T Nation

Am I Missing Something?


I'm not one to try and cheat my way to getting better numbers but I don't know any power lifters to give me advice I'm on my own with this stuff.I was recently watching an MHP power lifting contest of guys pressing 350, benching 500, squatting 800 and I was pissed cause (A). I work hard and (B). my squat and dead are limited cause of sciatic nerve pain for the past 3 months.

But the question is, in power lifting are there some type of secrets or ways to train to get numbers like that? I eat good stuff and all day, have a good workout I made myself and I'm 100% dedicated. Any older more experienced lifters, feel free to let me in on some advice. I really want to go somewhere with lifting I love doing this




Please take what Im about to say as constructive and not as a flame, it is intended to help.

Problem 1: "eat good stuff all day?" Get a real grasp on your caloric needs as it applies to powerlifting.
Problem 2: "good workout I made myself"? Try Smolov, Conjugate, Westside, and all Russian training methods. You will use them all or some variation at one point or another.
Problem 3: "100% dedicated"? I would take a fair guess and say most powerlifters have sciatic nerve pain all the time, I also know many of us have broken our backs at one point or the other, have trashed shoulders and elbows that hurt 24/7. Ask a real powerlifter how many times he has tossed his cookies on deadlift day or passed out from pushing himself to hard in the squat rack only to awaken looking up at his training partners.

Side note you sciatic could be coming from improper form during workouts. (I don't know this for sure having never seen you squat or pull.)

Hope this helps you. There is tons of free information out there about all of this for a person who is really dedicated.


have you worked hard for well over a decade (or 2) like the guys probably did that were pushing those numbers?


You mean I might have to give blood, sweat, tears and years to reach those numbers?


Hey man, there are not so much secrets as North America has a different way of looking at things. In Europe they look at things totally differently.

First - stop think of your workouts as workouts or training, start thinking about it as PRACTICE or even a LESSON.

This is taken from Beyond Bodybuilding by Pavel

Once you appreciate that strength training - as opposed to bodybuilding is a form of skill practice, designing an effective customized strength program becomes just a matter of following the fundamental principles of motor learning. There are three.

First, practice must be specific. Do not rep out with a light weight when you are training for a heavy single.

The second rule is an extension of the first one. Practice fresh and stop before your skill starts deteriorating. That means ending your practice before you start dragging your tail - and saying no to training to failure.

Third, practice as frequently as possible while observing the first two rules.

Does it make sense for a tennis player to go to the court once a week and smash balls until his arm falls off? No, you go the court daily, ideally more than once a day, and serve until you begin to lose it.

Why not do the same for you iron game?

These principles exactly explain why SHEIKO is so effective. A lot of high level Russian lifters will train as many as 10 times a week, splitting workouts between squat/bench, and bench/ deadlift. I've seen Andrey Belyaev's training programs, and they're nuts, and he never goes over 85%, generally he stays in the 80% range.

These principles are much much more important than diet, supplements, steroids or whatever.

that's the secret man, enjoy.


Can I ask exactly who you are to think the program you wrote for yourself is better or even as good as say the teachings of Louie Simmons? Have you put in atleast a 5 years of hardcore powerlifting and training? Are you honestly eating enough? Supplementing right? Recoverying to the best of your ability? If you can at the very least answer yes 110% to each of these chances are that's why you are not 800lbs squatter.


Good points man, if I had one thing I could have changed it would have been to follow structured training from the start, all I'd do is walk in the doors and just work my ass off, I was young and stupid and thought newbie gains would keep coming. I worked really hard, but most of my workouts would be to work up to one really heavy set, then do assistance for longer than my main movement, then I'd go eat a pile of food.

If I would have done sheiko, 531, or even the texas method right from the start I feel I'd already be at my goal of a 600 squat.

Not a huge deal either though, my mistakes are my biggest strengths these days.


Thanks for the replies, especially the one about think as lifting as practice. But no I haven't been lifting for a decade I'm 16. I wasn't comparing my workout to other ones that lifting greats have written, I've taken pieces out of some and made my own just for this month.

Mon. bench/2 board press/floor press with bands in a 3 week period all 6x3
incline dbell 3x5
tri pushdown 5x12
6-8 sets of core

Wed. OH press- 4x4/4,3,2,1/5,3,1
squat (sciatica limitng to air squat) 4x12
lat/front raises 3x6
shrugs 3x6
6 sets of 30-45 second grip training
4x25 body weight calf raises

Fri. dead- 3,3,2,2/ 4,3,2,1/ 2,2,2,1,1,1
air squat 3x8
t bar row 5x8
dbell curls 3x6
hamstring curls 3x8
6 sets of forearm curls and core
I'm not trying to sound like I'm all that and I know everything about lifting, I look to this site because you older guys have been there and done that, I'm still young and am trying to get a step ahead. Thanks for the replies


I would highly highly recommend you google sheiko #29, find an english version, and do that man, it's a perfect program for a young lifter and will give great great gains. Don't get distracted with assistance work, focus on the main lifts to start, then add in assistance work a couple years down the road.

Check out the thread 2000 raw total @242 @ 22 years old..

That guy got his start donig sheiko programs, and built his base now's he's squatting 700, benching 500, and pulling 800... trust me man, just do it.


wow I just looked that up that sounds intense. Definitely going to try that either in January or February


Sounds good bud, but why put it off? I'd just scrap what you're doing now and start moving towards your goals


You're right me and my brother are starting Monday. What's deadlift from pins though? It's on the workout and I have no idea what that is


I don't even need to read your workout routine to know that it sucks.

You are 16, you are asking fundamentally difficult questions about training programs, yet you think you are somehow qualified to design your own strength program? How good your diet is, how hard you train, how much sleep you get, and how much you want to be strong is irrelevant. At this stage in your career, you have absolutely no business "picking and choosing" aspects of other programs to put into your own.

Pick one, run it, and work hard at it. The results will follow.


Good man.

Deadlift from pins is either done in a rack, or off of boxes, I'd do them off of boxes at knee height.

Just stick with these for the next 5 years, and I promise with all my heart, you'll be one of those guys you saw at that competition.

The next thing you should do is get a video of your squat, bench and dead, and post them on here, form is the next big thing you need to practice, and it makes a huge difference.


VT, I don't think I'm qualified or anything like that. I just wanted to make my own workout, a lot of people do that. But my diet is good I never eat any type of "junk food" and haven't for the past like 2 years. All I eat is grilled chicken,steak,turkey breasts,ham steaks,salmon,eggs,trail mixes,PB&J,protein bars ( Supreme Protein and Met-RX ), shakes ( ON 100% whey, ON hydro whey, Bioquest Myozene, muscle milk, Serious Mass, and occasionally MHP up your mass ) brown rice, brocolli, spinach, bananas, and apples. I eat almost nothing but those things. So is that good stuff? Let me know what you think


best post in the thread


sorry, but this is the best post of the whole thread. A 16 year old kid, is getting hammered from grown men, and is probably not enjoying it.

In the end, he straps his balls on and MAKES A CHANGE... for the better.

This 16 year old is smarted than I was at 25, and I think most likely has a ton of potential to get strong as hell.


Agreed, I wish he would have stated that he was 16 in the first post. Sorry Mike, you are trying to learn and not be "that guy" in the gym, something I wish there more of. Keep posting and asking questions? Remember we were all born weak and small. Even though some of us are quick to forget that fact. Staying weak is up to you!


can i ask what the difference is between the different sheiko cycles?