Help Programming for a Deadlift/Bench Competition at 56 years old

Discussion in 'Barbell' started by Wolfe, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. Wolfe

    Wolfe Double-Digit Post Count

    I am 56 years old.

    I pulled a 500 pound deadlift in training in July 2016. In September 2016, I pulled 558 in a stone lift at a strong man competition and failed at 608. In June of 2017, I pulled 525 in a deadlift competition and failed about halfway at 550.

    My current training usually involves deadlifts twice per week. I habitually do the following:

    135x10,10; 185x5; 225x5; 275x5; 315x5; 365x5 followed by work sets with 405 up to 475. On the work sets I perform different set/rep schemes depending on how I feel. Sometimes I do singles with 30 seconds rest, sometimes ladders (1,2,3,2,1 or 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1), sometimes I do sets of 3 0r 5. If I feel like it, I may also do higher rep back off sets with 315 or 225.

    I bench a couple of times per week. The bench is not a big focus but I would like it to increase.

    I perform several sets of chest supported rows at the start of each workout. I use a machine to spare stress on my low back before the deads. My rowing goes up to 225 plus for reps.

    I train at the National Institute for Fitness & Sport (NIFS) in Indianapolis, which is a fabulous facility with most nearly every piece of equipment you could think off.

    NIFS has 50 yard of space for sprinting or sled pushing so I have recently added sled pushing to the workout. I am currently doing pushes of 60-80 yards 4-5 times with varying sled weights from 115 lbs up to 295lbs. The sled is working my legs hard and they are getting much stronger. I like the sled because it hits so many muscles at once and really pushes your conditioning to another level. I had read that the sled did not make you sore because of the lack of a negative portion to the movement which seemed counter intuitive (PC code for BS). The lack of soreness turned out to be true and the sled work does not seem to detract from my other training and actually seems to help recovery.

    I mountain bike pretty hard 1 or 2 times per week depending on weather and schedule.

    My daughter is 18 and often trains with me. She pulled 275 easily in the deadlift competition with me in June.

    We are going to compete in a competition at NIFS in November and I plan to do bench and deadlift.

    My progress from 300 to 400 and then from 400 to 500 went pretty well. The road from 500 to 600 has been much different and slower.

    My age seems to mainly limit how often I can train more than how hard I can train. My bench has suffered as I have aged and much of that is from shoulder issues.

    I am asking for input or ideas on how to program my lifts as I go forward, especially in regard to training for the upcoming dead/bench competition. I plan to pull at least 550, but I would really like to see 585.

    The training that has gotten me to this point seems to have lost effectiveness and I need fresh ideas as to what to do next and what I may be doing wrong now. Sometimes you get too set in your routine and can't see the forest for the trees.

    Thank you all in advance for any help or thoughts.
  2. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Staff Member Senior Instructor

    If you're pulling 500 lbs., I'm not sure you should be on an Internet forum asking for advice.

    Reading your post, the only thing I can suggest is to change up your lifts from time to time. I like to do 4 cycles a year when I'm competing regularly, and means for 3 months backwards from a meet, I train for the meet. The other two 3-month periods, I'm working on my weaknesses and not doing my competition lifts as often or as heavy. It's nice to take a break.

    I also do this on a larger level, e.g., because I compete in 5-year age brackets, I typically do 2 or 3 years of two meets a year, then I give it rest until I hit the next 5-year bracket. Speaking for myself, I've set a few records in my division, which is Raw, Old, and Skinny. :) I'm going to chase a record for two more meets, one this year and one in 2018, and then I'm going to give it a rest for a while, probably a couple of years, and chase a better overhead press and a few other things I'd like to accomplish.

    To address the details of your training, if you're doing the same thing twice a week for a particular lift, I'd rethink that and make a heavy day and a speed day, or something similar, e.g., a high volume and a low volume day.

    I don't remember who said this - was it you, @Rif? - but only the mediocre are at their best all the time. Sounds like you need a break to me for your long-term mental and physical benefit.

    Rif and kbell12 like this.
  3. Wolfe

    Wolfe Double-Digit Post Count

    Steve, thanks for the response.

    You are never too strong to learn.

    The gym where I train has a few monsters who put me to shame, so I don't have an inflated notion of what a 500 pound deadlift gets me. The gym posted a photo from last years competition showing a guy pulling 16 plates.

    I do modulate my weights depending on how I feel. When I am not feeling strong or my joints are tired, I drop back for my work sets.

    I was hoping to get a sense of the volume of deadlifts that others are training with. Sometimes I think my total reps and sets may be more than I physically need to get the required strength stimulus (now whether I need the mental stimulus is another issues all together!).

    I have also been thinking about reducing the volume of each workout but increasing the frequency as in PTP. My sense is PTP is good at lighter weights in the beginning, but I wonder how it fares with heavier weights.

    The competition in November is a non sanctioned event and does not have age classes. For my age, I think I would do okay, but up against the younger beasts I expect to get my a#@ handed to me.
  4. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Staff Member Senior Instructor

    DL volume depends, for most people on SQ volume. If you're not squatting, you probably want to DL more than if you were. I hope others will chime in here. I'm a very low-volume lifter so my example isn't representative (but it works just fine and could work for more people, IMHO).

    IMHO, you're using energy you don't need to use on all those sets of 5 before you working weight. Again, just me, but I lift 75% 1RM with no warmup, and even at a meet, I maybe do a set of 3, a set of 2, and then go out and do my opener.

  5. Wolfe

    Wolfe Double-Digit Post Count


    "IMHO, you're using energy you don't need to use on all those sets of 5 before you working weight. Again, just me, but I lift 75% 1RM with no warmup, and even at a meet, I maybe do a set of 3, a set of 2, and then go out and do my opener."

    That is exactly one of the things I was thinking about. I had a back injury prior to starting my deadlift training. Initially, I was rehabilitating that injury, so I did a lot of warm up sets to gauge how my back was holding up and make sure everything was limber. I have just continued that warm up sequence out of habit since then. I think the lighter sets of 5 are still good work, but wonder if I would be better off cutting back.

    Thanks for the reply.
  6. LukeV

    LukeV Triple-Digit Post Count

    That's some huge volume so my question is just whether it's all necessary. Maybe try warming up with farmers walk (great for dreads) and then follow your weights progression (if you're comfortable with that) with doubles instead of 10s and 5s. Just my 10 cents worth
  7. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Staff Member Senior Instructor

    @Wolfe, the best thing to do is experiment a little. Let's not forget that volume is a larger determinant of strength training success, but volume below 50% 1RM doesn't, for the most part, help you get stronger. (There are exceptions but it's nonetheless a pretty good guideline to follow.)

    I'd start changing this gradually

    I'd start by changing 135 x 10 to 135 x 5, then start at the top and change 365 x 5 to 365 x 3, and then drop 315 to 3 reps, and so on. If you change all your 5's to 3's, you'll have cut out 10 reps total - see if you feel better or worse. If you feel like you enjoy that sort of volume, maybe add some back-off sets after your work sets, or maybe even go for more volume in your work sets by adding another set.

    I set a new lifetime DL personal best recently on a training schedule that has fewer lifts in a week than you have in a day - I typically do 6-10 reps total, and do that 4x/week. My work sets are singles, doubles, and triples at 75%. I have derived my training from our Daily Dose Deadlift plan, which is a blog you can find here.

    Ryan Cranfill and kbell12 like this.
  8. Triple-Digit Post Count

    Nice Deadlift.

    Deadlift Frequence

    As Dr Tom McLaughlin (PhD Exercise Biomechanics, former Powerlifter) has noted, the lower back is quickly and easily over trained.

    That is usually why the majority of Powerlifter only train the Deadlift once a week.

    However, appear to be the exception to the rule. Part of that appears to be your use of...

    Auto-Regulated Training

    "I ...modulate my weights depending on how I feel."

    That something that many lifters fail to do; instead believing every workout need to be push the the limit.

    Warm Ups

    The objective of Warm Ups is to preform the minimal amount of work necessary to prepare you for your top set of an exercise.

    With that in said, you are performing more Warm Up Set than necessary; depleting energy and strength that will enhance your top end set.

    As Steve stated, "...You don't need to use on all those sets of 5 before you working weight."

    A more effective method is...

    CAT (Compensatory Acceleration Training) Warm Ups

    CAT (Dr Fred Hatfield circa 1980) mean performing the repetition in each set as explosively as possible.

    Recommended Warm Up Example

    Set 1: 135 X 5 Reps. 135 X 10 Reps is fine. However, performing 135 explosively for 5 Reps is more effective. It engaged Fast Twitch Type IIa and "Super" Fast Type IIb/x, which a set of 135 X 10 Reps doesn't.

    Set 2: 185 X 3 Reps

    Set 3: 225 X 2 Reps

    Set 4: 275 X 1 Rep

    Set 5: 315 X 1 Rep

    Set 6: 365 X 1 Rep

    Set 7: 365 X 1 Rep

    Set 8: 405 X 1 Rep

    Set 9 : 475 X 1 plus Rep.

    To reiterate, this type of Warm Up enables you to produce more force (Power and Strength).

    The "Recommended Warm Up Example" above was provide to fall line with what you are doing, ease you into changing up your training and thinking on this rather than turning it upside down for you.

    However, the above "Recommended Warm Up Example" still has more Warm Up Set that necessary.

    As Steve as pointed out, "I maybe do a set of 3, a set of 2, and then go out and do my opener."

    Like Steve, I found performing the minimal amount of Warm Ups for myself and in working with other pays off with a greater 1 Repetition Max.

    "My Opening Attempt Is My Last Warm Up"

    Chip McCain (former Deadlift Record Holder with 362.5 kg/799 lbs/198 lb Weight Class/1979) provide me with this wisdom.

    The benefits are...

    1) Ensures you make you Opening Attempt, remain in the meet and take the pressure off you.

    2) Saves your strength and energy for your top end, 1 Repetition Max.

    Back Off Sets

    Perform as you like.

    Hypertrophy Sled Training

    Sled pushes of 60 80 yard, 4 - 5 times a week fall into the Hypertrophy Training Protocol

    Concentric Only Training and DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness)

    Concentric Only Training can created DOMS, if muscle are pushed beyond their limit with a new training program, over traumatizing the muscles. Thus, Concentric Only Training can evoke DOMS.

    However, Concentric Only Training (as you noted) does not traumatize the muscles to the same degree as Eccentric Training does.

    Thus, one of the biggest benefits is that you can perform more frequent Concentric Only Training Session and recovery quickly.

    That is one of the benefits to Concentric Only Training Exercises like Sled Pushes, Bike Training and Olympic Movements; which are predominately Concentric.

    Eccentric Training does produce greater trauma to the muscles. With that said, Eccentric Training can be minimized by initiating a new program with very light loads.

    Sled Sprint and Recovery

    As you know, Sled Sprint fall into the category of High Intensity Interval Training, HIIT.

    HIIT is instrumental at increasing Anerobic Strength/Power and Aerobic Conditioning, a paradox.

    Very impressive.

    Without more information on your shoulder issue, it hard to know what to suggest.

    However, one of the exercise that I found that me to keep Bench Pressing while allowing my shoulder to heal is the...

    Reverse Grip Bench Press

    Benching Pressing with an underhand grip, allowing the bar to come down lower on the chest, minimizes the shear force on the shoulder.

    As with any new exercise, I had to dramatically decrease the weight that I used with the Reverse Grip Bench Press. I eventually worked my way up to Reverse Grip Bench Pressing about the same weight as I did with the Traditional Bench Press (Pronated Grip) Method.

    This is an excellent article on...

    Mastering The Reverse Grip Bench Press
    Master the Reverse-Grip Bench Press | T Nation

    I did go back to the Traditional Bench Press Grip at meets. However, a lot of my Bench Press Training revolves around Reverse Grip Bench Press Training.

    False Grip Bench Press

    A False Grip Bench Press enables you to position your hand on the bar at almost a 45 Degree angle. This method decreased the shear force on the shoulder.

    I use the Traditional Bench Press at meets for that reason. My shoulder are back to normal.

    Here a good on the shoulder benefits of the...

    Use the Thumbless Bench Press
    Tip: Use the Thumbless Bench Press | T Nation

    "Everything Works But Nothing Works Forever"

    1) Periodization Training; Planned programs that incorporate cutting back on exercise intensity the requires a 3 to 6 weeks of progressive loading to take you back to and beyond your personal training best is essential.

    2) "Changes In Exercises"
    Changes in exercises are more effective than in loading schemes to improve muscle strength. - PubMed - NCBI

    Changing exercises (research abstract above) has demonstrated it is one of the keys to making progress.

    With that said, Don't change anything/experiment with anything when close to a meet.

    3) Speed (Power Training") Day

    As Steve mentioned, "I'd...make a heavy day and a speed day."

    However, the term "Speed Day" is a misnomer. It is a "Power Training Day".

    The training protocol in training for Speed and Power are distinctively different, another topic for another time.

    Power Training utilizes loads of approximately 48 to 62% for Traditional Movements, such as the Deadlift.

    500 lb Sample Power Deadlift Training Program

    You'd use 240 lbs (48%) to 300 lbs (60%).

    Increasing Power enable to slide through you're sticking point; "An object in motion, tends to remain in motion", Newton's First Law.

    "Research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing." Einstein

    Training, as you know, requires some experimentation (as Steve stated, as well).

    As you know, the off season is the best time to "Test Drive" new thing.

    Kenny Croxdale

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  9. Rif

    Rif Helping Make Others Stronger Master Instructor

    Steve yes that was me quoting someone but I forget who . regardless that is true. One has to be able to back off to really reach a true peak. And then do it again :)
  10. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Staff Member Senior Instructor

    @Rif, I'm thinking it might have been Rob Lawrence who originated that. Hmmm...

  11. Rif

    Rif Helping Make Others Stronger Master Instructor

    Don't think it was Rob
  12. Rif

    Rif Helping Make Others Stronger Master Instructor

  13. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Staff Member Senior Instructor

    @Rif, I sit corrected. :)

    Rif likes this.
  14. Wolfe

    Wolfe Double-Digit Post Count

    Kenny Croxdale, thank you for the detailed and well-thought response.

    I am experimenting with cutting down my volume; especially the number of warm-up reps. I have dropped the sets of 5 to twos or threes.

    I have been out for the last week. I smashed/scraped my shin mountain biking a couple of weeks back. I cleaned the scrape but I think some nasty woodland bacteria was pushed into the abrasion, which did not bleed much. Ended up developing cellulitis and have been on a heavy load of antibiotics. I took a few days off to let the leg heal and because the antibiotics seemed to leave me feeling abnormally tired. Almost cleared up now and starting back training.

    My thinking about my training right now:

    I am reducing the number of reps in my warm-ups.

    I will do one heavy deadlift day per week and base my training volume on Prilepin's chart. Looking back over my training, the total volume, including all the warm-up sets, was pretty high compared to the recommendations from Prilepin's chart. I enjoyed all of the lifting (which is part of the problem) but given the volume, I was probably holding back my long-term progress.

    My second deadlift day will be a light day (55-60 percent of 1RM). The point of that will be to train the movement without tapping into recovery. [As an aside, I recently went full on stupid during a workout and paired 30 seconds of full out Concept 2 Ski Erg sprints with sets of deadlift at 405lbs. One workout I have done a few times over the last months on my lighter days is to complete 20 reps of deadlifts with 405lbs in as few sets as possible. I usually hit 5 or 6 for the first set and end up doing singles toward the end. Adding 30 seconds Ski Erg intervals between sets of deadlift really gives you an incentive to complete the 20 reps in as few sets as possible. I completed the 20 reps of deadlift at 405 in seven sets with seven 30 second intervals on the Ski Erg last time around. This may be too much for a "light" day, but it was fun. I don't plan on regularly doing this kind of workout on my light days.]

    I am going to plot my weekly training for 5 days a week with two deadlift days, 1 hard & 1 easy; 2 bench press days, 1 heavy & 1 light; one day per week I will set aside for sled pushes and loaded carries. I will continue to do chest supported machine rows each workout except I will probably do pull-ups on bench press days since I may do that workout at home. The conditioning day may get replaced with mountain biking when I can. I may also add sled pushes or loaded carries as a finisher on bench press days if I am feeling recovered.
    Antti likes this.
  15. MikeTheBear

    MikeTheBear Strong Member of the Forum

    Here's an interest article by our very own Kenny Croxdale from some years ago.

    The "No Deadlift" Deadlift Program

    Don't know if it will help you but I've always wanted to try Bill Starr's program of power cleans and good mornings.
  16. Triple-Digit Post Count


    I appreciate the post on this.

    You can find the whole article here...

    The No Deadlift Program to Improve Your Deadlift

    As I noted in the article, I took my Competition Deadlift to 617 lbs/280 kg by not Deadlifting.

    My 617 lb/280 kg Deadlift is the New Mexico State Record that I set in 2002, 15 years ago. It still stand and can be found online. I was 52 years old when I pulled it at a body weight of 208 lbs.

    The foundation of my "No Deadlift Training" was build on Bill Starr's Method.

    Loren Betzer wrote an article titled, “To Deadlift More, Don’t Deadlift” about how he increased his Deadlift by not training it.

    Also, quoted in the article is Simmons use of Auxiliary Deadlift Exercise to increase the Lift.

    Looking Back At My Article

    I regret, not providing how I progressed into it. With that in mind, let me add to the article.

    Heavy Rack Pulls Combined With Hang Power Cleans

    Being a Conventional Deadlifter, I was strong off the floor. My sticking point was in the knee area.

    Thus, I initially implemented Heavy Rack Deadlifts from the knees with Hang Power Cleans. Heavy Rack

    However, what I found was that Heavy Rack Deadlift quickly and easily overtrained my lower back.

    I then substituted Heavy Good Morning in place of Heavy Rack Pulls, as Starr recommended.

    Heavy Good Morning provide the same "Ascending Strength Curve" movement as the Deadlift. However, due to the bar being farther out in front of the body's "Center of Gravity", a greater torque (load) occurs with a lighter load which essentially overload the same muscles in the posterior chain as the Deadlift does.

    What I found was faster recovery from Heavy Good Morning compared to Heavy Deadlift or Rack Pulls.

    Looking Back

    If I were to write the article again, I would recommend a progression of using Rack Pull initially and then experimenting with Heavy Good Morning combined with a Power Movement (Olympic Pulls or Heavy Kettlebell Swings)
    would also recommend "Speed" (Power) Deadlift with loads of 48 to 62% (Power Training Percentage) of Repetition Training Max performed in Cluster Sets be utilized at some point in one's training.

    Conventional Deadlifts

    Since the common sticking point is usually in the knee area for Conventional Deadlifters, I recommend...

    1) Partrial Rack Pull from the knee area, as long as they did not lead to overtraining the lower back.

    2) I'd suggest Conventional Deadlifters at some point in the off season experiment with Heavy Partial Good Morning in a Power Rack set up so the movement is performed from the same position that you sticking point is in the Conventional Deadlift.

    3) Power Training: In conjunction with Heavy Rack or Heavy Partial Good Morning Rack work, Power Deadlift Training need to be implemented, as well.

    Good Power Training Movements for Conventional Deadlifters are...

    1) Olympic Hang Pulls: Performed from your sticking point area. Performed with from a Dead Stop Pull as well as a "Plyometric Hang Pull" in which you get a little bump off the thighs to literally "Jump Start" the acceleration of the bar.

    2) Heavy Kettlebell Swings: These produce Power Output that rival Olympic Pulls.

    3) Power Trap Bar Squat/Deadlift: Research has demonstrated that the use of moderate loads produce similar Power Output to Olympic Pulls.

    4) Power Deadlift Pulls: Deadlift performed with moderate load (recommended by Simmons Westside) work.

    Cluster Sets

    This is an very effective method (Research Drs Stone, Haff, etc) on how to maximize Power Output and Development.

    It allows you to quickly to minimize your workout time without overtraining; unless you go too far over board.

    Sumo Deadlifters

    This is a completely different movement than the Conventional Deadlift.

    Different Assistant Exercises are necessary to address the sticking point issue of Sumo Deadliftrs; another topic for another time and post.

    Kenny Croxdale
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
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  17. MikeTheBear

    MikeTheBear Strong Member of the Forum


    Thanks for updating that article. I remember that article because I experienced something similar. As a teenager in the '80s I started weight training with a bodybuilding program. I did not get very strong. Then in the early 2000s I decided I decided I no longer needed big biceps but I wanted to remain strong so I searched the Internet for "functional training." I found Dan John's site. This was when "functional training" meant training for strength and for real life stuff and not balancing on a BOSU with light dumbbells. Dan had written an article about how you could get really strong doing power cleans + push press/jerk and then finishing with squats. I was trying to teach myself the power clean and my form was crap, my push press was so-so and I'm sure my squats were above parallel. But I was motivated to train, especially the power clean which I tried my best to get better at. I would routinely train several days in a row doing the same lifts, working up to an comfortably heavy single. I got stronger doing this than I ever had. Proof that it's not the program that's important but consistency.

    I noticed that on my very simple program and despite my crappy technique, everything improved. My deadlift improved without deadlifting, and the push presses increased my bench without benching. I often wonder why I ever stopped doing this simple combination.
    Oscar likes this.
  18. Triple-Digit Post Count

    The 2.0 No Deadlift Deadlift Training Program

    I guess the update amount to it now being a the "2.0" version. As with most thing, over time we learn more and need to add to and amend them.

    The emphasis on this article and some other that I co-wrote had to do with how implementing Power Training into a Limit Strength Training Program, increase your 1 Repetition Max in Powerlifting (for Strength in general).

    Other Power Based Articles

    The other article that I co-wrote based on combining Power with Limits Strength were:

    1) "Complex Training For More Strength and Power": This method basically Super Sets a Limit Strength Movement with a Power and/Speed Exercise.

    When a Limit Strength Exercise is followed by a Power and/or Speed Movement, there is an increase in force production (greater Power Output and/or Speed).

    2) "Plyometric Bench Press Training For More Strength and Power": This was the most popular article that I co-wrote. It deals with the use of the Medicine Ball Drop as a means of increasing Power.

    If I were to have a "2.0" version, it would go into the use of the Smith Machine for Plyometric Bench Press Throws. The Smith Machine is an even more effective method.

    3) "Squatting: To Be Explosive, Train Explosive": The emphasis on this was also on incorporating Power Training.

    We provided a progression of Explosive Method for training the Squat. One of those method is extremely controversial, which we understood going it. I implemented that method around 2000 and continue to use it. It allowed me to Squat 562 lbs/255 kg at an age of 52 and a body weight of 208. I still own the State Record.

    To clarify, the 562 lb Squat was in a Squat Suit with knee wraps, which added about 50 lbs to my Squat.

    Without the Suit or knee wraps, my 1 Repetition Squat was around 510 lbs.

    Functional Training

    This is a term that is constantly misused and incorrectly applied.

    Squat, Deadlifts, Pressing, etc are Functional Movements, as you know.

    Squatting help you get off the commode or sofa, Deadlifts help you pick up money you find on the floor, etc.

    The BOSU Balls

    As you know, this there is little value in this piece of equipment. Overall, it is a waste of money.

    Ironically, as a Commercial Fitness Sale Rep, many of my clients purchase BOSU Balls. That because they have been indoctrinated with the belief that the BOSU Ball provides a good training effect; it doesn't.

    I DON'T sell BOSU Balls perse. My clients "Buy them". There's a difference.

    Training Olympic Movements

    1) Training them will initially increase your Limit Strength to some degree.

    2) Since they primarily have a Concentric Only Component and virtually no Eccentric Action, it allows for faster recovery; as you stated they can be training on a daily basis providing the program is well written.

    However, Limit Strength Training is mandatory for increasing your 1 Repetition Max and Power.

    As Dr Mike Stone noted, American Olympic Lifters lag behind other countries because they aren't strong enough.

    Pushing For Power

    The Push Press is an excellent Power Movement. One of the best Bench Pressers that I trained with performed Push Presses, years ago. None of us training with him initially question why he did the Push Press.

    After seeing his Bench Press go up, we still didn't get why it worked but all began doing it because we realized it did work.

    With that said, the Push Press as well as other types of Power Training Pressing Movement combined with a Limit Strength Movement will increase your Bench Press.

    An interesting Power Pressing Movement that works is...

    Scrape The Rack For Growth | T Nation

    This article goes into its use for Hypertrophy Training. However, it can (as I have) be modified for Power "Training.

    To do so...

    1) Use a Moderate Load

    2) Attach Band and/or Chains to the bar.

    3) As the video demonstrates: Step into the Bar Weight, Lean into the Bar utilizing your body weight and legs to drive the bar up as hard and fast as you can.

    The article stated that it isn't the same as using a Smith Machine. However, it feel similar to me.

    I am sure there are some subtle differences but they minuscule.

    I perform my "Scrape The Rack Power Presses" in my Power Rack. I am not sure that some gym will let you do that.

    If not, the Smith Machine works.

    Welcome To The Club

    That reminds me of an individual that came to me for some training recommendations. After quizzing him on his training and progress, I suggested some training method.

    He replied that he'd used one of the method that I recommended.

    I ask how it worked for him. He replied that it worked great.

    I ask why did you abandon it. He replied, "I don't know".

    We all been there, I certainly have.

    Sound like your on the right track with what you are doing.

    Kenny Croxdale
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  19. MikeTheBear

    MikeTheBear Strong Member of the Forum

    Kenny, you're gonna make me write pages about Olympic lifting. That's okay I'm passionate about them.

    This statement here:
    Has been the topic of some vicious debates. Obviously Olympic lifters need to be strong - that's not what the debate is about. The debate is about the best means of gaining strength and balancing pure strength work with training the lifts themselves. Based on my own personal experience and anecdotal evidence from reading articles by highly experienced Olympic lifting coaches, I have my own strong opinions.

    Here is an anecdotal example. Before MDUSA filed bankruptcy it sponsored an Olympic lifting team coached by Glenn Pendlay. Every week or so the team posted training videos and some included commentary by Glenn or other coaches. One video featured Tom Sroka. Big guy, former shot putter turned super heavyweight (105+) OLer. On one video Tom was struggling to C&J 200 kgs. Now, a 200 kgs. C&J is impressive. But for an 105+ lifter that's a warm up. Glenn commented that Tom, with a 700 lbs. deadlift, was plenty strong enough to C&J 200 kgs. So strength was not his limiting factor. Technique was. There was likely also a mental factor as well.

    Best way to train for strength: There is a strength guru, let's just call him "Mark," who is convinced that OLers should use the powerlifts to get stronger for OL and to work strength more than training the lifts. Mark even argued that OLers should use the low bar squat because it uses "more muscle." Sounds like common sense right? Why the controversy. Another anecdote from Pendlay. Pendlay started out as a PLer and converted to OL. He low bar squatted all the time. When he tried to do cleans he noticed he kept dumping the bar. Why? Because the low bar squat uses a greater forward lean of the torso than the high bar squat and front squat, this was the movement pattern he was used to. Whenever he went into a squat his torso leaned forward out of habit, which resulted in dumping the bar. Strength is useless if it doesn't transfer to the lifts and/or results in an improper movement pattern.

    To perform a lift correctly a lifter must get into a specific positions. I've heard many coaches say that lifters must be "strong in the positions." This is why the hips and quads need to be in balance. An anecdotal example I personally saw at my weightlifting club. A young lady was training C&J. Her deadlift at 330 lbs. was, I would say, fairly strong. Her C&J was fine until the bar got heavy. Her hips shot up too fast which put her out of the optimal position causing her to miss the lift. Because of her strong hips, when the bar got heavy her hips naturally took over. What she needed to do was strengthen her quads so she could maintain the proper back angle during the first pull off the floor.
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  20. Triple-Digit Post Count

    That fine. Let start off with...

    Dr Mike Stone

    Stone was one of the Coaches at the Olympic Center in Colorado Springs, years ago. Stone is also an Olympic Lifter, who has researched the Olympic Lift, former President of the National Strength and Conditioning Association,etc. Thus, he's a credible source base on his personal lifting experience, experience in training Weighlifters and in his research on Weightlifting.

    Let's take a look at...

    Limit Strength

    1) It is the foundation on which Power and Speed are built.

    2) Ironcially, Lifting Heavy all the time decreases Power and Speed.

    That due to the fact the conversion of the "Super Fast" Type IIb/x Muscle Fiber convert over to the Slower Fast Type IIa Muscle Fiber.

    Fast Twitch Type IIa are utilized to a greater degree in "Limit Strength", 1 Repetition Max Movements.

    "Super Fast" Type IIb/x are employed to a greater degree in Power and Speed Movements.

    Lifting Light to Moderate Loads Explosively develops the "Super Fast" Type IIb/x Muscle Fiber.

    In program that only employs Power and/or Speed Training along, Fast Twitch Type IIa will convert over to "Super Fast" Type IIb/x.

    Training Load Percentages

    1) Traditional Exercises (Squats, Bench Press, etc) are best developed Power with loads that are 48 to 62% of 1 Repetition Max.

    2 ) Olympic Movement produce and develop that greats Power with load of 70 -80% of 1 Repetition Max.

    One of the best studies on this is...

    A Comparison of Strength and Power Characteristics Between Power Lifters, Olympic Lifters, and Sprinters, JEFFREY M. MCBRIDE, TRAVIS TRIPLETT-MCBRIDE, ALLAN DAVIE, AND ROBERT U. NEWTON

    Research simply demonstrated common sense.

    1) Powerlifters over all were the strongest

    2) Olympic Lifter overall produced the highest Power Outputs.

    As a side bar note, Shot Putters Power Output rival Olympic Lifters.

    3) Spinters overall produce the greatest speed.

    Ironcially, many Olmpic Lifter are able to out Sprint a Sprinter in the first 30 meters.

    Olympic Lifter Training The Powerlifts

    This makes NO sense, as you know. It relates to the...

    "Law of Specificity"

    Low bar Squat are NOT going to do much for an Olympic Lifter who needs to Front Squat their Clean.

    As per you, "Strength is useless if it doesn't transfer to the lifts and/or results in an improper movement pattern."

    It hard to comment with so little information. With that said, there are essentially...

    Two Types of Conventional Deadlifts

    1) Olymic Deadlifts: This movement is initialed via driving the bar off the floor with the legs while maintaining a neutral back position.

    The objective is to position the bar correctly for the Second Pull.

    2) The Powerlifting Deadlift: Research by McLaughlin demonstrated in a 1 Repetition Max Deadlift, the lower back break the weight off the floor rather than the leg.

    Research by Dr Bret Contreras determine Upper Back Rounding enable the Deadlifter to keep the bar closer to the body's Center of Gravity, COG. Doing so decrease the torque (force which equates to load/weight.

    Thus, the Deadlift Method employed is dependent on the objective: Olympic Lift or Competition Powerlifting Deadlift.

    What works for one does not work for the other.

    A Cursory Reading

    Based on the information that you provide on the woman who's Deadlift was 330 lbs but who's hip popped up too fast in the Clean and Jerk is that her Deadlift Training Technique was more in the Conventional Powerlifting description rather than the Olymic Deadlift Style Method.

    Basically, she was strong in the wrong areas.

    I agree that she needed greater Quad Strength.

    That is also one of the issues with...

    Back Powerlifting Squatters

    The majority of lifter who see a Back Squatter Powerlifter usually conclude that the lifter has a weak back.

    Ironically, the reverse is true. Back Squatters have incredibly strong backs and are traditionally good Deadlifters.

    The issue with Back Squatter is weak Quads. Thus, when leg drive stops, the lifter's survival mechanism shift the load to the load to the strongest muscle they have to complete the lift, their Back.

    I have ranted about this for years. A resent article by Dr Greg Nuckols' went into this is great depth.

    Kenny Croxdale
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
    Carl in Dover likes this.

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