2012 training recap and 2013 goals

Last year's summary of 2011 included the following:

  • Bodyweight, started at 250, dropped to 230, gained to 240, and finished the year at 230.
  • 138 total training sessions, 3 competitions, high of 20 sessions in one month, low of 8
  • Trained all year IPF "raw", battled a bad shoulder, converted to hook grip for deadlifts

2012 saw progress in most areas with the exception of bodyweight.

  • Bodyweight started at 230, ended the year at 250.
  • 124 total training sessions, 3 competitions, high of 13 sessions in one month, low of 8
  • Trained all year IPF "raw", shoulder got better, made big improvements in squat form

With the exception of my bodyweight sliding up a bit, 2012 was a year of some very encouraging progress.  I was able to hit an all-time raw PR in the squat after making some technique improvements.  My shoulder finally started feeling better and I was able to train the bench press properly for the first time in almost 2 years.  My total at my last competition upped my raw Wilks PR by a fraction from 375.998 to 376.680.

Looking forward to 2013, I plan to compete twice, once in late June and again in November.  My goals are to compete in the 105 kg weight class so I will need to once again drop bodyweight from 250 to 230.  I will be training IPF "raw" again this year.  

I feel very encouraged by my progress in the squat after being plateaued for a while and I will hit the 500 lb raw squat I've been chasing for the past two years.  As long as my shoulders continue to feel great, I will continue training the bench press hard with a goal of a 160 kg bench press by November.  Since I have so much opportunity to improve by simply getting my squat to reasonable levels, I don't know where my deadlift will go in the next year.  By increasing training volume and getting better at the squat, I expect I should be able to get at least 10 kgs but the real prize would to finally knock of an all-time PR lift of 295 kgs.

My best case scenario would be the following lifts achieved in the 105 kg weight class:

  • Squat 240 kgs
  • Bench Press 160 kgs
  • Deadlift 295 kgs
  • Total:  695 kgs
Those are pretty lofty goals given my previous year over year improvement but between finally feeling good about my squat and feeling as healthy in the joints as I've felt in a few years, the eve of a new year is as good a time to be optimistic as any.  And, as they say, if you don't ask, you don't get.


  1. Did you do anything special to recover the shoulder or was it just time on your side?

    1. It was a combination of time and keeping volume and intensity low with the bench press. I never had acute ROM or weaknesses so I didn't do anything specific to try to rehab it. I mainly trained around the one movement that caused the most pain and eventually it finally went away.

      The only other proximate change to my routine was the inclusion of heavy barbell shrugs. I have no idea if they played a part in finally being able to bench regularly but it was the last thing that changed prior to the improvement in my shoulder pain. Coincidental or not, at least heavy barbell shrugs are fun to do and the results are quickly visible.

    2. Awesome thanks for the reply, been having a few issues with my right shoulder. Maybe I will try the heavy shrugs to see if it makes a difference. I've tried a few joint supplements with no luck at all. I've even tried a few different rotator cuff exercises with no success.

    3. Same here, all the standard pre-hab/rehab type things didn't do anything for me either. Since I couldn't easily reproduce the pain except when reaching back to put on a coat or bench pressing, I dabbled with the standard prehab/rehab movements but none seemed to either address the soreness or improve it. For a while I thought maybe it was the supraspinatus but I didn't do anything to target it.

      I think the 'injury' was caused by a bad lockout with a shirted bench press. I think I got sloppy in my upper back and when I locked out I felt a minor twinge. It wasn't immediately apparent that there was an injury but it was the only thing close to pain that I can remember and the shoulder wasn't the same for a long time after that.

  2. Great year for you. I like your goals for 2013. Did you forget ... Mastering the Sumo?

    1. Good catch, I'm definitely going to be spending some good time working with that deadlift style. It might not be ready for competition roll out in 2013 but the better I get at it, the better my squat will get and hopefully some day I'll surpass my conventional deadlift max.


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