Results tagged “powerlifting”

Metal at the Arnold - SttB Articles

Getting readyVia Powerlifting Watch : more pictorial and video goodness from the Arnold, this time courtesy Ano Turtiainen. Enjoy.

Ed Coan on PPP - SttB Articles

The Pure Powerlifting Podcast chats to Ed Coan, who has some great thoughts on the world of powerlifting. Grab part 1 (of 6) here.

Coan Squat Training - SttB Articles

Via Powerlifting Watch : Ed Coan training the squat (culminating with a raw set at 685). This is guaranteed to get you in the mood for a serious workout.

Marília Coutinho - SttB Articles

Marília CoutinhoTake a wander over to the blog of Brazilian powerlifter Marília Coutinho.

Strap Rear FlysA shoulder injury, cooler weather and plenty of reading to do here on Straight to the Bar :

Priscilla Ribic Interview - SttB Articles

Via Powerlifting Watch : the Pure Powerlifting podcast's Steve Mann and Jason Beck have released the first [.wmv, 42.6mb] of a 3 part interview with champion powerlifter Priscilla Ribic. Great stuff.

World Powerlifting - SttB Articles

Precious McKenzie (powerlifter and Olympic weightlifter) by David Roberts

Photo © 2001 David Roberts

. Via Powerlifting Watch : a great site by Andrei Kovalenko detailing powerlifting meet history back to 1971. A superb resource.

Putting the plates onWould they be like these (particularly the second one)? Not bad at all.

Benoit Cote - SttB Articles

Benoit Cote pulling 762.5 lbTom Furman points to a piece on American Powerlifting Evolution discussing legendary Canadian powerlifter Benoit Cote. Great stuff.

Sunday Blog Goodness - SttB Articles

Sara CheathamA few of this week's blog finds :

Paul Anderson getting ready to squatJust came across a brief history of Powerlifting over at Hickok Sports. For a somewhat more comprehensive look, take a wander over to Powerlift Evolution.

Jim Williams Dies - SttB Articles

Jim WilliamsVia Powerlifting Watch : Legendary powerlifter Jim Williams has passed away at the age of 65. Truly a great loss.

Used Plates
Used Plates.
This is the third in this month's article series on strength training equipment - a collaboration with Run to Win's Blaine Moore. Today I'll be looking at a few of the essentials for any gym - bars, plates, hooks and collars.

Standard vs Olympic

When I began lifting weights - a little under 3 years ago now, although I gave them a few brief tests a decade or two ago - I started the home gym off with a bench, bar, dumbbells and plates. These bars were standard (rather than Olympic); as were all of the plates.

It was not until several months later I became aware of the differences, and began switching over to Olympic bars and plates. So what are the differences?

There are six key differences between Standard and Olympic plates. If you're aiming to compete in a powerlifting or Olympic lifting event, the Olympic bars and plates are an obvious choice. However, they may still be worth considering for their other differences. These are :

diameter (of hole, bar) : Standard bars are less than 1" in diameter, whilst Olympic bars are a more noticeable 2" or so. This instantly increases the grip component of many lifts.

length (of bar) : a Standard bar measures either 5', 6' or 7' (the 6' seems to be the most common); an Olympic one is always 7'. The extra length increases the stabilisation component of many exercises.

weight (of bars) : a Standard bar weighs in at around 10kg, an Olympic one a much heftier 20kg. The weight of an Olympic bar is easily included in calculations for total weight, as it equals the same as a large (20kg) plate. Whilst there are both heavier and lighter plates available, the 20kg (44lb) is common.

cost : the major factor in the favour of Standard bars and plates is the cost, which is generally considerably cheaper than the Olympic counterparts.

comparison : for both calibration and historical reasons it is usual to see Olympic bars and plates used in competition. However, even if you're not competing, it's great to be able to instantly compare your own lifts to those you've seen on the platform.

threading and knurling (of bars) : Standard bars often have threaded ends (for the collars), whilst Olympic bars are typically smooth throughout this section. Olympic bars also differ in the knurling on the bar, which is similar from bar to bar, unlike the knurling on Standard bars. This knurling is used not only for grip, but to line your body up in various exercises.

availability : another factor that should be considered when purchasing new bars or plates is their availability. Both new and second-hand bars and plates are more easily found in Standard sizes. When it comes to buying plates - particularly at this time of year - a great place to start is the nearest garage sale. Joe Skopec has a great article on cleaning up the rusty iron you often come across in such a sale.

Fat bars

Fat bar pushdown
Fat bar pushdown.
If you're looking for a little more of a grip challenge than an Olympic bar affords, consider either making or purchasing a fat bar. A typical diameter of a fat bar is 2.5' - 3'.
One thing to keep in mind - especially if you're fattening up your own bars - is that the plates themselves will be unchanged (whether Standard or Olympic); only the bar itself will be altered. For a very simple way of doing this, take a look at a couple of pictures of my chinning bar being given the fattening treatment. A similar process was then employed to thicken up a couple of dumbbell handles.


J.V. Askem performing Front Squat
J.V. Askem performing Front Squat.
If you've ever tried Front Squatting, you may have considered using the Hook method. This is the DIY gym enthusiast's version of the Top Squat device; employing two pipe wrenchs or long-handelled vices to hold the bar as pictured.
1-Ton Hooks
1-Ton Hooks.
Other hooks sometimes used in conjunction with the bar are those which are connected to wrist straps (the 1-Ton Hooks are perhaps the best known), and reduce the grip component on lifting exercises such as shrugs, rows and the deadlift.
Power Hooks
Power Hooks.
For dumbbell pressing exercises when a spotter is not present, Dumbbell Hooks (usually Power Hooks) are invaluable. These allow the bells to be suspended close to the starting and finishing position of the exercise, and remove the need to hold the dumbbell as you get into position.

Atlas Stone Training Handle - SttB Articles

Atlas stone lifting with strap
Atlas stone lifting with strap.
Via Napalm's Corner : C.J. Murphy tests a few of the new products from Spud Inc (Marc 'Spud' Bartley's powerlifting and strongman equipment line), beginning with the Atlas Stone Training Handle. If you're just embarking on your stone lifting journey, this is well worth considering.

Steve CotterA few more training blogs have been added to my bookmarks over the past few days, including :


TGIF : weekly round-up - SttB Articles

Bench pressThis week saw the birth of 2007, a cricket whitewash (for the first time in 86 years) and the following stories here on Straight to the Bar :

  • Glossary - strength training equipment : before this month's article series on training equipment gets into full swing, a few key pieces of strength training equipment were defined. This will undoubtedly become part of a much larger, growing resource.
  • Harold Sakata : a fascinating bio of the Olympic weightlifter and professional wrestler who is perhaps best known to most as Oddjob - Goldfinger's golf caddy and manservant.
  • Top 5 weightlifting injuries : watching these was a bit like slowing down to see a car accident. Slightly nauseating, but very difficult to resist.
  • Bungee backpack : with a reduction in the force felt by the wearer of up to 86%, this backpack looks set to be in the arsenal of long-distance hikers and runners everywhere.
  • Virtual Meet : the first 'Geographically dispersed powerlifting meet' is only a matter of weeks away. Get ready.

Virtual Meet - SttB Articles

Virtual MeetUnder the Bar's Kris Lindqvist came up with a very interesting idea a while ago : a 'Geographically dispersed powerlifting meet'; in which participants would compete in their own local or home gyms assisted by as little as a video camera and a power rack.

The official site for the event,, tells all :

Participants lift at their own gyms and upload video footage of their lifts for judging. All meets are currently open with overall results determined by relative strength formula. Once the results are in, an edited meet video is made available for free download.

To allow most anyone to compete most anywhere, power racks and other devices that increase safety without affecting a successful lift are allowed; qualified spotters are simply not found everywhere. The dress code is a T-shirt and shorts (or non-supportive singlet). A belt is the only allowed piece of powerlifting equipment. The technical rules are standard, with special attention paid to the depth of the squat (IPF rules) and the pause on the bench press. Participation is free.

If you haven't already signed up (entirely free), do so simply by leaving a comment on the original post or sending an email to Kris (address at the bottom of that same page). Very much looking forward to it.

Tor Herman OmlandVia Powerlifting Watch : photos from the 2006 IPF Powerlifting World Championships in Stavanger, Norway.

Going Deeper in the Squat - SttB Articles

Jack Reape squattingJack Reape has a great article on increasing squat depth - no matter which Powerlifting federation you favour. Amid the great advice is this :

I highly recommend a drill that my friend Pavel Tsatsouline teaches in his Strength Stretching video. It's a squat performed facing the wall and should be done in front of a mirror, preferably in the cardio section of your favorite gym. Face the mirror with your toes an inch or two away from the wall in a wider than normal stance. Stick your butt back and your knees out and lower yourself as deep as you can go. Hold your hands out to the sides with your palms up to keep your sternum up as in the normal squat.

I like this one; though I'm at least spared the pain of having a full-length mirror in the home gym. Luckily a blank wall does the trick admirably.

Ove LehtoVia Powerlifting Watch : video [streaming, 3.1mb .flv download via KeepVid] of Finnish superheavyweight Ove Lehto's record squat. 425 kg (935 lb) of fun.

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