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Articles.elitefts.com-Tips for the Raw Powerlifter

Articles.elitefts.com-Tips for the Raw Powerlifter

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Published by Thomas Aquinas 33
raw powerlifting tips
raw powerlifting tips

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Published by: Thomas Aquinas 33 on Apr 22, 2013
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05/14/2014

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Tips for the Raw Powerlifter
I’ve written bef ore about preparing f or a raw powerlif ting meet and how it seems that there is an endless wealth of inf ormation on training f or geared powerlif ting but very little inf ormation f or raw lif ters. For raw lif ters, the important thing to remember is that you’re training f or raw strength. T hat sounds obvious, but it’s an important thing to keep in mind. Geared lif ters train f or geared lif ting, which is in and of itself practically its own sport. T he addition of powerlif ting gear changes the very dynamics and technique of each lif t and sets it apart completely. Remember that you’re trying to be as strong as possible—you just happen to be prioritizing three lif ts. With that being said, here are a f ew tips. You need to train the actual lif ts. T here is a signif icant neurological component to maximal lif ting and having f requent practice with the lif t can maximize that. T his is similar to what has become f amously ref erred to as “greasing the groove,” but it’s a f act that good trainers have known about f or many years. When you f requently train the actual lif ts, you’re perf ecting your own personal technique and teaching your body to get better at that lif t. T his is especially important when you’re getting closer to a meet.

Variety
Of course, we all want a little variety in our training. It’s always a good idea to cycle dif f erent exercises into your training so that you can strengthen the muscles in a dif f erent f ashion and bring up weaknesses, but resist the urge to go nuts with the variety. One way to introduce new or dif f erent exercises into your programs is with assistance work. T his way you keep practicing your main lif ts but have the variety necessary to bring up weaknesses and keep you f rom getting bored. Try cycling assistance movements every three to f our weeks. As Jim Wendler says, “Don’t major in the minor.” Assistance moves are there to do just that—assist. Be sure that you are choosing assistance movements wisely, too. Some movements have better transf er than others, and remembering this principle can be vital. What’s going to help your bench more—triceps kickbacks or heavy Swiss bar pressing?

Assistance Work
While we’re on the subject of assistance work, I’d like to elaborate a little. T he main purposes of assistance work are to strengthen weak points and promote balance. Promoting balance is critical because there are areas of the body that the power lif ts f ail to adequately train. While people like to say that the squat and deadlif t train the entire body, the f act remains that they just don’t do the job the way other movements do. Training the upper back is crucial to structural balance and can help develop a bigger bench. T he abs could always benef it f rom some dedicated work, too. Focus your assistance work on areas that otherwise wouldn’t be trained.

Weak Points
Bringing up weak points can be looked at in two ways—weak points of the body (such as the neglected areas above) or weak points of the lif t. For a raw powerlif ter, assistance work should also be related to the points during a lif t where you miss (i.e. the bottom, the middle, or lockout). For example, a bencher who misses at the lockout might include board presses or heavy close grip work to strengthen that aspect of the lif t. Prioritize f ull range of motion movements over partial lif ts, but don’t abandon partials all together. Partial movements like lockouts have many benef its like strengthening the tendons and ligaments. Another

T he benef its of an ef f ective program can’t be overstated. T hese are great tools to use and can make your training a little more exciting. Rack lockouts can build conf idence with that weight because you’ve already lif ted it successf ully. A program can keep you f ocused on your goal even when you f eel like crap. but even things like a belt should be saved f or your heavier work. Most coaches say to hold of f using a belt or anything supportive until you’re around 85–90 percent of your max.important benef it of lockouts is that they build conf idence with a higher weight. Because the strength curve of a raw lif ter is usually weak at the bottom and strong at the top. this means that a program should allow room f or the daily f luctuation that is inevitable in your strength level and motivation as well as the stressors that you encounter every day. T he logic here is simple—get stronger without the gear and you’ll be that much stronger with it. It also will systematically steer you toward that goal by using techniques that have been proven to work. Obviously. It’s very common to f eel anxious about getting under the bar f or a max attempt with a weight you’ve never lif ted bef ore. my advice is to have some kind of solid program to structure your training. these devices strengthen the top and f ail to do the same f or the bottom of the movement. it doesn’t have any autoregulation. How do you know that your strength level that day allows you to do that? Keep this in mind when shopping around f or a good program to f ollow. Treat them as partial movements and use them sparingly. having a program prevents you f rom going into the gym and just screwing around. Band & Chains Don’t go too nuts with the bands and chains. Solid Programming Finally. If a program has you doing 85 percent of your max f or six reps today. Basically. I pref er programs that have an element of autoregulation. but they shouldn’t make up the heart of your program. Gear Another thing to f ocus on with raw lif ting that might seem like commonsense is to minimize gear use in your training. T hat’s a pretty good rule of thumb to f ollow. . you should be aware of the gear restrictions of your f ederation. For starters.

Prof essional Competition Bench CB3 $1248 T he ultimate competition bench press. remember to adhere to the basic tenets of strength training—eat f or big lif ts and listen to your body. T he most important thing to do is to just f ind what works f or you. . Other than the tips above.Also remember that more advanced lif ters may be able to train with less structure because they know how their body will respond to training and they have the experience to change things as they go. 6′ Farmer’s Walk Handles Pair $369 Break out your John Deere hat and carry some weight.

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