Muscle and Brawn Forums

Muscle and Brawn Forums (
-   Powerlifting & Strength Training (
-   -   6 Mistakes I Made - So You Don't Have To by Jim Wendler (

big_swede 08-13-2012 10:05 AM

6 Mistakes I Made - So You Don't Have To by Jim Wendler

When I began writing my new book, I started thinking of all the things I've done to get to where I'm at today. I looked over my older training logs and the notes I made. I read some of the early articles I'd written and the many rough drafts that never quite made it to print.

I will say that I did a lot of things right and that I worked hard I wasn't given enough talent to reach where I am today without working hard and working smart. But I realized that I also made a lot of mistakes.

I don't regret these mistakes, only because I've come to learn that regret (along with guilt) will eventually consume you. Rather, I've convinced myself that these mistakes were all part of the process; part of the road that led me to where I am today.

Experience is an awesome teacher. You touch a hot stove, you burn your hand. You start dating a stripper, you become the daddy-figure. Unfortunately, experience takes time, and that's one thing we all don't have a lot of.

There's no excuse anymore for not being knowledgeable in training. So much information is now available from proven lifters and experienced coaches that you no longer have to eat up valuable years of training with mistakes just to make progress.

The six mistakes below range from specific to broad; the key is to dissect each one and think about them critically. This is how we can effectively learn from those that came before.
T NATION | 6 Mistakes I Made - So You Don't Have To

BendtheBar 08-13-2012 01:08 PM

Interesting list. Posting for discussion...

1. Good Mornings as a Main Movement


But I got greedy.

My big mistake was, "If one is good, four is better." I figured if I could deadlift 650 pounds while doing good mornings with 225 for 10 reps, my deadlift would improve accordingly if I could good morning 405 for 10.

That kind of thinking rarely works in lifting as there's always a point of diminishing returns with assistance work. That's why a smart, strong experienced lifter can get more out of less.
2. Dynamic Bench Press with Bands


using the dynamic bench press in my training did nothing for my bar speed and really pushed my bench press poundages back. It wasn't until I slowed down the eccentric portion, took the bands off, and eventually took the whole movement out of my training that I saw results.

Replacing the dynamic bench press with presses, chain suspended push-ups, dumbbell bench presses, dumbbell incline presses, and Bradford presses finally got my bench press really moving. These were all done for higher reps and high volume.

If someone wants to keep the movement in their training, I highly recommend using a controlled eccentric
3. Triceps Extensions


Triceps extensions killed my elbows. Dumbbells or barbells, the weight or the implement didn't matter; extensions wrecked my elbows so bad that I could no longer unrack an empty barbell without incredible pain.

With extensions, like the good morning, people get caught up in the weight they're using. At a certain point, the extension starts to resemble some kind of extension/press hybrid. If you get to that point, just do close-grip bench presses and stop lying to yourself.
4. Switching Exercises


This should really read "Switching Exercises Too Often" as there's some merit to keeping your mind fresh with new challenges. But I was switching exercises every week, a myriad of Max Effort exercises used for squatting, deadlifting, and bench pressing.

I used different board presses, variations of good mornings, different bars for box squats, different heights for box squats, and chains, bands or chains and bands for each. Hell, setting up some of these exercises took more work than the lifting.

What happened was I never got good at anything. If you love changing your lifts, use 2-3 different variations of each and pound them into the ground. Track and establish your personal records, including 1, 3, and 5 rep maxes for all of them.
5. Abandoning Athletic Roots and Knowledge


Simple things such as box jumps, long jumps, jumping over objects, sprints, and jumping rope can make a huge difference in your training. People ask me all the time about dynamic work and how to implement it into the 5/3/1 training program. The answer is simple: be an athlete. If you want to be fast, train like fast people do. That means sprints, jumps, and learning how to be quick.

It's no coincidence that some of the strongest people in the world have athletic backgrounds. They all possess both strength and speed, and speed is best developed through a well-rounded program that includes some "athletic" based movements.
6. Lack of Balance


This might be the biggest mistake I made. If you've attended one of my seminars in the last few years, I always start off by saying that there are three things that a training program must have, regardless of who you are: strength, flexibility/mobility, and conditioning.

Off Road 08-13-2012 02:46 PM

1. Good Mornings as a Main Movement
I've never done them seriously enough to give a comment.

2. Dynamic Bench Press with Bands
Never done these...Ever.

3. Triceps Extensions
I prefer bar dips for triceps. I've done extensions without elbow issues but I still think dips are superior for tricep strength.

4. Switching Exercises
I hardly ever switch and I think that practice on the main lifts is very important. I may switch stance or grip but I pretty much stick to the basics.

5. Abandoning Athletic Roots and Knowledge
One of my biggest mistakes was not spending time on conditioning. I think it really held back my progress and made recovery more difficult. I was always taught that conditioning was a no-no for hardgainers, but they were wrong; it's more important!

6. Lack of Balance[/QUOTE]
I really need to spend a lot more time on flexibility...

Success 08-14-2012 02:57 PM

Good article

Looks like #1-4 are a repudiation of the Westside approach for powerlifters or parts of least for Wendler?

Westside does
- frequent heavy good mornings
- dynamic bench presses with bands with great speed on the eccentric w/Louie yelling "Dive, dive, dive!" as the bar goes down
- recommends triceps extensions
- and switches main exercises all the time to establish maxes in separate exercises.

Don't know about #5 & #6 for Westside powerlifters, not aware of their conditioning/sprinting/flexibility/jumps/speed work.

Louie writes about 5 & 6 for track & field & football athletes, etc. but I'm not aware of what their powerlifters are doing with 5 & 6 (but I don't think a huge amount.)

Shorts 08-15-2012 09:10 AM

As far as 5 and 6 go in the powerlifting circles, I think it is being focuses on a lot more lately. To me, working on my flexibilitys actually helped my lifts as I was able to get into better postion, and use my leverage better as I wasn't struggling to get get into positions.

With conditioning, it is more of living healthier in general, obviously everyone isn't going to care about this. But, I feel that putting your body in a better state through some GPP can't do anything but help your lifts.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:00 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.