Sunday, September 11, 2016

Olympic Assistance Movements to Increase Powerlifting Proficiency - Anthony Ditillo (1979)

First Published in this Issue

Note: Here's a little something of interest from the same issue, tucked away in a small paragraph between advertisements - 

One of Tony Ditillo's  training partners is Dezso Ban, a Hungarian immigrant, who at 50 years of age and a bodyweight of 195 - 

Full squatted Olympic style (leg biceps on calves, high bar placement, standard width foot placement) 445 for 10 sets of 3 reps with no wraps. 

Front squatted 445 x 5 (Olympic style).

Stiff Legged Deadlifts with 582 for 2 sets of 2 at the end of his pulling workout.

He once pulled and shrugged (from above the knee) 940 x 3.

Tony has also heard some rumors about Dave Rigert:

Clean grip high pulls for 3's with 650 and full back squats (Oly style) for 3's with 625.

Also, Enaldiev [sic], the Russian Super, has reportedly squatted Olympic style 1005! 

Here is a great interview with Aslenbek Yenaldiev, as well as other info:

And . . . I found another very small, almost unnoticeable Bench routine hidden in the back of the same issue (Aug 79): 

A reader from England, Michael Thompson, developed a good bench press routine based on a Russian Press routine from the 1960s

Bench 3 times weekly for 12 weekly work sets. 
3 reps, 3 reps, 2 reps, 3 reps.
3, 2, 2, 1.
2, 3, 1, 1.

Increase weight between sets. Try to add 5 lbs. throughout at the beginning of each week, and when it gets tough only add to the initial sets if necessary. 


Monday - 
200 x 3
210 x 3
220 x 2
230 x 2

Wednesday -  
210 x 3
220 x 2
230 x 2
240 x 1

Friday - 
220 x 2
230 x 2
240 x 1
250 x 1

When stale on the above, go to this workout, which should milk out another 10-15 lbs:

Monday - 
5, 3, 3.

Wednesday - 
2, 2.

Friday - 
1, 1 (two singles). 

Once again, you strive for the 5 lb. per set increase each week. 
Once you learn to determine the appropriate starting weights it all makes sense.
And works! 
Lifters can tend to select poundages that are too high when using this type of layout. Figure out what you believe to be the correct starting weights, then start with less than that. What's that line . . . "You don't build the roof first . . ." Something like that. 

Okay, on to the Anthony Ditillo article: 

How to Use Olympic Assistance Movements for Improving Powerlifting Proficiency
Article #1: The Squat
by Anthony Ditillo (1979)

I am positive the reason for so many injuries today in our sport is the fact that most powerlifters do not use assistance movements correctly to insure complete muscle activity and improved conditioning of the major muscle groups used in the three powerlifts. A powerlifter needs more than power squats to insure continued progress and few injuries; this is especially true as he progresses from beginner to intermediate stage in his lifting progress.

If squatting is done twice weekly, Olympic Full Squats, with bar in front and/or back of neck could be employed on either ONE of these training days or at the end of BOTH squatting sessions. If you choose to do them on both days, light weight and medium repetitions (3to 5) should be employed.

We include Full Squats in our powerlifting training because in order to obtain greater and greater gains in power, the ENTIRE thigh area as well as glutes - hips - calves - MUST used and therefore strengthened, and you can't do this by using ONLY parallel "hip" squats. By Olympic squatting we mean an upright torso, bar HIGH on traps, thighs folding completely over on calves at the bottom position. You'll be surprised how little weight you can use when you begin implementing this movement. By persisting, within a few months, rapid increase in thigh development as well as overall squatting power shall be yours. And POWER is the name of the game, isn't it?

Let's try and outline an example squat routine:

Day One -
Power Squat:
Heavy singles with 90% of limit (limit being 500 lbs.) - 450
50% (250) x 1 x 10 reps
60% (300) x 1 x 7
80% (400) x 1 x 4-5
90% (450) x 3 singles
85% / 75% / 65% for 3 backoff sets, reps as comfortably as possible.

Day Two (Medium Light Day) -
Olympic Full Squats (as described above):
135 x 10
205 x 5
255 x 5
305 x 5
355 x 3 sets of 3 reps working over time to 3 sets of 5.
Remember, I'm talking about Olympic squats here. When 355 for 3 sets of 5 becomes easy increase to 400 and begin with 3 x 3 and once again work up to 3 x 5.

After these 3 sets of 5's are done you can reduce to 205 and knock out a few sets of 10 if you have the energy available. Don't believe that the less you do, the more you can - because it's just NOT true. I'm sure, if you include full Olympic back squats in your routine and give them a chance to show you what they can do for you, you'll NEVER regret you did!

The front squats could be included during the off season when you're not competing and they can also be done as a separate workout in themselves or after a power squat workout. This choice is yours.

A friend of mine and present 275 lb. champ at this year's Juniors, Dave Shaw, used to do Olympic squats. Then another champ told him to "drop the bar lower on the traps, widen your stance, use super wraps, etc." Well, Dave has had nothing but problems ever since, in the way of leg injuries. Needless to say, he is back to adding the full Olympic squats to his training!

Next: Tony Ditillo on assistance movements for the Bench Press, and a letter from 1970 Jon Cole sent Ken Leistner describing his training at the time. Oh yeah, also a few paragraphs by Dr. Ken on the technique and the importance of strength. Actually I might as well put those two shorter Ken Leistner things here now :

Ken Leistner -

No doubt about it, technique in anything will be absolutely necessary, but it's difficult to "technique" a very heavy weight off the floor [I love that last line! Worth reading a second and third time, isn't it.] Olympic lifters delight in telling about the exploits of Rick Holbrook. You may recall that he held a number of American records in The Lifts and was a snatcher par excellence. He may have looked like a basketball player, and no doubt this contributed to everyone's attitude that he lifted so well due to superior technique (and make no bones about it, he did have superior technique), but these same people tend to forget that he was also stronger than all hell!

Watch Rigert lift sometime. His form or technique is far from excellent. In fact, I've heard some of your so-called Olympic lifting experts say that his form is really lacking in many phases of his lifts, and yet, I believe it is safe to say that he has been, pound-for-pound, the greatest lifter to ever grace the platform. "Man, if he had better form, can you imagine what he'd do?" I think not. The attitude seems to be that he lifts well IN SPITE of his form. Perhaps he lifts well precisely BECAUSE of his form. More specifically, perhaps rounding a bit, etc. allows him to best exert his STRENGTH in the most efficient manner in accordance with his individual body leverages.

I was fortunate enough to see about 20 minutes of Rigert training in Manila prior to the 1974 World Championships. At one point, with approximately 474  on the bar. He backed off the rack for a push press with it (right, a push press), and one of the plates slid toward the end of the bar. He just stood there, waited for a colleague to slide the plate back on, grinned, and shot the weight up. He also did a few back squats, a double or a triple as I recall, with 600 and change, perfect form, rock bottom, pause, and up.

Now, you can tell me about form for the rest of your days, but don't try to tell me that it's not his incredible STRENGTH that allows this man to lift as he does.

We have many lifters whose form is every bit as good as the Eastern athletes. They're just not very strong in comparison to them and that, as it is said, is the bottom line when it comes to moving a very heavy weight.

As it was, the comments greeting me at a meet I recently lifting in were something else. "Imagine what he'd do if he had any technique." Well, yes, I'd do a whole lot better, but being stronger than anyone else in the class certainly helped. So when Olympic lifters put down Powerlifters remember where the source lies in the barbell sports, laugh inside, and walk away.

I have a 1970 letter from Jon Cole describing in detail his training procedures at the time. As I have yet to see anything on him in PL USA yet, I thought I would share it [a lot of this strange and otherworldly not-for-dollars "sharing" thing went on back then]. This is how it went in preparation for his performance at the 1970 Seniors . . .

Jon trained Tuesdays and Saturdays in the following manner:

Bench -
225 x 8, 350 x 5, 400 x 3, 500 x 1, 1 rep with maximum, 475 x 2 sets of 2.

Squat -
335 x 8, 425 x 5, 515 x 3, 605 x 1, 700 x 1, 750 x 1, 1 rep with maximum, 700 x 2.

This was followed by Calf Raises (3 x 30 reps), Curls and Triceps Extensions (5 x 5 each, working up to 200 lbs.) and finishing with Wrist Curls for 5 x 5.

On Saturdays he added the Deadlift to the above program, working up to maximum poundage for a single. He stated that he stressed the lower reps on the lifts in order to build the connective tissue strength, and confidence needed to lift the really big weights. Sorry, but that's all the information I can offer on Jon. Will get something to you later. 



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