Friday, June 27, 2014

Another minimalist strength program from Dan John

As I'm saying all the time, swing dancers don't need to be that strong, just stronger! I was listening to this podcast the other day and Dan came up with that ultra simplistic program that would be great for any swing dancer.

Pick 1 movement from both category and work on them for 2 weeks. Try all combinations for a total on 18 weeks.
  • Squat - swing – deadlift
  • Press – pull up - turkish get up
Isn't that awesome?! I guess you can start over the program simply by switching variations on every lift.

He doesn't talk much about frequency, volume and intensity which I assume we have to remember Easy Strength:

1. Use a limited number of “big bang” exercises—for example, the deadlift and the floor press. 
2. Lift two to three times a week.
3. Keep the reps in the 1 to 5 range, emphasizing doubles and triples.
4. Keep the volume around 10 reps per lift or 6 when using only singles—for example, 5 x 2, 2 x 5, 532, 3 x 3, 343, 424, 1234, 4321, 12321, 6 x 1, and so on. You may stay with the same weight or vary the weights from set to set.
5. Rest approximately 5 minutes between sets. Practice Fast & Loose relaxation drills in between.
6. Train in the 80% to 95% 1 RM intensity zone. Always leave at least 1 or 2reps in the bank.
7. Go for a PR, single or rep, when you are feeling exceptionally strong, but stop short of an all-out max. Set a “sort of max.” Always back off after a PR for at least two weeks.
8. Vary the intensity every workout, through different styles, cycling or through less structured advances and retreats.
9. Don’t stop strength training in season but reduce the volume by two-thirds to one-half. For example, do 3 x 2 instead of 5 x 2 or 3 x 2 instead of 3 x 3. You may switch from three to two strength workouts a week.
10. Finish your workout feeling stronger than when you started. Stop the workout if your performance is less than perfect, and come back another day.

I personally feel better with a higher frequency, 5 days per week, and lower intensity, between 60% and 80%, but since everybody is different you will have to experiment with this. I'm a bad presser and I found that I can make significant progress if I increase the volume a bit, around 15 reps instead on 10, without being sore too much.