Sunday, May 23, 2010

2010 USAPL Illinois State Championships

I haven't posted since I tapered for the meet, so I'll do a quick write up of how it went.

This meet was the first USAPL meet we did 2 years ago, and only our second meet ever. This year, it was our last as IL residents, but hopefully not the last we compete in. We're going to try to make it to this meet annually, even from Seattle if we can. We've made a lot of friends and built great relationships with all of the people responsible for making this meet what it is, including but not limited to Mark & Suzanne Motsinger, Rick Fowler, Jim "Popeye" Bell and his Irish singlet, and many others.

Competing in this meet for me was a huge mental accomplishment for me given that I had fractured my left wrist and pulled & partially tore the tendon in November, had it misdiagnosed as a sprain for 3 months while I still lifted with it, and then had to stop training for 2 months while it healed. This gave me 8 weeks to prepare. Props to my awesome wife who had to deal with me crying like a baby about my wrist and knee the whole time :)

My plan for the meet was to hit 1100lbs total. I split my attempts so that as long as I hit all of my second attempts and only 1 of my third attempts, I'd get it. I thought it was a good plan...

The Meet

There was 1 platform for 60 lifters, so there were 4 flights, which made for a long day. Fortunately, my wife and Beth (the woman she is training) were in Flight A, and I was in Flight C, so I could handle them, then warmup during Flight B, lift in my flight while they handled me, and then warm them up during Flight D. This worked out pretty well for us.

On to the results. We competed raw, so nothing but wrist wraps, knee sleeves and a belt. And some ammonia caps. :)


350# I buried this and have the pic to prove it :)
375# failed
375# failed (would have been 400# if I got the second attempt)

Not a great start. Opening with 350# is a milestone for me, especially since the USAPL banned the Inzer velcro knee sleeves and I am squatting with Rehbands that do little more than keep my knees warm. I also have never opened at a meet that high, but I was really hoping to get at least the 375# on the second attempt so I could go for 400# on my third.

Grinding both attempts at 375# killed my right knee. Thankfully, some ice and rolling my quads on our PVC pipe worked out the issue and the day continued.


265# this flew up
275# this also flew up. Man, I should have done 280# here
290# stuck right out of the hole and failed

The 275# was a meet PR. I've done 300# in the gym, but I am notoriously bad at benching in a meet. Still, I wasn't complaining, given my wrist injury from a few months prior.


385# very conservative, but I never deadlift well in the gym leading up to a meet, and I still had a shot at 1100#. A very long shot...
415# this was very slow to move, but I got it. I needed 475# to get 1100#, but I knew I wasn't getting it, so I set my third attempt lower to at least get a meet PR in my total at 1070#.
445# big. fat. fail. You know your form sucked on your deadlift when people come up to you after and say "Man, I'm just happy you are OK after that."

I used an ammonia cap for the last attempt. It amped me up, but it wasn't enough. As soon as I started, I felt my back round over and I knew I was done, but it was the last lift of my day, so I kept trying to move it for a few seconds before dropping it. As Jim Bell said, I left it all on the platform.

The Results

Overall, I wasn't happy with my performance, but I got a total and qualified for Raw nationals in Denver this July, so I need to come back strong there. My final numbers:

350# squat
275# bench
415# deadlift
1040# total
5 for 9 on my attempts

I placed 2nd in the IL State Championships, and 3rd in the Great Rivers Open. I lost to Mike Bridges. Yes, the Mike Bridges. So I'm not complaining. The man is a legend, but he and his wife are damn cool, even when I proclaimed during the medal ceremony "How did I lose to THIS old guy?"

Jessica, my wife, also qualified for Raw Nationals. She's not happy with her numbers, but I am proud of her. She left it all on the platform. She went for an American Record squat at 302#, attempted the biggest bench she'd ever attempted at a meet, and attempted a 335# deadlift. She didn't get them, but I don't care. She can do all of that, and more, and she will. 2 years ago she wouldn't have even thought about going all out like this, and for that, I can't be any prouder of a husband.

Beth, the woman who Jessica trains, competed this weekend as well. It was her first powerlifting meet, after having only trained for 4 months. She did really well, and recorded a total. She also won the 132 Raw Open class. Great job, Beth!

On a special note, it would be a shame if I didn't mention that Paige Schutt was awarded "Best Lifter of the Meet" by Rick Fowler. She didn't lift the most weight or set any records, but what she did was much more amazing. She was in a serious motorcycle accident last year, was in a coma and suffered heavy brain trauma, but there she was this weekend, lifting! It was truly inspiring and just an overall awesome thing to see, and puts a whole new meaning to the "Power" in Powerlifting.

Lift Strong, people.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Last Bench Day

A1. squat pulls

3 x 10

B1. bench press

2 x 5 x 45#
3 x 95#
3 x 135#
3 x 185#
1 x 225#
1 x 245#
1 x 265# meet legal opener!
1 x 280# Woot! this was definitely meet legal at the start and end. my pause at the bottom may have been a touch quick, but I stayed legal on the press up. I hope to use this as attempt #2.

B2. leg bridges (prehab)

8 x bw
8 x bw
8 x bw

C1. neutral grip lat pulldowns

5 x 70#
3 x 95#
2 x 10 x 115#

C2. push press

5 x 45#
3 x 75#
2 x 10 x 105#

D1. step up w/bar

3 x 8 x 45#

D2. 3" pinch grip

30s x 25#/hand
45s x 25#/hand

Overall a good session. Better than my squats the other day. Only 2 more heavy sessions, then a few to work to my openers and iron out my warmup, and then rest for the meet in 12 days.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pulled pork

  • Deadlift: 245x5/275x3/305x6
  • Kroc Row: 60x15/65x15/65x15/65x15/65x15
  • Seated NGP: 105 5x10
Last lift before deload, had to make it solid. I almost think deadlift is my new worst lift, except i love deadlifting. Did some solid shoulder mobility today and i'm thinking that's been the ish i've been feeling. Need to get back into that seriously. Got all my new adjusted maxes for my last 5/3/1 cycle till about September. Cutting from mid-june to august, then off to brazil for a few weeks in august. Going to try and avoid the need for another cut in august after coming back from brazil, but we'll see what happens.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My squat sucks

Training sucked today.

A1. Flexibility work

squat pulls
glute activation
deficit pull w/o weight

B1. hammer curls (prehab)

3 x 8 x 30#

B2. cable tri pressdown (prehab)

3 x 8 x 96#

C1. squat

3 x 5 x 45#
3 x 135#
3 x 195#
3 x 225#
1 x 275#
1 x 315#
1 x 345# my opener for the meet in 2 weeks. Felt real easy.
0 x 375# this is supposed to be my second attempt at the meet. I went down too slow, and got stuck right out of the hole. Not a good thing for my quest for 405. Meh.

Called it a day here because we were at the gym for almost 2 hours at this point. Not a great training session overall.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

More upper body? Really?

Lunch (5/3/1)
  • Bench Press: 175x5/195x3/215x7
  • Military Press: 165x10/165x10/165x10/155x10/155x10
  • Cable Overhead TriX: 120x10/120x10/120x10/110x10/110x10
Feeling a bit of the sickness roll in but slightly increased water and food intake are helping stave it off for now. Last crazy week for a while so hopefully i can roll back into real training solid next week. Deload week hopefully means i'll have some extra energy to get back into BJJ and Karate full on. Looking forward to one more solid cycle of 5/3/1 then a big pre-summer cut. 6 weeks of pure cutting brutality, and not like it was in high school...

April showers bring May power...lifting meets

Forgot to post Tuesday's workout, so today is a two-fer. I started tapering for the meet this week. It's earlier than I usually start (3 weeks out), but I'm experimenting. I'm still going to max singles on the big lifts, but the accessory stuff is tapering off this week. next week I'll taper off the big lifts.


A1. Flexibility Work

squat pulls
glute activation
deficit pull w/o weight

B1. deadlift

3 x 5 x 45#
2 x 3 x 105#
3 x 155#
3 x 195#
3 x 255#
1 x 315#
1 x 335#
1 x 365#
1 x 395# Thank goodness this felt easy. Injury recovery PR!

C1. machine row

5 x 90#
3 x 180#
3 x 8 x 230#

D1. front squat

5 x 45#
5 x 95#
3 x 8 x 185#

E1. int & ext rotations (prehab)

3 x 8 x 12#

E2. oh shrug (prehab)

3 x 8 x 45#


A1. squat pulls

B1. bench press

2 x 5 x 45#
3 x 95#
3 x 135#
3 x 155#
3 x 185#
1 x 225#
1 x 245#
1 x 260#
1 x 275# BIG monkey off my back here. I missed this last week. It's the best I've done since before my wrist injury. I wanted to take 300 to this meet, but I'm happy with this.
2 x 1 x 225 with competition pauses

C1. neutral grip lat pulldowns

5 x 70#
3 x 105#
3 x 8 x 135#

C2. push press

5 x 45#
3 x 75#
3 x 105#
3 x 8 x 125#

Overall, both days felt great. I feel like I'm in the best pre-meet shape since I started doing this 3.5 years ago.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


  • BB Row :135 5x10
  • Cable Tri Pushdown: 150x10/170x10/200x10/180x10/180x10
  • EZ Bar Cheat Curls: 75x10/95x10/95x10/95x10/95x10
  • DB Press: 45 5x10
  • DB Bent Y-Flye: 25 5x10
Upper body day, the refuge of the weak and lazy. I'm not sure what it was, i think it was just a combo of the squats and the specific drills from BJJ from tuesday, but man i was blitzed today. Knew i wasn't going to make it through Kyokushin, but i had to do something today. There's also definitely something different about lifting at lunch then doing martial arts vs doing martial arts then lifting right after. It did get me thinking though, I may be able to move my upper body supplemental work to PMs after training and do 5/3/1's at lunch. This could work. This could work.

Also, Gatorade G Recover (o3 or whatever it is)? Not so much, stick with Surge. It reminds of really bad Isopure or something like that...nasty.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

EARN your deload week, punk!

Lunch (5/3/1)
  • Squat: 255x5/285x3/325x8
  • Good Morning: 175 5x10
  • KB Madness:
    • 2H Swing 20x24kg
    • Clean 10x20kg (per side)
    • Press 15x20kg (per side)
    • Snatch 10x20kg (per side)
    • H2H Swing 20x20kg
Ahhh gimme a break i'm just getting back into kettlebell work, seriously. Preparing for July's (or i guess mid-June's) cut by starting to ramp up the metabolic work a bit more so hopefully when i drop my intake by about 1000 calories i can just shoot over and drop some pounds quickly. I really think you could do a 5/3/1 style for fat loss but truth be told i think the 5x5 is my choice. Worked great last time and the only time i fell off was when i tried doing lactic acid style training more. Stay on track for 6 weeks, take some re-feeds, and see how much we can drop clean. Should be exciting.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The man whose triceps exploded

  • Military Press: 115x5/125x3/145x3
  • Cable TriX: 120x15/120x15/120x15/110x15/100x20
  • Kneeling NGP: 200x20/200x20/200x20/200x15/200x12
  • Incline Press: 165 3x10
Look dude, you seriously need to find a better place to wait for your girlfriend to finish...whatever the hell she called that...than the incline bench.

For real, total weird testosterone moment in the gym today, i mean i go to train hard, and if people notice, that's the way it goes...wasn't my fault his chickie was impressed. Whatever, i still got all my training in. Is that a sign I'm getting old? I mean you'd think i would've been all excited that dude was trying to intimidate me but really i was just annoyed because i was trying to finish my set. I miss being young and feeling like i had to impress everyone...Except not really.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Deadlift apocalypse

  • Deadlift: 225x3/255x3/285x5
  • Kroc Row: DB60 5x15

Ok so probably anything under 180 lbs and 20 reps shouldn't be called a Kroc Row, but they were Kroc Rows in spirit. Definitely felt a little zombified going in, was sorta zoned out the whole workout, but i found it strangely easier to focus, even though i had to catch my focus in between lifts and sets. All in all, i gotta say this was about a 65 percent week, missed 2 BJJ classes and 1 Kyokushin class. Let's see if i can't make it just the one BJJ class i have to miss monday for a portfolio review eh? For the record, THESE are Kroc Rows, from the man himself Matt Kroczaleski:

Strongman Sunday Funday!

Today, I did some Strongman GPP with a friend from work, Marcus, who wanted to play with ze toys, pictured here:

It was a fun time. He actually outlasted me, which is a testament to both his cardiovascular health and my lack thereof...

A1. Tire load and Sledgehammer thwackin' medley

Loaded 40lb bag (man I needed to add weight to this) onto tire (About48"), take it off, 10 times
Hit tire on the side with right swing, 10 times
Hit tire on the side with left swing, 10 times

Did this twice.

B1. Tire flip

20 yards, 300# tire. Rested while the other guy went.

Did this 4 times.

C1. Farmer Walk

40 yards w/turn, 125#/hand. Probably should have had more on there, but didn't know what Marcus would be able to handle. He was fine. I noticed my left hand grip is a lot weaker than my right, likely from the left wrist fracture and tendon tear not being fully healed...

Did this 4 times.

D1. Prowler Finishers

Hoo boy. Started out with 25# per side for 50# total. Ran it down on the low horizontal handle 25 yards, walked it back on the high vertical handles 25 yards. I made 4, Marcus made 6, I went again after his 6th and decided it was too light, so I threw 50# more on (25# each side) and we went 2 or 3 more times running down and back with the low horizontal handles. I was done 1 rep before him ( I actually died on the run back of my last one and didn't make it).

I am out of shape. And Marcus is stronger than he thinks...