Best Tips For Your Garage Gym Weightlifting Program

Cheryl Hargrove Brain Gainz, Home Gym

So you wanna gain some good ‘ol Weightlifting strength in your garage gym. Look no further, because the Outsiders are introducing our first garage gym Weightlifting program from our coach, Matt Bruce.

About Coach Matt Bruce


Matt Bruce is part of a long line of successful strength and conditioning coaches from Gayle Hatch Weightlifting. With over 17 years of experience in Olympic weightlifting, Coach Bruce has profound knowledge in program design and periodization for explosive strength, power, and force velocity development. Matt’s experience as an Olympic weightlifting National Champion and member of multiple Junior and Senior World teams make him one of the most decorated strength and conditioning coaches in the country. Matt’s records during his career include a best snatch of 152 kg (334 lbs.) and best clean and jerk of 192 kg (422 lbs.) at a body weight of 85 kg (187 lbs.).

Matt graduated from Louisiana State University with a Master’s degree in Kinesiology. Matt is a certified CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting coach and a certified Olympic Weightlifting Sports Performance coach from USAW.

Who wouldn’t want to be like Matt Bruce? I’d do what he says when it comes to implementing a garage gym Weightlifting program… I mean look at the guy.

Matt Bruce’s Tips for Garage Gym Weightlifting Program Success
When and What Exercises to Wear a Belt

Everyone knows that one guy in the gym who comes in with a mountain full of gear. Belt, wrist wraps, straps, hookgrip tape, knee sleeves, and maybe even some special chalk. Every set is done with all of this equipment on. How necessary are these things, particularly a belt?

Think of your performance as how your brain reacts to caffeine. When your brain receives caffeine, it is momentarily stimulated and performs at a higher level. Unfortunately, however after using caffeine everyday multiple times a day your brain needs more and more. It gets to a point to where you need it to even function normally. The usage of a belt is analogous to this. While it is useful for a momentary burst in performance such as a PR attempt, when using at weights under 90% it is truly unnecessary. It can become a crutch and undermine your core development.

This goes to squats, deadlifts, cleans, and snatches. For things like clean pulls it truly is not necessary. When trying to develop positional strength it should be done raw. The reason being is that once you put a belt on for a PR attempt you will have done many reps of pulls with said weight with no belt. Your body will be more than ready for the weight.

Tips on Proper Feet Placement for the Squat & Starting Position of the Clean or Snatch

Have you ever had a coach tell you toes out in your squat and wondered why it is? An athlete’s knees will track over the feet for the squat. If an athlete has their feet pointed straight ahead, then the knees will track straight ahead and therefore not optimal for strength production.

For the vast majority of athletes anatomically speaking the positioning of the femur and how it attaches into the hip joint leads the feet pointed slightly outward to being the most optimal for mobility concerns, especially to avoid possible impingements.

Most importantly however, rotating your feet outward slightly will put your glutes in a more optimal positioning for power production. Your glutes are lateral rotators of the thighs, so when your toes are pointed inwards the glutes are in a more lengthened position which leads to less power production. Turning the toes slightly outward puts them at the optimal length for both squatting and the Olympic lifts.

Remember that this will work for most athletes meaning about 99%, so there may always be that one athlete who has a different anatomy for squatting. Especially when an athlete complains of pain in the front of the hip, proper mobility testing is needed to assess.

3-month Program: An Overview

So now that we have some tidbits of knowledge, some nuggets of joy, here’s what you can look forward to in our next garage gym Weightlifting program for Outsiders:

Month 1

Focuses on general physical preparedness [GPP] to help you establish a base level of strength, speed, and power. You will see some BB complexes intermingled in the program to aid in developing your ability to move some weight!

Month 2

This month we are slightly increasing our intensity,(i.e. going heavier)! We are still developing your base with linear periodization to set the platform for month 3, and establish some new PR’s!

Month 3

This month is an intensification month! You will see heavier lifts and on week 3 of this cycle be prepared to MAX! This is the month where all your hard work and previous development will come into action!

Interested in checking it out for yourself? Sign up for our program HERE for $20 a month and it gets you access to 3 versions of GPP workouts along with this garage gym Weightlifting program!

Cheryl Hargrove Administrator
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