For years, since 1995 to be specific, I have participated in powerlifting or weightlifting in some form or another. When I first started out we were a bunch of high school punks who had nothing to do in the football off season except try to get laid and lift a fuckton of weight. We as a group were really fucking good at it. I remember several of my friends who weighed in around 145 who could powerclean 275, squat (we didn’t know the difference between high bar and low bar we were all high bar, like retards) 400+ pounds, and bench 250. These were the light weights. Hell, even the bigger 94 kilo guys like myself were putting up 1300 pound totals and winning smaller competitions. We had a SHW who could squat 700+ raw, really raw, like no belt or wraps. AND HE WAS 17. We did all of this without coaching. Sure we had football coaches, but what the fuck did they really know about powerlifting? They knew even less about Oly lifting. When I went to college I played football on some tiny D3 team and for two years in a row was named strongest person on the team pound for pound. This was freshman and sophomore year, with only a strength and conditioning program, no real experienced coaches. After college I joined the Marines, where people spend 90 hours a week working out but without a single fucking person who knows anything about fitness, powerlifting, or weightlifting. Why the fuck am I writing all of this? #1 I love to talk about how fucking awesome I am. #2 This weekend I did the shit listed below and I blew three PRs out of the water.
Read on to learn how to be a more awesome exerciser.
#1 You need good coaches. Not your high school football coach (unless you want to learn to get fat and suck at football), not your favorite level 1 trainer from your gym (they know less than you do in most cases), nor can you go to any personal trainer at Gold’s or any of the other globo gyms (they are fun to look at in lululemon pants but beyond that they are worthless). You need real fucking coaches. Coaches from the top. Crossfit Powerlifting is taught by Mark Bell, a proven lifter with 1000+ pound squats and 700+ pound benches. And Jesse (forget his last name, awesome dude, similar numbers). Unless your level one trainers are squatting 10 plates per side they know less than these guys. Sure crossfit powerlifting is about 600 bucks. You have been paying 200 bucks a month for really shitty coaching for the last three years. I consider it a great investment.
Mark Bell will teach you simple shit and you will fuckstomp your PRs
#2 You need to workout with people better than you. If you are me it is hard to find people that are like this. But for most of you it will not be a problem. With that being said… most people who are stronger than you are complete assholes and they will not want to train with you since this will violate rule #2 for them. Pick someone who is better than you at some things and yet someone you can also beat sometimes… that way you are making each other better. My buddy kyle kills me in some workouts (fuck you kyle). But if the workout requires muscleups or HSPUs it is game over for him. Since we started working together my metabolic conditioning has gone through the roof and he is catching me on gymnasy work.
This is Kyle. He can lift light things fast.
#3 You need to buy your own shit. I know you feel that your 200 dollar per month dues should include all the equipment you need for all your workouts. No gym will ever have all the equipment you need, ever. For example… My current gym doesn’t have any 2 pood kettebells. I went out and bought one for 90 dollars. People love me for it. My gym didn’t have jerk boxes. I spent 300 dollars and a weekend building them (fuck you Rudy, that shit was expensive). I only use wooden rings and my gym only has a couple sets. I ordered some off the interwebs and keep them with me at all times. Same thing with a power belt, prowler, oly bars, resistance bands, tires, logs, ropes, etc. I have bought or acquired a shit ton of gear for next to nothing due to friends, craigslist, or ingenuity. (if anyone is in the Camp Pendleton area and knows how to convert telephone poles to strongman logs I have an unlimited supply of the poles and want some strongman logs, also unlimited supply of giant fucking tires). Coaches will program according to the capabilities of their space and equipment. They can’t help those factors. If you want to do crazy shit to get better, buy or build some crazy shit and program it in.
You shouldn’t be making everything
#4 Do crazy shit. You need to get way the fuck outside of your comfort zone to get better. How many assholes do you know who are stuck at a 90 kilo snatch but do nothing but snatch to try to improve it? No snatch grip dead lifts, no heavy KB shit, no snatch pulls, no OHS work, etc. The same applies to powerlifting and metcon warriors. If you don’t do some crazy board presses or change your loads/times you will settle into a comfort zone and then back out when they release the workouts at the next competition cause you can’t get the movements. I remember someone telling me once to be ready for the unknown or some shit like that…
#5 You need to workout with strangers. How many of you have been following the same program for years and years? How many of you have been to less than three crossfit gyms or had the same coaches for years? Fresh blood is a good thing and it is very important to success. I visited Beachside Crossfit in Ventura and was blown away by the programming and the level of athletes there. Same goes with Valley Crossfit in Van Nuys. An amazing facility and they have a ton of people there that can beat you. Owners, when you travel do you make a point to drop in and see some other operations? I just had a couple Outlaws over to the garage gym on friday to do a meet and greet and pound out some oly work. It was awesome to see different athletes in different atmospheres. You can learn a lot from something seemingly small.
Not exactly the strangers you want to workout with
#6 You will have to do research outside of your own gym. Did you just kill everyone at your gym in a particular workout? Check the mainsite or the site from where ever you got the workout. I bet you will be surprised how many people crushed your time or loads. I realized that when I first started Outlaw. I thought I was going to be top 10 percent on some of the movements… I turned out to be bottom 10 percent on most after checking the comments section. Do you program your own shit? If you do, find a gym that will allow you to trade programming and compare your times and your athletes’ times to the other gym’s athletes. Then make them buy you all beer if you beat their times. Maybe you have to read a book to get better. I realize there is also a ton of information out there on the interwebs but 99 percent of that is complete bullshit, this blog is obviously within that 1 percentile.
#7 Compete. I already addressed this one in detail in a previous blog. I won’t really go into it again.
#8 Coach others. When you coach others you sometimes catch little things that you may be fucking up yourself. Since none of your gyms have mirrors, you may never think about what you are fucking up until you see someone else doing this. Your gyms don’t have mirrors, right?
SO maybe I am not a 1000 pound squatter. I cannot run a 5k in sub 15. I certainly will never get a 400kg oly total. But in the last year I have studied under those that have done these things. And maybe I even learned something from them. Stop by if you are in the area and maybe I will pass on some tips, assuming you are a really hot chick or someone who will pay me.
Yup, people actually squat half tons… think of that next time you write a PR on the board