bench

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.

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.

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.

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.

Monday, May 19

Dynamic Effort Bench

Today’s big movement was speedy bench with light bands. Jesse had programmed 40% + bands. Somehow, even while I had it written right in front of me, I read 60%. I’m using 405 as my base number, so I did 245 + light bands doubled for three reps for ten sets. I’ve had a cold for several days, and I’m exhausted, so I wasn’t hoping for much. I ended up killing it. 245 flew up, even with the bands which added about 50-60 pounds at the top. I know this because I used 55 lb dumbbells at first, and they picked up on my warmup set, so I had to go to 100s. After my less-than-dynamic dynamic squat day on Saturday, I was glad to finally have something go right.

One thing I changed today was my setup. USAPL requires that your heel stays on the ground during the lift. I’ve been on my toes so my feet could get underneath my hips. I was able to get decent leg drive like that without pushing my hips off the bench. Changing my setup was kinda tough. The result, though, was that I was even tighter than usual. My hips and lower back started cramping, and right now they have a steady dull ache going on. Still, I found a good position, and I might even be getting more leg drive than I was before.

The rest of the workout was fine, though I just felt crazy tired when it was all over. I had a headache, and I was light-headed. At the end I was doing hammer curls with these dumbbells that have a chrome cap. My head started feeling really weird, and I got this floaty feeling, and I realized the shine from the lights on the cap was messing with me. That was weird. I got worried I was going to pass out at one point and had to sit down. I moved to a different set of dumbbells, and it was better, but my head has been hurting ever since, and when I got hit by the sunlight reflecting off water later on, I got the same feeling. I don’t know what that’s all about. I’m chalking it up to being so tired from being sick for the last several days.

Basically, I feel like crap, but everything went better than I expected, and that’s all that matters. With any luck a good night’s sleep will clear up what’s left of this sickness. Or not. As long I keep lifting like today, I’m cool with feeling like shit.

Thursday, May 15

Max Effort Bench

The source of my defeatI’m suffering from a pretty bad cold, so I was worried that today was going to suck before I even went to the gym. Nailed it.

Today was pin presses for max three. When I did 315 I knew I was in trouble. It was heavy, and it shouldn’t have been. In February, before I got hurt, I was doing this same exercise for 385. I didn’t expect to hit that since I’m still working back up, but I did expect to get to 345 at the very least. That didn’t happen. I hit the wall at 325. I got the third rep up to lockout, but barely. I tried 330, but all I got up was two. The entire time my head was screaming. It was hurting from congestion already, but all the pushing just elevated the headache to a new level.

Disappointed, I moved on to my other exercises. See-saw presses went ok with 50s, but that’s still lame. I was supposed to do pulldowns, but two kids were alternating between sorta using the pulldown machine and just sitting there talking. I didn’t feel like messing with them, so I went to the assisted pullup machine and offset my weight by 100 lbs. I did not get my specified 300 reps. I churned out 100. By then my head just wouldn’t let up even when I finished a set. I called it a day after that and came home.

This is the first time since I’ve started working with Jesse Burdick that I just quit in the middle of my training session. I feel pretty crappy about it. At the same time, just sitting here looking at this screen makes my head hurt, so I guess it makes sense. It still sucks, though.

Man, what a shitty day.