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Thoughts on S&C Training: 5/3/1 September 2012

Just finished another 5/3/1 cycle yesterday. Since I'll be fighting again soon, I decided not to include Squats and Deadlifts - I just tend to put on too much mass when doing these. Instead, my lifting sessions revolve around the olympic lifts: the snatch and the clean & jerk. Additionally, I do bench presses and weighted pull-ups. Hence, I cover all of the following functional movement patterns:
  •     Vertical Push:    Jerk
  •     Vertical Pull: Pull-Ups
  •     Horizontal Push: Bench Press
  •     Horizontal Pull: None, although some coaches classify the deadlift as such. Hence, it's safe to say that the clean serves this purpose just as well.
  •     Knee-centered Stand-Up: Overhead lunge following the jerk
  •     Hip-centered Stad-Up (aka hinge): Both the clean and the snatch
  •     Anti-Flex, Anti-Rotation, Anti-whatever: Putting a big weight overhead and keeping it there
Snatches and pull-ups make up workout A, while bench pressing and the c&j form workout B. During the workout, I'm alternating between the olympic lifts and the grinds. As a general rule, however, the o-lifts always come before the grinds. So, for example, I'd do the following:
  1.     Snatch, 75% 1RM, 5 Reps
  2.     Pull-Up, 75% 1RM, 5 Reps
  3.     Snatch, 85% 1RM, 3 Reps
  4.     Pull-Up, 85% 1RM, 3 Reps
  5.     Snatch, 95% 1RM, AMRAP
  6.     Pull-Up, 95% 1RM, AMRAP
In between sets, I'm taking as much time as I feel like. I used to be rather strict about timing in the past, but now I consider it a rather autoregulatory thing. Well, autoregulatory or not, I feel that the grinds did suffer from their placement after the extremely CNS-intense O-lifts. As a matter of fact, this feeling is well backed by my training log, which is presented below:


Snatch Clean&Jerk  Pull-Up Bench Press
Exercise 1 Snatch


Test Result 55 75 120 100
Exercise 2 Clean & Jerk


95,00% 52,25 71,25 114 95
Exercise 3 Pull-Up


90,00% 49,5 67,5 108 90
Exercise 4 Bench Press


85,00% 46,75 63,75 102 85







80,00% 44 60 96 80
Odd Sessions: Snatch Pull-Up
75,00% 41,25 56,25 90 75
Even Sessions: Clean & Jerk Bench Press
70,00% 38,5 52,5 84 70







65,00% 35,75 48,75 78 65




















Session 1 2 3 4 5 6
Date 30.08.12
03.09.12
06.09.12
08.09.12




EXR 1 Snatch C&J Snatch C&J Snatch C&J
Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Set 1 35 5 50 5 37,5 3 52,5 3 40 5 55 5
Set 2 42,5 5 57,5 5 45 3 60 3 52,5 3 65 3
Set 3 47,5 5 65 3 50 4 67 5 52,5 5 70 5
EXR 2 Pull-Up Bench Press Pull-Up Bench Press Pull-Up Bench Press
Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps Weight Reps
Set 1 80 5 65 5 84 3 70 3 90 5 75 5
Set 2 90 5 75 5 95 3 80 3 102,5 3 85 3
Set 3 102,5 5 85 5 107,5 3 90 3 115 x 95 1
















Snatch Pull-Up



Session 1 3 5 1 3 5



H1RM 55,17 54,55 59 115,32 113,83 118,29



Test Result 55 55 55 120 120 120



Estimated strength increase (%) 0,3090909091 -0,8181818182 7,2727272727 -3,9 -5,1416666667 -1,425






Clean & Jerk Bench Press



Session 2 4 6 2 4 6



H1RM 68,83 75,95 78,76 95,63 95,3 95



Test Result 75 75 75 100 100 100



Estimated strength increase (%) -8,2266666667 1,2666666667 5,0133333333 -4,37 -4,7 -5




H1RM stands for "hypothetical 1 RM" and refers to 1 RM estimations made with [this app]. So, to sum the above up:
  • Snatch +7,3% (55kg -> 59kg)
  • Clean & Jerk +5% (75kg -> 79kg)
  • Pull-Up -1,4% (120kg -> 118kg, including bodyweight)
  • Bench Press -5% (100kg -> 95%)
Since the O-lifts are imho more important than the grinds (especially for fighters), I call that an OK month. Not perfect, but by all means ok. There'll be no regeneration week for me - tuesday, I'll jump right into the next cycle. Although Wendler proposes adding 5kg to the big lifts at the beginning of each new cycle, I feel that this is too much for the O-lifts. Hence, I'll only increase them by 2.5kg each.

What are your thoughts on O-lifts for martial artists? Just feel free to post your point of view to the comments section below. Looking forward to reading them.

So long,

take care

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