If you’re a beginner or intermediate lifter, this probably doesn’t apply to you. But for advanced lifters, knowing how to alter workload without changing volume might be a big help.
Everyone trains hard but few do the things that are boring and tedious. It is the willingness to do the mundane that separates those top athletes from the hordes of others training away in the gym right now.
When your body is under load, minor mistakes can lead to major problems. Whether you’re an explosive lifter or more of a grinder, learning these techniques will greatly improve your squat.
Sorry to burst your bubble. There’s really no such thing as 60 seconds to a huge PR. Training, whether it’s mental or physical, requires practice.
Since retiring from powerlifting in 2005, Dave has tried a lot of different approaches to his training. There’s one clear winner.
The period of time that a lifter is a the top of their game is a delicate balancing act between utilizing the tools that got them to an elite status and backing down from those tools at appropriate times so as not to tip the scales from continued success to prematurely landing at the expiration date.
A good off-season program gives your joints a break, helps you put on quality muscle, and gives you a mental break from the rigors of competing so you can just have some fun training. This program provides all of those things.
The six cycles in this article are a great way to add variety, cycle out of traditional dynamic effort bench work, or add some needed muscle mass.
Steve may be one of the strongest squatters of all time, but it hasn’t stopped him from receiving criticism for his squat style. Are the concerns warranted?
Can you alternate specialty bars for different dynamic effort waves? What about for different weeks within the same wave?
With beginners you need to follow a simple guide to get them going. Then once they’re ready, you need to focus on the three phases of the bench press. It’s all included in this article.
In addition to the numerous, invaluable benefits of the box squat, it’s one of the easier movements to teach if you know how. Use this process to get your athletes box squatting correctly and you’ll see their weight room and sport performance skyrocket.
I have been younger and I have made more money but I have never been more content.
In under three years of competing, he already has a 2210-pound raw without wraps total and has even bigger goals for the future.
Many lifters begin the pull with a good arch, approach lockout, and then exaggerate the finish position with overextension of the lumbar spine. This is a good way to become injured and weaker.
Thinking back to these two activities and my time in college, I find myself wondering if the concept of working in with strangers is a concept lost on today’s youth.
The world of powerlifting and Voronin’s life both look very different today than when he was competing at the highest level of the sport, but his knowledge and accomplishments are timeless.
Something doesn’t feel right as the bar descends, like your left pec is cramping or something. You touch, hear “press,” and then POP! It all goes black.
It isn’t the number of competitions they’ve won or what degrees they have that can tip you off to who’s good and who’s not. There are three types of coaches in this industry and you need to be able to tell them apart.
There is no reason in the world you can’t give up sucking at bench press. No one gets joy from incompetence in the greatest lift ever. No one. That’s something I can help you with.
It was a 10-hour drive to Portland, but everything that went into the trip was well worth it for the training knowledge I gained and the experience I had with other lifters. Here are my highlights from the weekend.
Taking five hours to do a bench workout and trying new stuff on meet day both make the list, but neither of them are number one.
Due to time constraints or an inability to recover optimally, many lifters seek an alternative to the traditional template. The question isn’t whether or not you can use a modified split, but whether or not your results will be optimal.
I was 417 at my biggest, and very ill-informed about my strength. Powerlifting seems to have a general acceptance of “bigger” meaning “stronger,” but bigger isn’t always better.
This breathing exercise will help you to perform your heaviest sets with much more confidence and ease. It will take practice to get the hang of the process, but once you do, I promise, it’s absolutely worth it.
As my competitive field of choice changed, so did the way I required my body and its structures to move across time and through space. This is how my training had to evolve.
Increasing your total in the conjugate system often means finding the right exercises to build the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Here are some builders I’ve found to be most effective.
Life changes as our goals change, and life sure has changed a lot for me. My excuses of the past that let me go to extremes and live in excess during the holiday season are now gone.
At Boss of Bosses IV, Steve Johnson hit the number one total at 308 with a 2260-pound raw total and the all-time American deadlift record with 909. Here’s how he did it.
Like most powerlifters, I’ve always bought into the old adage “weight moves weight”, and as my numbers grew, so did my ass. No matter how fat or out of shape I got, 40 was gonna be the turning point.
If people would take their heads out of their asses and set their egos aside, they would see that what Louie teaches has nothing to do with multi-ply powerlifting.
No matter which style you use, there’s one rule with your wrists and elbows you always have to follow.
Finding your ideal stance, nailing down good form, and programming properly for volume, intensity, and frequency will keep your weights moving up and your body healthy.
Although we have had a number of 1000-pound squatters and 800-pound benchers at the Monster Garage Gym, I can tell you—and so would the majority of the powerlifters at the gym—that Jerry is the strongest man in the gym.
For all of my powerlifting career and for my best squat and deadlifters numbers ever, I used an arched back. After working with Chris Duffin on neutral back positioning and bracing, I’m starting to think there’s a better way.
With five years in the sport of powerlifting, my best total before I came to Westside Barbell was 1685. After training at Westside for a little over three years, my best total is 1950. Here are the big issues to avoid if you want similar progress.
I realize powerlifters are all lions, beasts, and savages, but let’s not lose sight of the big picture.
I had help getting into my single-ply suit and didn’t have to wrap my own knees, but there was still the hand to deal with. There’s a long way to go and I’m taking it one post-surgery PR at a time.
Killer mentality means doing whatever it takes to be your very best and being willing to put it all on the line when the time comes. You have to be able to block out all negativity and draw in all positivity.
This popular deadlift cue might not be all it’s cracked up to be.
There are two types of people when it comes to using science in training. Don’t be the first kind.
If you wait for the perfect training cycle before doing a meet, you aren’t a powerlifter. You should stop calling yourself one and instead start saying you like training the squat, bench press, and deadlift.
I thought about just putting my workout off until tomorrow. That would have been the smart thing to do.
Now that this series has covered the insight of a powerlifting judge for the squat and the bench press, we move to discuss the knowledge we can gain regarding the final lift of the meet: the deadlift.
I finished 7/9 with a 799 squat, 424 bench, and 815 deadlift (raw with wraps). That was good enough for a 2039 total and an all-time world record in the 198-pound weight class, plus a 592 Wilks and best overall lifter.
There are people who have been in the gym for two years or less and now they have their own method. What’s the method? Tying their shoes and walking through the gym?
How and when should you perform assistance exercises? What protocols are used for assistance work? Should exercises be changed or rotated? What about bands, chains, and specialty bars?
Mental toughness and strength are no different than physical traits. They can be trained and improved, if you’re ready.
All that the S4 embodied—all the history, all the depth of meaning, all the blood, sweat, tears, sacrifice and giving—will live on as those traits come to life and are reborn with S5.
For a powerlifter on a conjugate or Westside style program, you first need to make sure you know the role of each exercise you’re doing. This will give you direction on how close to failure to train.
Team Nebobarbell and I went to Murfeesboro, Tennessee, where I took a crack at one of my competition bucket list lifts.
I want to introduce you to Brian, also known as Spartandeadlifter950 on Instagram, driven by his elite instincts and self-reliance.
Raw classic or single-ply? 181 or 198? And what about my hand? There are still a lot of questions to be answered.
There’s no doubt that there are times when you have to push through because you’re just not “into it” but there are other times when you really need to shut it down. The trick is knowing the difference.
There may be some powerlifters out there that train by themselves and go to meets alone, but I would bet dollars to donuts that any successful powerlifter comes from a team of supporters.
The mind-blowing lifts and accomplishments that have occurred in the S4 are too numerous to recount, but there are a few that stick out in Dave’s mind.
As we leave the S4 Compound and christen the S5 Compound, join us in giving a proper farewell to a place we have called home for many years.
Conditioning doesn’t have to be complicated or require expensive equipment. These are the best options for a powerlifter.