Tag Archives: Powerlifting

The Benefits of Hybrid Training.

In today’s world of training and exercise, there are so many programs, training styles, and philosophies floating somewhere around the internet claiming to be the best. Many of which go against the beliefs of some other programs. Two training styles in particular that have typically been believed to contradict one another are bodybuilding and powerlifting.

 

Typically, when we think of bodybuilding, we think of building muscle. Slow controlled repetitions using moderate weight with an emphasis on muscular contraction in order to build lean muscle. On the flip side, when we think of building strength and power, our mind typically goes to powerlifting. Explosive and forceful repetitions using heavier weights and higher intensities with the goal of building maximal strength. Both of these concepts have their place and can play an important role within a training program, regardless of the intended goal. The problem comes with the belief that these concepts must be used separately. In reality, there are many benefits to using them simultaneously. 

 

I am currently working with a member who is preparing for her second powerlifting meet. Prior to powerlifting, Caroline competed in bodybuilding with very good success. During her time training for bodybuilding, she developed quality lean muscle and balance among all of her muscle groups. Over the past year, she decided to give powerlifting a shot and found out that she loved it. Due to her background in bodybuilding, she already moved with great control, but her repetitions somewhat lacked the force production needed to move maximal weights which she needed for powerlifting. Keep in mind, this is very typical for someone just starting out. Over the last few weeks, she has progressed greatly with her mindset and approach to each repetition, and her overall strength has been increasing significantly due to her ability to move the bar with greater intent.

 

We have realized that the combination of her bodybuilding mindset and background was helping her with her strength training. Her ability to control the weight and feel her muscles engaging, combined with her explosiveness from her athletic background was unlocking some hidden potential. This is the same mindset that I have carried during my time as a competitive powerlifter, and something that I believe will help anyone even if they are not competing. In doing so, this has the ability to build lean muscle, increase coordination and motor control, decrease the chance of injury, and develop greater strength and power, just to name a few. All of which are things that we all will benefit from throughout our lifetime.

 

So the next time you’re training, don’t just focus on moving the weight slow and controlled, or solely think about being explosive and fast. Take the time to learn what it feels like to use both, and how they can both benefit your overall goals and outlook on training. 

Cody’s Upcoming Meet

As some of you may know, Union Fitness’ very own Cody Miller has been preparing for his upcoming Powerlifting meet that will take place this weekend. Many of you are fortunate to know the Cody who waddles through the fitness center in his classic gray sweats, jokes with the members, and loves training his clients. But most people don’t get to see the other side of Cody. The version of Cody who loves to train hard and is extremely dedicated to his craft. Although he stays very reserved and calm on the outside, on the inside he is focused, locked in, and intense. This is the sign of a true leader, and something that makes him so great at what he does. Cody is someone who has never asked for a handout or a favor, but is always humble and willing to continuously learn and evolve as an athlete and a professional. 

 

I remember the day I was getting ready to leave work to head to my last competition. As I was walking out the door he stops me, hugs me, and says “There is no past, there is no future, there is only the present”. As I was sitting in my hotel room getting ready to compete, I thought about his exact words. Those words meant so much, and are something we should all strive to live by. This weekend, I hope that he too can live by those words, and perform to the best of his ability on the platform.

 

You see, the platform is one of the few places where you can be 100% free. When you’re standing up there, staring at that weight in front of hundreds of people, for those few seconds in time, nothing else matters. Not your job, your bills, your past, or your future can hold you back. Weeks, months, and years of training, dedication, and sacrifice are all wrapped up into one lift. Every time Cody get’s under that bar this weekend, he is facing every ounce of challenge and adversity that he has ever faced. But regardless of the outcome, from the sheer fact that he will stand up on that platform and give everything that he has to give, he will be victorious.

 

I am blessed to know Cody and to have the opportunity to work with and learn from him each day. Now, please help me to wish him a safe and successful competition tomorrow. May the iron be in your favor this weekend, brother, and remember, there is no past, there is no future, there is only the present. Live it the present, sir.

Top Ten List: Dumb Things Lifters Do

For this Monday’s blog we are taking a humorous look at weird things we all do as lifters.

 

  1. Bug squasher squats. For the last few years I have noticed many lifters who unrack the bar and then do the bug squasher dance. Not sure when this began yet it makes zero sense and is funny to me (special shout out to Daniel McKim for the name).
  2. Slamming warm up sets. We all know that your 135 and 225 warm ups felt light. What we don’t need is a new divot in the deadlift platform because of your slam dunk warm up.
  3. While on deadlifts let’s talk about your set up. Barking at the bar while raising your arms to the heaven will not help you lift the weight. Settle down and lift the weight.
  4. Living on “pre-workout.” We all need a pick me up at times, yet if you cannot lift without one maybe you need more sleep, not more chemicals.
  5. Over-concerning yourself with records. We have all been to a holiday party (well before 2020) and heard, “my cousin’s friend is a world record holder.” Our “sport” has a record for everything so just get a PR and have fun.
  6. Making fun of CrossFit. Yes, it is an easy target yet if you can’t walk a flight of stairs maybe some CrossFit could help your GPP.
  7. Acting like bodybuilders are ego maniacs while we are humble. Sorry, reality check time. We all have egos and began lifting to feed that ego. It’s okay, and we can learn from those guys and gals in their string tank tops.
  8. RPE scales. Too often I see a video when the lifter says “RPE 8.5.” C’mon! First off, do we really need decimals? Secondly, when you miss your second rep the RPE is a 10. All joking aside with this one, be humble. It is fine to say that your set was really much harder than it should have been.
  9. Instafamous. Yes, we all know that you lifted today, and social media is a great way to learn from those around you. If you spend more time editing your videos than you did training then did you train?
  10. Missing life because of lifting. After these last 9 light-hearted comments this one is serious. Lifting is a lot of fun. Take it from a guy who has competed in more than 20 events. I have had some of the best lifers come up and offer to help me without me even asking. I have also seen people helping those who they are competing against. What I am begging of you is to live your life. See your family. If you miss a lift, it will be okay. If you have to shorten a lift to go see friends and family then do it. If 2020 taught us anything it is that none of us are islands. When I get my vaccine I will stop my lift early to buy any and all of you a coffee or beer.

 

Todd Hamer