Bench Press Power – part 2

Andy-Bolton-Bench-Press-300x200In part 1 of this Bench Press newsletter
series I talked about the most important thing
that you must work on if you want a big Bench.

And that was TECHNIQUE.

Today I’m going to talk about the Bench Press
and variations of the Bench Press and how you can
incorporate these into your training.

Remember that all the variations I’m going to share
with you today train the same muscles as the regular
Bench Press. (Triceps, Lats, Front Delts, Pecs).

However, some variations do tax certain muscles
groups harder than others. For example, Incline
Bench Presses will make the Front Delts work a
little a harder than regular Bench Presses.

In contrast, Decline Bench Presses will make the
Pecs work harder than they do during regular
Bench Presses.

The trick with your own training is to work out
which variations will bring up your weak points.

Remember, have the guts and the courage to do
the stuff you SUCK at and over time this will pay
off big time for you and reward you with a bigger
Press.

For example, I compete equipped (in a Bench Shirt)
and over the years I have always struggled with
lockout power.

My current training reflects this. I use regular
Raw Bench Presses to warm up and then do
some practice in my Bench shirt and then do two
exercises for the lockout.

The pay-off has been obvious… I put over 50kg
on my Bench in 6 months, having been stuck for
years at my previous PR.

If you are competing Raw you may choose totally
different variations of the Bench in your training than
I use in mine because you may have totally different
weaknesses than me.

———————————————-

Bench Variations

———————————————-

Regarding Grip width:

You have 4 options on all Raw exercises:

1. Close Grip (index fingers touching the smooth
part of the bar)

2. Medium Grip (a thumbs length from the smooth)

3. Pinky on the ring

4. Wide Grip (middle finger on the ring or wider)

Tips:

– I would stick to your competition width grip
when using the Bench Shirt. There is enough to think
about when using a shirt without complicating matters
further by changing grip width

– Due to the extra stress that a WIDE GRIP places
on the Pecs and Front Delts I would perform 6 reps
or more when using this grip.

– The closer your grip the more you make the Triceps
work

———————————————–

Bench Press Exercise List

———————————————-

This list is by no means every possible variation of
Bench Pressing that you can include in your training.

But, it should make you realise that no matter what your
weakness; there is a way to train it.

Here we go:

Bench Press

Incline Bench Press (various angles, ranging from shallow
to very steep. Can be performed on a specific Incline
Bench OR in a Power Rack with an adjustable bench)

Decline Bench Press

Swiss Bar Bench Press (this will give you different width
NEUTRAL grips. A great choice if you have beat up
shoulders as the neutral grip is a lot easier on the
shoulders for most people)

Swiss Bar Incline Bench Press

Swiss Bar Decline Bench Press

Floor Press (performed in a power rack. Just lay on the
floor and perform your presses from there)

Cambered Bar Bench Press (this increases the range of
motion and develops great starting strength off the chest.
Only use it if you have the flexibility/mobility to do so).

***

You can use the 4 different grips on any of the Bench Press
variations above.

You could also use any of the exercises above with Bands
or Chains.

Remember, you can move against Chains, against Bands,
or have the bands assist you… as in the Reverse Band
Method (a personal favourite of mine and a great developer
of speed and lockout power/tricep strength).

As you can see, with a little imagination you can come
up with a never-ending list of exercises to help improve
your Bench.

You will note that I haven’t mentioned DB movements
here. You can use DB’s to press on a flat Bench, Incline
or Decline Bench.

However, because of the stress of getting the DB’s in
place, I am not a big fan of heavy DB work and prefer to
keep the reps to 10 or more when using DB’s for pressing
exercises.

(Just try and get the DB’s you need for a 3 rep max into
position and you will see why I don’t like DB work for
a main movement).

I am not however saying to never use DB’s. Just use them
for assistance work.

So there you have it; a massive amount of exercises to
help get you a bigger Bench.

To learn more about exactly how to increase your Bench,
click here:

Explode your bench

In the final part of this Bench Press series and I’ll show you
some great assistance exercises for helping your Bench.

Until then,

Andy Bolton

Ps. If you Bench is already on FIRE, but your Squat needs
work, check out this:

Explode your squat

Bench Press Power – part 1

I’ve put together a 3 part series for the Bench Press.

To Bench BIG; technique is first and foremost. It
was only once Bill Crawford, (of Metal Militia),
helped me with my technique, that my Bench
jumped from a terrible 280kg to a more
respectable 342.5kg/755lbs.

And this jump happened in just 6 months!

In fact, that was good enough for the British record.

To learn more about how Bill helped me improve
my Bench Press technique and to see how you can
get a bigger Bench very quickly, click the link below:

Explode your bench

I’m now going to share with you some key points
to improve your Bench Press Technique:

—————————————————

Bench Press Technique: The Most Important Stuff

—————————————————

Get Your Set-Up Right

– 1. Regardless of whether you Bench up on the balls of your
feet OR flat-footed… get your feet out wide. This will
create immense stability.

– 2. Squeeze your Glutes as hard as possible

-3. Force your Shoulders back and down and get your
upper back tight.

Un-Racking The Bar

– 4. Take a deep breath of air before you un-rack the
bar.

– 5. To save your shoulders and to keep the set-up
position you have created before un-racking the bar…
Get your training partner to give you a good lift-off

Lowering The Bar

– 6. Hold your breath and lower the bar down to your
lower chest/sternum area.

– 7. ‘Break the bar apart’ to activate the Triceps as much
as possible

– 8. Keep your forearms perpendicular to the floor

Pressing The Bar

– 9. Drive with the legs as well as the upper body

– 10. Keep holding your breath all the way to lockout,
or at least until you get past your sticking point

– 11. Push the bar in a straight line or slightly back
towards your head

– 12. Rack the bar or repeat for reps

Work on these points each and every time you Bench,
both on your heaviest sets and on your lightest warm-up
sets.

Science has proved that it takes most people around 500
reps to groove a technique and make it run on auto-pilot.

However, it takes a staggering 3000 reps to break an old
technique and re-groove a new one. The take home message
is clear: NEVER take any sets for granted and try to do
every rep right, with every weight. Heavy or Light.

To discover even more about exactly how to Bench Big,
check out my book by clicking HERE:

Talk soon,

Andy Bolton

VIDEO – Bench Press Technique Part 2

In this Bench Press technique video you will see me
talking about how to get a good set up and a good
lift off.

The lift off can make or break your Bench Press.

A good lift off will allow you to transition from having
the bar in the racks to having the bar over your chest,
without losing your initial set up position.

In contrast, a bad lift off will cause you to lose your
set up position, have a weaker press and invite injury.

Choose who you get to lift the bar off for you VERY
CAREFULLY.

To learn more about this and everything you need to
know to build awesome Bench technique and add pounds
to your press, check out my book, “Explode Your Bench”
by clicking HERE.

VIDEO – Bench Press Technique Part 1

For more information on how to improve your
Bench Press technique and build a bigger press…
check out “Explode Your Bench” by clicking HERE.

Bench Press Mini Series – Part 1

I’ve put together a 3 part  series on the Bench Press.

(this is part 1)

To Bench BIG; technique is first and foremost. It
was only once Bill Crawford, (of Metal Militia),
helped me with my technique, that my Bench
jumped from a terrible 280kg to a more
respectable 342.5kg/755lbs.

And this jump happened in just 6 months!

In fact, that was good enough for the British record.

To learn more about how Bill helped me improve
my Bench Press technique and to see how you can
get a bigger Bench very quickly, click the link below:

Explode your bench

I’m now going to share with you some key points
to improve your Bench Press Technique:

—————————————————

Bench Press Technique: The Most Important Stuff

—————————————————

Get Your Set-Up Right

– 1. Regardless of whether you Bench up on the balls of your
feet OR flat-footed… get your feet out wide. This will
create immense stability.

– 2. Squeeze your Glutes as hard as possible

-3. Force your Shoulders back and down and get your
upper back tight.

Un-Racking The Bar

– 4. Take a deep breath of air before you un-rack the
bar.

– 5. To save your shoulders and to keep the set-up
position you have created before un-racking the bar…
Get your training partner to give you a good lift-off

Lowering The Bar

– 6. Hold your breath and lower the bar down to your
lower chest/sternum area.

– 7. ‘Break the bar apart’ to activate the Triceps as much
as possible

– 8. Keep your forearms perpendicular to the floor

Pressing The Bar

– 9. Drive with the legs as well as the upper body

– 10. Keep holding your breath all the way to lockout,
or at least until you get past your sticking point

– 11. Push the bar in a straight line or slightly back
towards your head

– 12. Rack the bar or repeat for reps

Work on these points each and every time you Bench,
both on your heaviest sets and on your lightest warm-up
sets.

Science has proved that it takes most people around 500
reps to groove a technique and make it run on auto-pilot.

However, it takes a staggering 3000 reps to break an old
technique and re-groove a new one. The take home message
is clear: NEVER take any sets for granted and try to do
every rep right, with every weight. Heavy or Light.

To discover even more about exactly how to Bench Big,
check out my book by clicking HERE:

Explode your bench

 

(leave your comments/questions in the comments box)

Andy B

How To Set Up Your Own Garage Gym

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.

Andy Bolton Squat Training: 9th June 2011

Squat Training: 9th June 2011

A. Squat against 40kg Chain/side:

200kg x 2, 210kg x 2, 220kg x 2, 230kg x 2

All sets felt very easy and this was my first week back
squatting in 4 weeks.

B. Conventional Deadlifts:

worked upto 185kg x 3

C. Block Pull:

worked upto 225kg x 3

D. High Boards (for grip, no chalk):

265kg x 10seconds, 305kg x 10seconds

This is week 1 of a 6 week wave and I’m currently 18
weeks out from the Bullfarm Powerlifting Meet in
Finland in October.

744 to 805 in less than 30 days? You better believe it

***Jim wrote in to say…***

“Andy,

My name is Jim Thompson. I just got your book “Explode your Deadlift”.
I loved it and the technique section was very helpful. My best Deadlift
up to getting your book was 744lbs.

After a few changes in form and adding a lot of KB swings I hit a pr of
805lbs
! I’m 43 yrs old and weigh 240lbs. When I hit 744 I was 290lbs.

My squat has gone up as well. My best at 290lbs was 985. I hit 900 for
2 at 240 lbs. Thanks you for the motivation and easy to understand
guidance. “Champions do as they must… competitors do as they will.”

Jim Thompson.

>>>My Comments:

Jim… that progress in unreal. Amazing!

Adding over 50 pounds to your pull in less than a month, at a lighter
bodyweight, is great for anybody. To do it AND join the 800lbs club
is faintly absurd!

Keep up the good work my man.

What’s next… 850lbs?

If you want some of what Jim had, click here.

Rod Shares His Powerlifting Story…

***Message From Rod***

Hi Andy,

Just a few words to thank you for the awesome info provided in your books!

I have brought all three books and have found the content to be absolutely brilliant!

I have come to Powerlifting fairly late at 43, but I am finding it fantastic, and the gains
I have made may not cause the powerlifting world to quake in their boots but they have
certainly impressed me!

This has been down to the stimulation and great tips that your books have given me!

Many Thanks,

Rod Latham

>>>My Comments:

Awesome job Rob. With the right knowledge and some hard work in the gym, anything
is possible.

If you’d like to use the same tools as Rod…. to improve your Squat, Bench and Deadlift
CLICK HERE.

Andy Bolton… The Story Of 1000lbs…

o see exactly how to build YOUR Deadlift technique, click here

If you know your Greek mythology, you may remember the story of Atlas. He was
the God of lifting and all other heavy burdens, who was sentenced by Zeus to bear
the weight of the heavens on his shoulders for all eternity. This legend has become
the symbolization of strength and is depicted in various images throughout the world,
including the official logo of the Worlds Strongest Man Contest.

However, what you may not know about is the follow up stunt that Atlas tried to
pull on Hercules by tricking him into “temporarily” taking over while he popped off to
acquire the Golden Apples from the Hespiredes for him, -thereby fulfilling one of
Hercules 12 labors.

Without resorting to a full on history lesson, let’s just say things didn’t go quite to
plan for poor (stupid) Atlas; upon his return, using the old “itchy back trick”, Hercules
soon had him holding the baby again. Unfortunately for Atlas, it would be at least
another 3000 years before help was at hand, or November 4th 2006 AB (After Bolton)
to be exact, -the date that Andy Bolton would deadlift over 1000lbs and transcend
mere mortality to join the Gods!

For sure, after the most mammoth demonstration of back and leg strength in history,
Andy could tackle the favor with the same degree of difficulty one would experience
holding a friend’s beer while he visits the restroom.

Before I launch into the how and the why, I believe it’s essential to take on board
the significance and magnitude of this historic feat. Since the late great Dan Wohleber
became the first man to pull 900 in 1982 (it actually weighed out at 904lbs), there has
seldom been more than one man on the planet capable of matching that weight in any
one year.

Some years would produce a real dealifting drought, with no chance of any such
ponderous weight to be seen anywhere on the horizon. In fact, nearly four years would
pass before Doyle Kenady would match this awesome number. Then, five years later,
Ed Coan would be beamed to us from another planet and pull 902 at 220lbs bodyweight,
-the first sign that we were not alone! Mutants really do exist!

A few other Super heavies notched up the numbers here and there, some under
questionable circumstances, others through legitimate strength. When Andy Bolton first
showed up on the international scene, his rawness would often leave him having to
deadlift tactically in order to chase gold.

But right from the get go, it was glaringly obvious that this guy had almost incalculable
back strength. When the creases were ironed out, the records just kept falling; he would
pull over 900lbs an astonishing fifteen times before he historically crashed that 1000lb
barrier, -a line that most experts in the field predicted would not even be approached let
alone crossed!

But these “prophets of power” should not be mocked, like me; they’ve also been fortunate
enough to know, work with and meet some of the strongest men that have ever lived.

We all realize that the significance of this huge milestone is actually even harder to swallow
when we review the list of awesome athletes that didn’t quite reach (officially) the magic
900lbs. Consider Bill Kazmaier, O.D. Wilson or Gerritt Badenhorst, three incredibly powerful
athletes that came within a whisker of the 900 mark. All three were accomplished winners
and world record holders in powerlifting and international strongman competition (Kaz is a
three-time winner of WSM). They were balanced all-rounders with no weak lifts or gimmicks,
whatever they accomplished, they did so for one reason only; they were incredibly strong.

I knew these guys well, witnessing many of their feats of strength; I can tell you that their
overall strength was far more impressive than most members of “The 900lb club”. But to
think that some day a guy would come along and out lift them by over 100lbs in this the
purest of lifts is almost inconceivable.

This view is shared by many of Andy’s peers and strength statisticians the world over.
Legendary strength coach Louie Simmons was on hand at the meet where history was made,
on completion of the lift, he turned to me and said “I was there when Don Cundy pulled the
first 800 deadlift. I was there when Danny Wohleber pulled the first official 900. He (Andy)
just broke the 1000lb barrier and it’s been an honor to be here to witness it”.

The great Eddy Coan, an icon who has become a good friend to Andy, phoned him the night
before the meet to wish him all the best and foretell the obvious. His words always carry a
lot of weight with Andy. On hearing the result, Eddy dropped me an e-mail which said the
following. “I have seen Andy Bolton lift on a number of occasions. When Andy says,” Load
the weight on the bar”, he will do it. The 1,003lb deadlift was a done deal before he even
walked onto the platform. The man knows what he can do. He does not make promises he
cannot keep. The moment he started the lift, you just knew he would get that lift. I have
never seen an explosion of power off the floor like this Great Lifter exhibited that day.”
Awesome words from The Don.

Andy: The Man

Originally hailing from Dewsbury, England, Andy (36) now lives and trains out of Leeds, -a
few miles down the road, but still within the county of Yorkshire. This northern county is
famous for producing great powerlifters and strength athletes, including former Worlds
Strongest Man Jamie Reeves, a former training partner from whom Andy learned a great
deal in the early days.

With a successful background as a junior sprinter, but a predisposition to rapid growth,
he became an ideal candidate for the bone-crunching sport of rugby league, which he
went on to play at quite a high level.

The required strength training would result in Andy being firmly bitten by the iron bug,
a familiar story.

In 1991, at age 21, he made the switch to powerlifting, pulling 330kg (727.5lbs) in his
first meet. In 1992, he would give the ultimate demonstration that, when all else is
even (diet, training, etc), great athletes are born and not made, when he pulled a
staggering gym lift of 904lbs!

Unfortunately, even with age on his side, employing traditional strength training methodology
would often result in his best lifts being left in the gym. However, by the end of 1992,
while still a junior, he would still pull an official 858lbs for a 275lb class senior World
Record! In 1993, after only two years of competitive lifting, he won the WPC World Powerlifting
Championships, in France. At this point, Andy hung up his belt and turned to strongman
competition, lured by the greater exposure and financial promise of a game that was on the
rise.

Traditionally, great powerlifters had always done well in this game, Kaz, Jon Pall Sigmarsson
and Magnus Ver Magnusson had won 11 WSM titles between them, -all three were world
-class powerlifters. But the goal posts were moving, true strength athletes could no longer
compete on an even playing field, a great traditional event was being replaced by entertainment.

Like everything in entertainment, the face had to fit, favored athletes would be given inside
information about the events and have access to the actual props to train on. Meanwhile,
true strength athletes would be corralled into qualifying rounds which included a lot of
cardiovascular events or that focused on the particular weakness of any athlete that had
fallen out of favor. The format became so silly, it bordered on ludicrous, with many athletes
being retired by dangerous events that included loading barrels out of water and tossing a
car with no safety measures to stop the athlete being crushed if he slipped.

Needless to say, Andy soon became disillusioned by the whole fiasco, after snapping a bicep
tendon in a show in 1999 (the last of several injuries), he turned his back on strongman for
good.

Fortunately for me, I was at this show, I was in the process of scouting for our national
powerlifting team and Andy, whose phenomenal record preceded him, was right at the top
of my hot list. It didn’t take much encouragement and in early 2000, he returned to his first
love, -powerlifting competition. With his bicep tear rehabilitated and his reverse grip switched,
he entered the WPC Worlds in Vegas in the (308lb) class, where pulled 407.5kg (898lbs) to
take the great Gerritt Badenhorst’s long-standing record. Andy has flatteringly gone on record
to say that since he started working with me during his comeback, his lifting has gone from
strength to strength. While I have worked with him extensively on various factors (diet,
training, etc), I will still stand by my earlier statement that great athletes are born and not
made.

How Andy Trains

Andy’s training schedule has him training just three days a week, Monday, Wednesday and
Friday. This pretty much flies in the face of much of the conventional strength training
protocols we are increasingly seeing being adapted from Eastern European methodology.
This is not to say that science plays no part in Andy’s training schedule, on the contrary,
his periodized training is very much science-based.

However, it’s our general belief that much of the extremely high volume, multiple session
programs that we hear being used by Eastern European athletes are adaptations from
remnant Olympic lifting theory. This adaptation is a lot more complex than it seems,
powerlifting involves a whole lot more muscle isolation, no matter how much pure power
work may be involved (plyometrics, isokinetics, etc), this issue cannot be escaped.

In weightlifting, you are striving for the extreme opposite, trying to get the body to work
as a total unit. Ok, so why do we see so much phenomenal lifting coming from athletes
that are apparently benching 2-3 times a week? The answer can be found in three things;
their average age, the pre-existing training history even at that age and an overwhelming
genetic pool of athletes which are easy to locate in a group of countries with such an extensive
history of successful weightlifting.

For example, the IPF Russian Nationals are known to take around a week to complete, giving
you some idea of numbers involved and depth of quality. Much like Louie Simmons famous
conjugate training, you will find much usable Olympic theory involved in Andy’s approach. For
most of the year, his training is comprised of a series of 6 week mesocycles, each focusing on
ironing out technical errors and peaking in a variation of one or more lifts or assistance exercises,
e.g. a deadlift or bench from a particular height block. Employing the supercompensation principle,
they follow a pattern of four weeks heavy, one week light, with a new maximum being established
in the sixth week.

The exception here will be the last pre-competition mesocycle going into a meet, which will be an
8 week program. Eight weeks may not sound long, but the preceding shorter mesocycles are all
structured with specific goals to form part of a much bigger macrocycle of about 6 months. Thus,
there is no off-season and there is no period where he is more than 6-8 weeks from competition form.

The structure of Andy’s training week is as follows:

Monday: Bench press and relevant assistance work (board presses, etc). Shoulder work, which
will include some pressing up to around 8 weeks out, then heavy front and side raises.
Assorted triceps work, with pressdowns forming the base.

Wednesday: Squat and deadlift, with both lifts being trained within the set percentage parameters
required by each particular mesocycle. After deadlifts, very heavy leg presses and leg curls are
performed for 6 sets of 8-10 reps. Heavy abdominal work concludes the workout.

Friday: This is reserved for upper back assistance work and will involve two forms of rowing, followed
by one form of pulldowns. Heavy shrugs will be performed for six sets and some biceps work will wrap
up the session.

I will cover Andy’s precise training routines for his other lifts in a future issue, but for the time
being, the question is where did that deadlift come from?

The phase that launched a thousand pounds!

The exact 8 week pre-competition mesocycle employed by Andy for the 1003lb pull is as follows. All
deadlifts are pulled extremely explosively; this is the total focus of the movement. All weights are in
kilograms.

Week 1. 70 x 5, 100 x 5, 140 x 5, 180 x 5, 200 x 5, 220 x 5, 180x3x3. No suit.
Week 2. 70 x 5, 120 x 5, 160 x 5, 200 x 5, 240 x 5, 190 x 3 x3. No suit.
Week 3. 70 x 5, 100,x 5, 140 x 5, 180 x 5, 220 x 5, 260 x 5, 200 x 3 x3. No suit.
Week 4. 70 x 5, 120 x 5, 160 x 5, 200 x 5, 240 x 3, 280 x 3, 210 x 3 x3. No suit.
Week 5. 70 x 5, 100 x 5, 140 x 5, 180 x 5, 220 x 5, 260 x 3, 300 x 3, 220 x 3 x 3. No suit.
Week 6. 70 x 5, 100 x 5, 140 x 5, 180 x 5, 220 x 3, 260 x 3, 290 x 3, 320 x 3. Suit down.
Week 7. 70 x 3, 120 x 3, 160 x 3, 200 x 3, 240 x 3, 270 x 3, 300 x 3, 340 x 3. Suit on, straps up.
Week 8. Competition. Bear in mind, Andy pulls on a Wednesday, but usually competes on a Saturday
or Sunday. Thus, this equates to 10-11 days rest.

In his build up to this meet, he would follow up his squat/deadlift training with heavy leg
presses (600kg x 10’s) and leg curls.

His Friday upper back workout this time round comprised of the following:

Hammer Strength single arm rows, 5 sets, working up to 200kg each arm x 10. Low cable
rows, 4-5 sets, 300lb x 10. Pulldowns, 4-5 sets of 10, 140kg (weight stack). Shrugs, 5-6
sets of 10, done very strict up to 380kg. Finally, ab work, including very heavy side bends,
crunches and leg raises would be done.

In his preceding mesocycle, Andy worked up to 410kg x 3 and 362.5 x 8 in the partial deadlift
(off a 4 inch block) with no straps.

Many will be surprised at the low percentages Andy actually works with in the deadlift, but
he feels that this is central to his success. With optimum genetics for the lift, squatting over
900lbs in the same workout and working on explosiveness have kept him relatively injury free
and still allowed room for progressive improvement. Talking about injuries, Andy suffered an IT
band problem in this build up and had to hold right back on his squatting.

He was understandably cautious here; he’d previously torn the quad during his strongman days.
He feels that the lift would have been easier had this not been the case, the fact that he pulled
972 after a 1124lb squat at the Arnold indicates he was probably correct.

What Andy Eats: Nutrition

Andy is extremely conscientious about his diet, in much the same way as a competitive bodybuilder.
He will consume around 2.5g/kg of protein, which for him equates to 400 grams per day, 50% of
this coming from supplements (ProPeptide). A similar figure is reached in carbs, primarily low-glycemic.
Around 20% of his calorific intake comes from fats; he consumes a high amount of omega 3’s. For
the last few months, he has been using 4.5-6g/day of beta-alanine (Pro-Slam, CNP Professional),
scientifically proven to redress systemic acidosis, this product dramatically reduced muscle soreness
and improved his recovery.

Looking forwards; how high can the Deadlift numbers go?

Perhaps the most exciting thing about Andy is that he still appears to be on an upward curve. He is
extremely “coachable” and always positive, performing at his best under pressure. He is that rare mix
of genetic freakiness and limitless enthusiasm. However, breaking the 1000lb barrier really did take its
toll on his mind and body for the first time. Never had he trained so obsessively for a lift, he was
concerned by the fact that he had temporarily lost sight of everything else in his life, including his wife,
Stacy, and beautiful baby daughter, Madison, -the most important people in his life. He will stop when
his body tells him it’s had enough. But for the mean time, his very realistic goals are winning the Arnold,
squatting over 1200lbs, pulling even heavier and owning the total record by pushing it past the 3000lb
mark!

Andy would like to thank the following people for their help and support in helping him achieve this
momentous feat. Stacy and Madison, his friend and training partner, Dave “Bulldog” Beattie, John Inzer,
Kerry Kayes, Phil Connolly and James cnp Professional Ltd), Bill Crawford, Louie Simmons, Ed Coan and
Jeff Everson.

This article was written by Brian Batcheldor in 2006 when Andy became the first man to Deadlift
1000lbs

To improve your pull be sure to check out one of Andy’s best Strength Building Tools… “Explode Your
Deadlift”