Debunking Some Popular Training Practices
Why team based?
Besides helping, critiquing and encouraging each other, it is a synergy of energy. Here's how that works. You lift on your own or with an uninspired group and you try hard and occasionally get a PR hitting a new max lift. But, in a team of METAL MILITIA WARRIORS, someone in your team, that day shows more courage and more determination than you do. You witness them achieve what you didn't think possible. That energy inspires you to call up more courage, more determination and more strength than you thought you had and you hit new PR's that day. For this reason, the team members are very important and it is important that they have the same drive and motivation that you do. It is also the same reason why teams will purge themselve and get rid of any lifter that does not contribute to the powerful energy of the group by doing their best every training session. Many lifters have been escorted out the door for not helping load weights, for fooling around and not being serious, for constantly talking, complaining or making excuses, for being on deload week every week of the year, for being late or skipping training sessions or for generally just not having the same drive to improve and train as hard as everyone else in the group. This is no different than any other successful team. Go train at Westside and there it's train hard Louis Simmon's way or the highway. Or train with Bill Crawford and see how long you last without a strong mental focus.
Why not percentage based training plans?
Simple answer is that it is not accurate. Most people set goals that are too low and lay out their training to achieve them, then are really happy and feel successful when they do. But, they underachieved and spent weeks and months chasing a max lift of about 10% less than they could have achieved. For some people, this could be a full year of training wasted.
Studies show that a max can vary on any given day by 11 percent. In fact, almost every lifter that came to us with a percentage based plan had set a goal way below of what she or he was capable of. When they started training with us, they hit this goal by the second or third week and saved themselves weeks and months of wasted time training. And, as a result, they set much higher PR's at their next meet.
At Montreal Barbell in the METAL MILITIA MONTREAL POWERLIFTING TEAM, we had four people new to powerlifting achieve top 20 World All-Time Rankings in a year and a half. How many people do you know using the percentage based system of program training that have gone from zero to top 20 in the world historical rankings in 18 months? None that I know of and definately not four lifters on one team. We don't use percentage based programing.
Why Speed Day or Dynamic Day is not part of METAL MILITIA Training?
First, every lift has a specific tempo developed for each lifter. We try to ingrain that tempo every time we lift. If your best method of deadlifting is a steady slow start and grind finish staying in the right path and form, then doing speed deadlifts will ruin that tempo. I pick the deadlift example because I see people doing speed deadlifts fast off the floor and then I see two things happen; because the weight is lighter, they swing the weight forward and back to lock out, they grip and rip or grip quickly and pull without getting a proper grip, but at light weight this doesn't matter, then when they try a heavy weight and they approach it the same way, it doesn't budge off the floor. Why? because to lift light weights quickly and to lift heavy weights steadily are two completely different approaches and techniques.
Why No Shirt Benching to Boards?
Two quick reasons, one it changes the bar path and requires a different shirt adjustment and two, the last two inches are the most important part of developing a strong bench - you can mess up other areas of the bench but how you land and take off from the last two inches off the chest determines if you with get the bench or miss it. The last two inches require more leg drive, shoulder retraction, forearm and elbow positioning, stomach tightening and bar path and tempo developing. So why would you leave the last two inches out of your training and hope to hit all these things right at the meet?
What Should You Chase? - Goals? Numbers, Percentages, Records or PR's or other goals?
Each person has their own reason why they lift and why they compete. more later
How to plan your attempts for a competition, before and during.
Proper planning for a meet includes asking yourself what you want to accomplish. Do you want to set a total PR or individual lift PR's or records? more later