sometimes feels like there is a big secret to success when you are the
new guy at the gym, and no one is letting you in on it. Well here it
is, the article you have been waiting for. I'm going to tell you how to
get all your training goals to come true. Ready? You have to flat out
go for it. There is no room for crying, excuses or sniveling. There is
no magic bullet.
When someone asks me for
advice, usually the first question is, "How do I get strong?" That very
question will send shivers down the spine of the recipient. If you are
a person in need of help don't ever go up to a seasoned lifter and ask
that question. The reason? That is a very general question that could
take weeks to answer. The solution? Put some thought into the specific
question you are going to ask, then ask it. Hit them with a question
like, "I have been doing a pyramid routine for weeks. What else can I
do for a change to get out of my plateau?" Or, "I am thinking about
getting into power lifting. How does the routine change compared to a
We were all beginners
once. We've all been in a position where we asked an experienced lifter
a question and not received what we thought was a good response. Asking
a general question could have be the reason. Sometimes, some guys are
just assholes. What you have to remember is that when someone in the
gym blows you off, it's not a reason to give up, even if you feel like
you've been shit on by the "big boys". People like me who have trained
a long time know that "newbies" come and go all the time. If you really
want help, you have to prove that you're going to be there for the long
haul, and not disappear after 6 months.
has to pay their dues in order to attain the knowledge you are looking
for. When you are constantly showing you face in the gym, working hard,
and doing things right, you'll eventually land on the opposite side of
who asks the questions and who answers them. The diehards will
eventually see that you are as dedicated as they, as well as working as
hard as them. You will all of a sudden become someone they want to
train with. No one will be saying anything about you not doing as much
weight as another guy. They will be saying, "What training method are
you going to next?"
Anyone who mocks you for
doing the smaller weights, as long as they are being done correctly,
aren't part of the "big boys" group either. They are part of the
asshole crowd. Lifters who rag on a guy because he's not doing much
weight just shows that all they have is some serious fucking issues.
Never go into the gym feeling inferior to anyone in there, just know to
do it right and eventually you will get there.
major thing to remember is that the biggest guys in the gym won't
always be doing the most weight. This means that just because someone
is doing a lot of weight, doesn't mean they are strong or that they are
doing it correctly. So don't even go in the gym and wish you were like
the big guys. Go into the gym and watch others to see if the guy doing
the "big weight" is doing it right. The people that you want to take
advice from are the ones doing it right and moving the big weight.
Someone who is doing half a curl on the preacher bench with 155 pounds,
talking trash, and walking around like they are "King Shit" are exactly
the people you don't want to take advice from on how to get out of your
Even though there is no magic pill or
shortcut, there is a secret formula that, if followed correctly, will
provide 100% goal attainment. Here it is: Interest. Direction.
Education. Dedication. Goal. This is what I call the "strength flow
chart". This is the flow chart you need to follow if you want to be a
Having an interest in something
means that it should be something that can be easily pursued. If you
are currently just going to the gym, aimlessly doing a routine, then
there is an interest in training. Going to the gym every single day and
not having a plan is a lot harder then going there knowing what to do.
Following an aimless routine day in and day out makes it easy to come
up with excuses for not going to the gym. If you are already going, and
have been for a while, then the hard part is already over. THE HARD
PART OF TRAINING IS GETTING STARTED. If you are already there and
working out, staring at the strong guys doing their max routine, then
there is interest. This is very good.
you are training and really have no direction, then it is time to get
one. If you always wanted to be big bencher, then now is the time. Not
tomorrow. Looking around the gym and stopping every time someone puts
more then 405 on the bar might make you a "future bench monster". You
have to pay attention to what you are looking at in the gym. If someone
is maxing for an upcoming contest, and you stop because you're
interested in the conversation on why and how a power lifting contest
works, then you need to look into the power game. Now this is direction
because you know what you want to train for. You know what you want.
you already are training for a contest but are not really familiar with
the power world yet, then this might help. Don't ever rush yourself
just to find a place to fit in. In other words, when someone hasn't
been competing for a while they don't know where the body is settled
yet, meaning what weight division the body will end up in. Because of
the abuse on the body, the power game requires more calories everyday.
Hence, the appetite goes up dramatically. People get nervous thinking
they might not look real appealing knowing the amount of food they are
going to have to eat in a day.
Here's the deal. You have to go
through a transformation phase. You eat (and require) so many calories
in a day under normal use. If you do anything outside of the normal
day, then you will notice soreness and will have to take in more food
to help repair the damage. Normal exercise will raise the number of
calories you need. Bodybuilding is the next level and is very intense
on the body and will raise the intake a ton. Power training will
outright kick your ass!
Training for a power lifting contest is
pushing your max to the ultimate extreme. If you max 405 and want to
get better, then your need to play with weights upwards of 425-440. Not
being able to handle pain means your not cut out for this line of work.
You need to take in enough calories to cover the daily need, plus the
requirements of power training, if you don't, then advancement is
impossible. This is a fact.
Here is a good way to handle it.
Take in as much good foods as you can and see what weight you end up
at. A person has to figure out where the body tops out at so the body
is getting enough to repair. Here's an example. If you have done a few
contests in the 181-pound class and aren't really happy with your
performance, then pick up the eating and see how you can do competing
in the 198-pound class. Only after you figure out where you can eat
like a fucking animal till the body tops out, can you set all your
goals for that class.
This is the most
important part of power training. Education is the key to success.
Since change is a big key to success, education gives you options. How
many times have you been training, become stale, and didn't change
because you had nothing to change? Common problem, simple answer. You
can't stick to a routine in strength training for months and months.
Eventually the body will become used to it, and progress comes to a
grinding halt. Variety is very important and keeps the body fresh and
Getting off a plateau is sometimes very difficult and
the only solution is change. Even though there is no simple answer to
why you can bench 375 twice and can't do 405 for a max, there are
things you can try to accomplish this. Changing something simple in the
routine, such as the day you bench on, might be the key. With education
come options. When you have the options it cuts down on the time you
are stale. Plus, when coming out of a training cycle there will be a
place to go. You will know exactly how to come down after the contest
and how to get started going into the next one.
is a no brainer. Don't think that goals come overnight. Or in a week.
They don't. In fact, sometimes, it seems like it takes fucking forever.
But when you look back, it really doesn't. You should set your goals
far enough away so that you have to work for them. But don't set a goal
of benching 600 pounds if you can only do 225. Not realistic. If you
are doing some contests right now doing around 430-440, then setting a
goal of 500-pounds is realistic.
You have to know if you are
giving it your all or not. If you are not, it is a safe bet that it is
going to take some work to get that 500. Be ready for it, embrace it,
and work your fucking ass off to get it. Know that this is the part of
the formula that makes you a beast. People start out all the time with
great intentions, but end up with nothing more then a sad story about
all the problems they had reaching a goal.
Dedication comes in
stages. You can't start out with dedication. It comes with time. It is
all about change. You have to teach the body what you want it to do.
You're body will resist it at first. It won't want to change. One thing
is for sure. 99% of the time, training sucks. You have to give up
things you would rather be doing. You have to go to the gym when you
are tired and work through a hell of a lot of pain. But, that 1% of the
time when you have a night at the gym and all of a sudden are throwing
around 405, you forget all about the other 99% until you are the next
beast at the gym!
Set realistic goals. It is
reasonable to want a 500-pound press when currently benching 425-450.
Think in terms of stages. The dedication will provide the stages, but
the final goal is what you will be working for. Here's an example. If
you can do 450-pounds "touch and go", then can you pause the lift? When
you go to an unsanctioned contest, most lifts are touch and go (as soon
as the bar touches your chest, you just go and push the weight back up).
you compete in one of the federations, then three judges will sit
around you with the head judge in control. This time, you have to bring
down the weight and stop it until the head judge tells you to press. Oh
yeah, it is an ass-kicker. Imagine setting the weight on your chest and
just waiting. Not only is it hard, but it also dramatically reduces
your one-rep max. Learning to pause like this at the bottom of your
lift could be your next goal.
You have to separate the two kinds
of contests. You can have one goal for each kind of contest you attend.
So, if you can do 450-pounds at the beginning, then make it a goal to
try and pause it at a contest by the end of the year. This is how the
combination and goals will show over time to be very productive and
help anyone reach the big bench they desire. Is there any other reason
At the end of any contest, the best lifter (especially
if the bench is over 500-pounds) gets nailed with questions on how he
got to this point. He got to this point exactly the way everyone else
did who ever accomplished a goal. They had an interest in working out.
They joined a gym. They picked a direction to head in their training.
Eventually, reaching a goal became an obsession. Listen, none of this
People spend years learning and training to
get that big bench. The body has no idea how to move immense weight. It
has to be taught and developed to be able to handle such poundages.
There is a certain way to do things just like anything else. If you
want a big bench, then your core training routine should be set up for
chest and triceps, and secondarily, shoulders and back. After that,
biceps. You want to design a workout that promotes core strength first
Basically, to get that big bench, you want to work
the bench as hard as you can. Also, if you train all the body parts at
the same level, it will eventually drain the body and take power from
the focus. This, of course, is more of an advanced concern. We need to
stick to the main task at hand and get the people already working out
to their goal, which is the monster bench, because as the formulas
follows the ones working out already have the "interest".
you hit a plateau. If this is the case, refer to the "education"
section. If there is education about the sport then there is variety.
Variety gives you many options. With change come breakthroughs, or if
you like, cracking a plateau. So many people think they are training
like a powerlifter and the training routine turns out to be better
suited for someone going into a bodybuilding show in 9 weeks. And, they
can't for the life of them figure out why they have been stuck with a
315-pound bench for 6 months.
When someone wants to be in shape
for a bodybuilding contest, the training is different than when he is
preparing for a max lift. You can't do 8-12 reps all the time and think
the body is going to be able to turn around and be able to push up
75-pounds more then it ever touched. You have to train for that
ultimate lift. After a while of working out in the gym and making
mistakes (yes, I said making mistakes), you will learn what works and
what don't. Couple that with reading and talking to people who have
experience, and soon, you'll be on your way to becoming a monster
Now that you know the basics, are you going to stick
with it? This is "dedication". Once the goals are set and the
dedication is proven, anyone willing to go for it can be a monster
bencher. Now that the secret "formula" is out, monster benches should
start popping up all over the country in no time. Since this is in
print, I will note that I was being sarcastic. There is no magic way of
developing something this extreme. There is only one thing: hard
Following the strength flow chart will produce the
most extreme of benches. Going to the gym and working your ass off for
a year and then all of a sudden hooking up with a girl and giving up
the gym ain't going to get it done. At this point finding your
dedication becomes crucial. Use the time you have wisely, get in and
crush the weight, and then go spend time with the girl. If you want to
become a freak, then you have to act like one. Most can't hang with
being in the gym all the time. This means your chances for standing out
among the crowd is that much greater. There are many people who want to
be a freak. Few become one. I say, laugh at those who want it, fear
those who already are.