My training was more organized than it was for the IPA meet. But I decided to experiment before this meet: I trained using my squat suit without the briefs. It actually improved my speed, depth, and how much weight I could handle.
You've spent months preparing and training, and you've made a significant financial investment in entry fees, lodging, food, and so on. All this of stress for just 9 lifts sucks up a lot of your energy. You can't afford to waste your energy, so manage it instead.
Talk about a blast to the past: Dave Tate, Jim Wendler, and Matt Rhodes relive the so-called glory days of training in the winter without heat and using knee wraps as wrist wraps. Best of all, it's all documented in an old video. There's no way to bury that evidence!
Dan Dalenberg found his way through life with the help of fellow powerlifters. As a Team elitefts athlete, he intends to give back to the community by passing on information he's learned from those who got him through his lowest points.
Not unlike with your spouse or significant other, the relationship between training partners depends on many things, but at the central core to this relationship is the quality of one’s honesty with their training partner.
It took more than 20 years of surveys for us to define what is optimal. These are some of those key items and teaching points we've picked up from those surveys, such as training group size considerations and training the squat from the bottom up.
I can't get over how versatile the American Cambered Grip Bar is. You can use it forward and backward, giving you a total of 8 grip options. Flip it over, you've got a total of 16. I've found 250 options, and I'm sure there are more to find.
Part of my journey to getting that IFBB pro card includes getting more active in the online bodybuilding community... which also gets me into situations where I answer questions like this one: Are deadlifts overrated?
Why on earth do I keep hearing guys ask if they can still get stronger in their 40s or how they should be training in their 40s? You can get stronger at any age, and you do it by doing exactly the same stuff you always did!
The newest Team elitefts athlete Anne Sheehan learned while she was getting sober that she needed someone else's help — and she did it. And that's exactly what her athlete logs will do: help other powerlifters in their journeys.
My son sent a text last week — just a video of him deadlifting in our garage gyms. We discussed one of the mistakes we discovered he was making at the start of the pull. It was our discussion that influenced this article.
Unless you just have some crazy genetics or happen to be the perfect person for a strength program, the majority of these programs are not a valid long-term plan. But don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater...
The lifting world is small — if I'm being generous, there are a couple hundred thousand of us. There are over 7 billion people on this planet. You are no one. How's that for some perspective? If you haven't noticed, I’m going to rant about the crap that annoys me.
Look before you leap into training right back after your last meet because the next four to six weeks can (and will) set up your next cycle for success... or for failure. Take time to reflect on that. Success or failure... which one will you choose?
It is crucial to delineate these training and competition as separate but mutually impactful things. I’d wager that the majority of lifters who had a bad meet were doing a whole bunch of competition in training, leading up to the actual competition.
I learned a large portion of my knowledge of supplemental training from many mistakes I made in the gym. I am hoping to help all of you readers avoid at least a few of the mistakes I made and get more out of your supplemental training.
Murphy's Law: Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. That's pretty much a solid description for how the Tennessee State Championships went for me. But hey, good job to the victors. Now it's time to prepare for my next meet...
I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and training with Heidi, and I can say with absolute certainty that she is the real deal, an ATWR-holding meathead who’s willing to do what it takes to become, and in her case, stay the best.
As the bodybuilder or raw powerlifter, you have to lift heavy-ass weights and build a big-ass chest. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done! So here are some ideas (cues and a sample chest workout) to help you get started.
Muscle chains are like dominoes: It's enough for you to drop the first one, so the others fall from the power that is constantly transferred from one domino to another and then the weight takes over the job and pulls over the domino that falls and hit the next one into falling... and the next one... and the next one...
I think a lot of people who’ve never used anything like these in training have a negative perception of people who use gear. It’s easy to think it’s cheating since you can lift a bunch more with gear or that it makes the lifts easier. But these are misconceptions, and they're gravely wrong.
My heroes were strength athletes I admired and wanted to be like. They give us a base for the kind of person we want to become. But as we grow up, we eventually realize that our heroes are no different than us. That moment is the time to kill the heroes and rise above them.
While full range of motion reps may be more convenient for the more inexperienced lifter, partial range of movement reps may be a good tool for advanced lifters hitting a plateau. Partial reps can overcome the main limitations of full range of motion training.
I've noticed a lack of variety in how people deadlift — conventional or sumo — as well as the fact that they rarely change pulls. As someone who does both, I wondered why that was. I set out to solve that mystery with a survey and found some answers from a variety of respondents...
I wanted to know the best movement to improve a lifter's 1RM bench press, so I asked my powerlifting pals from all over the country for their two cents. I ended up with a lot of awesome movement suggestions, so hopefully one of these will work for you.
When I tried out the fast-food dirty diet in the 1990s, I fit in my Frantz canvas suit like 15 pounds of sausage in a five-pound casing, and worse yet, my deadlift went down. Don't make the mistake '90s lifters (myself included) made — learn from it. Eat cleaner to lift better.
Packing the basics is just half the battle. Meet sites can be cold, uncomfortable, and might be far from easy access to good food. All variables need to be taken into consideration while packing for meet day... and these 44 items will help you cover your bases.
I’d been using the same blueprint that goes to 500 to get me to 585, and that's where I went wrong. I had to analyze everything in order to customize a new plan to break that 600-pound barrier. This is how I did that.
It’s a system, not a program. It can be tailored to suit whatever your goals are: powerlifting, athletics, CrossFit, marathon running... You name it, and this system can’t be beaten. This article is meant to show beginner powerlifters how to set up their own conjugate-based program.
Just the other day, I was listening to a motivational speech that got me going. That speech made it clear to me that an evolution of the thought process and perception of what training should be is how lifters and strength athletes progress to the higher levels.
This was the first meet that I attended neither as participant, lifter, nor spectator; instead, I was a coach, cheerleader, and go-fer. At this meet, Flex Gym proved it is as much a family as any group I have ever seen. Everyone is there for everyone else.
In this "powerbuilding" article, we’re looking at hamstrings — a muscle group bodybuilders and strength athletes alike struggle to develop. If you’re naturally lower-body dominant, you don’t need to spend tons of time on 'em. But if you’ve got piglets instead of hammies, I don’t need to convince you to read on.
Before I get into my recap of the 2019 XPC World meet, I want to say, I took second place — even with my fifth 2,200-pound total and seventh 900-pound squat — for no other reason than I wasn't strong enough that day.
I moved back to northeastern Ohio and started training with a new group to prepare for the 2019 XPCs. For the last couple of years, I've only done the 21-Deadlift Salute. This year, though, I decided to come back and do the full meet, and here are the final results.
"It got to a point where I couldn't feel my legs... I got the up call, and nothing happened." Join Team elitefts athlete Jo Jordan as he receives his medal on-stage for the 2019 XPC Worlds competition. He recounts his lucky comeback in the squat event and shares a sneak peek at what happens behind the curtain...
Ideally, a good lifter should also be a good spotter. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Dave Tate will walk you through how to do a bench press lift-off — the proper way. This means you're not putting your nuts in the lifter's face and aren't taking the majority of the lift.
Coming back after a layoff can be a chance to address imbalances, but it also presents the opportunity for new imbalances to develop. Common sense suggests that testing strength after a layoff isn't the best idea. But if you are going to do it, keep these things in mind.
Sage words Joe Sullivan recently read online: "Powerlifting is basically just keeping your abs and back tight and squeezing a bar and trying not to lose position." Joe notices his clients, both old and new, tend to struggle with at least one of these things. (And breathing. Definitely breathing.)
You see lost lifters jumping from one diet to another or from one program to the next, thinking they bought a long-lost ingredient to the stew that is strength and power. But the actual missing ingredients are right in front of them: consistency and an understanding of the basics.
Don't be the newbie lifter who falls into the tiger pit traps during your training cycle. That'll only hurt you in the long run — or at least in those first competitions. Don't be afraid to start training too light and save your attempts for the platform. Not enough advice? I've got six other tips, so read on...
Listen: I'm no doctor or rocket scientist, but even I have enough common sense to know that if you're feeling under the weather, you shouldn't be lifting. You should be resting at home. Yeah, you heard me: Go home and stay home. And stay out of your fancy little garage gym, too!
The meet prep beast is going to rear its ugly heads at you sometimes, and its mugs come in many forms: injuries, stress, or a lousy no-show training partner. When one of them tries to bite, it's best to have a flexible plan of action that helps you nimbly dodge from the monster's jaws.
In the 80th episode of the Reactive Training Systems podcast, host Mike Tuchscherer and Dave Tate talk about how to build and strengthen relationships in order to lay down the foundation for a strong business and a legacy in competitive powerlifting.