Posts Tagged ‘powerlifting’

Max Effort Training: 2RM is the new 1RM

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Max Effort TrainingWhether you are a body builder, powerlifter, Olympic lifter, or recreational athlete, you’ll probably get a kick out of seeing just how much you can lift (or in some cases, it’s your job). While some weight lifters try to hit a new 1 repetition maximum (1RM) on the main lift every single workout, this is usually not a good idea. The potential for injury and over training increases with every max effort lift you attempt. Instead, a better philosophy is to ramp up to testing your 1RM using several 3-4 week micro-cycles. However, that is a discussion for another day.

Today I want to address the 1RM test itself, or more accurately the max effort test. If you are not in a competition at that exact moment, there is really no need to attempt a true 1RM. As long as you have a stable frame of reference for your max effort attempt, you will be able to quantify your progress. I would like to suggest using 2RM for your max effort attempt. The reasons for this are several – safety, psychological, CNS activation, and time under tension.

Strength coach Christian Thibaudeau explained it best throughout a series of 6 tweets titled “2RM better than 1RM for max effort.”

2RM better than 1RM for max effort

In case you are not subscribed to Christian’s Twitter feed or Facebook page, allow me to re-print his thoughts below:

  • REASON 1: puts you in a better mindset for success; implies that you will succeed on the first rep
  • REASON 2: safer as you can always stop after the first rep if you don’t feel the second
  • REASON 3: more practice with near-maximal weights, better development of strength-skill and CNS
  • REASON 4: MUCH less negative impact on CNS (measured by HVT monitor) with a 2RM vs. a 1RM.
  • REASON 5: have a much lesser psychological strain than 1RM and don’t require being in the zone as much
  • REASON 6: more fatigue (stimulation) imposed on the recruited FT fibers = more growth stimulation

Connect with Christian on Twitter

Hold On With A Bulldog Grip

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

Working Grip Training Into Your Workouts

Improve your grip strength

Josh Hanagarne recently sent me a great piece of work. Enjoy. BTW, the quote in title is from Abraham Lincoln.

I got into grip training for two reasons:

Number one, it looked fun and people I liked were doing it. Monkey see monkey do.

Second, I was getting strong enough that my hands were starting to become my limiting factor. This was a sobering realization which took place at the intersection of Lame and Weak.

Like most things I like right off, once I jumped in, I jumped in all the way. Grip training was addictive for me. Better yet, it gave me one more way to make progress, which is usually the major ingredient in how happy I am. I could either set aside dedicated days for grip work, or, the more I learned, I could squeeze it in to my normal workouts without much of a headache.

Before I tell you how I work grip training in, I just want to give you a quick look at four different types of hand strength so that you don’t overemphasize anything or neglect anything that could be useful to you.

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25 Great Bodybuilding Quotes

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Bodybuilders have some really inspirational and also some really funny quotes. Here are 3 of my favorites from Jacked Pack’s recent list of 25.

“Friends come and go, but 200 lbs is always 200lbs”
– Henry Rollins

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5 Tips for Treating Common Exercise Injuries

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Exercise ChickRegardless of the type of exercise regimen you’ve chosen, chances are that sooner or later you’re going to push yourself too hard and suffer some type of injury. Even if you’re careful, accidents can happen, so you want to be prepared when they do.

Luckily, the most common types of injuries that occur during exercise, such as sprains, strains, muscle cramps, and the like, are not too detrimental, although contact sports, for example, can certainly lead to more serious bodily harm. When it comes to addressing these issues so that you can get back on track with your workout routine, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure a speedy recovery.

Here are some tips that should help you to treat any injuries you may sustain.

  1. Diagnosis.

    The first thing you need to do is determine the severity of your injury.

    For example, it’s important to know the difference between a muscle cramp, which may be treated fairly immediately through stretching and hydrating, and a sprain or strain, which will certainly require more than a few minutes of rest and light stretching to correct before you can get back to lifting weights or swimming laps.

    Although you may not be as qualified as a doctor to diagnose common exercise injuries, and you may therefore want to call your physician for an exam if you’re not sure about the cause of ongoing or chronic pain, most athletes and even amateur exercise aficionados can tell when something is seriously wrong and when they can handle recuperation on their own.
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Suggested Rehabilitation for Common Types of Shoulder Injury

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Shoulder Rehab
Fitness Shoulders
Chronic Shoulder Instability and Impingement Syndrome are the most common types of shoulder injury. Chronic Shoulder Instability occurs when the ‘head’ of the upper arm bone moves out of the shoulder socket. This results in a shoulder joint dislocation and causes great pain. On the other hand, impingement syndrome is prompted by friction occurring between the shoulder blade and rotator cuff. The friction from the rotator cuff and the shoulder blade may be caused by inflammation in a tendon or muscle.

Preparations to Rehab an Injured Shoulder

It’s important to remember that any injury needs to be checked and treated by an accredited physician.  They may recommend medication and several rehabilitation techniques to encourage the shoulder to heal and function as soon as possible.  The Physician will also be able to see the specifics of your injury that may alter they way you would treat it. Here are some tips to consider when preparing an injured shoulder for rehabilitation.
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The 5 Most Common Weight Lifting Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Monday, February 25th, 2013

How to Prevent Injuries that Will Derail Your Progress

Deadlift Girl Good Form
Adding weight lifting to your workout routine on a weekly basis can offer the average fitness buff a world of benefits.

For one thing, it can make you stronger, as expected, helping you to overcome obstacles in other types of exercise (running faster, throwing farther, jumping higher, etc.). But it can also help you to create the physique you’ve been trying for (whether it’s bulking you crave or simply a frame that features better muscle tone) and even lose weight if that’s what you want (muscle burns more calories than fat). And that’s just the beginning.

Weight lifting, when done improperly, can also result in a slew of injuries, most of which can be easily avoided by warming up and cooling down, building up to greater weights or more reps over time, using proper form, listening to your body, and asking for help from a spotter.

Here are just a few common weight lifting injuries that are best avoided:

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How to Protect Your Back When Weightlifting

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Strong BackWeight lifting is a great way to exercise, build toned muscle, burn calories, and promote overall health–but it can be dangerous as well. Our bodies aren’t used to the stress of heavy lifting, and our backs are particularly vulnerable to strain and injury.

An injured back can keep you out of the gym for weeks, or even months at a time, depending on the severity of the injury and your ability to recover. If you want to stay healthy, strong, and transform your body into a work of art, always remember to protect your back.

Step 1: Warm Up

Never start a workout without warming up first. Your body just isn’t ready for the stress of heavy lifting when you walk through the gym doors. You need to get primed before you start hitting the weights.

  • A short cardio warm up on the treadmill or elliptical is a great way to warm up your muscles and get the blood moving in your body. It is not necessary to use high intensity during your warm up. This is just a 5 minute effort to get the muscles moving.

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How to Prevent a Back Injury When Weight Lifting

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Deadlift Chick

Injuries

Nearly everyone who trains, whether bodybuilding, powerlifting, strongman, or just a general fitness routine, has at some point suffered from an injury. And whether it’s a minor sprain or a broken bone it can definitely derail your progress towards your fitness goals, leading to weeks or months of recovery in which all of your hard work slowly slips away via loss of both muscle mass, strength, and conditioning.

My Personal Experience

I mean, I once walked into a Gold’s Gym after taking about a month off from training, with the intention to deadlift. I wasn’t planning to hit a 1rm or a PR that day. It was just simple sets of 5 to get back into the rythym. On the second set, at 50% of my previous 1rm, my back spasmed, I dropped the weight, and I was out of the weight room for another solid month.

Every athlete and weightlifter has some version of this sad story.

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World’s Strongest Man 30 Year Retrospective

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Kaz VikingI’m sorry to post so many videos, but this World’s Strongest Man 30 Years of Pain is a must-watch for any fan of strongman or powerlifting. I did not know Jón Páll Sigmarsson died at age 33. What a bum deal.

In the meantime you’ve got Magnus Ver Magnusson, Magnus Samuels-son, Svend Carlson, Phil Phister, Marisuz Pudianowski, and many others. Granted, maybe 1 in 100 of these guys were not on the juice, but every single competition is inspirational.

Anyway, Kaz is nuts and so are the rest of the old school strongmen. If you only care about losing fat, don’t bother with this video, but if you’ve ever watched the WSM finals during Christmas vacation, and you actually knew the finalists and had a favorite, you have to watch this.

‘Nuff said.

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Strength is the Product of Struggle

Monday, October 17th, 2011

First a quote, then an excerpt from Henry Rollins’ The Iron

“Strength is the product of struggle, you must do what others don’t to achieve what others won’t.”

Henry Rollins

“Through the years, I have combined meditation, action, and the Iron into a single strength. I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts. Time spent away from the Iron makes my mind degenerate. I wallow in a thick depression. My body shuts down my mind.

The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it’s impossible to turn back.

The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.”

Henry Rollins – a legend