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Increase Your “Big Three” Lifts 30% Safely and Naturally
The human body is an exquisitely-adaptive machine built for physical labor. There is no reason, short of ill-health and injury, that a man or woman cannot increase their Big Three lift totals around 30% in as little as one month’s time.
Granted, the heavier that lifting totals become, the more each pound counts, but beginning and intermediate-level lifters can accelerate their progress with extreme techniques early in their training.
Is a 30% Increase in 30 Days Realistic?
In many circles, 30% is a small amount. This isn’t true for the goal-oriented weight training individual, or sports enthusiast. In many physical prowess arenas, fractions of pounds/kilograms can be the difference between overall titles and championships, and the sign of an average lifter. It is entirely possible to increase lifting statistics 30% in one month’s time. This is a completely achievable goal for anyone set on progressive training and who are free from anabolic steroids, “gray area” compounds, and other forms of chemical help. The human body alone is capable of becoming 30% stronger in pushing and pulling types of lifts without synthetic help.
30-day, 30% poundage increases for beginning and intermediate lifters is not limited to gender. This success can be experienced by dedicated and disciplined men and women alike who possess continually-progressive lifting goals.
The Big Three – Bench Press, Deadlift and Squat
Once proper lifting techniques for the bench press, deadlift and squat are established, lifters will immediately become aware of their personal lifting thresholds, or what are known as PRs (personal records). This is true for both men and women. The majority of people attempting to change their bodies and achieve fitness through lifting will never exhibit the discipline to continue strict lifting programs. Whether it is the large muscle groups of the chest, legs, or entire body (i.e. Deadlift), most lifters will not adhere to nutrition, rest and workout protocols that stimulate parts of the body into growth and uncommon levels of strength. Yes, that is a challenge…
A Sample Workout for Kinsey
Here is a sample workout and strength training routine for Kinsey, a 30 year-old woman wanting to increase her strength, muscle mass, and participate in her first bodybuilding competition.
- Age: 30
- Height: 5′ 3″
- Weight: 137
- Body Fat Percent: 16
- Next contest: 16 weeks out
- Max bench: 165 (95lbs for set of 20)
- Max deadlift: 245 (215lbs for set of 12)
- Max squat: 285 (225 for set of 12)
Kinsey is an extremely strong woman with most of her body’s strength found in the lower half of her body. She is dominant in the hamstrings and gluteus, and has an extremely strong lower back and abdominal region. She has an occupation where lifting items and physical activity is demanded over an extended period of time each day, but wants to increase her major three lifts by at least 30% over the next month. She is adhering to a protein-rich diet with meals scheduled every three hours, even when she is on the job. Kinsey is attempting to minimize fat gain while increasing strength for one month prior to a bodybuilding contest cut. She wants to become as strong as possible before the long road to stage-ready leanness.
Starting With Deadlifting
Along with at least two auxiliary body group exercises per workout, Kinsey begins her workout with deadlifting. This is a whole-body lift. She begins with extended sets of weights around 40-50% of her max. Kinsey has flat feet and wide hips, so a wide-ankle, narrow leg stance is best for her overall power. This is a chart of her twice-per-week deadlift routine.
8 Sessions in the month, two deadlift sessions per week:
- 135 x 20
- 155 x 20
Continue progressive sets and weight increases in 10 pound increments
- 225 x 2
- 245 x 1
Progressive 2.5 lbs increment single lifts
Finish muscle exhaustion with 2 x 25 sets at 135 lbs.
Squat progress is set up in a similar way using slightly heavier increments. To establish a new personal record, Kinsey should have her eyes (and legs) set on 315 x 2. Her bench should be administered in the same fashion, but with slightly smaller increments and greater attention paid to shoulder and hip placement on the bench.
The Bench Press
Kinsey will also be incorporating one session of negatives per week in her bench press routine. Negatives are performed with the help of a training partner. Slow overloading effort is placed on the “down” motion of a bench press, and assisted during the positive motion, or when pushing up. Negative overloading prepares upper body muscles to adapt to heavier loads. Kinsey’s negatives are performed until complete failure.
Rest and Recovery
Kinsey’s “Big Three” workouts concentrate on each main lift twice each week. She is careful to get about nine hours of restful sleep per night. She maintains enough caloric intake for accelerated body functions and recovery from strenuous workouts to ensure she is not sabotaging her muscle gains. Kinsey also ingests a complete multivitamin twice each day along with about one ounce of water per pound of body weight. With this training and nutrition regimen, Kinsey possesses the sense that she is a strength-building machine and will achieve her potential in the arenas of strength, exertion and physical aesthetics.
Result after four weeks of training:
- Body Fat Percent: 15%
- Max Bench: 187.5
- Max Deadlift: 260
- Max Squat: 335
Kinsey is absolutely ready for a strength competition, or her goal of a strict 12-week physique cut for an important bodybuilding contest. She has gained enough strength, mass and confidence to sustain her amazing form throughout a harsh nutritional cut-back and competition. Kinsey is an extraordinary athlete, but she is no different from the millions and millions of people desiring to improve their performance in the gym. 30% increases in strength for the Big Three lifts are absolutely possible for healthy individuals who possess the right amount of focus, and fitness and growth as their central life goals.
Learn to be consistent with workout programs. Eat according to the body’s demands for adaptation – and ensure you get enough protein in your diet. Use proper lifting and lift preparation techniques. How does someone learn these things? The answer is a partnership with an experienced lifting partner, or a certified personal trainer. The expense of a personal trainer pales in comparison to the life-long skills learned through an effective lifting program. One month can mean the difference between mediocrity and the achievement of athletic potential.