Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Canadian Bear Program - Phase 1

[I posted this over at IOC, too, but I thought I'd post it here for those interested in some power lifter style weight training.]

The Canadian Bear Program - Phase 1

The The Canadian Bear Program is a power lifting program designed by Christian Thibaudeau that incorporates the density training of Charles Staley's EDT model with the power lifting focus on the "big three" lifts (squat, bench, deadlift).

Thibs is a former power lifter who now looks like a bodybuilder:

He knows his stuff when it comes to power lifting, and he also knows how to make that style of training work for growth and leanness. The program that he posted combines focused training on specific lifts with the density element that makes EDT so useful and productive.

The method is simple: for each time block, perform as many sets of the suggested number of reps that you can. Rest as little or as much as you want, the choice is yours. Next time that lift comes up, try to do more sets.

What I am posting here is phase one, the accumulation phase - the 12-week whole program is posted at T-Nation, which is linked to above. Since he didn't offer suggested percentages of max, or rest days, I'm adding my own suggestions based on having done the firs two days.
The Canadian Bear Program

Phase 1: Accumulation (4 weeks)
Target rep range: 6 reps/set, using a weight that you can lift for ten prefect reps.

Day 1: Squat Day
Warm-up: Box jumps, vertical jumps, jumps with a knee tuck, etc. (10 minutes)
Movement 1: Back squat (20 minutes)
Movement 2: Half squat from the bottom position (20 minutes)
Movement 3: Leg press (15 minutes)
Movement 4: Leg extension (10 minutes)

Day 2: Bench Day
Warm-up: Plyo push-ups, medicine ball throws, etc. (10 minutes)
Movement 1: Bench press (20 minutes)
Movement 2: Close-grip bench press (20 minutes)
Movement 3: Lat pull-down (15 minutes)
Movement 4: Dumbbell shoulder press (10 minutes)

Day 3: Deadlift Day
Warm-up: Box jumps, vertical jumps, jumps with a knee tuck, etc. (10 minutes)
Movement 1: Deadlift (20 minutes)
Movement 2: Goodmorning (20 minutes)
Movement 3: Seated rows (15 minutes)
Movement 4: Glute-ham raise (10 minutes)

Day 4: Rest Day

Day 5: Overall Day
Warm-up: Box jumps, vertical jumps, jumps with a knee tuck, etc. (10 minutes)
Movement 1: Squat (20 minutes)
Movement 2: Bench press (20 minutes)
Movement 3: Deadlift (20 minutes)

Days 6 & 7: Rest, or high rep active recovery training.
Yes, that IS a hell of a lot of volume. And yes, there are NO abs and arms - he suggests you can add ten minutes of those (if you want) at the end of any given day. I don't think anyone needs to add more arm work to this. Today was "chest" day for me, and between the close grip bench and doing V-grip lat pulls, my arms got plenty of work. Squat and deadlift days work the core pretty hard, so I only will do abs on bench day and on overall day.

That's it - have fun. I'll try to post some numbers from time to time, and then the routine for phase 2 when I get there.

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