Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Strength and Power Training -- Ernest Cottrell


In bodybuilding, there are many approaches to the acquisition of strength and power. One of the best ways I know of to develop deep-rooted strength is to plan your training around an upcoming powerlifting competition. You will not only gain tremendous strength from such a plan, but by demonstrating it as a competitor at a powerlifting meet you will gain the attention of the spectators, and they will realize that a bodybuilder's physique isn't necessarily just for show. 

For those of you bodybuilders who would like to dedicate your training to perhaps one powerlifting competition a year, I would like to share this very workable strength and power training program. 


 -- Regular Deadlift: 
1 x 10 with 50%
1 x 8 70%
1 x 3 80%
1 x 3 90%
3 x 3 80%
Rest 4 to 5 minutes between sets. Concentrate on form and pull and squeeze the shoulder blades back and together throughout the entire motion of each rep. 

 -- High Pull: 
3 x 6 60%
Rest 3 minutes between sets; explode on the pull to belt-high position, then lower rather slowly in negative fashion.

 -- Dip: 
1 x 10 30%
1 x 6 50%
3 x 3 80%
Rest 3 to 4 minutes between sets. Explode from the low dead stop position. 

 -- Bodyweight Dips: 
1 x As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP)


20 to 30 minutes of assorted midsection and neck work, your choice. Hanging knee ups, lying leg thrusts, crunches for the abs. Harness work, manual resistance, and various bridges for the neck. 


 -- Power Squat: 
Use the same set/rep/percentage schedule as described for the Deadlift. 

 -- Bodyweight Squat Jumps: 

 -- Barbell Curl, slight cheat: 
5 x 5

Rest 2 minutes between all sets. 


 -- Bench Press: 
Again use the same set/rep/percentage schedule as described for the Deadlift and Power Squat. 

 -- Chinup: 
Use the same set/rep/percentage schedule as suggested for Dips. On this exercise, use a fairly narrow grip. Do these with a curl grip (palms facing you) one workout, then with the hands pronated (palms facing away) the next, etc. 



Every third week, do your 1 x 3 (90%) training slot for the barbell: Deadlift, Power Squat, and Bench Press in this manner: 

1 x 3 at 90% of max
1 x 2 95%
Four single attempts, resting 5-7 minutes between each and increasing the weight whenever possible. Only do this EVERY THIRD WEEK. 

Three week before the competition, do only 2 sets of High Pulls with 60%, 3 x 6 in the Power Squat with 50% Continue doing the Bodyweight Squat Jumps for only 2 sets to failure. One the Barbell Curl do 3 x 7. On the Chins, do them for 4 x 6. Also at this point (3 weeks before the contest), do your barbell Deadlift, Power Squat, and Bench Press sequence (note the difference from the one suggested every third week above) in this manner: 

1 x 20 30%
rest 2 minutes
1 x 10 50%
rest 2 minutes
1 x 8 60%
rest 3 minutes
1 x 3 70%
rest 5 minutes
1 x 3 90%
rest 5 minutes
1 x 1 95%

Now do 3 more single attempts in 5-pound increments, with 5 minutes of rest between each of the attempts (hold 2.5 pound plates in each hand and "heft" them to show yourself that the additional weight is very light before adding them to the bar for each single attempt. If you have an abundance of energy,l do 1 to3 more single attempts this way to break your record. 

50% of something is HALF, so when I say 50% of your current maximum single effort, and your best single is 500 pounds, 50% is 250 pounds, etc. Percentages are easy to compute in 100 and 10 pound increments: i.e., 80% is 8 of the 10 pounds, or 80 of 100, and for proper warming up and progressive neuro-muscular performance use a weight that corresponds to these percentages to avoid over-training in this sequence. 

400 squat example: 
30% = 120 (.3 x 400)
85% = 340 (.85 x 400) etc. 

You should want desperately to do more lifts after your workout is done . . . 
DON'T, since this reserve of energy at contest time, along with the adrenaline flow will allow you to express much more strength in your lifts. 

On all the exercises within this program, try to add 10 lbs. per workout to each set. If this is simply not possible, don't settle for less than 5 lb. increases. This complete training cycle can be followed 10-12 weeks prior to a competition. 

Note: In the "Power Squats" in the Wednesday workout, there are four points to keep in mind:

1) Bar rests low across back and shoulders.
2) Torso is bent forward. 
3) Feet are wider than shoulder width apart. 
4) During the descent, buttocks go back and knees stay directly over ankles; lower leg remains perpendicular to the floor. 

Enjoy Your Lifting! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive