Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2 Wks out - Opening Squat and Deadlift Attempts

We added 20lbs to the bar when squatting tonight to simulate the 65lb bar used in the warmup room at RPS meets. One big thing I've learned is to train like you compete..  including warm-up rituals.

I like to base my warm-ups on even-plate jumps.

The more variables I can take out of the meet, the better I should perform. I don't want to walk into the meet wondering how I am going to warm up. My warm up lifts need to be mapped out just like the opening attempts.

Bar x 3
155 x 3
245 x 3
335 x 1 (raw w/sleeves)
425 x 1 (straps down, w/sleeves)
475 x 1 (straps up, w/sleeves)
515 x 1 (straps up, w/knee wraps)
560 x 1 (Opener) (it was actually 570x1, my math was bad hahaha)

505x1 (Opener)

I've found with deadlifts, especially after squatting (I'm already warmed up), I don't respond well to a lot of warm-up reps. Some people do, but I don't - I do better saving the energy for the platform.
If I'm deadlifting without squatting first, then I'll take the 135s and 225s x3 reps.

I really like the pre-meet programming which has me taking both the squat and deadlift openers the same day. It makes sense. Thats how you compete - you squat, bench, and deadlift the same day - so you may as well get your body used to the workload - and know where you are at.

How a deadlift feels when you are 100% fresh, is way different than after 3 max effort squats. You don't want to bomb out on deadlifts because the lift you though was "easy" on a fresh training day, was too much after 3 max effort squats and benches on meet day.

Again.. train as you compete.

Video below.. the lifts felt really solid, fast, stable, and strong. The squat walk-out was a little shaky, but I'll be squatting in a monolift at the meet. This should conserve some energy.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Single ply bench attempts to 500lbs

Today was the day to test my attempts.. the plan was to take my opener to a touch, 2nd attempt to a half-board, and 3rd attempt to a 1 board.

Overall, everything went pretty well. I also remembered why its a bad idea to wear my running sneakers (not that I run, hahaha) to bench in.. I usually bench in my flat-soled Nike's (like Chuck Taylors).. but today when benching, when driving my legs, my feet were slipping forward.. the running sneakers just don't provide the same traction as the flat-soled shoes. Lesson learned.

Opening attempt:
450x1 (Touch) - Went great, fast and easy.. but my foot slipped on the re-rack

480x1 (Half-bd) - Best rep of the day... smooth and tight

500x1 (1bd) - This was actually the first time I was able to lock out 500lbs off a 1-bd.. it wasn't real clean, but I was able to get my triceps back under the bar, and lock it out. This lift would have been red-lighted with strict judging at a meet for reverse-direction when pressing..

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

4wks Out- Reverse Band squats to 635

Today I took a field trip up to my buddy's gym, Iron Way Fitness in Rockland, MA to train with Dan Berlin and Craig Kelly.

I don't have a big crew I train with regularly, other than my steady partner Fred Mackinnon - so sometimes when I can't get a spot or team to lift with I need to travel.. and today was one of those days.. It was long overdue anyhow.. Dan Berlin is a good friend of mine, who opened his gym about 2 years ago, and I had never gotten up there to see it..

Dan is a real strong 181 Raw lifter, and his totals have been consistently going up.. with a current PRs of squat in the mid 400's, Bench mid 300's, and a 580 deadlift.

Dan and Craig are running a modified Smolov Squat Peaking routine, so they were hitting 10 sets of 405x3 reps.. talk about fatigue!

My plan was:

405x3 (Bottoms only)
455x1 (Straps up, no wraps)
500x1 (Straps up, wraps)
565x1 (Opening attempt squat)
605x1 (Reverse Band)
635x1 (Reverse Band)

Planned attempts are 560-600-620..

Sunday, September 7, 2014

5wks out - Deload Week- Squats, Bench, DL 70%

This is a deload week.. 5wks out.. Single ply speed squats, straps down.
405x 3 singles (roughly 65%-70% of 620 proj max)

Additional work, no video:

Deadlifts 405x1x3
Bench Press 315x10 w/Slingshot

Friday, September 5, 2014

Elite FTS Walkthrough of how to put on a bench shirt

Below is a great video I found on Elite FTS' website by Jo Jordan and Dave Kirschen outlining how to put on a Metal Jack, Metal Ace, or other open-back bench shirt. Considering that I am moving up from Single ply Titan Super Katana to a Metal Jack after this meet, I found this helpful..

Thursday, September 4, 2014

6 Wks out - Benching to 485lbs

Gotta post the good with the bad right?
Tonight, I barely made it to training, as sometimes real life (3 kids) gets in the way.. but being able to roll with the obstacles real-life throws at you has kept me going at this game for long-term. I can't get to a dedicated powerlifting gym often, so my training is often at the Y. Gotta take what you can get, but as long as I can get there 3 days a week I'm happy. My steady training partner got stuck at work, so we only had about 25 minutes to cram in the 5 sets of shirted benching, but we had to do what we had to do. Needless to say, the sets were rushed without a lot of cool-down.. I guess we can call it powerlifting cardio..
Both sets - I need to continually work on overall tightness
Set 1(455) - Crappy handoff, way too high, my bar-path was off, but I was able to put a clean lift together. (Planned opener is 450)
Set 2(485) - I rushed this set. My upper back got loose at the top, and I overflared at lock-out. (Planned second attempt is 480)
Ready for my deload.. and come back and wrap up the last 4 training weeks..

Monday, September 1, 2014

6wks out.. 605x1 RB with calling depth.

Today's session I learned a lot. Its such a team effort like people say. My first set (no vid) was 560x1, and it was just way off. Didn't feel right, unrack was bad, bad balance, hard to hit depth, just a mess. My main training partner (Fred Mackinnon) noticed I was setting up way too wide in the rack, especially with the bar bending, for a walkout.

Most of my training time is spent in the 500-545 range, so with 605 on the bar there was more bar bend than I was used to as well..

(Part of this probably also because I squatted last week on a monolift..)  I kept hitting the rack when trying to walk it out, and I was losing my upper back tightness. Anyhow, we put it back together, pulled my head out my ass, and put together a much better set at 605.

Big props to Dan Berlin, owner of Iron Way Gym, and Craig Kelly for the assistance!