31 August 2010

Simplicity (Why I won't compete in powerlifting)

Of  all the music out there that is popular after many years, the novice listener (if they have a shred of inquisition as to why they do what they do) will wonder why the same popular music outlasts half the other bullshit that comes out in their life time.

Justin Bieber
Anyone expect to see this douche bucket in five years?

 Since I teach music, one of the things I try to get across is simplicity.  In a given song, one should try to convey whatever it is they want to convey in the simplest way possible--sometimes the simplest way can be pretty complicated, if we take some death metal bands as an example.  Bands like Meshuggah, Necrophagist, and Nevermore have complex songs, but the message is not overcomplicated by crap.  Yet it is still complex.  This is what happens as you advance in life.  Things must be as simple as possible.

On the other hand, The Beatles crafted masterworks that often ran under a three minute time limit.  Songs like "Eleanor Rigby," for example, which tells a story of two lonely people who just missed each other and in turn died alone.  The message they wanted to convey was done in a simple way for what they wanted to achieve.

We should apply these same principles to our lifting as well.  Not only will we look less like half the other morons in the gym and more like fucking awesome people (what's not awesome about lifting heavy ass weight off the ground a couple times?) but we can think more about the rest of our lives.

This is why I am a fan of Pavel Tsatsouline.  In Power to the People He advocates a Press and a Pull.  Powerlifters do presses and pulls and it makes up the bulk of their lifting.  Olympic lifters and kettlebell lifters do the same thing (I view the jerk as a type of press, and the snatch is definitely a pull).  So if elite level athletes do presses and pulls, why the hell shouldn't you?

This is a snatch.
This is a Jerk.   

Google search "Jerk" and this will come up.

You should press and pull.  And when you get to elite levels of musicianship and lifting, it will become more complex.  But the idea should still be to keep it as simple as you can.  So don't waste your time doing assistance exercises that aren't needed.  If your sticking point in a deadlift is midway, don't add deficit deadlifts to your routine along with rack pulls.  Keep it simple.  If you don't need an extended area of crap in the music you make (if you make music) then don't put it there because you can.  I can bench press, but I don't do it.  I don't do it because it's not a goal.  I also don't like being close to the spotter's testicles, and overhead pressing requires more of an effort and looks more bad ass.  And since I don't bench, I don't compete in powerlifting competitions.  Now go pull or press something remotely heavy. 

More deadlift talk.

Yesterday at the University of South Florida gym a guy claimed he knew what he was talking about because he was a strength coach.  And upon seeing the chalk all over my shorts, he asked if I was a powerlifter.  He even told me he knew shit about Louie Simmons.  So he showed me some fancy computer that had Westside Barbell Lit. thereupon.  I started talking to the guy, and somewhere along the way, I mentioned kettlebells swings and how they are similar to Dimel deadlifts.

Dimel Deadlifts are named after Matt Dimel, and he was famous for squatting a shit ton of weight--somewhere in the neighborhood of 1031lbs.    They are performed very quickly, and for high reps and with a submaximal weight.  In The Russian Kettlebell Challenge Pavel makes mention of people using about 30%of their 1RM.

The conversation went nowhere, as when I described the Dimel, the guy insisted they were Romanian deadlifts.  It went back in forth and he clearly didn't recognize the difference--mainly the submaximal nature of the Dimel and the rapid pace.  Some go so far as to say in the Dimel the feet go a little closer.   I got flustered and left.  What guy who follows Louie Simmons wouldn't know what the hell a Dimel deadlift is?  For that matter, he hadn't actually read Zatsiorsky's Science and Practice of Strength Training, which is where the majority of Louie's system comes from.  Digression, but so you people know, here's what a Dimel deadlift, a Double kettlebell swing, Romanian and Straight legged Deadlift look like:

I included the Straight leg deadlift video because most people use the term interchangeably with Romanian Deadlifts.   Now you can see the difference for yourself.  Good exercises all of them.  Do them. Or don't, I don't give a shit.  I personally am a big advocate of the double  swing/Dimel deadlift.  Using the double kettlebell swing, I have added heaps of weight to my deadlift in time periods I have not actually trained my deadlift.  Works like a charm.  I think it is because in the Dimel deadlift and the double swing, we are forced to become aware of our glutes and our hips in the deadlift movement.  And when it comes time to lift heavier, the awareness translates to the heavier weight. 

30 August 2010


This blog will be about more than the two title mentions.  I just happen to love both of them a lot.  I'll put my training log on there, since I typically don't  keep one, and I will talk about death metal.  I will also post shit about a ketogenic diet I started today.