Believe it or not, Cailer Woolam gets a lot of questions about why he’s not gaining weight to break more records. But at age 24, he’s got plenty of time and work ahead of him.
Whenever I ask for topics people want to learn about in my column, “how to stay motivated” is always at the top of the list. Motivation is in high demand: you see it all over Instagram in memes, pictures, and captions. Despite the high demand, it sure seems like it’s in short supply….
Newer lifters seem to think that they can squat 1,200 pounds in less than a year of training. I hate to burst your bubbles, but that’s not going to happen. It’s a long game, and you need to understand that if you’re going to survive in this sport.
Through the use of unconventional movements (or awkward movements), you can really force yourself to utilize better form and recruit numerous additional muscle fibers. Here are a handful of Big 3 variations you can try out.
In order to show real strength, arching isn’t the way to go. In order to build more strength for different sports, arching is pretty much a waste of time. But I’m not criticize arching. On the contrary, there are advantages to it if you are a competitive powerlifter.
Move over college football, college powerlifting is coming for you! OK, fine, powerlifting might not be as popular as college football, but it does provide prospective students with another way to knock down the full price of college tuition: scholarships.
If you’re a Marvel fan, you might know that Ant-Man and The Wasp produced an evil offspring, Red Queen. Likewise, elitefts’ heroic Rackable Cambered and SS Yoke bars came together and created the nefarious Spider Bar. What makes this bar so villainous? Read on if you dare…
When a Union Fitness client approached me for training, I was foaming at the mouth. He had experience in powerlifting and wanted a conjugate training approach. With this program, he added 10 pounds to his bench! You might as well give it a try.
Not everyone is as lucky as me when it comes to seeing some of the most amazing moments in powerlifting. Since that’s the case, I’m sharing memories from the archives starring Chuck Vogelpohl, George Halbert, Steve Goggins, Travis Rogers, and Oleksandr Kutcher.
What is it about powerlifting that draws people to it like a magnet? Is it the parts of us that start as iron ore and are melted down into knurled steel through training? Is it a religion we worship? What power does powerlifting have over us?
2018 was not a good year for my powerlifting career. 2019 has been better. My training’s gotten better, I’ve gotten better at caring for myself, and I competed better. I want to do better next time around, though….
The thing to keep in mind as you read the remainder of this program is that I’m describing a method of training — not a set-in-stone program. It’s up to you to apply the method to your particular context: your body, your goals, and your life situation.
Two years ago, I injured myself at a meet. The pain was so bad I nearly pulled out of the meet. After talking with some experts, I decided to hop into the APF Nationals without a weight cut and with a quick prep. Let’s just say it’s good to be back.
To call this program hard is an understatement. The volume is high, the work is heavy, and you’ll want to quit. But I can promise you, your back will never be thicker and your PRs will become something of the past.
This life we live is comprised of sheep, and it is also comprised of shepherds. Followers or leaders. The flock goes where it is directed. Shepherds set the course for the journey. Are you part of the flock? Or are you a shepherd? Are you a serious powerlifter or not?
During SSTSS 2019, Chris Janek sat down and briefed us on his childhood, previous jobs, geared and raw lifting, and the effects of having four open-heart surgeries. Now, he’s on a heart transplant waiting list and doing as much as he can without overdoing it.
For some, training is just a hobby; but for others, training is much more than that. It’s what keeps me going, and it’s very close to the top of my list of priorities. But sometimes, we need to remember those other priorities, too. Here’s a reminder of what they are.
Getting a new tattoo doesn’t mean you have to throw the bar down and not step foot in a gym for two months. What it does mean is that you need to ensure you don’t do anything reckless for the first couple of months.
Hard work pays off — not snake oil sales and get-rich-quick schemes. That doesn’t mean you can’t get stronger quickly. It just means you’ll have to put in a little extra work, like bumping up a weight class.
No, that white powder I sniff before lifting is not cocaine — it’s smelling salts! If you’re curious about smelling salts, you’re in the right place because back in my day, we would’ve never wasted the greatness of smelling salts…
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!
Joe Sullivan has some choice words for powerlifters who think that the weight room is their therapy. It’s not. Go get help. See a therapist.
Listen: Technique is a major part of why all top lifters are top lifters. It is crucial to being a successful strength athlete. Technique before the lift is just as important as during the lift.
If you’re new to powerlifting, you don’t need gear. Seriously. Start training raw and see where it takes you. Oh, and if you’re an athlete, I’d better not see you putting on lifting gear.
In the third and final part of the 1RM Lift Variation series, my powerlifting friends suggest their favorite movements for improving the deadlift through secondary movements, accessory work, and more.
If you’re emulating Chuck Vogelpohl by ramming your head into the bar and yelling like a wild person at meets, you’re doing it wrong.
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.
This is a series of videos Dave Tate asked us to republish due to the number of times he sends them out each week on his Instagram AMA and DMs.
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.
Now that I had the trip paid for thanks to a seminar event, I could focus on helping my lifters at the US Kern Open: the reason I’d flown all the way from the East Coast to begin with.
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!
A lot of people use this bench press due to shoulder issues and its carryover to competition lift — and Janis Finkelman’s numbers support that claim.
When a friend invited me to a bench press-only APF meet that also raised money for Autism and Autism Awareness, there was no way I could say no — even though I haven’t competed in quite some time.
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.
Powerlifting is bigger and better than it was when I started in 2004. But there’s is one major exception to the positives regarding the sport’s growth: The death of the powerlifting crew.
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.
Nobody wants to watch their favorite athletes practice what they do best. But if you want to be the Michael Jordan or Reggie Jackson of powerlifting, you’ve got to work on the eccentric.
I told Dave to listen carefully because this is the only time I’ll ever say it, but this was a pretty good meet. I’ll take a 50 lb meet PR.
Keep in mind that Dave’s bodyweight here was before Westside and was around the time when he tried out bodybuilding for a little bit… ’cause why not?
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?
My goal for this meet was a 400-pound squat until Dave asked, “What’s the Pro total for your weight class?” In that moment, I knew that was no longer the goal — it became a Pro total.
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.
Dave answers this question barely even a second after hearing it aloud: “Marc Bartley.” This one isn’t for those with weak constitutions… or stomachs…
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…
As the title states, Dave Tate talks about his worst meet. It happened not long after he’d joined Westside in the mid-1990s at the Junior Nationals in Aurora, Illinois…
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.