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Pavel Power for New PRs!

As mentioned recently, I'm officially on the Pavel bandwagon. Today, about a week into things, I noticed my first major gains. Just a few weeks ago, I put up some new personal records (PRs) in my last trainer-led lower body session. At that time, I knew that I could do more than 325 lbs on squats, but didn't make any further attempts. I did, however, have trouble at 700 lbs on the leg press. Well, after just a week of Pavel's "Power to the People" workout, I can honestly say that 700 lbs does not trouble me any more.

I'm pleased to say today that I think I'm getting closing to finding my 1RM (1 rep max) for squats. I did 3x365 lbs this morning, until I "broke" my back on the 3rd rep (you're supposed to keep your back straight - I ended up bending over and almost losing the weight). Leg-wise, I was still ok with the weight, but I think I've reach a point where I now need my upper body to catch up. After 3x365, I then did 5x315 to round out my workout.

Also in the legs department, I made a major leap in strength on the leg press. If you're not familiar with the device, you lay on your back and push a sled up at about a 60 degree angle, give or take. The sled itself is listed at 50 lbs. Today I successfully tossed on 9 plates per side, for a total of 860. This was my 3rd set, so I almost stuck a couple times, and perhaps didn't have the cleanest reps all-around. However, I found this to be an incredible jump over a mere month ago when I had trouble with 700.

So, what's the secret? What did I do to make this big change? Well, basically, 2 things: heavy deadlifts and side press. In fact, I actually did my Pavel workout before I went on to my full legs workout today. I'm currently at 225 for first set of deadlifts and 205 for the second. Next time I'll throw on the weenie plates (2.5 lbs each) to increase a bit, and so on. However, just doing heavy deadlifts appears to have made a huge difference.

On top of this, I'm also doing Pavel's Naked Warrior workout at home on days I'm running and not in the gym. This workout consists of modified pistol squats and modified one-handed push-ups. I've also been throwing in extra side press sets here, too, to help build the upper body.

Overall, I think this is amazing! I highly recommend his program. Oh, and if you're concerned that you'll get physically larger, don't! His high weight, low rep philosophy strengthens the muscles through increased muscle density without (necessarily) increasing the mass. And guess where I'm noticing the most immediate difference with the deadlifts? The butt! It's getting much tighter and trimmer. Pretty cool! :)


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