Thursday, August 30, 2007

Powerlifting and A.D.D.

Powerlifting and A.D.D.

Okay, so I was sitting there at work the other and came up with a theory. I think for the most part, people starting out in powerlifting have A.D.D. I mean think about it, how many times has a beginner/intermediate lifter to the sport gone to the various forums looking for the holy grail? The ultimate program that is gonna pack on muscle and pack on pounds to the total, only to come back a week later and say "program so-and-so sucks, it doesnt work", "this style of training is only for people on the juice", etc....At least 5-10 times a week I bet, and thats quite a conservative number.

I know personally, it wasnt until I said "Screw it, I am gonna pick one powerlifting program and give it a good year of effort and see what turns up" that I started garnering the results I was after. And guess what happened? "

-My total went up
-The muscle mass got packed on
-I am stronger now than I was back in the days of 3 sets of 10, sipping energy drinks on the leg curl machine, all the while pondering the secrets of the powerlifting universe.

Now the program I use is based on the Westside Barbell style of training. This style has worked for me and keeps the iron game refreshing and new as the methodolgy is constantly changing and open for experimentation. That is not to say westside is the end all be all of powerlifting programs, its just that it has worked for me. There are other great programs out there such as Sheiko, Smolov, Coan/Phillipi programs, etc...the key is to seek them out, study them and make an honest judgement as to whether or not you think you can mold it to your needs.

Now back to the A.D.D side of things. A.D.D stand for Attention Deficit Disorder, and yes I have it. Whoop-dee doo, dont we all. A.D.D. is a term commonly used to describe the neurological disorder attention-deficit disorder (See, I picked up that I repeated myself, could it be A.D.D? Who knows, who cares, this is a Powerlifting article right?)

Below are some of the symptoms:

-Often does not pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in day to day activities
-Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks (daydreams)
-Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish projects and tasks (whoa, look at this new program, I think I'll give it a go!!)
-Often has trouble organizing activities (How many sets and reps do I need to do?)
-Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as following a powerlifting program to completion).
-Is often easily distracted (and goes with the flavor of the week)

Now this is not an end-all be-all list of symptoms, but they are definitely characteristics of alot of people starting this sport, and others for that matter. Some blame their low totals, strength, and lack of follow through on "paralysis by analysis", but which came first? The chicken or the Egg? Are you too scatterbrained to concentrate on one program at once? Or, do you read a ton of articles, get paralyzed, implement pieces of 5 programs into one crappy routine, then blame them all for your poor performance? Who knows?

So now the question is this, what can you do to get around this powerlifting A.D.D. thing? Well, there are many ways to address this. For myself, it was just having a long talk with myself on what it is that I want to accomplish, and deciding to quit using excuses for my pathetic strength levels. I quit saying that the only way to get strong is to go on the juice. I quit saying I need a group of people to train with to get strong (I train alone btw), and a whole host of other issues whereby I was placing the blame on external forces and not owning the responsibility.

The bottom line is this, powerlifting is about being honest with yourself and testing yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally (I often cry when I miss a weight, just kidding). If you try and kid yourself or place the responsibility on someone else you are either gonna get pancaked under a pathetic squat, get choked by a dropped bench press, or move to the head of the line of the geriatric look-a-like contest because you chose to ignore the finer points of deadlifting and now have a "crick-in-yer-back" look to you. Congratulations, the universe succeeded in its master plan of sabotaging your powerlifting dreams by not providing you with the holy grail that only elite lifters know the whereabouts of. Good for you.

Pick a program, give it time, and as Dave Tate states in his book "Under the Bar" have indicators in place to help you determine if you picked a winner of a program, or just picked a stinker. Keep your focus and maybe try and get a partner or person to hold you to your goals and wont let you pussyfoot around. The simple act of having somebody consistently ask you how your training is going will help to keep you honest. Well, thats about it from my neck of the woods, so until I submerge again....Keep it Dark, Keep it Heavy!!!

Chris Smith is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, powerlifting for just under 2 years, Aerospace Technician, Internet Marketer, Father of 2, Husband of one, and hell bent on getting strong. If you would like to read more from him or just give him a hard time, you can visit his blog where he logs his training and analyzes them at powerlifting Etc.

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