Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Building Body Power - Joe Mills

Building Body Power
by Joe Mills

Before a champion is able to press 400 or bench 500 pounds there is one simple ingredient he must possess – Power!

Bob Bednarski has been a good Olympic lifter for a long time. When I first began coaching him about seven years ago he seemed to have all the ingredients necessary to become an Olympic champion except one. He had the desire, determination and form but he was lacking in basic power.

I worked out a routine for him designed to increase strength and raw power in a relatively short time and I told him to incorporate it periodically into his regular training.

Bob trained on the system for four weeks and then went back to his regular training methods and found that he was able to break all of his personal records. What caused the sudden increase in strength? The answer was simply that by changing his training and using strength movements and lifts that he had never used, he developed lifting muscles which he very seldom used.

George Pickett is another example. For years he was a good lifter but not great, then as a result of training on power lifts his strength increased at an incredible rate and suddenly he became one of the world’s strongest men!

Recently Bob Bednarski has had to lift against giant men of 300-plus pounds such as Dube, Pickett and Zhabotinsky.

Bob once again began to train on the power lifts and the results became evident. On May 4, 1968, at the Region Two championships in Washington, he made the highest press in the world – a world’s record of 451 pounds and became the first man to press 200 pounds over bodyweight.

What power exercises does Bob do to build his tremendous strength? I often drove down to York to watch him work out. One week I saw him do a terrific amount of power lifting and I believe this is the secret of his fantastic power – the power that gives him world record performances.

Here is the workout I saw him do recently one week:


Shrug: 325 x 3 sets of 5 reps, 375 x 3 x 5, 425 x 3 x 5
Regular Squat: 315 x 1 x 5, 375 x 1 x 5, 450 x 1 x 5,
500 x 1 x 5, 550 x 1 x 5, 600 x 1 x 3
Bob then goes into his regular weightlifting session.


Front Squat: 315 x 1 x 5, 375 x 1 x 5, 325 x 1 x 5, 475 x 1 x 5
Bench Press: 205 x 1 x 5, 300 x 1 x 5, 350 x 1 x 5, 375 x 1 x 5,
400 x 1, 425 x 1


Incline Press: 205 x 1 x 5, 255 x 1 x 5, 285 x 1 x 3, 305 x1 x 3
Seated Press: 205 x 1 x 3, 255 x 1 x 3, 285 x 1 x 3, 305 x 3 x 2


Military Press: 205 x 1 x 3, 245 x 1 x 3, 275 x 1 x 3, 300 x 1 x 3, 325 x 1
Deadlift: 315 x 1 x 3, 405 x 1 x 3, 500 x 1 x 3, 575 x 1 x 3, 675 x 1, 700 x 1

That week taught me that if you want power you’ve got to go out and get it. In all my years of coaching I’ve never seen anyone work as hard as Bob.

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