rep records and have therefore progressively got stronger, in some cases massively so.Β The last few months have predominantly focussed on one muscle group per month to teach you a range of different movements for each, as well as rep schemes and combinations so that you have all of these in your toolkit for when you train alone in the future. Taking the focus away from the annual 1RM test has been no bad thing.
That said, with the introduction of our new StrongCon class we can now focus our attention on achieving specific goals rather than trying to cover everything in BBC.
StrongCon will focus on muscle endurance, hypertrophy, and body composition/conditioning (fat loss/fitness)
Barbell Club will focus on strength. And massive arms.
Note not to get confused by the name of StrongCon. This refers to it being a stronger version of MetCon so that previous beginners can now progress by doing barbell weightlifting in the first half of their class before doing conditioning in the second half. It is a heavier conditioning class and will be muscle endurance/hypertrophy (rather than absolute strength) with regards to time under tension. There will be lots of variety with movements and accessories in this class.
As of January 2020, Barbell Club will focus on absolute strength (and arms) for those people who like to take things a bit more seriously. The squat, deadlift, overhead press and bench press will be performed every week of every month all year.
The Juggernaut strength program will be followed from January – June and the Wendler 5-3-1 from July to December. (This is because Juggernaut begins with sets of 10 reps so I can be sure that you ease into it rather than trying to go balls to the wall straight after the Christmas break).
These programs will have percentages allocated every week for what you should be aiming to lift. It is important that you keep track of your numbers (a spreadsheet will be provided with the program like we currently do). For this reason, we need a realistic starting point (not working from a 1RM you got three years ago when you were a superhero). November and December will, therefore, look to find your 1RMs so that you have a number to work percentages from in January. Don’t stress about this. It is just to find a starting point, not to test your worth as a person.
In short (full details and percentages are on the program spreadsheet):
November – main lifts – squat, deadlift bench, overhead press, pull up:
Week 1: 5s
Week 2: 3s
Week 3: 2s
Weeks 4-8: Testing weeks. Do not try to test your 1RM for every lift in one week. Spread them over the end of November and through December. When not testing a lift, repeat weeks 1-3.
The accessory exercises will be arms, arms and more arms π
The November program starts on Monday. Download the full pdf program here:
And the excel sheet to record your weights here:
Enjoy the journey. There’s a big one to come x