I’ve been lifting weights for over twenty years. And I’ve been doing it incorrectly for over twenty years. A little over a year and a half ago, I found some information that helped me get some results after being stuck at my “genetic potential” (or lack thereof) for over ten years. The key was to abandon both common and uncommon bodybuilding theories and start using powerlifting techniques that have produced results.
If you don’t want to read my sad story about how I injured both my shoulders, skip down to the heading, How I Fixed My Shoulders.
After messing around in the gym doing what I saw everybody else doing for around 4 or 5 years, I decided to get serious and bought Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. Tonnes of exercises, but not much detail on how to do them right. What was the result? A couple of years into Arnold’s program, on January 14, 1997, I hurt my right shoulder doing a straight-arm pullover (page 309).
Since my last post, I trained one more time, where I just did hang cleans, and today, where I did an actual power clean.
I thought it’d be awhile before I add any weight to the bar, but some on the Starting Strength Forum suggested that adding weight would help. So, the last time I trained, I put a couple of 25s on the bar. I did some jumps with the bar hanging, and I did some hang cleans. I had a terrible time getting into the rack position.
I’ve never done a power clean. Never. Fortunately, none of the exercise gurus I’ve taken advice from have promoted power cleans. I say, “fortunately,” because none of these gurus have given proper instruction on how to do the exercises they do promote. Thus, if they had promoted the power clean, I’d definitely do it wrong and would get injured.
After reading the book Power Eating, I decided to start drinking Gatorade again while I train. I buy the crystals because it’s a lot cheaper and you don’t have a bottle to deal with. However, as I was mixing my Gatorade yesterday, I had a strange feeling that I should check who makes it. I don’t know why I never checked this before. It turns out that PepsiCo owns Gatorade, and I’ve boycotted PepsiCo products.
A little less than two years ago, I decided to use chalk when I did deadlifts. There was a guy installing some equipment in the gym I was using, so I asked him if his company sold chalk. He said they only sell gym equipment, but suggested buying some chalk at a rock climbing place not too far away, which I did.
Some people may be amazed that I still consider myself a beginner after over 20 years of lifting, especially since I’m a lot bigger than the average guy. Up until a few years ago, I considered myself an expert in lifting; however, more recently, particularly after this spring and summer, I discovered that I really didn’t know as much as I thought. The differences is, this summer I started training like a powerlifter and not a bodybuilder or fitness buff.