Wiggle Room


You ever have those days where you start lifting trying to follow your program and it just isn’t happening the way you imagined that it would?  You know the situation where the weights just don’t move like they did the day before or even the last 5 weeks and it creates an impossibility for you to complete your program as it is written.  One of those days happened to me yesterday.  I have 3 sets of 2 snatches at 90%.  This comes out to 115kg for me.  That’s a tough double but most of the time it’s doable.  This day I could barely get 110 for a double much less 115.  It just wasn’t happening.  That’s where wiggle room comes in.

Any program created for any athlete has to come with the disclaimer for a little wiggle room in your workouts.  If you are a experienced lifter then the decision on how to change the program can often be made on the fly on your own.  However, if you are a beginner lifter you will need to allow for your coach to change the program as they see fit.

Because the day was not going as planned I had two options.  I could drop the percentage down and complete the 3 doubles or I could keep 115 on the bar and do 6 singles.  Both change the volume and loading to some extent but are very similar in how your body will be taxed and respond.  I tend to always fall on the side of heavier weights so I chose 6 singles every minute on the minute.  Were they easy?  Absolutely not… if they were I would have done a double.  BUT I did eventually complete 6 reps at 90% and leave the platform having achieved the work for the day.  I could have continued to beat my head against a brick wall trying to get that 2nd rep and I would be there still.  Instead I allowed for a little wiggle room in the plan.

It has to be stated that I was missing the second rep at 115 because of fatigue and lack of bar speed NOT technical error.  If the reason for the miss were technical error I would have continued to fight with the weight and fight with my technique.  The problem however was that I just wasn’t strong enough to put some force into the second rep.  That’s a huge difference in a small technical error causing the miss.

This is a necessity to any good weightlifting coaching and programming.  Not everyday will you be in your tip top shape and on those days its best to get the work in with made lifts than it is to quit or move on to the next part of the program.  Furthermore, the next time 115 shows up for a double… I’ll be ready.


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