2 questions  - Specificity and Microloading 2 questions - Specificity and Microloading

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Thread: 2 questions - Specificity and Microloading

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default 2 questions - Specificity and Microloading

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    Two questions, if you don't mind:

    1. I use microweights all the time in my workouts, and find them indispensable. However, one gym I went to didn't allow "bags," meaning that I'd have to carry them in my pockets (not even really possible) or not use them at all.

    Needless to say, I didn't figure this would be a good place to come, long-term. But I got to wondering: how valuable are microplates, in your opinion, and what is their main benefit (what is different about simply increasing by 5lbs when you're ready to, rather than tiny increments all the time?) Does everyone in your gym use them, by the way?

    2. About sport specificity and powerlifting. You mention in your books about how certain ways to do exercises (like sumo squats or deadlifts) are suitable for powerlifting and not for general strength. Is the opposite true, though? I realize that doing wide-stance squats is good preparation for doing, well, wide-stance squats, but wouldn't getting stronger overall be better for powerlifting, a test of absolute strength?

    I mean, training power cleans can help powerlifters more than deadlifts sometimes, even though they're not specific to the sport. So why wouldn't doing shoulder-width, non-suited, below parallel squats help more than geared sumo squats, in the same way?

    I guess my question is this: could powerlifting be an exception to the specificity rule because it's so similar to general weight training? You don't learn to jump by doing only squats--you need to practice jumping. But I suspect you could squat at a competition without ever training wide-stance squats.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    North Texas


    1.) Small plates are useful because small muscles don't get strong as fast as big muscles. So, 1 lb. plates are useful for the press and the bench press, but not for the deadlift. It is not always possible to go up 5 lbs. on the press and make all 5 reps of all 3 sets, so when this is the case you add 2 lbs. so you can maintain your rate of increase.

    2.) If you don't practice your competitive movement, you will not be as good at it as you would be if you did. There are strength specificities to the wide stance suited squat that must be addressed, but if for no other reason you have to practice them in training so you can do them in the meet to the best of your ability. In other words, yes, powerlifting is a specialized expression of strength that must be trained for specifically.


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