Quick update on my training.
November was my first month after the October competition (RPS Power Challenge) and I’m slowly getting back in the groove and overcoming minor nagging injuries – mostly my bad knee and lower back issues.
Trying different recovery tricks – like rolling with pvc pipe and lacrosse balls, and actually taking a little longer to warm before the big movements – has started helping.
My next competition will probably take place around March-April.
I’m not too concerned about it currently since it’s still off-season.
And what we do during off-season?
Lots and lots of volume.
Sets of 5-6 with up to 12 sets during one exercise is the usual weekly program at the moment.
Right now intensity isn’t high, but during the next couple months it will go up, so hopefully going to start lifting some decent weight on the bar.
While there is not a lot of news on my training I want to talk a bit about gym etiquette, especially the differences in gym etiquette in
Ukrainian powerlifting gym compared to the ones in the USA.
I noticed quite a few differences when I was visiting my home gym in Ukraine a year ago.
So here they are:
• When you get to the gym, you shake everyone’s hand, even new people or people you don’t know.
This is the first thing you do before your warm up. Naturally, after you are finished training, you shake everyone’s hand for ‘goodbye’.
Surprisingly this rule doesn’t apply to women.
But I just assume that’s because there are very few of them in strength sports in Ukraine, and in my home gym men and women trained at different times.
• You NEVER step over the barbell.
It’s a big no-no that came from olympic lifting and stayed in powerlifting community.
Even if there is no weight on it, and especially before your pr attempt.
You might even get into trouble if you step over someone else’s barbell.
The reasoning behind this is that you have to respect the instrument that makes you stronger and treat it nicely.
• You do not walk in front of a person who performs squats, deadlifts, clean & jerk or snatch.
These movements require a certain degree of concentration and focus.
Besides, wandering front of a person who is giving their best is just disrespectful, meaning that you don’t give a damn about them.
And, in the case of olympic lifting, it can be dangerous, since sometimes the athlete has to walk forward in order to get the weight — and there you are picking your nose.
• When person attempts a personal best on one of the big three, everyone watches and analyzes technique to give suggestions (if needed) later.
Since critique is far more acceptable back home, it’s almost everyone’s responsibility to help everyone else.
• Even if you’re on a tight schedule, you will always help your training mates with anything they need:
- wrapping knees
- helping to put on a bench shirt/suit
- hold the board
It can be annoying sometimes, especially when everyone is going heavy before the meet, but it’s a part of the game, and you get the same treatment when you’re going to
attempt those 90% lifts in a squat suit and wraps.
• If there is a new person and he has bad technique, you go and tell him it’s bad and give suggestions how to fix it.
Yeah, just like that — although it doesn’t work that way if the weight the guy’s doing is more than your max.
Then, just sit quietly and hope you’ll be strong one day.
Because if person is lifting little weight with poor form, the technique is considered bad–but if he is lifting big weights with poor form, the technique is considered unique.
That’s it for now, hope it was entertaining and useful.
It seems a lot of people all wrote about the same thing this month!
I can’t agree more.
There was a great post that Dave Tate put up on EliteFTS last month I think is worth reading, check it out here:
That manifesto about unwritten rules of the sport really resonated with me and I think it ties back to experiences I had back with bike racing and riding.
Back when I was part of a cycling club, when we had a new jersey come out it would get offered up to friends and whoever wanted to buy one.
Just like at the pro level, local club jerseys often have a team name emblazoned across the back and logos from other company sponsors in every other square inch of free space.
For those in the club, to don the jersey is to represent your teammates and sponsors every race and training session.
For those just buying a jersey, whether to support the club financially or because they needed some new spandex, a story would be handed over along with the jersey:
by wearing this item, you are representing all of the people who also wear this kit and the sponsors who support us.
We hope by wearing it you will do right by all of us when you are out on the roads and act as a good ambassador to the sport.
Typically it wasn’t as formal as that but I know some version of that mantra was told in lots of clubs.
Sometimes the ground rules for even accompanying someone wearing a certain jersey were even more explicit.
Often before a ride, there will be a review of laws related to riding with traffic, how to safely regroup after getting splitting up by a stoplight, and so on before rolling out with a group.
In riding these ground rules talks happened regularly, in the gym these talks rarely happen.
Oftentimes they are learned by example and time in the sport, just like experienced riders will mutually understand that they are representing their team and know how to safely navigate roads without a pre-race review.
That’s what these gym rules really comes down to – respect and safety.
As a member of TPS, you represent this gym to visiting guests, people online, and most of all your fellow gym members.
Because of this, I’d encourage you to read the article linked above and think about not just about following
the unwritten rules of powerlifting but about creating a respectful and safe environment for everyone who is a part of your team here at TPS.