Priorities changing with age

While I've been talking/posting/writing about getting my bodyweight down to 200-205 lbs for a number of years now, this time I'm really going to do it--no guarantees--but the conditions for achieving this goal seem as encouraging as they've ever been.

Despite turning 51 later this summer, I don't feel like I've run out of PR's, either in absolute weight lifted or relative weight lifted (wilks coefficient).  That being said, I've reached the point where I'm putting long-term quality of life ahead of chasing PR's.  At my current height of 5' 9" (I don't think I've started shrinking yet), walking around at 230-235 lbs is simply too much load for my joints to bear as I start down the path from middle age to old age.  I'm very fortunate that I have no real aches and pains in my feet, knees, or hips and only a bit of morning stiffness in my back.  Perhaps a blessing from the curse of mediocrity since many formerly world class powerlif…

First time fully equipped squatting (single ply) in almost 7 years.

After my last competition in early January, I knew I had 11 months before my next one so I decided to do some slightly different things.  Some for variety's sake, some because I have weakpoints that I've consistently neglected over the last couple years.

One of the things I started doing once I got back into the gym was gradually implementing overload (in comparison to raw/classic) squats using knee wraps.  After a number of weeks getting re-acclimated with squatting in knee wraps, I decided I'd break out my old Titan Super Centurion squat suit and go all-in on the overload work.

I last used this suit in August 2010 when I lifted in the Niagara Open.  At that time, I was walking around at 228 lbs but had cut weight to make the 220 lb weight class.  Because the squat suit was originally purchased when I was walking around at 250 or so and competing in the 242 lb weight class, it didn't provide near the carryover I had enjoyed just a few months earlier when I lifted at …

3 years of training volume and frequency...

tl;dr I don't really lift weights that often but I keep track of some things and I've been consistently active for the past 7 years. I guess if I was more serious about this powerlifting thing, I'd make use of more detailed metrics and analysis (like what's offered by but for what time I can put into it, my little spreadsheet log still helps me plan things.

I've been logging my training on a spreadsheet for the past 7 years but for the last three (2014, 2015, 2016), I've also been keeping a separate tally of main lift workouts.  As a rule, I only count sets and reps with weight that is at least 50% of a 1 RM.  What I've used as a 1 RM has typically been my all-time competition 1 RM--the only exception is the deadlift where I've used my "masters career" 1 RM since my all-time 1 RM is higher (292.5 kg vs 285 kg).

Going into 2014, my competition bests from 2013 were 490/341/628  (lbs, squat/bench/deadlift).

Squat workouts: …

Meet Report: 2017 CPU Central Canadian Championships, PR's and age group records!

tl;dr  I had a really good meet, hit some PR's and set a National age group record in the deadlift

Training between my last meet, Provincials in November 2016 and now had gone really well.  I reduced my training days down to two days a week, squat/bench press and deadlift/bench press.  I felt like this allowed my back (my layman's term that refers to the achy deep parts of my back) to recover even if my squat and deadlift muscles could handle a bit more frequency.  I had hit some deadlift numbers in training that I hadn't hit for a couple years and my squat was showing real progress since November's surprisingly fast 215 kg third attempt.

Going into the meet, I had stretch goals of hitting a 227.5 kg squat, a 155 kg bench press, and a 282.5 kg deadlift.  While not out of the realm of possibility, hitting all three would mean I would total 665 kgs, a 15 kg PR and an improvement of 45 kgs from November.  So, clearly not entirely realistic, no matter how well training had…

SBD Lever belt review -- TL DR; it's good, very good.

I turned 50 this past summer and a couple months ago, my beloved Vivian threw me a surprise birthday party.  Among many of the unexpected but very much appreciated guests were Mark and Kinnon from my powerlifting team, Toronto Rex Powerlifting Club.  Even though Mark and Kinnon had already brought beer, they also brought a card and a gift on behalf of the team.  The gift was a e-gift card for Inner Strength Strength Products, a powerlifting supplies company run by Ryan and Rhaea Stinn.

Among the many excellent products they offer on their website, one of most popular lines is the array of products from SBD.  A few months ago SBD introduced their lever belt.  While lever buckle belts have been around for probably 30 years now, it wasn't until SBD that a lever buckle belt combined the same easy-to-adjust fit as a single or double prong buckle with the easy-to-apply tightness of a lever.  Since I already have a singlet and knee sleeves, I decided to apply the gift card to one of th…

2016 Ontario Open and Masters Powerlifting Championships, Classic division report

Almost 1 year ago, I sat down and wrote up my performance at the 2015 Ontario Powerlifting Association Masters and Open Classic Provincials.  While I had performed well in the squat and bench press, my lower back was not cooperative and I had a poor deadlift performance.  Immediately after that competition, I made the decision to lose weight on the premise that walking around at 240-245 lbs was doing my back no favors. As I moved into the M2 age group (50-59), I needed to consider making life easier on all of my joints and internal organs that have to deal with carrying around so much weight.

A "walking around weight" of 240-245 lbs meant that I always needed to cut 10-15 lbs in order to make the 231 lb (105kg) weight class limit.  In the past I had accomplished this by dieting for a month or so and then cutting the last 4-7 lbs by drying out over the last 24-36 hrs before weigh-ins.  While this is very much standard operating procedure in the powerlifting world (2 hr weigh …

8 days out from next meet and training thoughts

Since my last training blog entry almost 2 months ago, a couple things have changed.  One, I won't be lifting in the 93 kg weight class on November 11th.  Two, I've added in morning sessions of cardio training (plus assorted accessory movements time permitting).

Number two in that list actually came before number one and was actually intentioned originally as part of my strategy to lift in the 93 kg weight class.  However, I have not lost weight due to the extra energy expenditure, in fact, I've gained weight, so I'll be in the 105 kg weight class.  This morning I woke up weighing 228 lbs.  About 8 lbs more than where I was when I wrote my last blog post in early September.  Reasons for the weight gain?  I've eaten more probably.  Vivian and I went on a cruise in early October.  While there was a lot of walking both on the ship and on shore adventures and I managed to hit the ship's gym 4 times, I still ended up with a +15 lb bloat when I got back home.  Some o…