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Threshold Training for Powerlifting: a Targeted Approach

Threshold Training for Powerlifting: a Targeted Approach

When you are looking to improve your form when lifting, as well as lift more weight efficiently, one of the most important considerations is the thresholds of exercise. The internet is filled with corrective exercise demonstrations and it can be tough to wade through the chaos and know what will fix your specific issue. This is where understanding what threshold your issues fits into is beneficial. In powerlifting terms, there are 2 types of thresholds: absolute and functional. When something is trained below the “threshold”, it fails to produce a sufficient stimulus and as such, you don’t create adaptation/progress. We will look at how to find the maximum capacity of both these systems, by using the functional threshold to do so. An absolute threshold is the absolute maximum that you can do. An example of this would be a 1 rep max, with whatever form changes you might make in order to get it up. This might not look like your “ideal/good technique”, but the weight went up, and that’s all this threshold reflects. The sport of powerlifting heavily emphasizes this threshold as it’s the one that wins medals. Functional thresholds reflect how much you can push without degradation in technique. Because of the nature of this limit, it will always sit lower than the absolute threshold; though we should always aim to close the gap between the functional and absolute thresholds as this tends to lead to better efficiency with lifting as well as a theoretically reduced risk of injury. Within the functional threshold category, there are 3 subsets that are relevant to powerlifting: 1. Endurance/Fatigue Threshold We...
A Guide to Applying DNS/PRI Principles to Powerlifting (Part 2: Bench Press)

A Guide to Applying DNS/PRI Principles to Powerlifting (Part 2: Bench Press)

If you’re a trainer: As with the hips, respect the structure, build a good foundation/alignment, and generally things will fall into place with more complex skills, Train the sagittal plane and restore a “neutral” thoracic spine curvature and ribcage position before dealing with any rotation or left to right asymmetries, If there is an asymmetry, some transverse plane work with a right rotation bias is a great progression once the sagittal plane has been taken care of Favoring some right ribcage/thoracic rotation with a neutral or even left rotated pelvis in other aspects of the training can be useful in restoring balance and improving performance.   If you’re a powerlifter/meathead/just want to lift without feeling like your body is going to fall apart: Bracing is good, but if you can’t get into a good spine/ribcage/pelvis position, you’re leaving some of that brace on the table, Rounding your shoulders isn’t inherently bad, in fact, it can make for an excellent recovery position from regular powerlifting training, Some asymmetrical work for the shoulders can be useful in balancing out your bench press and making it symmetrical. More specifically, creating more right rotation in your warmups may help to balance things out.     If you haven’t already seen Part 1 to this series, I strongly recommend reading that first as it lays down the groundwork for what we are diving into here. Today’s installment in the PRI/DNS to Powerlifting series will focus in on the bench press. One of the central points with PRI is how the human body is asymmetrical. I’m sure you’ve seen people stand in line at the...
How to Program Your Powerlifting Accessory Work

How to Program Your Powerlifting Accessory Work

The powerlifts unto themselves offer a lot to be gained in the long term with proper planning and progressive overload, though when trained in isolation they can leave some stones unturned when it comes to long term development, muscular balance, and general muscularity. Not to be confused with secondary and supplementary movements such as pause squats, pin press, block pulls, etc. which are generally a derivative of the main lifts, accessory movements are generally smaller/less stressful exercises. This is due to 2 things: 1. They use inherently lighter loads that have to be used due to the nature of the exercise, 2. In the context of a powerlifting program, the goal is not to get the best barbell row (or other accessory lift), therefore it will not be as much of a focus in the program. Before we begin, let’s outline some key components as to why and if you should even bother doing lifts outside of the squat, bench, and deadlift. From a movement quality standpoint, accessory exercises will help to iron out the natural imbalances a powerlifting program will create as well as maintain joint/tendon health. This could be pulling muscles (upper back) that are not strong compared to the pressing muscles in the shoulders (chest, shoulders, etc), or strengthening the abs relative to the back. The idea behind this is preventing nagging injuries from developing in the long run is easier to do if you are proactive about it. From this point of view, I believe every powerlifter should be doing some form of “injury prevention” type accessory work. The second main appeal to accessories is...
The StrongerYou Formula – a 6-Week Program to Achieve Your Goals

The StrongerYou Formula – a 6-Week Program to Achieve Your Goals

If the first three months of 2017 are any indicator of pace – summer will be here before we know it. While we’re not in the business of quick fixes or crash courses, we can’t deny that warm weather (and the associated swimsuits, shorts, and tank tops) is a motivating factor for fitness. To help you achieve your goals, we have set up the StrongerYou Formula – a 6-week individualized program to support your success. As we believe in sustainable and long-term effects, this is the perfect stepping-stone to a future of fitness and goal achievement. With the right mentality and commitment, you’ll see results in time for beach season (and will be able to maintain those results into sweater weather). So, what is the StrongerYou Formula? We have set out two options (conveniently named option A. and option B.). With the StrongerYou Formula, we have found that the clients that train at higher frequencies get the best results. Don’t believe us? Check out our most recent client of the month: Dylan Buckley. He trains with us 3 times per week and is seeing phenomenal progress. Option A includes: 6 weeks of 1-on-1 training at a frequency of 3 times a week Goal assessment and check ins Nutritional guidance and diet recommendations Total cost of $1200+GST Option B includes: 6 weeks of 1-on-1 training at a frequency of 2 times a week Goal assessment and check ins Nutritional guidance and diet recommendations Total cost of $900+GST We assist you in accountability, injury prevention, and overall adherence. All you have to do is bring your game face and we’ll do...
Life with a Busy Schedule: Getting to Your Fitness Goals

Life with a Busy Schedule: Getting to Your Fitness Goals

Life with a Busy Schedule: Getting to your Fitness Goals Life can get busy. As a business owner, I can attest to this – sometimes it feels like there’s not enough hours in the day. As such, taking care of yourself and your fitness can be hard to prioritize. So today, we’ve come up with some easy tricks you can implement into your daily routine to make staying on track much easier. Schedule your workouts and prep time – Just the same as you would schedule a meeting or doctor’s appointment into your calendar, do the same with your workouts and meal prep. This is actually one of the great reasons why hiring a personal trainer can be so beneficial to adherence – you now have 1-5 blocks per week where you have exactly 0 excuses as to why you shouldn’t be at the gym kicking butt! Even if you don’t have a trainer, the same concept applies. Bulk Prep – you know what they say: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail! One easy way to plan for diet through a busy work week is to set aside a couple hours every Sunday (or whatever other day you have off during the week) to plan out your week’s menu, grocery shop for all the necessary ingredients. Then, bulk prep any ingredients that you know you’ll be using a lot (and that won’t spoil). Some easy ones for bulk prep are: a pot of rice, chopping all your vegetables for easy access, marinating your meats, and cooking your meats a few days in advance. Frozen veggies are...
5 Tips: For a Gym Newbie

5 Tips: For a Gym Newbie

You know what they say, “by the yard, it’s hard, but by the inch, it’s a cinch”.  With this in mind, we thought we’d introduce a new series – one which focuses on quick, actionable change that can be made to any routine. The whole idea is to make you a stronger, healthier, and more positive version of yourself. So here it goes: Keep Dietary Strategies Simple: diet fads are nothing new. But starting a fresh routine can be intimidating. Atkins, Keto, high carb, low carb, high protein, vegan, vegetarian… we’ve heard them all. With the plethora of choices, you can get stuck in “paralysis by analysis” – like having too many cereal options at the grocery store, standing in the aisle, unsure about which to pick… We’ve all been there, right? At the end of the day, the NUMBER ONE determinant of bodyweight is energy balance – the amount of fuel you input vs. the  energy you expend. As long as you’re running at an energy deficit, a balance, or a surplus, you can reach your weight loss, maintenance, or gain goals, respectively. From there, you can optimize your protein/ fat/ carb intake for even more optimized results. Feel the Motion (Sight is for Suckers):Struggling to feel a muscle work in a certain exercise? Common trouble areas such as the lats and low traps (the muscles used in upper body pulling motions: rows, face pulls, and lat pull downs). A simple fix to this issue is closing your eyes (We know… it sounds weird, but bare with us). Have a friend/ trainer/ stranger (don’t be shy) place their...