“For powerlifters, the acquisition of strength is of the utmost importance. We all realize this but how many power men and women train from day to day without making any long range plans?”
For powerlifters, the acquisition of strength is of the utmost importance. We all realize this but how many power men and women train from day to day without making any long range plans? Even if you are not interested in competition you should plan and direct your efforts over a long range period so that you may realize maximum progress from your efforts. In this way you can train from month to month with firmly established goals.
Think about goals that can be attained in relatively short periods of time, say ten to twelve weeks. Determine what you would like to accomplish in this period of time a ten pound increase in your bench press or adding 40-50 pounds to your three lift total are not unreasonable. After you have reached your short term goal reevaluate your training, establish new goals and a new training program to help you reach these new goals. Don’t be discouraged it you miss your goals and don’t be surprised if you surpass them. The human body is a very unusual and unique organism, it can’t be programmed like a computer but if you don’t plan to succeed in your training you shall surely fail.
During the first five - six weeks of your ten - twelve week schedule train six days a week. Devote three days to the bench press and any other upper body exercises which you feel will contribute to overall upper body strength. Dips, pressing, deltoid and triceps exercises. Don’t neglect lat and bicep exercises as they are synergistic muscle groups which help stabilize the arms and give rebound during benching. On the alternate three days work on your squats and deadlift. Of the three days on each routine, one should be light, another medium and the third heavy. Benches and squats should always be performed in the same manner each workout, except for the poundages and reps used. You should always do strict squats to a parallel position and bench official bench presses—no change in hand spacing, foot position or timing.
When benching, try to have someone hand you the bar. On your light and medium days use assistance exercises to enhance the strength of your arms and shoulders. After your regular benches do some wide grips, narrow grips without locking out and more benches with dumbbells or on an incline.
Most lifters have found that it is not necessary to train deadlifts every training day. Vary your deadlifting from workout to workout. Do hyperextensions, cleans and good mornings on your light day, shrugs and partial deadlifts on the power rack on your medium day while you save your regular deadlifts for your heavy day. Along with your squats don’t neglect leg extensions and leg curls. Some men use these as a preliminary warm-up before squatting while others train these exercises after they have completed their heavy work. It doesn’t really matter when you do them but make sure that you use them at least once a week.
Vary the amount of work that you do from day to day, avoid stagnation and training boredom by constantly adjusting your gross work. On light days use five sets of 5-6 reps after a warmup. A medium day might consist of five or six sets of 3-4 reps. Your heavy day should be a limit session going up to your max in ten to twenty pound jumps after a good warmup with light poundages and making a couple of big jumps to a reasonable starting point. You should emphasize a complete and thorough warmup on your second exercise as well as your first. On each day take plenty of rest between sets so that you can make a maximum effort. There is no use rushing through your light and medium days and leave them as optional work on your heavy days only if you feel strong and well rested. You should make reasonably good strength gains during this first five to six week period and then be ready for the second half of the power program.
Reduce your workouts from six to three per week, performing the deadlift only twice each week and benches and squats each day. On the first two days sets, reps and comparative weights similar to the former medium days should be employed. On your heavy or limit day really go all out to make your best possible total. To enhance your deadlift you can use lifting straps on your heavier weights or on your rep work. It makes good sense to use these straps so that the power of your back is not determined by the amount of weight that your grip can handle. Keep in mind though that if your are thinking of competing you will need to strengthen up that grip before competition.
After you have completed this ten or twelve week program you will be sold on the benefits of short term planning and the use of powerlifting as a great motivation tool. If you are one of those who train from day to day, with no goals, no expectations and no definite perspective of what your body is capable of, try planning your training. It really works. Ask a man who does.
Tags: Strength Life
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