Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Program to Get Strong

Powerlifting Made Simple

With all of the time spent talking about workouts, planning workouts , wondering what is the best workout for you, what so and so said about the best workout and damn, what preworkout, postworkout, middle of the workout shake/meal is really the best, it’s a wonder that any weights actually get lifted
I hate to break this news, but in the 70’s and 80’s supplements besides Weider and Hoffman and Blair didn’t really exist. There were no bands or chains to speak of back then. Yet if you look at some numbers from then, folks were insanely strong. Of course, Ed Coan deadlifted 793 at 181 in 1984, but that’s Ed Coan, right? Kazmaier totaled 2420 in 1981. Hatfield squatted 815 at 220 in 1983. Dan Austin deadlifted 705 at 148 in 1987.
What I’m trying to point out here is that these guys did it without all the stuff that people think is necessary to be big and strong. Johnny Pain talks about prisoners who have less than adequate foods and equipment but they get big and strong nonetheless. How is this done? And how did the guys 25 years ago get strong without creatine and NO2? I’d say it was the training. Gut busting hard work on the basic exercises that you practice for years and years without shortcuts. And don’t talk about drugs. They were around then, and they are around now. It is not that complicated. My aim here is to provide a tried and true template that will get you bigger and stronger.

Split your program so that you have adequate recovery between days. This holds true for beginners and experienced lifters. More experienced lifters may need more rest, maybe not.
Here is a split that allows maximum stimulus and recovery:

Day 1- Monday
Main Lift- Squat
Assistance work 1-3 leg exercises 2-5 sets of 5 to 10 reps.
Monday is a great day to squat because you are coming off of a weekend.
Assistance should have some hamstring work in it, leg curls or Romanian Deadlifts.
You can do some hack squats or some light front squats also.
The squat should be periodized for around 9 weeks to reach a max. Here is an example-
Week 1- after warmup 1x8 at 60% of max-
Week 2- after warmup 1x8 at 65%
Week 3 –after warmup 1x5 70%
Week 4-after warmup 1x5 75%
Week 5- after warmup 1x5 80%
Week 6 after warmup 1x3-5 at 85%
Week 7 after warmup 1x2-3 at 90%
Week 8 after warmup 1x1-2 at 95%
Week 9 MAX

A warmup should get you loose but not tax you. Obviously a warmup for 60% will be short. Here is a sample warmup for 85% being the top set: 1x5 at 50%, 1x4 at 60%, 1x3 at 70%, 1x2 at 75%, top set.

Day 2-Wednesday
Main Lift-Bench Press
Assistance work- 2-3 exercises 2-5 sets of 5-10 reps. Make sure to include some type of press in there, either a barbell press or a db Press for your shoulders. Throw in some dips and laterals and you are all done.
As far as the bench goes, I believe in a little more volume. To make it simple follow the squat example and perform 2-3 sets at each given percentage.

Day 3-Friday
Main Lift-Deadlift
Assistance work- 2-3 exercises, 2-5 sets of 5-10 reps. Make sure to do some type of row, whether it is a one arm row or a bent over row. Chinups are a good choice on this day also. Shrugs with either a barbell or db are great on this day. You can throw some biceps in there also.
You can follow the same squat cycle for the Deadlift. Make sure to pause every rep and to take the tension out of the bar on the deadlift.

There you go- a simple Powerlifting program that allows for recovery and maximum strength gains and also induces hypertrophy. Give it a shot and let me know how you are progressing.

All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a's for life. Whether its training or your family or your doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.