Tag Archives: weightlifting
Have you ever heard of the Odd Lifts?
You know, ones such as the Bent Press, the Jefferson DL or perhaps the One Arm Snatch?
if not here are some links to get you started:
Okay, now it’s time to get to the point of the post.
– Three odd lifts you don’t often do that will change your body for the better.
1 – The bottom up kettlebell press
This can be done standing, seated, kneeing, sat of the floor or perhaps even in a floor press/bench press/incline press manor, which ever way you choose it will achieve the following:
– Stronger press/grip
– Muscle irradiation (more muscle recruitment)
– Take out your ego
2 – There Renegade Row
Use kettlebells or dumbbells for this. The alternating row style of this lift will help you by:
– Strengthening your ability to brace (core stabilisation)
– Work the entire upper body
– Improve balance
3 – Zecher Lifts
What is more real world than having to pick something off the floor and hold it in an awkward position? Not much, however is this is not to your liking you can swap it out for a bear hug style carry of a sand bag or something equally heavy and awkward.
You can pick the zecher lis you prefer out of the options in the link
– Overall Strength
– Fortified lower back
– A high crossover to daily living
Adding in this lifts or even doing a program of only these 3 will make some great changes to your overall body composition.
If you plan on doing the latter option here is a suggestion:
– 3 days per week or train every other day
– Heavy/Light/Medium loading protocol*
– Rest 1-5min between sets
– Eat according to your goal (gain mass or lose fat etc)
*Heavy = <25 total reps at 85% 1RM +
*Light = 75 total reps at 50-65% 1RM
*Medium = 50 total reps at 70-80% 1RM
Heavy – Zecher Lift
Light – Renegade Row
Medium – Bottom Up Press
Heavy – Bottom Up Press
Light – Zecher Lift
Medium – Renegade Row
Heavy – Renegade Row
Light – Bottom Up Press
Medium – Zecher Lift
How you add these lifts in or plan them is up to you as there are a lot of different odd lifts to choose from, just remember to add weight where you can and that consistency and progression is the key to success.
Occasionally you might find yourself caught out by mistiming your workout and the squat rack you wanted is now being used for curls meaning you might miss leg day 😦.
Fear not, there is a way around this and all you need is a bar along with some skill in either a power clean or full clean.
If you find no squat racks are free, you grab a bar load it with a light weight to start and get in some warm up cleans with front squats added in.
The clean will not only target your quads, it will also give you a thorough workout recruiting your hips/hamstrings/calves as well, what more could you ask for.
Yep, you essentially do what weight lifters have been doing for years. Have you seen the legs on those athletes, they’re outstanding. Their quads, glutes and hamstrings are the cause for much jealousy and rightly so.
Here is a complex for you to try, there will even be some extra optimal leg work added in just incase the rack becomes free.
A1 – Clean x1
A2 – FS x2-3
A3 – Jerk x1
Drop bar and repeat for 8-12 sets.
If no rack is free:
B1 – Clean x1
B2 – Walking Lunch 6-8 per leg
If the rack then comes free, add in this:
B1 – Squat
Rep options: 8×3 or 5×5 with a decent load for strength or 50 reps in as few sets as possible for extra volume.
I had someone ask me about a couple of studies that lean towards high frequency being the key to ascension, now while there is a very strong correlation with how much you can train/recover from and the gains you will make I feel there are some key points people need to be aware of with the majority (not all) of the studies on high frequency training, well, most training actually.
If you think about the bulk of studies from the past and indeed more recent times they are based on Weightlifters many will forget what a weightlifter actually is. These people often practice two move for their sport – Clean & Jerk, Snatch – because those are the two lifts performed in the Olympics and as you can guess, these types of athletes train multiple times per day consecutive days per week, but do you know why?
They train that much because they’re practicing a SKILL. Yep, weightlifting is a skill, where as weight lifting (synonymous with body building) is less about skill and more about stimulation of a specific muscle. There is a very big difference between practicing a skill every day and trying to build muscle. One needs constant work because a movement pattern must become as efficient, effective and energy conserving as possible, the other is about giving it all you’ve got, essentially.
When practicing weightlifting the loads they use may indeed be written as 85%+ however for a 75kg lifter might only be 85kg for example and the total taxation on the body with that amount of weight won’t be as great as someone doing front squats with 120kg because the load is heavier and requires more effort to shift. This is why some people who try a high frequency training program for a body building purpose don’t always get the results they expect, the weights they need to lift just take too much out of them. However this sort of approach is useful for strongmen, power lifters, girevoy sport competitors (kettle bell sport) and anyone involved in strength sport because they need to groove their movements.
Does that makes sense?
I’m not saying high frequency isn’t good because I am a fan of it. What I’m saying is that before you go charging in head first after reading the latest study or article you need to understand the finer nuances of first. Especially when it comes to the sample group used. If they are lifters of 10 years experience what applies to them almost always won’t apply to someone who have been lifting for 6 months.
Remember, objectivity, not subjectivity.
Correct technique is something you should always aim to achieve because if you don’t you simply increase the risk of injury.
It’s not fun getting injured, even if it’s only a minor tweak, it’s still not fun because it stops you doing a wide variety of things. Therefore you should always aim to perform each rep with full control.
Avoid these following commonalities until you have mastered the correct movement pattern for you body.
– Bouncing any reps (Deadlift etc)
– Using momentum to complete reps (rows, bicep curls)
– Partial reps (Bench, or pressing)
– Anything ballistic or plyo based (jumping or explosive work)
This might seem obvious but a great many people forget these simple things and as a result end up injured or worse.
Don’t me ruled by you ego, leave it outside the gym and focus on crisp solid form. Not only will you stay injury free, you will also become a lot stronger and make far more progress. A great way to immediately improve your form is to increase the amount of time it takes to do a rep (TUT*). Lower the weight for 3-6 seconds, pause at the bottom of the rep for 1 second, take 1-2 to lift it and then repeat until all reps are done.
*Deadlift is a tad different, don’t use overly long eccentrics (the lowering part) on these, instead make sure each rep is performed from a dead stop. No bouncing.
Now go, practice good form and stay injury free.
If you lift weights or even just train in general, progression is the name of the game but with all the options available, what is the best way to progress?
The pursuit of strength is an endeavor that can take many many years, but there is no better feeling than being able to effortlessly pick things up or put objects over your head struggle free.
Depending on who you speak to you will hear lots of differing opinions of how to build strength, however if you look at lots of older strength books and methodologies you will notice to common theme is set around 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps for effortless gains in strength and while there will be some differences from person to person in terms of over all sets (sometimes as high as 20!), they all say you should want to feel like you have maybe one or two potential reps left in the bag.
Training for strength is thought by some as constant struggle to get an extra rep, but you will often find that the really strong people would rather feel like every rep is easy and stop feeling they have a couple left in the bag, even if the weight is heavy. This style of athlete does not like grinding reps or excessive form break down as this leads to fatigue building up much faster than they would like which means more times is needed to recover.
Across the world there have been many great strength athletes but it’s the Russians, Bulgarians and their neighboring countries who have produced the majority. Why is this?
They believe that to lift a lot you need to lift a lot and often, but not to the point of form breakdown and excessive fatigue. They see strength as a skill that needs to be practiced regularly and thus the set their sets/reps according to this ethos.
Achieving easy strength requires time, patience and most of all perfect practice (or as close to perfect as possible). Grooving the movement so that it is effortless requires lots of repetition and consistency on your core movements (Squat, Bench, Deadlift for Powerlifters and the Clean & Jerk/Snatch for Weightlifters), you can add in various accessory movements to help balance the body as these are essential but if your goal is strength then lots of easy reps at sub-max weight is what you need.
Here are a couple of rep ranges to consider:
3×3, 3×4, 3×5
4×3, 4×4, 4×5
5×4, 5×4, 5×5
There are lots of options but if you’re thinking about practicing your lifts daily then the above rep ranges will do just fine. You would load the bar with 80%+ (after warm up sets of course) and you would aim to never miss a rep while making sure they were all smooth and without any grinding.
Alternatively you could set a daily working rep range of 15-25 and hit those numbers however way you want. Just hit all the reps with good form and always leave a couple of reps in the bank. It is true you will have days where you feel exceptionally strong, if that is the case then you are more than welcome to try for a new rep pb or even a single rep pb, but be careful not to leave your best numbers on the gym floor, these are better suited to the comp stage.
Training in this manor will not only help you cement solid form in your movements it will also help you learn your body too. Meaning that you will know when you’re ready for a big lift and can go that little harder and when to back it off slightly.
If you start to feel overly tired then drop the volume (sets/reps) but keep the weights at 80%+, or scheduled in a rest weekend/week.
Strength is a skill, now go and start practicing.