"7 Powerlifting Strength Secrets" - Useless Article of the Day

Posted on 13 Nov 2014 12:44


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I saw an article on my newsfeed from Muscle and Fitness I immediately thought click-bait because of its catchy title. It was against my better judgement, but not wanting to give in to preconceived notions, I clicked on it.

As expected, it was ridiculously useless. I was going to post this as a snide Facebook status but I figured I'd pen my thoughts down in this short blog post.

Here is the list of the SEVEN "powerlifting" strength secrets:

1. Squat Deep
2. Deadlift like a Boss
3. Pyramid Up
4. Drop Sets
5. Compete
6. Form Check
7. Rest and Eat

I sat their reading this and realized how full of utter nonsense this list was. There is nothing "secretive" about this list. If you are competing as a "powerlifter" it means you have to squat to the depth required by your federation. Squatting "deeper" isn't going to get you that big total that will make you win. Here's an article dedicated to Performing the Powerlifting Squat for RAW Lifters

Pyramiding up in weight and dropping reps as you progress isn't getting you stronger. Doing more than what you can do today is a measure of strength. But at the heart of it, all these progression schemes: 5x5, 10x3, 5/3/1, Juggernaut, etc are just tools meant to get you stronger. So getting overly attached to any of these is a waste of time. I have learned to love the process of getting stronger and to be passionate about results, not tools.

Probably the most idiotic is the advice to "deadlift like a boss." What the hell kind of advice is this? How do you deadlift like a boss? I have news for you: Everybody thinks they are deadlifting like a boss. Nobody thinks they are deadlifting like a wimp. This is nothing more than mindless strutting.

In this short list, I think the only aspect that is truly worth being a "secret" is the drop-set concept. Drop sets have become a thing only bodybuilders are "allowed" to do. That's a flawed assumption. I think Maximal Strength trainees could benefit a lot from occassionally planning several heavy Drop-set sessions on their main lifts. I did it and you can check it out here:

Last, you don't have to "compete" just to train to get strong. You do need to "compete" to label yourself a powerlifter though. Notice that the article is entitled 7 Powerlifting Strength Secrets. Powerlifters are not concerned with strength, but with the numbers on their competitive lifts. They are strong, but general strength is not their primary goal, as such a thing would be silly and counterproductive. It would be like a sprinter saying that their goal was speed. Well, at what distance do they compete? These types of articles attempt to equate "strength with powerlifting and powerlifting with strength." It is a psychological ploy to get the reader to feel like the article is "more legit" because of the powerlifting association. Lots of lifters out there want to call themselves powerlifters, whether or not they compete, but what you call yourself has nothing whatever to do with the effectiveness of your training!

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