Iron Man Magazine
Power Versus Pump Image Credit: Iron Man Magazine
Power Versus Pump Image Credit: Iron Man Magazine

Power Versus Pump

How To Use The Big Barbell Lifts To Improve Aesthetics And Strength.

Eddie Avakoff

I love the sport of power lifting because it makes so much sense. You strengthen a system (your body) and test that system under weight. If the applied weight is successful, then increase the weight and continue to do so until the system reaches failure. Upon failure, determine what component of the system caused failure (let’s say weak hamstrings). So you isolate the weak component and hammer the hell out of it until its stronger. Go back and test the system. Then good lift! So increase weight and test again. Let’s say failure again, but this time it’s because of grip strength. So go isolate the grip (maybe some heavy-ass farmer walks) until your grip gets stronger. Then go back and test the system. Like I stated, power lifting makes sense. I like this way of thinking in the weight room because it really allows a strength athlete, otherwise monopolized by the barbell, to branch out into the “bodybuilding” world. Hypertrophy builds muscle. Volume builds size. So three sets of 10 reps followed by a downset of 2 x 20 still has its purpose even among one-rep-max guys. Obviously, the purpose of the proposed dumbbell hypertrophy wouldn’t be for aesthetic gain (although that is a subsequent benefit), rather it remains consistent with the ultimate goal of improving power.

At Metroflex LBC, our world-class powerlifters spend a solid 90 minutes to two hours on the barbell for a typical squat day. And following that, they begin an entire wor

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