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In the first post I talked about my first step to self-mastery. That the first change will come with physical change. That the motivation to push my progress even harder was signing to a powerlifting meet.

But before I was ready I had to put some solid foundation under it. My powerlifting journey started with the most effective and the simplest program available on the internet - 5x5. With this routine you will train 3 times a week and your iron diet will consist of: squats, benchpress, deadlift, overhead press and barbell rows. In/during each workout you do three exercises for five sets of five reps. Believe me, that is enough to work your whole body to get stronger and bigger. But if it is not, you can still put some accessory work into the mix. 5x5 is a linear progression, which means that every time you hit 5x5 with proper form you can add weight and keep pushing forward. There is no designed de-load every few weeks, or cycles. All you have to do is hit those sets and reps. As I said - simple. To get more detailed info just go to https://stronglifts.com/5x5/ or download the app and you are ready to go. I have been on this program for few months and I know it works. Not only because I was (still am) a newbie (which means my body will respond to basically anything) but I have seen people with decent amount of strength doing progress and increasing weight on the bar. I know it works because when I started in January 2017 I had to throw away most of the shorts I have bought in 2016 and most of my clothes suddenly became too small. So, I was making progress like crazy, everything was going up. I had few de-loads along the way because of the failed reps but I was still getting stronger and bigger. I was able to build up all my lifts from zilch to: squats - 115kg, bench - 95kg, deadlift - 130kg, overhead press - 60kg. Everything was going well till one day I stopped making progress. At one point it was just too much stress on my body to recover and be ready for another session, even de-loads were not helping to go through the wall I was hitting again and again. At this point weight on the squats was so heavy that not only I was failing to hit described reps for few weeks but I was too tired to get other exercises in. This is when I started to look for solution. In the first post I talked about my first step to self-mastery. That the first change will come with physical change. That the motivation to push my progress even harder was signing to a powerlifting meet. But before I was ready I had to put some solid foundation under it. My powerlifting journey started with the most effective and the simplest program available on the internet - 5x5. With this routine you will train 3 times a week and your iron diet will consist of: squats, benchpress, deadlift, overhead press and barbell rows. In/during each workout you do three exercises for five sets of five reps. Believe me, that is enough to work your whole body to get stronger and bigger. But if it is not, you can still put some accessory work into the mix. 5x5 is a linear progression, which means that every time you hit 5x5 with proper form you can add weight and keep pushing forward. There is no designed de-load every few weeks, or cycles. All you have to do is hit those sets and reps. As I said - simple. To get more detailed info just go to https://stronglifts.com/5x5/ or download the app and you are ready to go. I have been on this program for few months and I know it works. Not only because I was (still am) a newbie (which means my body will respond to basically anything) but I have seen people with decent amount of strength doing progress and increasing weight on the bar. I know it works because when I started in January 2017 I had to throw away most of the shorts I have bought in 2016 and most of my clothes suddenly became too small. So, I was making progress like crazy, everything was going up. I had few de-loads along the way because of the failed reps but I was still getting stronger and bigger. I was able to build up all my lifts from zilch to: squats - 115kg, bench - 95kg, deadlift - 130kg, overhead press - 60kg. Everything was going well till one day I stopped making progress. At one point it was just too much stress on my body to recover and be ready for another session, even de-loads were not helping to go through the wall I was hitting again and again. At this point weight on the squats was so heavy that not only I was failing to hit described reps for few weeks but I was too tired to get other exercises in. This is when I started to look for solution. 

Next step on my powerlifting journey was 5/3/1 by Jim Wendler. It is one of the most popular training programs for building strength. I will not go into a details and explain to you what it is all about but it is based on your 1RM (1 rep max) and its percentages. Again, getting a book form jimwendler.com or downloading the app is the quickest way to get started. That was the routine that lead my preparation for the meet in January 2018. And it looked like another great tool to get stronger in decent amount of time... BUT, when all my lifts were going up like a skyrocket, my squats were going down drastically. On this program you train 4 days a week and each day is dedicated to a different lift. So while on 5x5 I was squatting on every training session, on 5/3/1 I was doing it just once a week. And in my case that was last nail to the coffin for my squats. Even though, I wanted to stay with this program for 3 months and do not change anything just few weeks before the comp. But seeing this relation between how often I squat and how much I can lift I decided to put some of this Russian Magic into the mix. And it was pure magic. In 6 weeks my squat went from pathetic 115kg to 135kg. BOOM! 5/3/1 was awesome for my other lifts though. Bench went up 105kg, deadlift to 170, and overhead press was 65kg. 

The next step was competition. Everything happened in Portsmouth and during that event I saw some monsters lifting heavy ass shit with so much ease and grace like it was nothing. So many PR's were broken that day I am not even going to count them. But for me it was like a gateway to a different world. Everyone was friendly and helpful. If you did not know something, there would be a person to help you. You could feel the spirit of competition in the air but it was more about the bar being the enemy not others competitors. I think powerlifting is more about challenging yourself than others. I mean, probably at one point you will try to beat other people too but on my level it was more about fighting with myself than others. That Sunday time went fast and when it was over I knew what my baseline is for 2018. That was my goal of going to the meet. 

It is 3 months after the meet and my programming has changed again. I am still looking for the best solution to drive my progress up. I have also signed for few more challenges for this year. So far, so good. I will see in few months where it brought me. Stay strong.

 

B.

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