Hostyle Conditioning

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Hostyle Powerlifting with Big Phil

Hey everyone,

Today, I’m going to quickly go over how I run powerlifting on Wednesday nights.

In April, I began teaching a “powerlifting” class. I considered this opportunity as an interesting challenge because, when it comes to training, everyone comes along with different baggage. I was lucky enough that most participants had the ability to put a bar on their back. For those that could, I wanted to establish a working weight for their squats so I kept it simple. Load the bar until the lift becomes a struggle to lift, and use around 90% of that weight.
Since then, we have been working with a high volume of sets and a low number of repetitions. The low reps allow us to work on a couple things at once.

• Low reps allow them to stick to relatively heavy weights, forcing the recruitment of more muscle.
• Low reps allow me to coach form and technique, without there being a breakdown due to fatigue from high reps.

Following a thorough Hostyle Warm Up

We proceed to our heavy squat work. After that, depending on the goal of the client, I may throw in a 20 rep squat, if I feel their form is up to it. This approach will add size on the legs like nothing else. After that, I have a “template”, or a structure that I rarely deviate from, for the class. Participants do single leg work, such as lunges, split squats etc., followed by heavy back work. In my opinion, EVERYBODY needs more muscle on their back.

I’m talking about lats, traps, erectors, rhomboids and rear deltoids/rotator cuff, especially for young guys, who spend most of their gym time away from Hostyle benching and curling. Many coaches recommend some kind of ratio for pulling ( muscles of the back of the body ) to pushing ( muscles on the front ) but at Hostyle, we just say get strong as an ox at EVERYTHING. After the back work, I like to see some body weight pushing: push ups or dips. No matter how big and strong you are, it’s important to be able to move your body through space. That’s what makes the difference between someone who can bench, and someone who is fit.

Every exercise done following the squats is done in typical bodybuilding style; 3-6 sets of 6 – 15 reps, with short rest sessions in between sets. I want participants to work, but I also want them to be able to get up from their desk at work the next day.

After this, I get them to do some kind of “pre-hab”; small but brutal movements that help in injury prevention

That’s it for this time. In my next installment, I’ll talk about my own training.

Phil Landry

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1 comment

  1. Aaron R - August 20, 2012 1:16 pm

    “That’s what makes the difference between someone who can bench, and someone who is fit.”

    So very true, and if you ignore the pulling component for as long as I did and get super huge with all the push strength in the world you can fall asleep to your own tears at night 🙂

    Reply

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