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Barbell Club – October

Posted 4th October 2020 by Jenna Fisher

Post-lockdown, the first couple of months of BBC focussed on muscle endurance and hypertrophy for the main lifts. This month you will (finally!) move to strength but with an extra twist.

Leg day will begin with strength sets of back squats with 4 sets of 5 reps, building the weight from last month (now there are no hypertrophy sets fatiguing your legs). After you have finished these you will reduce the weight to approx 55% of your 1RM and complete one set of 20 reps with a pause at the top of each rep to take three deep breaths.

These breaths – deep diaphragm breaths, not small chest sips – will help build your deep core. Your core strength is essential for a strong squat. Note this aim, and do not be tempted to overload your bar. You must hit the 20 reps and you must take three deep breaths. Having a load with which you can only manage 12 reps or 18 reps or small fast breaths will miss the point of the exercise. Having an appropriate weight and building your core will mean bigger weights in the future. If you have not done this before be cautious the first week – if you feel dizzy, rack the bar and try again the next week with a lighter load.

Note that the breathing reps are only done for the back squat. On the other days, the deadlift and bench press 20s do NOT have this pause at the top. These have a standard tempo as you will be using fat grips to build your grip/forearm strength.

This month’s upper body accessory exercises focus on shoulders. Beautiful, well-defined shoulders. They are based on a Poliquin Group shoulder workout and are referenced within the spreadsheet. We are unable to do the full Poliquin program in a class-based socially-distanced setting (we are doing two of the three workouts) but if you do open gym and would like to give it all a go you can find the full details here:

Note that due to social distancing, and not being able to share equipment unless you are in a ‘bubble’, there may be times in busy classes when there are not enough fat grips or DBs for everyone. If you are one of those people you could do a mid-grip instead of a fat grip for the deadlift (no straps!) and a wide-grip for the bench press; and as an alternative to shoulders, you could do one of the extra tricep and bicep workouts that I have provided at the bottom of the program as these do not need any DBs. Alternatively, you could spray the fat grips and DBs with disinfectant and share from a distance. Your choice. Stay safe.

If you have any questions you are welcome to come and ask me or send it in an email to [email protected].

Barbell Club Program – October 2020 pdf

Barbell Club – Weights Log 2020 excel