Answering Your Questions

Our powerlifting coaches answer specific reader questions about reps and shoulder pain.

This week, we’re answering questions. We’ve had many requests for more information on bench press, so we’ll also share some of our favorite resources in that area.

This Week’s Resources

Answering Your Questions

Each week, we ask what you’re working on. And each week, you answer. Some of you also mention specific issues. So, we asked our coaches for answers.

Remember, you can always book a consultation with our coaches.

Question 1: High Weight, Low Reps?

“I'm unsure whether I should do high weight/low reps or medium/medium to grow and get stronger.

- Weight Weight, Don’t Tell Me

For this, we asked Joseph Lucero from Harvesting Strength.

“The best answer to getting bigger and stronger is by implementing both high weight/lower reps and low weight/higher reps through linear periodization.

Building size and strength comes in seasons. So when creating your program, you want to start with lower weight and higher reps to elicit growth through the hypertrophy phase.

Then, after 4-6 weeks of hypertrophy, you can transition into higher weight with lower reps to start challenging that newly acquired muscle to push heavier weights.

The heavier weight can provoke growth as the muscle has to accommodate and adapt to the heavier stimulus. This should last about 4-6 weeks as well.

As long as you plan ahead and abide to linear periodization, you should get bigger, stronger, and better than ever!”

Before we dive into the next question, let us know what you’re working on. As always the team at Powerlifting Technique loves to hear from you.

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Question 2: Shoulder impingement issues?

I’m working my side and rear delts but face shoulder impingement and rotator cuff weakness. What can I do?

- Shoulder Shruggles

Lucero answered this one, too.

“Many times, a shoulder impingement for a lifter stems from a muscular imbalance as one part of the muscle is working harder than the other.

Many times, we are front-dominant beings. That causes us to have a rounded shoulder and have much tighter pecs and front deltoids. When this happens, we need to make sure and program just as much pulling as we do pushing.

In other instances, it is important to challenge the rotator cuff to strengthen that shoulder joint and keep it from having any other imbalances.

Try lateral raise holds with lighter weight, perform cable or band internal and external rotation exercises, and lighten the load for a few weeks just to give the shoulder joint a chance to recover. “

Partner Offer

What we eat plays a major role in how we perform at the gym. So this week, we wanted to mention Stanford’s course “Introduction to Food and Health”. You can sign up for free at Coursera.

The course covers “practical discussions about real food” and includes a cooking workshop. It’s taught by lecturer Maya Adam, MD.

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