If you won't see yourself as successful youll never be successful #Repost @jailhousestrong
Visualize a Successful Lift Before Doing It
Brain activity precedes movement. That doesn't sound earth-shattering, but consider than among the strongest men in the world, correct movement patterns are visualized before they're ever performed. Eastern-bloc sports scientists put this into practice nearly three-quarters of a century ago, which made then-Soviet athletes nearly untouchable.
Take 10-15 minutes a day to visualize yourself lifting with optimal form. If you can, find a quiet spot, turn the lights off, lie down, and relax. Visualize yourself as vividly as possible, integrating sight, sound, and feeling. See yourself performing your strength movements with optimal technique in a dominating style.
In an experiment conducted at the University of Chicago, Dr. Judd Biasiotto split participants into three groups and tested their free-throw percentages. After establishing a baseline, Biasiotto had the first group practice free throws every day for an hour. The second group only visualized themselves making free throws, but did not actually practice. The third group did nothing.
After 30 days, all three groups were retested. The first group improved by 24 percent, but shockingly, the second group improved by 23 percent without ever shooting a free throw! As expected, the third group didn't improve at all. In other words, see yourself doing right, and you'll do right!
Pictured the Immortal Texas Powerlifting Demigod Doug Young
ECCENTRIC TRAINING FOR DEADLIFTS
A Deadlift Lesson and History Lesson
So often I see people dropping or slamming their deadlifts down from the top! This is not only stupid and disrespectful to the iron but detrimental to your strength! Dropping deadlifts only prevents a lifter from training the eccentric / negative portion. An eccentric contraction is when the muscle lengthens: in a deadlift the glutes and hamstrings lengthen as you lower the bar.
Why is this important?
Would you buy a fast sports car without brakes? Well then why would you want a fast body that can't slow itself down safely? Eccentrics can also be thought of as controls - when you land from a jump, it is the eccentric contraction / lengthening of your quads that absorbs impact. Many people say that Derrick Rose could have prevented blowing out his knee by squatting ( the descent of a squat is purely eccentric loading on the Quads) and building up his "brakes." Eccentric Training
Eccentric Contractions are 10% stronger than concentric (shortening) contractions. Therefore, a lifter can handle more weight in an eccentric only lift. This is why often someone who cannot perform a pull up, can lower themselves slowly from the top of a pull up. Using eccentric overload training will adapt your muscles to the weight and lead to rapid strength gains.
Application to Powerlifting
An under-utilized assistance exercise in powerlifting is the Bob Peoples Overload Deadlift. Bob Peoples the 'Tennessee Hercules' deadlifted 749lbs at 181 back in 1949, and credited eccentric training as vital to his success. Start with a heavy deadlift out of the rack (top-down), and lower the weight to slowly above the floor, and then pull the weight back up to lockout. This should be done for a heavy maximal single, not for multiple reps. When done correctly it is very taxing.
Have you tried these before?
Pictured Bob Peoples
SINGLE LEG LEG PRESS
One of my favorite assistance exercises for powerlifters - the single legged leg press. This is a tremendous exercise to strengthen your legs one at a time (preventing imbalances) and help stretch out your hips. I picked this up from reading on the famous Coan-Phillipi deadlift routine and in training has been extremely useful to develop squatting and pulling power. Video here of @eddycoan with short shorts and wheels on display. .
Why this works:
1. Pushing on a stable machine allows you to use more weight than you could on a back squat, safely overloading your muscles.
2. On a typical leg press, your hips go through a wider range of motion than a back squat, which will help keep your hips mobile for a squat, while developing your hips through a full range of motion. Note that no hip extension ever occurs in a leg press though.
3. It's easily adjustable to the individual and the goal - foot placement can address individual weak points and specific purposes. I recommend trying a stance close to your squat stance, with toes out for stability.
4. It's safe on the lower back, just make sure you keep your head relaxed.
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POWERLIFTING FOR BODYBUILDERS
WHY should a bodybuilder powerlift? .
Everyone knows the 'hypertrophy range' is 8-12 reps. When trying to pack on mass, the higher volume one can achieve will lead to greater muscle growth. Plain and simple: the higher your 1 rep max is, the higher your 8-12 rep sets will be, leading to higher volume and more gains!!!
Aside from volume, utilizing powerlifting will create an injury proof body. Bodybuilding is not a short term game, it should be viewed as a patient pursuit. Therefore, taking the time to master major compound movement patterns is in anyone’s best interest. Joint safety and strength is critical to long term performance. Proficiency in any compound move will develop tendons and ligaments, allowing the body to safely handle heavier loads even on isolated exercises. This will allow the lifter to increase limit strength, which ultimately will maximize muscle growth, further optimized by training for both sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar hypertrophy.
Video of THE KING Ronnie Coleman deadlifting 800x2 and a personal video of one of my sets of 8 at 445 this morning.
Forced Reps are a great addition to any high intensity training program. The protocol is simple: have your training partner assist/spot you on an exercise after muscle failure in order to achieve a few more reps. This technique should be used sparingly because of the extreme demand on the system.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
During a set, as a muscle is trained, it produces force. Motor units (muscle fibers activated by nerve impulses) are recruited, starting with the smaller ones. With each succeeding repetition, progressively larger fibers—which take more stimulation to activate—come into play. By the time you reach positive failure, theoretically all of the fibers of a muscle have been recruited.
Some studies have shown forced reps will increase growth hormone levels up to THREE TIMES the amount a program without forced reps achieves ( from the 2003 study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine)
Remember to use this sparingly. Hitting Forced Reps once a week on a lagging body part will do the trick. Shown here is Dorian Yates executing forced reps for the chest.