Ignore the Big, Strong Guy and Guarantee Failure
This is something I’ve touched on before but after chatting to Daz the Deadlift Bear (training partner) it seems that ignoring those who obviously know what they’re doing in the gym is more widespread than I thought.
Daz trains at The Gallery once a week, which is one of the few hotbeds of Powerlifting in the UK. He told me that even at this gym, where there are guys Benching 250kg+ there are others who Bench with their feet up! What the hell are these people thinking? You have big, strong guys there who obviously know how to Bench; they’re not putting their feet up, they’re working really hard on improving their arch and maintaining tension throughout the whole body! These idiots benching with their feet up are totally ignoring what is right in front of their eyes.
That’s more like it!
While I’m on the Bench, so to speak, why do guys who have a PR of 65kg do their first set at 60kg? They struggle to get a double and complain that it’s just not their day. I’ve trained with several guys who Bench over 350kg and their first set is with the bar! So Mr Pencilneck, if your Bench PR is 65kg your Benching should look something like this – 20kg x10, 40×5, 50×5, 55×3, 60x3x3; or something similar. But makes sure you bloody warm up – in the movement you’re doing not on the Cross Trainer.
Next up is the Squat, most of the guys and girls with the best physiques Squat low, so why does Mr Pencilneck ignore these examples, he puts on 3 plates a side, Squats down 3 inches, and complains that either a) his legs / body won’t grow, or b) his knees hurt as he heads for the Leg Extension machine. This guy needs to learn the Box Squat and some patience!
And finally to the Deadlift. The issue with the Deadlift is the opposite to the Squat; most (guys especially) have no business doing a full range Deadlift. When Mr Pencilneck Deadlifts he gets into the most hideous positions; it really is only a matter of time before he hurts himself. the fix for the Deadlift is the Rack Pull, a Deadlift from a more convenient height, a safe height! Mr Pencilneck would set the bar to a height where he can maintain an arch in his lower back; I have people train at that height until they can pull 200kg (100kg for the ladies) before I even consider lowering the bar by 1 pin. When the pin is lowered reduce the weight by at least 25%.
The real problem is that most of the so called gyms in the UK don’t have a power rack so poor old Mr Pencilneck is screwed; unless he rests the loaded bar on stacked plates which I have done before but it’s not very safe.
Sometimes the answer is litrally, right in front of you. I’m not saying that just because the big guy in the gym does X then so should you, but success leaves clues, it’s up to you to spot those clues and not let your ego get in the way.