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View Full Version : New Powerlifter - Some General questions



Mosnar
09-05-2008, 01:22 AM
Hello all, after playing water polo, swimming, and doing a year of rowing, I have decided to take up powerlifting. I am 6'3" 210#, with a 6'6" wingspan and 34" inseam (most of that femurs lol). My best lifts to date are 265 Squat, 195 Bench, and 355 Deadlift.

I had some general questions on training that I was hoping to get answered.

-Are there any techniques that long-legged lifters can use to help the squat? I currently use a fairly wide stance (which has helped a lot) and really try and sit back into it, but always get stuck 1/2 way up.

-My bench straight up sucks. I am benching 2x a week, one day for singles and the other for heavy rep work. Any specific exercises that I should be doing, or just benching like crazy?

Any advice at all is appreciated

Lones Green
09-05-2008, 03:31 AM
welcome to the club (of powerlifters, and tall guys with awful benches).

i am 6'3, but a bit heavier. (LOL)

to be quite honest, i haven't found doing anything different helpful. go find a group of guys and do what they tell you. get strong.

you have a longer ROM on all of the lifts, which sucks, i know. not much you can do about it though. just train hard

maybe we should have gotten into basketball

ehubbard
09-05-2008, 06:51 AM
I got a piece of advice that Matt Rhodes gave me that I think applies to all lifters but he was referencing a question I had on what he does other than gain weight to improve his leverages as a taller lifter:

Don't use your long limbs as an excuse. If you think it's a handicap, it will be.

This applies to anything. But I have over time reduced my ROM on the bench by gaining weight and by arching more and improving my setup. But these are things that both tall, short, skinny and fat lifters can do. For the deadlift your long arms are a blessing and actually will help you. If you are squatting raw I am not sure I have any advice for you because I dont really train to specifically increase my raw squat. But if you are squatting wide and raw you should just keep an eye on how your hips react. A true wide stance raw squat can be very rough on your hips. Or you can come over to the Darkside and buy some squat briefs. If you get in gear than make sure you push your knees out hard.

For bench, if you have only been doing flat bench twice a week and are now stuck I would change your exercises and see how you react. Try floor presses, low board presses ( for you that means a 1-3 board), incline press.

Kenny-SFW
09-05-2008, 08:30 AM
ehubbard nailed. To get big, eat big and lift big, be consistent, have a plan an execute it, kill it, destroy it. Don't get caught up in chasing numbers, they will come. Most importantly.., have fun.

Mosnar
09-05-2008, 09:47 AM
thanks for all the advice. Regarding the whole long-limbed thing, I wasn't viewing them as a handicap (they really help with that deadlift) but was wondering if there was a technique to maximize the leverages that I have. And yes, I have come over to the Darkside and use a pair of Inzer groove briefs for my box squatting. I also plan to compete equipped.

as for the bench, I have been switching around between movements such as flat bench (195#), floor press (205#), overhead presses(135#), and once did a manpon press (~6in)(225#). I have also been doing a lot of upper back, lat, and tricep work (Pull-ups, DB rows, Shrugs, Extensions). I've been getting stronger in these movements, but they don't seem to be helping. I was planning to work on my flat bench (using close grip, normal grip, and wide grip) on my rep day, and use the floor presses, board presses, incline bench, and bench press on my heavy day.

BigTallOx
09-05-2008, 10:31 AM
I have decided to take up powerlifting. I am 6'3" 210#, with a 6'6" wingspan and 34" inseam (most of that femurs lol).


Cool another tall powerlifter. I'm 6'8" and have a 6'11" wingspan and 38" inseam. I do max effort bench workouts with a guy thats 6'4" and he has benched 485 raw in competition. So there is hope, lol. He's one of my benching inspiration ( currently I bench 300 raw ).



Are there any techniques that long-legged lifters can use to help the squat?


My only advice is to just do them. Make sure somebody that knows what they're doing helps with the overall general correct technique, but eventually you will figure out your personal body mechanics and the weight will start to climb. I'm currently in this process myself. I think for tall guys, progress is slow with squats, but progress is progress. IMHO, it's all about patience and persistence.



-My bench straight up sucks. I am benching 2x a week, one day for singles and the other for heavy rep work. Any specific exercises that I should be doing,


For bench, my advice would be to make sure you've got good powerlifting form, keep your upper back tight, pull your shoulders back, arch ( those alone greatly reduces my range of motion ), tuck your elbows and use your legs to help drive the weight up.



or just benching like crazy?


Depends on what you mean by this. Yes bench hard when you're benching, but don't do more than one max effort workout per week, IMHO. I have found that having a dynamic effort bench workout has improved my bench as well ( so I'd say think about changing your "heavy rep work", if you feel so inclined ).

I know it's hard for bench especially since everybody is always like "what do you bench?", but don't compare yourself to other people ( in a critical way that is ). Everybody has strengths and limitations, and no two people will progress the same ( unless they're twins I guess ). You're probably like me, ie built to pull, and will never have a HUGE bench, but it doesn't mean I won't be able to have a very respectable bench, and that's OK.

Keep at it, if you do, you will get strong.

Sean S
09-05-2008, 10:55 AM
I'm a little taller than the average powerlifter (6'1" with long arms and legs) and there are no real "special" secrets for taller guys. The biggest thing you need to do is gain some weight. I started at ~215# four years ago and now I'm at 280-285#. Without that weight gain my strength gains would have been much, much slower.
Also consider getting something better than groove briefs if you are going to squat wide. With long legs, your hips will be a mile behind the bar if you don't get a nice wide stance and really push your knees out. Again, to do this it would probably be a good idea to get some decent briefs.

Mosnar
09-05-2008, 11:30 AM
Depends on what you mean by this. Yes bench hard when you're benching, but don't do more than one max effort workout per week, IMHO. I have found that having a dynamic effort bench workout has improved my bench as well ( so I'd say think about changing your "heavy rep work", if you feel so inclined ).


Well, I have actually tried using the dynamic method, but after 3 weeks my elbows were killing me. With my previous lifting for sports, I've found that the 5-8 rep range works best for hypertrophy in my case. This is the "heavy rep work". I still have that swimmer's physique that I'm trying to fill out. But compared to you Ox, I feel kinda short lol.

ehubbard
09-05-2008, 12:20 PM
thanks for all the advice. Regarding the whole long-limbed thing, I wasn't viewing them as a handicap (they really help with that deadlift) but was wondering if there was a technique to maximize the leverages that I have. And yes, I have come over to the Darkside and use a pair of Inzer groove briefs for my box squatting. I also plan to compete equipped.

as for the bench, I have been switching around between movements such as flat bench (195#), floor press (205#), overhead presses(135#), and once did a manpon press (~6in)(225#). I have also been doing a lot of upper back, lat, and tricep work (Pull-ups, DB rows, Shrugs, Extensions). I've been getting stronger in these movements, but they don't seem to be helping. I was planning to work on my flat bench (using close grip, normal grip, and wide grip) on my rep day, and use the floor presses, board presses, incline bench, and bench press on my heavy day.

1.) How long have you been training?

2.) How much do you eat?

I think the answer to why your lifts arent going up are more closely related to Question No. 2.

PriestCometh
09-05-2008, 12:42 PM
Because you have long arms, I would concentrate alot on lockout in the bench.
You have a further distance you have to travel so your lockout strength will
be very imortant. I would probably throw in some of these exercises:
1. Boardpresses(2 board, 3 board and 4 board)
2. Pinpresses. With different grips.
3. Reverse band presses.
4. Band presses(double banded). I love this one because the faster you are out of
the bottom, the easier it will be to lockout the weight.
5. Floor presses. I usually do these with a close grip.

For the squat:
1. Box squats
2. Zercher squats
3. Safety squats
4. Box squats with choked bands. Again, the faster you are out of the hole, the easier it will be to lock it out.
5. Plyometrics

I hope these might help.

Mosnar
09-05-2008, 02:16 PM
@ehubbard: I have been seriously training (for Rowing) for a little over a year, and have made fairly good progress in that time. I've gained 30lbs of mass so far and the vast majority of that was when I was doing squats, benches, pull-ups, and deadlifts in the 5-8 rep range.

my diet usually constists of lots of eggs, nuts, meat, fruits, veggies, and whole grains (no dairy because it makes me break out) to the tune of about 3500-4000 kcals a day. I will be going off to school soon and will have a large meal plan. Should I bump up the calories (gradually) to about 5k a day?

Szust
09-05-2008, 05:11 PM
I also did all three sports. Except I did Swimming, then rowing, and most recently water polo which I quit this year to pursue Powerlifting. I'm not as tall as you though. I am 6'1", but have short arms and a very long torso. All I can say is that coming out of waterpolo and rowing, your back and shoulders will be much stronger than everything else. Best of luck.