If I could only choose 5 lifts… for performance


If I could only choose 5 lifts… for performance

By Mark Wine CSCS, PT, BA


We often get confused with training in that… we need 100 exercises to select from. Unfortunately, this leads down a slippery slope that can create confusion, non-mastery and less athleticism. The theory of ‘simplification’ is allowing the athlete to become great at a few things rather than decent at many.


The focus of the FIVE for this purpose is to highlight the importance of strength development over all else. Strength improves and will do the following:

  1. Helps fight injuries… that’s a fact

  2. Increases your power… 1000%

  3. Speed… gives you much greater potential

  4. Jump Height… force development means I can fly


With that being said, if I could only choose 5 lifts to focus on increasing my athletic performance, it would be…

  1. Back Squats

  2. Deadlifts

  3. Split Squats

  4. Dumbbell Bench

  5. Pull Ups


In order to maximize the programming for this the variables would be as follows:

a. Odd weeks & Even weeks

b. The lift split would be 3x per week on: Monday, Wednesday and Friday… or

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

c. 100% make sure you keep track of your weights for each week

d. The program would last 8 weeks at most before transitioning for 1-2 weeks


ODD WEEKS

Lift 1:

  1. Back Squats… 3 sets x 8 reps

  2. Split Squats… 3 sets x 12 reps each side

  3. Dumbbell Bench… 3 sets x 12 reps

  4. Pull Ups… 3 sets x 12 reps

Lift 2:

  1. Deadlifts… 3 sets x 8 reps

  2. Split Squats… 3 sets x 8 reps each side

  3. Bottom Dumbbell Bench… 3 sets x 8 reps (pause at the bottom for 2 seconds)

  4. Pause Pull Ups… 3 sets x 8 reps (pause at the top for 2 seconds)

Lift 3:

  1. Bottom Back Squats… 3 sets x 5 reps

  2. Deadlifts… 3 sets x 8 reps

  3. Dumbbell Bench… 4 sets x 12, 10, 8, 8 reps

  4. Wide Pull Ups… 4 sets x 12, 10, 8, 8 reps


EVEN WEEKS

Lift 1:

  1. Back Squats… 5 sets x 3 reps

  2. Split Squats… 3 sets x 15 reps each side

  3. Dumbbell Bench… 5 sets x 5, 4, 3, 3, 3 reps

  4. Pull Ups… 5 sets x 5, 4, 3, 3, 3 reps

Lift 2:

  1. Deadlifts… 5 sets x 3 reps

  2. Split Squats… 3 sets x 12, 10, 8, 8 reps each side

  3. Bottom Dumbbell Bench… 4 sets x 6 reps (pause at the bottom for 2 seconds)

  4. Pause Pull Ups… 4 sets x 6 reps (pause at the top for 2 seconds)

Lift 3:

  1. Bottom Back Squats… 3 sets x 10 reps

  2. Deadlifts… 3 sets x 10 reps

  3. One Arm Dumbbell Bench… 3 sets x 10 reps each side

  4. Pull Ups… 3 sets x 8-15 reps until failure


The FIVE MOVEMENTS chosen offer a full body balanced approach thus allowing for more force development overall from the athlete. In truth, strength should be focused on because much of the “velocity” work done can be handled during sprints or other high power / fast paced movements during the specific sport.


I hope this helps those out there looking for something simple to do that they can accomplish each week to begin transforming their athletic career, outlook and overall prowess during sport.

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