Training and Grow Into It

Training and Grow Into It

Just a few thoughts about growing and powerlifting.

Just a few thoughts about growing and powerlifting. When we entered powerlifting in the late 90s, Westside was ruling the turf and gear was moving towards some unseen levels.  We started with Marathon suits and Inzer blast shirts namely because we didn't know any better and that was not such a bad thing. I say this because there is absolutely nothing in life you can KNOW from a book, log , program, app or whatever.  Information gives you a reference point and bajillions of ideas but it does not get you the KNOW part where you experience it.  I would like to suggest a very simple and effective route. So simple as to make most scoff but hang on..
At the Arnold Classic this year, i did some experience explaining to a young man who just began working for us.  He is a raw powerlifter trying to figure it out and get better.  We also have some lifters at the gym really making the effort and paying dues. Each one is making progress in their own way.
Here is the thing. When we started in the late 90s, I started at 192lb and ended up at 303lb-fat but strong AF totaling 2562 in a couple of weight classes. My training partner, Don,  got as low as 220lb at 6'1".  He went to a Westside meet where Louie said, "Tell him it is not a damn bodybuilding meet!"  He went from 220lb to 385lb(well we always thought it was 4 bills plus but that is another story) and being the first to total 3000lb so strong AF as well.  Extreme gains yes even though it was over 4 to 5 years or there abouts getting there.
The point isn't the old cliche , fat does not make you strong. To a certain extent it sure as hell does. It wasn't until we dissected cadavers over a decade later that what I already knew was 100% true as the master dissector held up a sheet of fat surrounded by fascia and explained the amount of load it could take. I already understood the dispersion of weight along and through the body but to see it and then know it from experience was fantastic to see with my eyes.
Alright so what am I talking about here.   ADDING BODYFAT AT 10LB TO 15LB CLIPS AND THEN GROWING INTO EACH CLIP WILL MAKE YOU STRONG IN POWERLIFTING.  This route will always keep you moving forward and allow your body to relax and actually put muscle on and a solid rate.  Not anything new you say and no,
not at all. But it gets over looked time and time again. When I explained it to my young friend it was as it was too simple to grasp and also he was a overweight kid as I was and if you have been there, once you drop alot it hard to get on board with anything said about being fatter.
Then there is the other and most important part-TRAINING HARD AND DOING ENOUGH VOLUME TO ELICIT THE RIGHT COMPENSATIONS(SIZE AND STRENGTH) Essentially, you have to go against all the body's defensive mechanisms from the mental to physical  that want you to not get big or strong.  Just lay on the couch man....
Well Ok. How much is too much here?  There is a law of diminishing returns to fat gains.  Mine was 283lb.  Here are my jumps and each level I swore that was it. Only , I kept getting stronger through each successive jump. Each weight where it stopped for around 4 to 6 months, would pick up after my body added quality muscle to the frame. Once it reached a certain point, my bodyfat climbed again.  From a eating standpoint, I added some calories in the latter stages but after awhile I could only eat so much.  So here I am saying at each weight jump the body, would relax and allow me to add more bodyfat and repeat the cycles-large jump in body fat followed by a accumulation in muscle and weight lifted. Also the strength would go up and intensity levels went up right along with that. Making sense? Here are the jumps over the years.
1/192lb to 220lb (1998 to 2000)
2/220lb to 235-240lb(2000 to 2001)
3/240lb to 25lb(2001 to 2003)Last meet where i tried to make weight-258lb to 242lb.
4/258lb to 283lb(2003 to 2006) Best meets in 2004 to early 2006)
5/ 283lb to 303lb(2006 to 2007) 2007 is where I tore the quad off and that was that with powerlifting.  Had one meet at 297lb which was decent and one in 2007-the end.HA
Where is the science man. Well if you are asking me that question, you aren't the guy/girl  training hard and finding the work around to your strength/size gain problems.  As I said to the young man, add 5lb to 10lb of weight and see what happens after 4 to 6  months WITH hard training.  You don't have to do it like I did but it does work.  Repeat as often as required for best results.
If you want to read the classic, "So you wanna gain weight?", here it is:
Stepmill 20 mins
Activations and BT on the gut, pec and arms. Used 200lb on stomach for around 5 mins
Bandbell press with chains. 10 sets reverse grip,  5 1mins regular press sets
Rows with 120lb farmers walk  Used Figure 8 straps so I was locked in for 5x5 with 10 sec rest per set. Then 1x10
15 min stepmill
20 mins stepmill
Activations with Tim Tam
Reverse Hypers 8x8
Tried to get some pulls in and managed a few sets at 315 and 405 and that was about it.  Mid back said naw though so canned it .
Activations with the Tim Tam
Hammer pullover 6x8
Straight arm pulldown 4x8
Bench with shoulder saver pad 275x3x5 sets, several rep sets prior
Dips with bowtie as a assist . 8x10
Machine press neutral
20 mins stepmill
Activations with the Tim Tam
Hammer leg press 17 sets up and down with the medium wide stance. Average at 6 reps. Added some close stance partial towards end of the down sets.   4x20 reps or until failure
Towel swings with 72lb for 3x8
Tim Tam activations. Needed some boomstick action as well
Assisted pullups to warm up 10x10
Seated rows with new V straps 10x10
Stability ball KB presses Pyramid kinda thing 10 reps, 8 reps, 5 reps , 3 repsx 3 rounds. Paused with elbows on ball for 10 sec between each rep succession
Crash mat flyes 3x2 variations for 8 reps eacn
Decline hammer for singles at 1x 10 with 10 sec rest
15 mins stepmill
Activations  with tim tam
Reverse hypers 4 pre 2 post
Sumo deads reverse bands worked up to 50sx3x2 , then pulled bands for 405x8
Tim Tam activations
1000 reps with a new attachment strap we are working on.   Standing abs, pushdowns, overhead extensions, curls, front raises, rows,  few one arm moves and making up some stuff which is the really fun part
Speed press 225x3x3, 255x3x3, 265x3x2, 275x1x3 singles
Stepmill 20 mins. Bit more aggressive on the levels
Activations with the tim tam
Good morning squat with pause at bottom 6x5
Reverse hypers 4x10
Box jumps from seated position 4x5
Pull throughs 3x12
Stepmill 20 mins
20 mins stepmill
Tim tam activatoins
Hammer leg press rows 3x8
Elite american bar presses 5x10
Looper rows off fat pad. Placed fat pad on bar in bench so it was a  incline. 6x10
Looper strap combos-presses, rolling triceps, pec flyes.  Prob 25 sets total mixed up.   Did not think it was much till later when my pecs cramped nonstop.
20 mins stepmill
20 mins stepmill
Got my Tim Tam back so lots of those activations pre and post
Stepmill 20 mins
Belt squat close stance with pause in bottom.  Set up the rest at 45 seconds. 3x8, moved up a quarter per side for 2x7, moved up a quarter again for 1x6
Liked that so much did it with 4 inch close stance stiff elg deads.  Same rest rate and set up 3x8, 2x7, 1x6. Laid on floor for 5 minutes heaving.
2 sets of reverse hypers
Not much on training time after activations.
4 laps upper body sled with mixture of forwards and backwards work.
20 mins stepmill
Still waiting on my Tim Tim replacement!
Day started off quirky so after some wasted time,  managed 20 mins of bike
Got caught up in trying some zerchers straps for front squats.  Some guys use the long deadlift straps for front squats, if they, like me, having a really difficult time holding the bar.  With the terrible left shoulder it is almost impossible to hold a decent front squat anymore.  We had a guy use them to make SSB type so I figured what the hell.  The verdict was it worked okay but not great for front squatting. Still a issue keeping the bar in place with heavier weights but it did impact the upper back different then I was used to so mechanically it was interesting.   Managed 5x5
Then some regular box squats working up to 375 for 2x3 reps. Used the Squat Buddy to keep the hips in jammed in.  Bout it for the day.
Stepmill for 20 mins
Hammer pulldowns 10x10, 5x8 added weight
Incline press with shoulder saver.  Really hadn't used this on the incline but was pleasantly surprised. Able to do 275x3 for a couple sets post the work sets.
Hammerdecline. 3 x failure, drop set
Tricep extensions 10x10
3 laps sled drag
3 extended laps with the sled
Activations with the boomstick and indian club
Reverse Hypers 4x12
Leg Press after warm up sets two rounds of wide stance for 5 reps followed by close stance for 3 reps x 5 per
Had a wedding to go to so that is all I really had time for and could muster up
Static BT on the hips, guts and prc/arm
Stepmill 20 mins
Superset hammer decline with hammer incline 15 sets each
Tricep pushdowns and fat bell curls 10 sets
Neck and traps are jacked from Wed training so just some pump work to loosen it up
20 min stepmill
Hanging in the Big Ray and doing some actiavtions with the bag band. Missing my tim Tam
One leg machine press  Sets consisted of 8 reps, 6 reps, 3 reps for 6 rounds after some warm up sets.   The reps just reference 8 switch, 6 switch legs, 3 reps per leg.
Double swings running the rack from 12kg to 40kg at 6 reps per set non stop. Did 3 more sets at 40kg
Double snatches from 12 kg to 53kg for 5 reps each. Then 3 more sets at 53kg
Over the shoulder medicine ball toss for cardio. 30lb , 40lb and 50lb. Toss over right then toss over left for 10 min straight
Reverse hypers 4x12
Hung upside down for 4 minutes to loosen up.
20 mins stepmill
20 mins draggin sled with Dr Squat harness.  The forwards part felt like I had a bowtie on.  Liked it both ways.
Manual activations with boomstick and plastic indian club. The tim tam will be out for prob 2 to 4 weeks as it is getting repaired.
Neutral grip pull downs 20 sets
Bench. The bench Cover guys gave us a couple of covers for the gym so I strapped them down yesterday.  I haven't used the bench in the gym for along time as it is slick and not as comfortable as the fat pads. After putting the cover on I was super pleased with it. Good stick and very comfortable.  Worked up to 315x2 which is good with the shoulder issues then dropped to a comfortable 275x10x3 sets with good speed.
Rear machine delts 4x20 with some static pauses


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