14 weeks out, day 2, bench press and sumo deadlifts at Iron Warrior Gym, Englewood, Colorado

I got to train at an excellent gym today (8/22/2014).  Prior to flying out to Colorado to visit my family, I contacted a fellow lifter that, prior to today, I only knew through Facebook and Fitocracy.  I knew he lifted at a killer strength training facility in Denver so I wanted to try to get out there if at all possible. Vartan was gracious enough to host me as a guest at the gym where he trains.  It was about a 45 minute drive in light traffic from my parent's house in Boulder and worth every minute.

The gym is called Iron Warrior Gym and it's the first time I've had occasion to train in a facility like this.  Unlike the poor compromises that most globo gyms make in order to sucker as many people into joining but not actually using the facilities, Iron Warrior Gym is all about providing the equipment that serious lifters want and need to use.

Vartan grabbing a bar for deadlifts at Iron Warrior Gym
While we were there to bench press and deadlift, I did spend some time trying out some of the stuff that I haven't tried before.  I finished my workout with a couple sets on one of the two reverse hypers and I also goofed around with some of their grip training implements.  While I know that I have a weak grip, I was humbled to not be able to lift 135 pounds with either hand using their Rolling Thunder.

The handle is thicker in real life than I thought.  Very tough
Since I hook grip my deadlifts, I'm not running out and buying one to improve my grip strength but it was interesting to see just how weak my grip is relative to even the top women's strength competitors.

While they have an IPF-style combo rack, we bench pressed on an Elite FTS competition bench.  I noticed it was higher than the combo rack so I had to put a couple plates down so my feet could sit flat on the floor. I guess they made it higher since so many non-IPF lifters bench on their toes.  I can see why a higher bench would make it easier to set up that way.  Like an IPF-style combo rack, the bench is firm and provides excellent support.  I ended up hitting some all-time volume PR's with my work weight of 315.  I only once before done 315x3 with all reps paused.  Today, I was able to do 315x3x3 all paused and then 315 for 3 more sets of paused doubles.

Since the gym had a red slingshot, I decided to try it out for some extra work.  It was a little worn but it provided decent support.  I preferred it to my Titan Ram because once it was on my arms, it didn't slip at all. I gave 405 a shot but it stalled off the chest.

After bench presses, we moved to sumo deadlifts.  We were both pretty shot from putting in some good work on the bench press but Vartan managed a 4RM PR and I got in some decent work sets with 475.


475x3, set 1

475x3 set 2

My sumo deadlift is very much still a work in progress but I'm starting to feel better off the floor and the legs are getting closer to locking out early.  Muscles that I haven't used are staring to catch up.  I'm looking forward to the day when the sumo deadlift feels good in the starting position.

Bench Press:  all reps paused, 135x5, 185x5, 225x5, 255x3, add wrist wraps, 285x3, 315x3, 315x3, 315x3, 315x2, 315x2, 315x2

Bench Press with red slingshot:  335x3, 365x2, 385x1, 405x0

Sumo Deadlift:  235x5, 325x5, 407x5, 455x3, 475x3, 475x3

Reverse Hypers:  120x10, 120x10

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