Not all Training Blogs are Boring....right?

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  • By Susan "The Wife" Bartley
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Not all Training Blogs are Boring....right?

I’m done being sexy, at least in my blog, in real life I am still slaying like Queen B.



There aren't many places to take a blog after announcing your intention to find and live into your sexy self.  I wasn’t sure what to skip to next, what would catch people’s attention.  And even though my good friend Murph at Total Performance Sports (check him out on IG at @TPSMalden) says that people don’t really care about training, I am going to write about training.


I am not going to lie to you, my training isn’t very exciting. The numbers aren’t going to blow anyone’s skirt up BUT…Marc “Spud” Bartley and I have embarked on a journey to provide concrete feedback for a theory (which I am not going to tell you) and that lends my last few months of training tiny bit more intrigue.


I am not going to go to far into the theory since we haven’t proved anything and are just gathering data, but I want to talk about what we are doing and what results we have seen so far.


RAW Powerlifitng is where its AT!


Psych!  I mean, props to all you raw lifters out there, keep grinding your gears, but for me multi-ply powerlifting is the   You can not tell me that after watching Hoff squat 1273 and Crystal Tate squatting 815 at the recent WPO on ESPN, that you were not inspired.  What would you rather watch – the guy in your gym squatting 405 raw dog, or the Hoffster bellying up to 1273 and squatting it like a man beast?  Not really any competition for me.  Multi-ply powerlifting is the most insane, inspiring and kick-ass lifting ever and it is really all I am interested in.



I’ve competed in multi-ply and even reached some personal goals which are not worth really mentioning.  Let’s just say that Crystal Tate squatted twice what I did, so there’s that.  This new training cycle is all raw work: no belt, no wrist wraps, no knee or elbow wraps.  Instead of “raw” I like to call it “foundational”.  I am working backwards to create a strong foundation for future lifting and to help create data to test our theory.  All my PR’s are new, even if it is a weight I have handled before, it is new because I am not using any type of assistance gear.


I’m not going to give you the BIG theory.  But I will give you this part of it.  We are training sans equipment to learn how to breathe through the movements.  That means instead of taking a huge belly full of air before lifting the weight out of the rack and then holding it so that your belly stays tight for support, we are breathing in and out throughout the movement.  I call it BIM training or Breath In Movement Training.


(Brief Aside)


PLEASE, do not come at me with science about how bad this is.   I know what you are going to say, but I also know what we are basing our theory on and I am not willing to share that just yet, so instead of jumping in to tell me we are wrong, just ride this blog out.  When we are able to paint the big picture, I promise there will be science-y stuff that you can pick apart.


Back to the Good Stuff


I started this journey in August with my first 4 weeks of training.  To begin I set my new BIM 1RM.  I worked each lift: Squat, bench and Deadlift, until I got to a weight where I was unable to breath independently of the movement OR my form failed.   These starting BIM’s were very low.   The big reason is that I hadn’t been training with heavier weights for about a year.  I was training but it was just a mash-up of things. My first BIM Maxes were:

Squat: 165 lbs.

Bench: 110 lbs.

Deadlift: 225 lbs.


They felt really sad and pathetic…but don’t worry I have improved.


My first training cycle was pretty basic.  It was 4 weeks with a modified Russian training programming style.  I based my percentages off of those low BIM maxes.  The goal was to just see if I could work on the breathing through each movement and also get stronger.  This first month I did not train my deadlift at all.  I found that just focusing on the squat and bench press form plus breathing meant that my training took about 1 and a half hours each day.


For cardio, I started making sure that I walked 10,000 steps every day.  And Saturday and Sunday training was just a 10,000 step walk.


At the end of the first month I re-tested and got new BIM Maxes


Squat: 200 lbs.

Bench: 120 lbs.

Deadlift: 225 lbs. (this didn’t change because I wasn’t really working it.)


After this first month I was pretty pumped that it was working.  Yes, I know it was working because a) I had not been training heavy for a while so this was that initial jump when your body is doing something different and b) it really could only go up my starting numbers were so low.  But anyhow, I was still happy that things were progressing.


So, I did the next logical thing and just stuck with the program re-writing it using the new MAX numbers and varying percentages, days and loads.


SHIT! I forgot an important part


There is another theory out there, and again I know this is going to invite people to try and rip me a new booty, but there is a theory that DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is a myth.  That’s right.  The theory in its basic form (and I don’t want to give you much more because it all ties into the one big theory we are working on) is that if you are properly alive in your body then DOMS is not a necessary product of hard training.  I wanted to test that as well so my weekly training split looked like this:


Monday: Squat/Bench

Tuesday: Deadlift

Wednesday: Squat/Bench

Thursday: Deadlift

Friday: Squat/Bench


I have done this kind of high volume training before and it smoked me. I was constantly tight and sore and usually at the end of a 4 week run I would have some irritating injury that I had to cope with.  This time I did not.  I was fresh to train every day and had very little muscle soreness.  I guess more on that later.


I ran this cycle for 8 weeks – but during that 8 weeks I had 2 weeks where training was not consistent due to life events so it really was more like a 6 weeks cycle with 2 down weeks randomly thrown in.  I still was not doing much accessory work but did add in the deadlift.  Here is that cycle written out.

I didn’t do much accessory work because I didn’t have the time.  Working on the breathing was still taking a lot of time and training took about 1 and half hours.


After this cycle when I re-tested my new maxes were:


Squat: 225

Bench: 135

Deadlift 300


Take a gander at the squat:


This is very, very close to what I consider “bottom end” strength.  For me, a 225 squat, 135 bench and 315 deadlift is where I should hang even at my worst.  Below that, in my mind, and you can’t really call yourself strong.  I am happy to be back in that arena.


Confident that things are progressing I have written a new cycle to take me through the new year.  I have changed the days around and added a day of just cardio.  Since the weights are increasing I want to have ample rest time.  I will come back and write about these results at the first of the year.  With the holidays coming I hope I can stay on target.  I have written in both the week of Thanksgiving and the week of Christmas as down weeks so that will help.


Here is my training from the beginning of September through the New Year:


Stay tuned.  In my next blog I am going to write more about my secret weapon.  How I am able to squat/bench/deadlift heavy without any supporting gear.  What it means to breath through the movement and what I do to stay healthy.  I will give you a secret……….no, I wont you just have to read my next blog.






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