Deadlift fundraiser for great Canadian lifter, Tom Nichols

Not long ago, Canadian powerlifting legend Tom Nichols was seriously injured in an accident at a race track.  He suffered injuries that will require a long and challenging recovery and in response, the Canadian powerlifting community is rallying to raise money to assist his family with the new and unexpected expenses.  The Niagara powerlifting club is sponsoring a "Deadlift Fun Day for Tommy" on June 24, 2012.  Link here if you're interested in participating.

While I've never actually met or spoken with Tom Nichols, I have been fortunate enough to fluke into standing on the podium with him.  In my short competition history in Canada, I've really been blessed to lift with some great lifters.  Each one of them is an inspiration and the experiences are cherished memories.

I've only lifted in one National meet in Canada, the 2010 Canadian Powerlifting Union Nationals in Quebec City.  Based on who was entered in my weight class, I didn't expect to have any chance to medal but the experience of lifting at a National meet was too big to pass up.  In addition to Tom Nichols, another great Canadian lifter and also a former World Champion, Mark Giffen was in my weight class along with a recent medalist at the previous years' World Championships, Andy Childs.  I wasn't and still am not close to their caliber of lifting so I figured I was lifting for PR's and memories.  Turns out Andy Childs elected to lift without using any of the allowed squat suit or bench shirt.  While Andy was and is a far stronger lifter than I, without the added benefit of a squat suit and bench shirt, I was able to out-total him and luck into a third place medal.
Tom getting the gold medal
I'm standing next to the best in the World!
  Tom Nichols would go on to win a gold medal for Canada in the I.P.F. Master's World Championships.  Mark Giffen, the second place finisher isn't in any of the pictures because he was selected for drug testing (which he passed).  He's a great lifter and coincidentally, was a spotter and a judge at my last meet.  I give him alot of credit for helping me make my second attempt squat--he was back spotting during my squats so I could hear every word he said.  The confidence in his words inspired me to push through a tough squat and no doubt fuels his own super-human lifting.

Mark Giffen squatting a lot of iron

Giffen with a big pull
Big Tom coming out of the hole with north of 700 lbs
So, I'm going to show up and support Big Tom at the Niagara Powerlifting Club's fund-raiser because it's the least I could do for a lifter that has been part of some once-in-a-lifetime memories and remains an inspiration.

As for my own lifting at that fund-raiser, I'm not sure to what level I'll participate.  The contest is deadlift for reps with a weight equal to 120 wilks points based on bodyweight.  At my current bodyweight, that would be approximately 445 lbs.  Normally that wouldn't be too heavy and I'd probably shoot for about 10 reps.  However with my recent back and leg issues, I may not be ready to push very hard on June 24.

I saw a chiropractor yesterday and while it never really feels like they do anything, I did feel much better today from the massage, ART, and interferential current therapy that I received yesterday.  I guess it'll just take some time for everything to fire on all cylinders.

Today's workout was supposed to be part prep for that event and a continuation of the volume work I've implemented to re-build a base of muscle and strength.  What was supposed to be fairly easy sets of 5 with 455 turned into not so easy sets of 5 with 405.  Nothing hurt but overall I felt weak.  It's very strange to feel such a significant drop in strength with very little physical discomfort.

After that I moved on to the rest of my workout and it's definitely an adjustment doing more movements for higher rep ranges.  It's so much easier to count to 5 than 10 or even higher.

Deadlift:  225x5, 315x5, 405x5x3 sets
Overhead Press:  135x10, 135x9, 135x9
Leg Press:  450x10, 540x10, 630x5  just getting used to these again, I might grow to like them
Incline Dumbbell Press:  75x12, 75x9, 75x9
Ab Crunch Machine:  45x10, 90x10, 90x6, 70x8, 45x8
Dumbbell Curls:  35x12, 35x10, 35x10
Rope Pushdowns:  55x10, 55x10, 55x8   triceps actually cramped up after these




Comments

  1. Do you remember what Tom Nichols said to you when he spotted you for the squat?

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    Replies
    1. Mark Giffen was my back spotter but from what I remember, he said something like: "set up like you mean it", a very strong "up" when I hit the hole, and shouting as I fought through the sticking point.

      It wasn't so much what he said as how he said it and that I knew it was coming from an elite lifter, former world champion and one of Canada's best lifters. It was that extra boost where, in the seconds that seem longer during the lift, I was able to think, "this guy believes in me, yes I CAN do this!"

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