5 Ways To Get Stronger

By Andy Bolton

1. Work On Your Technique

Improving your technique may not sound sexy, but
it is sure as hell the fastest way to improve your STRENGTH
and minimize your injury risk.

If you want to improve your squat, bench and deadlift
technique, get yourself my package deal HERE.

2. Master The Art Of Training Program Design

Many lifters train HARD, but far fewer train EFFICIENTLY.
Efficient training involves doing the least amount of work
in the gym possible and achieving the highest sports result.

When I squatted 1214lbs some of my rivals accused me of
not telling the truth about how I trained. They said I must
have been doing more than I said I was.

This was of course B.S. I was telling the truth and I was
training efficiently.

To see how I train and copy my efficient training methods,
get yourself a copy of my DVD “The Phase That Launched
1000lbs”.

It is THE BEST Powerlifting DVD on the market. Period.

Click here to check it out in more detail.

3. Take It Easy From Time To Time

Training ‘balls to the wall’ is sometimes required in order to
get STRONGER. But doing so week in week out with no ‘down
time’ is a recipe for injury and a lack of enthusiasm.

Try taking it easy from time to time and your training will
probably improve.

Sometimes less is more.

You could try taking a de-load week by feel or program one
every 4th week.

OR you could cycle your training like I do – then you have
automatically built in easy weeks (at the start of the cycle)
and tough weeks (at the end of the cycle).

4. Learn From The Best

Whenever you want to EXCEL at something it pays to learn
from the best – someone who has already achieved similar
results to the ones you would like.

With training it is no different.

If you want to be as strong as a BULL, would you rather take
advice from a guy who’s been training a year and can just
about Bench his bodyweight, or a guy who’s been World
Champion numerous times?

I think the answer is obvious.

If your training is going well, keep doing whatever you are
doing! But if you are struggling and need some help, I’d be
honoured if you’d let me help you get stronger.

Click here to discover exactly how I can help you on a 1-to-1
basis no matter where you live in the world.

5. Sometimes You Need To Change

The best in the world in the iron game have all changed and
re-structured their training over the years.

You cannot do the same things over and over again – sometimes
you must try new things.

For years I struggled to Bench 700lbs, which was not good
for a SHW powerlifter.

However, I changed some things and within 6 months I
Benched 750lbs… a pretty HUGE INCREASE.

One of the things I changed was that I started using Bands
and Chains in my training. For more information about how I
used them and how you can use BANDS and CHAINS to get
stronger, check out my book right here.


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Off Season Training For Strength Athletes

By Andy Bolton

Powerlifters and guys who just want to GET STRONG often
ask me about ‘off season training’.

In this article I will talk to you about how you can structure
your off season training.

Firstly, let’s get one thing straight…

Unless you compete in a sport — you do not have an off
season. If you just train to get strong, you don’t have an
off season.

Secondly, if you are a typical powerlifter who does 3 or
4 meets a year, all evenly spaced out (so one every 3 months or
so) — you do not really have an off season.

However, with that said, every STRENGTH ATHLETE needs
periods of easier training and periods of harder training.

You cannot train balls to the wall as hard as possible 52
weeks of the year, for the rest of your life.

If you try — you will break down, either physically or
psychologically.

So don’t try it, instead, follow these 5 principles for
constant
progress…

1. Have 3 to 4 weeks of the year off from training

If you go on holiday a couple of times a year and then take
a week or two off when you feel over-trained or have just
done a competition, you will easily take this amount of
time off from training.

Do not take anymore entire weeks off because they will
do more harm than good. After 2 consecutive weeks off
from training you can really start to lose strength and
WORK CAPACITY.

So some time off is good to let the body and mind heal, but
not too much.

2. Take a de-load every 4th week

If you use a Max Effort, Dynamic Effort and Repetition
Effort approach to your training (like the boys at Westside do)
you should have an easy week every 4th week.

On this 4th week, just do assistance work and omit
the main lifts.

Or do the main lifts to a moderate intensity and omit the
assistance lifts.

The point is to reduce the volume and intensity and let
your body heal and recover.

3. Use the cycling approach

This is how I train.

When you use a cycling approach, you automatically build
easier weeks into your training because every cycle starts
out with several easier weeks and builds up in intensity as
the weeks go by.

Here’s an example squat cycle I’ve done in the past:

Week 1: 227.5kg x 5 (easy)

Week 2: 250kg x 5 (easy)

Week 3: 272.5kg x 5 (moderate)

Week 4: 300kg x 5 (moderate)

Week 5: 330kg x 5 (pretty tough)

Week 6: 362.5kg x 5 (very hard)

Do you see how that works?

Starts easy and ends hard. After a cycle like that you do
not need to take a week off — instead, simply start another
cycle.

By the way, for more help with your squats, click HERE.

4. Do something different

This is a great option is you are feeling like you need a
change of pace, but don’t want to stop lifting.

Try to do something that will still help you towards your
goals, or at least maintain your strength.

For example, if you want a bigger SQUAT and DEADLIFT,
but want 3 weeks off from squatting and deadlifting — don’t
sit on your ass and do nothing for 3 weeks.

Instead, do exercises that build the squatting muscles
(Hamstrings, Quads, Gltues and Lower back).

You could do Glute Ham Raises, Leg Presses, Sled Drags
and Prowler pushes.

This allows you the change of pace you needed, whilst
still training.

Best of both worlds :)

5. Use higher reps for a few weeks

This is a method I like to use after a big competition. Instead
of taking a month off, I take a week off and then get back
in the gym.

But instead of doing the same old singles, doubles, triples
and 5′s that I use when doing my serious strength training –
instead I go with sets of 8′s and 10′s for a few weeks.

This allows me to carry on training, add some muscle
mass and allows my body to recover.

So there you have it. That’s how to work “off season” training
for the strength athlete.

It’s not so much off-season as knowing when to put your foot
down and when to back off.

For more information about training program design and how
to structure your strength training, check out The Phase That
Launched 1000lbs DVD by clicking HERE.

Please hit the Facebook ‘Like’ Button and leave any comments
or questions you may have and I’ll do my best to answer
them.

Andy B.

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Strength Training – 1 Top Set Or Several Sets At The Same Weight?

By Andy Bolton

Andy Bolton

People often ask me whether they should do 1 top set
or several sets at the same weight.

My answer goes something like this…

Most of the time just do 1 top set.

For instance, let’s say you want to work up to a 5 rep
max (RM) on your squats. You have a goal of 315lbs
in mind.

Here is how I’d warm you up for that:

bar x 5 x 2

95lbs x 5 x 2

135lbs x 5 x 2

225lbs x 5

275lbs x 3

315lbs x 5

The goal of the warm up is simply to set you up for
your top set.

Now, on cold days, you may need more warm up
sets. I favour adding more lights sets, as opposed to
increasing the reps.

On really warm days, you may need less warm ups.
For instance, in the example above, if you were
feeling really warm, you may only need to go 225lbs x 3
and 275lbs x 1, before attacking 315lbs x 5.

Do you follow what I’m saying?

Now there are two major exceptions to this rule of
“ramping up”.

Firstly, if you need to add muscle mass, you may choose
to do more sets at the same weight, or more reps on
your warm up sets.

The reason for this is because to add muscle you normally
need more volume. So adding sets and/or reps is the
logical route to take.

Secondly, beginners often do well on several sets at
the same weight because they do not have the
technique dialed in enough to safely go for heavy 5 and
3 rep maxes.

So for your heavy squat, bench press and deadlift training,
stick to one heavy set most of the time. It is how I’ve
trained for 90% of my career and my 1214lbs squat
and 1008lbs deadlift show that it works pretty dam well :)

To find out more about how I put up those numbers and
to see how you can plan simple and highly effective
strength training cycles that will get you STRONG and help you
to avoid injury, get yourself a copy of my training DVD.

It is the best quality training DVD on the market. Period.
Check it out by clicking the link below…

The Phase The Launched 1000lbs Training DVD

 

 

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How To Work Out Your Weaknesses And Get Strong: Part 4

By Andy Bolton

Today we are going to talk about the weakness that is holding back
not only lifters, but the entire western world!..

NUTRITION

Let me tell you the cold harsh truth right now – without your
HEALTH, you are NOTHING.

Seriously, without health – nothing else matters.

So why is it, when I go to Powerlifting meets I see lifters stuffing their
faces with white bread and cheap cheese and Ham sandwiches or
chocolate bars?

Why is it Heart Disease and Cancer are gripping the world in a horrible
way (I think 80% of us are statistically going to succumb to one of
these diseases at some point).

Scary, eh?

Why is it that I see guys training for 3 hours (with great technique
and the “best” training programs)… but they don’t drink anything
during that session?!

In other words… they are chronically dehydrated!

I have been guilty of neglecting my nutrition in the past, but it is
now something I take very seriously.

I’d like to share a few principles with you today that will improve
your STRENGTH and your HEALTH.

Does that sound like something you’d like to do?

If so, please read on, print these principles out and stick them
somewhere where you’ll see them every day and live by them.

When you do… you’ll feel, look and PERFORM much better.

10 Principles For Improved STRENGTH and HEALTH

1. Get Hydrated

Drink at least 2 litres of water (excluding peri-workout nutrition
per day). The bigger you are the more water you will need.

Try adding a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt or Pink Himalayan Rock Salt
to every litre of water you drink. This little secret will vastly
improve your hydration levels.

Better hydration = better performance. Period.

2. Peri-Workout Nutrition Rules

It is amazing how many lifters still drink nothing around training
time. To ignore peri-workout nutrition is RETARDED.

And for those coaches still recommending Skittles and Mars Bars
post workout – SHAME ON THEM.

Get with the times.

Here is what a proper athlete drinks to fuel himself BEFORE,
DURING and AFTER training…

- 1 hour before: 1/2 litre water, BCAA’s, Carbs

- During training: 1/2 litre water, BCAA’s, Carbs

- Immediately post workout: Protein, Carbs

Pretty simple really, isn’t it? Start doing it and your strength will
rapidly INCREASE. Guaranteed.

3. Get your 5 a day (minimum)

Okay, this one isn’t sexy – but it’s vital for your health.

So just man up and do it.

Eat 5 portions of Fruit and Vegetables a day. MINIMUM.

5 of each would be better!

Emphasize variety and a wide selection of colors throughout the
week. So don’t just do Bananas and Potatoes (all yellow)… do
bananas, strawberries, spinach, cherries, oranges and so on.

Get it?

4. Quality Matters

Unfortunately, food quality is not always good these days – so
get the best quality that you can afford.

Don’t drink tap water – go for bottled water (or filtered).

Go Organic whenever you can – this way you get less chemicals
and other crap and more vitamins and minerals. It’s a ‘no-brainer’.

You get the idea. Organic is really important.

5. Eat A Variety Of Protein

Grass fed Beef

Organic Chicken

Wild Alaskan Salmon

Don’t eat chicken 8 times a day like some Bodybuilders do – it’s a recipe
for boredom and the lack of variety is not healthy.

With meats in particular – quality is super important, hence the “grass
fed”, “wild Alaskan”, “organic”

6. Eat Plenty of Healthy Oil

Have 2-4 table spoons a day of the following:

- Coconut Oil

- Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Have 2 to 4 teaspoons a day of this:

- Fish Oil

7. Choose Healthy Carbs

White Bread and white pasta are OUT!

Brown rice, spelt pasta and sprouted bread is in. Make the change and
feel the difference.

8. Have A Large, Raw Salad Every Day

This is very important.

Here’s how to do it:

Have this salad with Fish, Chicken or Meat…

- Green Leaves (spinach, lettuce etc)

- Tomato

- Cucumber

- 2 to 3 vegetables of your choice

- Olive Oil, lemon juice

When we cook our food we destroy the enzymes and some of the
vitamins and minerals. One raw salad a day will help you to get
plenty of enzymes, vitamins and minerals into your body – all
VITAL for HEALTH.

9. Get Some Sun Or Vitamin D

Less than optimal Vit D levels have been linked to many diseases.

Unless you work outside in the sun, topless,  for at least an hour a day -
you are probably deficient in Vit D.

Buy a Vit D supplement and take it daily. Go for Vit D3 and get at least
1000IU’s per day.

10. Get Some Maca Powder

This supplement is a great natural enhancer of Testosterone.

So it’s great for your strength and your performance in the bedroom ;)

Get 1 dessert spoon a day minimum (add it to a shake or smoothie).

 

Listen up.

What I’ve just shared with you is very POWERFUL. Get your nutrition
right and your strength will fly through the roof.

If you found this useful, please hit the Facebook “Like” button because
everybody needs and deserves this simple information.

It’s not hard to do, but most of us don’t do it.

My challenge to you is to STEP UP and cut out the tinned, packaged,
processed crap and start putting GOOD FOOD into your body. Your
Squat, Bench, Deadlift and HEALTH will thank you for it.

For more stuff that will help your squat, bench and deadlift – you can
check out all of my programs by clicking HERE.

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How To Work Out Your Weaknesses And Get Strong: Part 3

If you are serious about getting STRONGER and building your squat,
bench press and deadlift – I’d like you to take a second to think about
this…

- Have you ever experienced a time when you were training hard and
following a sensible training program, yet you still failed to get
stronger?

- Or maybe you got stronger, but not as quickly as you’d like?

If you are anything like me (and any lifter who has been pounding
the iron for a couple of years or more), you will have answered
“YES” to one or both of the scenarios above.

Now here’s the thing…

I get lots of emails from guys asking me why the are not progressing
in the gym. And when I see their training programs – sometimes
that is the reason why.

When I see their technique – sometimes that is the reason why they
are not getting stronger.

However – there are some guys who have great technique and are
following a sensible training program, but they are still not
getting STONGER!

What gives?

Here’s what…

Most lifters are guilty of only looking at their program and technique
in order to improve.

However, you need to look at EVERYTHING that effects your training
and you need to be able to effectively work out what is holding you
back.

Oftentimes, the biggest thing holding lifters back is:

A LACK OF SLEEP.

Now I know that sleep isn’t super sexy and it’s not really fun to talk
about (unlike programs and super cool assistance exercises).

BUT… If you don’t get enough sleep – your gains will be less than optimal.
Period.

Now let me ask you: What’s the point in busting your ass in the gym,
if you are then throwing your gains away by not sleeping?

If you want to supercharge your strength gains (no matter how fast or slowly
you are currently progressing) – you’d be wise to improve your sleep
quality.

Here are 5 tips for better sleep

1. Get off your COMPUTER at least 2 hours before you go to bed

2. Have a WARM SHOWER or bath an hour before bed

3. Do not watch violent television programs or listen to hardcore
music within 2 hours of bed (by hardcore I mean heavy metal and
that kind of thing)

4. Take a supplement with MAGNESIUM in it an hour before bed

5. Make sure your bedroom is DARK and COOL

These simple, effective tips will help you sleep better.

And when you sleep better. You will get stronger. And it’s not
exactly difficult to do.

Oh, and one more thing – get 8 hours a night.

Try getting 8 quality hours of sleep per night for the next 2 weeks
and watch what happens to your strength. You will be pleasantly
surprised.

If you found this useful please hit the Facebook “like” button and
leave a comment and any questions you have.

For more help getting stronger, check out my full list of STRENGTH
BUILDING TOOLS, by clicking HERE.

 

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How To Work Out Your Weaknesses And Get Strong: Part 2

By Andy Bolton

If you missed part 1 of this series, you can check it out here:

http://www.andyboltonstrength.org/2011/11/07/how-to-work-out-your-weaknesses-and-get-strong-part-1/

Now let’s get into part 2…

Pulling Big

Here we are going to look at technical weaknesses.

At first sight, the three powerlifts (squat, bench press and deadlift)
may look like easy moves to master.

However, you only have to go to your local commercial gym or
“fitness and health center” to see that most people performing the
Squat, Bench and Dealift are doing so with lousy form!

And what does lousy form mean?

It means LESS STRENGTH and MORE INJURY RISK.

Not good.

So, if you want MORE STRENGTH and LESS INJURY RISK (and I’m
guessing you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this) – pay
careful attention to the tip I’m about to share with you because
it is vital on all 3 lifts…

How To INSTANTLY Improve Your Squat, Bench And
Deadlift

Tightness is the key to strength.

If you don’t know how to get tight – you will never reach your
strength potential.

The other day, a friend of mine (who is also a powerlifter) asked
me what mistake I see most lifters making.

I replied…

“That’s easy – they are too loose under the bar”.

In other words – they don’t know how to GET REALLY TIGHT.

Let me tell you – you must practice getting tight on very single
set you do. I don’t care whether it is 95 pounds or 995 pounds,
you must get tight.

And it is only through repeated practice that you will learn to
stay tight with heavy loads.

Here is a drill that my friend Pavel likes to get people to do
to learn to get tight. Do it with me right now.

It’s a 3 step drill that goes like this…

1. Sit down, relax your body and now FLEX YOUR RIGHT
BICEP as hard as you can – but only focus on the bicep

Feel the tightness

2. Stay sat down, relax your body and now FLEX YOUR RIGHT
BICEP and your RIGHT FIST as hard as you can.

You will notice much more tightness when you squeeze your
fist as well as your bicep.

3. Here’s the best part and the true lesson in tightness that I
want to teach you today.

Stand up.

Yes, just do it – STAND UP.

Now do the following as hard as you can:

- Claw the floor with your toes

- Tense your Quads

- Squeeze your Glutes

- Flex your Abdominal muscles

- Tighten your Lats

- Squeeze both fists

and now….

- FLEX YOUR BICEPS

If you do this correctly and with meaningful effort – you will feel
incredible tightness. (Your body will probably shake with the
effort).

It is this tightness that you must try to recreate throughout your
body on your squats, bench presses and deadlifts.

Many people try to find weaknesses that are  more advanced than
they are.

If you cannot get tight – you do not need to be worrying about
hamstring weakness on your squats or tricep weakness on your
benches.

Tightness is king.

Work on it.

For the next 30 days, work on tightness and mastering
your technique on your squat, bench and deadlift and watch your
STRENGTH GO WAY UP.

Have fun and I’ll be back with part 3 soon.

For more help with your squat, bench press and deadlift form,
check out my books and DVD’s right HERE.

Please click the Facebook “Like” button and leave a comment. If
you have any tips for GETTING TIGHT – leave them in the comments
box for everyone to learn from.

Also feel free to leave any questions you have in the comments
box and whilst I can’t promise to answer them – I’ll do my best
if I have the time.

Talk to you soon,

Andy

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How To Work Out Your Weaknesses And Get Strong: Part 1

By Andy Bolton

There is a saying in STRENGTH TRAINING that goes like this:

“You are only as strong as your weakest link”

And you know what? It’s very true.

A great example is when I pulled over 1000lbs for the first time
and then it took me several years (and several missed attempts)
before I beat that first 1003lbs pull with a pull of 1008lbs.

Now I’ll be honest with you…

If I’d better assessed my weaknesses, I would have pulled1008lbs
much sooner than I did.

Once I worked out what my MAJOR WEAKNESS was – MY GRIP, the
solution was simple. Train my grip hard and the results will follow.

Sure enough, 1008lbs fell easier than 1003lbs did once I hit my grip
work hard.

The question is… WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR WEAKNESS(ES) right now?

Before I help you to find out your weaknesses, let me just highlight a
trend I see in the strength world that is holding many lifters back right
now…

It could very well be holding you back too – so pay attention to what
follows.

Every aticle I see on strength training at the moment is talking about
the next best Bench variation, or the best hamstring movement, or the
best way to get a bigger deadlift without training the deadlift.

I could go on – but I think you get the idea.

95% of the advice on strength training is related to the actual movements
that make up your strength training program.

And you’d think that makes perfect sense.

However, it doesn’t because IT MISSES THE BIGGER PICTURE.

Allow me to explain…

You can have the best training program in the world – but if you aren’t
SLEEPING properly, your results will be less than optimal.

You can perform your squats with perfect form – but if your mind is weak,
you will never be TRULY STRONG.

You can hit your triceps with every assistance exercise under the sun – but
if your nutrition is lame, your results will be less than optimal.

See what I’m getting at?

Most people’s focus (including that of many strength coaches) is too NARROW.

Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to write several articles on
ELIMINATING YOUR WEAKNESSES and you’ll get each article for FREE (just
keep an eye out for my emails).

The aim is to help you correctly identify your weaknesses by looking
at everything that impacts your strength – NOT JUST YOUR EXERCISE
SELECTION AND TRAINING PROGRAM.

I have a little exercise for you to do before I next speak to you.

Here it is…

How To Start Figuring Out Your Weaknesses And How To
Unleash Your True Strength

Simply put – when you eliminate your weaknesses you “take the
brakes off” your training progress and you will start to progress
faster than ever.

Here are some areas to think about before I talk to you again. Rate
yourself on a scale of 1 – 10 for each area, based on how good you
think you are at each (10 is best, 1 is worst):

- Technical Mastery of your chosen lifts
- Training Program Design
- Mind-set
- Warm Ups
- Pre-Hab
- Assistance Exercises
- De-load weeks
- Nutrition
- Recovery Protocols

When you see that list, do you now see why it is stupid to just look
at exercise selection and training program design when you are looking
for weaknesses?

Yet that is what most people do!

Anyway, don’t worry about it – I want to help you and over the course
of the next couple of weeks I’m going to give you some great advice
that will show you how to you identify and eliminate your weaknesses
more successfully than ever before.

Keep an eye out for part 2 (I’ll email it to you) and hit the
Facebook “Like” Button below and leave a comment.

 

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Where you train is super important. Who
you train with and how you train are also
very important too and all of these variables
will affect the outcome you get from your
training.

And whether you are a competitive lifter,
an athlete who trains to improve your
performance in your chosen sport or just
a guy who likes to train… I know that you
want to get STRONGER and more powerful.

If you want to achieve your goals as fast
as possible, you better be putting some effort
into where you train.

Your training environment will shape your
progress to some degree.

There are some gyms that you walk into and
you feel like you get stronger just being there!

The music is right, there’s chalk everywhere,
the people in their are training hard and the
equipment is just ‘right’.

The gym where I train is exactly like this. It’s
called Rall’s Gym, the car park looks likes a
bomb site and everything is falling to pieces.

BUT, it’s the best place to train within 100
miles of where I live. PERIOD.

Here’s a video of me training at Rall’s. It sure
as hell aint pretty, but I love training there
and that’s all that counts….

I’m sure Westside Barbell, Lexen Extreme, Big
Iron and some of the other successful gyms
in the US have that same feeling of rightness
that Rall’s has (for the strength athlete anyway. All
these gyms would probably scare ‘Joe public’ silly.
Not that we care about that, right?).

On the flip side, there are commercial gyms and
privately run small gyms that are set up for the
‘average’ person. Whatever the hell that means.

They are full of machines, mirrors and quite frankly
pathetic music.

Chalk’s not allowed, you can’t swear and it can
be quite difficult to get into the right mental state
required for serious strength training in these kind
of establishments.

If you want to get strong, avoid these places
like the plague.

Now we get to the main point of this article….

——————————————

What Do You Do If There’s Not A Decent Gym Near You?

——————————————

This is a legitimate question and you may be reading
this and asking yourself it right now.

One solution is to build your own gym.

If you or one of your training partners have a GARAGE,
this can be done relatively easily. And the cost to do
it is not that high; especially when you factor in that
most of the stuff you buy will last forever.

It’s a one-off investment in your training future!

I will say this: before you go buying equipment,
work out exactly how much room you need for each
piece.

For example, it can be tempting to think that you
only need a space 7ft wide for a Bench press station,
because that’s how wide the bar is, right?

WRONG.

You need more like 13ft so that there’s 3 ft either
side of the bar to load/un-load and spot.

So be very careful when planning what you can
really fit in the space you have.

Here’s what you need, in order of priority:

———————————————

Equipment For Your Own Garage Gym

———————————————

Stuff to do before you buy any equipment:

- Check the floor is flat and if not get it made flat.
It’s a pain in the neck and dangerous to train heavy
Squats, Deadlifts etc on an uneven floor.

- Work out how your going to heat the place in
winter. This will depend on where you live, but
it’s most likely a consideration unless you live in
the Caribbean.

Here’s the list:

Absolutely Essential Equipment:

- Power Rack or Monolift

- Adjustable Bench

- Power Bar

- Weight Plates

With the above equipment you can Squat, Bench
and Deadlift. You can also perform Incline Benches
Deadlifts from different height pins etc.

Stuff That’s Pretty Important…

- Bands and Chains

- Different Bars (SSB, Cambered Bar, Swiss Bar)

- Cheap Bar (for pin pulls and presses because you don’t
want to bend your best bar)

- Pull Up/Dip Station

- Low Pulley/Lat-Pull Down Machine

- DB’s

- Glute Ham Raise

Ok, if you add the above stuff to your set up
your starting to develop a pretty awesome
garage gym.

Dream Set Up Stuff…

- Reverse Hyper

- 45 degree back extension

- Prowler

- Sled

Note: you need a lot of space to drag/push the
sled and prowler.

Here’s the thing… you could probably get all
over the above for not much over $10,000 if
you get some stuff second hand. If there’s a few
of you who train together and are serious about
doing a garage set up that’s not a massive
investment each.

The pay off for your investment is your perfect
set-up, available to you whenever you want.

With as much chalk and loud music as you want.

I’m lucky, I have a gym that’s 5 minutes from
my house that has everything I need to get
super strong and a strong team to train with.

However, you may not have the right training
environment and this could be holding your
progress back. If so, something like that which
I’ve described above could be a real winner
for you.

If you decide to create your own gym, send
me some pictures and let me know how you
get on.

Talk soon,

Andy B

ps… even if you do train at a good gym; a home/
garage set-up can be good for extra workouts,
assistance workouts and days when you can’t
get to the gym.

Just be sure to pick your equipment very wisely.

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Recently I’ve been doing some reading and research
on a guy who has to be not only one of the greatest
strength coaches of all-time, but one of the greatest
sports coaches of all-time.

I’ve talked a little about him before, but I’m going to give
you some more detail today and tell you what both you
and I should learn from his training.

This guy was responsible for producing 9 Olympic
Weightlifting Champions and 50 to 60 European and
World Champions. And all from a country with a
population of just 8 million (roughly the size of a city
like London, LA or New York).

This man is of course….

Ivan Abadjiev

And he almost single-handedly took Bulgaria from a
mediocre Weighlifting country to the most dominant
Weightlifting force of the 1970′s and 1980′s.

So you must be asking yourself, “How the hell did
this guy produce so much from such a small and poor
country?”.

Here’s how…

———————————————————

Weightlifting And Sport In Eastern Europe

———————————————————

It’s important to understand the mentality of Eastern
European countries when it comes to certain things such
as Weightlifting.

They value these sports a bit like we in the West value
Soccer, Football, Basketball and Rugby. In other words, it means a lot to them.

Children in these countries were often made to train
for certain sports by the people who worked in the national
sports infrastructure.

Everything from your mental characteristics to your
size, speed and ability to pack on muscle were taken into
account when it was decided for you what sport you would
train for.

These countries in effect created machines that were designed
to churn out champions.

And they were very successful.

However, that much success had some downsides and many
lifters were left broken by training systems that only the
strongest (both mentally and physically) could survive.

This is true of Ivan Abadjiev and his unbelievable Bulgarians.

But I don’t think he cared how many lifters he broke, he
just wanted medals. And they were often GOLD.

And I’m not here to judge the rights and wrongs of such
a system, but rather to marvel at the success it created
and hopefully learn from it and use it to help us all get
stronger!

Here’s an overview of how Abadjiev trained his Weightlifters.

You must bear in mind that his ideas evolved over time (like
all good coaches should) so what you see hear is simply
from my research and may not be true for the entire time he
was coach. But you’ll get a very good idea of the way they
trained.

Prepare yourself because this is H*rdcore:

—————————————————

The Most Brutal Training System EVER

—————————————————

The Weightlifters training under Abadjiev’s used only 5
exercises! YES, just 5.

When Abadjiev took over as Bulgaria’s national Coach
19 exercises were being used.

He quickly whittled it down to 5:

- The competition Snatch

- The competition Clean and Jerk

- The Front Squat

- The Power Snatch

- The Power Clean

The reason for this was all down to Abadjiev’s belief in
the theory of…

Specific Adaptation To Imposed Demands (S.A.I.D)

Put simply:

You get good at what you practice.

And he found that the exercises that carried over best to the
the Snatch and Clean & Jerk were the ‘Power’ variations
and the Front Squat.

* Note… at times other exercises were used but it was
almost only ever when training around an injury or for
teaching beginners.

For the most part, just those 5 exercises were next.

Next up, let’s look at training frequency…

Abdjiev’s liftes trained almost every day and lifted 2 or
more times a day.

(Remember, when training for competition, these guys
lived, ate, trained and slept at the national weightlifting
facility and they didn’t have regular jobs).

The rep ranges they used were 1 to 6 nearly all the time.

Workouts lasted around 45 minutes or less and many
recovery methods were used; both in between sessions
and at the end of the day. Massage played a key role in
the success of these athletes.

So to re-cap, here’s how the Bulgarian Weightlifting System
looked under Ivan Abadjiev:

- 5 Exercises were used (The Snatch, Clean and Jerk, Front
Squat, Power Snatch and Power Clean)

- There were multiple training sessions per day (nearly every
day)

- Rep ranges were 1 to 6

- Rest periods were 2 to 3 minutes or more

- Sessions lasted approximately 45 minutes

- Multiple Recovery methods were used, including massage

- Lifters lived and trained at the National Training Facility

So, given the success this system produced, am I saying that
we should all train Bulgarian Style? No I’m not, and let’s look
at why:

———————————————————

The Harsh Reality Of The Bulgarian Training System

———————————————————

This system broke more lifters than it made. Abadjiev didn’t
care because he still found his 1 in 1000 champions. But, if
you want to stack the odds in your favour it wouldn’t pay to
model a system like this that only works for a small %.

This system suited ‘model’ lifters, meaning guys who were
genetically suited for the Olympic Lifts.

If you were bio-mechanically suited for the Olympic Lifts that
didn’t ensure your success. You MIND had to be solid as
a rock too….

Multiple Training Sessions per day, only 5 lifts, only 1 to 6 reps
performed per set. Kinda boring eh?

And that’s why most guys couldn’t hack it.

So, what can we take away and learn from the Bulgarians?

Here’s what:

S.A.I.D… If you want to get a Bigger Squat, Bench, Deadlift or
any other lifts; you must practice it and prioritise it in your training.

You don’t have to take this to the extreme that the Bulgarians did
and end up with only 5 exercises, but don’t think that Glute Ham
Raises or Dragging a Sled can replace a Squat. If you want a big
Squat… do a lot of Squatting and then build up your weaknesses
with sensible assistance movements. I show you how to do all this
in my DVD. You can discover more about this here:

http://www.andyboltonstrength.org/the-phase-that-launched-1000lbs-dvd.htm

Recovery methods were certainly high up on Abadjiev’s lists
of tricks up his sleeve and we should certainly learn from this.

Do all that you can to work on your recovery. Here’s 7 recovery
methods you should be using:

————————————————-

7 Awesome Recovery Methods

————————————————-

1. Eat well

2. Stretching post workout

3. Peri-Workout nutrition

4. Sleep

5. Swim Recovery

6. Contrast Showers

7. Massage

***

Another thing to consider from the Bulgarians is multiple
training sessions per day. Not something I do personally, but it can
work.

I am not suggesting that you train 4 times per day!

However, if your Squat session normally looks like this:

- Squat

- 3 to 4 Assistance Movements

You could try Squatting in the morning and doing your
assistance in the evening. Each session would probably
be a little more productive than doing everything at once.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the Bulgarians. If you
want to see more then do a search on YouTube or check
out Iron Mind’s DVD: Unbelievable Bulgarians.

More than anything else, this stuff is just inspiring and makes
you want to train smarter and HARDER than ever.

For more inspiration and to see how to develop extreme
Strength and explosive power, click the link below:

http://www.andyboltonstrength.org/the-phase-that-launched-1000lbs-dvd.htm

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How To Get BIG and STRONG

There’s a lot of guys out there who want to get bigger and stronger. But how come so many of them fail to add the muscle and strength they desire?

Well, there’s a ton of reasons for this, but here’s my top 5 reasons people are failing to add muscle and strength:

#1 They don’t train hard enough

#2 They don’t eat enough

#3 They don’t get enough rest

#4 They have no consistency

#5 They don’t do the right movements

Now, with that list in mind, I’m going to share with you 3 things that you can do,(starting today), that will skyrocket your size and strength gains in the gym.

Here goes:

Supercharge your Training Results – 3 Secrets

- 1. Choose the right exercises

Base your training programs around the big, basic, compound movements. These include Squats, Bench Presses, Push Presses, Military Presses, Deadlifts, Rows, Chins and the Olympic Lifts.

These days there is a new fad piece of equipment in every gym corner and on on every TV commercial you see.

Do not be fooled by this junk!

The strongest, most powerful, muscular athletes on the planet built there physiques and strength using the basics. I built my Deadlift to in excess of 1000lbs by Deadlifting, Squatting and doing a few assistance exercises.

Squatting and Deadlifting takes up 80% of my training time and probably accounts for 90% of my success!

Look at Eddy Coan. Probably the strongest athlete and Powerlifter of all time, pound for pound.

Ed pulled 900lbs at just 200lbs bodyweight!

Yikes….

And if you look at his training it was always very very basic. No fancy gimmicks, BUT huge results. Look at Ronnie Coleman. One of the most successful bodybuilders of all time. And anyone who’s watched his training DVD’s will know he is strong as an Ox and focuses on the basics. Ronnie hits those Squats, Presses and Pulls hard.

-2. Nail your Post-Workout Meal

Post-Workout Nutrition is what you eat within an hour of finishing training. This meal could have more impact on your progress than any other meal of the training day. A lot of guys do not eat anything within an hour of finishing training and this is a massive mistake. They are literally throwing away muscle and strength gains.

Here’s what you should do:

Eat within an hour of finishing training.

Make this meal a shake (liquid)

Have some Protein and Carbs

Add 5 grams Creatine (Optional)

Add 5 grams Vitamin C (Optional)

Add 5 grams Glutamine (Optional)

Take this in your gym bag so you have no excuse to not drink it immediately after you finish training.

A good starting point, if you weigh 200lbs and want to gain muscle, would be:

30 grams Protein

80 grams Carbs

Start using this protocol after your very next training session. Within a couple of weeks you should see progress. (Adjust the amount of Carbs to suit your tolerance and goals).

-3. Train with Intensity

I have seen people make very little size and strength gains on what looked like decent training programs. In contrast, I have seen people make amazing gains on what appear to be very poorly designed programs. In fact, these guys have often just done whatever they felt like.

So… what gives?

Intensity. The best training program in the world (whatever that is??) will yield poor or Zero results if it is done in a slack manner with no enthusiasm. However, it is possible to make big progress with a poor training program if you do the basics and put your heat and soul into it.

Now I’m not saying that you should use a bad training program, but I am saying that you should bring some intensity and have some fire in your eyes when you come to the gym to train. The take home point is that a great training program (built around the basics), performed with intensity, will produce huge results!

Tip: get yourself some training partners with similar goals, around your level and you will magnify your results beyond what you could do on your own.

Without my team I would not have Squatted 1214lbs and pulled a grand. They helped me along the way.

 

So there you have it. A few things to make sure you are not doing in the gym and 3 very important things to make sure you are doing.

Now, go write yourself a simple, effective training program (built around the basics), take your post workout shake to the gym (each and every time you train) and train with some fellow badasses and you will be jacked and super strong in no time!

But you still may not pull a grand ;)

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