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Archive for the ‘how to develop strength’ Category

Big Deadlift Milestone for Jedd

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

I hit a pretty big milestone for me this past week.

This is 455lbs for 5 sets of 2. I don’t recall ever hitting 455 or more all in one set for more than 3 total reps.

Also, these were all Double Overhand. I want to see how far I can get just going DO. I’ve also heard some people say that they help out with their Grippers, so we’ll see how it goes.

#Legtember is going great for me as far as strength is going up. I have been nothing but happy since starting it.

I actually had to miss a Deadlift session last month because I was so sore from 20-Rep Squats.

But during #Legtember, it has not happened, and I think my muscles have just been able to recover better because I am hitting some form of quad, hamstring or glute isolation exercise, plus I am doing mobility work and stretching.

I think the daily stuff is helping me recover and hit it harder by the next time I need to hit lower body.

As cool as #AugustOfArms and #Legtember have both been, the October promotion is going to be even more awesome.

Look for an announcement coming really soon.

All the best in your training.

Jedd

Have You Picked Up Cadence Based Gripper Training?

20 Rep Squats for Building Massive Muscle

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

20 Rep Squats for Building Massive Muscle

platz2

Since August, I have been experimenting with 20 Rep Squats.

Performing 20 Rep Squats is a tactic that was made famous by many oldtime strongmen and other writers of yesterday.

The claim is that by performing 20-Rep Squats, you can put on substantial amounts of muscle mass.

Since that is one of my primary objectives right now, along with increasing full body strength, I decided to give 20-Rep Squats a try.

Now, from my understanding there are a couple of ways that 20 Rep Squats can be done. The method I am using is what was described to me by James Fuller, who actually is the one who made me consider doing these after all.

He suggests taking your 10-rep max weight in the Back Squat and performing 20 Reps with it. You rep out the first 10 Reps without rest, and then you finish with the last 10 Reps with any rest-pauses you need, but you absolutely do not set the bar down. It remains on your shoulders from the moment the set begins until you hit the 20-rep mark.

Other approaches exist. For instance, some teach rest-pausing as needed throughout the set. Others suggest taking as big of a breath as possible into the lungs before each repetition, in an effort to expand the rib cage as much as possible.

As far as expanding the rib cage, I have not researched that, but I will say that after my set of 20-Rep Squats, I do lie on a bench and perform chest stretches using the Dumbbell Pull-over movement.

Regarding MY 20-Rep Squat Sets

When you watch the videos below, take note that I am not using my 10-RM in any of them. There are a couple of reasons why…

1) I am always cautious of my back and I am siding toward being cautious. Nothing sucks more than being hurt and unable to train, especially when you know you could have prevented the injury by being cautious, so that is exactly what I am doing.

2) I do a great deal of Squatting BEFORE I do my 20-Rep Squat set. I pair Squatting with my gripper work and often do 8 to 10 work sets before my 20-Rep Squats, so I am already fatigued.

3) These 20-Rep Squats have essentially become my Squat finisher. These are the last thing I do before I move on to the next portion of my workout. My 10-RM is probably closer to 305 or 315.

Tom Platz Squats 500 for 23 Reps

Reading Sources for 20-Rep Squats:

20repsquats 20reps brawn
I have not read these books

My 20-Rep Squat Workouts

20 Rep Squats: 225lbs – Aug 17

20 Rep Squats: 235lbs – Aug 26

20 Rep Squats: 255lbs – Sep 2

20 Rep Squats: 265lbs – Sep 10

I did 20-Rep Squats one time back in like 2004 and hated them. I got extremely sore and it interrupted a whole week of my training, so I said to hell with them.

This time however, I really wanted to see what they could bring me, so I have stuck with them.

I plan on gradually moving up in weight and will eventually be up over 300-lbs with them, I am just taking my time.

I welcome comments, especially from those who have followed the program, and I would love to hear about your results.

All the best in your training.

Jedd


Learn Another Great
Full Body Strength and Muscle Building Method:
STONE LIFTING


#Legtember – 30 Days of Leg Training

Friday, September 5th, 2014

legtember

#Legtember is under way brother

After taking a much needed day off from training on Sept. 1st to enjoy a relaxing Labor Day holiday with my family, I am back at it brother.

In September, I will hit some form of intense leg work every single day. To make up for the day I missed, I will also do an extra workout on a Friday, the day I train before sun-up.

If your Legs are lagging behind, or if you desperately need to bring up your Squat or Deadlift, then join me for #Legtember.

Here are the details:

Any questions, let me know.

All the best in your training.

Jedd


My KEY to Pain Free Barbell Curls: Globe Gripz
globe-gripz


Pro Care Strength Competition – August 14, 2014

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Last Thursday, August 14, 2014, I took part in the Pro Care Fitness Challenge, a multi-contest competition at Pro Care Physical Therapy in Athens PA.

pro care deadlift
Jerry Jones – 535 Deadlift (Legit)

I competed in the Strength meet, which included the Bench Press, Weighted Pull-up, and Deadlift.

Here’s a run-down of the rules:

    (1) The scoring was all bodyweight based, since there were no divisions. I am not sure of the actual formula used in all the cases.
    (2) The Bench Press was the most loosely judged of the 3 events. They didn’t require a pause and your butt could come off the Bench. The Pull-up allowed for standing on a box and then stepping off to get an eccentric load, or you could go from a dead hang. The Deadlift did not require a set-down. You could drop it once you locked it out. You could also use straps if you wanted to.
    (3) There were 3 attempts on each lift for each competitor, if they wanted them.

Here’s the thing about the rules. This was not some kind of a professional powerlifting meet. This was a charity competition done for fun. So I really couldn’t care less about the looseness of the rules, and I really hope I don’t have to hear a bunch of complaining about them in the comments section, either here or on YouTube…

More Important…

More important than the rules was the fact that this competition enabled people do get up there and see what they had. If this was their first competition, they could set their baseline numbers, and they would get to feel what it was like to have to lift the weight up under pressure.

Plus, it enabled everyone to see where they stood against others. New lifters got a chance to see where their numbers were at in comparison to more seasoned veterans, and they got to see what else was possible.

Speaking of what’s possible – I was super impressed with one of the staff members of Pro Care. blew away the rest of the competition with a successful Pull-up with 140-lbs attached to his body and he was benching and deadlifting right up near me, and I out-weighed him by 60lbs. It just goes to show what intensity, hard work and consistency can produce over time.

My personal highlight was the Weighted Pull-ups. It was my first time competing at those. In fact, I haven’t even heard of one in the United States for about the last 10 years, so I was PUMPED to give it a try.

Here are the videos from the Strength Competition.

Bench Press

I was still feeling a bit of pain from my Bench workout during the week, but I went after this anyway. I started with an easy 315 on my first attempt. I then jumped up to 365, which I have hit once or twice in the past year, although I rarely train Bench hard. I left my belt on and it was way too tight and when I went to press, it felt like it strained my abs on both sides of my stomach, so I was super distracted by the pain. I thought I hurt myself bad, but I did not. I finished up with 335, and it was also pretty easy for me. I probably could have gotten 345 or 350 on that day.

I am contemplated doing an actual Push/Pull meet sometime in the Fall, so I tried to stay pretty strict on my attempts to see where I am at, with the exception of the pause at the bottom of the movement. To be honest, I forgot all about that entirely.

Pull-up Plus Weight

This was an event I figured I would do very well in, as I do Pull-ups all the time, and roughly 50% of the time they are weighted in some fashion, usually with chains. I started out with a safe 48kg/105/lbs kettlebell, which I smashed. I then jumped to a 120lbs Dumbbell. That was also easy, but I was so focused on the repetition, my ears shut off and I didn’t hear the call, so I ended up hitting a “double.” For my third attempt, I went for 130, and that started to get tough. I probably could have hit 140 fresh.

Deadlift

The alternated grip was allowed on the Deadlift, but I have not pulled with the alternated grip with weight over 315 in months and months if not longer, so I did not even bother trying it with the weights I was pulling. Instead, for my first two attempts, I went Double Overhand (no hook grip), then for my last attempt I went Double Overhand with straps.

I hit 455 on my first attempt. That was easy, and I wished I did more. I then went for 500lbs, which topped Eli Thomas’s current leading lift of 495. Both of those attempts were Double Overhand, no hook grip. I was very happy with how easy 500lbs came up DO. For my third atempt, I decided to try and all-time PR weight for the Deadlift or 550lbs. I used straps due to my fear of alternating and tearing a bicep. This was a pretty pathetic miss. With the straps, it just didn’t feel right. I don’t know if I had the back strength to complete the lift anyway, but I was glad I reached for the PR. I do kind of wish I would have gone for 520 DO No Hook, though, because that would have been an all-time PR for me, using that grip.

The only event in which I placed in the Top 3 was the Pull-up. I got second there. It doesn’t surprise me that I finished further down in the other events, since I have not been specializing in the Bench or Deadlift, however, the lower finishes does make me want to push my numbers up in those events, plus, bringing up my numbers there will contribute to my overall goals of more full-body strength.

I am really glad that I went to this competition. It was a good wake-up call. It was also nice competing with Eli Thomas at something other than Grip. I think the last time we did a comp together was 2005, and I kicked his ass handily. The tables have turned now though, brother.

By the way, if you work with athletes, there is a new DVD Set coming out this week called the Elite Athletic Development Seminar, by Mike Robertson and Joe Kenn. It is being sold at a special price right now. I am not familiar with Joe Kenn, but I have seen a lot of Mike Robertson’s products in the past and that guy is a very good instructor.

Elite Athletic Development seminar

Check this program out today: Elite Athletic Development Seminar

Thanks for watching my videos, and all the best with your training.

Jedd

EADOP2-Banner

Next Goal: Strengthen Everything from the Waist Down

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Pain Free Barbell Hip Thrusts

Build Stronger Hips With These Hip Thrust Variations

DIESELS,

After having won the Overall at the North American Grip Sport Championship, I found out that I won an automatic berth into next year’s Mighty Mitts.

Mighty Mitts, as Andrew Durniat calls it, is the SuperBowl of Grip, taking place on the main stage at the Arnold Classic, and featuring some of the strongest hands in the world. Mighty Mitts is where the best of Grip Sport clash with Strongmen in some of the most challenging tests of hand strength imaginable.

And with that in mind, I have one clear-cut goal that is intertwined into all of my training.

To Get As Strong as Possible from Now Until March.

This means, I have some GLARING weaknesses that I MUST address body-wise. My overall Absolute Strength pales in comparison to the other competitors, especially my lower back and hip strength.

As I outlined in this post, Squats: Start Doing Them Today, due to countless lower back injuries, I barely Squatted from 2008 until 2013. This has left my lower back and legs extremely weak.

With that in mind, I have begun an all-out onslaught on my lower body training, hitting Squats, Deadlifts, Hip Thrusts, Reverse Hypers, and other exercises that target the hips as hard as possible.

Mission: Build Stronger Hips

With the idea of getting the Hips and Glutes as strong as possible, I wanted to share a couple of variations of Hip Thrusts with you that I have been performing.

I first learned about Barbell Hip Thrusts from Niko Hulslander of Garage Ink. I could not believe the amount of weight he and his crew were doing in this lift, moving close to or even more than 500-lbs in the lift (I don’t recall what it was exactly anymore).

When I started doing this lift in late 2012, I could barely handle a set of 10 with 135lbs, that is how severely weak my hip complex had become.

Once I started doing the lift regularly, the pressure on my abdomen from the barbell was so severe, I was left with marks for days and days after doing them.

I tried wrapping a pool noodle around the bar, which helped to reduce the pressure, but the pool noodle just kept disintegrating after each session. I then moved on to a 2.5-inch thick axle. This worked for a while, but it belonged to my friend JT Straussner, so when he took it back to train with at his gym, I had to find something else.

I tried slipping a big piece of pipe over it and that worked pretty well, but since then I found something even better – the Saxon Bar.

Barbell Hip Thrusts with Saxon Bar

The Saxon Bar is a loadable barbell that is used for pinching. I found that I could load this thing up HEAVY, and when I placed it flat over my abdomen, the pressure was spread out very nicely and I felt no pain at all.

Here is the Barbell Hip Thrust using a Saxon Bar in action:

The goal for each rep is to get a nice hard contraction and a pause at the top of the movement.

Heavy Bend Tension Hip Thrusts

I have also found another variation that I like quite a bit – this one involves Thrusting against heavy band tension, using the Blue Jump Stretch Bands.

Right now, the limitation here is being able to harness down the bands. I have been able to slip them underneath the feet of my Squat Cage up to this point, but I want to modify the cage a big so I can rig more band tension without having to pin the bands beneath the cage. Again, with these, I am looking for a pause.

For both variations of the Hip Thrust, I have been performing 3 work sets of 10 repetitions, aiming for a nice pause at the top in a flat table position. This is after 2 to 3 warm-up sets to get used to the work set weight.

Generally, I will work the Saxon Bar Hip Thrusts on one lower body day, and then the next lower body day, I work the bands. The Saxon Bar Hip Thrusts take a lot more out of me, so I do those as a stand-alone exercise.

The Band Tension Hip Thrusts only load up at the very top of the movement, so they don’t take as much out of me, and I usually pair them with another exercise, usually involving a heavy loaded barbell in the cage, that I can use for Barbell Shrugs, Partial Deadlifts, or Holds.

I really love these two movements, and plan on doing them for quite some time. My Squats have been feeling much stronger since working these in, and I have no doubt they will help with Deadlifts, Farmer Picks, and other heavy lifts that work the glutes/hip complex.

If you are looking for ways to work the hips harder, these could be two lifts that you might want to try.

All the best in your training,

Jedd