How was your Valentine’s Day? Did you eat several pounds of medium-rare steak? If not, get off the computer and fire up the grill. If so, please continue. I had a T-Bone and a Strip, and they were both bloody and delicious, thanks for asking.
Monday was the conclusion of Bert and Marijke’s story about her introduction to lifting and her first powerlifting meet. Here’s Part 1, and here’s Part 2. I hope you gals send me more articles about your experiences. The whole community is behind you.
Speaking of behinds, everyone’s second-favorite Jacob wrote up a great little article about posterior training, with the follow-up coming next week. Hopefully you read it thoroughly, or at least scrolled past the picture of Ariel’s back and saw some of the other stuff. I dunno, I didn’t look. I do know that our own Glenn Pendlay made a couple appearances, and hey, he’s a pretty cool guy, right?
Had a couple people submit questions:
Karen asks: I am a female crossfitter (2/yrs) who is not getting enough lifting in the classes and finding them quite unsatisfying for a few different reasons. I am not dumb enough to think I can oly lift on my own but am considering taking the bench press to the globo gym (gym options are limited in my small town). So question for all: Are you all annoyed when/if a stranger asks for a spot? Any tips?
Karen, three things:
1. Talk to your coach first. Tell them you want to get stronger. Always give your coach a heads-up when you’re not happy, and allow them the chance to fix the situation. If he/she doesn’t pay you attention, or refuses to allow you to bench for some asinine reason, send them to me and then go ahead and send your ass to another gym.
2. At a globo, good spots are rare. Know that ahead of time. But you can try. Find someone that looks remotely like they know what they’re doing, and just ask if they mind spotting you. Hint: No bro minds giving a lady a spot. But it’s up to you to define your expectations. A sample conversation would go something like this: “Hi, random fella. I’m going to ask you for a spot not because your neon green shirt and shoes match, but because you’re one of the few people in here that squats, presses, and deadlifts and/or has a sweet beard. Can I get a spot on bench? I’m going for 5 reps. I’d like a little help on the liftoff (on the count of 3) and will ask you to take it IF AND ONLY IF I FAIL THE REP (emphasize this part, make eye contact, and realize that they’ll STILL screw it up half the time). Please don’t touch it unless I mention it. If I ask, grab the bar and rack it. I do not want a bro-spot.” Wink if you’re down with that, or if the beard is that legit.
3. Always put three things in a list. And never say “Oly lifting” near Pendlay in person. Trust me.
JayGreenShirt asks: I have been wondering how to program in order to maintain strength on certain lifts. I’ll give you my own example as a basis for this question. I will likely (hopefully) pull 500 within the next month. I do not care to take my deadlift higher than that at this time and would like to shift my focus to bringing up other lifts. That said, I want to be able to maintain the 500 lbs. deadlifting strength. I would like to know your thoughts on what I would do with my deadlift given this situation.
Congrats on getting close to the ol’ 500 mark. I’m not sure why you’re not re-gearing and getting ready for 600, but to each their own. I think that in order to maintain strength in a movement, you need to maintain your relevant musculature, and maintain your efficiency at the movement (i.e., practice). The deadlift, of all the lifts, is the easiest in these regards. Once you have your form down, you really only need to pull about every 7-10 days to improve strength, and every 10-14 days should be OK for maintaining it (I am speaking in terms of novice to intermediate pullers, obviously). So pull at least 2-3 times a month, do a max effort set, and push those pulls hard. Something in the range of 405×10, 425×7, 455×4-5, etc. outta do it. You could use the 5/3/1 percentages, or just wait for my ebook to come out on the KISS deadlift program. Whatever you decide, don’t completely neglect your pulls just for the sake of pushing your other lifts, and you’ll be fine.
Last week, I promised some really cool vintage stuff. I didn’t get to it this week, but here’s a preview, because it’s totally in the pipeline. You might have heard of Doug Young, right? Well, I’m going to share some information from this book:
And do you recognize this picture? YUP!
I got my dirty paws on a copy of this rare and expensive book (published in 1978, when, oh, dudes were 70sBig
), and chances are, you can’t. So I’ll share with you some really great stories from it and some of the history, including awesome stuff from the Texas Athletic Club (predecessor to where I train and coach, Hyde Park Gym
in Austin). By the time we are done, I fully expect all of you to be pressuring Terry Todd to re-publish it.
Luckily, if you’re on the hunt for ol’ Dr. Terry, he’s going to be at the Arnold, along with a large portion of the 70sbig crew. I don’t personally know the man, but I do know he’s in charge of the Arnold Strongman event, which is just one of the hundreds of things you can see at the Arnold. In the next couple weeks, we’re really going to dive into a preview, some coverage, and then some recaps of one of the coolest sports festivals in the world.
Finally, I’ll be interviewing Ryan Carillo this weekend. He’s a 21 year-old powerlifter and already practically the definition of 70sBig at 6’5″ and 300lbs. Ryan is raising money to go to IPF Bench Press Worlds in Lithuania
, and I think we’re going to be able to help him out a bit. If we’re lucky, he’ll give us some tips on increasing our bench, too. Or at least, not eat us.
Post your PRs for the week. Have a great weekend. Get big.