Today’s main knowledge bomb came from something I’d known already, but I didn’t realise the extent to which this aspect needed attention…carbohydrates are an absolute NECESSITY for strength development.

Today’s session was the mid-week “light” session.

5×4 on all exercises, light squats, military press and Deadlift (remember that capital D).

Squats up first, the focus on technique – there was certainly something in the air tonight. We were both motivated beyond the level we normally ascend to, there just seemed to be something special…100 kilos which had been strangely challenging on Tuesday were a complete walk in the park…but that’s to be expected, Tuesday was an “ill” day.

Military press was next, technique was spot on and we both completed out maximum lifts with relative ease. As is planned, a slower last two reps, but the weight goes up without fear of it sticking.

Then, it was Deadlifts. Now, everyone knows by now that Deadlifts are the bomb, do them or suffer…but today, something ridiculous was happening. The first few sets were going along just fine, the resistance was there but the technique went off without a hitch. Then it came to the final 5 rep set…the maximum Deadlift for the week, 125kg and 135kg for Ross and I, respectively. That grip issue I’d been having? Gone. Technique? Solid. Resistance? Barely…the weights went up like there was nothing on the bar for all repetitions – fast but controlled. We both looked at each other at the end of the session as if to say “WTF?”. We then went down stairs to do some eccentrics (pull up variation) and hit the road.

So what was different? Why was it so strong, what had we been doing right? Had technique changed? Not that I noticed…wrong weights? Double checked. Had we gotten some extra rest between sets…no, we actually remarked that we’d been less rested than usual (less time between sets for time’s sake + we’ve both slept a little less this week)…

What could it be? Well, how about this…

On Tuesday, post-gym, we went to a social and both ate medium pizzas post-gym. The following morning, we halved a remaining pizza and finished the remenants on our return home. We had also eaten a pasta based lunch that day. Yesterday, we received news that we’d been accepted to a Sports Biomedicine degree and as such decided to celebrate…so we ordered two medium pizzas and ate them. We both ate garlic bread today and had a tonne of chips (or fries) for lunch…plus some leftover potato wedges…an absolutely ATROCIOUS amount of carbohydrates.

That was definitely overkill, but with that said, it has highlighted to us that carbohydrates are clearly the most important food source for strength athletes.

We knew this anyway…for strength athletes, the main priority is glucose (via glycogen stores) for performance…with that much carbohydrate, our glycogen stores would be beyond saturated.

We do not recommend eating this sort of diet, it was a once off as we were celebrating – but the important lesson for us was that the main thing we were missing (which we thought we’d been getting enough off) is carbohydrates.

Immense day – this news will prompt some very interesting diet changes that will no doubt result in gaining some excess weight…the key is working the balance. However, if your main objective is strength and you don’t give a shit about heart disease, go absolutely mental with pasta/rice/bread/potato/whatever.

Side note: Old Russian powerlifters are known for eating only bread and potatos…though this may be a myth, I’ll check later.

Anyway, very busy times in the next while – go train, do Deadlifts.


The grip strength gain has been aided, substantially, by the eccentric pull-up work we’ve been doing which can seriously tax your grip…even without feeling the stress, your grip it getting a solid workout. Go try it!

(Or, of course, it may be down to the strange diet from the last two days…if the change is still there next Wednesday, we know the difference is in strength (for grip) not just diet)


Knowledge bomb –

– Absolutely pig out for a day or two and see what happens…
– Doing this continually will kill you, but it’s worth thinking about in the days prior to a competitive event/test session
– Deadlifts. ’nuff said.




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