Monday, December 15, 2008

mc's version of KJ's beast pressing protocol - just fyi

Protocol Review: What do i do?
A few folks have kindly asked exactly what am i doing in this volume protocol for presses i've been writing about recently (here's the latest post). Thanks for reading and for your interest.

The following is my current rif on KJ's Beast Plan for Presses (described in the RKC manual, 2007, 2008 and the subject of a forthcoming book).

As said, this is a slight variant on the protocol developed by Kenneth Jay. Any compromises to that plan are entirely mine. This post is not a protocol endorsement at all - i'm just experimenting and have not completed that experiment. I'm posting this in the interest of being clear about the method of the approach. I'll continue to report my results, but i'm only a sample of one so far. If you're interested in playing along, by all means, but again, no guarentees :)

With that caveat in place, here we go:

Light Day
  • pick a weight i can do ten reps with and get ready for multiple sets of five
  • set a timer for 15mins (i like the gymboss as a physical device & use it alot, but for a BIG screen version, this freebie javascript page rules.).
  • Press strong/best side for 5 - inhale on the press/exhale on the descent. focus on form each rep.
  • Press weaker/lesser side for 5
  • Put the bell down
  • Do TEN bodyweight DeadLifts (so focus on form, in particular, bone rhythm, so that's getting the ass down fast to finish with the knees, exhaling on the out, inhaling on the up. These are done FAST - as fast as can be done to keep that perfect bone rhythm form, yes, but also to keep the heart up to test the effect of integrated cardio)
  • mark down complete set with a | in a workout book.
  • Take a breath
That's one complete set of presses with active recovery. I do as many of these as i can within the 15 min zone. The rest between sets is only as long as the active recovery bw DL's.

As soon as form on the press starts to go south - like a complete rep but needing to put in a hip - go to a lighter bell, and keep going.

I do two 15 min zones. Many challenges within this: getting to 200 reps with perfect form; getting to the complete cycle with the same weight are two good ones.

Heavy Day
Again, i set the 15min timer - not so much because i want to work for 15 mins, but because i want to make *sure* i use the full period for recovery. If i cut that short, the rep fails. That's all there is to it - at least for me. And strength work like this is 2-3 mins. The timer helps me stick to that because i HATE waiting and like to rush to do the next press. For me, that's a doomed strategy, so i use the timer. Then, with heavy bell ready,
  • i do my C&P on the strong side; park the bell.
  • Pause for a breath to feel in the zone.
  • Do my C&P on the weaker side. park the bell.
  • Do z health drills during the recovery period.
  • make SURE the full recovery period has passed.
  • Repeat.
Once the bell on the weak side needs an assist to complete, i grab a lighter bell, just to finish that side with a complete rep - end with perfect form of a complete rep. And then heavy pressing of full presses for that day is done.

Then recovery. Then it's onto partials.
reset timer.

So, Kenneth has neat ideas here: if i don't want to do parials with a 4k jump up to the 20, i could do partials with a double bell combination. KJ is a big fan of stacking bells, even if they don't come up to the goal weight of the new bell. Here's where that happens for me: just before one heavy bell looses form.

So, the Partial recipe is to press up with the assist of the other hand, come down to sticking point; press back up; come down a little further, press up; down a little further, press up. This approach to partials is very cool. It works on both sides - where i get down to on each side is a bit different, but it's working.

Two notes on the partials: perfect form.
First, as said, if i feel form is about to get lost, i bail to go to the 16 stacked with another bell, for slightly under the 20 weight, to about an 18. Second, breathing and handle gripping.
Many folks already know this; i've heard it alot too, but it's not until i've really practiced it with this approach that i've gotten how vital it is. For me, it's
  • inhale going up; exhale coming down - it's just smoother, more in control - for me, anyway.
  • grip the handle especially if in grief on going up. When i've felt my weaker side pushing through the sticking point, gripping the handle with extra force on the heavy day, and towards the end of the light day, helped keep the form groove.
There's at least a two day gap between the light day and the heavy day for pressing, so that's *only* once a week for the complete pressing cycle. The other days of the week are currently replete with fighting despair while trying to build up my pistol and pull up, again with heavy/light days per both, snatching once a week (or so) to stay solid with the new RKC snatch test numbers, and a whole lot of rowing thrown in for fun, happiness and alternating steady state/interval cardio. Thanks to KJ there too for pointing out the similarity between rowing and snatching.

Ok, wow, surprised that took so many words to detail, but i hope that helps anyone curious about exactly what i'm doing in these sets.


Jason said...


On your light day you say you do 2x15 mins. What rest period do you have between each 15min segment?


dr. m.c. said...

Hi Jason,
thanks for dropping by -
as for rest period, none, really.
just breath and go


dr. m.c. said...

Jason - ps
the no-break between the PR zones is NOT official EDT style. In EDT you DO take a real break between these zones.

Here, as i'm trying to build up numbers in a row, i'm using the timed sets as a way to quantify progress. So rather than set a goal of X no. of sets at whatever weight can be used to sustain those sets, i'm using time as the limiter, with 15 mins as sort of the split point.


Jason said...

Much clearer now thanks.



Related Posts with Thumbnails