MDLP: Box Squats and De-Load

As luck would have it, its De Load week. Haha just kidding, leaving de load up to luck or “feel” is the worst idea and trust me, I have fallen for that trap many times. My body has definitely been feeling the ramp up in strength and event training and this weeks de load has come with a lot of thought and preparation. My knees and back are deff feeling the weight of my body as well as the increase in Log and yoke intensity and aside from good therapy, I have to do my due diligence and take advantage of my de load. Like I stated in previous articles, I tend to push to hard on my fluff days and although there should be no decrease in mental focus during De Load, sometimes I get a little carried away with acc work. I take the same approach I do with by body as I did with my spine recovery. Identify pain triggers, give the area time to heal and strengthen the complimentary muscles.. oh, and patience.

After having a few weeks of shitty knee pains, I decided to avoid squatting below parallel and placing the back and front squat on the back burner for now. I am by no means saying that squatting is horrible for your knees but I am giving myself time to lessen the inflammation, fix my imbalance and focus on the movements I need most to get a strong qualifying total. During previous training cycles, many moons ago, I found box squats to be very helpful for strongman. The turn over is simple, build very strong posterior chain and lessen the load on the spine, knees and hips. In addition, I decided to use my old briefs to allow an easier transition as well as get used to wearing some type of gear, as my deadlift will allow a suit. All my percentages this week are going to hover around 60-65% as I set my bearings straight for the next few weeks.

Moral of the story? I have been on this road many times before and one of my biggest faults in the past has been doing too hard on things that don’t matter. I remember so many days killing myself on front squats, strict presses, benches and acc work during a training cycle when they should really be limited as a tool to facilitate your sport specific training. Ego training and dick lifting in the past has taken years off my training life, that being said it will always be a battle to fight against the inner animal and bro. Regardless of the struggle, my ego will remain in check and the only supplementary/accessory work I will perform will be under correct percentages and more importantly, as a complimentary movement to the events coming up.

Warm Up:

  • Big 3
  • TKE 3×20/20
  • Single Leg RDL 1×15/15
  • Band Bicep Curls 1×50
  • Band Face Pulls 1×50

Work Load:

  • DeadLifts 6×1 with straps (3 sets at 315, 3 sets at 365)
  • Box squats 6×2 at 315#
  • Single Leg RDL 4×12/12
  • GHR 4×5
  • Suit Case Carry 3×150/150ft
  • Concept 2 Bike 3 sets of 30 sec sprints (calorie bike 14,20,18 cals with 1-2 min rest)

Never Stray from The Way


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Mike De La Pava
Michael “MDLP” De La Pava is currently a competitive Strongman and owner of The Battle Axe Gym. Born in Miami, Florida into a Colombian household, Michael finished his schooling by attending Penn State University where he graduated with a Degree in Psychology. Having his roots in martial arts, he would go on to compete in various sports as a Muay Thai fighter, Powerlifter, and rugby player before committing himself fully to Strongman. During this time, he opened Miami’s first Strongman gym, The Battle Axe, where he currently coaches athletes from various disciplines including powerlifting, MMA fighters, Strongman, officers of multiple authorities and enlisted and active military operators. Competing in Strongman for over 6 years has given Michael the opportunity to rank as high as 15th in the nation (105kg), won Florida’s Strongest man (1st in 2014 and 2nd in 2015 in the 105kg class), lift and load a 420 pound Atlas stone, log press 335, pull 700, and most importantly, share the competitive battlefield with some of the best in the game. During this journey, Michael suffered what some would consider a potentially career-ending spine injury. It was at this time that Brian and Michael would begin working together to not only rehab his spine, allowing him to return to Strongman but also develop a new Strongman training program revolving around the 10/20 philosophy. Strongman and coaching have given Michael the opportunity to travel around the nation and the world to train, coach and be coached, as well as share ideas with various leaders in the strength community. Michael’s experience and network in strongman brings a welcome connection with the ever-growing sport of Strongman to the 10/20 team and PRS family.
Mike De La Pava

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