Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Squatting with depth this time… breaking paralell squats for powerlifting…

Ever since I got into powerlifting full time two years ago, I’ve always struggled on trying to get squat form right and I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of it. In powerlifting competition especially the USAPL federation, to get squat depth right, you gotta break parallel. Meaning no parallel squats /w the legs parallel to the floor… you can’t squat like that in powerlifting… they want you to go deeper. Going deeper means that you gotta squat low until the crease of the hip goes below the top of the knee.

I always google information on squatting on how to get squat depth right and watching powerlifting competitions online on how they do it. The trick to getting squat depth right that the USAPL ask for is to get the hips lower than the knee caps… making the hamstrings touch the top of your calves is the way to do it.

So in order to go below parallel, I had to go for lighter weights, I guess and I was able to break parallel every rep and didn’t miss a single lift today in squats. Felt good. I smashed a 130 lb. single which was the best I could do. Like the video says that lift was a fighter but I was able to lock it out.

I’ll take 130 lbs. heavy single for now and I’ll try my best to go up in numbers before the end of the year. Hopefully get up to 180 lbs. or 190 lbs. before the end of the year and I’m gonna do my best to get there. I really need to bring my squat numbers up and if going lighter is what it will take for now so be it. I’ll still do 1 – 5 heavy reps, just do the weights that I know I can do. I’m gonna train smart. No more messing around. Time to go up in numbers on the big three.

Squats really is an awesome lift. I’m liking it more and more. Enjoy the video above.

Kev

Powerlifting training is going well… Starting to feel strong again…

Well it’s been several weeks already of me going back to the gym and I’m already getting used to powerlifting training again. Feeling really good doing bench and deadlift again but squats, I’m just still trying to get good form with that.

I’m always pretty good with bench and deadlift but squats I’ve always had a little trouble with ’cause it’s the most complex lift really. I am finally able to get the good form down with squats by using lighter weights. When I’m squatting above parallel, I could squat like 130 lbs. – 150 lbs. but when I’m squatting below parallel, I can only hit like 125 – 130 lbs which is okay in my eyes.

Squatting below parallel is kind of tough ’cause I’m kind of a short guy and it feels wicked deep squatting below parallel. To squat below parallel in powerlifting the hip crease (or upper leg area) needs to be lower than the top of the knees. That means you must descent until the hamstrings touch your calves and your hips are below the knees. That’s the legal powerlifting squat in order to get all 3 white lights. It’s tough to do but I’m getting better at squats now, I think.

I made a vow that I wouldn’t miss a lift in my training cycle in powerlifting on the big three: deadlift, bench and squat. Lately I haven’t been missing lifts on the deadlift and bench but for some reason I missed a couple of lifts on squats ’cause I’m still learning the form. Think I got it now so I’ll try my best not to miss a lift on squats again. When I do miss a lift on squats, I’ll take some weight off and go a little lighter so I can make that lift to end the squat session with.

I’m really hoping to bring up my numbers on the big three lifts before the year ends. Really improve. Hoping to make my deadlift go past 300 lbs. for reps, go past 200 lbs. for reps on bench and I want to bring up my squat numbers some too ’cause that’s kind of low right now. Low squat numbers was intentional ’cause I’m trying to squat with the right “depth”… break parallel that’ll make the powerlifting judges happy.

I just figured that the more you improve your deadlift, the more you improve your squat numbers too ’cause the deadlift takes a lot of leg work. Deadlift works out your entire lower body just like the squat does.

I’m training smart this time around. Now that I’m back in the gym after a little vacation from it, no more messing around and train like a real powerlifter.

The problem with powerlifters even the longtime veterans, they miss a lot of lifts in their training during off-season. I’m not gonna do that. If you want to bring your numbers up, you gotta do the numbers that you know you can hit. You gotta leave room in the tank in order to hit the bigger ones.

I’m gonna keep my powerlifting training going throughout the fall & Winter and bodybuilding training too. Consistency is key to getting stronger.

For deadlift today, I just easily smashed a 280 lb. single. So if I could do that, I could probably go past 300 lbs. in another month or two. I’m almost there, anyway.

Kev

Why I switched to Almond milk instead of cow’s milk…

Last week, I thought I would give Almond Milk a try… the unsweetened Vanilla kind and to my surprise, I really liked the taste a lot. Almost like a milkshake and tastes like Almonds which is where it got it’s name from obviously.

I switched to Almond milk ’cause it’s way more healthier and nutritious than dairy milk, in my opinion. I’m planning to avoid dairy more and more. The only dairy food I would take is 1% Lowfat Cottage Cheese and Plain Non-fat Greek Yogurt and that’s it. I eat those ’cause they are great sources of protein.

Now I’m going to add Almond Milk to my clean eating. Doing research, I read it’s good for fat loss and muscle building. It also helps give you stronger bones. Almond Milk is also low in calories than dairy milk… has no sugars, no gluten and none of that other stuff.

While I’m doing all of this weightlifting, trying to get big and strong, I’m also trying to lose more bodyfat so I can hopefully get lower than 10%. Get a full six pack and get really ripped.

I think dairy milk is actually bad for your health and almond milk is way better. I don’t use milk for a lot of things, though. I use milk when I eat my Shredded Wheat plain cereal (I also eat this for my clean eating, shredded wheat plain is the only healthy cereal out there, lol) and I use milk when I have oatmeal for breakfast. I also have a small glass of milk for dinner every night but I’m gonna use Almond milk from now on. Almond Milk is also good for healthy fats that you need and has little protein as well.

Almond Milk is very popular in the bodybuilding and fitness world so I thought I would finally give it a shot. They all use it. If you see a huge muscular person shopping at the grocery store chances are, you’ll see a carton of Almond Milk in his/her shopping cart.

Kev

Why I’ve gotten into barbell overhead press and the Barbell hip thrusts more in gym…

In the past when I was doing bodybuilding in the gym, I originally never wanted anything to do with barbell at all. I avoided the barbell work but that was up until I discovered the sport of powerlifting. Now I’m all over the barbell. I discovered powerlifting two years ago thanks to friends that are powerlifters and they got me into it really. Thanks to powerlifting, I’ve had a change of heart with the barbell and now I’m all over it.

I’ve been doing barbell work bench, squats and deadlift… the big three lifts used for powerlifting meets. Then I decided to get into a few more barbell exercises for more additional strength/muscle work: the standing overhead barbell press and the barbell hip thrusts.

I got into doing barbell overhead press (standing) for shoulder work. Dong research on powerlifting, all powerlifters should do standing barbell overhead press ’cause it helps improves bench strength and yes it seems to be helping. Plus, if you want to have overall upper body strength, gotta do standing barbell overhead presses. If you’re going to bench and deadlift, gotta do standing overhead presses too. They all go hand in hand if you want to get real strong.

I’ve gotten into Barbell Hip thrusts for hypertrophy training ’cause I needed stronger glutes (or better known as the butt). When I went to physical therapy in the past, I was told that I have weak glutes and I really needed to strengthen them. So now that the gym is back, I’m doing a few things for the glutes and the barbell hip thrust is one of them. I learned that if you want to improve your squat and deadlift numbers, gotta have wicked strong glutes and gotta shape up your butt some. I would say that my glutes definitely needs more work and I’m working on that too. I learned that if you have wicked strong and muscular glutes then you’ll see big improvement in squat and deadlift for sure.

When you get into powerlifting training, you can’t just do the big three lifts only. Gotta do other things too and still can’t ignore hypertrophy training either. Can’t stop the bodybuilding training ’cause more muscle helps more strength too.

Been a few weeks back in the gym and my lifting coming along well. Getting back on track.

Kev

Gym is going really well, starting to feel strong again…

Another week down of the gym. Having weekend off of gym and then chest day on Monday. When just going back into gym after some time off from it, you’re going to feel weak going in for a little bit and it may seem like you lost some muscle gains and strength gains but the reality is you haven’t really. As I said in a post before, when you don’t work out and don’t lift at all for a while, your muscles will atrophy (means shrinking) yes but your muscles and strength won’t atrophy right away.

I’m starting to feel strong again after a few weeks back in the gym which feels really good. My lifting is starting to pick back up and I haven’t lost a lot of strength to be honest. I don’t think I really lost any and pretty much have it still. The numbers on the big three in powerlifting training are still pretty much the same. I think maybe I still do have the 300 lb. deadlift so I’m planning on giving it a shot in a few weeks. I know I can still do a 300 lb. deadlift ’cause I’ve done in several times in the past.

I’m still planning to bring up my numbers big before the year ends, though.

And once again, plans to bring up my numbers on the big three squat, bench and deadlift:

  1. Stay consistent
  2. Never miss a lift
  3. Train heavy with good form (do heavy sets and few reps, like 1-5 reps each set)
  4. Stay injury free
  5. Get plenty of rest

Do all those 5 things and you’ll start to go somewhere in powerlifting.

I don’t have any injuries at all right now… thanks to the pandemic which helped healed them all, lol. Lessons learned, never get injured again.

I’m hoping to win first place in my weight class in a powerlifting meet sometime in the future when this pandemic is gone so I’m going to work really hard to get there. I’m hoping to compete in powerlifting in 2021 ’cause I haven’t done a powerlifting meet in a long while.

I’m getting better at squats, though. Trying to squat with depth, the hip crease (the upper leg) area needs to be lower than the knees which is a deep squat and I’ve been squatting that way lately so it’s pretty deep and feels good too. Barbell squats is definitely the best workout for legs for sure. I’m really getting into squats and liking it more. Takes a while to get used to, I guess. Once you squat with good form, you’ll like it more.

So happy to finally be back to lifting again and hope it stays this way.

Kev

Another Plan to get more powerlifting gains quicker, less is more???

I’m trying to come up with ways so I can really bring up my numbers on the big three lifts: bench, squat and deadlift in powerlifting. I already came up with a few ideas that I need to stay consistent with the training like I’ve been doing in the past and also never missing any lifts during training. I’ve learned that you’re not going to get anywhere in powerlifting if you’re going to keep missing lifts all the time. You need to keep doing the lifts that you know you can handle. That’s how you actually get somewhere.

I’ve also decided to shorten my training sessions for the big three slightly. Admittedly, I think doing 6 sets for a few reps each is a bit much. So I’m going to do 5 sets for training sessions on the big three from now on. I’ve learned that less is more so maybe that’ll help some. A lot of powerlifters especially the more experienced and advanced powerlifters go from 5 sets to 10 sets during their training sessions.

I think I’m gonna go for 5 sets from now on. 5 sets per training session on the big three sounds good to me. I don’t need to spend more than an hour training on the big three ’cause it does seem like forever, you need to rest a long time in between sets too. Powerlifting is a different game than bodybuilding, both training styles are way different.

I did 5 sets of bench last Monday and felt real good. Seems quicker. Powerlifters always doing so much in their training and in my opinion, less is more. Lets give that a try and see how that goes.

I’m hoping to get a 200 lb. bench and 200 lb. squat before the year ends. If not then I should definitely be able to get to at least 170 – 180 lbs. on both. We’ll see. I’m gonna train smart this time around so I can start going somewhere with my numbers.

In powerlifting training, you don’t want your numbers staying the same or going down ’cause that’s bad and I’ve had that happen lots of times. Gotta stop that. The whole point of powerlifting is that you want your numbers on the big three to keep going up, up, up and up. That’s the name of the game.

If I want to become a great powerlifter someday and earn respect in the industry, I gotta keep going up on the numbers. I’m gonna try the best I can for the rest of this year and all of next year.

I love powerlifting. So glad I got into this sport. Hope to stay in it for a long time.

Kev

Where Have all the gym Crowds gone… now that gyms are back???

Yes, gyms are finally back in NY state. Gov. Andrew demanded that crowd capacity should be 33%. Some gyms in NY state follow that rule and some ignore it. Even though gyms are back open and even though gym crowd capacity needs to be at 33% or under, you’re still seeing pretty much empty gyms all over NY state. You’re seeing very few people working out there throughout the day…

Why is this you may ask? Well the pandemic and covid-19 certainly did turn a lot of gym members against the gym. A lot of people out there are still scared to death of the virus and take it seriously and many refuse to go back to the gym ’cause they believe it’s not safe. There’s also this other half that are not scared of the virus at all but they refuse to workout with a mask on at the gym. It’s a combination of both reasons why you’re seeing dead crowds at the gyms.

I’m sure gym goers didn’t give up working out, though. I’m seeing many more gym goers building their own gyms at home… or if they have a friend or family member that has a home gym, they use theirs. Either that or some gym goers find other gyms around NY to join. Some may have stopped working out due to no gym access like I did.

Ya know, people would think I might be crazy for going right back to the gym as soon as it opened but I’m not scared of the virus and I’m not taking it seriously when the death count is very low and recovery rate very high. I’m not panicking like most… so I still try to go out and about and enjoy my day.

When this covid-19 pandemic shit is all over with will gym crowds come back? Probably and hopefully ’cause gyms needs its members in order to survive. They can’t stay at low capacity for so long. Some gyms are gonna close for good ’cause they can’t afford to stay open anymore and they’ll lose a lot of money.

I’m hoping the Battenkill Branch won’t close for good ’cause of the pandemic ’cause that’ll suck. I’m sure it won’t, though. Things will get back to normal, I’m sure. I’m predicting the country will fully comeback after the Election like everyone is saying ’cause this lockdown stuff is all about the election.

Anyhow, I’m actually okay with gyms having no crowds ’cause truthfully people fucking suck at gyms: Hogging equipment, not putting equipment back, not wiping down things when they’re done, not picking up trash, etc. I don’t have to worry about waiting to use a piece of equipment when I need to use something and don’t have to put up with chatty people bothering me during my workout… so yeah I’m good with low capacity crowds. It’s more peaceful to workout when it’s all quiet too.

I’m sure it’ll all get back to normal soon, though.

Kev

Unfortunately, gotta get used to powerlifting training again which will be a few weeks, I guess…

Uggghhhh… since I’ve been away from the gym for so long due to Pandemic and lockdown bullshit, I really do gotta get used to the gym again ’cause I’m still not used to it honestly. It’ll be a few weeks and then I’ll be on fire again with my powerlifting training.

I was doing deadlift this morning at the gym doing my strength training on that… doing few heavy reps for each set and each rep felt kind of heavy on me so that’s a sign I’m not used to it since I’ve been away for soo long? Yep.

I’m gonna keep doing what I do week after week and then I’ll start training really good again. Just gotta get used to it, I guess. Just keep going and then suddenly, I might get even more gains ’cause of it.

I do miss the gym and glad to be back finally. It’s what I’m supposed to be doing and where I’m supposed to be. I plan to stick with this for the rest of the year and all of 2021, next year. No more time off.

I really want to bring my numbers up on the big three and not going to rush. Take my time.

Kev

Getting back into heavier lifting again this week, feels good…

2nd week back in the gym and today was leg day. Got chest day and arm day out of the way this week and then got back day tomorrow. So that means since it’s back day tomorrow, it’s deadlifting day.

Well I’m back to my strength training on the big three lifts this week: bench, deadlift and squat. Back to doing heavier sets and few reps. This time I’m gonna train more smart and be even more careful. Definitely stay injury free from now on.

Admittedly I did lose a little bit of “strength” on the big three lifts but nothing too bad. I can get back what I lost easily and quickly. Get even more gains so I’m not too worried about it.

For bench… I’m around 140 lbs. – 150 lbs.

For squat… I’m about 120 lbs. – 130 lbs. p.r.

For deadlift…. I’m about 275 lbs. – 285 lbs. p.r. (maybe a little more)

This week I spent some time trying to figure out where my numbers are at right now and that’s pretty much it, I believe.

For the rest of the year, I’m going to concentrate and focus on bringing my numbers up even more. Continuing my strength training week after week and not missing any lifts. “Missing lifts” in powerlifting means you can’t get that rep.

I really need to bring up my squat numbers ’cause it’s pretty low right now but I had to be so I can squat with the right depth for powerlifting, ya know? The right depth for powerlifting, the crease of the hip needs to be below the top of the knee which pretty deep. I didn’t like squats in the beginning but I’m finally starting to like it more. Getting way better at squats too.

My goal for the big three is to get over 300 lbs. for reps on deadlift… get over 150 lbs. for squats and bench for reps. I can try and accomplish those goals if I stay consistent and I will and not miss any lifts if I want to go somewhere. Missing lifts during training in powerlifting is not good and that was my problem in the past. No more of that.

I want to try to bring my numbers up big before 2020 ends and I believe I can. Hopefully I’ll be able to do a powerlifting meet in 2021… I’m sure the country will be back to fully normal then.

Kev

Lifting weights with masks on at the gym is even more dangerous and unsafe…

Well, it’s my second week back in the gym. Ever since I’ve been back, I’ve been wearing facemasks while lifting weights and yes, makes me feel even more uncomfortable. It definitely seems even more dangerous and unsafe too.

While lifting weights, you need air and you need to breathe… a facemask just blocks the air. It’s real tough working out with a face mask on. With a facemask, it makes you feel even more warmer, a sweaty mouth with a facemask on is not good. Working out with a facemask on, you’re almost out of breath after a set and makes you feel you want to pass out.

Check out the video above… the guy in the video above decides to give it a try and show us what it’s like and what he goes through is the same thing I go through.

While King Cuomo mandated masks in NY gyms, some gyms in NY state ignores the “face mask” rule ’cause some NY gyms knows how dangerous it can be but other gyms strictly enforce the facemask rule like the YMCA. At the YMCA, I would workout without a mask on myself but if you get caught without a mask on, you’ll be kicked out of the gym and I can’t deal with that.

That’s why at the gym, I shorten my workout days slightly so I can get in and out for about an hour and a half or so. I don’t want to stay in the gym any longer than that ’cause it’s dangerous working out in the gym for a few hours. While working out in a gym with masks on, I already want to get out of there. That’s why I pick like 4 or 5 workouts to do each day for each body part. Go in and out real quick ’cause I don’t like lifting with these masks on but I do it anyways. Just not stay in there for so long, ya know?

Not only you need to breathe during your workouts, it’s also hard to concentrate and focus with these fucking masks on.

Yeah, I’m anti-mask for sure. I’ve hated facemasks since the beginning. It looks like facemasks will be around until we get a vaccine which is gonna suck. Facemasks won’t be a forever thing, though, they’ll disappear soon. It’s ridiculous that we have to get forced to wear these things. I don’t like it and they don’t work anyways.

Other than that, my workouts and powerlifting training at the gym is going well for the most part. Felt really sore all over my body for several days but the soreness is gone pretty much. Just gotta get used to the gym again.

Glad to be back… the gym is where I belong and it’s what I’m supposed to be doing.

Kev