6 weeks out, bench press and accessory squat work

An article I wrote for the Ontario Powerlifting Association's newsletter was published.  There's a small typesetting error but the rest of the article reads the way I wrote it.  Hopefully too many jimmies aren't rustled.  I really do believe there's far too much infighting between 'raw dogs' and equipped powerlifters.  Ideally one feeds the other with a small portion of each remaining loyal only to their discipline.  What's starting to happen instead is a non-communicative split between the two.  The last thing powerlifting needs is more division.  Hopefully people will see the light and work together to continue to grow the sport for the mutual benefit of both powerlifting disciplines.

At this point, I'm now 6 weeks out from the meet.  Finally.  Time to start fine tuning my bodyweight and getting used to handling heavier weights without breaking form.  After the previous two weeks of overload work via the negative only activation reps and the weeks before that handling overloads with the Titan Ram, I decided to handle straight weight tonight and give myself a slight break before the sprint to the finish.

I also widened my grip an inch on each side to change the stresses a little bit.  In reading how many of the top lifters in the pre-bench shirt days trained, it was very common to work with a variety of grip widths.  Since my shoulders are finally feeling excellent, I decided it was time to vary the stress.  I worked up to a double with 315, the first time in a couple of years handling 315 for more than one rep.  After that I did another single with 315 but it was not fast so I did the next three work sets at 275.

Since I did not have a light squat day last week, I then did some light sets to practice perfect form. After that I hit a new rep PR with the bar dips.  All in all a good session and a good lead in to the home stretch.

Bench Press:  135x10, 185x10, 225x5, 255x3, add wraps and belt, 275x2, 295x2, 315x2, 315x1, just wraps, 275x4, 275x3, 275x3

High bar squats (comp width stance):  135x10, 225x10, 225x10, 225x10

Dips:  12, 9, 6


  1. idk craig, i think its different know than when you guys started lifting. in the early gear era the carryover was so crap and the stuff was so much cheaper (at least upfront) that it would seem much more tempting to try it. then, once youve "broken the ice" with gear they come out with newer improvements and youre hooked on it.

    now the gap between equipped and unequipped is so huge that its prohibitive - they literally arent the same sport anymore. with the current health&fitness trends more and more ppl with get into raw lifting but i doubt there will be much if any spill over into equipped.

    1. diff. now* hard to edit on phone..

    2. I definitely agree that no single raw lifters would ever be able to get into today's gear. Learning curve is too high and you need training partners for proper safety. However, in a club or power gym setting, the environment is supportive of those curious to test themselves at the next level. But you're right, they are two different sports, obviously very easy to go from equipped to non-equipped but very difficult to go the other way, even more so if ignorant biases exist. Equipped lifters need to encourage non-equipped lifters to try it and raw lifters need to keep an open mind otherwise both disciplines will grow their separate ways to neither's benefit.

    3. wont lie craig, dont really care for equipped lifting at all. as we agree, its a different sport so i dont see the need for hugs and handshakes. obviously being an ass and mocking people is never warranted but mutual agreement doesnt seem likely or necessary. unequipped is growing and equipped is not, plain and simple. its the movement ive been dying for ever since lifting against suited guys back in my junior days. if equipped guys want to join it (like yourself for example) that will be even more fantastic and the only chance weve got for a real unification

      dont get me wrong, equipment is neat and obviously very hard but lots of things are and i dont mind remaining ignorant of them

      anyways! just expressing the view of todays young raw lifter - not hating obviously hahaha

      do you see yourself suiting up for a comp again sometime?

      cheers bud

    4. definitely, provided I can get the time to meet up with my team or another equipped crew. I miss the challenge and complexity of equipped competition. Having the opportunity to compete mostly unequipped is convenient since I largely train alone (and unequipped as a result) but I still consider equipped competition much more interesting from a participation point of view. Managing a meet as an equipped competitor is also more challenging than when lifting mostly unequipped. Don't get me wrong, it's a welcome luxury to be able to compete unequipped, it's like a training session but with high arousal levels but competing equipped amps the stress up by a factor of 10. I like that thrill, as I would guess many if not most other lifters that have spent a decent amount of time with the equipment.

      That being said, it's nice to be able to take a break from it, after all, the foundation of equipped powerlifting strength is still unequipped strength so it's not like any veteran equipped competitor is unfamiliar with the concept.


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