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few days ago, I saw a interesting video where four people ‘competed‘ to know which person could make the most number of squats with their own body weight. Now, they’re not just the Average Joe’s we see everyday, but seasoned athletes in their own fields.

These athletes are composed of a Powerlifter, a Strongman, an Olympic weightlifter, and a Bodybuilder. The people who put this up might have thought that this would finally determine who is the strongest athlete among the four disciplines. We know that following the Principle of Specificity, these athletes subdue themselves to a training program that would best suit the specific goals of their sport, so it is interesting to see which kind of training and technique would result to maximum muscular strength and muscular endurance.

The Powerlifter and the Weightlifter both train to do a 1-rep max in their competition, so they are used to training with low repetitions but at a high intensity (weight). On the other hand, the Strongman and most especially the bodybuilder are used to training with higher number of repetitions at a moderate to high intensity. Each competitor’s body weight was determined and they were set to squat their body weight as many as they can for 5 minutes.

The whole video is 10 minutes long and I didn’t watch all their grunting and groaning. (Disclaimer: the next sentence is a bit of a spoiler.) There are just some moments you may want to see like when one lifter almost loses his breath, or when another lifter fell on his squat rack! Anyway, if you just want to see the results, you can skip to 6:45 on the video timeline for the last minute of their match.

Recovery is as important as training!

Check out “Power Recovery Method” by Joe Hashey, CSCS to know how to get the best results from your workouts just by utilizing rest and recovery properly.

You can watch the video here:

Assuming that you now have seen the video, I can now ‘spoil’ the details!

As I’ve said earlier, the Strongman and the Bodybuilder are used to training at a higher number of repetitions so it’s safe to bet on one of them. However the Powerlifter and the Weightlifter, who trains with low reps and high intensity are the ones who prove to have a little more edge in terms of muscular strength and muscular endurance.

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Work Out Wisely!

Eric Cressey, CSCS developed the “High Performance Handbook” to show how to individualize your workouts to fit your specific goals and needs. Don’t waste your workouts. Working out the wrong way is like not working out at all, or even worse if your workout leads to injury!

One thing I noticed at the start (apart from noticing how the strongman kinda looks like an endomorphic Wolverine!) is how the Powerlifter and the Weightlifter distributed their repetitions. The four were allowed to take rest periods at any time and as long as they want throughout the five minutes. The Powerlifter rests every 6 to 8 repetitions in his first few sets. The Weightlifter, even though he does at least 15 reps in the first sets, takes a longer rest period to recover – the Powerlifter eventually caught up with the Weightlifters’ number at 30 squats. On the other hand, the Strongman did 20 straight repetitions while the Bodybuilder did 17. They did not recover long enough before doing their next sets which was detrimental as they were only able to do less repetitions than before. Of course, there was a time pressure for all of them to do the most number of squats but being ‘strategic’ on how fast each repetition should be and how to distribute the sets and rest period was still important.

First of all, this shows how recovery is very important to strength training! It’s not just about how much you lift and how often, but also how you allow your body to have short term recovery (resting in between sets) and long term recovery (resting in between training days or competition periods; periodization). Joe Hashey, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and a Top Personal Trainer developed a program for maximum recovery for efficient workouts. Many people waste their time in the gym working out the wrong way by not letting their body recover correctly – this won’t produce the results they want and might even lead to injury! Try Joe Hashey’s “Power Recovery Method” to maximize your workouts and achieve the best results in less time.

Secondly, the video shows how it is important to have the right technique and strategy when lifting. Form and technique matters in any exercise program. To get the best out of your training, you should know the right tools to use! An inefficient workout is like not working out at all and sometimes even worse if you train the wrong way and it leads to injury! Eric Cressey, the founder of Cressey Performance who is another CSCS and is an accomplished powerlifter, author, and coach, developed the “High Performance Handbook” which shows how to program your workouts to fit your individuality and specific goals. The Handbook helps you design a program suitable to your needs and even how to modify exercises based on your level. His program is proven not just by recreational fitness enthusiasts (a.k.a. gym rats) but by known athletes and Olympians. He specializes in applied kinesiology and biomechanics which simply means that he has an expertise in program design and corrective exercise for strength development and athletic performance. Try his Handbook for maximum results from your workouts!

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