Showing posts from October, 2011

Small sumo deadlift PR, deadlift assistance, and overhead presses

Scheduled for today's workout were sumo deadlifts, partial Anderson squats, and overhead presses.  After missing with 515 lbs two weeks in a row, I decided today I would do the following sumo deadlift progression:
225x5, 315x5, 405x3, 455x1, add belt, 505x1, ?
Basically I was substituting my previous workout's single with 495 with a small PR jump to 505.  Pragmatically, it allowed me to add a quarter per side to get 455 and then another quarter per side to 505.  Easier than sliding another 45 on the bar.

All the warmup sets went well and I was feeling like I was starting to finally get the hang of the sumo deadlift.  I loaded the extra 25 per side and prepared to lift the 505.  It broke free of the ground slowly but I was able to stick with it and lock it out easily.   A 10lb sumo deadlift PR!  I rested about two minutes and decided to pull another single with the same weight.  This time the rep lifted off very slowly and crept past my knees in low gear.  I committed to stick …

iPhone 4s as training aid

After being patient with my iPhone 3G for 3 full years and then some, I decided to pre-order the iPhone 4s.  It finally arrived last Friday and today was the first chance I had to take advantage of being able to video some of my work sets.

Luckily, @b3nbutty of was at the gym to do some light work prior to lifting in the 100% Raw Powerlifting World Championships in Orlando this weekend and I was able to shanghai him into being my cameraman for a couple sets.

Today's workout was scheduled to include 5 work sets of 405X2.  Hard enough to demand my attention but not so hard it would blast my CNS and keep me from working on correcting my form.  After the first set, it was evident that my new iPhone was paying dividends.  After reviewing the video, it looked like I needed to drop my squat another inch to make sure I was hitting IPF-legal depth.
Set 1 of 5, squats are a little high
I asked Ben to video set 2 and this set was a bit better.  I hit the safety bar on…

the Bruno squat test and leg presses

Had an excellent time at the second UnitedLifters Powerlifting social last night at Emma's Back Porch in Burlington.  Lots of lifters, lots of interesting points of view and experience levels and everyone with a passion for strength.  Nothing better for motivating one to get off the couch and get to the gym for a scheduled session to blast some weaknessses.

Normally, I would start the workout with single leg leg presses but since the leg press was being used, I decided to squat first.  I had it in my head that I would to the Bruno squat test.  It's not really a test and Ben Bruno never intended it to be one for anyone but himself but after he posted a video of him doing a set of 225x35 no-no-no style (no belt, no wraps, no spotter), I thought I'd give it a shot.
Now, when Ben Bruno did his set, he did it after his workout so I'm taking some liberties by doing my set first but after seeing all the redonkulous single leg stuff he can do, I figured I needed a head start. …

Workout with Benjamin from

Well, we didn't actually train together because we were doing different lifts but it was good to be pushed by a guy 80 lbs lighter lifting as much as me.  He's got a big meet coming up on the 29th, the 100% Raw Powerlifting World Championships in Orlando, Florida.  Even though he's only 21, he's already that federation's World Record holder in the squat, deadlift and total.  Basically he's strong as f*ck.

Anyways, he was working up to a decently heavy squat and bench press single as he dials in his opening attempts and I was working on sumo deadlifts, conventional deadlift assistance work and some remedial core and upper back/external rotator work.

His top squat single and bench press singles were clean and fast.  Lots of power and super solid form.  Really, he's just scratching the surface of his powerlifting potential.

With last week's vacation serving as a week long de-load (or un-load as I didn't lift anything heavy), I was curious to see how my…

Step 1 of many to a 500lb raw squat

I'm back from a much needed vacation to see my family.  Vivian and I had a really nice time in Boulder, Colorado and for me, it was great to see my family again after 3 years.  Strangely, no one seemed to have changed much--kinda like my raw squat prowess or lack thereof.

While getting older comes with a few more aches and pains, it also brings a small amount of perspective.  When I was 25 years old and on my first go-round with the powerlifting, I, like just about everyone, extrapolated my rapid initial progress into weights I thought I'd be lifting in a few short years.  Back in the day, I figured if I was totalling 1400 lbs a few years after starting to compete that I'd be in the 1700's in a few more years.  Back in the late 80's, early 90's this was basically raw with wraps since the gear of the day was so unsupportive that one didn't even bother training for it, you just put it on a few weeks before the meet and hoped it didn't blow out on meet day…

Vacation almost over

It's been a really nice week in Boulder, Colorado visiting my family.  Vivian and I have spent alot of time hiking, biking and seeing the sights.  No heavy lifting but alot of walking.  The weather has been exceptional and we've spent alot of time outside in the mountain air.

Pre-vacation squat workout

Looking forward to my first vacation in about 3 years.  Vivian and I are going back to Boulder, Colorado to visit my family for 7 days.  Including weekends that'll be 10 days off work!  I'll probably try to get to a gym for a workout or two while I'm there but I'm really not planning on that week for being much more than a nice de-load and "mom's home cooking" bloat session.

Knowing I've got a week to recover, I figured I should at least hit a decent amount of volume in today's squat workout.  The last workout with a decent amount of work set squat volume was the week before my last competition on September 18th.  Since then, I've been concentrating on hitting weaknesses not volume in the competition squat movement.  As a result, today's workout, while difficult, was still below standards set while peaking for competition.

I ended up doing 4 work sets with 405 lbs, approximately 89% of my last 1 rep maximum.  I'm pretty confident that …

Deadlift assistance day and a little Gironda wisdom

Today's scheduled workout was week 2 of deadlift assistance work:  sumo deadlifts and half squats.  The practice effect kicked in and I was able to work up to a single with 495, 20 lbs more than I attempted last week.  I also attempted 515 today but it only got an inch off the ground.  I immediately re-set and pulled it for a single conventional style because I needed to show the bar who was boss.  In a way, it's nice that these are difficult yet still a light enough weight that they don't beat up my back.

I then moved directly to half squats.  The felt much better than last week so I made them harder by doing them Anderson-style.  I set the rack to a point where I would be setting the bar on them just about the height I'd be at when starting a conventional pull.  I worked up to a set of 5 with 365 and a reasonably hard triple with 405.  I think these are a keeper.

This is what I did except he did them with more weight
Next up were overhead presses.  Since my shoulder…

Starting "Mission 500 Raw Squat"

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending an event organized by lifter Benjamin Butty.  He called it the "United Lifters Powerlifting Social".  His goal was to create an event where powerlifters from any federation could meet and exchange ideas and stories.  We met at a local bar in Oakville and also attending was his brother Frank, and 4 lifters from the StG team out of St. George, Ontario.  All told, we had lifters from about 5 different federations together and by all accounts it was an excellent time.  We spent almost 5 hours talking powerlifting and other things strength related.

A night like that gets you pumped up about hitting the gym and starting the quest for new PRs. Benjamin lifts in the 148 lb weight class and recently hit a 431 lb raw squat.  His brother Frank lifts in the 181 lb class and has hit a 550 lb raw squat.  I lift in either the 100 kg, 105 kg or 110 kg class depending on the federation and my best raw squat at those bodyweights is a paltry 457 lbs…