Amna Al Haddad
Sports Pioneer from the Middle East

Training Log It-Never-Gets-Easier-You-Just-Get-Better

Published on November 5th, 2012 | by Amna Al Haddad


Training Phase #2 (Week 3 – Week 4): German Volume & Structural Balance

As an athlete, keeping track of my training sessions and progress is really important. More so, it’s important that I am aware of why we train the way I do and what are the goals we are trying to achieve in each –  not just phase – but training session.


In this post, I will focus on training in terms of adaptation and progress. If you have been following my previous posts, you’d notice that in my German Volume Training, I have been doing 10×4, 10×5, and week 3 has been 10×6 as stated below. As I explained last week, the goal for my current training is to gain strength within the repetition range I work with, however, the interesting part in regarding to working with different repetition ranges each week is that the human body can adapt after just one training session! As a result, varying the difficulty of the training session or the intensity (two different things) are rather important.

Although, the repetitions that I work with are different, they all work toward the same goal – relative strength. The time or period you expose your muscles under tension dictates the nature of the adaptation. In other words the repetition and tempo you work with have different results. An example would be working with few reps such as 1-3 works toward gaining maximal strength; working with 4-6 reps works toward relative strength; and working with 7-12 reps works toward endurance or hypertrophy.

So in my training, I am working on relative strength and increasing the time my muscles are under tension in each training session. This way I am still working hard and not allowing too much adaptation.


In week 4 of this phase, we have went back to 10×4 program and this allows to track progress of the first 10×4 training session. Tracking progress is important in many ways, it shows if you have gotten stronger, if your body has adapted, or simply if your technique has gotten better. In my training sessions, progress has been measured in the following ways:

  • Adding weight to some of the exercise
  • Increasing height in step ups and side dips
  • Doing less and less negative chin ups in the last few sets (PB’d with 40 strict chin-ups in a training session)
  • Smashing 4 sets of 16 repetitions of shoulder external rotations and increasing weight the following week.
  • Improvement in grip strength


Week 3:

Friday – 26 of Oct
Day 1: Upper Body

A1: DB bench press at 25lbs/arm with fat gripz, 4010
A2: chin ups, 4010

Saturday – 27 of Oct
Rest Day

Sunday – 28 of Oct
Day 2: Lower body

A1: RDLS with fat gripz @ 29.5kgs with fat grips, and 52kgs without, 4010 (huge improvement in grip and strength.)
A2: Step ups with 4.5kgs .
Monday – 29 of Oct
Day 3: Structural Balance

A1: Sitfit crunches with arms
A2: Side dips with 4.5kgs

B1: 4×16 Shoulder external rotations @ 5lbs – killed it!
B2: T3,T2,T1 raises

C1: Lying leg rotations

Tuesday – 30 of Oct
Rest Day

Week 4:

Wednesday – 31 of Oct
Day1: Upper Body

A1: DB bench press @ 30lbs with Fat Gripz, 4010
A2: Chin ups – all strict new PB!

B1: Push ups
B2: Bent over rows @ 30lbs with fat gripz, 4010
Thursday – 1 of Nov
Day 2: Lower body

A1:RDLS 2 sets with fat gripz, increase weight to 54kgs, 4010
A2: Step ups (increased height)
Friday – 2 of Nov
Day 3: Structural Balance

A1: sitfit crunches with arms
A2: side dips with increased height + 4.5kgs

B1: Shoulder External Rotations 2 sets @ 4kgs 12reps! (first time!)
B2: T3 raises (finally felt my mid back!)

About the Author

Amna Al Haddad , born in 21 Oct 1989, is an Emirati who always had a passion for health and fitness. She made history by being the first Emirati and GCC national to ever to participate in the Reebok Crossfit Games Asia Regionals. Since then she embarked on Olympic Weightlifting with being an IWF Arab and West-Asian Champ -63. A NIKE sponsored athlete, a motivational speaker and published author.

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  • My Profile

    Age: 23
    Height: 5’2
    Weight Category: 53kgs

    Competition total:
    Arnold Weightlifting Championships: 82kgs

    Personal Records (kgs):

    Deadlift: 105
    Back Squat: 68
    Front Squat: 60
    Clean and Jerk: 51
    Push Press: 45
    Bench Press: 43
    Shoulder Press: 37
    Snatch: 36