5 MUST READ Powerlifting Articles From CoryG
Even for someone as motivated as I am, I need people to hold me accountable. On top of that, having my crew in my corner pushes me to go even further. I know that every day they are going to be standing at Old School at what is the middle of the night for most people and they will be competitively trying to beat me.
For us, 4am is a big key. Not everyone is waking up feeling amazing every day and on those days when you’re just not feeling it, a competition can turn that around. It’s all about finding a training partner who can bring out the best. They should also have the same goals as you. Whether that’s physique goals, power goals or a combination of both like my guys. When they’re committed to that time frame; being punctual and ready to rock when we get in the gym. Also, communication is big, letting each other know when you’re having an off day and need to feed off of their energy is another key.
I’ve probably been through 100 training partners or better since high school. Getting people to come train with me at 7am was hard and now I’ve got 30 guys in here at 4 in the morning. I’m blessed to have a group at this level and it keeps me young, pushes me harder and reaching more goals. No one likes to get beat or come in second and the accountability factor of having like-minded individuals at the gym pushes you farther. The funny thing is that when we’re at the gym we’re lifting but that’s not what we’re talking about. That camaraderie and brotherhood that we have in our crew is special. Not everyone can get 30 people at the gym at 4am, but it all starts with one person. We had one, and then two and the beauty of these types of training partners is that it will spread like a wildfire. So find yourself that one training partner with similar goals and the same level of dedication and just watch it grow.
They call your name, the weight that you're lifting and the bar is loaded. I've got my headphones in as one of the 4am Crew Members, usually Todd Dunkle, is wrapping my knees. I say to him, "Todd give me some more heat on these things." That means, in slang, wrap them up tighter, I'm ready to go. As I'm walking to the bar, ready to put my belt on, all I can think is, todays the fucking day. This is what you worked for. This motherfucker's gonna be light as shit. Bring it today. Quit being a little ass bitch. I tell myself these things straight up because everything, all the work I've put in, is right here. All the getting up at 3am, the hours under the bar, now's the time to hang it all on the line. What I like to say is, leave my spine on the platform. Some people might not say that's a good mentality but that's how I've felt any time I got big numbers. You're going to get everything I've fucking got, my ultimate best. I never think about missing that weight.
My grandpa always used to say "If you think, you stink." He was basically saying that if you overthink it, you're probably going to miss that weight. There's no room for negative thoughts. Some people think about the pressure, injury or missing the weight but all I do is think about getting under that bar and laying it all on the line. My best squat is 540 at 181. My best at 198 is 550, drug-free. These are things that I'm proud of. DO I think I can be stronger than that? Yes. But in those moments, just like this past meet, I knew I was going to make the weight. People always ask me, squatting everyday worked? Hell yeah it worked. It gave me two elite numbers in two weight classes. I was able to front squat 405 and I could barely hit 200 when I started. It absolutely worked but it also gave me a bar confidence. Most people are scared to squat. What I'm articulating right now, that confidence, came from squatting every single day. So as I approach the bar in a meet, it's just like every day in the gym just with people in the stands.
The only thing on my mind is, G, today's the day you got up for. This is what you trained for. This is what you wanted so leave it all on the fucking line. I have no room for the negative shit that has, or could potentially happen. It's all about what I have in the tank on showing it on the day that it counts. That's why I tell myself not to be a little bitch because I want to rise up and get something I've never gotten before. Most of the big weights I've hit in the past, if you watch them, they don't even look heavy because I'm so fired up. That's what I'm looking for when I come into a competition. The mental is more than the physical. Yeah, you have to be strong but most people get defeated by themselves mentally first. Sometimes I yell, or get animated, but it's because this is what I got out of bed for. I'm not out here breaking world records, hell, I'm not even the strongest guy in my own gym, but I'm there that day; me vs. me. At the end of the day, when you approach the bar you better figure out what you're going to say to yourself because that's where most screw it up. Get that confidence up and leave that spine on the platform.
Sleeves or Wraps? This is a question that I have gotten hundreds of times on social media. In this article I’m going to begin by breaking down what each DOES first, then tell you that you should use both.
If you begin on a Squat Daily journey that is pushing you to a “Daily Max,” you are going to need some sort of aid/help with your joints. When I say “Daily Max” we’re not killing ourselves every day, hanging out our spine on the bar. By properly properly utilizing the Conjugate Method I ensure that we are getting a variation of exercises while not getting bored as we go.
At some point you are going to need something that is going to help warm up the joints and give at least a mild support. Knee sleeves are not going to give you a crazy pop or rebound out of the hole, but they will provide warmth to the joint and keep them warm during your workout.
It’s one of those things that I recommend to wear on a daily basis if you are engaging in a Squat Every Day protocol. I’ve made Squatting Daily a part of my life, and through my personal experience knee sleeves have been a great choice.
On the other hand, knee wraps are a different story. A wrap is used for overloading the lift, while also helping to give you more stability in your knees for those big lifts. Wraps are going to offer more stability, resulting in more protection during the lift. Wraps are for specifically programmed days OR for competition. If you have no interest in competing and have no interest in overloading, then maybe the knee wrap isn’t for you.
I think it also adds an interesting element to my programming. With this addition, the wrap is allowing you to overload and train your nervous system to handle heavier weights. That’s one of the primary reasons why I like wraps.
So, do you need knee sleeves or wraps?
I believe that you need both to properly utilize the program and its effectiveness, however they are not a necessity. If you simply want to do the squat protocols with no gear whatsoever, that’s fine. If you want to add in knee sleeves to keep the knees and joints warm, grab some sleeves. If you want to hang it out to dry, grab some knee wraps too.
Squatting and lifting with bands was made popular by the famous Westside Barbell founder, Louie Simmons in the early ’90’s. There’s a company called Jump Stretch, founded in 1980 by Ohio native Dick Hartzell, that revolutionized band training. Dick was super flexible, and is one of the guys that didn’t get as much credit as you should have for band training. Louie had met Dick, and took some of his jump stretch bands home to see how he could apply them to his training program.
I believe the Soviets used some sort of band training or accommodating resistance, but I don’t believe it was set up in the same manner as how Louie used them. Louie coined the term ‘Overspeed Eccentrics’, which causes you to descend faster because of the tension, followed by you exploding through the bands. The result is an increase in power and force development because of the added tension pulling you down.
What I particularly like about bands is that it trains and tricks the body into becoming stronger. When it comes time to take the bands off, you feel like you can explode out of the hole, which helps you bust through plateaus. I believe it’s a great cycle for your body to go through a few times per year to switch it up. Bands are straight trickery, and will help you development more force production with your lifts.
GPP is General Physical Preparedness, what does that truly mean? Basically it means conditioning for whatever sport you are going to play or weight lifting you are going to be doing in life. This term was made popular by Louie Simmons and the Westside Barbell club. The three GPP movements I turn to the most are walking lunges, sled drags, and farmers carries.
1. Walking Lunges- This is a form that I came up with for duration and distance, it allowed me to do powerlifting and bodybuilding. It has been a major factor in insuring my hamstrings and glutes are firing properly and in building up endurance and my connective tissues.
2. Sled Drags- By dragging a sled forward and/or backward it builds up a ton of work capacity in your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. It has been one of the most widely used GPP variations in the sports world especially.
3. Farmers Carries- This old school movement increases grip strength, works your upper back, increases endurance, and aids in hip stabilization. Farmer carries are one of the key movements to help improve your overall strength as well as the accessibility of the movement as you can always find two heavy ass things to carry around.
GPP helps the body protect against vulnerable positioning, improves your weaknesses, allows you to perform better, and enables the body to handle greater workloads. GPP is vital in training programs to insure our bodies are ready for whatever we put them through!
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