The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    WBB's Juggernaut/Liason BigCorey75's Avatar
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    Raw Competitors..

    Who all in here are Raw competitors?

    Im looking into doing a competition next year, in the raw division, just belt and knee wraps, and i want to compete in the 220s.

    How did you guys get started?

    What training did you guys use?

    Any Advice?

    Right now im doing a modified westside protocol in 3 full body workouts on monday(ME DL, DE SQ, RE BP) wednesday(ME BP, RE SQ DL) friday(ME SQ BP DE DL DE), and two days tuesday and thursday of GPP/Strongman training, mainly Tire flipping sledge hammer swinging and truck pushing. I plan on doing this and tweaking my diet till im under 220 and ready to compete and ill be looking to do a competition.

    What do Raw competitors focus on that Suited lifters dont?

    or is it basically the same type of training.??

    Hopefully soon Ill be in a guy surrounded with powerlifters to learn more about the sport in general, but right now im just looking for anything i can use to improve my own routine.

    Right now im liking what i have and im getting steady gains on it, im still tweaking a few things on it and perfecting it.
    Why live if one can not Deadlift?- John Paul Sigmasson

    Accept that which is useful and reject what is not- Bruce Lee

    Reason and Logic trump religion- Me

    Restriction of education, Censorship of knowledge, and Proliferation of religion helps keep the masses tamed- Me

    "Money does not fix everything, Smart fixes everything"

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  3. #2
    Go Bears Pete22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigCorey75 View Post
    What do Raw competitors focus on that Suited lifters dont?
    With the basic Westside template, most of your Max Effort work is going to be raw anyways, along with with your DE sets. As a raw lifter, you're going to want to focus on more full range movements than a geared lifter, and you won't need as much accommodating resistance (bands/chains).

    Pick your accessory and assistance stuff based on your current weaknesses, but in general you won't need as much heavy lockout work as you will full range movements (DB bench, shoulder presses, etc).
    My Training Log

    You want science and studies? **** you. I've got scars and blood and vomit. - Jim Wendler

  4. #3
    WBB's Juggernaut/Liason BigCorey75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete22 View Post
    With the basic Westside template, most of your Max Effort work is going to be raw anyways, along with with your DE sets. As a raw lifter, you're going to want to focus on more full range movements than a geared lifter, and you won't need as much accommodating resistance (bands/chains).

    Pick your accessory and assistance stuff based on your current weaknesses, but in general you won't need as much heavy lockout work as you will full range movements (DB bench, shoulder presses, etc).
    Mkay i see...

    Question how often do you train with your knee wraps and belt?

    right now im not using them at all and im just trying to get as strong as possible without them, then train with them for about 6 months before I want to compete.

    I have inzer knee wraps and a 13mm lever lock inzer belt which is awesome btw.

    Right now my weaknesses are at the base of the lifts, I have very few if any lock out issues. If i can start the weight up on a squat, bench, or initiate the pull on the deadlift i have very little trouble completing the lift.

    So should I focus primarily on Heavy low Box Squats, DL from the floor and off a box, and Pin Press with the pressing the bar from a dead stop off the chest?

    or anything else?
    Why live if one can not Deadlift?- John Paul Sigmasson

    Accept that which is useful and reject what is not- Bruce Lee

    Reason and Logic trump religion- Me

    Restriction of education, Censorship of knowledge, and Proliferation of religion helps keep the masses tamed- Me

    "Money does not fix everything, Smart fixes everything"

  5. #4
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    I have gone from one extreme to the other. The one thing you have to do is actually squat bench and deadlift. Special exercises are good for weeknesses but you still must be efficient in the movements them selves. Stay away from box squatting and hit depth very rep. No excuse for being high without gear on. I wear wraps on my last set. I beleive in Practicing how you play.
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  6. #5
    Go Bears Pete22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigCorey75 View Post
    Question how often do you train with your knee wraps and belt?
    The fed I'm competing in for my upcoming raw meet only allows wrist wraps and a belt, so I don't use knee wraps (I never really do anyway). I use a belt pretty much every squat and deadlift workout, usually for all my speed sets and anything over 70%.


    Quote Originally Posted by BigCorey75 View Post
    Right now my weaknesses are at the base of the lifts, I have very few if any lock out issues. If i can start the weight up on a squat, bench, or initiate the pull on the deadlift i have very little trouble completing the lift.

    So should I focus primarily on Heavy low Box Squats, DL from the floor and off a box, and Pin Press with the pressing the bar from a dead stop off the chest?
    If that's the case, I'd focus on a stuff that's going to build the start of your lifts. I'd recommend:

    Bench: full range benches, pause benches, DB benches, shoulder presses, and tons of lat work.

    Squat: low box squats, full free squats, tons of hamstring and glute work.

    Deadlift: deficit deads (off 2" or 4" platform), front squats (quad work).
    My Training Log

    You want science and studies? **** you. I've got scars and blood and vomit. - Jim Wendler

  7. #6
    IRL my name is Trent Hazerboy's Avatar
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    I've never really trained in gear, but I've noticed that box squats and high end work has never really done anything for me for my squats/deadlifts. In fact, my best rack pull is 600 while my best deadlift off the floor if 550. Also I always seem to make the best gains with rep work, except for bench.

    I will say though that like geared lifting you can never have hamstrings, glutes, or triceps that are too strong XD
    Stats: 11/15/07-First-meet--2nd Meet----3rd meet
    Weight: 185-----187---------198---------198
    Max Bench: 255---220-----------280------300
    Max Squat: 405----395----------440------460
    Max Dead:475-----485----------551------570
    CHINUPS - Bodyweight + 135, x1, dead hang. Still working on the one arm chinup.

  8. #7
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    Your basic routine plus conditioning looks like a crapload of volume to me. If you can tolerate it and get stronger go ahead, but it would probably run me down too much to gain any significant strength. I would go with an established program template like a Westside template or 5/3/1 template and then work in whatever conditioning you need.
    I'm trying to make the transition to raw lifting right now and I'm basically doing 4 days/week with a DL/BP/SQ/military press template. Like you, my weaknesses are at the start of the lifts so I will incorporate paused benches, deficit pulls, and free squats to help with these issues. I also won't be doing many partial movements. For belt use, with my SQ and DL I work up to a weight that is somewhat heavy without a belt, then I will add the belt for my heaviest 1-3 sets. I will probably incorporate the knee wraps the last couple months before the meet whenever I work up in the SQ. So overall, I still end up doing alot more reps without the belt or knee wraps than I do with them. Check out Scott Yard's log as well since he is a very strong raw lifter.

  9. #8
    WBB's Juggernaut/Liason BigCorey75's Avatar
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    Sean S.- yeah im one of those people who responds well to volume, but for some reason when you add it all up over a week it is no more volume than a normal PL routine, I have some Max effort and Dynmic work as well, i just rearrange it a bit and throw in GPP on its own day instead of after workouts

    So basically what im hearing is train basic heavy movements through the full range of motion and focuse most of my efforts on starting strength on all of the lifts, so pause bench, and DL off a box. Why would Box Squats not be a good alternative? especially since I use a box lower than parallel...
    Why live if one can not Deadlift?- John Paul Sigmasson

    Accept that which is useful and reject what is not- Bruce Lee

    Reason and Logic trump religion- Me

    Restriction of education, Censorship of knowledge, and Proliferation of religion helps keep the masses tamed- Me

    "Money does not fix everything, Smart fixes everything"

  10. #9
    The Physique Architect str8flexed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete22 View Post
    The fed I'm competing in for my upcoming raw meet only allows wrist wraps and a belt, so I don't use knee wraps (I never really do anyway). I use a belt pretty much every squat and deadlift workout, usually for all my speed sets and anything over 70%.




    If that's the case, I'd focus on a stuff that's going to build the start of your lifts. I'd recommend:

    Bench: full range benches, pause benches, DB benches, shoulder presses, and tons of lat work.

    Squat: low box squats, full free squats, tons of hamstring and glute work.

    Deadlift: deficit deads (off 2" or 4" platform), front squats (quad work).
    sounds like you are doing the raw power challenge in willowbrook?

    should be a great meet; I can't wait.

    for the origional poster, I've only ever done raw and I've done many different programs: westside, smolov, and sheiko, and a modified version of westside. I've had success with all of them. I think that the most important thing is working on your weakpoints and getting your form down pat. Tweaking my form has really made all the difference. I do notice that with deadlifts lockout work helps me (bar slightly below the knees). I'm actually slightly stronger off the floor than I am at lockout so that is something I definitely train. I do think box squat are helpful but only if you do them below parallel

  11. #10
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    I have to agree with str8flexed, I have had great raw success with both Westside and Sheiko. I started out lifting equipped, but have been raw for many years now and wouldn't say my training is wildly different. I used the Westside template for a long time, as others have noted, I also incorporated more full range movements on ME day. Additionally, I really focused on restoration/recovery workouts and GPP. This worked very well. I also have had success with Sheiko principles training raw, although it took me a bit to get accustomed to the volume. I now use a basic Sheiko structure, but also incorporate a lot of Westside ideas such as speed pulls, bands/chains and assistance movements such as zerchers, glute/ham raises, reverse hypers, etc. I still keep a high GPP and spend a lot of time on recovery work. As for knee wraps, I will train with them if I am preparing to lift in a federation that allows them in their raw competition, although I usually don't throw them in until I get to 80% of above and even then, I don't use them always. If I'm working at 80-85%, I'll do a few sets based on my max without wraps and then some more sets based on my max with wraps, the difference is enough to necessitate the different weights. I know some guys that have a set up pretty close to what you described above and they seem to do pretty well with it, like you said, keep tweaking and learning from your results, you'll only get better.

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