Home Posts tagged "Powerlifting" (Page 9)

Deadlift Diagnosis

I'm a deadlift-aholic. I don't just want to pull; I want to pull every minute of every day for the rest of my life. I dream about grinding out heavy pulls where the bar seemingly bends in half, and I jump at the opportunity to do speed pulls so quickly that I nearly castrate myself with the bar. This passion has led me to a ranking in the Powerlifting USA Top 100 for my weight class, and the brink of a 1RM of 3.5 times my body weight. Do I expect you to share my enthusiasm? No, although it would be nice if you'd at least get a little excited to humor me! I do, however, hope that you'll derive some benefit from my passion and the perspective it's enabled me to attain. Whether you're a powerlifter, bodybuilder or athlete, the deadlift and its variations should take a central role in your training. Read More Eric Cressey
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Attitude and Environment

The other day, I was speaking with one of the top collegiate strength and conditioning coaches in the US, and he said that even after 30+ years of coaching, he still thinks that the top two things he can teach his athletes are attitude and environment. I may be a guy who writes articles and books and pretty much lives and breaths training, but I still agree with him completely. You see, at a point, knowledge works against you. The internet has helped us a lot with advice and sharing of information, but it’s also led to a generation of people who think and talk about training way too much relative to the amount of time they spend actually training! To that end, if you’re a beginning or intermediate lifter, feel free to read everything in sight. However, leave the bookworm in you at home when you go to the gym. In place of the geek lifting weights, I want you to focus on two things: 1. Teach your body to move efficiently. 2. Apply that efficiency to improve performance. Simply try to be a little bit better in each training session. There is always something you can do to get better - even if you're injured or tired. Don't get stuck in the curse of knowledge; it’s been said that a bad program executed with lots of attitude and effort will outperform a good program with a foo-foo training style anyday. Use the gym to let loose and take out some aggression. This is supposed to be fun, you know. Eric Cressey
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Are You STILL Doing Stupid Stuff in the Gym?

Earlier this year, I wrote an article called “Are You Doing Stupid Stuff in the Gym?” Several people took issue with the following statement: “I've said it before and I'll say it again: any healthy male under the age of 50 can deadlift 400 within two years of proper training — and most can do it even faster than that.” In that article, I also mentioned how my old college roommate, Pete Dupuis (now my business partner at Cressey Performance), had taken up lifting and seen remarkable gains. When Pete first started out last November 15, he lacked the flexibility to even pull from the floor safely. In his first session, he used 40kg (88 pounds) with a sumo stance just so that he could get down to the bar with a neutral spine. Today, 364 days later, Pete pulled 400. That 364 days includes a 3-month hiatus from lifting when he was wrapping up his MBA. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQXmpEM3NPQ The take-home lesson? Whether a big deadlift is a goal of yours or not, Pete’s deadlift tells us several things: 1. Cressey is always right. 2. Arguing on the internet will not make you stronger (Pete hasn’t spent a minute on a strength training forum in his life). 3. Work on technique, optimize range-of-motion, and create stability within that range of motion, and the strength is sure to follow. 4. Surround yourself with the right people, in the right environment, with the right programming, and you’ll do exceptional things. 5. If you want to be strong, train around people who are already strong. Article link:
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Your Routine, In-Season and Off-Season

Q: I was an online consulting client of yours for a few months this summer, and I was very happy with the results. It's definitely showing through where I wanted it to - playing basketball (I'm more explosive, no nagging pains, being able to play above the rim at 5'9"). I am familiar with your approach to training, and have utilized the outline layed out in your off-season manual, but now that my basketball league (it's an adult city league) has started I'm wondering what your approach to in-season training is. In the off-season I was lifting 4x/week with an upper/lower split, and now during the season I lift total body 2x/week. Do you do heavy max effort work in-season, e.g. singles over 90%, or is it more submaximal work for strength maintenance? How do you consolidate lifting so that you're fresh enough to make progress in the gym. but without interfering with games? If it helps, my basic layout is as follows: If it helps, my basic layout is as follows: Sunday PM: basketball game Monday PM: soft-tissue work (foam roller/lacrosse ball) and extended mobility work Tuesday PM: Lifting (with soft-tissue work and mobility warm-up): 1. Heavy squat/deadlift (3-5RM) 2. Unilateral (usually reverse lunges or bulgarian split squats) 3a. Pushups with blast straps 3b. High-rep band face pulls 4a. Posterior chain exercise (GHR or kettlebell swings) 4b. Side bridge Wednesday PM: basketball game Thursday PM: Lifting (with soft-tissue work and mobility warm-up): 1. Heavy chin-ups (3-5RM) 2. Unilateral (single-leg deadlifts or bowler squats) 3. Inverted rows 4. DB push press 5a. Light posterior chain exercise (swiss ball hip extension + leg curl or band good mornings) 5b. Pallof press or cable woodchop Friday AM: Basketball Practice (skill work, no scrimmaging) Saturday AM: soft-tissue work (foam roller/lacrosse ball) and extended mobility work Any input or direction you could give me on in-season lifting is most appreciated A: In-season, it’s important to keep the intensity up, just doing enough to maintain or slightly increase strength. It does NOT take much volume. Still, you have to listen to athletes; if they're beaten up, scale back a bit. As far as consolidation is concerned, it depends on the sport in question, to be honest. With pitchers, for example, I like heavy lower body sessions within 24 hours after a start. With basketball (practice, at least), I love doing the heavy work pre-on-court stuff and then coming back to assistance work after the on-court work. Great stuff. Try doing that before your basketball games - seriously. You could also move Thursday's session to post-basketball on Friday. I would actually look to get in a third session, if possible - just some upper body stuff here or there. My experience has been that in-season training is about frequency more than duration; it makes a big difference in terms of quality of work and acute endocrine benefits. Eric Cressey Step-by-step what it takes to become a superior athlete.
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The 650 Deadlift: Finally

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A Lift Worth 15 Lbs of Mass

In an untrained lifter, deadlifts are a guaranteed 15 pounds of muscle mass. Think about it: you’re using your entire upper back, glutes, hamstrings, core musculature, and forearms. If you haven’t done anything with these muscles before, they’re going to get bigger quickly. Put 100 pounds on a newbie’s deadlift and you’ll bump him up a shirt size in no time. This principle can also be applied to experienced lifters who haven’t deadlifted in the past; leg curls just won’t get the job done to the same extent that heavy deadlifts and rack pulls will. For added upper back emphasis, try snatch grip versions. Eric Cressey
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One More Reason to Have Good Training Partners

I've written quite a bit in the past about the importance of having good training partners. These are lifters who know you and your tendencies: how to get you fired up, what type of training to which you respond best, and when to hold you back. Yes, a good training partner should know when to hold you back - just like coaches know when to play it conservative with their athletes at specific points in the season. Tony Gentilcore has been my training parter for over two years now. I know his strength levels, injury history, and what style of training best suits him for particular goals - and he knows the same about me. Last night, we were deadlifting for heavy singles on the trap bar, and Tony just didn't look good. Before he could even turn to talk to me after his last warm-up set (405 for a single), I told him to shut it down and do something else. His bar speed was down, and it just didn't look good. It was one of those nights to modify things on the fly and avoid getting hurt doing something stupid. So, he shut it down and went over to do some full squats with the safety squat bar for reps. He went on to get in some assistance work, and all the villagers rejoiced. With inexperienced lifters, sometimes, you have to push through not feeling so hot, as you're still dealing with an athlete who needs to practice technique. Or, in the case of in-season lifting, you may need to do what it takes to keep strength levels up. Ultimately, it comes down to asking yourself, "Can I achieve a training effect safely?" If the answer is no, you modify. If the answer is yes, you consider whether you need to play around with the loading parameters. Do you go from sets of three to sets of five? Do you drop a few sets? Do you swap some resistance training for added mobility and activation work? Extend the warm-up? Pick a different exercise and maintain the loading parameters? There are literally hundreds of potential modifications you can make. Only time, experience, and knowing the athlete in question will help you make the best decision. Eric Cressey
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Defending the Deadlift

It’s been really busy up here with lots of projects and upcoming seminars on top of my normal workload, but fortunately, Myles Kantor recently interviewed me with a specific focus on the deadlift; the interview was just published by John Berardi at Precision Nutrition to give you some great content for this week. Check it out: Defending the Deadlift: An Interview with Coach and Powerlifter Eric Cressey
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The Dead Horse: Front Squats vs Back Squats

What is your opinion of front versus back squat? I question with my football players whether I should be doing back squat with some of my older kids; they all go off to college and do them. Recently I've run into a problem with kids going to the gyms to do back squat because we're not doing them at the school. I struggle between sticking to my guns and continuing to educate the kids on why we do front squat and feeling like If their going to back squat I'd rather have them lifting with me under supervision. Can you offer any guidance on this?
I don't do any full Olympic back squats anymore. All our quad dominant squatting is either front squats or Anderson front squats. When we're looking for more posterior chain emphasis while squatting, I will box squat them. Box squats get crucified by a lot of coaches simply because they don't know how to teach them - or they've watched someone else teach them poorly. I'm an accomplished powerlifter who has been around them long enough to know how to teach them very well, so they're a mainstay in my program. We go regular box squats, box squats with a front squat grip (awesome exercise), and safety squat bar box squats. The concerns with forward lean isn't as bad when you're only squatting to slightly below parallel and not giving the kid wiggle room to good morning the weight up out of the hole. Eric Cressey
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Shoulders: Front Squats or Back Squats

Q: In regards to shoulder injuries, do front squats place less stress on the shoulder than back squats? A: This would depend on the shoulder injury in question. For people with typical impingement problems, the back squat position puts them in the at-risk position (abduction + external rotation). So, for them, the front squat set-up is much better. For people with acromioclavicular (AC) joint problems, the bar position on the front squat will put some really uncomfortable pressure directly on the AC joint. They'll handle back squatting a bit better. So, I guess the answer - as always - is "it depends." Eric Cressey
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  • Avoid the most common deadlifting mistakes
  • 9 - minute instructional video
  • 3 part follow up series