Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wed 2/1 Max Effort Bench

Today was a great workout! Justin & Kellie worked out the AM Crew, and worked up to 115# and 245#.. the PM Crew was Nick, Fred, and Ed .. (it rhymes!)

Ed worked something a little different and did 4 sets of 275 flat bench for 8 reps - Strong performance.. calculates to a 348lb 1 Rep RAW BENCH!

Nick & Fred did Floor presses, where you lay on the floor in a Rack and bench press partial reps - until your elbow hit the floor. The idea of this exercise is it isolates your pressing muscles and basically takes your entire Leg Drive out of the lift.. typically a lifter will press 90-95% of their 1 Rep Max Bench on a Floor Press due to no leg drive.

Floor Press: 225x2, 275x2, 295x2, 315x1, 325x1, 335x1, 315x1
Tricep Push Downs: 75x20, 85x20, 95x20, 105x20
Lat Pulldowns : 140x15, 160x15, 160x15, 160x15
Face Pulls: 100x15 (4 Sets)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Max Effort Squat 1/30 - Full depth Squats

Today we normally would do a Box Squat max effort, but instead we switched it out to Heavy (Not All-Out Max Effort) full-range squats to work on depth etc. These squats were done with bottoms only, and no wraps. We wanted to work on the lifters grasping the sensation of full-depth squats with near-maximal weights.

We did a total of 8 sets, as follows:
135x2, 225x2, 315x2, 405x2, 495x1, 495x1, 495x1, 495x1
135x2, 1855x2, 225x2, 225x2, 225x2, 225x2, 225x2, 225x2

Accessory work is:
High Volume Stiff Leg Deadlift, Lat Pulldowns to the Front, and Weighted Leg Raises.. sorry no videos today, it was only Justin and I, so we couldn't spot and video tape!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dynamic Bench 1/29 - Bench Press Reflex + 4 Board Bench

Today was a good workout.. we started with 8 sets of Bench Press Reflex at 50%.. this is where we lower the weights as fast as we can, stop about an inch off the chest, and fire it back up.. 8 sets of 3.

We followed up with heavy accessory work, 4 Board Bench Presses with 40lbs of Chains.. We worked down to Max Rep Singles, with Nick & Fred finishing with 385+40lbs of chains, Justin at 285+, and Ed showing a STRONG 405+40lbs of chains.. Ed almost got it for a double!

Videos below-

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fri 1/27 Dynamic Box Squat

Today was Dynamic Box Squat day.. 10 sets of 2.. at 50% 1 RM for max speed.. followed up with Glute Ham Raises (With weights), Weighted Situps, and Pull-throughs..

Nick 260# 10x2
Justin 155# 10x2
Kellie 135# 10x2

Check out the pic and video below.. Kellie has great shin angle here -that is the purpose of the box squat.. you can sit back further than a regular squat.. she can improve by pausing longer on the box..

And after it all, Kellie nailed a new Raw PR Squat of 225lbs! Great job Kel!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wed 1/25 Max Effort Bench Press w/Chains

PM Crew:
Tonight was an exhausting night! We did a total of 7 Sets after warmup.. with 40lbs of chains as follows:
225x1, 255x1, 275x1, 285x1, 295x1 315x1, 225x7 (All plus 40lbs)
The lift of the night goes to Ed Osgood with a strong showing at the 315 + 40lbs of chains.. videos below!

AM Crew:
Kellie & Justin did a great job today.. Kellie hit a new PR, pressing 95lbs + 40lbs of chain for 135lbs total, and Justin hit a PR as well, with 205lbs + 40lbs of chain for 245lbs.

This workout is followed up with Tricep Rope Pushdowns, Dumbbell Raises to the front, and Close Grip Seated Rows..

PM Crew to follow!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Periodization.. What it is, how, and why we do it..

Periodization.. Sounds like something from ancient history right? No. Periodization is how we adjust our workouts, frequencies, and focuses for different times of the year and times leading up to Competition Meets.

Imagine if you just worked out forever without a break... your body would eventually shut down, stop gaining, and ultimately lose muscle mass, strength, and health.. your central nervous system would go into overload. The time when your body grows most is during periods of rest - including sleep!

So what does this have to do with our work out? Well, if you have a Goal Day, such as a Powerlifting Meet on March 31st, you do not want to be in burnt-out mode on meet day! You want to be fresh.. so throughout the year, it is recommended to take about a week off every 6-8 weeks.. with some people they need it more often, some people less.. you will learn to listen to your body. This becomes never as important as when the meet nears.. we want to be at 110% top of our game come meet day.. so we structure our workouts to take a 1 week "De-Load" break about 5 weeks out of the meet.. that leaves 4 weeks of workouts leading up to the meet, and those 4 weeks are structured very carefully with workouts of graduating intensity leading up to the final week before the meet... where we taper down our workouts, until the last 6-7 days before the meet where we enter a "De-Load" phase.

Ttaking a break 5 weeks out of the meet allows us the hit the meet at peak form - not exhausted! If we hit the meet after 6-8 weeks straight, where we normally take a break, we would be in "overload" phase and not nearly as strong as mid-cycle.. follow me?

Ok what other types of periodization do we do? Well in the 2-3-4 months prior to meet we work our basic exercise routine where we attack the main exercises, and supplement with supporting accessory work... once we hit about 8-9 weeks out, we change our main exercise focus to ones which closer resemble the actual meet lifts.. without overloading. Exactly what do I mean?  Starting in February, we will phase out box-squatting except on dynamic days.. squats will become full range squats.. deadlifts will be incorporated with more frequency.. there will be more shirt work and board work.. if you follow along you will see! Our work-outs will begin in a "Raw form", then transition to a "Variable Resistance", and finally to a "Future Method".. this will take us to our last De-load about 5 weeks out.. when we return.. we will focus not so much on growth of strength, but rather taking the levels we've grown to - and making THOSE lifts better and more reliable. Come March 1st, if we decide we are Benching 415, we are not going to necessarily shoot for 445 - but rather make the 415 more reliable come meet day. Same with Squat and Deadlift.... Follow along as we enter our last 9 weeks!

Monday 1/23.. Max Effort DL - Rack Pulls

I have to say this was one of the most exhausting workouts I've done in awhile! We started out with heavy rack-pulls.. Rack pulls (or pin pulls) are where the Bar is setup slightly higher than off-the-floor.. usually around just below or just above knee height. The purpose of this lift is to use a Deadlift-style pull to work through your sticking points. When doing a Rack-Pull you can usually lift about 10% more than your best Deadlift.. in this case, we worked up to 545lbs.. our gym does not have a normal power cage, so we had to improvise by utilizing the safety spotter bars, and hanging a chain off both sides, and the bar was suspended in the chain at the height we wanted.. I know its slightly tough to imagine, but I will upload a video shortly! We followed up our Low-rep, heavy weight Rack Pulls with Lat Pull downs to the rear, Glute Ham Raises, and Weighted Hanging Leg Raises..

Rack Pulls :
545x1 (Fail)

Can you say tired?
Lat Pull downs were 120x15, 140x15, 180x13, 200x7
Glute ham Raises were 4 sets of 15
Hanging Leg Raises 10lbs x 4 sets of 20

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dynamic Bench 1/22

Today we got the work out in early.. hey big Pats and Giants game today!! Our workout consisted of the last cycle of our our Speed Bench with Chains.. this was at approximately 55% of 1 rep max + 40lbs of chains which put us at about 65% 1 RM max.. if you have been following, you know the chains add weight to the lockout portion of the rep.. Fred and I(Nick) did 190 + 40lbs of chains, 8 Sets of 3, Justin did 135 + 40lbs of chains, and Kellie was 65lbs with no chains, because her max bench is 120lb.. chains should never be more than 10-15% of your 1RM..

Fred worked a close grip on bar, which really put the emphasis on his Triceps .. I took a medium grip, just inside the rings, and Justin went with a wide grip, because we have found he is weakest on the wide grip, which incorporates the Lats and Back into the bench, and he needs the most work there..

Our accessory work incorporated a flared elbow tricep extension (I'll post a video shortly, this is great exercise to work your bench lockout), some smith-machine military presses (Fred & Ed are great this exercise, Fred finished up with 245 x 4 reps..).. then finally some heavy Barbell rows, where I worked up to 265x10, Fred 225, Justin 155..

Tomorrow is Max Squat/DL day where we will be doing Rack-pulls from chains, working the Deadlift.. stay tuned!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Speed Day" as explained by Louie Simmons

Westside Barbell www.westside-barbell.com
   By: Louie Simmons:

                                         Training Methods Part 1: Speed Day
While recovering from my second lower back injury, for which doctors recommended removing two disks, taking off a bone spur, and fusing my vertebrae, with no guarantees, I decided that I had to take a new approach to lifting or disappear like everyone else who lifted in early 1970’s. I called Bud Chamiga in Michigan and asked for several of his books that were translated from Russian. These books contained an abundance of science combined special strength training. These materials helped me realize that lifting was a combination of biometrics, physics, and mathematics, not like I had previously thought. There was no mention of training with 5’s or 3’s.
I had followed the progressive overload system since my first Olympic lifting meet in 1960. The only period in which I did not compete was from 1966 to 1969, when I was in the army. In 1983 I was going nowhere with my training. I was stronger, but slower. That’s where Bud’s books were invaluable. They described methods of training and organization that I had never heard of before. Furthermore, no one in the United States used these methods until I started writing about them in Powerlifting USA. This article is meant to be a refresher about special methods and means on speed day.
Dynamic Effort Method. On speed day, use sub-maximal weights with maximal speed. This method is used to increase the rate of force development and explosive strength, not to build absolute strength. For squatting: 10-12 sets of 2 reps. For benching: 8-9 sets of 3 reps. For deadlifting: 6-10 sets of 1 rep after squatting.
Contrast and Reactive Method. Weight releasers provide one overload rep on each set. The recommended load on weight releasers is 20% of the barbell load. For example: 400 pounds on the bar, 80 pounds on the weight releasers. Use chain weight on the weight releasers for best results. Bands are a contrast method. We use only Jump Stretch bands. Only higher ranked lifters use bands. For speed strength, 65% of the total weight should be barbell weight and 35% should be bar tension. For strength speed or slow strength, used with maximal weights, 65% of the total weight should come from band tension and 35% should be barbell weight.
Lightened Method. By attaching bands to the top of the power rack or Monolift the total barbell weight can be reduced in the bottom of the lift. The percent reduction can range from 15% to 25%. This method builds your rate of force development by overcoming a load with a medium to heavy concentric movement. Westside Barbell www.westside-barbell.com 2
Concentric Movement. With the bar suspended by chains or by using power rack pins, simply crawl under the bar and raise it concentrically. Going from a relaxed condition to overcoming a stable load wit h light and medium loads of 50% to 80% will develop a rapid rate of force development. When loads of 90% and above are used, this causes maximal force rather than appearing explosive. It may appear somewhat slow due to the massive external résistance. The second method with 90-100% or more to be used on max effort day.
Dynamic Method. For benching or squatting, 20-24 total lifts are standard on dynamic method day. For benching, use 40-50% of a 1RM with a method of accommodating resistance, i.e. bands or chains. For squatting, use 50- 60% with a method of accommodating resistance. Bands or chains must always be used to greatly reduce the deceleration phase. You can stand up for a long time with a weight at the top of the squat; however with a large bar load made up of mostly band tension, you are being pulled back down, causing a force exceeding gravity.
Methods to develop a rapid rate of force development after an eccentric phase accompanied by a relaxed phase accompanied by a relaxed phase include box squats, floor presses, and board press. Many former college athletes are very explosive but lack a high level of maximal strength. They are very fast with light weight, but as the load grows to near max, 95% and higher, they slow considerably. This can be corrected by using a higher percentage of band tension- 65% of total bar load. This slows the movement down while developing absolute strength.
Maximal force is displayed foe 0.3 seconds. This can be prolonged with the use of bands to prevent a quick bar deceleration. The late Dr Mel Siff agreed with this. We have a 63-foot shot-putter that said he has always been quick, with a 363 power clean and a 565 deadlift at 250 pounds body weight. However, he could not budge a 600 deadlift. He has zero quickness there. Speed is relative when compared to the amount of resistance.
Pendulum Wave. On dynamic day, use a 3-week Pendulum wave. For example, for the squat week 1, 50%; week 2 55%; week 3 60%; week 4 back to 50%. Change from bands to chains, add weight releasers, use the lightened method or overcoming a rested load, or change your grip or stance.
General Physical Preparedness. Rest periods should be 45-60 seconds between sets for explosive and speed work. The muscles should be in an excitable state or slightly fatigued. This will cause an increase in difficulty in training. If this is impossible for you, your GPP through small workouts is low. You can raise your GPP thru small workouts between days and even prior to training. Chuck Westside Barbell www.westside-barbell.com

1/20 Dynamic Box squats w/bands..on 2hrs sleep!

Today was the last cycle within the 3 weeks of dynamic box squats with bands.. Every 3 weeks we rotate our dynamic exercise, and within the 3 weeks, we lift at 50% week 1, 55% week 2, and 60% week 3 of 1RM.. 10 sets of 2.. Focusingon the eccentric speed.. Today Nick and Fred lifted 245+ blue bands.. Justin 155, and Kellie (She-Ra) 135... We followed up with accessory work as follows: Heavy good mornings (Nick up to 405, Fred & Justin to 225, Kellie to 135) Reverse hamstring raises with plates Weighted situps Today, Ed was still working on his back rehab so he didn't squat with us but worked on some back supporting accessory work... Stay tuned. For tomorrow which is our last cycle of dynamic benching with chains!! Oh yea.. What about the 2 hrs sleep? We had our first snowfall last njte..so Nick was plowing 2am to 5am..mnithing quite like that passing ut feeling with doing good mornings with 405 on your back on 2hrs sleep!!!'

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wed 1/18 - Max Bench Press Test Day

Everyday we learn something, and although there were very few clean lifts today, I think we all improved our readiness for the meet. Fred and I really saw how important it is when Shirted Benching to not only have the right form, but actually have the shirt on consistently right. Last Max Bench test, Fred put up 365 easily, and hit 385 for about 98%.. but this time, we couldn't seem to get his shirt to seat right, so those numbers were harder this week than last time.

I believe our problem was in sleeve positioning..  Fred took about 4 or 5 Heavy shirt lifts, then proceeded to kill 315 Raw with no problem.. We both agree next time we are going to slow down in the locker, and spend more time on setting up the shirt and rush less..

I had the same problem.. when we got the shirt on me, we warmed up with 315 off a 2 board, which went up quickly and explosively.. 365, I fell out of the groove, but still muscled it up.. moved to 385 and stalled, because I felt the shirt wasn't set up right. At this point, I said to Justin one of our other lifters, "Come on, we are going back in the locker room and re-doing this shirt" .. so we did.. we went in, pulled the shirt off, re-positioned the sleeves, locked them in and headed back out.. This time we went to 405 on the bar, and on first attempt, I got down to about 2" off the chest, and couldn't get down further.. but blasted the weight up strong .. what a difference the sleeve positioning made! I made another attempt at 405.. getting it down to about 1", and again going up strong.. but by this time I was exhausted.. about 5 heavy lifts within 20 minutes.. but I came away with some good knowledge. I think the number for next time is 315 - 2 board, 365 2-board, 405 2-board, 415 Full Range. Videos Below..

Kellie had some setup difficulties as well, she put up 120 easily off a 2 board, but stalled on the full range.. we feel her grip was a little narrow causing a real long range of motion.. another attempt at 115 had the same results.. again.. sometimes a missed lift is a good learning experience as well.

The Highlight reel of the night goes to Ed, who was benching raw and still nursing a bad back injury.. We worked him with a two board up to 325, which was no problem and then he proceeded to hit 315, and 325 raw. Real good job here.. Ed is working on super wide illegals right now to strengthen his power right off his chest. The key to all of us getting stronger is finding our weak points and making them stronger.. Ed has a monster lock out, more than likely capable of 400++.. we just need to rehab his back and work his off the chest..

Monday, January 16, 2012

Why making mistakes sometimes is a good thing...

I had a good day at the gym today. Actually my squat form sucked. But the reason I had a good day, is I actually noticed, and felt, and realized exactly when and how my form was breaking down. I think this is such a key point.. We were doing max-effort Box squats with Chains, and after doing 3 sets of 455+40lbs chain, I went for the PR with 500+40.. and when I walked it out, I immediately felt my right foot was half inch back of the left (Too late to correct at this point..already on way down).. and then I felt my chest want to fall forward.. but when I realized it, I didn't let it get away from me and arched back and muscled the lift back into place.. like I said, honestly my form was shit, but I sensed it. Call me a whacko, but I take it as a win.

A: I still finished the lift legally, and
B: I took my form to point of breaking down, and pulled it back together....

1/16 Max effort squat day w/chains

Today we will be hitting max effort box squats..with about 40lbs of chains..looking for 3 sets over 90%.. Stay tuned!!.

4PM Update:
Everyone did great this AM.. I finished w/495 on the bar plus 40lbs of Chains for 535.. and in critiquing myself, my form wasn't at my best. I was tired from doing 455+40 for 2 sets prior.. I let my chest fall forward, but luckily I caught myself before I was too far gone, plus my right leg was staggered back about 1/2 inch behind the left.. little stuff you wouldn't notice unless you really looked at it, but I am glad I am starting to notice when and how my form breaks down.. thats the first step to fixing. Fortunately, I've been training Good Morning's heavy, so I was able to power my chest back up and finish the lift.

Kellie ended up with 225+40lbs of chains for a new PR of 265.. Video to follow!

Accessory work was Dumbbell Rows (120x15), Weighted Situps, and Stiff Legged deadlifts.. working up to 315x8..

Sunday, January 15, 2012

1/15 Dynamic Bench Day

Today is dynamic Bench Press day.. Cycle 3, Phase 2.. meaning it is the 3rd lift in our selection of bench press excercises, and in the 2nd phase.. we start each Cycle at 50% of 1RM, then move to 55%, then 60%.. then move to the next Cycle.. Today was Bench Press w/Chains.. at 55%..

All our schedules have been hectic, so today I lifted alone, but Fred, Ed, & Justin are lifting this afternoon.. and Kellie is lifting at home.. 

8 Sets of 185lbs + 40lbs of Chains, 3 Reps each..

Finished up bench with a Reverse-Grip Bench Press.. 2 sets of 20 Reps each..
Then moved on to JM Tricep Presses.. working up to 185 x 4 reps...
I ended the workout with some Elbow-Lat Pulldowns.. using the Lat Pulldown machine, and the Arm Sling from a Hanging Leg Ab Raise.. this really focuses the pull on the lat.. as you face the opposite way from the machine, and pull down by forcing your upper arm/elbow into the arm sling.. I will try and get some pics up for all!

Tomorrow is a Max Squat Day.. then Wednesday is our Bench Press Shirt Test day.. stay tuned!!

1/14 Guest Coach and Lifter with Nick Tsourounis!

I was fortunate enough to have a friend of mine Nick Tsourounis up from Maryland visiting family, take some time out of his schedule to help me train.. (He drove 2 hours to meet me!) ... I met Nick at the my last meet in October, and as a fellow Greek - I figured he must be a pretty smart & strong guy!  ;)

But seriously, Nick has been lifting for a long time, and is a Pro in many regards, totaling well over 2000/2100lbs.. Nick will be lifting at the upcoming XPC Coalition lift March 4th during the same weekend as the Arnold in Columbus Ohio .. wish him well!

He helped me tweak my deadlift by fixing my stance, and keeping focus of my shoulders remaining behind the bar when pulling.. As far as the Bench Press, we worked on locking the lats and tris and really pushing the chest into the shirt and the lift - and spreading the bar.. all awesome stuff. Thanks Nick!

Here's a video of Nick in action, making a 635 Deadlift look effortless... (Don't mind the music)

Thanks again Nick for coming by.. You and the wife (Who also powerlifts!) are always welcome at our crazy home.. although you may not want be able to relax... considering our 3 kids, 5 dogs, and 4 rabbits!!!

Week 1/10-1/14 De-Load Period

I've been lifting steady since the end of Oct '11.. and my body is starting to feel it by lack of recovery.. I have taken about a 4 day de-load period to let my Nervous system and muscles recover.. constantly hitting the muscles takes its toll, and if we don't give our bodies time to heal fully, we will actually lose strength..

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lakeville Lifting Crew Max Deadlift Test Day.. BIG MAC ATTACK IS BACK!

Today 1/9 was Max Deadlift Test day, and we all learned something today... Fred learned he is fully rehabilitated from his Hamstring injury, and pulled a strong 500 deadlift.. He warmed up 135/225/315.. all pulling real easy.. 405 went up fast.. and 500 looked easy...   first time deadlifting in several months! Great job Fred! 530+ should come easy at meet time for Big Mac!

I learned not to change your plans on the day of the max lift! My plan was to pull 135/225/315.. then 455..525..545.. Well the plans went good up to 315.. I was too lazy to re-rack 405 into 455,, so I pulled 405, then decided I was going to try wearing a Squat suit while deadlifting.. (my first time ever..).. then I loaded up a 545 PR and totally bombed it.. I couldn't get down with the Squat suit, and end up turning it into an ugly stiff legged deadlift! Live and learn.

Justin learned a bit more about his form, and keeping his shoulders behind the bar.. He struggled at first with 315, after warming up 135-225.. but then dropped to 245.. re-sorted out the form, and worked his way back up to a strong 285! Great job Justin!! 2nd time deadlifting...

Kellie blew threw her Competition meet max of 205.. with a strong 225.. then upped it to 235 and yanked fast and strong! She definitely has a few more pounds in the till! All that Hamstring work sure paid off for Kellie!

Big Ed is still recovering from his back injury.. so he passed on this test.. but based upon his last week's bench presses.. noone would know he was ever injured!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sunday, January 8, 2012

1/8 Dynamic Bench Day w/Chains

Today was our first day working with Chains.. Chains are like bands in that it provides variable resistance.. because at the bottom of your rep, the chain is sitting on the floor - not adding any weight to the lift.. but as you press the barbell up, the chain rises off the floor.. and thereby makes the lift heavier - improving lockout.

Today's lifters worked roughly 40% of 1RM plus 40lbs of chains for 8 sets of 3 - Dynamic Benching.. not looking for max weights, but rather max eccentric speed in the lift... teaching us to LIFT FAST. the following weights:
Justin:   115 + 40lbs Chain
Nick, Ed, Fred :  175 + 40lbs Chain

We missed Kellie at today's lifting.. she sacrificed her lifting for her children today... Thats a good mommy!!

We followed up the Main lift, with a 4-board bench press - working Tricep lockouts, High Intensity, Low volume.. Lifters as follows:

Justin: 255 + 40lbs of Chain
Nick, Ed, Fred: 355 + 40lbs Chain

Other accessory lifts were Front Dumbbell Raises, and Lat Pulldown to the front with a Close-Grip row handle..

Stay tuned to tomorrow's blog for results from our Deadlift Max Test Day.. and we will be following up next week, for Next Wed's Max Bench Press w/Shirt..!

Friday, January 6, 2012

1/6 Dynamic Squat day w/bands

Today was dynamic squat day..using bands for additional resistance at the top. This exercise builds speed in your squats.. We utilized 40% of 1rm plus about 65lbs in bands for Kellie, and 135lbs in bands for Nick and Justin... 10 sets of 2 reps each.. Then we followed up with high intensity, low volume accessory work with Stiff Legged Deadlifts, T bar rows, and weighted situps..
Nick: 205+ bands, Justin 135+ bands, Kellie 135+ light bands
Stiff Legged Deadlifts:
Nick, 135, 225, 315, 365, 405x1 Justin: 135, 225, 275, 295 Kellie: 135 8 sets of 4
T bar: Nick: worked up to 255x5 Justin: 180x4 Kellie: 75x4 Great job all!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

1/4 Max Effort Bench Press w/Bands

Strong day today.. we bench pressed weight + bands of about 65lbs.. the way it works is the bands have less tension at the bottom of the rep, and more at the top.. so at the bottom it is adding about 25 lbs to the lift, and at the top, about 65-70lbs.. It teaches good lock-out strength..

Nick: 225x3, 275x1, 315x1, 315x1, 295x1, 315x2 + Bands

Justin: 135x3, 185x2, 225x1, 225x1, 225x1, 225x1 + Bands
Kellie: 65x3, 75x3, 80x1, 90x1, 90x1, 95x1 + Bands

Then we finished up w/Accessory work as follows:
Flared Elbow Tricep Extensions:
Face Pulls
T-Bar Rows

Everyone did great today.. Good job!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

RPS Powerlifting meet videos 10/22 Boston Barbell

RPS Powerlifting meet 10/22 Boston Barbell.. 405 Squat opener.. 500lb Deadlift...
Max Squat Test Day 12/26...

Everyone Maxing Out Squat.. Max Effort 12/30

I wasn't feeling real good this day.. I think I had more in me.. grabbed a bottle of Nyquil..  I was not missing our first Squat test day in nearly 6 weeks.. I was real impressed.. I nailed 515 .. which is a 60lb PR over my 455 at the 10/22 meet.. Justing hit 225lbs first time squatting... Kellie put up 210lbs for a 25lb PR.. and Fred hit 500 coming back from a Hamstring injury!! Great job guys!

Getting back to meet day... 10/22

Well... getting back to our first meet.. Squats went great for Kellie from there on out.. she nailed both next 2 attempts, for a best of 185lb.. I squatted 455, then went for 475 - a new personal record, and unfortunately my leg drive was too much for my upper body, and I didn't keep my chest up, so the weight went forward, and I didn't complete the 3rd lift.. but hey.. 455.. I'll take that one! For Bench press, I opened up with 315, which I pressed easily, then 345 .. which went up pretty easy.. and for my 3rd lift, went for 365 which I lost control of at the top of the lift, and it flared over my  head... no good.. Kellie was successful at all 3 attempts, finishing with a best of 95lbs.. finishing up with Deadlift, Kellie killed all 3 lifts, finishing with a best of 205.. I opened with 405, which went up easy.. then 455.. which went easy.. and for a new Personal Record, I needed a 500lb deadlift to achieve a "1300" grand-total of all 3 lifts.. my best at the Gym was 495.. and it was heavy.. but I focused on what I had to do, and with some good advice from a seasoned lifter who I met at the meet .. also named Nick..  I pulled hard and fast and made the lift! 500lbs.. new PR.. 1300 Total.. not bad for a first meet! ... plus I overcame watching a fellow lifter unfortunately snap his wrist while warming up for the bench press.. that took some strong mind control for me... here I was about to go up and lift myself.. and I literally watched a brother lifter's wrist SNAP right in front of me .. about 4 feet away.. I heard it go "POP".. under some more good advice from my new found friends at the meet.. they told me.. "Erase that from your mind.." .. and so I did!!! Stay tuned for our updated training logs.. and follow along with us as we get ready for our next big meet.. March 31st, 2012! I am looking for a 1500lb total.. looking for 1100 lbs between Squat and Deadlift.. and a 400lb bench.. That would be an amazing gain for me .. 200 lbs in about 5 months.. Kellie's progress has been going great.. and she is looking for some big numbers.. Her bench is now up to about 120lbs.. she's squatting nearly 225.. and looking to deadlift mid-200's.. we are testing Deadlift next monday and we will let you know! Our coach, Fred will be joining us in this upcoming meet.. his first in about a year.. and he is looking BIG TIME stronger than his last meet where he finished 485 Squat/315 Bench/525 Deadlift.. he's too humble to admit it.. but I think he is going to hit mid 500's Squat.. damn near 400 bench.. and mid 500's Deadlift.. Stay tuned for the results!!!!
Monday Training Log - Max Effort Squat Day
Exercise: Box Squats Future Method

Box Squats "Future" is when you attach a band to the TOP of your squat rack so that the band relieves some of the weight while you are down in the bottom of the squat, allowing you to squat more weight.. but once you are half-way up, the band tension is gone - and you are working on squatting weight more than you normally could.. so you are working Super-Maximal Weight.

This Max-Effort lift is combined with accessory work:   Good Mornings w/Bands, Glute-Ham Raises, and Weighted Situps...

Great job to our lifters...

Kellie - 335lb Box Squat
Fred - 515lb Box Squat
Justin - 275 Box Squat
Nick - 545lb Box Squat

MEET DAY... 10/22 .. Kellie and I got prepared the night before.. it was going to be a long day.. lifting doesnt start until 10:30am.. but weigh-in was at 8:00am and rules review at 8:45am.. we packed a bunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for stamina and protein.. plus bottled water.. we were cautioned against energy drinks because the day is so long, that you end up crashing before the meet is over. We shipped the kids off to Nana's.. so that Mom and Dad could go crush some weight! (or attempt to!) In the car by 7:00am .. AC/DC cranking on the stereo.. we were both really amped up! All our gear was packed.. we were excited.. but really didn't know what to expect. We were very lucky that our friend Fred was coming to be our coach for the day.. he had done several meets and knew how the whole thing worked.. we were both really nervous.. but excited. When we got to the gym, Boston Barbell in Attleboro, it was a classic powerlifting gym.. tucked into an industrial part of town... no fancy signs.. no fancy chairs... no treadmills.. just hard core lifting equipment... for the first time, I saw a "Monolift".. which is this heavy duty squat rack ..we weighed in.. check... now was time to get our numbers for our Squat height.. what this means.. is we go up to the monolift and find out what "take off" height is comfortable, so that when the bar is loaded it is exactly the height we want it to be for take off.. The order of lifts are Squat-Bench-Deadlift.. Kellie was first for us to lift because she was lifting lightest.. she was really excited.. so excited that while she killed her first squat, she didn't wait for the "Squat" command.. and just dropped down and did it before the judges said to "Go."... in powerlifting.. everything is command based... "Squat"... means "Go.." and "Rack" mean you are done.. My first lift was 405... I knew I could do it fairly easily.. but I was worried about the commands and comfort depth... I got up there.. so pumped up... it felt like 100lbs.. and nailed it! Great start to the meet... stay tuned to the next entry for more updates.. and I'll tell you about what happened with my last Squat attempt...!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Backing up a few notches, let me tell you about my wife, Kellie. Kellie is such an inspiration to my lifting .. she has always been super athletic.. even playing women's rugby in High School and College! Every time I turned my head, she was taking a class at the gym, lifting weights, biking, or occasionally running. Kellie hates running. Unlike me. Imagine that..  it is so inspirational for me to see her, a full-time mom of 3 juggling all sorts of tasks and jobs.. and still finding time to grind out some kind of work out.. whether it was yoga on the living room floor while being kissed to death by our dogs.. or TRX classes or Body Pump classes.. or whatever! She is now studying to receive her "Certified Fitness Trainer" accreditation too! Going back to my workouts.. I had begun to squat and deadlift.. making pretty good progress on both.. but in retrospect looking back, my squat form was horrible. I really didn't know any better.. as I had no formal training.. but I was nowhere near parallel.. trying to squat too much weight.. but somehow I worked my way up to a 405 squat and a 455 deadlift.. form somewhat lacking!   Back in June of 2011, I made a commitment to myself to participate in the upcoming Powerlifting meet I mentioned earlier.. and surprise-surprise.. my ultra-competitive wife was *considering* doing the meet as well! Now it was ON like DONKEY-KONG. The focus for me in the summer of '11 was to fix my form.. I began watching you-tube videos day and night.. I need to get my squat depth right, and stabilize with the 405. My goal for the meet was a 405 Squat, 455 Deadlift, and 315 bench press. And not to totally freak out and my first meet! As summer turned to fall.. the meet came quicker than I could imagine. The squats were getting damn close to legal competition squats.. I was training the "Required Pause" at the bottom of the bench press.. I was ready as I would ever be.. One week before the meet, I hit 405 to competition depth without a problem.. and even squatted 455 within an inch of parallel! My sights were now raised. Kellie my wife was training feverishly as well.. she really only committed to doing the meet about 8 weeks before the meet when she saw that I had signed her up on my debit card! Before then, she wasn't completely on board with my crazy plan for her! Although Kellie has super strong legs, she had never trained bench press much.. now the 8 week "Bench Press Training Plan" was on!!.. Tune in to next post for how our Big Meet Day turned out!!

About us.. who we are.. and why we do it

My name is Nick Surdis.. father of 5 children.. married.. age 39. In August of 2009, I made a life changing decision to get into weightlifting.. and hell-bent to not give it up after a few weeks like most do. Here's the story leading up to that decision..  During my teenage years, I played High School and College football.. and was always a "Big Kid".. weighing 260-270 at 6 feet tall... After the Pro Football dreams didn't happen, my 260lbs turned to 260 porky pounds! When I was 22 or 23 I decided I wasn't happy with what I had become, so changed my diet and took up jogging..  well .. who would've thought, but I was a regular Forest Gump. I would run and run and run.. I was up to 7-10 miles 3-5 times a week.. at my lightest, I was weighing in at 178 pounds back in 1990.. all was good.. Fast forward to 2009.. I had given up running several times, but always came back to it.. it was a good way for me to eat what I wanted, and stay around that 200-210 mark.. I was back up to running at least 5 miles, 5 times a week.. Then that day in August 2009 came.. I happened to see a Bench Press somewhere... and I said "What the hell.. let me give it a shot.. ".. to this day, I can't remember what my max bench was back in school.. but I know I was always good for at least 225 10+ reps.. at my weakest! I figured.. let me throw 135 on the bar and see how it feels... ummm... HEAVY.. wow... well.. It must be just my joints being rusty.. (or my 37 year old body..).. let me try 185 pounds.. That went real well. So well that I had to call someone to yank it off me. 185 pounds. Wow. That was where it really hit home... Back in 09 the economy was still faultering.. and great deals could be had on used fitness equipment on Craigslist.. I grabbed myself a bench and about 245 lbs in weight for $160 .. the game was on. I kept my eyes open for more weights and grabbed some dumbbells and a few more plates.. and I began lifting. I was hell-bent on not giving up.. 5 days a week I was lifting.. all basic "Progessive Overload" 8-6-4-2 rep stuff.. I didn't have any training.. I just figured.. lets lift some weight..  It was like a drug for me. It only took a few weeks to be able to bench that 185... and on December 24th of 2009 (I remember the day...) I hit 225lbs for 1 rep. Awesome. One happy dude here. Back to bench pressing two plates. Even if it was only once! I continued to work on for a solid year.. until Spring of 2010.. Now I was up to a 315+ bench press..  my good buddy Fred, who started lifting a little before me, inspired me to begin Squatting and Deadlifting... Never did those before.. those weren't cool exercises in high school.. but what the hell.. lets give that a try.. grabbed a squat rack on Craigslist for $50 and we were off! Over the next year, my friend Fred (Yes, thats his real name) started attending some powerlifting meets, and inspired me to try one as well! The next powerlifting meet was to be October 22nd, 2011.. Now I had something to train for! Stay tuned for next entry for my trip to the meet - and guess who came along ?? My awesomely athletic and inspiring wife, Kellie. Yes, a chick who powerlifts! (and looks damn good doing it!)