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A Blog Post

Strength Club. Group Training In The Mornings.




Before we start here let’s make one thing crystal clear: All Hail Jim Wendler!

This program is entirely, wholly and completely based on his 5/3/1 book. Go out and buy it – immediately. In fact this program isn’t based on 5/3/1 –  it is 5/3/1. Jim Wendler’s genius was to put together something brilliantly effective but so simple that every lifter in the land, upon reading it, smacked callused hand against furrowed brow and said “Doh! I shudda fort of dat!”

But none of us did. Jim did, and for that I’m eternally grateful as I ransack, plunder and plagiarise his work.

Back in October I started to do an early morning group training session which we called Dawn Patrol. It’s proved to be a busy little class and the same people come to each of the 4 classes I run per week. When it started it was with the idea that it would be like a great personal training session but done with a bunch of mates and for free! (Providing you’re a member of the gym). As time has gone by and the group has gotten fitter, stronger and better at training in the gym it became obvious to me that for their progress to keep, well, progressing I needed to start doing some actual programming.

That’s real programming by the way – not just pressing the big red button on The Random Workout Generator Machine and slavishly following “The Daily Workout” like blank eyed automatons.

After Christmas I had the guys (and girls) do 2 weeks of disgustingly savage conditioning style workouts in an attempt so disintegrate some of the holiday fat still clinging to thier waistlines. Then last week we tested thier 1RMs (One Rep Max – the maximum weight you can handle for one good rep on certain exercises. Only needs to be applied on big, rugged compound movements. No one cares what your 1RM lateral raise is.). This week was the first of 9, maybe 12, weeks of properly structured strength training. I’m very interesed in what they’ll be able to achive by following it.

The early morning class is not a closed group anyone, at anytime, can join us. We meet at 0630 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Come down and give it a go. Be warned, however, geting results is addictive.

Week 1

4 days. 4 different workouts.

  • Day 1 – Squats.
  • Day 2 – Bench.
  • Day 3 – Deadlift.
  • Day 4 – Overhead Press.

Everyday we do a thorough and specific warm up, 3 practice sets and then follow the 5/3/1 loading protocol. The accessories follow the “Boring but Big” method and if there is anytime left over I might get them to do a short, and not particularly taxing, finisher. The object is to get everybody stronger, not more knackered and with new injuries.

Providing no one minds I’ll get some photos, stats and comments posted up here soon.

Thanks for reading,

Dave Carter.



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