Aesthetic Powerlifting

Jeremyk1

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I’ve been something of a non-competitive bodybuilder for a long time now, but I’ve always been pretty strong. I’ve been thinking about competing in either bodybuilding or powerlifting or both for a long time. When I heard @Hyde say he was going to do a powerlifting meet in Plainfield, Indiana, I decided there’s no reason for me not to go, as I live just outside of Indy. Well, I got my USPA membership and registered for the event.

But, to make things interesting, I’m going to maintain something of a bodybuilding physique. Partly, I love being muscular. But partly, I have a theory that being somewhat lean can improve progress due to better insulin sensitivity and stuff. Also, if I’m honest, I struggle to eat enough food to bulk up. Without tracking, I’d guess I eat about 5k Calories a day.

Anyway, I figure I’ll track progress here. Looking for big biceps and a big bench press. What else really matters?
 

Jeremyk1

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Cool thanks guys! Not sure anyone here really knows me much, so I can do some more background info later.
 

Jeremyk1

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Alright, before I talk about my workout, gonna make sure everyone is aware my bench press is EXTREMELY disproportionate to literally every other exercise I’ve ever done. In my younger years, all I would do is bench presses and curls. I’ve been working for years to bring everything else back into balance, and physique-wise, I’m doing pretty well. But my bench, squat, and dead numbers are all pretty close to each other.

With that out of the way, I worked up to a single today of 455. My butt came off the bench a little, and bar speed was very low, but otherwise relatively clean. I’m happy enough with that. Dropped to 315 and knocked out 13 reps, pretty close to my all time best. I think I had that up to 15 reps at one point months ago. Hit some biceps in between sets. Fun workout, felt pretty good.
 

Jeremyk1

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Alright, before I talk about my workout, gonna make sure everyone is aware my bench press is EXTREMELY disproportionate to literally every other exercise I’ve ever done. In my younger years, all I would do is bench presses and curls. I’ve been working for years to bring everything else back into balance, and physique-wise, I’m doing pretty well. But my bench, squat, and dead numbers are all pretty close to each other.

With that out of the way, I worked up to a single today of 455. My butt came off the bench a little, and bar speed was very low, but otherwise relatively clean. I’m happy enough with that. Dropped to 315 and knocked out 13 reps, pretty close to my all time best. I think I had that up to 15 reps at one point months ago. Hit some biceps in between sets. Fun workout, felt pretty good.
 

Jeremyk1

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My workouts are pretty weird. I’ve never seen anyone else work train in a similar style, but it’s been working out pretty well for me. For a long time, I kept trying new workouts to try and spur new progress. I tried a Westside-style conjugate program, based on everything I could read about it online. Maintained strength fine, but didn’t increase at all, disappointingly. I’ve bought several of Charles Poliquin’s books, and used to browse his website all the time for tips and programs to follow. In my younger years, I used to buy some of the bodybuilding magazines, I have Arnold’s Encyclopedia for Modern Bodybuilding, I’ve tried workouts based on what I could read about Mike Mentzer, Dorian Yates, and Arthur Jones. I’ve tried tons of crap.

What I’ve found best for my progress is pushing big ass weights all the time. Like I mentioned, I tried doing a conjugate style program, but the mix of dynamic effort didn’t improve gains at all. I deload every once in a while because everyone always says you can’t go hard 100% of the time, but I’ve never come back stronger like so many people say. Maybe I just do everything wrong, but I’ve been getting the best results doing heavy squats and benches week in and week out. I do very little variation in exercise selection. I’ve swapped out flat bench for inclines, declines, dips, etc, but then bench press strength goes down and takes me a while to build back up. Same happened from a hypertrophy standpoint. In Charles Poliquin’s arm training book, one of his suggestions is that it’s possible some people are overtraining their arms, and would benefit from taking a break from direct arm training. I tried that, lost about a quarter inch off my arms, and it took me like two months to get that back.

Just want to clarify all of this, so everyone knows I’m not training like a complete idiot, there’s a reason I’ve ended up doing what I do. I’ve ended up with what I think is a pretty unique blend of several different training styles, hopefully taking advantage of the various benefits of each. Basically, each workout I work up to a max, not necessarily 1RM, but I do end up doing lots of singles. I use the heavy sets to take advantage of post activation potentiation. This is a concept I learned from Charles Poliquin, where a muscle is able to contract with greater force following maximal activation. It’s really interesting if you’ve never tried it, but if you lift an extremely heavy weight, then drop the weight, you can typically do significantly more reps than you would normally be able to. Also, working up to big weights will also help with strength gains, naturally. And I use the ramping up sets and max effort sets to increase the volume a little. Beyond that, it ends up looking like a sort of Dorian Yates style workout, with one all-out set to total failure. Preceding this set with the heavy sets has improved my progress beyond what I was getting in the past using Mentzer/Yates/Jones type of high intensity training.

Honestly, that’s pretty much it. I typically do two, or sometimes only one exercise for the muscle group. With the type of exhaustion I get, I don’t see myself getting any real benefit from doing a few half-ass sets of another exercise.
 

Jeremyk1

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Alright, I know I’ve been slacking on updates, Friday I had a long day at work, yesterday had some family stuff to take care of. Still got in my workouts, I don’t take days off. Friday was just a typical upper back day, some barbell rows, except I actually use an EZ curl bar. I like the grips I can use with that. Follow the rows with some pull ups. Threw in calves with back day as well. Yesterday was supposed to be dedicated to squats, but ended up being dedicated to taking my son to see his mom. She didn’t tell me what time we were supposed to meet until the last second, so I had to cut the workout short. Squatted 315 for 10 reps just to make sure I got some work in, then headed to Ohio to meet her.

I know I’ve talked about looking like a bodybuilder, but provided no evidence for these claims, so I went ahead and got a few pictures. I must say, I hate the way my physique looks on cell phone cameras, I think the lens angle is too wide and distorts proportions slightly. But that’s all I have available, so I’ll go with it.
 

Jeremyk1

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Alright, I know I’ve been slacking on updates, Friday I had a long day at work, yesterday had some family stuff to take care of. Still got in my workouts, I don’t take days off. Friday was just a typical upper back day, some barbell rows, except I actually use an EZ curl bar. I like the grips I can use with that. Follow the rows with some pull ups. Threw in calves with back day as well. Yesterday was supposed to be dedicated to squats, but ended up being dedicated to taking my son to see his mom. She didn’t tell me what time we were supposed to meet until the last second, so I had to cut the workout short. Squatted 315 for 10 reps just to make sure I got some work in, then headed to Ohio to meet her.

I know I’ve talked about looking like a bodybuilder, but provided no evidence for these claims, so I went ahead and got a few pictures. I must say, I hate the way my physique looks on cell phone cameras, I think the lens angle is too wide and distorts proportions slightly. But that’s all I have available, so I’ll go with it.
 

BBiceps

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Idk what’s more impressive, your physique or your farmers tan ;) lol, jk, good shape, keep it up!
 

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