How to do it
It seems the simplest regimen is the best. Typically what I do is this:
Only attempt a one rep max attempt at the gym once a week (for deadlift, squat, bench, etc) and just go up in heavy singles.
For example, the session looked like this:
- Warmup with one 45 pound plate on each side (1 rep of 135 pounds)
- One rep with two 45 pound plates on each side (1 rep of 225 pounds)
- One rep with three 45 pound plates on each side (1 rep of 315 pounds)
- One rep with three 45 pounds on each side, and add a 25 pound on each side (1 rep of 365 pounds)
- One rep with four 45 pound plates on each side (1 rep of 405 pounds)
- [Rest … get hyped up, amped up, focus, zen-zone, super-saiyan mode, put on some chalk, mixed grip]
- Attempt 1 rep-max (a new weight I have never attempted, every week adding 2.5 pounds on each side).
- For example last week I attempted/successfully lifted (on each side) four 45 pound weights, one 25 pound weight, a 5 pound weight, and a 2.5 pound weight. This equalled 470 pounds in total.
- But this week, I attempted a new PR (personal record) in deadlift, which is 475 pounds in total (5 pounds heavier than last week, adding 2.5 pounds on each side, in terms of the math)
Mental and physical focus
What I actually find interesting in powerlifting, deadlifting, etc is this:
Conquering fear, doubt, and getting into this incredible zen-body-mind zone, where you forget yourself for half a second, and pull with all your strength.
Strength don’t lie. With powerlifting, it is physics, and binary:
You can either lift it off the ground, or not.
Either a 0 or a 1.
What about ‘proper’ form?
I am convinced anyone who talks too much about ‘proper’ form is either a nerd (who doesn’t really lift weights, but talks about it a lot on online forms), someone who is a personal trainer for a living or makes additional side-income from their fitness skills/YouTube channel, or someone who wants to be the alpha male at the gym and flex over all the other guys.
I have never once followed ‘proper’ form in my life when it came to weight lifting. Even with deadlifts, I eventually switched from the ‘normal’ deadlift form to the ‘sumo’ deadlift form in order to lift more weight (I have found that the sumo deadlift form is a more efficient form, which allows you to move more weight).
What about belts and straps?
I have never used a belt, or straps. The only thing I have used is chalk, and using a mixed grip on my heavier weights. For example, I only use the standard grip (both thumbs pointing downwards) up to 315 pounds (3 plates on each side). Then when I go up to 365 pounds I use the left-mixed grip (left palm up, right palm down) which is my non-dominant grip. Then when I get to 405 pounds (4 plates on each side) I switch to my dominant mixed grip (left palm down, right palm up).
And then when I attempt my max weight, then I chalk up.
Don’t try to one-rep max if you don’t feel like it.
I was actually thinking about trying this one-rep max deadlift (475 pounds) the last few days. But the last 3 days, I wasn’t feeling it. I showed up to the gym, but feeling a bit tired, or my body had no gusto or zest or enthusiasm for deadlifting. Even yesterday, I did 365 for one rep, and didn’t feel it, and just went home.
Only go for one-rep max attempts when your body feels like it.
It is tricky– because there is a difference between:
- Having the maximal physical vigor but the fear which gets in your way
- Having sub-optimal physical vigor
When it comes to attempting a one-rep max attempt, my body needs to be fully-vigorous. I cannot feel tired. It is necessary that the night before I slept very well. Also, if my body isn’t fully recovered from my last deadlifting session, my body *feels* weak and not in peak condition. Thus, only try to deadlift a new one rep max PR when you feel in peak condition (I try at least once a week, but sometimes every 1.5 weeks or every 2 weeks).
Why powerlift or lift weights?
Frankly speaking, the only two passions I currently have in life are my artistic pursuits (photography, video, poetry, rap, blogging, vlogging, etc) and powerlifting (deadlift, squat, bench, dumbbell press).
This is my theory:
The apex artist is the powerlifter/artist.
To achieve the apex artistic and philosophical summits, one must also build one’s body and physical strength to the apex.
- Why I Like Failing One Rep Max Attempts at the Gym
- HOW I SQUAT
- DUMBBELL ONE ARM SHOULDER PRESS
- How to Floor Bench Press
- Powerlifting for Happiness
- How to One Rep Max Dumbbell Press
- How to One Rep Max Powerlifting
- How to Do a Floor Bench Press
- In Praise of Heavy Dumbbell Press
- BENCH PRESS GYM
- How to Squat
- SUMO DEADLIFT GYM
- Powerlifting while Fasting
- The Zen of Powerlifting
- The Empowering Feeling of Failure
- Recovery vs Augmentation
- Why Photographers Should Deadlift
- How to Deadlift 405+ Pounds