Better Conditioned, Better Athlete, Better Lifter

Better Conditioned, Better Athlete, Better Lifter

Mar 23, 2013

My junior year in high school I did a meet every weekend for about 9 weeks straight. By the end of that 9 weeks my body was about to shut down and I had gotten the flu, but I realized that every week I was able to raise my total a little and make it through a whole meet. My ability to do this started with my conditioning in the off season. Now I’m not saying to go out and run 5 miles a day so you can do a meet every week, but modifying your workout in certain ways can improve your stamina through meets and through your lifting season. Now when I say off season, I mean like 12+ weeks before your next meet, because you don’t want to do most of this stuff in your prepping phase. First step is to decrease your rest time in between sets. For my main lifts I’ll cut down my rest time to 1 minute, and for auxiliaries 30 seconds. This will get you tired real quick, but your body will adapt and eventually you’ll get used to it and be able to push yourself harder. Second step, and most difficult, is to do a little cardio. Now I know as rule, powerlifters must hate, detest, and despise any cardiovascular activity, however you can do some exercises that will carry over into your lifting. My favorite is the prowler. For those of you who don’t know what the prowler is, it’s just a push sled. 8 20 yard sprints (I usually use 2 plates on each pole) will have you feeling fantastic (terrible). This is a great cardio exercise that will increase your explosiveness for your squat and deadlift. Other exercises you can do are 20 yard sprints, plyo box jumps, hill work, and any other sled work. Now if you want to do some cardio that’s light on your joints, you can do your plyometric in the pool. This is something my friend Cardyl Trionfante told me about a couple months back. You can carry this on in your training all the way up to 4 weeks out from a meet. Plyo jumps and 1-legged jumps are great in the pool, along with full-length pool sprints, and they are really easy on the knees. As far as frequency goes for these workouts, during my off season I do conditioning everytime I work out, cut it down to once a week 8 weeks out from a meet (in the pool). If you’re that guy who always has a hard time hitting that third squat, or has a hard time physically making it to deadlift, or simply want to be better conditioned, try some of these tips and see if they work out for you.

Gene Bell Tip of the Day: During your off season invert your workout. Do your auxiliaries first, and your main lifts last. This will increase your muscular endurance, and switches things up in your workout which can help break plateaus.

-I.B.

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