How do you program 1 year of training?

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  • By Susan "The Wife" Bartley
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How do you program 1 year of training?

I have 1 year to train for the APF Masters Nationals in May of 2018. Luckily my husband, Marc "Spud" Bartley is a pretty damn good coach. We have put together a pretty cool training protocol for the next 6 months. Now I just have to follow it and see if it gets me where I want to go.

The first thing my husband said when he saw the title of this blog was "why are you putting yourself down?".  My answer...I'm not.  I am a mediocre powerlifter.  I get people in the gym all the time that say “Are you going to win your competition?” and I often respond by telling them that currently one of the strongest women in my weight class (Krista Ford) has a squat that on a bad day is 200 lbs. more than mine….so there is that.  No worries on my end.


My mediocrity in powerlifting is not for lack of trying or training it is mostly a dry spell for about 8 years where we were focused on our business and there just wasn’t time to compete.  (The cool thing is that no matter how mediocre my numbers are, I still out lift a lot of the guys in the gym.)


Now I am back.  I have been competing again for about 3 years.  I am in the 181 lb. Masters Class 40 – 45 years old.  My most recent meet numbers suck so I won’t give them to you.  My best to date was from the APF World’s last year in Baton Rouge.  The goal was to total 1,000 lbs. and I did so with a 402 squat, 185 bench and a 416 deadlift. Woo hoo!!


I have one year to train for the APF Master Nationals 2018 and then the Worlds 2018.  Training started last week.  I have two sets of goals.  The first set are numbers I want to either hit or maintain during the next 6 months.  The second set are my goals for Nationals.


First Set of Goals:  Squat 315 for 5 reps easily (in my suit of course. I can do this already I just want to maintain), Squat 225 for 10 reps raw (probably could do this just haven’t tried), Deadlift 315 for reps (6-10) and finally bench 200 lbs. raw – this is my ultimate goal for the next 6 months. I want to be able to bench 200 easily BEFORE I start meet prep.


Second Set of Goals: Currently my meet goals for next year are 425 squat, 200+ bench, 440 deadlift.  That would be AWESOME!


I have decided to try doing 2 week mini-cycles for the next 6 months so I can keep up with my training under heavy weight but cycle in lower weight volume training for recovery.  All weeks will incorporate a skill I HATE and a skill I LOVE.  Plus, a lot of skills that I have neglected.


The highlights of my first 2 week Strength Cycle are:


  • Box Squat 325 lbs. (235 lbs. bar weight plus 3 chains per side) for 4 sets of 3 to a parallel box – in gear
  • Speed bench with the Duffalo bar (135 bar weight plus a chain) for 8 sets of 3
  • 3 Board Bench Press with 175 lbs. for 5 sets of 5
  • Front Squats (which I LOATHE) working up a not very impressive 135 lbs. for 4 sets of 5
  • Rack pulls from just above the knee for 5 sets of 5 with 365 lbs.
  • Fun accessory work: log press and hold, crazy banded stomps (thank you very much Crossfit Games), Close grip press, heavy KB swings, and wide stance leg press, 1/3 mile of rows with the sled

Here is a video of the stomp things.  I did them for 4 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes and 1 minute.  If you need hip strength give them a try.


Here are the walking sled rows in case you need a visual.


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