The building blocks of a Powerlifting Program……..No BS
It's not hard to find a powerlifting program online, Google it, YouTube it, it's all out there. Follow the program be consistent and get results. If you are new to strength training, the program you decide on will make you stronger, not because it’s a good program, but more likely your body is not used to being shocked and put under intense training. So, you will realize some strength gains. As a new powerlifter what you need is to build a strong foundation, upon which you will build a long-lasting career.
Do you know that the best way to prepare your body for lifting weights is conditioning your body to lift its own body weight? What does that mean? Does your body have enough strength to perform 30 pushups, 10 pull ups, 50 squats and 50 decline sit-ups? If not, then you need to build a foundation.
TAKE AWAY MESSAGE: A champion has a solid foundation that has been built on years and years of hard work. Many reps and sets, toughening up the body and increasing stamina levels. Do not go into this with a half ass attitude, you can only expect less than mediocre results. Learn to be D3, Stay D3 ALL DAY and EVERY DAY.
The Basics of a Solid Strength Program
A good program for a beginner needs to consist of compound movements, where you can work on your form with lots of volume. Ever heard the phrase stick to the basics? There is a lot of truth in this. If the program does not contain the right lifts then what good is that going to do for a powerlifter? The program needs to contain the following:
· Good Mornings
· Stiff Legged Deadlifts
· Bench Press
· Standing Press
· Power Cleans
· Shrugs / Pulls
· Pull ups / Chin up or Pull downs
· Pushups: Wide, Regular and Close
· Intense core work
· Hyper Extensions
At this stage I would not worry about doing lots of arm work. The exercises presented above will work your arms, conditioning them to get them stronger. Additional arm work could potentially hinder your training, as a beginner needs to allow the body to rest and come back stronger for the next work out.
A beginner should not work with weights anymore than 3-4 times a week, 3 times is ideal for now, eventually you will graduate to 4 times a week. In fact, many world champions have stuck with 4 times a week. It's tried tested and proven. There are many people who will insist that you need to do more work, I do not believe a novice level athlete should be under that amount of stress and strain. Basically, when you start your next work out you should feel fresh, not tired.
A Push, A Pull, Auxiliary, and Core…………
Every individual workout should consist of a push, a pull, some auxiliary work and then intense core work. This will make a balanced training program, as the pull is a reverse of the push. For every push you perform, you will counter that with a pull. The auxiliary exercises will help you work towards strengthening your lifts and put muscle on you. For example, after bench pressing, pull-overs are a great exercise. The push being followed by a pull, which is also an auxiliary exercise. The pullover gets too easily looked over these days, but once was a very popular movement to perform, the benefits of doing pull-overs is that it will work your chest, lats and triceps. The result is a thicker chest and back, which will reduce the distance the bar travels just below the chest in the bench press. Also, the pullover will work the stabilizing muscles and improve your flexibility. This is a fantastic movement to perform.
Hypertrophy / Volume / Sets & Reps
The term hypertrophy is used a lot, most of us probably do not understand exactly what this means. Programs based on hypertrophy for beginners is ideal, as it will expedite muscle growth if followed up with a good diet. Hypertrophy training consists of moving weights that can be handled for 10 – 15 repetitions, with good form. Most of the articles or blogs online will state 8 - 12 reps for hypertrophy-type training. My personal opinion is that if you stick to 10 – 15 reps, you perform more work, keeping your body under strain for a longer period, and therefore this should translate into a thicker and fuller body. The benefits of training in the hypertrophy rep range are as follows: it will allow you to add muscle to the body, will help your work on your lifting technique, the additional muscle should help your body to be less prone to injuries, and lastly, the body will output more strength as your body grows.
The importance of hypertrophy training cannot be understated for a new strength athlete. I look at this phase of training in terms of getting the body ready to lift heavy weights. Please remember the repetitions should not be sloppy, good form is required at all times.
The BOTTOM LINE
Look up the word "Foundation" in a dictionary, it is the basis or ground-work for what you are hoping to do or achieve. For powerlifting that means it's your body that you must prepare so that it can hold the heavy barbell. DO NOT SKIP THIS PHASE, it’s the core, if the core is missing your weaknesses will always be apparent. Hypertrophy is a must!
As usual, I would love to hear your opinions on this subject, please remember this is just my opinion, you may feel differently, open to discussing. Hope your training is going well, Conquer Strength and Stay D3, ALL DAY and EVERY DAY.