Roger Estep: Question and Answers

Dear Roger: In a regular training session, do you wear the same lifting suit that you would wear in meet? I understand that Mike Bridges wears his all the time and Fred Hatfield has the oppsite opinion and only wears his tight suit just prior to a meet. Tom Evan.

Dear Tom: My opinion on the use of the suit emphasizes only intermitent wearing of the suit. I only wear my suit when I have had several weeks of progress in the squat and know I am getting close to limit poundages.

By wearing the suit at this time you give yourself some insurance that you are going to make your lifts for that given workout. Let’s say that you haven been making 10 pound increases in the squat for four weeks in a row without your suit. In the fifth week you don’t want your progress to stop, but everyone knows a 50 pound increase in five weeks is pushing yoour progress.

As you approach the squat workout you have q question in your mind that you might not be able to make the squat that you have planned for that day. Now you pull out the stops and put on your good suit and wraps which gives you the added blast to make your squats.

This positive workout restores your confidence and you can take more weight the next week without a suit. Of course, you can’t make progress every week, but it is a good confidence builder to get you through a questionable workout.

You should also wear the suit two weeks before a meet so you can get used to the feel of the squatting movement you’ll have to do in front of the judges.

Dear Roger: I don’t know if you’ll remember me, but you got me started powerlifting about 7 years ago at Luke’s Gym in New Martinsville, West Virginia. I’m still lifting and my squat and deadlift are doing well but my bench just won’ move. I need to make some gains to stimulate my workouts. It’S getting harder to go to the gym for a workout. I’ve strayed away from the original program that you started me on and since I didn’t keep any records, I can’t recall it. Brian Tucker.

Dear Brian: Of course I remember you. Luke’s is a legend in powerlifting. Luke’s Gym put West Virginia on the map of powerlifting.

Now to your problem. Usually when a person has been training for a number of years without results it is a sign of overtraining. Many people have had this problem and solved it by starting over at the ground floor.

Let’s say you are benching twice a week and have worked up to 300lbs. and then your progress stops.

You try adding extra sets for a while; then you take a short lay off. Nothing works. You just can’t break through 300lbs. I would guess that all your training sessions involved poundages that were over or at the 300 mark.

This is an ego problem that we all must overcome. Sometimes we should swallow our pride and train with lighter weight for the sake of progress. What you should do is start over even though the weight will feel extremely light.

Remember you’re trying to build strength, not test it. You should train twice a week. The first day you should do four singles: 185×1, 205×1, 225×1, 185×1. Now on the second bench day warm up and do 165 for 3 reps in good form, no bouncing or cheating.

The next week you do four singles again, but with an increase of 10lbs. Example: 195×1, 215×1, 235×1, 195×1.

Also take a 10 pound increase in your triple if you made your triple the week before. Other assistance work should include bicep, tricep and lat work of your choise.

Check your grip also, make sure is too close, you could be putting too much work on your tricep and not enough on your pec. This programm will make you hungry for the next workout and this will get you in the right frame of mind to train.


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