Q & A by Dr. Mauro DiPasquale
I’ve been a powerlifter for the last 5 years. I suffered from a L5-S1 herniated disc in high school football, “top Doctors” told me that Id never be able to be physical again, It would be hard for me to workout or anything with consistency due to my injury. Well thanks to great information from you as well as other sources, Ive have made my gains quicker than expected. This year I won the state championships and ranked in the top 100 list in PL USA. In the gym I’ve already beat my old numbers and keep getting strong through proper exercise, nutrition and rest. My only concern is that from a structural standpoint, should I add any supplemental exercises or should I still workout like I did when I squatted only 320, because my squat is twice that now and obviously that style of working out did wonders, but would any alterations shock me into a whole new growth pattern? I see how many “new” exercises have sprouted up, and are being performed by individuals much stronger than myself. The question is if its not broke do you still fix it?
I commend you on your achievements, especially after having so much negative medical advice. You have to understand that while there is almost no injury or problem that can’t be overcome by intelligent training, few people lack the wherewithal to make it happen. Doctors go by the numbers and as such their advice is geared to what the pathetic, average person is capable of doing.
As far as changing your routines and workout style, I think the famous theological saying that you quoted says it all. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. On the other hand if you’re not getting anywhere and your training has stalled out, then that’s the time to try something different to see if it can kick start you again. For most of my competitive career I basically worked out the same way, with some rather minor variations, although at times, especially at the beginning, I did try almost everything under the sun to find out what worked best for me. As far as new exercises, there basically aren’t any, just variations on the old ones. In fact a lot of these new exercises were done by others decades ago and have simply been reintroduced. It’s basically a variation of the “back to the future” theme. Success in powerlifting (and in anything else for that matter) is measured by determination, drive and consistency. Mix in some common sense and a yearning to learn and apply as much as you can about training and nutrition, and you’ve got a powerful brew. And it sounds like you’re cooking along just fine.
I am someone who both trail-runs (some serious uphill, which I presently take at a fast walk) and lifts weights, which of the following strategies would likely be better? (I’m trying to lose body fat while still maintaining or even slightly increasing lean mass). My questions is it better to use Amino following weight lifting and none after running, or should I use Amino after both weightlifting and running?
As far as using Amino Acids, it’ll give you the biggest bang for the buck if you only use it after lifting.
First of all I want you to know that your Resolve Competition is the best pre-workout supplement I’ve ever used. I can’t believe how much better my training has gone since I started using it. A friend of mine, who’s pretty knowledgeable about supplements and nutrition is not so sure about it. He says that while most of the ingredients are useful, some are useless and he doesn’t think they should be in the formula, except to jack the price up. He particularly picked on alanine since one of the tablets is taken up by the 1000 milligrams of alanine that’s in the formula. He says that alanine is not an essential amino acid and that in his mind it doesn’t do much when you use it on its own and it’s a waste of time to put it into a pre-workout formula. Can you give me your views on this?
With all respect to your friend, he’s wrong about alanine. I think the misconception comes from the fact that alanine is the main amino acid released from muscle during exercise. As such, many people misinterpret this to mean that alanine is in excess when you’re exercising so why add any more by taking it as a supplement?
With the 18 week bench method, how do you incorporate squats, and deads into the equation. How would the program be laid out during the week?
It’s always been my opinion that in any weight class except the supers it’s best to maximize muscle mass and minimize body fat so that you can be most efficient and strongest at any weight class you lift in. It’s also my opinion that while an efficient powerlifter may be almost as lean as a competitive bodybuilder, having too much of a bodybuilder type of physique is counter productive. The excessive hypertrophy seen in bodybuilders doesn’t translate into strength in the three lifts, and the extra weight (even though it’s muscle, some of it is excess baggage) lowers the efficiency of a lifter in any one weight class.
As far as incorporating the rest of the workout, it wasn’t a problem for me since I only squatted and dead lifted once a week and sometimes once every ten days. I needed more work on the bench and less time to recoup so I worked the bench twice a week. My routine would be something like this:
Monday ~ I would squat, bench and deadlift and the whole workout would take between three and four hours. The squat and deadlift were both really heavy and I rarely did more than three reps with the heaviest sets (actually in the squat and bench I always kept it to three reps or less with the heavy weights). I’d also do some incline benches after I did the big three.
Wednesday ~ I would do some rowing and light triceps and delt work. Workout usually took no more than one hour.
Friday ~ I would bench (flat and incline) with the workout taking no more than one and half hours.
:: Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale :: is one of the most influential voices on diet, performance and athletic training in the world. His innovative work in finding safe nutritional alternatives to anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs has won him praise from athletes, trainers and fitness experts around the globe. Dr. Di Pasquale was a world-class athlete for over 15 years, winning the World Championships in powerlifting in 1976 and world games in 1981.