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Balancing Weightlifting Progression and Ratio

Zachary Howell, [18/06/2022 21:53]

Currently I’m only able to bust out 35# dumbbells on 10D10 step ups and just upped it to 30# dumbbells on 10D3 split squat this week. I’m also going 155# on the 10D3 heels elevated back squat. I tried 135# on the back squat last time and it was too easy so I ended up doing 15D3. Was I probably not going slow enough?

Would you recommend I lower the step ups weight and squat weight to match the ratios with my split squat weight? Split squat is the weakest one for me.


Ben Patrick, [18/06/2022 21:54]

Zachary for advanced dense I would generally coach UP not down. Now, if there’s pain or form ain’t good, that’s a different story, so don’t force anything.

On the squat there IS a MASSIVE difference between bouncing and pausing. So I don’t know how you did your squats. But let’s drive up those step ups and split squats AND keep squatting.

Step up > split squat > squat… what I’ll be doing for life. So simple. I FEAR the competitor who keeps it that simple and keeps getting better.


Zachary Howell, [18/06/2022 22:00]

Understood! I progressed split squats too fast once so I’ve been very careful to add weight slowly.

And step ups are freaking tough! But my back squat strength has been increasing like crazy since I achieved a full knee bend with no pain for the first time in years back in March. I think I can go much slower and own the weight while also challenging myself more on the step up/split squats. Thank you!

I’ve never seen my vmo before in my life. No they’re poking out and I look …athletic??


Ben Patrick, [18/06/2022 22:00]

Wow awesome!

Zachary when in doubt here’s another possible way of looking at it… Keep step ups and split squats at half your squat, but lower step up height or add front foot elevation on split squat to be able to execute that load. That would be a fairly advanced look at it. With that many sets though, you may have some breakthroughs. For example your mobility can change over those 10 sets of split squats

Keep seeking to master all 3 zones and athleticism comes easy!

@brendanbackstrom and I were discussing a way of looking at programming:

“What would you FEAR your competition doing?”

That’s what you should be doing. This may lead to some really really SIMPLE programs.

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