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Gainsdalf the Whey

Spring Strength Showdown 2013 (a NF Virtual Powerlifting Meet!)

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It's that time of year again, time for the Spring Strength Showdown! Awhile back, Andy Gates came up with the idea that we do a virtual power lifting meet where everyone tests their 1 rep maxes in the big 3 and we compete for bragging rights. It was such fun that we decided to make in an official Nerd Fitness forum activity that we do every 4 months or so.

The competition will be held from May 4th to May 19th. During this time, test your 1RM in the Big 3, which consists of squat, bench press, and dead lift. Historically, there has also been interest to test the Super Total (Big 3 + snatch + clean & jerk) as well as to test the Big 4 (Big 3 + OHP). The sheet has columns for adding those in as well for those who want to do it, but the contest is for the Big 3.

Here's the spreadsheet for this meet: Spring Strength Showdown!

We're using kg, so just multiply by .454 if pounds are your arbitrary mass measurement unit of choice. The sheet includes calculations using the Wilkes Formula so we can judge across age and sex as well as weight. The person with the highest Wilks Score totalled from the Big 3 lifts will be the Nerd Fitness Powerlifting Champion.

Everyone is welcome here, of all abilities and levels of fitness. This is all for fun and the major reason we track it is so we have a record that you can come back and check your progress against later (ok, and bragging rights). Reporting is all on the honor system, but videos are encouraged!



The Prizes:

  • The person with the highest Wilks Total will receive
    • The forum title "NF Power Lifting Champion". This title will have to be defended at the next virtual meet in order to be kept.
    • A t-shirt or tank top from the NF store.
  • The person with the highest Wilks Squat will receive
    • The forum title "NF Squat Champion". This title will have to be defended at the next virtual meet in order to be kept.
  • The person with the highest Wilks Deadlift will receive
    • The forum title "NF Deadlift Champion". This title will have to be defended at the next virtual meet in order to be kept.
  • The person with the highest Wilks Bench Press will receive
    • The forum title "NF Bench Press Champion". This title will have to be defended at the next virtual meet in order to be kept.



The Rules:

You get three attempts in each of squat, bench press and dead lift in that order. Standards are page 17-20 of this, but minus the judge participation. You must do all 3 within the same workout. You're doing this on your own, so you're expected to judge yourself. Add the press and the olympic lifts onto the end should you so choose, but the official contest is for the Big 3.

The best lift in each is added to your total. Top total for each bodyweight class wins the class.

Weigh in on the morning of your lifts. If you're close to a lower weight class, it's solid gamesmanship to cut a couple of pounds so you can lift among the lighter athletes.

Generally the rules details would be IPF RAW, which means no squat or bench suits, no knee wraps; belts and wrist wraps are fine.

 


Associated Warrior Challenges:

And of course, May the 4th be with you!

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As an addendum to Corey's second post, we're working on an idea to stream the session at his place to whoever would like to join in. We'll probably setup a google hangout or some other video screen share. That way, you can scream into your tablet as we sweat to the oldies. 

 

Are we actually taking weight classes into consideration here?

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maybe... maaaaaaybe i've pretty much just started a new program and was hoping to run it for 6-8 weeks, it may be the pixie dust required to finally get my squat in reach of my deadlift, i'll see how i fancy it at the time, if not then i'm gonna rock everyones world at the Summer Showdown (and it'll be scorching in my unconditioned gym and hopefully i'll be much more conditioned so expect show-offness if there's anything to show off ;) )

 

EDIT: yayee 1100 posts :P

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Hope no one minds me putting in numbers to test the calculations. I took this thing from Mr. Andy Gates and had to manually edit a few fields to get functions to work as I wanted them to. 

 

aka. I'm in first, bishes. 

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Hope no one minds me putting in numbers to test the calculations. I took this thing from Mr. Andy Gates and had to manually edit a few fields to get functions to work as I wanted them to. 

 

aka. I'm in first, bishes. 

 

I made the original version of this sheet I think, any crappy formulas were due to me.

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I'm definately IN!
 

The workout where I test this must be sometime between the 4th and 19th? Really looking forward to this! 

 

 

A question for some of the more experienced lifters: I've never attempted to go for 1RMs, what is the best way of going about that? Just do 1 rep and keep loading until it's not possible anymore? How many sets are 'safe' to try? Do I need to have some special preparation?

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So you get 3 attempts in the competition. But yeah you get the idea. Load up weight, try to move it. Does it move? Yes? Increase weight. No?Then you're last attempt was your max. 

 

There are also calculators out there that can give you a rough approximation of your 1RM based on your working sets. 

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I'm definately IN!

 

The workout where I test this must be sometime between the 4th and 19th? Really looking forward to this! 

 

 

A question for some of the more experienced lifters: I've never attempted to go for 1RMs, what is the best way of going about that? Just do 1 rep and keep loading until it's not possible anymore? How many sets are 'safe' to try? Do I need to have some special preparation?

 

Just a normal warmup beforehand to get the muscles going.

 

I like to walk in with an idea of what I plan on going for, with my first attempt being one that I know I'll hit. I tend to go back and forth on how to treat the last 2 sets. On one hand, I like to have my 2nd one as my goal since I'll be more tired to reach for it by my 3rd try, because if I go for something lighter on the 2nd attempt and crush it, I'm pissed at myself knowing that I may not have it in me to hit my goal for the 3rd attempt.

 

One big thing I took away from lifting with these guys last fall. I over did it during the warm-ups and just having fun lifting with everyone and by the time we got to the competition portion, I was a little spent. So, pace yourself....take your time in between sets.

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I'm definately IN!

 

The workout where I test this must be sometime between the 4th and 19th? Really looking forward to this! 

 

 

A question for some of the more experienced lifters: I've never attempted to go for 1RMs, what is the best way of going about that? Just do 1 rep and keep loading until it's not possible anymore? How many sets are 'safe' to try? Do I need to have some special preparation?

 

 

We'll be walking through some reading materials on finding your 1RM in the Warriors guild, which we can certainly link to this thread when they're up. 

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I'm in- at least for coming down to visit- still hemming and hawing for competing- my shoulder isn't sure it can't hang with pressing much- but I'll work toward it LOL my squats getting heavier and heavier WOOT WOOT!

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So what I'm takin from this is that I should try out what I am capable of in the 1RM range before that competition? I was thinking about just using empty bar for warm up sets? Should be enough to get the muscles accustomed to the movement as well as guarantee that I have enough energy left to hit my goal weights?

 

So you get 3 attempts in the competition. But yeah you get the idea. Load up weight, try to move it. Does it move? Yes? Increase weight. No?Then you're last attempt was your max. 

 

There are also calculators out there that can give you a rough approximation of your 1RM based on your working sets. 

 

The calculator is immensly helpful, thanks a lot Big Mr. M. Just out of curiousity is it in lbs or kg?

 

We'll be walking through some reading materials on finding your 1RM in the Warriors guild, which we can certainly link to this thread when they're up. 

That would be really useful, I'll definately check it out. I'm a little scared that I migth hurt myself if I just keep loading more plates until it doesn't move anymore. 

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So what I'm takin from this is that I should try out what I am capable of in the 1RM range before that competition? I was thinking about just using empty bar for warm up sets? Should be enough to get the muscles accustomed to the movement as well as guarantee that I have enough energy left to hit my goal weights?

 

We're going to go through this in a challenge hopefully, but to answer your question, no, you shouldn't push yourself to 1RM levels too close to the compeition as you might not be recovered enough from it to do it again.  I pull 500+ on the dead lift, but find that once I do it, I can't manage it again until almost 2 weeks later.

 

What you should do is use the calulator to understand where your 1RM might be and work up to 95ish% with singles.  For example, if I typically workout at 315 for 3 sets of 5 and expect to have a max squat around 365 (numbers are arbitrary), instead of my normal 3x5 workout I might do 1 set at 315 then do a double at 335 and a single at 345 and at 355. The big benefit here is that it will get you used to having a very heavy load on your shoulders, or above your chest, or whatever that you may not be accustomed to if you are only doing sets at heavy weights of 5 reps or more. You want to know what that feels like before going into a compeition. Remember, your first lift is going to be something you KNOW you can get,and the 2nd and 3rd attempts should build on that. After accomplishing the above workout, I might plan on my 3 attempts being 335, 355, 365.

 

As far as warmups go on the day of, they key is to get everything working properly without wearing the muscles out. Basically, you want to warm up like you would for your normal working weights, but once you get to the working weights, do much less reps so you don't fatigue the muscles.

 

For example, if I typically squat 315lb for 5 reps, and expect my 1RM to be around 365 like above, I might warm up like this:

 

BWx10x2

135x8

185x5

225x5

275x3

315x1

 

My muscles are now warmed up and firing and I've had a heavish load on my shoulders so I don't shock my body and I'm now ready for my first single at 335.

 

edit: What's your working weight and reps, I can give you a rep/set/weight scheme to try out to test yourself.

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We're going to go through this in a challenge hopefully, but to answer your question, no, you shouldn't push yourself to 1RM levels too close to the compeition as you might not be recovered enough from it to do it again.  I pull 500+ on the dead lift, but find that once I do it, I can't manage it again until almost 2 weeks later.

 

What you should do is use the calulator to understand where your 1RM might be and work up to 95ish% with singles.  For example, if I typically workout at 315 for 3 sets of 5 and expect to have a max squat around 365 (numbers are arbitrary), instead of my normal 3x5 workout I might do 1 set at 315 then do a double at 335 and a single at 345 and at 355. The big benefit here is that it will get you used to having a very heavy load on your shoulders, or above your chest, or whatever that you may not be accustomed to if you are only doing sets at heavy weights of 5 reps or more. You want to know what that feels like before going into a compeition. Remember, your first lift is going to be something you KNOW you can get,and the 2nd and 3rd attempts should build on that. After accomplishing the above workout, I might plan on my 3 attempts being 335, 355, 365.

 

As far as warmups go on the day of, they key is to get everything working properly without wearing the muscles out. Basically, you want to warm up like you would for your normal working weights, but once you get to the working weights, do much less reps so you don't fatigue the muscles.

 

For example, if I typically squat 315lb for 5 reps, and expect my 1RM to be around 365 like above, I might warm up like this:

 

BWx10x2

135x8

185x5

225x5

275x3

315x1

 

My muscles are now warmed up and firing and I've had a heavish load on my shoulders so I don't shock my body and I'm now ready for my first single at 335.

 

edit: What's your working weight and reps, I can give you a rep/set/weight scheme to try out to test yourself.

 

I usually do 5x5 on monday, and use the last set/highest weight as baseline for the week

12x3 on wednesday, where I lift at about 50-60% capacity 

and 8x4 at about 75-85% of my established baseline

 

I increase the weigth by 5kg every set and try to peak on the last set. For example last mondays Deadlifts were 55/60/65/70/75 for 5 reps each 

 

My Benchpress is currently at 55kg (120lbs), Deadlift is at 75kg (165) and Squat is a bit tricky. Before I (had to) take a break from squats I was at 60kg (130), while only going down to paralell. I have in the meantime read starting strength so I try my best to go down all the way. My all the way down squat is currently at 25kg (55). Even though the contest requires only a paralell squat I'm gonna do full squats anyway because while this is fun, I still want to go after my goals!

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I usually do 5x5 on monday, and use the last set/highest weight as baseline for the week

12x3 on wednesday, where I lift at about 50-60% capacity 

and 8x4 at about 75-85% of my established baseline

 

I increase the weigth by 5kg every set and try to peak on the last set. For example last mondays Deadlifts were 55/60/65/70/75 for 5 reps each 

 

My Benchpress is currently at 55kg (120lbs), Deadlift is at 75kg (165) and Squat is a bit tricky. Before I (had to) take a break from squats I was at 60kg (130), while only going down to paralell. I have in the meantime read starting strength so I try my best to go down all the way. My all the way down squat is currently at 25kg (55). Even though the contest requires only a paralell squat I'm gonna do full squats anyway because while this is fun, I still want to go after my goals!

 

Well, since deadlifts are the safest to play with heavy weights, we'll do that for the first time through on you playing with trying to locate the 1RM.

 

How about you try this: 55x5, 65x3, 75x2 (these all being warm ups for these purposes) then adding 5 kg and doing doubles until you complete it. Whatever the max double weight is a could then be your opening attempt in the competition on DL, since you'd be pretty sure to get it for 1 after doing all that work and hitting it for 2. You could even do the above with singles since we're pretty far out from the competition still. Be sure to maintain form as much as possible on these.  As you approach the heaviest weights, form will slip a little, which is to be expected, but focusing on it will reduce risks of injuring yourself.

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