Bodybuilding for the Powerlifter: The Offseason (with Full Program)
Bodybuilding for the Powerlifter: The Offseason (with Full Program)
The bad news: You can’t go hard all the time. It’s the quickest way to burn out — to see your progress stall, to get injured, and to lose interest in your training. The good news: A bodybuilding-style approach to the offseason has a ton of benefits for the powerlifter.
2018 in Review
2018 in Review
2018, you were a great new chapter. You've put me in a good place with my training, my clients’ training, and the team’s training. 2019, see you soon.
Just the Fats Ma’am
Just the Fats Ma’am
I knew going in that this could be one of those situations where I was going to listen to someone tell me how smart they were and I was going to play my typical role of “dumb older guy who used to work out and now just wants to not be fat and live a long time.”
The Role of Self-Regulation and Control in Sport Performance
The Role of Self-Regulation and Control in Sport Performance
You must be in control or have autonomy, to set goals, move through intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, and grittily, hardily, toughly keep on track — especially if your choice is to be or continue being a successful high-performance athlete.
Make it More Than Just a Warm-Up
Make it More Than Just a Warm-Up
When it came to warm-ups, I didn't always practice what I preached. As it turned out, warm-ups have done me a solid and increased my strength, endurance, and recovery. Plus, they're a great way to hone your techniques.
The Simplicity Project
The Simplicity Project
By simplicity, I am referring to a minimalist approach to the programming of weight training by getting a maximum effect for the fewest number of exercises by utilizing a full body program performed three days a week. I want to challenge you all to give this a try for a period of no less than six weeks.
Bench training
Bench training
*shoulder warm up Bench - bar x 15 x 2 - 145 x 3 - 195 x 2 - 235 x 1 - 285 x 1 - 325 x 1 - 325 x 1 - voodoo flossed - 375 x 0 - catapult Db bench - 60 x 10 - 70 x 5 - 85 x 3 Db Lateral...
Six Weeks to Bigger Biceps
Six Weeks to Bigger Biceps
In this article, I can’t promise you Lee Priest-proportioned bicep development, but I will share some ideas to unlocking new growth over a six-week period of time.
Higher Rep Work with the Conjugate Method
Higher Rep Work with the Conjugate Method
Higher rep work can be beneficial, but it needs to be properly managed. We are still going to use 1-rep maxes for our primary means of developing intra/intermuscular coordination, but there are a few strategies we can use to ensure we incur extra volume when needed.
Meet Report: 1,200 Total at IPA Buckeye Brawl
Meet Report: 1,200 Total at IPA Buckeye Brawl
It was my first time representing Team elitefts at a meet. The support I got from them was unreal. Oh, and the team shirt was pretty cool, too.
Programming for a BAMF Wrestler (with Samples)
Programming for a BAMF Wrestler (with Samples)
Steve “Kono” Konopka and I go more in-depth about our wrestling programs, particularly topics covering: in-season training goals, off-season exercises to avoid, signs for a recovery session, favorite exercises, and a sample in-season schedule.
The Death of Powerlifting
The Death of Powerlifting
What’s wrong with powerlifting? Not online coaching. Not Crossfitters doing meets. Not other lifters secretly being deep cover Nazi operatives. Not anything about other lifters, or coaches, at all. All that’s really wrong, from my perspective, is this...
Learn to Train X: Bench Press Warm-Up with Joe Sullivan
Learn to Train X: Bench Press Warm-Up with Joe Sullivan
You may start shaking, but don't worry. It’s just something that’s getting you ready to do what you went to the gym for — to press a bigger bench.
Abdominal Pressure — What You're Missing in Every Lift
Abdominal Pressure — What You're Missing in Every Lift
Are you making the most of your abdominal pressure during three big lifts: squats, bench press, and deadlift (or the clean and jerk if you compete in weightlifting or crossfit). Oh, the power of a breath.
Cash-Register Lady, Your Mom, and Applebee’s
Cash-Register Lady, Your Mom, and Applebee’s
Don't lie. You know it's gonna be good based entirely on the title.
Top-5 Monolift Commandments
Top-5 Monolift Commandments
Monolift commandments for those new to the monolift, monolift commandments to heed today as a way to avoid tragedy in the future, and monolift commandments to help get the most out of this amazing piece of powerlifting equipment.
WATCH: Should Beginners Train with Bands?
WATCH: Should Beginners Train with Bands?
Technically, it isn’t wrong.
7 Gifts for the Next Instafamous Powerlifter
7 Gifts for the Next Instafamous Powerlifter
Trust me, you will want me repping your brand while I’m crushing monster lifts all over the garage.
Choking on My Own Face
Choking on My Own Face
In recent months, my fiancée noticed long pauses between breaths while I’m asleep, followed by gasping for air. Not good. If it’s like everything else in my life, this major CPAP milestone should make for a good story. Plus, my readers really seem to enjoy it when I suffer.
Life in the Void
Life in the Void
It is nothing and everything all at once. It is something that comes on strong and pulls you in. It strips everything away, but if you stick with it and trust it, then it will give you more than you can imagine.
10 Christmas Gifts for the Bored Powerlifter
10 Christmas Gifts for the Bored Powerlifter
He squats, benches, and deadlifts week in and week out with no variation. Specialty bars? Ha! Accommodating resistance? Ha!
WATCH: 8x8 Leg Blast
WATCH: 8x8 Leg Blast
Like all portions of the 8x8 program, this leg day is going to consist of eight sets of eight reps, with a thirty-second rest in between each set. JJ, who is helping us out in this video, followed the program for six weeks and saw great results.
4 Accessories to Fix the Deadlift Lockout
4 Accessories to Fix the Deadlift Lockout
As I got stronger with pulling conventional, a funny thing happened. My weak point went from being off the floor (where it was when pulling sumo) to just below the knee. I had to go back to the drawing board and figure out what exercises would get me stronger.
10 Secrets to Stimulating a Stalled Squat
10 Secrets to Stimulating a Stalled Squat
As a former 150-pound marathon runner–turned–powerlifter, here's how I increased my squat 1RM from 500 pounds to 600 pounds in a single year.
Why Big Air Is the Key to a Bigger Total
Why Big Air Is the Key to a Bigger Total
Imagine that you are on a team at work in which each individual had his or her own unique duties and tasks. What happens if someone doesn’t show up to work?
5 Deadlift Cues with Ed Coan
5 Deadlift Cues with Ed Coan
"Pull your lats in" to "slow down" are two of five cues that can make an incredible difference in the execution and lockout of your deadlift.
WATCH: A Question from Donnie Thompson
WATCH: A Question from Donnie Thompson
Why were you such a dick to me in 1998 when I met you and Lou for breakfast for the first time? You hurt my feelings.
A Different Look at the Dynamic Effort Method for Athletes
A Different Look at the Dynamic Effort Method for Athletes
Why not do speed work with the movements that your athletes will see in their sport?
5 Gym Rat Gifts for Less Than $20
5 Gym Rat Gifts for Less Than $20
You could always go one step further and get all five of my recommendations for less than $65!
A Conversation with Me About Competing at 77
A Conversation with Me About Competing at 77
When I entered these very senior divisions, there was no bar, no standard, no records. Now there is.
The Powerlifting for Bodybuilding Christmas Gift Guide
The Powerlifting for Bodybuilding Christmas Gift Guide
All that matters is how you look, and if using equipment allows you to train heavier and harder, build more muscle, and ultimately look better, then you should use it! Here are my top-5 powerlifting Christmas gifts for bodybuilders.
In With the Old, Out With the New
In With the Old, Out With the New
LOOKING at these guys on the TV while I am training is bad enough, however, LISTENING to them give advice or say anything, at all, is like nails on a chalkboard.
The Role of Mental Toughness in Sport Performance
The Role of Mental Toughness in Sport Performance
I decided to finish the series with what I consider to be the remaining badly misused concepts. The previous one was discipline, and now, the worst of all: mental toughness.
Make America Squat Again
Make America Squat Again
I’d bet a Derek Lewis chin shot that the majority of lifters are out pulling their squats. Ugh, writing this is tough; this is the catalyst for the total not being shit anymore, either.
Strength, Velocity, Power — How You Can Build Each to Produce Ballistic Movement
Strength, Velocity, Power — How You Can Build Each to Produce Ballistic ...
Essentially, force (strength), velocity and speed-strength (power) are the three main characteristics that are present in ballistic movements, and you can train all of them in the weight room.
Minimal Effective Dose and the Search for Magic Bullets
Minimal Effective Dose and the Search for Magic Bullets
To paraphrase Ronnie Coleman, “Everybody wanna be strong but nobody wanna lift heavy weights.” Ain’t that the truth. News flash: This is what you need.
Top-5 Christmas Gifts for Powerlifters Trapped in a Corporate Gym
Top-5 Christmas Gifts for Powerlifters Trapped in a Corporate Gym
They're here because they travel during the week and are training out of the hotel’s fitness center, or they work days and can train only late at night, which requires him to go to one of those 24/7 fitness places where there is “no yelling, no chalk or pretty much no anything you would require for serious training.”
Training Considerations for Soldiers
Training Considerations for Soldiers
Since most units don’t really allow for rest days other than the weekend, I’m looking for the biggest-bang-for-my-buck exercises that I could be able to fit into a morning training session. Also, I’m working based on the assumption that Fridays are company/battery runs.
2018 Mr. Golden Era — My First Bodybuilding Competition
2018 Mr. Golden Era — My First Bodybuilding Competition
If you have a free minute or two, I’d really, really appreciate it if you’d use that time to vote in the Mr. Golden Era 2018 competition – whether for me or for someone else!
A Note to the Lifter That Chooses Coaching
A Note to the Lifter That Chooses Coaching
You find a coach you feel is the best choice, and you make an inquiry. It’s a good fit, and you compensate him or her. You’re a powerlifter with a coach now. You await your program to begin your journey under the guidance of your chosen coach.
Mental Considerations for Bodybuilding
Mental Considerations for Bodybuilding
Hear me on this one. If you’re running from your past or managing it in secrecy, bodybuilding isn’t the answer.
Why Strength Training is Equally Important as Conditioning (With Template)
Why Strength Training is Equally Important as Conditioning (With Template)
For the record, I'm not writing this article to bash box programming; I'm writing this to present an alternative way of doing things while STILL utilizing the best aspects of box programming. Our strength training model is what we've used with nearly 20,000 athletes (in a group setting) worldwide with great success.
CBD for Lifters — My Experience
CBD for Lifters — My Experience
I’m almost scared to type this, but both my hip and spine are functioning at...
How to Train While Working a Physical Job
How to Train While Working a Physical Job
You may have several points in your life where you'll see the contrast of differing lifestyles on training and programming. While the principles of your training philosophy may remain the same no matter what job you have, how those principles are applied differs based on the situation.
Physics Made Easy to Increase Your 1RM
Physics Made Easy to Increase Your 1RM
Acceleration is one of the most important components for building maximum strength. However, you should not confuse acceleration with explosiveness.
WATCH: How to Control the Squat Bar
WATCH: How to Control the Squat Bar
Smitley broke an all-time world record in 2015, squatting 567 pounds at a 132-pound body weight – as such, it’s safe to say that he knows a thing or two when it comes to this particular lift.
Bodybuilding for the Powerlifter: The Big Picture (With Sample Routine)
Bodybuilding for the Powerlifter: The Big Picture (With Sample Routine)
Instead of just trying to get strong by getting as big as humanly possible, many lifters are paying more attention to their muscularity. Just take a look at Larry Wheels or Dan Green, and you’ll immediately know how successful this strategy can be.
Save It for the Barber Shop
Save It for the Barber Shop
There are two worlds in which we all reside. There is the “gym world”, a world where everything pertains to the gym and your training, where your goals and aspirations for the platform are created, pursued, and lived out. The other world is the outside world, comprised of everything else.
Solve Your Training Problems with Less Than $20
Solve Your Training Problems with Less Than $20
Out of shape? Slow? Dumb? Weak? Ugly? Andrew Jackson (the president on a $20 bill for any non-US-based readers) has a solution for you.
2018 IPL Midwest Open — 2131-Pound Total at 242 Pounds
2018 IPL Midwest Open — 2131-Pound Total at 242 Pounds
The 825 opener flew, and I told JP to call 881 on my second. This is when I knew I would “earn my regrets" because I actively prepared myself to become injured due to this decision.
WATCH: Branch Warren's Desire to Win
WATCH: Branch Warren's Desire to Win
Rooted at Metroflex, Warren's early years building a thick and grainy physique grew to the height of the Olympia.
WATCH: Three Exercises to Build Bigger Traps
WATCH: Three Exercises to Build Bigger Traps
John Meadows breaks down three simple but effective exercises that are alternative movements to help build bigger trap muscles: band-pulls, a face-pull variation, and banded shrugs.
WATCH: Breaking John Rusin — The Accessories
WATCH: Breaking John Rusin — The Accessories
From chest-supported rows, to vertical pull-downs and face-pulls, Tate tightens up Rusin’s supporting exercises to ensure that they are addressing his weak points in a way that will have correspondence to the “big three” lifts.
WATCH: Table Talk — What Would You Change?
WATCH: Table Talk — What Would You Change?
His answer — revolving around canvas gear, Westside, and Louie — may surprise you.
3 and Out Method Setup
3 and Out Method Setup
Based on the previous article, a lot of you were asking how to best set up the program – ask and you shall receive. I will cover one simple way and two in-depth ways to set it up.
Program Guidelines for Young Strength Coaches
Program Guidelines for Young Strength Coaches
Approach programming as you would approach written materials relevant to our field. One doesn't simply open Supertraining, and begin perusing its contents. Supertraining requires a foundation of knowledge prior to endeavoring to cognize its contents.
WATCH: Who Do You Take Advice From?
WATCH: Who Do You Take Advice From?
I’ve been completely immersed in the sport of powerlifting for over 25 years. When you reach this level of knowledge and experience, some people assume that you just stop asking questions. Wrong! I ask questions all the time.
WATCH: Power to the Female Powerlifters
WATCH: Power to the Female Powerlifters
If you’re a man and you’re trying to hold a woman back from powerlifting, or doing whatever she wants to do…Who are you to try and change her mind, and get her not to do it?
WATCH: How to Build a Mind-Muscle Connection
WATCH: How to Build a Mind-Muscle Connection
The mind-muscle connection is a legitimate thing. What I’m sharing with you is real science – not “bro-science.”

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