Well said sir!!
Well said sir!!
I am just going to summerize my training over the last two weeks. I had a couple ups and downs. First off I have really dicked up my back loading which I was on track to kill 198 for next week and now I will be sitting at prob 217 or so when I weigh in. I have a terrible problem right now staying on track with the backloading. All of it has to do with just not having me head into it. But that isnt an excuse I will step up my game.
So the UPA meet I will stay at 220lbs BW.
One of my best sessions came the other day benching I hurt my pec again a few weeks ago benching a little wider than normal. So I have been taking it easy as far as how heavy I heavy I have gone. But last monday things were feeling really good so I worked up to 545lbs raw. Seemed fast and no sticking points in the lift. I jumped to 565lbs for my next attempt. Here is the problem I think I should have taken a more conservative jump, and I am getting a shitty hand off from just who ever in the gym. So first attempt at 565lbs my right wrist wrap comes undone as soon as he lets go of the bar. The weight felt good so I lowered it to my chest. As I was coming down I focused alot on not rolling my wrist back an I think I lost all focus on pushing the bar up. Got it half way up and stalled. I tried this again and something happened that has never happened to me before. My left hand started to fall asleep as I was lowering the bar. Once the bar was on my chest I nearly couldnt feel anything in my left hand. So I told the spotter to take it.
All in all this was a good session but dissapointed I didnt nail 565
Last training session before UPA meet worked up to almost my opener I didnt feel that well but It is what it is.
I benched 525lbs it was really slow. Last week I hurt my pec again just a little so I may still be healing up from that.
Worked some rear delts, lats, and shrugs.
Then I ate a shit ton of sushi.
So I went to Larry Bush's meet knowing my last few sessions were not that great. I felt a little discomfort in my left pec in my last training session and I was just not up for competing. But I told Larry I would be there and truthfully Larry puts everything he can into his meets. If you dont know Larry his passion for PL is on a whole nother planet.
So I fast Friday to make weight. Which I did easily.
While warming up for the comp, I felt really good up until I got to 475lbs. It felt like 400 % of my max. I rolled my shoulder out and said screw it this is just for fun and that is it.
My Opener was 525lbs and I couldnt believe how light it felt. Infact it was so light as soon as I got up I looked at the plates because I thought it was miss loaded. Nope it was right.
Second attempt was 545lbs again I heard press and the bar just sailed to lockout. Weird. 545 is the best I have done in the gym in the last 6 weeks. This left shoulder and pec have really prevented me from hitting any true numbers in the gym.
3rd- 555lbs Not the best. I started my decent and hit to low on my chest I heard press and popped back but the bar stalled as soon as I got it about 3 inches off my chest. The back movement screwed me up. The side spotter took the bar. It was an accident and he apologized right after. No biggie I have a fourth attmept I will just do it again.
4th- Now I was so pissed I didnt get it flawlessly on my last try that as soon as the bar hit my chest I heard press and I freaking threw it up. I was pretty jacked about this. 555lbs at 219bw.
Morale of the story here. TRUST YOUR TRAINING. I was thinking about not even competing and I have a great lift. You must trust your training. That is what got you to where you are dont doubt yourself and push like hell when you hear press.
It was very impressive Mr. Larsen!!!
Basically I need to address an area I feel is lacking in my gym. Very common I hear people say I am working up to my 85% for a number of reps. The reason I have problem with this is the percentages is a template to guide you. It does not dictate your workout.
For instance I will throw out percentages nearly every workout to give some one a guide to what type of workout it is. For instance today was a speed day for me. So I told my training partner that we were working on 50-60 percent. To me that makes it clear that we are not going heavy but we are going to work on speed. Now with this workout we did eccentric pressing.
Here is an interesting story. To save her humilation I will call her lifter X. Lifter X says I will need to squat 85% for 5 reps. I look over and she is calculating it on her phone. I screamed stop. But of course I was too late. She allready had the number in her head and that is all she had to do.
I look at percentages like my gas tank in my truck, I can give you a rough idea of how much gas I have in my truck. But I can not go to a gas station and say my meter reads 37% here is 31 dollars that is all your getting fill it up.
So Lifter X worked up to 200lbs which is more like 93 ish percent. First set of 5 looked horrible. I told her to speed up the lift. Next set was better but on the 5th rep it was slow. The light bulb clicked in my head she was capping her self. She is going to walk away from here not hitting her potential. Now I thought 200lbs was a good 5 rep 85% squat. Until I looked at her and told her what if I told you to do 10 reps. She began to squat and didnt stop until 10. Now mind you the 10th rep was as slow as the 5 th rep the set before.
I am not taking away from the concept of using percentages. But do not look at the number and make it set it stone. It is a guide or a template to get you in the ball park of where you should be.
In conclusion do not cap your self. Push your self every workout. There are enough variables that play a part in lifting than to add another and cap your self. Use it as a guide not a GPS.
I have had a couple of good workout since my competition. Saturday I kind of just screwed around and did a little deadlifting from the floor a little squating had a touch of hip pain so I stopped after my second set and moved over to a couple of machines where I can work on going to depth instead of working on balance.
Than burned out my triceps.
I lifted Monday was in a horrible mood, too many people were in the gym and it was taking way to long to get to my next set and I was just flat out pissed. I worked up to 455lbs straight weight and 130lbs band tension and nailed it for two. I took the weight down to 425 with same bands and nailed two sets of three reps. Felt great.
Moved on to Tates, timed tricep pushdowns, YTI's to failure, Pullups and a plank to failure.
Tuesday- Killed my back and rear delts. Shit I was sore
Thursday- Eccentric pressing with 275lbs for 3 reps and two reps regular. THis is alot harder than it sounds for sure. Front rasies with chains on incline bench, seated OHP lockouts, tricep work finished with shrugs.
Saturday- Knee ext - Hammy curls - Tricep circuit - Deadlifts I worked up to about 90lbs or so and did a ton of reps working on my form and speed. Shit sucks.
Monday- Heavy bench day worked up to 405lbs with orage bands (lots of tension) for sets of 3 good sets. Moved grip out illegal wide and repped 315 for 2 sets of 8 great acc movement for something new
Rolling triceps, Rear delts on oly rings and super mans to work the core.
Tuesday- Heavy Back this is making a huge difference in my benching for sure. If you are not doing enough back you are selling yourself short. Wide grip seated pulls, Lat pulls, bent over rows, Heavy seated shoulder press, Front raises
Thurs- De bench, Eccentric pressing with 2 regular presses after each set this is alot harder than it sounds, bent over rows again and hammer curls.
I am taking next three days off to rest i will do heavy bench on monday and most likely DELOAD the rest of the week I have been going hard for a while.
I have a video I want you to watch before I get started explaining why lats are so important to a big bench. Chris Duffin has a wealth of knowledge and made me complete this exercise to help show me how to keep my back tight while benching. Take a look and see if you can incorporate this into your routine.
So first lets talk about why using your lats while benching is important. Well first off it is going to take pressure off of your shoulders. See you dont want to be doing your max flat backed and shoulders flared out in a typicall bb style type press. This will put your shoulders at risk for injury.
Let the weight settle on your lats as you are squeezing them tight. A great way to remember to do this and a way that I always remember is trying to bend the bar. This reminds me to keep my lats tight.
One way to screw this up from the get go is to unrack the weights your self. Or in my case have a big ego and try to lift off the bar before the spotter is ready. This will start you off in a bad position. When you press up with your shoulders and clear the up rights it will be to hard to engage the lats in that position. So first do not and I repeat do not push the bar up and out off the rack. Let a spotter push the bar out to you.
So you have the bar in your hands back tight, your squeezing and bending the bar to engage your lats. After the bar has reached your chest your pushing the bar using leverage of the bench. Expolding the bar up pushing your self into the bench with your lats engaged. This will help with speed at the bottom of your lift. Keeping in mind that you dont want your back or shoulders to shrug up and make it impossible to keep lats engaged. Keep the bar out infront of you, and press through your lats.
Now your not going to be able to neglect your back and have huge lats for your bench. Make sure you put in the work with seated rows, bent over rows, pull ups ETC.
Nice write up Adrian
Last year around March I heard on Carb back loading. I did not pay much attention. Look there are so many secrets out there according to experts that will help you lose weight. Well what does it matter I am a Powerlifter I dont need to lose weight. Right? Wrong. A buddy of mine gave me the carb back loading book written by John Keifer. Now at this point in my training I was really strong and sitting at about 280-286lbs and it was an easy cut for me to drop to 275lbs when I wanted to compete. So I read the book and was so confused. I got the idea of it but it was against everything I have ever heard from any diet or nutrition plan out there.
In March I began to modify the back loading. Basically, I back loaded every night whether I trained or not. I didnt follow the fasting and low carb through out the day exactly as I should. However, I was eating whatever I wanted at night time and wasnt gaining weight at all.
Right around the end of May I was having a disscusion with a training partner and I made the comment that I may attempt to go 242lbs for a competition coming up in July. Someone in the gym over heard me and started laughing, you at 242lbs. This made me furious, how could you laugh that I want to drop to a lower weight class. Well the fact of the matter is I have been at 275lbs for almost 3 years now why am I going to change. I used that person laughing at me to prove that I would make a change.
Now a normal day at this point is as follows.
Wake up 5am - Coffee and non fat milk
530am - Opticean protein from At Large Nutrition. 30+carbs 50+ protein
615am - Two cups of yogurt and two string cheese
noon - Two sandwiches protein shake
3pm - Snack - Chips, pretzels, granola bar.
615pm - Huge dinner usally full of carbs
8pm- Pre bed time Nitrean protein from At Large Nutrition 25 grams of protein low carbs.
Looking back at this I screwed everything up 30 mins into being awake. Now entering into July I was sitting at 248ish lbs was holding my bench steady with the weight loss.
I had to sit in the sauna to dehydrate maybe for a 2lbs loss. Which typically for me I would lose 10 - 12 lbs through dehydration. The picture above shows me on the left roughly 280lbs and on the right roughly 220lbs.
So when I weighed in for the July meet I made weight easy and everyone is a little surprised. In fact, my good friend Chris Duffin didnt think it could be done. I made a statement at the time I thought I may have to take back. I said, "I will be 220lbs in September." Chris looked at me like I was an alien. Yea I havnt been 220lbs since my days in high school. The funny thing is I didnt have to put any effort into back loading. It is so easy. I am not trying to sell it to you. If you are not wanting to try it dont. I couldnt care less. I dont get anything out of people doing this or not. But it is by far the easist thing I have ever done. I did zero cardio, I lifted heavy shit all the time and eat everything I wanted at night. The only thing I had to change was fasting and low carb during the day. Which at first this was hard. But imagine all day that you can eat the best tasting foods in the evening if you just stay low carb all day. That motivated me to stay on point.
Cutting from 242lbs to 220lbs was so simple. It was faster and easier than cutting from 280lbs to 242lbs. I ate very clean, stayed hydrated with water and trained hard. Knowing that at this point in my life I choose to make a goal for myself to bench 600lbs raw at 220lbs. Now since the weight cut and maintaing is so easy I have since changed my goals to 198lbs and bench 600lbs. Now to think a year ago I would be talking about being 198lbs I would have said there is no way possible.
Day break down now-
5am - Wake up
515am- Coffee with heavy cream sometimes coconut milk.
8am - If I am getting a little hungry I will add some Nitrean + to my coffee
noon- Two string cheese and some deli meat.
2pm - Nitrean + protein
730pm - Opticean + and a whole lot of carbs
If I am not to full and hurting from the dinner I just ate I will have a Nitrean + shake before bed.
Now mind you I have changed few things for what works for me. And how my body has reacted toward some of the back loading tactics. Also keep in mind that I have made a huge mistake over the last week and have been adding some sugar free hazelnut powder to my coffee first thing in the morning. Now the problem with this is anything sweet you put in your mouth gym, splenda, sugar free hazelnut powder will spike your insulin. Your body tastes the sweet flavors and expects sugar to be entering your body, so your insulin spikes. Stay clear from these type of things during your fat buring time frame.
In conclusion, if you want a simple way to cut body fat and stay strong I would reccomend back loading. It is so simple and very effective. If you have questions or need help you can look at CBL website called Dangerously Hardcore. http://www.dangerouslyhardcore.com/
You can also order your Opticean Plus and Nitrean Plus along with other supplements at http://www.atlargenutrition.com/
I had one of the worst ME bench days of this year. I just got done doing 2 weeks of bands and now going to straight weight for 5 reps. I worked up to 500 got4 than did 4 sets of 3 trying to get over that hurdle but couldnt. Than I moved up to 515 got 3 than 545 and it stapled a bar into my chest. Wow I didnt feel strong at all.
Did some burn out sets of incline pressing with dumbells used 140lbs
Tuesday I hammered my side delts and rear delt. High reps.
I am taking the rest of the week off to rest up and hopefully see an improvement in my benching on Monday
Shitty workout on Monday. I didnt have my head in it I ended with 535 for a double and left pissed off.
Friday night I was not going to miss Garrett "Gunz" Griffin on Vegas Power Hour radio show. You can go back and listen to the show at talkradio.com/vegas-power-hour. Now a little back story on Garrett and how I got to know him. Garretts picture on left, has a bodybuilder look but the power of a powerlifter. The only person I have seen similar to Garrett is Stan Efferding. Now if your being compared to Stan in anything, you are in good company. So Garrett started Powerlifting in 2010. He entered a local competition and benched 440lbs at 189lbs bodyweight. Since than he has been hooked to Powerlifting competing in Bench only and Full power meets at both 198lbs and 220lbs. Recently Garrett benched 550lbs at 225lbs in the Animal cage as a guest lifter at the Arnold. Garrett is also sponsored by Animal. Which is an accomplishment by itself.
Ok so back to meeting Garrett, I competed at the Kings of the Bench last year and cut weight to 220lbs. Garrett was competing at the same weight class but he was alot lighter. He weighed in somewhere around 210lbs. I got in contact with Garrett and asked him while we were down there if we could get a bite to eat. Now Garrett was the man at 198lbs and 220lbs. My thought was pick his brain he has done Kings of the Bench before and look at him he is freaky strong. So after weigh ins we went and grabbed lunch. Any outsider looking in prob thought we have been friends for years. We laughed and bullshitted like we have known eachother for years. What I took away from that lunch was the amount of work Garrett puts his body through every day. He pushes the limit over and over. And look how successful he is.
On the radio show I called in and discussed competing against him again. Since I recently took the number one spot at 220lbs, he wants a chance to compete against me at 198lbs. Now this will push us both to train hard, and be the best we can be for the Kings of the Bench in July. This friendly compeition will motivate me to make sure I bring my A game. Not just in July but today in prep for July.
Later on Ryan Celli called in and said he wanted to be apart of this as well. Holy shit I am going to be competing against Ryan Celli and Garrett Griffin in a weight class I have not competed in for over 10 years. Wow time to get my shit together and get things dialed in.
Recently, a buddy of mine posted something on facebook. Basically, it said the cards are stacked against me and I am thinking about taking a break from powerlifting. This statement took me back about 10 years.
See 10 years ago I quit. I quit because I was feeling sorry for myself. I didn't have a training partner, I wasn't training properly and I had zero progress. One day an old lifting friend came over to my house and talked with me about not being at the gym. He looked at me and said, "Man only if I had half the talent you do I wouldn't be wasting it sitting on your couch." He left and I felt like shit. Maybe he is right maybe I should get back in there. I did some soul searching that night. I had a fear. The fear was what if I don't do it? I know what will happen and what the end result will be if I do it but if I dont will always wonder.
Soon after I began to train again and I am glad I did. I know when I am all said and done with lifting I will have no regret and no what if's! One thing that comes to mind while thinking of this, is a statement made by a motivational speaker. He says Pain, it may last a minute, an hour, a day maybe even a year. But eventually it will subside. And something else will take its place. If you quit however, that will last a lifetime. There is nothing that describes quitting better than that statement. I promise some point in your life if you have quit something and you have regrets.
So I talk to my buddy. It is clear he has made up his mind and this is the end. I explained the above story. I talked to him about there is nothing in this world that you have to work at that will be easy. You have to work at it. You have to want it. You have to put in more than you will ever get out of it.
You need to find the thing inside that wont let you quit because quitting is the end. Before you quit, want what your doing as much as you want to breathe. There is a story that a man went to see a guru and told him he wanted to be the best. He wanted to be #1. The guru looked at the man and said meet me at the beach at 4am. The man looked puzzled but agreed. 4 am the next morning the man met the guru at the beach. The guru said follow me out into the water. The man followed and pretty soon the man was chest high in water. The guru said just a little futher, the man was confused he didn't know how this was going to make him the best. The guru grabbed the man and held his head under water. The man was fighting to get his head above the water. Just before the man passed out the guru pulled his head up above water. He calmly looked at the man and said when you want to suceed as much as you just wanted to breath, then you will be succesful. There is a lesson to be learned here. If you put everything into something you will get some thing back in return. Lastly, here is something I think about everytime I go into the gym. While I am driving and imaging my workout. I think I am going to try harder than I did last time, and I have two choices. I can have excuses or results. NOT BOTH...........
For this last month I have had a couple of good sessions. I have not had a ton of time as work schedule has changed a little and preparing for the bench for belle competition. Just have been balls to the wall. ANy way benching has been good. I have consistantly hitting over 530 for good doubles or singles. I feel like I have had a minor set back using bands a few weeks ago. I feel like it slowed my decent down a lot and I am trying to grind out weight more than I should be trying to throw it thru the roof. I had a good incline day benching 495lbs for a single. My weight is sitting right at 225-227 which I am happy with considering how much I love to back load. I have been focusing alot on my back as I feel that I have neglected it over the last 3 months. Hopfully that will be the staple to get my press over 600
So the bench for belle went really well we raised alot of money and had a great time. I missed 560 twice but was able to bench a motorcycle for a couple of reps with a young lady sitting on it. Very happy with that. Time to hit the gym and start training for 6hundy
Training this week went well worked up to 530 for a near triple and then used buffalo bar for a set of 405 for 7 paused reps. Everything went well. I ended up with food poisoning so I didnt train the rest of the week I should be all the way rested for this next week. ready for 600
What a session I prob walked into the gym with steam coming off of my head. Had a decent session. Worked on floor pressing and sled dragging. Always a big pain in the ass.
This week has been interesting. I started off pressing on monday with shitty spotters. But had set in my head I wanted to hit a heavy double and 530 was the goal. I worked up to 500 and it flew up. I made a big jump from 500 to 530 and cranked out a double. They were both sloppy but what I was working with I am happy with.
I moved the weight down to 475 cranked out 8 reps with a wider grip.
Moved to 315 moved out a little wider and did 18 paused reps.
Moved to 225 and knocked out like 48ish or so super wide grip fast presses.
Killed my tris with Tricep hammers, and JM presses and overhead EXT
Finished with Pec Dec and a little forearm work
Back day-- Hit seated rows, front pull downs, DB Rows, Good mornings
Shoulders-- Front side and rear delt work along with standing oH presses
Wed-- Very light speed bench I worked to 315lbs reverse grip benching for 12 reps fast presses
Tricep work with pushdowns, Skull crushers
What to do to prevent your elbows from flaring out while max effort benching. Most of the time when you begin to flare your elbows it is out of bad habit. You are trying to use less front shoulders and press more with your chest and triceps. You need to press with your shoulders and Lats. If you find yourself doing this it is common that you need to strengthen your shoulders. Primarily, your front delts. Simply doing front raises will help with this issue.
Keep in mind adjusting your form whether it be complicated or not so complicated your bench will suffer for a period of time. I remember when I adjusted many years ago to tucking my elbows I took a significant drop in weight. However, this is not a sprint this is a marathon. You need to make these type of improvements now to better you as a bencher.
Keeping your elbows tucked during your press will also make it easier for you to activate your Lats. Which is a very important part of the press.
While working on tucking your elbows, a great way to go heavy and still work on your form is using a Titan Ram. This wont auto correct your bench, however, it will help you feel heavier weight with proper technique.
Lastly, one thing I always follow is anytime I do any dumbbell work. Whether it be floor presses, incline presses, flat bench whatever I always turn my grip in. This forces your elbows to tuck and makes it so you continue working building strength with your elbows tucked. Here is a video of having my grip turned in.