5 Keys To A Kick Ass Powerlifting Program
When it comes to choosing a powerlifting program, make sure you keep these 5 keys in mind. Any program will work though, as long as you put in hard work and consistency. May the gains be with you!
1. Lift Heavy Ass Weight
Ronnie Coleman always said, "Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but don't nobody wanna lift no heavy ass weight." Now, you're not trying to be a bodybuilder, but lifting heavy is one of the most critical ways to see some gain on your lifts.
In a 2014 exercise experiment, they took 17 young men and had them do eight weeks of training in two different groups. The first was a hypertrophy group focused around training 3 sets of 10 reps. The other group focused training around 7 sets of 3 reps with heavier weight and an extended rest period. The study concluded that "both bodybuilding- and powerlifting-type training promote similar increases in muscular size, but powerlifting-type training is superior for enhancing maximal strength."
When the body is subject to heavyweight with long rest periods and low rep counts, it has the most significant potential for increasing strength. So, lift heavy with proper form and the gains will surely come.
2. Energy is Neither Created Nor Destroyed So Pound Those Calories Down
The first law of thermodynamics states that "energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another." What does that have to do with getting stronger though? When training for muscular strength, in order to optimize strength gains, a caloric surplus must be created and maintained.
Food is our fuel to energize our bodies and to rebuild our bodies. If your body does not have enough building blocks to rebuild your muscle after a workout, you will not be able to see and significant strength gains.
Begin by finding out what your basal metabolic rate, which is the amount of energy (calories) you burn without and additional exercise or work. You can do so by going to this Total Daily Energy Expenditure Calculator. Type in your numbers, and then it will shoot out a slew of information. Scroll down to the section titled "Macronutrients" and select the tab titled "bulking." These calculations will show the best daily caloric intake for you to build optimal strength gains.
3. Train The Way You Play
What do you do?... You squat, bench, and deadlift. Variation lifts for the squat, bench, and deadlift are fantastic for building up different areas of a lift; however, they are accessories, not the bread and butter. Stick with the big three the majority of the time. With repetition comes mastery, which is what you want before you step on the platform.
Variation lifts could include paused squats, paused deadlifts, banded deadlifts, paused bench, rack pulls, etc. Use these to complement your main lifts. Say you get stuck at the knees with the deadlift; banded deadlifts would be perfect for breaking that plateau. Though, when you're starting your lifts make sure you crush the main lifts before adding any extra seasoning.
4. Don't Let Uncle Ego Pay A Visit
You know... you're with your bro and he is putting up some, and you too duke it out to see who is king. Ego lifting is so fun but can be harmful to you and your gains. Ego lifting causes unnecessary strain to your body, which can cause your nervous system to become depleted. Make sure you remain disciplined with your training.
Ego lifting can leave your body vulnerable to injury, which could keep you out of the gym for weeks or months even. Impress your friends with proper form and heavy weight on competition day. Also, remember the elite powerlifters know that powerlifting is a long term sport, so be in the game for the long haul.
5. Consistency and Frequency Are To Be Feared
"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." ~ Bruce Lee. Ultimately this is the biggest key to a kick ass powerlifting program. Practice makes perfect every time, and there is no exception here. Train consistently day in and day out.
In the middle of a firefight, when judgment is blurred, the commander always yells to his troops to remember their training. It's the same thing when you're in the middle of a powerlifting competition. When the crowd is looking at you, nerves start to rise; you're going to perform the way you train.
We find that the best way to be consistent in training is to bench, squat, and deadlift at least more than one time per week. The motor pattern you build over time is why consistent training multiple times per week is so practical. When you do a lift so many times the same way, it almost makes it impossible not to do it correctly.
- Lift as heavy as possible with proper form.
- To build strength, you must be in a caloric surplus.
- Make sure you are doing to main lifts more often than accessories.
- Don't ego lift.
- Be consistent and perform the main lifts more than once a week.
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