The Complete Kettlebell Exercise Guide for Beginners: Build Muscle, Burn Fat, and Develop Metabolic Fitness

In previous articles we discussed the history of the kettlebell, more advanced exercises for athletes, and even the difference between kettlebell sport and hardstyle training. After reading through my previous works, I realized I fell short on the delivery of fundamental exercises that beginners (and all levels) should learn and perfect so that they can increase baseline fitness, strength, movement patterning, and foundation for optimal fitness.

The kettlebell is an amazing all-inclusive tool for building muscle, burning fat, and developing cardiovascular fitness and work capacity. The following movements can be performed as stand alone exercises or built into circuits and conditioning segments (I often will mix the fundamental exercises into bodyweight sessions/warm-ups). What’s even better is with a single kettlebell (and practice), you can take your fitness to the next level.

The below exercises are by no means the full lineup of “foundational” kettlebell exercises, however they are a great place to start. To challenge yourself further (after you have mastered the ones below), take a look at these top kettlebell exercises for athletes.

Russian Swing


The Russian swing, either done hardstyle (which focuses on a more explosiveness) or the more energy efficient Girevoy sport swing, is a fundamental movement patterning that every individual needs to master before progressing into the world of kettlebell training. Learn this, and you hold the key to kettlebell training.

American Swing


The American swing is the standard for functional fitness competitions. While similar to the Russian swing, the American swing ends with the kettlebell locked out overhead rather than at hip/chest height. In a previous article we discussed the pros and cons of the American swing, with the conclusion that it still deserves a spot in a general fitness program  (primary based upon its upper body training and conditioning purposes)

One-Arm Strict Press


This unilateral movement is great for developing strength, stabilization (shoulder and core), and muscular development. With similar benefits to overhead pressing, this kettlebell variation undoubtedly will deliver all the same benefits unilateral training has to offer, while allowing you to build out your arsenal of kettlebell exercises.

Goblet Squat


This front-loaded squat variation can be used to teach proper squatting mechanics, increase range of motion, and even be built into warm-up routines. The goblet squat offers all the same benefits of front-loaded squatting, and is a very natural squatting position for beginners and all level athletes.

One-Arm Front Squat


The kettlebell front squat is an intense and demanding front-loaded squat variation, requiring a high degree of shoulder, core, and scapular stabilization. This movement can develop a lifter for more intense barbell training, as well as set the foundation for more advanced lifts like kettlebell snatches, cleans, and double-rack training.

Lunge (Racked or Goblet)

A photo posted by Paul Timpas (@paultimpas) on Oct 31, 2015 at 7:04am PDT

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js To balance out the squatting and deadlifting (kettlebell swings fall within the same movement pattern as a traditional deadlift) in this lineup, the lunge (either held in front-rack, goblet, overhead, or any variation) is a fundamental unilateral exercise for the lower body. This can be used with any variation of lunging, in multiple planes of motion.

One-Arm Swing


Learning the one-arm swing offers the same benefits on the traditional swing (Russian) with the added benefits of unilateral training (see hyperlink above). More importantly, it has direct application to more advanced “basic” exercise, such as the high pull, clean, and snatch.

One-Arm High Pull


This high pull variation is a precursor to the clean and snatch, and should be mastered to develop control and timing necessary for the clean and snatch.

One-Arm Clean


The kettlebell clean is a top ballistic total body movement, one that can be built into conditioning circuits, used with heavy loads, or placed into complexes that involve a lot of the aforementioned movements. Some examples of great metabolic circuits that involve the kettlebell clean (as well as the squat and strict press) is Dan John’s “Armor Complex”.

One-Arm Snatch


In a recent article we discussed the unique benefits of the one-arm snatch (more specifically, the barbell variation). This movement can be implements similarly to the clean, and is a premier explosive total body movement for power, strength, and metabolic conditioning segments.

Loaded Carry (Racked, Overhead, or Suitcase)


Loaded carries are a great way to teach core stability and total body awareness. Whether you use one kettlebell or two, you can vary the carries to diverse your total body strength and awareness, which can impact your overall athleticism and injury resilience.

Final Words

While the world of kettlebell training is vast and can be complicated, this basic level list can help beginners (and all levels) start to develop a stronger and more fit foundation for years to come. As with all training, seek a coach who can assist you when embarking upon your fitness journey, and stay consistent to find the best results!

Editors note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.

Featured Image: @paultimpas on Instagram

The post The Complete Kettlebell Exercise Guide for Beginners: Build Muscle, Burn Fat, and Develop Metabolic Fitness appeared first on BarBend.

158 Pound Swedish Powerlifter Isabella von Weissenberg Is Squatting OVER 400 Pounds!

Isabella von Weissenberg is one strong powerlifter, but even a stronger squatter. How strong? In her most recent video shared on Instagram, the 72kg Swedish powerlifter smokes a 190kg (418.8lb) back squat like it’s nothing. That’s 2.65 times her competition bodyweight.

To top it off, she only had a belt on and from what it looks like didn’t appear to use knees sleeves or wraps. Although it’s hard to tell her with the yoga pants she’s wearing.

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Impressive squats are nothing new for this Swedish powerlifter. This year alone she set the IPF Women’s World Record twice for her squat. The first time was in May at the European Women’s Classic Championships, which were held in Tartu, Estonia. Here she hit a 187.5 kg squat and finished first in her 72kg weight class.

The second time she broke her own squat record was in June at the World Women’s Classic Championships in Killeen, Texas. Here she recorded a 188kg squat and finished second for her weight class.

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And while we’re on the topic of personal bests for Weissenberg, six days ago she pulled a personal best 212.5kg (467.3lb) deadlift. This is 12.5kg higher than what she pulled in her last competition in June and 2.95 times her bodyweight.

Possibly the best part of every personal best video Weissenberg posts is the yell before the lift followed by her big smile after. You can’t help, but smile along with her, while simultaneously being intimidated.

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It’s exciting to see how much stronger Weissenberg continues to get in her off-season. From what it looks like 2017 will be a great year for this Swedish powerlifter.

Although, 2016 all around has been a great year for women’s squat records. In November at the IPF Open World Championships we saw Chen Wei-Ling squat 4.5 times her body weight and Larysa Soloviova hit 3.8 times her body weight.

Now the question is…who else should we be watching break records in 2017?

Feature image from @ivweissenberg Instagram page. 

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6 Weird (But Strangely Effective) Types of Barbells You’ve Never Heard Of

In your typical Globo gym setting there’s a good chance you’ll never see any of the barbells listed below. For awhile trap bars were seen as strange, but with the continued growth of strength sports there are new innovative specialty barbells constantly being created.

Specialty barbells are made to be creative alternatives to your typical barbell while facilitating training adaptations. These are the barbells you’ll see in specific strength sport gyms. Such as the axle bar most often found in Strongman gyms and cambered bars found in powerlifting gyms.

Although, what about the downright strange bars…like the tsunami, earthquake, and freak bars? What are they and what do they do?

1. Cambered Bar

What it is: This barbell features a thicker bar that then attaches two side bars which swing below. The swinging weights add an aspect of instability to the movement. There are a few creators of the cambered bar, but one of most well-known brands is Rogue Fitness.

A video posted by BarBend (@barbend) on Dec 28, 2016 at 8:54am PST

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What it does: This style bar is said to allow ample loading of the posterior chain (lower back and hamstrings specifically). The weights that hang below the top bar allow the lifter to achieve full depth, while maintaining an upright posture.

2. Tsunami Bar

What it is: The Tsunami Bar comes in multiple levels of flexibility, weights, and grips. This bar bends and flexes throughout movements, especially at the top and bottom of a lift. Normal weights attach on each side, which makes it different than the Earthquake/Bamboo Bar we’ll discuss next. Tsunami Barbell is the creator of this bar and have other products that rely on their flexible composite technology as well.

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What is does: The Tsunami Bar creates oscillating waves throughout exercises at various points. These waves are thought to help improve an athlete’s strength and power by providing a unique overload stimulus to muscle, especially at sticking points.

3. Earthquake/Bamboo Bar

What it is: These bars are made to create an emphasis on improving a lifter’s ability to keep bar stability with Oscillating Kinetic Energy (OKE). This style bar is made lighter than a typical metal bar and is meant to be flexible. Since they’re bamboo based, they’re durable and can hold weight of up to 300+ lbs. Their texture is different than your typical metal bar as they’re wood. Earthquake and Bamboo bars are made by BandBell, this a company founded by Jim Seitzer, who’s one of the founding members of Westside Barbell.

What is does: The idea behind training with the emphasis on using Oscillating Kinetic Energy is to provide increased muscle stabilization. In addition, these bar may be a good alternative to support healthy joints.

4. Axle Bar

What it is: An axle bar is a thick alternative to your normal barbell. You typically see these bars in Strongman gyms as the axle clean & press is often used for their competitions. Much like the cambered bar, the axle bar is made by multiple companies, but one of the more well-known is Rogue Fitness.

A video posted by Chris Burke (@knassbruckles) on Dec 24, 2016 at 7:08pm PST

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What is does: Since this bar is made thicker than regular bars it has the ability to work and focus on grip better. The extra width in the bar’s diameter forces the forearms and hands to work harder to maintain bar security and stability.

5. Freak Bar

What it is: This barbell is a patent pending plate loaded bar. The Freak Bar uses springs to allow grip adjustment throughout a lift whether it be in the vertical or horizontal plane. Westside Barbell is the creator and brand that makes this style bar.

What is does: This bar is meant to strengthen the upper body by focusing on bar stability. Westside Barbell’s site mentions, this bar is great at strengthening the connective tissue, muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the upper body.

6. Kabuki Strength Duffalo Bar

What it is: This bar was created by Chris Duffin who’s a well-known strength coach and powerlifter. There’s a proprietary bend in the bar, which is designed for both squatting and pressing movements.

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What is does: This bar is said to reduce stress on the back, shoulders, and biceps during squats and pressing movements. The bar’s bend is also made to reduce stress on the wrists and allow full scapular engagement normal barbells cannot.

As strength sports continue to grow, it’s exciting to see what innovations will come next. From bars that are designed around flexibility and bars with spring loaded grips – what will come next?

Feature image from @underthebar / Dave Tate’s Instagram page. 

The post 6 Weird (But Strangely Effective) Types of Barbells You’ve Never Heard Of appeared first on BarBend.

Coal Miner Strong: How to Win the World Coal Carrying Championship

You can always rely on drunk men to come up with new ways to test their fitness.

“It was an idea that was started fifty-four years ago in a pub with a bit of banter between two men in the village who thought he was fitter than the other,” Duncan Smith tells BarBend in a thick Yorkshire accent. “One was a coal man and the other was a farmer. So they had a little wager between themselves. ‘Tell you what, get a big bag of coal on your back and I’ll have you race from the local pub up to the village green.’ And that’s where it started. Two drunk men having a bit of a banter.”

These humble, booze-soaked origins are what led to the World Coal Carrying Championships, an annual event that Smith holds every Easter Monday in the tiny village of Gawthorpe in northern England.

Sponsored by a local funeral director (and why not), the event has welcomed competitors from every corner of the planet, and Smith is expecting over two hundred competitors in 2017. Think you’re coal miner strong?

No Walk In the Park

The rules are simple: run a thousand meters with a sack of coal on your back. Men carry bags of 110 pounds and women 45 pounds, and it’s split into three divisions: men, women, and “veterans,” comprised of men over forty. Men stand to make 750 British pounds (USD919) and women 500 pounds (USD613) if they win, and that jumps to 1,000 pounds (USD1,225) or 625 pounds (USD765) if one manages to break the current record of four minutes and six seconds, or four minutes and twenty-five seconds for ladies.

Maybe you’ve been working on your work capacity, or maybe you’ve increased your loaded carry work, and you don’t think that sounds all that tough. That mentality is exactly what you need to completely fail at the course.

“It’s a sheer blast of exertion, you’ll never do anything as hard,” says John Hunter, a ten-time race champion who makes a hobby of running military-style endurance races around the country. “Gawthorpe is one of the fastest races out there. From the gun, you have to go flat out. People collapse, their legs go to jelly, they drop the bag and they just cannot pick it back up. Every year, I get nervous because you just don’t know what’s gonna happen. It’s such a shock to the system.”

John Hunter, in his lucky white compression shorts, accelerating to first on an uphill stretch.

Get Carried Away

Coal carrying has some similarities with the increasingly popular sport of rucking, which involves marching or running with a loaded backpack. It’s been studied a little more closely than the Gawthorpe coal carriers, and has been shown to burn up to three times more calories than a regular walk, improve hip and postural stability, increase work capacity, and boost injury resilience in a safer and more effective manner than your average jogging habit.

The obvious difference with coal carrying is that the weight isn’t held in place with secure straps – it’s an unstable sack that the runner holds in place by grabbing the corners by his or her shoulders. It’s really important to point out how much more difficult this makes the exercise. With the coal shifting around the bag and the body’s stabilizing muscles working that much harder to keep it from falling to the ground, the 110-pound bag feels far heavier than it sounds.

Not all coal bags make it to the finish line.

How to Train

Hunter spends a solid three months training for the Gawthorpe Coal Carrying Championship, working out six or seven days per week. Here’s what his training looks like.

Weighted Hill Sprints, 3x/week

With eighty pounds in a bag around his neck, Hunter runs a hill that’s five hundred meters from bottom to top and ascends at a one-to-four gradient, or about fourteen degrees. It takes him three minutes to reach the top, then he jogs back to the bottom and starts all over again, for five total runs.

Tire Drags, 2x/week

Hunter drags an eighty-pound tire with a chain for one and a half miles, broken into six sets of eight hundred meters. “It’s not massive, but I drag it on the beach at low tide,” he says. “So you’ve got a lot of resistance against the sand.”

Uphill Tire Flips, 1x/week

Now armed with a two hundred-pound “lorry tire,” Hunter heads back to the five hundred-meter hill and attacks. To reach the top, he needs to flip the tire about three hundred times, then he carries it back down. One round is enough.

Bodyweight Exercises, every day

Twenty to forty minutes of high-rep chin-ups, dips, push-ups, squats, and core work. Hunter considers this his cardio.

In the final three weeks of training, he’ll dial down the hill sprints and start running the actual, 1000-meter course. Three or four times a week he’ll complete a run with the full competition weight on his shoulders, but about once a week he’ll farmer’s walk the course with two 32-kilogram kettlebells in his hands. When his grip fails, he drops to the ground and does push-ups until it recovers.

He eats 4,000 calories a day. He is 52 years old.

Hunter cautions that a lot of athletes don’t train to tolerate a lactic acid buildup and that after the first five hundred meters, many runners seize up.

“The course also has a gradient start so you can’t get into a set pattern,” he says. “After a couple hundred meters it flattens, then it goes up again, so it plays tricks on your legs. It flattens off again toward the end, so people sprint to the finish and their legs give way. That happens to quite a few people at the top of that hill. I did it once and I was like Bambi, my legs just went out from under me. If I’d kept at a set pace, I’d have won it.”

Your Next Step

Ladies and gentleman: Think you can beat 1000 meters with 45 or 110 pounds on your back (respectively) in less than four and a half minutes? Then there might be hundreds of dollars with your name on it in waiting for you in merry old England.

The Gawthorpe Coal Carrying Championships are held every year on Easter Monday (that’s April 17 in 2017), the profits go toward providing social support and activities for the village’s elderly population, and the entry fee is just fifteen pounds for men under forty and ten pounds for women and “veterans”. You can sign up here – or you could always start your own tradition of coal carrying. Drunkenness optional.

Images courtesy of Duncan Smith and John Hunter.

The post Coal Miner Strong: How to Win the World Coal Carrying Championship appeared first on BarBend.

Maximize Your Split Jerk With These 4 Jerk Variations

The split jerk can be a challenging component of the clean & jerk, one that often separates the best of lifters.

When training the jerk, there are numerous variations and assistance exercises that can be used to help isolate specific faults that a lifter may possess.

In this article, we will offer four jerk variations to athletes and coaches can use use in their training to gain kilos on their jerks, and continue to progress.

How To Integrate These Jerk Variations

The following jerk variations can be integrated into any training routine, either as stand alone exercise blocks or as parts of complexes. Loading percentages can be used similar to programming clean and jerk, however it is important to note that the full lift should still be trained to have direct application to the formal lifts.

Behind the Neck Jerks

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js In a previous article we discussed the power of behind the neck jerk training for developing vertical bar patterning in the dip and drive phases of the jerk, stability and strength in the overhead positioning, and increasing a lifters confidence under heavy loads. This exercise can be trained using either power or split footwork, and can even be used with snatch grip width to increase overhead stability in a wide array of grip widths to have direct carry-over to both the snatch and/or clean and jerk.

Jerk Drives

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js Jerk dips and drives can increase power, reinforce dip depth and vertical patterning, and allow for supramaximal (or near maximal) loading in the front rack. In an earlier article, we discussed the importance of implementing jerk dips (and drives) within nearly every training program to teach lifters how to use their legs while keeping the bar in a vertical plane.

Jerk Balance


Jerk balances are one of my favorite exercises to implement within early work sets or assistance blocks. They not only reinforce sound vertical patterning, they also allow a lifter to gain more experience with proper footwork in the split and understanding how to balance the load (their body and the bar) in the receiving position. 

Pause/Segmented Jerk Complexes

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsPause jerks can be implemented into many complexes or assistance exercises, such as the ones above, to increase positional strength, leg drive, and awareness. The increased specificity to a lifter’s individual faults makes pause jerk and these various complexes perfect for furthering beginner and intermediate lifters.

Final Words

Coaches and athletes can manipulate training programs to correct individual faults that lifters may possess using the above training exercises or the link variations. Regardless, the clean and jerk exercise should be routinely practices to have the best carry over to formal competitions and lifts.

Editors note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.

Featured Image: @joaoferreiracf on Instagram

The post Maximize Your Split Jerk With These 4 Jerk Variations appeared first on BarBend.

6 Useful Things Powerlifters Can Do Between Sets (That Aren’t Looking at Your Phone)

Powerlifters aren’t known for their incredible endurance.

That’s not an insult! After all, a few well-regarded studies have shown that the greatest strength gains come from resting a good three to five minutes between sets. That’s why it’s not uncommon to look around a powerlifting gym and see athletes sitting, resting, and playing on their phones for more time than they spend lifting.

But think about it: if you perform twelve total sets in a workout and rest three minutes between each lift, that’s thirty-six minutes of dead time that you’re probably spending on your butt. When it’s hard enough to make the time to go to the gym at all, is it really a good use of your time?

The typical answer is, “If you’re training hard enough, you need every second of that rest.” A lot of the time, that’s true. But smart programming doesn’t require athletes to max out on every set or go heavy on every workout, so while you’ll want to first consult with your coach, you can find other ways to fill your rest periods that won’t hamper your lifts.

“It all depends on your goals,” says Joseph LaVacca, DPT, CFSC, FMT-C, SFMA, an orthopedic physical therapist based in New York City. “I think working on your biggest need is what I tell people to do the most. I recently heard someone say that working out is what you want to do and training is what you need to do. Where are you falling short?”

Clearly, this depends on the athlete. But if you know yourself , your history, and your program, you’ll know which of these will be a smart pick for you.

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1) Visualize Your Next Lift

Every day, science catches up with the old wisdom that meditation, visualization, and mental clarity can have serious effects on your athleticism.

“I have been reading research that suggests mental imagery can actually lead to increased strength outputs,” says LaVacca. How does it work? The author of one study suggests spending your time before a lift visualizing the goal you want to achieve, visualizing the lift itself, imagine successfully achieving it, and repeat that visualization as you’re actually performing the lift.

Afterward, replay the lift in your mind and imagine how you could correct any problems that arose. If everything went well, imagine lifting with even more weight on the bar!

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2) Work Out

“The easiest suggestion is just to work the opposing muscle groups with some sort of accessory motion,” says LaVacca. “This way, no time is lost and you are creating a balance of sorts.”

We’re not talking about supersetting squats and deadlifts here. But if you’re focusing on, say, medium intensity pushing movements, you might be able to manage some of those oft-neglected horizontal pulling exercises during your rest. Mostly benching today? Consider some bodyweight squats, hamstring exercises or core work. Squatting? Why not fit in some lateral raises, or even some curls or tricep extensions – sure, a lot of lifters think that compound movements are all you need for strong arms, but if you were going to do nothing between your sets anyway, what’s the harm?

Again, use common sense. If you’re gearing up for some weighted chin-ups, you wouldn’t want to hammer your biceps. But if you’re not trying to overload your CNS with max effort compound movements, and especially if you’re nearing the end of your workout, you can fill your rests with some of that all-important accessory work. Try to allow thirty seconds of actual rest between one exercise and another to stay relatively fresh.

A video posted by BarBend (@barbend) on Oct 16, 2016 at 4:03pm PDT

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3) Work On Your Breathing

A lot of people have a disconnect between knowledge and its application, and this is especially true when it comes to breathing.

A full discussion of how to breathe when powerlifting is outside the scope of this article, but the most common advice is to breathe through your mouth and into your diaphragm, brace and hold your breath through the eccentric component, and exhale during the concentric component, all the while keeping the core braced.

It can be hard to remember all that during the lift itself. Go over it in your mind and practice it during your rest. But considering it can be a little tiring, give yourself some thirty seconds to return your breathing pattern to normal before you actually perform your lift.

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4) Cardio

The dreaded C-word! If you’re going heavy then you might not want to include these in your “rest” periods, particularly at the start of the workout when you’re probably hitting your biggest lifts.

But if you’re working out less intensely, and especially if you’re in the second half of your session, thirty to sixty seconds of kettlebell swings, rowing, jumping rope, jumping jacks, or even some brisk walking can do wonders for your cardiorespiratory capacity and your ability to push through your heavier sets of strength work.

Again, try to allow at least thirty seconds of true rest between your cardio and your next set of weights so that you can get your head (and lungs) back in the game.

A photo posted by BarBend (@barbend) on Nov 30, 2016 at 7:55am PST

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5) Pose

You don’t want to tear your shirt off, but flexing the muscles you’re planning on working can send more blood to it may lead to an increased amount of muscle fibers being recruited. A few “mini sets” of ten seconds or so between sets can make a difference. Try it yourself.

A photo posted by BJ Gaddour (@bjgaddour) on Oct 31, 2016 at 6:42am PDT

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6) Mobilize

Stretching the muscles you’re actually using during your working sets may not always be the best idea for maximal performance, as it may disturb the elastic component of your muscle and limit its strength.

But strategically mobilizing during your rest periods can be smart. Maybe you’re squatting and you have a stiff upper back. If that’s the case, you can mobilize that area during your rest periods without worrying about reducing your efficiency at the squat itself. The same goes for stiff ankles and hips.

“Get your shoulder or ankle open rather than just tell everyone about your ‘bad’ this or that,” laughs LaVacca.

A photo posted by BarBend (@barbend) on Nov 19, 2016 at 4:19pm PST

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Wrapping Up

You know your body and your goals better than anybody, and if you’re positive that, say, adding cardio or accessory work between your lifts is a bad idea no matter what kind of workout you’re having, then that’s up to you. But we’re confident that at least one of the entries on this list can benefit any powerlifter. Have fun!

Featured image via @bjgaddour@megsquats, and @marcoguerraa on Instagram.

The post 6 Useful Things Powerlifters Can Do Between Sets (That Aren’t Looking at Your Phone) appeared first on BarBend.

Cailer Woolam on How He Deadlifts 900 Pounds at 206lbs Bodyweight

In case you missed it, we recently wrote a piece on Cailer Woolam and his impressive 900 lb deadlift. This new max gained a lot of attention because Woolam performed it at 206 lbs and used a hook grip.

This lift not only highlights Woolam’s potential with deadlifting, but may put him as one of the better pound for pound deadlifters in the world.

A video posted by Cailer Woolam (@cailerc40) on Dec 23, 2016 at 7:26pm PST

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Normally Woolam competes in the raw 220 weight class and has a recorded highest competition deadlift at 804 lbs. When it comes to deadlifting, Woolam definitely possesses some forms of raw power others don’t. In his Instagram bio he even writes, “Kind of just a deadlift guy who competes full power.”

An athlete who can produce such a big lift at a decimal bodyweight like Woolam is always intriguing. What do they have that’s different than the rest of us at similar body weights? Is it there set up? Their mental prep, or training?

On the quest to find what gave Woolam the push to crush this new impressive max, I reached out to learn more.

About His 900 lb Deadlift and Self-Hype

1. When you pulled 900, did you plan on hitting 900 specifically?

Woolam: I had been wanting to attempt 900 for some time, as I knew it was within my capabilities. I was driving home from work that day and decided that would be the day I was going to do it.

2. Do you always pull with a double-overhand grip?

Woolam: Overhand grip in my opinion is superior to the mixed grip. You can engage your back much more efficiently. You do all of your bent over rows, pull ups, and shrugs with a double overhand grip.

A photo posted by Cailer Woolam (@cailerc40) on Dec 27, 2016 at 6:14pm PST

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That is the position you have developed your back to be the strongest in. So to me…a double overhand grip is a must for deadlift. And for sumo as well as my underhand does get in the way at the top of the lift.

3. Do you have any tips on hyping yourself up for big lifts?

Woolam: As for hype for a day like this. It all starts on the drive over. I just think about everything that has angered me recently along with emotions of how badly I want this lift. Once I’m in the gym warming up I do a lot of pacing in-between each set, along with listening to my favorite songs.

While I am angry I do stay calm and collected. And then turn complete savage as soon as it’s time to lift. Nose tork is a must right before a lift! I save all adrenaline up until it’s time to lift.

On Current Competitions and Future Plans

4. You’ve competed at 220, but are sitting around 198 currently (206 lbs when he pulled 900) – is your plan to stay around 198?

Woolam: I do plan to stay at 198 and be as competitive as possible in that weight class – total wise. However, I am currently chasing the all time deadlift record at 198 and do plan to hit the all time record at 220 after.

A photo posted by Cailer Woolam (@cailerc40) on Dec 10, 2016 at 3:51pm PST

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Maybe even the 242 record someday as well. (Depending on what Belkin gets it up to…haha) but for full power and total, I will stay 198 as long as possible and chase a 2000 total.

5. What are your current best competition lifts?

Woolam: My current best competition lifts are 573 squat, 414 bench, and a 815 deadlift. 1802 total in knee sleeves.

A video posted by Cailer Woolam (@cailerc40) on Dec 10, 2016 at 12:26pm PST

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6. What are your future plans for competition starting this year?

Woolam: I would like to get in about 4 competitions a year, which is more that I did last year. What sparked this was that I decided to become more serious about competing, hence why I dropped to 198.

I will most likely compete in wraps moving forward since I have knee issues that hold be back. My next meet will be February 11th in corpus Christi!

Woolam’s impressive new max has definitely raised some eye brows in the powerlifting community. He has big plans for his career moving forward, so it will be fun to see what 2017 has in store for him.

Feature image from @cailerc40 Instagram page. 

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