WATCH: Table Talk with Swede Burns and JP Carroll — PLing Difficulty, Deadlift Leverages, and Accessory Volume
JP wastes no time in his answer. What makes powerlifting hard? Absolutely fucking nothing. It's lifting weights. It isn't hard. You choose to do it. Swede follows this up with similar sentiments: You can find people on social media complaining about voluntary water cuts to make weight for meets or dieting to do a bodybuilding show. Does it suck so bad that you can't keep yourself from complaining about it? Then stop. Don't do it.
This comes back to a previous point Swede made about the daily training layout. When we're talking about assistance work, we're talking about something that is meant to assist the main lift. The secondary exercises that get the most volume should have dynamic correspondence to the main lifts. In 5thSet, these are called mechanically similar movements (MSM), such as sumo block pulls and rack pulls for deadlift, or pause presses and board presses for the bench press. These are the movements you want to spend the most time on after the main lifts.
JP's leverages for deadlift are admittedly not the best — short arms and a long torso don't make for a good deadlift. But instead of getting caught up on this, JP says, for a long time he simply decided he'd make up for his poor deadlift with a huge squat and a huge bench. This worked for a while and then he decided to finally take care of it. He worked with a fellow lifter who was very talented in the deadlift and really focused on his pull. After 16 weeks, he went from a 725 deadlift to pulling 800 in the gym. He says that leverages can suck but it's possible to work around them. The key is that you can't be complacent with sucking and you have to keep working. Everyone has obstacles to deal with, but you can get past them if you approach the problems head-on.
Note: This article was originally published on EliteFTS on July 8, 2017