Dirty 35 Project Workout

Posted: Aug 31 2014

This workout is part of the Dirty 35 Project developed by Matt Wichlinski which is a training program I have been on now for about 6 weeks.

The name partly comes from the fact that Matt was approaching 35 when he developed it and as I am also approaching 35 I thought it was the perfect time to give it a go. I have been following Matt on YouTube for quite some time and have been blown away with his strength, knowledge and expertise so was more than confident to follow a program he devised.

The overall goal of the program is something that also greatly appealed to me. It is all about building strength, power and athleticism steadily, over a long period of time, which is really the only proper way to do it. No quick fixes here!

The exercises consist of big, compound movements that engage a large number of muscle groups at once. This develops much greater strength and balance than isolation moves.

I said the name 'partly' comes from the age thing earlier so the other part is that you perform 3-5 exercises per session, 3-5 sets per exercise and 3-5 reps per set, except for the last set per exercise when you try to push out a few more. You're also looking for a 3-5% increase in weight each week. Like I said this is slow, steady progression over a long period.

The workouts are split between an A and a B workout which are alternated throughout the week for 4-6 sessions. Workout A consisting of a strength move, power move, vertical push, vertical pull and core/conditioning work and workout B consisting of a strength move, power move, horizontal push, horizontal pull and core/conditioning work.

This workout is as follows:

1. Squat (5x5) - strength move

2. Power Clean (5x5) - power move

3. Incline Bench Press (5x5) - horizontal push

4. Bent Over Rows (5x5) - horizontal pull

5. Ab Roller (3x5) - core work

I am a complete newbie at Olympic lifting so forgive my poor form. It was actually something I wanted to learn before I heard about this program which is another reason it appealed to me. My leg strength and form is also pretty poor and hope to improve it is as I go.

So far I am really enjoying the program (project) and am already seeing good improvements in my strength, power and technique. I am also seeing a lot of all round muscle growth which is nice. I have recently formed the opinion that the main goal of lifting weights should be to increase strength and power with muscle building being a side effect of that, not the other way around.

I have lifted weights for years and although I have always been pretty well muscled, I have never been that strong. I focused more on isolating moves which, apart from making you look good, don't make you a strong, powerful athlete. OK I'm not doing this to become an Olympian (too old anyway) but I don't just want to look good, I want to have the strength and power to back it up.

Ironically, even if muscle building is your goal, then working out like this will actually develop musculature in a much more balanced way, leading to an overall better looking physique. We've all seen the guy in the gym with a chest like Arny and twigs for legs!

I have a long, long way to go but that's a good thing as it means I always have something to work towards. I will keep you posted on my progress.

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