squat

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.

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.

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.

Wednesday, May 21

Max Effort Squat Day

I was supposed to train yesterday, but I was too tired. I guess it’s the end of this bad cold I’ve had. Regardless, I could barely keep my eyes open, and I knew that any training I did would be more than half-assed, so I took the day off. I’m still pretty tired today, but it’s better than yesterday.

My main movement was safety squat bar good mornings for a max 3. I worked up to 285. My problem with heavy good mornings is that I feel like I start to cheat by dropping my hips so I turn it into a half squat. It’s hard to fight that urge. I see other people struggle and hitch and curve their back a lot. That’s not my problem. It feels weird. Anyway, my form felt like it was breaking really bad at 285, so I stopped there.

Then I had to do 80% for as many reps as possible. I don’t know how many reps I did. I just lost count. 12? 15? Something like that. I stopped more because I felt my form breaking bad again. This was followed by one good morning and one squat for as many reps as possible at 50%. I think I did something like 25 for 145. Honestly, it wasn’t my form or legs or back that was giving out. I just couldn’t breathe. Congestion, exhaustion, and simply shitty conditioning all came together to wipe me out.

The rest of my accessory work was mostly fine. Stiff-legged sumo deadlifts got hard after 10 reps. Again, I was just running out of steam and had a hard time catching my breath. 275 never seemed that bad for the weight itself. Everything else was ok, though I was mostly going through the motions at that point.

Overall, I don’t think it was a bad day. I’m just tired. I think the heavy good mornings were decent.  I should be back to 100% after the weekend.

Saturday, May 17

Dynamic Effort Squat

My cold is in full effect today. It was rough yesterday, and I had hoped that it wouldn’t be so bad this morning. It was. Still, I didn’t want to miss a training day, so I got up and went.

My main movement today was box squats with 60% + average bands. I was trying to move quickly, but I don’t think there was much “dynamic” about anything I did today. But my goal was really just to push through it, so I did. Even though the weight didn’t fly up, it still wasn’t heavy, and I’m feeling pretty good about hitting my old numbers by July.

Speed deadlifts with bands followed. Again, they weren’t the speediest pulls, but they came up easy enough. I finished with hypers and abs. I didn’t do the number of sets I normally would on the accessory work, but I think that’s reasonable given that I’m pretty sick.

I haven’t eaten a lot the past couple of days. The cold has just killed my appetite. But that’s no excuse, so my plan today is to eat as much as possible. I plan on being uncomfortably full from here on out. Good times.

Tuesday, May 13

Max Effort Squat

My main movement for today was Anderson squats. I was supposed to use chains up to a one rep max, but I only have about 50 pounds of chains. Instead I used short Average bands from EliteFTS and kept adding weight. This was only the second time I had ever done Anderson squats. The first time was worse than embarrassing. I maxed out at 335. I just couldn’t figure out how to get set up at the bottom of the squat. I could easily set up at the top and come down, rest the bar on the pins, then squat back up, but starting off at the bottom was just killing me. I guess I got better because I worked up to 425 + bands for this session. Better, though not great. Even so, I was exhausted by the time I finished.

The accessory work was sumo stiff-legged deads, low back extensions, and abs. I’ll admit that I half-assed the abs. I was just beat by the time I was finished. By the end of the day my entire body was sore. Seriously, I’ve never been so sore from any kind of squat. I take that to mean I’m doing something right.