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This week's feature athlete is Julia Smay. She is a competitive strongwoman athlete and recently won the Phoenix Europa, punching her ticket to Nationals in LasVegas. **UPDATE** SHE WON! Congratulations Julia on winning Nationals! Julia is not only a strong athlete, but has a strong heart, character and a giving spirit. She coaches strongman athletes at El Jefe CrossFit in Glendale, Arizona. She credits Mike's coaching to give her the foundation to coach other athletes and get them into competition shape for both local competitions and to go to Nationals as well. <<<<<Check out her deadlift PR video.
Thanks for stopping by! - Jolene Westerling
If you would like to talk to Julia about hiring her for strongman coaching at El Jefe, her Instagram is smayzee25
Thoughts from Coach Mike:
If you watch Julia set up for her deadlift you see that her position is just about perfect.
Right before she starts to exert upward force on the bar you can see:
As the bar travels up:
The deadlift program I set up for Julia to pull this number was very simple:
The Snatch Grip Deadlift was performed with a wide grip and feet a little wider than the normal deadlift. We didn't use bands or chains and kept the percentage very light. The point of this was to get her to be more comfortable finding her perfect start position and getting used to exploding from that position. I kept her percentages light because we want full recovery for the main sets of conventional deadlifts on the opposite week. All sets of snatch grip are done double overhand and straps are allowed if needed.
Deadlift: For these we did 5 fairly evenly spaced, progressively heavier sets working up to a top set as specified in the weeks above. All workup sets were the same number of reps as the top set each time.
Set 1 135x5
Set 2 195x5
Set 3 255x5
Set 4 315x5
Set 5 375x5
-The weight jumps are spaced this way so the athlete has ingrained the rep scheme in on the way up and programmed their mind for the top set. Bigger or smaller weight jumps can be made if the athlete is more comfortable either way, as long as the workup sets don’t fatigue the athlete and detract from the top working set.
**For more information about training for strongman, check out my ebook! http://www.mikewesterling.com/strongman-ebook.html
**If you are interested in getting a bigger bench check out my ebook about how Coach Al Bianchi trains his world champion benchers