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2015, New Program, New Journal
by scottyhall
Tue Jan 13 2015 12:25 PM
Tendinitis vs Tendinosis
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1st day new routine
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by Eric
Thu Dec 25 2014 06:22 AM
Favorite movements to target glutes and hamstrings?
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Bulldog73's Olympic Lifting log
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Sat Jan 10 2015 11:05 AM Tendinitis vs Tendinosis by Munch

I know there's a lot of confusion between the two. This should help.

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Wed Dec 17 2014 12:07 PM Favorite movements to target glutes and hamstrings? by scottyhall

What do you guys like to do to target the glutes and hamstrings specifically? I really want to bring up my posterior...

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Mon Dec 15 2014 07:53 AM Samurai by mezzie

For those who imagine samurais as honorable, sword-wielding, loyal warriors guided by a high moral code, instead imagine mounted archers who were essentially mercenaries, despised by the common people:

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Sun Dec 14 2014 11:16 PM Power for a Purpose 2014 by Kozbee

A movement began in 2006 to build the sport of “strongman” in WV. This movement started with a single annual contest, and has grown today to where there is a contest almost every month. Shortly after a few annual contests had been established, I, with a lot of help and urging, widened my focus to powerlifting. Lo and behold in 2011 the first ever Power for a Purpose powerlifting meet was held, and based on how well the meet went, we knew immediately that we were on the right track.
While I was working on those contests, other parts of the movement were taking flight. New lifters were being groomed by a handful of dedicated coaches, Jay Handley was forming the idea for a new training center, and still others were laying the ground work to run their own contests. This past Saturday, the fruits of this movement were on full display. John Mouser and his lifters showed us that “Strength Matters”; Josh Stottlemire coached his crew through some terrific lifts; Donnie Robbins and the Bluefield gang showed us how Masters can guide Juniors; Jay Handley lead the charge for his Vikings; and Johnny Layne’s lifters inspired us with their performances.
The real results of all this are that lifters in WV now have of a plethora opportunities to test their mettle. As lifters, our cups runneth over! The latest effort to bring out Appalachia’s best was Saturday’s Power for a Purpose. This meet serves as a fundraiser every year in December and this year the charity being supported was Stepping Stones, a recreation and learning center for people with disabilities. Lifters were asked to put as much effort into raising money for the cause as they did into building bigger lifts. They delivered! Over $1500 was raised for the charity by the lifters alone, not counting the concession sales and such at the contest. Our top fundraiser, Ariel Buric, received a special prize for her amazing generosity as she went home with a laser engraved sword that symbolized her efforts.
Normally in these post-meet reflections I like to include at least one highlight of everyone that competed. With 31 lifters (yes!!!) however, I will refrain from such practice this time. Instead, I want to highlight a few folks that stood out to me, and I apologize for anyone that does not get a shout out here; I still love ya don’t worry! Here are a few highlights…
Eleven of our 31 lifters were ladies; incredible! The ladies came out in force and did not disappoint. Gayla Daoust showed her continued improvement by nailing all three squats and all three deads. The first time I saw her lift (not that long ago!) she was so nervous she missed her first squat. Those days are long gone. Gayla’s comrade Patty Hermosilla made her powerlifting debut in this meet after learning that it was for Stepping Stones. The amazing part? Patty lifted in the masters 54-59 class. Want to talk about courage? Try making your platform debut at an age when many of us would be content to simply sit around and talk about the glory days.
Hannah Jennings had redemption on her mind after struggling with hitching (a disqualifying technique) at her last meet. She worked to improve this and her efforts paid off in spades; Hannah nailed a 286.5 deadlift that not only matched but exceeded what had so cruelly eluded her just a few months ago. Speaking of deadlifts, my heart sank when Ileana Ille pulled her opener only to lose it after the down signal when she lost her balance. On her second try, the unthinkable happened and she lost her footing again. I think the whole building said a silent prayer for Ileana at this point. It would have been easy to quit, break down, give up, or go into a fit at this point, but Ileana forged ahead. The air was thick with tension as she lined up for her final attempt. The pull was quick and strong, the lockout was tight, and Ileana stood tall and landed a successful lift. I think I breathed out a few minutes later.
In the men’s divisions, standouts included Brian Taylor and Jake Krabbe. These teenagers traveled from 3-4 hours away to compete and support Stepping Stones, and lifted like seasoned veterans. We’ll be seeing more from these two I’m sure. Some incredible stories arose from the 181’s: 1) Nate Elmond put on an impressive performance while his very supportive wife sat in the crowd with a baby expected to come at any minute! The little one managed to wait until Sunday to make an appearance. 2) Travis Ralston traveled from afar to make his lifting debut, and the 5 hour trip was the least of the obstacles in his way. Travis had his colon removed back in March; it was his third procedure and hopefully the last he will have to endure. He lost 30 or 40 pounds, and felt terrible. These days, Travis does not look sick, tired, or weak. His outside now reflects his inner warrior spirit. For a man with no colon, Mr. Ralston sure has a lot of guts.
One story moved from the 198’s to the 181’s when Colby Gardner surprised himself by weighing in lighter than he expected; he also lifted better than he expected. Colby said his only goal was to make his opening lifts since this was his first meet in 8 years. Well, Gardner went 7 for 9 and won the Best Male Lifter award and had the second highest deadlift in the meet regardless of bodyweight. Also let’s not forget Shaun Swiger who made his debut at this meet. I met Shaun a few years back at the Harrison Co. YMCA (where we used to do this meet until they closed down). I remember thinking, “I’ve got to get this guy to compete” and now a few years later, here he is bench pressing almost 400 pounds at a meet!
Many of us know Jerry “Jay” Handley as the former WVU strength coach and mastermind behind Viking Performance Training. Jay was happy to host this contest at his facility, and even opted to lift in the meet. Jay smashed some big lifts, as most would expect a man who has coached Olympic athletes would. What you may not know is, less than two years ago, Jay suffered stroke-like symptoms and was unaware of the cause. Nearly half of his body began to weaken and atrophy, and the former professional fighter could no longer manage a single pushup. After some time it was discovered that a herniated disc had pinched nerves and caused the problems. The recovery was long and arduous, and truth be told, is still underway. Jay is still much stronger on one side than the other, but because warrior blood flows through his veins, he decided to squat over 500 pounds on Saturday. Remember that next time you’re “too busy to lift”!
There are just too many incredible people with incredible stories that competed Saturday to mention here. Every one of them is a hero to me. The lifters have heroes too though – I think I can speak for everyone when I say that each and every one of our volunteers is greatly appreciated. The loaders busted their butts for hours on end loading and unloading weights at a tornado-like pace. Gage, Isabella, Ethan, Evan, Adam, and anyone I missed thank you! Our spotters did a tremendous job as well – not a single injury that I am aware of occurred on Saturday! Tyler, Johnny, Josh, and the aforementioned loaders and everyone else, thank you. Our judges did a great job as well, working diligently without a break. Kenny, Rick, & Johnny, you guys rule. The ladies at the scoring table are unsung heroes as well. My wife Nicole and Lisa had a ton of responsibility and took it on without blinking. Thank you.
At the end of the day, the meet went as well as we could have possibly dreamed it would have. A great community of people supporting each other in the pursuit of individual goals is what you will find at “PFAP” every year, and really at every contest I’ve hosted or been to in WV. My next stop on the train is February 21st for the Battle in the Blizzard. This will be a strongman contest unlike anything most of us have ever seen. Firstly, it will be set outdoors in the middle of WV winter time. Secondly, the events will not be announced until one week prior to the contest (via the Facebook event page). Third, this will serve as the NAS WV State Championships, which means it will be brutal and heavy. Only the grittiest, toughest, and strongest will come out for a meet like this. The buzz has been tremendous not just around here, but from surrounding states as well. Sign up at if you’re brave enough!
Hope you enjoyed a day of rest. Training for the Blizzard begins now!
Happy training,
-Paul Mouser, NAS WV State Chairman

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Sat Dec 06 2014 05:24 AM The Scientific Differences Between Weightlifting and Powerlifting by Eric

The Scientific Differences Between Weightlifting and Powerlifting

As aging lifters are wont to do, I recently entered into a discussion with an old training buddy about the differences between the various weight disciplines. (At our ages, we have a lot more energy for discussion than we do for moving iron.)

The conversation turned towards pinpointing the real difference between weightlifting and powerlifting. Knowing you are all as detail oriented and as obsessed about these sports as I am, here are all the scientific reasonings we came up with for why and how Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting differ.

The Differences at First Glance

At first glance, the most obvious difference is between the competition lifts. Weightlifting uses the snatch and the clean and jerk, both overhead movements. Powerlifting uses the squat, bench press, and deadlift, none of which is directed vertically overhead. (If only the media and public could grasp this.)

The difference does seem obvious when looked at from a dimensionality standpoint. But then, I came up with the heretical observation that the lifts are not as different as they may seem. The snatch and the clean are just extensions of the ankles, knees, and hips - just like with the squat and the deadlift.

This idea sparked a little bit of a concession from my friend. We came to an intermediate conclusion that what differences there are would need to be further refined.

Speed of Execution

This led us to the old, familiar “speed of execution” argument. It is easy to observe that the Olympic lifts are done quickly, while the power lifts are performed at a somewhat slower tempo.

This elicited the comment that in weightlifting misses are frequent, while they are considerably less so in powerlifting. This is not entirely due to the simplicity of powerlifting technique, as is often pointed out. It is more due to the greater time available for making the lift successful.

On a snatch, clean, or jerk drive, if the path is not right or if the three joints are not opened up in the right sequence, the lift will fail. Since the time of the lift is only a second or so, we simply do not have enough time to correct a badly positioned start on any of these lifts. On the power lifts, it is a little easier to move a bar back into the groove because you have a little more time to do so. It doesn't work on all lifts. Sometimes you just have too much weight on the bar and you run out of steam.

In powerlifting, missed lifts are not so easily tolerated since it is possible to save many lifts with a little more elbow (or knee) grease. Olympic lifters are sometimes looked down upon by powerlifters for their tolerance of missed attempts, but that is due to the powerlifters’ lack of understanding of this time factor.

Even in competition, where the stakes are higher, weightlifting misses are frequent. At world championship levels down to national level, only about 50% of attempted lifts are successful. This risk has to be faced if you want to put together a decent total. The higher a weight is compared to the lifter’s 1RM, the greater the chance of missing, since motor pathways will break down under load.

Type of Muscles Used and Tempo of the Lifts

This brought our discussion to the type of muscles used in the lifts. We all know weightlifting requires fast twitch muscle fibers. Many of the less-informed will intuitively then assume that the slower tempo power lifts therefore use slow twitch muscle fibers. It seems to make sense. But it’s actually not true, as even powerlifting requires fast twitch fibers.

Our discussion then shifted to why the five lifts are done at varying speeds. It is easily observed that the more weight you have on the bar, the slower the lift can be performed. You can't lift your 1RM bench or squat as quickly as your 50% warm-up lifts.

These two lifts do start off relatively easy, go through a difficult sticking point, and then get relatively easier again towards the finish. The sticking point where the limbs are at roughly ninety degrees is vital though. You must have enough strength to move the weight through this disadvantageous angle or the lift will fail. With a lot of strength, determination, and adjustment a powerlifter can sometimes push a bad lift through the sticking points.

On the surface, Olympic lifting is somewhat similar. While all of the lifts are done at a much faster tempo than the power lifts, they are still subject to the principle that the heavier the weight, the slower you're going to move it. Sir Isaac Newton and all that.

One little quirk that newcomers to weightlifting notice, though, is that you do not have to worry about your sticking points like a power lifter does. In fact, the lift is made or missed at the first or final part of the lift - not in the middle. If a weight is really heavy, like 120% of your 1RM, then you will barely get it off the ground. If the weight is one that you definitely are capable of completing, you can still miss.

This concept holds especially true in the final stage of the lift where the lifter is straightening out. If the bar takes the wrong path, you will miss even with only 50% of your 1RM on the bar. This can be frustrating to those converts from bodybuilding and powerlifting who are accustomed to completing every attempt. It's also why Olympic lifting and its coaching are not as accessible to the general population.

Extension and Momentum

We batted this around for quite some time until we finally came to what we thought was a novel conclusion: the two disciplines are not as different as we may think they are as they both emphasize the straightening up of the entire body, the so-called triple extension.

This even applies to the bench press, where it is the shoulders and elbows that straighten. Unlike the ankles, the wrists have little concentric work to do, but they must display great isometric strength throughout the lift. That's where they are still similar. But they also differ in an important way.

We determined that the major philosophical difference is the part of the extension where strength is needed to be successful in the lift. To determine this, we went back to our geometry lessons from school.

In all the lifts, the legs (and arms in the bench press) move from very tight angles through to 180-degree straightness. The sticking points are at about the ninety-degree angle for both sports. Therefore, the lifts can be divided into an initial acute angle portion, followed with angles moving from ninety degrees, through obtuse angles, to finishing at a final straight angle.

In the snatch and clean - as well as the squat, bench, and deadlifts - the lifter starts with his limb joints at closed, acute angles (less than ninety degrees). Olympic lifters have any easy time coming off the floor due to the relative lightness of their snatch or clean attempts, whereas powerlifters are moving those same joints through a movement requiring their maximum absolute strength. Therefore, the powerlifters are going to move somewhat more slowly.

At the conclusion of the lift, things flip-flop. In the final extension of the snatch or clean and the drive in the jerk, the bar speed must be ever greater in order to drive it all the way to full extension. A powerlifter does not have to worry much about momentum. He or she has to worry more about control and making sure he or she does not lose his or her balance in the final phase of the lift.

A Simple Explanation

So, distilled down to its simplest explanation: Olympic lifting revolves around the final extension of the limbs being done as quickly as possible, while powerlifting revolves around moving the first part of the lift as strongly as possible. Conversely, the first part of the lift is not too important strength-wise to the Olympic lifter, and neither is the finishing part of the lifts to the powerlifter.

Said another way: Powerlifters work the basement. Olympic lifters work the second floor.

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