Behind the Sport of Powerlifting
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In this week's episode of Made Fit TV, I join a fellow personal trainer and powerlifter, JJ Thomas of Detroit Barbell, as he shows me a raw look at the sport and what goes into the training.


Jennifer DiDonato: Hey Guys! In this week's episode of Made Fit TV, we head down to Brownstown, Michigan where we go to Detroit Barbell where my friend JJ is going to show us an inside look at the extreme sport of power lifting. Also your Made Fit TV viewer E mail of the week Made Fit TV starts right now. Hi! Welcome to Made Fit TV. I am your host Jennifer DiDonato on this episode No111. Made Fit TV is everyone's source of health and fitness information and entertainment as with the bodies don't just happen. They are made. And let me tell you something weird at this place we make powerful fit bodies, were here at the Detroit Barbell at Brownstown, Michigan US with my good friend JJ Thomas, a former colleague and an awesome trainer. And we just forget our episode111 you wanted to bring people into underground, behind the scenes of very awesome and intense sport of power lifting and How old you in power lifting JJ? JJ Thomas: Some 2003 I have been involved so they are like six, seven years. Start has been around 2003. And learn about the sport on the internet and kind of take it from there and made up with the couple of people who are now our business partners and to their parent.. Jennifer DiDonato: So now Power lifting you just kind of fell into it? You researched it. What is that about that is kind of basics that people may be a little bit confused about? Because there is Olympic lifting, there is body building is really difference. What makes power lifting so unique? JJ Thomas: It's three lift squat, bench press which I left everyone at the bench press is.. That lifts as we pick about off the ground and do not go over head that's the Olympic lifting. Squat, with a bar on your back we can squat to a certain depth and stand up with it. And the judges say it's okay, I have just enjoyed lifting heavy. So that's how I got involved. And that's the sport- three basic lifts and they really don't care what you look like? It's just how much weight you can lift? That's all that matters. Jennifer DiDonato: That's the thing. You know for lot of people at home, they think that like, all were, I thought you looked weights, I want to be skinnier, I want to be talent or whatever .And it's not about the way you look. It's about how you perform to the strength. It's about you are that groove strength that like inner --. You know what I mean? And now, those three basic movements; the squat with that lift and the bench press are obviously thinks people can do in every day program. But those are pretty important basic moves anyone can do that are actually pretty much key movements that keep you in shape right. JJ Thomas: Every one of my clients at the gym where I work at. They all do all three lifts. Just the one of the three lifts I think use the most muscle group. So squat, is number one king of exercises so they all squat. All is quiet heavy. And no matters what their goals are gain wise or lose weight, whatever they are looking to do. Jennifer DiDonato: Yeah! I am glad that you mentioned that because the lot of times. Somebody got to home, either students will do biceps curls or do like half way. But you really hit those big muscles hard; chest, the back, the legs. It's just and I am sure it's extremely important for your core, core control. JJ Thomas: All of us do all kinds of core work. No matter what we are big or small. We do tons of core work. Your posture retains your back and hamstrings, your upper back, your lower back. It's huge for all of us your butt and then tons of hard work in every workout, no matter if it's upper body or lower body. Jennifer DiDonato: Now over here, I am seeing this is a squat right. We can turn around, look over here. Now can you explain kind of the basics of what they are doing right now with this squat? JJ Thomas: East free squatting has certain equipment on that that helps them lift the weight. Gives them assist to look in the weight, he is got a belt on that's going to help keep his abs and his back tight. He is got the band that actually pull harder than gravity. So that's going to make you grow soar, and it helps to push through, weight harder than normal weight, so pulls harder than gravity. Jennifer DiDonato: So those are actually adding more resistance. Those are about hundred and thirty pounds of top when you reach at the bottom of the squat, it's about an extra ninety pounds. So it gets harder as you go up. Plus he is got about five hundred and fifteen pounds on air, plus hundred and thirty pounds of bands. Jennifer DiDonato: And now when you go to these meets in your training. Like how long does it takes for someone to train in order to actually compete? JJ Thomas: We have just set up a eight and sixteen week training cycle that we went through, we are certainly trying to peak for the meals. So we do certain lifts to help us peak for the meet. So those bands are going to help them lift more weight once he gets to the meet. Jennifer DiDonato: Like those bands won't be there at the meet time that time, just free weights. And now as far as technique is concerned, breathing is what you know I used to tell my clients, exhale and exertion all you got to home. What are some like breathing techniques that they have to do, because I mean, you don't want to blow out any cap. You don't want to get unwanted stuff. JJ Thomas: When we do one lift at a time, so we do a one lap as much as you can do in your three attempts to meet. So actually when we are breathing, all of our lifters actually hold their breath for the entire lap. So I one lap. So there are three seconds for the lifting. So I would actually try to fill their belly up with air. No matter one other three lift, all the three lifts you have the same. Fill their belly up with air. So their core stays tight. Jennifer DiDonato: So it's almost like create likes a pressure. So just push harder. JJ Thomas: Right! We are actually push against the belt. That's why we are wearing the belt, and it gives us something to push against so. We are always, core is always involved with all three lifts. Jennifer DiDonato: Absolutely. And now for someone that wants to get involved in a sport like this. Do they have to apply lifting experience? JJ Thomas: We have had people serving nothing. Never lifted or touched the weight in their life and some become elite level lifters. Some just become better and better lifters. And we have people on their mid fifty's still getting stronger year by year ever since they came over to the gym. Jennifer DiDonato: We all were just taking to the guy before we get started. He says- he has been lifting since 1996, that's a good fourteen years. And I said you know- your joints, how your joints troubling up? He said I have had my right to bring, but overall I feel great. I mean how is it on the body? JJ Thomas: It's hard on your body. It beats you up. But as long as you do the right things to rehab and prehab before run injuries in the beginning have your workouts and then outside your big workouts then it's all that really matters. It will take a tall on your joints. But with proper coaching, with a one year coaching each other we kind of teach each other to do the right thing. Well! God! Thank you so much for having here. We are going to doubly shoot some awesome videos. Show people at home- you know, you don't be afraid you guys. It's not all about how skinny your abs are? Or the six pack abs that cellulite on your butt? This is all about setting real goal to yourself. Feeling good about yourself and testing your limits. The body can do amazing things and this is proved right here at Detroit Barbell And JJ with the website people can kind of go online and no where in Detroit. But this is kind of universal that people can check out if they are not in your area. JJ Thomas: We have a form board that people post questions on, post of training logs on just to keep updated. Here they are going to help each other. Someone as a bad trainer looks like you say pick it a part and see why it was bad? And see why good ones were good? So if the update beats. Jennifer DiDonato: Okay! Like no matter where you lives. Someone can go on their plan. JJ Thomas: Anyone can go on the forum. Jennifer DiDonato: So check it out guys. Even if you want to learn about it JJ is awesome here be able to answer any question you have, So thanks so much JJ. JJ Thomas: Thank you very much for having us. Jennifer DiDonato: And thanks so much for joining us for another awesome episode of Made Fit TV. I hope you guys enjoyed it. Comment on just below this video. Do have any questions for me? You can e mail me at AskJenny on the home page or also at Alright, now it's time for viewer email of the week. Alright, this week Made Fit TV viewer email comes from Joseph from Ireland. He writes I have a problem loosing my love handles. They are not too big but they are obvious. So can you let me know how to get rid of love handles. Thanks! I get this question so much you guys. Thank you so much Joseph for bringing it up. But just got to tell you Love handles which for many of us is just kind of that side little pocket of fat either towards the front or on the side of our oblique. That is where our body just stores our excess fat. It is the last place you can lose fat. So for lot of people, your body fat has to get extremely low in order for your body to tap in to the fat that's in that area. Now if like Joseph and you don't have an obvious problem, you need fat on your body That is completely normal but if you have, if it's a huge trouble area for you, you want to focus on just losing fat allover your body because like I said, until your body taps in to that last possible fuel source, you are not going to be able to completely get rid of it. So just focus on being consistent with your cardio and your weights, and your nutrition, keep away from the sugar. Keep your carves at bay, make sure they are whole graining keep up with that vegetables and protein. And make sure you stay away from all sweets, and pops and sodas. Alright. I hope that helps Joseph and it have helped some of you guys out there. Now if you want to e mail right, you can e mail me at Alright that's it for this episode of Made Fit TV. I hope you enjoyed it. We will see you next time. Hey! That was five hundred ninety five pounds plus one hundred thirty pounds of bands right there. Good job JJ, That's insane.