Andy Bolton Seminar 2011 DVD Now Available

Hey guys,

Just a quick post to let you know that this seminar
DVD is now available…

You can check it out here

This seminar was filmed in front of a sold out crowd
in Ireland, at my good friend Sammy Graham’s gym.

It lasts 2.5 hours and if you are a Powerlifter or Strength
enthusiast, you’ll gain a ton of tips, techniques and
tools from it that you can use to start building your
strength TODAY.

To see exactly what’s inside, click here.

Here’s a very brief overview of what you’ll discover in
this DVD:

– How to improve your Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift
technique

– The correct use of Speed Work to blast through sticking
points

– How to design effective training programs that actually
make you stronger, faster and more powerful

– The Future Method using BANDS

– How to use Chains

– Exactly how I trained for my biggest SQUATS and DEADLIFTS

– And much more than I can list here…

To get the full scoop and grab yourself a copy of this
Powerlifting/Strength training DVD, go here NOW:

Andy Bolton Seminar DVD

My Bench & Deadlift Attempts From The Body Power Meet

I competed on May 22nd in a Push/Pull Powerlifting Competition

I competed on May 22nd in a Push/Pull Powerlifting Competition
at the NEC in Birmingham, England.

This video shows all 3 Bench Press attempts and all 3 Deadlift
attempts. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite have the day I was looking
for… but it can’t go perfectly at every meet.

I made my first Bench Press attempt and my first two attempts
on the Deadlift. I pulled 370kg and 410kg. 410kg felt pretty easy so
I went for the all-time world record of 1016lbs, but it didn’t really
budge.

I’ll be back competing in Finland at the Bullfarm Powerlifting
meet
. They’ll be lots of great lifters there and I’m looking
forward to it already.

Watch out!..

Training Advice For A Bigger Deadlift

In this article I answer a question from Carl. I get asked this question about a 1,000,000 times a day!

So it should help you help you out….

***QUESTION from Carl***

“Andy, Could you give me a good deadlift routine and any tips on how to get my grip stronger?”

VR3K7531

>>>MY COMMENTS:

I’m not a big fan of writing general routines out rep for rep, set for set; when I know nothing about the person asking the question.

I know certain magazines that make a ton of money dishing out routines every week that supposedly add 300 pounds to your Deadlift in 5 minutes or put 30 pounds of muscle on your frame in 30 days; but by and large these programs are as likely to work as you are likely to look outside your window right now and see a flying pig!

Choose who you listen to wisely and remember that:

“Success Leaves Clues”

With that said, I can tell you some things you should definitely be doing in order to get your Deadlift STRONGER.

For starters, you’re going to have to do some Deadlifting!

DUH!

Well, lately I’ve seen a ton of guys trying to make their Deadlift go up by avoiding Deadlifting and using assistance work and special exercises instead.

I think this is a road to frustration and a good plan requires some Deadlifting, some variations of your regular Deadlift style (eg Rack Pulls) AND some sensible assistance work..

Remember the principle of S.A.I.D at all times.

This stands for ‘Specific Adaptation To Imposed Demands’ and was a term used by Ivan Abadjiev
to describe how he trained his Bulgarian Weightlifters when they were the most dominant force in World Weightlifting.

By dominant I’m talking 9 Olympic Champions and something insane like 50 to 60 World and European Champions, (from a country with a population less than that of London or NYC).

What S.A.I.D basically meant was that you get good at what you spend your time doing. So…

If you wanna pull big, the most important thing you must do in your training is pull! ie… do some Deadlifting.

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that we should all stop doing everything but the competition exercises and
start using only 5 exercises in our training like Abadjiev had his athletes do.

No, I think that plan is too extreme and it broke a lot more lifters than it made. Abadjiev didn’t care though; he wanted world champions and if he dam near had to kill 100 guys to find 1 star, so be it.

I think the average guy needs a much more balanced approach to his training. You must know why you are training.

Have 3 or 4 lifts that you are trying to master and spend 70 to 80% of your time working those lifts or variations of those lifts.

Then spend 20 to 30% of your time on carefully chosen assistance exercises that bring up your weaknesses and help you avoid injury.

—————————————————————

Deadlifting And Deadlift Variations

—————————————————————

So, if you are trying to get stronger on your pull make Deadlifting the first thing you do in your session and perform the style you are trying to get stronger on at least some of the time.

That probably means, either pull conventional or Sumo from the floor, with straight weight, some of the time.

On other training sessions you may use special Deadlifts to work on your particular weaknesses. For example, if you
are weak off the floor you may want to try Deficit Deadlifts.

To do this, stand on a 1, 2 or 3″ mat and pull from there.

On the other hand, if you are weak at lockout, you may want to do some Rack Pulls (or block pulls ) to overload the top end.

To do this, set up the pins in a power rack to the height you wish to pull from and Deadlift from the pins. (I use this a
lot myself and usually pull from just below knee height).

Another Deadlift option to use is speed pulls. You can use Bands and Chains if you like, although I reserve these for my Squat and Bench training.

Bands and Chains can develop a lot of speed and lockout power, but don’t forget: You have to separate the bar from the floor… so don’t overdo a good thing.

When Deadlifting you should do the following most of the time:

– keep your reps between 1 to 5

– make sure every rep starts from the same position

– mix things up to avoid boredom… pull from the floor, pull from blocks, do speed work. Occasionally have a weak off if you are tired.

Once you’ve Deadlifted, move onto assistance work. This should focus on the Hamstrings, Glutes, Back and Grip

Here are some options:

————————————————————

Assistance Exercises For A Bigger Deadlift

————————————————————

You should remember that the most important muscles for a big pull are also the most important muscles for a big SQUAT (Hammies, Glutes and Back).

So if you choose your assistance exercises carefully you will get more ‘bang for your buck’.

Here are some of the best:

– Glute Ham Raises

– Leg Curls

– Band Leg Curls

– Reverse Hypers

– Good Mornings

– Pull Throughs

– Kettlebell Swings

– Barbell Glute Bridge

Experiment with lots of different assistance exercises and find out what rep ranges work for you.

You may also want to perform some single leg work such as Reverse Lunges or Bulgarian Split Squats.

And of course train the abs hard. Use Side Bends, Full Contact Twists, Pull Down Abs and anything else that you find works for you.

Switch up your assistance exercises every 3 to 6 weeks or when progress stops.

Putting it all together. A simple way to plan a Deadlift
session:

1. Deadlift Variation

2. Hamstring/Lower Back/Glute Exercise

3. Single Leg Exercise

4. Ab Exercise

5. Calf Exercise (optional)

One final thing to talk about. And it’s the thing NOBODY agrees on….

——————————————-

Grip Training

——————————————-

Ok, here’s what I know. Those Hand Grippers get your grip strong but don’t carry over much to Deadlifting.

Pinch Gripping, Fat Bar Work and Shrugging movements are what I have found makes my hands strong as hell for Deadlifting.

There’s a ton of ways to set these movements up. Try some new things out for yourself and find out what works for you.

Try timed holds for 5, 10 or 20 seconds. Try low reps and high reps. Try a couple of sets or 8 sets. Mix things up and continuously change the stimulus very few weeks to avoid boredom.

————————————————

What it takes to Deadlift BIG

————————————————

It takes a few things to Deadlift big.

A well thought out training plan is one. Do some Deadlifting and some assistance work. Do what you SUCK at, not what you’re good at. That takes courage and honesty to do, but it works. Over time these thing pay off.

Remember this:

“If you live life the easy way it ends up hard and if you live life the hard way it ends up easy”

(I’d love to give credit to whoever first came up with that gem of a quote but I can’t remember the dam name of the guy).

Moving on…

Get a good mind-set. It definitely takes a certain attitude to pull big.

Find yourself some training partners who like pulling and who are better than you. This will accelerate your strength
gains faster than anything else I know.

If you really want to pull big you must avoid those guys who love to Squat and Bench but treat the Deadlift as an  afterthought. There’s plenty of them around. Just check the record books for proof. Squat and Bench records change frequently, but Deadlift records can stick around for years.

Above all else, NEVER give up.

Until next time,

Andy Bolton

A Simple Tip For Powerlifting Competitions

It often amazes me how many lifters bomb at meets.  You don’t see many bomb on the Deadlift, but the Squat and Bench Press see a lot of lifters fail to make 1 of there 3 attempts and end up going home early.

This often lets weaker, but smarter lifters win or place higher than guys who are stronger but dumber!

The Powerlifting Competition is a simple thing. Your best Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift of the day are combined to form your TOTAL. The person with the highest total in their class wins. Simple as that.

But you have to make a total to have a chance of winning, right?

Here’s the solution. And be warned, it’s pretty dam simple… But tons of lifters don’t do it…

OPEN LIGHT!!

Now when I say light, I’m not talking stupidly light.But how about opening with your 3 rep max or a weight you could do for a single even if you felt like absolute crap. Do this, and you won’t bomb.

The greatest pound for pound lifter of all-time, Ed Coan, once told me that the only reason any Powerlifter ever bombed was because, “they opened too heavy”

Those were the words of a master lifter. Think about them the next time you are competing and pick your openers wisely. Remember, you have 3 attempts; so you might as well use them all.

Good luck at your next meet!

The Truth About Grip Training

I get asked about grip training all the time, so I think you’ll find this post pretty interesting if you want a strong grip.

***Question from Herbert***

“My grip has been giving out on the Deadlift as I’ve been getting stronger. What can I do to solve this problem?”

>>>MY COMMENTS:

Ah, the old grip question!

This is a really weird subject because some guys never have a problem with their grip (no matter how strong they get) and others struggle almost as soon as they start training.

So, what’s the deal?

Well, for starters, grip training is very personal. You have to work out whether you need it, and if you do… find the exercises that work for YOU. I can tell you now that grip strength (and your potential for future grip strength) is determined to some extent by the  size of your hands. The bigger your hands, the better your grip, generally speaking.

For example, if you compete in strongman there are some events (those that use a fat bar) that are going to kill you if you have small hands. So big hands are a blessing from a grip strength perspective.

For proof, check out Brad Gillingham, who has pulled nearly 900lbs with a double over-hand grip!

My own grip never needed training until I got to 950lbs plus on the Deadlift. Then, as any of you who follow my career will know, grip became an issue and I have had to train it hard.

I know of other very strong lifters (who Squat over 1050lbs and Bench over 800lbs), who can’t hold 700lbs on the Deadlift! Clearly, you must train your grip if it is your weakest link on the Deadlift or another event you compete in.

You are only as strong as your weakest link – remember this at all times, otherwise you’ll spend too much time training what you are strong on (and stroking your ego) and not enough time bringing up your weaknesses by doing the exercises you  hate. But that is the real key to grip strength and getting stronger in  general… do you stuff you really SUCK at because it’ll make you stronger in the long run.

I’m now going to share with you some of my favourite grip exercises:

———————————————-

3 Exercises For A Vice-Like Grip

———————————————-

Grip Exercise # 1:

2 Hand Pinch Gripping Movements

These can be done in a variety of ways. The only limit is your imagination.

For example:

– You can do 5, 10 or 20 second holds.

or

– 3, 5 or 10 reps sets (remember that lower reps are better for strength and the same applies to grip training)

This easiest set up for 2 Hand Pinch Grip Holds is to get two  20kg plates and put them together (smooth sides out). Then just Deadlift them from the floor.

To add weight you will need a short bar for the plates to go on and collars either side. For a video of how this is done check out this:

http://www.andyboltonstrength.org/videos/deadlift-videos/

Grip Exercise # 2:

Fat Bar Deadlifts/Holds

To perform this movement you will need a fat bar. Stick with 2 or 2.5 inches thick (any thicker and it just becomes a joke unless you have giant size hands).

These can be performed in the following ways:

– from the floor (ie full range Deadlifts)

– using a power rack, through various ranges of motion (ie partial Deadlifts)

as with pinch gripping movements, lots of different rep and set ranges can be used:

– sets of 3, 5 or 10 reps

– 5, 10 or 20 second holds

Grip Exercise # 3:

Shrugs

This may sound like a Trap exercise and it is. But Shrugs work the grip pretty hard too.

– Try sets of 5 to 8 reps

– Use a double over-hand grip

– Try a full grip and a thumb-less grip

———————————————————————–

How To Keep Making Progress With Grip Training

———————————————————————–

You must mix things up with grip training if you want to keep  getting stronger. Variety will keep your hands (and your mind) fresh. If you do the same exercises, in the same order, for too long a period of time, progress will stop (I know this because it’s happened to me).

Grip training can be an absolute b***h and progress can be hard to come by when you get pretty strong. Just keep going and keep changing the stimulus by rotating exercises and loading patterns by manipulating the set/rep protocols.

——————————————————-

4 Week Sample Grip Training Program

——————————————————-

Perform this grip work as an assistance exercise on the same day as your Deadlift training. I shouldn’t need to say this, but  I will:

– Perform it AFTER your Deadlift and not before.

Week 1:

2 Hand Pinch Grip: 5 sets x 5 reps (ramp the weights up each set)

Week 2:

Fat Bar Holds, starting with the weight just below knee height in the rack:

3 sets x 10 seconds (ramp the weights up each set)

Week 3:

Thumb-less Grip Shrugs:

4 sets x 8 reps

Week 4:

2 Hand Pinch Grip Holds: 2 sets x 10 seconds (hold back this week)

For the next 4 week cycle you could use the same exercises but try to go a little heavier this time round.
The only thing I know for sure about grip training is that  nobody agrees on what to do! So you must experiment and try new things and find out what works for you.

Good luck with your grip training! Having a strong grip is essential if you want a BIG Deadlift. But a strong grip on its own won’t guarantee you a big pull. To discover exactly how to get a bigger pull, check out my Deadlift e-book by clicking here.

Explode Your Deadlift e-book: released

small-book1Over the years I have been asked by literally thousands of lifters and athletes one very simple question. That question is:

“How do I improve my Deadlift?”

And that’s precisely why I’ve written ‘Explode Your Deadlift’!

In this e-book you’ll discover:

Exactly how to pull Conventional and Sumo

Easy tips to reduce your injury-risk whilst Deadlifting

How to work out your unique weaknesses and the exercises you can use to turn those weaknesses into strengths

And much much more…

To see full details about Explode Your Deadlift and to start improving your Deadlift TODAY, click here.

How To Get BIG And STRONG

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 ;)

The Deadlift – I’m a FREAK (The Final Installment)

aabv0118-300x199In parts 1, 2 and 3 of this mini-deadlift newsletter series I shared with you some deadlift history and 2 of my most successful, world record producing training cycles. (If you haven’t read those then just search in the ‘Deadlift’ category in the right side bar and you’ll find them very easily).

Hopefully you are now well on your way to a bigger pull and all the benefits it brings…

Winning Powerlifting meets, legs like Tom Platz, Lats like Franco Columbo and hot chicks falling at your feet…

I wrote this newsletter to show you the assistance exercises that I use for the deadlift.

 

Primary Muscle Groups to Focus on

– Hamstrings

– Glutes

– Lower Back

– Lats

– Upper Back

– Grip

My Favourite Assistance Exercises

– Leg Curls

– Leg Presses (feet high, toes out)

– Calf Raises (seated)

– Pull Downs (V-bar)

– Low Pulley Seated Rows

– Hammer Strength Rows

– DB Rows

– Very heavy bar holds

How I use these Movements

On Thursday, the day after I Deadlift I will usually do something like this:

– Leg Curls: 5 x 20

– Leg Presses: 5 x 15 – 20

– Calf Raises: 5 x 20 – 30

– Pull Downs: 3 x 10

– Low Pulley Rows: 3 x 10

– DB Rows: 3 x 10/side

I train grip like this:

On Wednesday, after my main deadlift sets I do this –

– Double overhand bar holds (bar is taped and I don’t use chalk): 5 to 8 sets x 20 seconds hold

On Saturday, I do this:

– Heavy partial deadlifts, shrugs, or a couple of other secret grip exercises I have up my sleeve

My Rules for effective use of Assistance
Exercises:

I never push assistance exercises to failure

– Assistance exercises must help the main movement or they get dropped

– The main movement always remains the priority

– Higher reps are used (8 or more)

– Rest periods are short (a minute)

– No assistance movement can ever replace the main movement

So there you have it. You’ve seen the world record training cycles. You’ve seen the assistance work and I’ve given you plenty of things to think about when planning your own deadlift training.

All you have to do now is the hard bit…

Get to the gym and put the hours in.

If you want to see how to put all this together and unleash your inner Deadlift beast, check out “The Phase that Launched 1000lbs” by clicking the link below:

The Phase that Launched 1000lbs

 

Talk soon

Andy B

The Deadlift – I’m a FREAK (Part 3)

In parts 1 and part 2 of this deadlift newsletter series I gave you some deadlift history and the training cycle I used to pull 1003lbs. (You can view parts 1 and 2 by searching in the ‘Deadlift Category’ in the right hand side bar).

Now I’m going to share with you the training cycle that I used to pull another world record. This time 1008lbs. That’s 457.5kg or half a small car!

What you’ll see here are the top sets I did in the gym, starting 10 weeks out from the competition where I pulled 1008lbs. I pulled on a Wednesday, after Squatting. I preceeded this training phase with several weeks of very heavy pulling from boards.

The Training that produced 1008lbs

10 weeks out: 220kg x 5 reps (Belt only)

9 weeks out: 230kg x 5 reps (Belt only)

8 weeks out: 240kg x 5 reps (Belt only)

7 weeks out: 250kg x 5 reps (Belt only)

6 weeks out: 265kg x 5 reps (Belt only)

5 weeks out: 280kg x 5 reps (Belt only)

4 weeks out: 300kg x 3 reps (Belt only)

3 weeks out: 320kg x 3 reps (Belt only)

2 weeks out: 350kg x 5 reps (Belt only)

1 week out: REST

So there you have it. The training was was similar to the cycle I did that produced 1003lbs. The biggest difference was 2 weeks out where I went a bit heavier and did more reps.

Oh, and I trained my grip a whole lot differently (but that’s a story for another time).

Bear in mind that these top sets were done after 5 to 8 warm up sets. Each set getting progressively heavier. I pull extremely explosively at all times. Compensatory acceleration is King!

In part 4 (the final chapter to this mini- deadlift series), I’ll talk you through the assistance exercises I use for my deadlift.

Get angry, then pull big

Andy

The Deadlift – I’m a Freak: Part 2

In part 1 I gave you a little bit of deadlift history and some tips to get you on your way to a bigger pull. If you haven’t read part 1, you can do so here:

I hope you’ve been using the tips I presented in the first installment :)

In this installment I’m going to show you the exact deadlift cycle I used to make history and pull the first ever 1000lbs deadlift.

Here goes:

The Phase that Launched 1000lbs:

*All pulling was done from the floor.

*This training block of 10 weeks was preceeded by a training cycle where I pulled very heavy from blocks.

10 weeks out: 220kg x 5 reps (Belt only)

9 weeks out: 230kg x 5 reps (Belt only)

8 weeks out: 240kg x 5 reps (Belt only)

7 weeks out: 250kg x 5 reps (Belt only)

6 weeks out: 265kg x 5 reps (Belt only)

5 weeks out: 280kg x 5 reps (Belt only)

4 weeks out: 300kg x 3 reps (Belt only)

3 weeks out: 320kg x 3 reps (Belt and suit bottoms)

2 weeks out: 340kg x 3 reps (Belt and suit bottoms)

1 week out: REST

So there you have it. Those were my top sets each week in the gym, leading up to my 1003lbs deadlift.

History's first 1000lbs Deadlift

History’s first 1000lbs Deadlift

I Deadlifted on a Wednesday, after Squatting

I did 5 to 8 warm up sets before the top sets you see above.

You may be surprised to see that I trained so light and pulled so big in competition.

Well, it’s what works for me. You have to find out what works for you.

With this in mind, keep the Deadlift Secrets that you’ll read below to yourself.

shhhh…. I don’t want everybody pulling a grand ;)

Deadlift Training Secrets:

1. Optimal training is doing the least amount of work and producing the highest results in competition. So don’t kill yourself in the gym for the sake of it

2. You must be able to justify why every exercise and every set/weight/rep combination is in your program. If you can’t; you need help designing your programs

3. Train explosively. I focus on developing explosive power each and every time I pull. Speed Kills in Boxing and it helps you annihilate sticking points on the deadlift

So now you know how I pulled the worlds first 1000lbs deadlift and some secrets I employ to help me design optimal training programs.

Now get to the gym and pull big!

Since pulling 1003lbs, I have pulled 1008lbs. Be sure to check out how I did that in the next newsletter.