Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Update #1 to The Beer Drinker’s Guide to Weightlifting

Occasionally I’ll put updates to The Beer Drinker’s Guide to Weightlifting on here as I stumble across new methods/exercises that I feel are helpful to your average weightlifter. Recently I literally did stumble upon a new system that has proven beneficial.

Actually, I didn’t stumble, the Brewers stumbled. They’ve lost 12 of their last 16 games as of this post. I’ve watched them struggle at the plate and at the mound. It’s been pretty depressing.

I know I’ve told you that you shouldn’t read the paper at the gym but that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I’ve been reading up on the Brewers in between sets trying to figure out what’s wrong with them. While I’m certainly not a baseball expert I have learned a lot just by studying the papers and the player’s performances. Reading the paper makes you lose track of time and you end up getting in less sets and more resting time in between sets. And you know what? I’m pushing a lot more weight now.

Don’t jump the gun on me now and say, “of course you’ll be able to do more weight if you rest longer between sets.” This, my friends, is obvious. Resting four minutes instead of two minutes will result in fresher muscles allowing you to do more. Any boxer given an extra two minutes in between rounds would have a huge advantage over his opponent, especially in the latter rounds. I’m sure you’d all agree with me on this one.

I’ve been doing this for three weeks now. Even if I don’t read the paper in the gym I’ll force myself to wait three and a half to four minutes between sets. While you have that obvious initial gain by waiting an extra two minutes when you first start (vs. what you could do with less rest), I’ve also noticed a big increase going from week to week in what I’ve been able to do. I’ve increased pretty much every “big” movement (bench, pull-downs, shoulder press) by at least ten pounds with the same number of reps. Hell, I’ve been doing weight that I haven’t done in seven years. Even though you’re getting in fewer sets you’ll still feel the same ache the next day as if you did double the number of sets. Instead of playing around with less weight after a quick rest you’re handling more weight after more rest. More weight somehow or another equates to more muscle (I think I read that somewhere). You don’t see skinny guys in the weight room with 245 pounds over their chest.

Something else you don’t see too often in the gym…

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