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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

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Top 10 Videos of 2013 Countdown

Saturday, December 28th, 2013
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It has become a tradition to do a run-down of the most popular videos I have uploaded each year.

For the next few days, I will be posting the Top Videos of the year, along with a little description of what is going on in each one.

One thing you are going to notice is that my Youtube Channel is pretty eclectic. It’s not just about one thing, like Grip Strength or Muscle Building, but rather about all kinds of different KILLER things you can do in the gym to not only get stronger but love the idea of training as well.

In short, I love training and love helping people with their training goals. So, without further ado, let’s look at videos 11 through 15 that were on the fringe of breaking into the top 10.


11. Bench Press Tips – Activate Lats for a Bigger Bench Press – 1266 Views

One part of the Bench Press Technique that is often overlooked is the engagement of the lats. Most lifters only think of the Bench Press as a lift for the chest, delts, and triceps, but if you can figure out how to get your lats more involved, you will no doubt see bigger lifts. This video shows a quick demonstration of how to do this as taught to me by Todd Hamer.

Related Article: Bench Press Tip – Activate Lats for Bigger Bench Press


12. Easy Way to Increase Pull-ups | How to Do More Pull-ups – 1139

Pull-ups are one of the best lifts for building strength and size in the upper back. The more you can do the better. Unfortunately, some people have trouble doing Pull-ups. This video will cover one way that you can train to perform more Pull-ups, and see better results for your back in your training.

If you like the Back Bull, here’s where to pick one up: Back Bull Equipment


13. Easy Tubing Warm-up Drill for Javelin Throwers – 1087

I was surprised this video ended up so high on the countdown. Earlier this year, I released a DVD called, Grip Training for Track and Field Throwers, and put this video out as a little sample of some of the stuff javelin throwers can do as part of their specific warm-up prior to throwing. Hopefully, this has helped out a few throwers in preventing injury and improving their performance in competition.

Check out our DVD: Grip Training for Throwers


14. How to Make Your Shoulders Feel Better with a Simple Stretch – 1034

This video shows an awesome stretch for the lats using bands. I have never felt a lat stretch that is as intense as this one. I love it.


15. Strongman Wrench Bend – 1000

I got a wild hair to bend a wrench earlier this year and ordered in about 25. Unfortunately, 20 or 3 of them stopped me dead in my tracks and a couple others snapped. This is the first one that finally bent. I am not by any means the best bender or braced bend specialist in the world, but I was happy to finally pull this off.

Learn feats of strength like wrench bending, bar bending, and rolling up frying pans, check out our Braced Bending DVD.


Stay tuned as I continue to update the list throughout the week.

Kick ass in your training,

Jedd


Epic Upper Body Workout – Build a Big Back, Chest, Shoulders, Arms

Friday, September 27th, 2013
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Me and Chris

A few months back, I was talking with an old friend of mine from college, Chris Christian.

Chris was one of my main training partners when I was in college between 1999 and 2001.

Unfortunately, he had been through an extended stint of “training vacation” and he wanted to get back into it.

He asked me for some guidance, and I asked him what he was currently doing.

He began to tell me about all this Beach Muscle work he was doing – each workout was filled with all this Pushing work and very little Pulling work.

Multiple Bench Variations, Shoulder Isolation work, Arm Training, but barely any Pulls.

Oh man…

So, we began working on that right away, because when you do too much Pushing and not enough Pulling, you run the risk of serious shoulder issues. Any doctor, physician or therapist will tell you that.

I laid out some new routines for Chris and shot him this video on balanced shoulder training guidelines.

He set forth following these new guidelines and said that once the Summer was over and his weekend job working security at an amusement park was done for the season, he would be up to hit a Big Workout, just like Old Times.

This past weekend, Chris made it up, and we had an awesome training session.

The way I laid it out, I wanted to give him plenty of new options for his training that were balanced between Pushing and Pulling movements for his entire upper body: Chest, Shoulders, Back, and Arms.

What this meant was that we would be hitting three upper body movements all in one day.

DISCLAIMER: I would not normally recommend training sessions like this on a regular basis. We trained for a solid 2.5 hours with very little rest. Doing this on a routine basis will almost definitely result in undue soreness and most likely over-training. That’s your warning, DIESELS. Don’t try this at home.

Part I: Intro Video, Warm-ups and Pressing

In this video, you’ll get to meet Chris. I immediately got him going on some warm-ups for his hips since he spends much of the day sitting on his ass and had just driven nearly 2 hours to my place. Even though we weren’t going to be hitting much lower body stuff, I still wanted everything to be limbered up well so that he was feeling right and performing well.

As I mentioned in the video, Chris’s job has recently been pretty intense. It was a long week filled with altercations, so I decided to add in some Odd Object Training along with the conventional barbell and dumbbell work. The idea behind the Odd Object Training is to get him better prepared for the altercations he sometimes sees in his job.

Part II: Log Incline Press, Incline Flies and Shrugs

Since Chris’s gym’s equipment selection is limited at best, I wanted to give him a treat of working the Incline Press with a Log. He said he loved it.

Also, since Chris is limited to a 30-minute workout since he trains at work, we threw in a nice super-set combo of Incline Flies and Shrugs. There’s no reason why Chris can’t get back into awesome shape. Even with 30-minute workouts, he can build muscle and burn off fat if he keeps his sessions intense, by including back-to-back pairings like these.

Part III: Pull-up Variations for Back and Grip Development

One of the ruts Chris and many people get into is they abandon Pull-ups and instead do all kinds of work on the Lat Pull-down Machine. I told Chris to start working Pull-ups back in because they are the Ultimate Back Builder.

You’ll also see in the video that we varied the grip and hand position throughout this section of the workout. We did this because I want Chris to start training his hands harder in order to be ready for anything on his job. You will see several different grip implements you can use.



This doesn’t even scrape the surface of what we did that day. Here it is almost a week since we trained, and I still haven’t got all of the footage edited and uploaded.

Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you get to see all of the footage from this awesome workout.

All the best in your training,

Jedd

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Avoiding Plateaus in Your Training

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

When it comes to strength training, fat loss, flexibility and athletic development, the last thing you want to encounter is the nasty P-word.

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Plateaus?
I Beat Them With This Stick.

Plateaus

What is the definition of a Plateau? I checked out the dictionary and here are the first two definitions.

    1. a land area having a relatively level surface considerably raised above adjoining land on at least one side, and often cut by deep canyons.
    2. a period or state of little or no growth or decline: to reach a plateau in one’s career.

Definition 2 is the one we want to avoid – the point in your training where your growth and development ceases.

No More Training Plateaus

Today, you’re gonna learn two ways to demolish your training plateaus and to keep them from ever showing up in the first place.

The primary cause for plateaus is lack of variety. People get in the habit of doing the same stuff all the time in their training, never varying from the norm, and as a result, their results drop off and they see the same numbers going up in their lifts, the same movement quality in their sports, and the same body in the mirror every day.

What I’ve got for you today are a couple of examples of how you can slightly modify the Deadlift, and more specifically in this case, the Trap Bar Deadlift, in order to break through plateaus and enjoy continuous Gains, PR’s and Progress.

What’s cool is, you can use the same exact amount of weight on the bar, but make that weight feel more challenging in your hands with just a couple small changes.

Trap Bar Deadlifts with Straight Weight

Here are some clips from a recent Trap Bar Deadlift training session. I am using Fat Gripz on the handles because I am preparing for a Deadlift and Hold in an upcoming Grip Contest, the Holdfast Gauntlet.

So, nothing out of the ordinary. Just pulling straight weight and going for 5 sets of 2. With the Fat Gripz added, this was a bit too heavy to get all the doubles I wanted.

But let’s imagine that I completed all 5 sets of 2 reps.

Now, let’s look at a couple of ways to modify the lift in order to make it slightly harder.

Trap Bar Deadlifts with Chains

With Chains attached to the Trap Bar, the weight in your hands gets heavier as you lift the bar further. This allows you to hold heavier weight at the top, as if someone is throwing a couple on 10′s on each side once you hit lockout.

So, what you could actually do is perform your first few sets of, say 300lbs, with straight weight. Then, you could do a few more sets with chains added to make the lift target your lockout strength more and make it even more taxing on your grip.

Trap Bar Deadlifts Pulling Against Band Tension

Now, let’s look at a way to make the same movement, with the same weight, even harder – Bands. With these giant rubber bands placed over the bar, the challenge to keep hold of it all the way to lockout is increased even further for both the hands nd the lower back and glutes.

Now, these videos were all taped during different sessions with different weights used, but the potential is there for you to incorporate all three techniques in the same workout to gradually increase the difficulty of the sets, and to help you plow through plateaus in your training.

Where to Get Chains and Bands

Chains and Bands are available in many places, and many of these suppliers operate through Amazon.com. In fact, here is an entire page of various Lifting Chain Suppliers

That page will give you a whole variety of options, including different chain sizes, and packs of various chains so you can save on shipping and get a better value.

Training Bands are available there too. There used to be only on good supplier of exercise bands, but now there are lots of them. Go to this page, Fitness and Strength Training Bands, and you will find all kinds of different bands to choose from.

Where to Get Fat Gripz

Naturally, if you don’t have Fat Gripz yet, I consider them a must. These thing stake up no room at all and they go on so fast, you waste no time at all. They are a fraction of the price of thick-handled dumbbells and barbells, and make more sense for the person who is just looking to increase their hand strength but not interested in accomplishing world-class feats of Grip Strength.

Grab your set here => Get Fat Gripz

Screw Plateaus!

With these kinds of tactics, you’ll never have to worry about Plateaus in your training again. Any time you start to see stagnation in your training, you can start adding chains and bands into your training in order to shock your muscles and your mind into additional growth and strength increases.

And, you can head these plateaus off before they can even set in by including this type of work in your training on a regular basis. It is very popular to throw in band and chain training once a month to your target movement, and every 3 weeks of training is what Josh McIntyre highlighted in the recent interview I did with him.

You are going to feel like a MACHINE when you start including these things in your training. Especially, the chains, due to the awesome mechanical sounds they make. Its like training inside a Strength Building Factory.

All the best,

Jedd


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Upper Body Strength Training for Powerlifters

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Upper Body and Grip Training Workout 8/29/13

Lots of people love the idea of building a Big Bench Press, but have little idea how to go about doing it.

Often, the type of Bench Press training we learn about is what we learned in our High School Gyms, which are most likely recycled information that the coach learned when he was in High School and has never changed one single bit. It often ends of becoming a vicious cycle of bad, out-dated information.

My suggestion for people who want to bring up their Bench is to find someone who actually is a Powerlifter and is seeing some success in their training. When you train with someone who is successful in the Big Three Lifts (Bench Press, Squat, and Deadlift), Strength becomes Contagious. Just by lifting with them, you get stronger, and all awhile learn the proper way to train.

Last Friday, I had someone visit who has done just what I am suggesting. He went from having very little structure in his training a few years ago, to following one of the most popular Powerlifting Programs that is out there. As a result, he has seen impressive gains from the new-found structure and is enjoying the design of the program and the increased numbers, for sure.

This lifter is Josh McIntyre
. I first met Josh through the Diesel Crew website in January of 2011 when I started the Weekly Grip Strength Challenges. Josh won many of these challenges during the year and has gone on to perform lots of Elite-Lever Grip Strength Feats since then, although these days his primary focus is Powerlifting with a little Strongman and Grip thrown in, a great mixture for developing incredible strength.

We hit an awesome workout this past Friday, about 2 hours and 15 minutes of Upper Body Training and then about an hour and a half of Grip Training, with a little break in between for a short interview.

Below is the video, which contains the entire session.

I asked Josh to send in a little write-up about himself so you could get to know him a bit better. I think you will also see that once you get some programming into your routine, you can expect to see some increased strength levels across the board. Here you go.

Josh McIntyre Interview

josh jedd

Jedd: Who the hell are you and how did you end up getting into Powerlifting?

Thanks Jedd for having me up to your place. My name is Josh McIntyre, I’m 32 and have been lifting off and on since I was 14, but with goals in mind since 2010 and most seriously since 2012. I’ve competed in both Powerlifting and Strongman. My best lifts to date are a 565 squat (raw w/ wraps,) a 390 raw bench and a 635 raw deadlift (no belt) but I’m seeing now that I’m capable of a lot more.

I never did anything more than a set of curls and some push up’s right after highschool. I thought I was strong back then. It’s amazing to look back at pictures and see a guy who thought he was the man. In 2007, I moved to NC from NJ and found myself with a spare room to fill. So I assembled my rusty old H.S. weight bench and got some cheap standard plates from craigslist ads and used sporting goods stores.

Around the same time I spent a lot of time on Youtube looking for workout routines. I found your channel and was floored by the feats I was witnessing. I had a “monkey see, monkey do” mentality like many others, and trained until I could replicate whatever it was that I was training for, like a 5 dimes pinch (have still to get 6 without a pipe through them,) pinching two 45’s, levering a 45# plate (still sloppy,) hubbing a 45# plate, closing an Ironmind #3 etc etc.

I also started to train the powerlifts. I use the term “train” loosely here because I had no idea what the hell I was doing and ended up with a lot of shoulder pain. For a while, since I had no squat rack and it hurt my shoulders to bench a lot, I focused primarily on the DEADLIFT. To this day, it’s still my best and favorite lift. (long arms)

Once I scored a power rack off of craigslist for $100, it was on from there. I read up a bunch on rehab and prehab for shoulders here on DieselCrew.com and Elitefts. I watched a lot of video’s and inched my DL up over 500 in 2009.

Jedd: Tell us About Your Early Competition Days

I competed in my first powerlifting meet in 2010 in the APA. I entered Deadlift only, weighed in around 235 and competed in the 242’s. I opened at 505, went 565 for my second and 585 for my third. Unfortunately they called me for hitching (rightfully so) and I was credited only for my opener. I learned a lot that day and I was hooked!

Since then I’ve competed in 6 powerlifting meets and 1 strongman contest. I’ve learned so much from each one. I really enjoyed the strongman contest but PL is where my passion is. I’ve also trained with a lot of brutally strong PL competitors I’ve met at meets and gained a lot of strength and knowledge from them.

Jedd: When I first learned of you, you were training mostly at your house and from time to time in a gym where they wouldn’t even let you bring in chalk. These days, I have seen you have been training at Raleigh Barbell.

Since March of this year, I began training with a PL team at Raleigh Barbell. I’ve seen my best gains ever just in the last 5 months since training there. We trained 2 cycles of Brandon Lilly’s Cube Method with some success. The guys are great, supportive, serious and very goal motivated. If I squat high, they let me know. If my back started to round a little there, or my ass rises off the bench slightly, they’re right there to correct it for me. Having an extra set of eyes is really helpful when you can’t see where you’re screwing up.

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5-10′s Pinch for Grip Specific Warm-up – NO PROBLEM!

As far as the gym, Raleigh Barbell is an 864 square foot training facility located in the heart of downtown Raleigh which is owned and operated by Elite Strength and Wellness Coach Jackson Williams. He’s been a great coach and he’s strong as hell! I’ve seen him pull 650 raw like it was 315. Training with guys stronger than me has been exactly what I was missing. Coach Jackson and Teammates Mason, Hunter, Chris, Keven and Justus are great lifters and training partners, and I’m lucky to be training along side of them. For more info on Raleigh Barbell or to contact Jackson, check out Raleighbarbell.com or hit him up on the Raleigh Barbell facebook page, if you’re on the book of faces.

Recently we’ve started a 10 week training template written by our coach leading up to a PL meet in November in Richmond, VA followed by a Charity Push/Pull the following weekend that I’ve done for the past 3 years.

Jedd: Josh, I’ve gotten some questions asking why we chose the exercises we did during our workout and what exactly the bands are for. Could you explain these points please?

The bench workout you and I did was from our Raleigh Barbell week 2 speed bench. It focused on practicing the bench press movement over and over by doing 8 sets of 2 as fast as we could WITH GOOD FORM. We incorporated band tension to make the lockout more difficult. That forced us to generate momentum from the start to get us through the increasing resistance. We also added volume by going for max reps up to but NOT including failure. We don’t miss training lifts at Raleigh Barbell. We only took another rep if it was there. The rest of the bench day was higher volume accessory stuff, o/h press, shoulders, rows, hammer curls, tri’s, all for hypertrophy.

Jedd: Now that you are several years into serious training, maybe you could talk a bit about major lessons you have learned, pitfalls you have run into along the way, mistakes you’ve made, etc?

I’ve seen up’s and down’s in my training but the more experience I got the more I realized the anecdote “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” is dead on. Also, enjoying the journey has been key for me. I lift ’cause I love it, that makes it easy to commit to. I see lifters so focused on their goal that they suffer through and end up hating their training. It’s ok to like what you do, it makes you easier to be around too.

Some of the mistakes in my own training over the years have been:

    1. Sticking with a routine even after I stall while using it. You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect to get a different result. My numbers were up and down, up and down for far too long
    2. Not doing any kind of accessory work to bring up weak areas
    3. Thinking one way was right and ALL other ways were wrong
    4. Waiting until I thought I was “good enough” to enter a PL meet. I wish I had done it sooner. Your entire mentality toward training changes after a competition. And the friends I’ve made and the things I’ve learned have been valuable to me as a lifter and a competitor. Don’t wait, sign up today. It’s so much fun and you’ll walk away with more than you came with
    5. Finding reliable training partners. More easily said than done. If you have an opportunity to join a PL gym, or a CF gym or a Strongman crew DO IT

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6-10′s Pinch. Off the Ground 5 or 6 Times, but Not Quite Lockout

Jedd: Josh, great having you up here. Come back again when you make a trip up this way. I want to see you get the 6-10′s Pinch sometime soon.

Again, thank you Jedd for having me up to train. The grip feats I witnessed and failed at were humbling and motivating. I was smashed when I left your gym but mentally I was rejuvenated with the idea of grip training. I have an entirely new respect and appreciation for Grip sport and its competitors. I look forward to meeting up again soon!


I got some feedback that the videos were hard to watch in the Playlist, and that you would like them separated out, so here you go…

Speed Bench Press Against Light Bands

Overhead Axle Training

Axle Rows for Back and Grip Strength

Tricep and Biceps Superset

Hammer Curls for Size and Strength

Josh McIntyre Interview

DIESELS – If you have any other questions about the training we did in the videos, leave a comment and I will do a follow up article to answer them.

All the best in your training.

Jedd


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