Southwood +…

Posted: April 18, 2011 in Posts

After finishing MMS many new discoveries have given me reason to change my approach to training. One, anytime I’m trying to gain a lot of something, strength, mass, etc. I’m shifting towards higher intensity, higher volume, less frequent workouts. Two, my upper body needs help. Dan John’s Southwood program looks to have a good focus on upper body work, while not neglecting the legs and building a lot of explosive moment capacity. It does it with four lifts:

Power Clean


Front Squat

Bench Press

The upper body emphasis is evident when you start front squatting a weight that your legs will push easily but makes you elbows tremble. Set and rep structure is simple. 8, 6, 4. I’m doing these with a weight that’s something like a 7.5 rep max.

The + comes from a lot of upper body corrective and isolation movement thrown in to combat weak areas.

The list goes:

Dumbell shrugs / Batwings

Lat Rows / Bent-over Rows

Tricep extensions / kickbakcs / one arm press with thick grips

Some kind of dumbbell/barbell curls with thick grips

Planks and ab work.

I’m doing this Mondays and Fridays. However, it’s evident that my cardio and work capacity has dropped some. Probably as a result of my dropping my general activity level during MMS. My max back squat is now 340. This is good. Flipping the big tire at work 40 times takes a brutal twice as long, even though the tire is much easier to flip. This is bad.
To correct this on Tues and Thurs I’ll be doing some heavy duty kettlebell workouts and some interval runs on Mon and Wed. KB workouts are something like:

Warm up
Stretching/foam roll
1/2 mile run or 5 min on treadmill
Mobility and Strength
Goblet Squats 3 x 10
Batwings or Lawnmower rows 3 x 10 each arm
Push ups or one arm press  3 x 10
Planks or bird dogs
Fat Burn / Cardio
10 swings / 10 strikes / 10 push ups 10 x 10
Swings and sprints ladder 10/20/30/40
swing and push up ladder 10/20/30/40
Hug swing / hammer / sprint 10 x 10
Sled sprints or farmer’s walk 5 – 10 min

Wedensdays and Sundays will be, if anything, highland games practice. Although I don’t have some key equipment and transportation issues solved just yet. I’m liking the idea of doing this program all through the summer “throwing season” hitting my local highland games again September and rolling into a month of running heavy recovery time before my annual Air Force PT test. After that it’s MMS again and 5/3/1 all winter.

Things may change, but a couple of years of  cycling through these sounds pretty good to me.


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