BadgerWOD: GainZ Level 3 Instructions
Who its for:
Level 3's are those who've been consistently working out, are familiar with strength protocols, but have yet to reach a strength level which are considered to be strong.
Every workout starts with a mobility drill. Stretch out/foam roll all your major muscles especially the hip flexors, inner thighs & hamstrings because better mobility in these areas equates better form. For reference, you can check out the Badger Drill mobility page. After that comes the Pre-WOD. The purpose of the Pre-WOD is to prepare your core muscles and central nervous systems for heavy strain - in essence, to 'wake them up'. Once you finish the Pre-WOD, move on to do 1 warmup set with an empty bar for 6-8 reps, and proceed to do the Routine itself. Every rep in the warmup set should be done slowly - 4 counts down, 1 count up. Then, in 4 sets slowly ramp up the weights heavier and heavier in progressions of 60, 70, 80 & 90% of the weight you're going to use for your 5th set, which is the only working set there is. Finish your workout off with a Post-WOD.
Post-WODs are meant to be relatively easy, low in intensity, and helps you reinforce your supporting muscles when it comes to lifts. The Good Mornings are there to help make your back stronger so make sure you do them during the Post-WODs - they're meant to be done using a light weight anyway. Once you're done with Post-WODs, you can finish of with some quick stretching to end your session.
Be mindful of the exercises:
Some days you're going to do strict press while some days you're going to do bench press. Some days barbell rows at 5 sets, while some days just a single set of 5 deadlifts. The program is an intricately structured program so make sure to pay attention to the WOD card in order to avoid making mistakes. Glance through the card every time its posted to make sure.
Start off with a tolerable/light weight that you KNOW you can do with a completely perfect form for the total assigned number of reps according to the WOD Card. Record your weights in your smartphone Notes app or a notebook for tracking. You are going to perform the movement as stated, and you'll do the same movements for the rest of the week with the same weight. Every week, when you go back to the same movement, you're going to add 5lbs (or 2.5kg) to your previous week's weight and do that. This only applies to the ROUTINE.
As an example, if on Monday of the first week you did 5x5 Back Squat @ 100kg, the next Monday that you do 5x5 Back Squat you'll do it at 102.5kg instead of just 100kg, and repeat at 102.5kg for the rest of the week. The progressions are going to be steady, and they are going to be tough, as you'll be increasing the weights by 2.5kg every week which means you'll be increasing your 5RM squat weight by 10kg by the end of the month! At the end of the Phase (6 weeks), you can be proud to say that your squat weights for 5 reps would have increased by 15kg (2.5kgx6 weeks). If it doesn't - no fret. Everybody have different physiologies and lifestyles which may or may not support fast gains. Just keep doing your best because whatever strength gains you get are still gains nonetheless.
Avoid getting injured, and make the best usage of your time (technique):
Be a perfectionist. Do not sacrifice form for numbers no matter what. If on Monday you only managed to perform 4 reps of squats properly instead of the targeted 5 reps with a given weight, it means that for your next Squat session you shouldn't be increasing the weight just yet. Squat with the previous weight until you can get strong enough to do 5 reps properly, then only do you increase. Definition of a 'rep' means that you have to meet the movement standards as much as your body would allow. Not all of us will be able to squat ass-to-grass, but if your mobility allows you to do it from the 1st rep, there is no reason why you can't do the same on your last rep, except maybe you're carrying too heavy.
Form breakdown happens when fatigue sets in. This is normal - which is the reason why you absolutely must rest in between every set. Use a minimum of 60 seconds if you find the set easy, and rest up to a maximum of 2 minutes if you find the set to be difficult.
If you are still sore from the previous workout:
That'll make it more important to warm up properly. Do the Pre-WOD, then go for a short 1km run, or practice your rope skips/double unders. Move around. By the time you finish the Pre-WOD, you should be significantly less sore and likely no longer sore at all.