Author: Jim

Unconcerned, mocking, violent. Philosopher, powerlifter, punk.

Lift Wild Powerlifting Meet

C__Data_Users_DefApps_AppData_INTERNETEXPLORER_Temp_Saved Images_bildeYesterday was my first meet. Though I’m training for a meet in July, I wanted to get at least a little experience under my belt. Yesterday, June 7, there was a small local meet done for charity put on by Crossfit Alexandria. That’s why there wasn’t much to post about this week. I took the last couple of days off to be rested for the meet.

Even though I competed yesterday, my intent was not go out and hit PRs. I talked to my coach, and we agreed I should hold back a little since I want to do my best next month. I chose a light opener and my second and third attempts were what I expect my first and second attempts to be at the USAPL Louisiana Summer Classic on July 12. This makes yesterday basically a really heavy day for me, and I’ll be back to my training tomorrow.

There were a couple of surprises. First, the meet was outside. I knew that it would be hot, but it’s hard to be truly prepared for Louisiana summer heat in direct sunlight when you’re lifting hard. We were in 90 degree heat, and we were lifting in direct sunlight. I ended up with a light sunburn, and I felt drained by the time I did my second attempt on squats. The sun just sucked everything out of everyone. The only people who didn’t move slow were the judges. That raised another issue.

I’ve been to meets before, but this was a pretty small meet, so everything went really fast. My girlfriend was also lifting. This meet was classic raw, V__D646so it allowed knee wraps. She doesn’t have her own wraps, so we were sharing mine. However, because there were so few people lifting, I was basically finishing my squat and immediately running over to her to wrap her up. As soon as she finished I was running back to the men’s side and only resting for about sixty seconds before having to start wrapping myself again. That was kind of a nightmare. I ran into a problem on her second attempt. For some reason I still don’t know my hands started cramping really bad. I could barely close them. As I went to wrap her knees a second time, I found that I couldn’t tie off the wrap like I needed. They actually called her to lift with her walking up to the bar trying to finish off the tie by herself. She got it, and she got her lift. Still, it was a real problem, and I felt bad about the situation. She ended up wrapping her own knees on her last lift, and she’s never done that, resulting in the wrapping not being very good. It’s hard not to feel somewhat responsible for her missing her last squat attempt. (Not that it mattered much as her her successful second attempt at 275 was more than 100 lbs over the next closest female squat.)

The bench had it’s own set of issues. I’ve been practicing significant pauses at the bottom, so I was ready for that. What I wasn’t ready for was the pause at the top. I had to hold the weight for several seconds before I was allowed to lower it to my chest. As I always take a big breath before I unrack and hold it throughout the lift, I found I was running out of air before I was even given the command to press the weight off my chest. Even so, it was a huge surprise when I missed my last attempt. What should have been smooth and quick just died on my chest. I can’t be sure how long it was before I was from the unrack to the press command at the bottom, but a friend of mine said it was at least three seconds on each hold, and it was likely more. That’s a long time to hold the weight and your breath in the blistering heat. I was really disappointed in myself. I know I’ll be practicing that top hold a lot this next week.

There’s not a lot to say about the deadlifts. They were easy. Every set was easy. I can’t help but think that I should have done more, but I kept to my plan to leave about 40 lbs off. Unfortunately, I think I left more. My third attempt was fast and light. I just should have done more.

In the end I got third out of six guys, and I’m cool with that, because I would have gotten the same place even had I hit a PR on every attempt. The two guys who got first and second were much more experienced and much stronger. They were just beasts. I’m glad I had the chance to lift with them and learn from what they were doing.

C__Data_Users_DefApps_AppData_INTERNETEXPLORER_Temp_Saved Images_bilde(1)The meet was definitely a success. I had a great time, my girlfriend not only won the women’s, she just devastated it. She beat second place by something like 200 lbs in the total. It was nuts. That girl is amazing.


Saturday, May 31

Dynamic Effort Squat

Today was an interesting day. My main exercise was safety squat bar squats with no hands. That was new. I was supposed to do 50%, so I chose WP_20140531_12_51_22_Pro285, which is about half of what my goal is for my meet in July. I did 15 sets of that. Around my third set I heard a ripping noise. I thought it was my shorts, but, when I felt the crotch, they were fine. I did my next set and heard another ripping sound. Again, I couldn’t find a problem. I heard it a third time. That’s when I checked my underwear. Sure enough, a significant hole was forming right behind the seam in the crotch after 15 sets, the hole was huge, as you can tell from the image to the right.

Squatting with no hands on the SSB is a weird feeling. I have to put the back pad right on my neck and lean forward just a little. I have to be careful not to move my upper body at all during the squat. I don’ know about other SSBs, but the handles on the one I use are short, and if I moved much I’m pretty sure the bar would fall off my shoulders. That means I have to do every rep with complete control. It’s a good exercise for me. Other than that, the only thing I have to say about it is that my belt seems to dig into me a little with my arms down. Kinda uncomfortable, but nothing big enough to worry about.

Afterward I did 300 reps of banded good mornings. Which sucked. They just never ended. They weren’t even really hard. They just kept going and going and going. I finished up with ab work.

Thursday, May 29

Max Effort Bench

The big movement on Thursday was two board press vs doubled light bands for max one. I worked up to 355 for a single. I don’t know how much the bands added at the top, but I do know that I first used 50 lb dumbbells to anchor the bands, and they picked up a little and bounced on my first rep, which I immediately racked. I can say that 355 with the bands felt heavier than 405 at the top. It was heavy. I felt really good about that lift.

After that I did singles of 315 for a long pause. It’s not what Jesse had programmed for me, but I felt like I really needed to work on some pauses for the meet I’m doing on June 7.

See-saw presses followed, and that went well. In fact, all of my accessory work went well. It was just a really good day. I want to remember that feeling when things don’t go well.

Tuesday, May 27

Max Effort Squat

So, I screwed up when I was looking at my program. I started out doing my dynamic day. That was a bunch of squatting with a safety squat bar with no hands. After I finished I went to see what was next, and I realized my mistake. There was nothing to do but do the right training.

I did deficit deadlifts against light bands. After I got hurt in February my deadlift dropped by almost 150 pounds. I seriously couldn’t believe how much strength I had lost. Deadlift has been the slowest lift to come up for me, and I spent a good bit of time angry when I realized how much I had slid back. I went from pulling close to 600 to struggling with 450, so it was a big deal when I pulled 495 from a deficit against a band today. A really big deal. I kicked the platform away afterward, slapped a couple of 10s on the bar, and pulled 515. I won’t lie and say it was easy, but it came up. That’s huge for me right now. I feel pretty sure I could pull 535 if I weren’t dead from a full squat session already, and that gives me hope that I’ll actually get up over 550 at the meet. I really want that number. It also gives me hope that I’ll be up to 600 by the end of the year. The strength is a little slow coming back, but it is coming back.

I followed up with stiff-legged sumo deadlifts, but that was it. I was just out of time, and I had to get home to shower before I met my next client.

Even though I screwed up, it was a good day for me. 515 is hardly some great number, but a month ago I could barely pull 60 pounds less, and that makes me think I have another 20 or 30 pounds I can get back in the month I have left, and when your numbers are this low, you need every extra pound possible.

Monday, May 26

Dynamic Effort Bench

bar biteToday’s main movement was push press. It was 60% for 15 sets of 3. That put me at 155, which was pretty easy. Everything flew up with lots of force. In fact, it came up a little too fast. On set 14 I slammed the bar into my chin. Hard. Really hard. Rattled my teeth. That was on rep two. I finished my last rep, racked the bar, and stretched out my jaw. My entire head hurt, but there was nothing to do about it but keep going, so I did.

Once I finished the push presses I did 200 reps of rows and 100 reps of shrugs. I was supposed to do hammer curls (have I mentioned that Jesse loves hammer curls?), but the gym was closing early today, so I had to get out of there.

In other news, I got my SBD knee sleeves in, but I think I’m going to send them back for a smaller size. I got the XXLs, and they fit snugly, but I think I could squeeze on a size down, and I want to get the most benefit out of them. Really, I’m not sure. I’d like to try a pair of XLs on, but I don’t know anyone who owns a pair. I’m still undecided. I need to figure it out quick, though, because I want to make sure everything is in well before the meet on July 12.

Sunday, May 25

Dynamic Effort Squat

The first thing I did was box squats with average bands. I did 10 sets for 2 at with 315 on the bar. I measured the bands, and I’m tWP_20140525_10_53_24_Prohey added about 150 lbs at the top. All of that came up fast and easy. Then I added another 50 pounds for the last two sets. It made a huge difference. I went from coming up fast to just grinding it out. I wouldn’t have believed I would go that slow with only 50 more pounds, but there it is. Still, that’s somewhere around 515-525 at the top, so I guess that’s not so bad.

Afterward, I did speed deads with 345 and monster mini short bands. The gym I was at has these plates with flat sides on them, and I hate deadlifting with them, so I used bumper plates. The thing about bumper plates is that with 345 on the bar it just looks ridiculous. I laughed every time I stepped up to the bar. But everything came up fast and easy, so I felt really good about my pulls. Honestly, I felt better about the pulls than I did the squats.


I’m still pretty tired. I don’t know what’s going on there. I can’t seem to get enough rest. I know I’m not sleeping well, but that’s nothing new. Maybe it’s just because I’m old. Regardless, I’ve never been this tired, and I’d like to shake it off.

Friday, May 23

Max Effort Bench Day

This thing will kill you if you let itI’m still trying to shake off this deep and abiding exhaustion I’ve had since I got sick. The cold has passed, and most of my congestion has disappeared, but, damn, I am just beat. Still, nothing to do but push through it and grind it out.

The main movement today was floor presses against bands for a three max. I set up my Monster Mini short bands so that they had right at 80 lbs of tension at the top. I actually took the trouble to get a scale and find out how much tension they added. I worked up to 325 for three. I barely got up the third rep. Honestly, I was a little worried at the very top. I didn’t have a spotter, and the pins were set below chest level, so it would have sucked pretty hard to get stuck like that with bands pulling the bar down. But I powered through the last rep. so all was well. After that I took off the bands to do as many reps as possible with 325. I got six reps. 325 + 80 from the bands for three reps: I’m pretty happy with that.

The accessory work wasn’t so bad except for the three hundred reps of pulldowns. Dude, Jesse loves that volume work. At 250 reps of 180 I was blown. I went ahead and moved on to the straight bar curls. Now I feel stupid and weak for not grinding out the last 50, but I know at the time I was just tired and hurting. I can’t do that crap again, though. No one gets better without doing the work, and I have age and genetics working against me. All I have is my willingness to work harder than the guys competing against me. If I don’t do the work I don’t have anything.

Oh, in other news I ripped another pair of shorts today. Powerlifter problems.