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Strongman: Training Like Never Before

A training program is insight into the mind and personality of a coach. Each one should be different and each coach has their own style. Every training session should have a purpose, every exercise should have a reason, and each week should transition smoothly. This is why I choose to introduce myself using a program I put much of my soul into.

My name is Andrew Triana. I’m nineteen years old and going into my Junior year at Springfield College studying Exercise Science. I began competing in strongman after joining Springfield College Iron Sports. We are a family of incredibly talented and hardworking men and women. We meet several times a week, pushing ourselves and each other beyond limits we could never achieve alone.

The program that brought an end to our spring semester lasted 13 weeks. The goal was to peak on May 24th at the 3rd Annual Shreveport’s Fit for Life competition. This is a “platinum plus” show meaning the winner qualifies for the 2015 Arnold Strongman Fitness World Championships. The Arnold is the strongman version of March Madness. It’s where we all aspire to compete. The mecca of strongman competitors.

Life is a non linear path. Just like programming……

A program should be a treasure map to reach a specific goal with hills and valleys planned along the way. This is an important concept to apply to your programming and more importantly your training.

You will be hard pressed to find a team as hungry for success as Team Iron Sports. The hours we have given to the iron would cause alarm to most psychiatrists. The intent we train with is unparalleled.

Notice I didn’t say intensity.

Although we train very intensely. We train like professionals. Everything we do is completed with absolute control and focus. We are all educated in the intricacies of the human body. We live, breathe and sleep our trade. We educate ourselves daily and seek out the best professionals in the field.

Before I dive into the program itself, I would just like to touch on my training methodology. Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor is a signal protein related to growth hormone. VEGF responds mostly to metabolic waste. Thus creating the reaction I was seeking in my program design. The more metabolic waste we build up, the more GH we will find.

“Deviate more, Reap more.”

The phrase was originally geared towards homeostasis. It quickly became the mantra that drove us through the hills and valleys of the program. This came to be, not from asking “How much can we deviate?” but rather “How much can we reap?” How far can we push our physiology? How hard can we peak come competition day?

Working backwards from our goal, and asking ourselves “how much we can reap?” allowed us to use our goals as tangible motivation to our training,. We always knew where we were headed. This mindset is required for my my style of programming. The frequency, volume, and demand are too high to succeed without it.

The 13 week “Shreveport Plan” had a periodization calendar outlining the physiological goals and functions for each week. The plan called for a different deviation goal each week. This was perfect, considering the length of the program. It gave us new intent and focus with each week’s training. Every portion of the template followed our periodization and progression/regression scheme. Thus allowing for peaks and deloads on different weeks.

The template was comprised of Movement prep, resistance training, and accessory work.

The program’s emphasis was on energy system development, quality of global movement patterns, and our specific goals.

To give you an idea of how I do things, here are short excerpts from each training block.

Work Capacity (Weeks 1-4):

Example week:

2×5 100m tempos paired with an athlete specific corrective every 100m

7×7 30s rest Front squat then strict press at approx 50% of 1RM

3 Rounds of a unilateral based kettle bell circuit (40 reps each side per set)

3 Rounds of Prowler push-backward bear crawl to sled drag forward bear crawl 50ft each way

 

Volume (Weeks 4-8):

Example week:

2×3 50m tempos at 80% run with an athlete specific corrective ever 50m

9×5 Strict press and deficit trap bar deadlift at 67% of daily 1RM

5×5 DB floor press and double overhand axle RDLs with 6s Isometric focus

 

Peak Block: (Week 11-12)

Example week:

2 10yd sprint to backpedals (Athlete specific corrective before and after each)

6 Prone start to pencil jump 10yd accelerations

4 Rounds of rest pause front squats (2,1,1 with 8s rest 87% of daily 1RM), 1 min rest, 3 depth jumps at about 40’ each platform, same protocol for Z-press after using a rotational single arm chest pass

5×3 (Heavy) Db floor press paired with 6lb medball chest pass and double overhand axle deadlifts paired with assisted band vertical jumps

 

This was the most difficult program I’ve ever completed. There wasn’t a day where my shoulders and legs weren’t screaming. Every set was completed. My training partners and I can count on one hand the amount of missed reps we had over these 13 weeks.

I’m obsessed with creating the most efficient human organisms in every facet of performance. Team Iron Sports does our damnedest to emulate this idea in our training. It’s something I very well may never reach. In the process my iron brothers (and sisters) and I are working to make a name for ourselves within the field.
Stay tuned.

DEVIATE more, REAP more.

 

Please contact me at atriana@springfieldcollege.edu with any comments or questions at your will.