Mostly back to normal, Squat and Overhead Press day

My next competition will be an Ontario Powerlifting Association meet sometime in early June.  Since the Canadian Powerlifting Union is an I.P.F. affiliate, their "raw" or "classic" rules allow the use of neoprene knee sleeves.  I like this alot because my old knees feel 100% better when I squat with sleeves versus nothing at all.  I also get about 10-15 lbs of support out of my sleeves so in addition to feeling better, they do help me lift more  weight.

Compared to last week's post-meet workouts, today's workout was a huge improvement.  I felt mostly normal.    Which is a whole lot better than feeling mostly dead as in Westley from The Princess Bride.
Westley was mostly dead but he did set a new PR.
Yeah, I just dropped a Princess Bride reference in my powerlifting training blog.  I spent three hours in traffic this afternoon due to an accident on the westbound Gardiner expressway and almost peed my pants.  Strange things go through your head when you're sitting in your car in miles and miles of stop and go traffic with a beyond full bladder.

Anyways, back to the workout, armed (or legged as it were) with my knee sleeves, my squats went very well.  There was a lot of speed and my form was probably the best it's been.  I'm really getting some excellent carryover from my front squatting.  I'm much more disciplined in the hole and squatting the weight instead of squat-morning it.

Squats:  135x10, 225x10, 315x5, 365x3, 405x3, 405x3, 405x2, 365x5, 365x5, 365x4

The 24 total repetitions with 80% or more of my 1 rep maximum was a good amount of work and even better because there was alot of speed with most of the repetitions.  I cut my last set short by one repetition because I was starting to feel just a hint of strain in my knees--a sign that my hips were getting tired and losing discipline.

I moved to overhead presses and my core fitness issues from last week were gone.  I went up to 205 for two work sets and then dropped down to 185 for two more sets.  All repetitions felt pretty good and I should be good for a go at a new PR in a few weeks.  I finished up with three sets of seated cable rows on the strange cable row machine at the gym.  It's a "Techno Gym" model with some kind of computer screen.  I don't know what exactly goes on with that machine but on a stack that goes up to 250 (I don't know what units), 150 gives me more than enough.  I can usually handle upwards of 200-250 lbs on a standard weight stacked seated cable row.  Anyways, whatever the deal is, I got in three sets of descending weight.

Overhead Press:  135x5x2 sets, 165x3, 185x2, 205x2, 205x1, 185x3, 185x3
Seated Cable Row:  150x10, 130x10, 110x10


  1. Have found your web page recently and would like to engage.
    Your journey is impressive and inspiring. My journey ... well, it's my own.
    My search, which found your page, started as "powerlifting old." Here we are.
    We're following a linear based, 12 week, program which includes hypertrophy and speed. Each week includes two max effort days, upper and lower.
    The training is going great but I'm at a point where mobility and diet are becoming an issue.
    My stats ... 52 yo, 5'10", 195. Total score 960 with anticipated total of 1150 by May 1. It's been 1 year since my journey started.
    Will be following your progress and anticipate your thoughts on mobility and diet.
    Big T

  2. Hi Big T,thanks for the comment. I have to admit, I've never been much for mobility work, never warm up before workouts and rarely foam roll in between. That being said, I do feel there is alot of value in Kelly Starrett's MobilityWOD blog. If I had ongoing issues, I would definitely consider working on his stuff on a regular basis. I should probably be more pro-active but it's hard to find time for mobility work. That's a lame rationalization but it'll probably take getting hurt for me to prioritize it. I can be pretty thick-headed and lazy about things.

    As for diet, I try to limit processed carbs as most of the foods made from them lead to massive over-eating for me. I try to maintain an eating plan that keeps me happy. It's not the fastest way to re-comp my body but I'm not in it for short-term results, I'm hoping to steadily improve or at worst maintain for the long-term future.

  3. Don't have to warm up???? You're a fortunate man. My question stems from a personal roadblock of mine. MobilityWOD is a great site. Was suggested to me a month ago. Last weeks posts for squat mobility are awesome. For every hour in the gym I have to spend 15 to 30 minutes in mobility exercises. Hip and groin work are emphasized. Happy for you.
    Diet has been a recent challenge also. My challenge recently has been to eat more. For the most part my diet follows a paleo platform. The majority of my protein comes from powder and I try to match the 1g/1lb bw formula ... most of the time it doesn't happen. My intentional carbs come from whole oats. If you know of a better single source for carbs I'm listening. Because of the carb/fiber content I've chosen this source.
    On top of this I've been challenged to drink 1 gallon of whole milk daily. Again, I haven't been able to do it but I'm trying.
    Hopefully the increased intake will show up in my performance. I'll give it a couple of months.
    Hey ... if it were my choice I would be on a steady diet of cheeseburgers.
    Tomorrow is Upper DE day. We start at 5 am.
    By the way ... how is your crew? Or, do you take this on by yourself?
    thick-headed and lazy? Aren't we all? Where you came from and where you are is very impressive.

    1. I have the opposite challenge with respect to eating, I'll easily eat too much. I like oats. I'll eat steel cut oats and I also like those oat groats (cavena nuda). It's a type of oat that when cooked up is similar to rice and doesn't get mushy and porridge-like. I also like rice, quinoa, or amaranth. I don't use much in the way of protein powders but that's only because I like eating meat, beef, pork, chicken, some fish but I don't find it very filling and it's more expensive per serving.

      I tend to make alot of meals in a crock pot or in a dutch oven, one pot meal type things. Stew beef, a bag of "cooking greens" brand kale/spinach, maybe a can of diced tomatoes. I'm fairly lactose intolerant so I'm envious you can drink milk to your heart's content. Peanut butter and greek yogurt or peanut butter and oatmeal are two favorites for me when I need something for a treat but don't want to go completely off the wagon.

      You've got 7 yrs on me, I'm sure I'll need to pay more attention to mobility as the years go on, I know I definitely feel different at 45 than I did at 38 so I'm sure the next 7 years will have a new set of challenges. I'm hopeful that carrying around alot less weight will help with structural issues as I age.

      I mostly train alone during the week in the evenings but will get together with my teammates on weekends for workouts. Since I've started back competing raw, it makes it alot easier to train without training partners. When I was competing in gear, it was impossible to do any gear work without at least two spotters.

      Where do you compete?

  4. Ha! Our menu's are similar including the crock pot. Fact is I'm suffering from some kind of chicken soup abortion I put together on Sunday. The oat groats are intriguing. I'll look into that. A treat this year will be the elk I just put in the freezer. It's a great tasting meat and very lean.
    Teammates? That's awesome. Didn't see you were a member of a team.
    In that way I'm very fortunate. We have a core group of four that can be counted on. Of these four there are two that are true warriors. One is a dedicated powerlifter. He's competing in Tennessee in 2 weeks. Hopefully he will be getting his Pro status at that meet. He's also my son ... yup, proud daddy. His last competition was in October (won with a 1960). His training lifts have him over the 2250 mark as a heavyweight. He has a web site if you're interested. The other warrior likes to compete on the fringe ... highland games, grip contests, etc. Last Saturday he competed in a state grip contest ... he's the new state champ. The two of them have been lifting together for over 10 years. Great guys. I'm fortunate to have them as trainers and training partners.
    To answer your question regarding me ... no, haven't competed. There is a meet the end of June that I'm training for and it will be my first. It's a state game event ... not sanctioned. Next week I'll reset and start another 12 week hypertrophy program concluding with 3 weeks of speed. That will give me about 4 weeks to Super Max.
    Have never used gear aside from my belt, knee and wrist wraps. Have been putting thought into briefs.
    I thought your site listed your next meet but I can't find it now. When is your next competition?
    Would also like to hear about your training plan. I'm on their plan ... and it's a good one ... but am looking for new ideas that may be beneficial to me.
    Big T

  5. I would definitely like to follow your son's website. He's lifting weights that are beyond my comprehension! The team I lift with is called Toronto Rex Powerlifting. We all compete in the Ontario Powerlifting Association and I lift in 100% raw meets as well. Some of our lifters have competed internationally so there's a nice blend of experience levels. We'll also occasionally go down to St. Catherines and train with the Niagara Powerlifting Club. They've got a great set up at their local Y and they're very experienced.

    My next competition will be early June, it's not on the OPA calendar yet but it'll be at the Toronto Super Show (kind of a mini-Arnold Sports Festival).

    As for my training plan, I think I'll make a separate blog post about it. In thinking about it, I realize that for my sake, I should probably write it out just to see if it makes sense. Just off the cuff, it's about 80% just lifting weights and 20% pre-programmed intensities. I'll explain more why I do it that way but I'm not sure it could be recommended for anyone with serious competitive aspirations.

  6. ... see if you like it.
    Team concepts are awesome. Looks like your hooked up with a good bunch. I'll look them up.
    Would love to see your program and and "20% pre-programmed intensities."
    Tomorrow is rest day for us. That means I get to have a couple of beers tonight. Saturday morning is always a treat at the SG (Strength Garage). Something big/special always happens.
    Big T

    1. wow, your son is Cassidy Hilton, I follow him on twitter already, he's brutally strong. You're in good hands for sure!


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