3 Lessons from Dynamo Barbell – Diary of an unextraordinary powerlifter part 1

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

I always thought I kinda look like Franklin the turtle when i lift…

“Atleast he looks strong”

For all intents and purposes I am not an amazing powerlifter. I am big, and I am stubborn, this can work for me or against me depending on the context.

800lb deadlifts, 700lb squats and 500lb benches all done with nothing else but maybe a belt and some wrist wraps, this is the stuff that happens regularly in my gym; these are things that most people will never see in their lifetime.


I came to Dynamo Barbell because I knew it was the best and strongest gym in the city and probably the country. I’ve come to believe being around people who do, is more worthwhile than people who simply say. In other words there is experience here and no teacher is better than experience.


Over the past three years I’ve learned some lessons I felt may be worthwhile to share.

You can’t learn till you’re ready to let go of what you know

I think I made my coach Willie lose more than a few more hairs in the beginning, and he doesn’t have many to spare. I’d spent over a decade training alone when I first came in, my idea filter was set too high. In order to learn what worked and what didn’t I really needed to let go and legitimately try everything that was thrown at me. If you go asking for help remember why you’re asking for it, be ready to shut up and do it even if you might disagree on a base level. Until you’ve tried something you have no right to argue as I did on many occasions. All this served to do was stall my progression.

The longer you have bad habits the harder to get rid of them

It sucks but it’s taken me a long time to be able to squat without blowing out a knee, deadlift without turning into a C, or bench without feeling like my arm was gonna fall off. All these things are due to bad movement patterns I’ve ingrained over a lifetime and I’ve spent the better part of 3 years trying to unlearn and correct them. It may be stating the obvious but bad habits of any kind need time, patience, diligence and discomfort. I spent alot of time figuratively falling frustrated on my face before things started moving again. Realize the longer you’ve been fucking things up, the longer it will take but it also realize it will be worth it.

Leave the analysis at the door, let it wait till later

I’m the master of analysis paralysis. The fact that we also have the internet providing us 1100 different queues for something as simple as what is technically just sitting down and getting back up can really mess with you. I’ve analyzed my lifts into failure, literally bombed an easy squat because I was trying to think my way through it. Small corrections and queues fine, but changing everything mid workout isn’t going to work out 99% of the time. Sometimes you need to just buckle down and spend some time lifting like shit before things make sense. Lift in the gym, reflect afterwards. Try videoing your lifts if you feel you need to analyze things but watch it later. This was also echoed in this article from Tnation that really spoke to me, worth a read.


That’s it for now but I’ll have more of these to come in the following parts. If you’ve had some lessons of your own you’d like to share I’d love to hear em in the comments.



About the author 

Coach Jason

Coach Jason Ingham is a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and founder of BID Health and Performance. Jason has spent more than 20 years practicing the art of lifting and coaching, continually refining his skill set to help his clients build bodies they're proud of pain-free while doing what they love.

When he's not in the gym you'll probably find him buried in a book, exploring the city's restaurants, or crushing the latest streaming sci-fi or fantasy series with his partner Bailey.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    get strong, build muscle, stay in shape, for life

    Join the BID Collective. Every week I'll send you my best actionable tips on getting lean, building muscle, and maintaining a strong healthy mindset and body