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Showing posts from November, 2014

2014 Ontario Classic Provincials, Day 2, full meet, 105 kg wt class, M1

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My lifting yesterday did not meet my expectations but looking back, it's easy to see why that happened. I simply made a whole bunch of n00b mistakes.  My training had gone so well that I made the mistake of trying too many things at once.

In no particular order they were:

cutting weight unnecessarily in order to chase a Wilks numberdoing the bench press only meet for 'fun'basing my attempt selection on what my training suggested and ignoring what I actually brought to the platform on meet day
At Friday's bench only meet, I weighed in at 102.4 kgs without doing anything to cut water or artificially lower my weight.  Thinking that I could drop another few pounds for a better Wilks score for Saturday's meet, I spent some time in the steam room and whirlpool earlier in the day on Saturday and ended up weighing in at 100.9 for Saturday night's full meet.  My reasoning was that since I was lighter, I only needed to hit a 660 total to hit the 400 Wilks score that I w…

2014 Ontario Classic Provincials, day 1, bench press only

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Today was a long day.  It started at 0500 hrs when I got out of bed and ended at about 2030 hrs when I left teammate Chris in the capable hands of fellow teammates Mark and Trish while I drove home to get some rest for the full meet tomorrow night.

Since I was comfortably below the 105kg wt class limit for the first time ever, I decided to lift in the bench only Championships.  The last time I lifted in a bench only meet was sometime between 1989 and 1992 when my training partners and I used to lift in the single lift meets held at Venice Beach.  Back then I lifted in them because it was fun to lift at Venice Beach, I was (and still am) a terrible bench presser.

I weighed in at 102.4 kgs at approximately 0645 or so and waited until it was time to start warming up.  I don't need a lot to get ready for bench pressing so most of my warm up consisted of talking to other lifters that I haven't seen in a while.  Truthfully, talking with lifters I don't see very often is one of t…

Meet week, last session, light bench press

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I got my final session in tonight and now I just get to concentrate on resting until the bench press competition Friday morning and my three-lift session on Saturday evening.

Everything done tonight was just to keep things moving.  Three sets of three with 275 in the bench  was enough to keep the rust off without actually impacting my recovery capacity.

The meet this weekend is going to be huge for a Provincial Championship.  Last year's Classic Provincials was big but there will be approximately 50 more lifters in this meet.  The immense size of this meet reflects the growth of the popularity of unequipped powerlifting competition.  The size of this meet is even more impressive when one considers the Ontario Powerlifting Association has qualifying totals for their Provincial Championships.  While they're still relatively accessible if one is in one of the age group categories (sub jr, jr, masters), to qualify as an Open competitor requires some decent lifting approx a 364 w…

Meet week, squat openers

I weighed 226 this morning so everything is back to pre-Las Vegas status.  If I can hold that weight for Saturday then I'll need to hit a 665 kg total in order to reach my goal of a 400 raw Wilks coefficient.  A 665 total isn't out of the question but it will require me to improve all of my lifts by an average of 5 kg each.  My training has certainly suggested that I have that in me but it'll all depend on what shows up on meet day.

Tonight I worked up to my approximate squat opener.  It moved fine but I mis-grooved it so it slowed more than it should've.  It never felt heavy so it should be good to go for Saturday.  At the very least, 215 kgs or 473 lbs is a weight that if I can't do it on a platform, I'm perfectly happy being sent home early.

Looking back at my last three weeks of training (one of which was actually spent on vacation not training), if I were to change things for a future meet prep, I would leave the last three weeks (instead of two) for heav…

Meet week, bench openers

Vivian and I got back into the AM workout schedule this week.   It's actually good timing because the weigh-ins for the bench press competition on Friday are at 0630 hrs.  I'll be lifting sometime after 0830 hrs so, in all likelihood, I'll have been awake a good 3 hours or so before having to lift.  That should be more than enough time to feel fully ready to go.

This morning, however, was a slightly different schedule. My alarm goes off at 0530 hrs and I'm at the gym lifting by 0615 or so.  I was taking the first of my two singles with my expected opener somewhere around 75 minutes after waking up.  Taking that into account and the self-lift-off, I considered these to be about the most sub-optimal conditions short of being sick on meet day.  Since I got the two singles nicely, I won't need to change any plans for Friday morning.

After bench presses, I did some higher rep weighted dip work and finished with some isolation work for the shoulders.  Tomorrow I'll w…

1 week out, day 3, just trying to stay fresh

Just got in a quick workout to keep things fresh for next weekend's meet.  Did three triples with 74% in the squat and then finished up some with chins and some machine crunches.

Remaining schedule until the meet will be bench to opener tomorrow, squats to opener on Tuesday, light bench on Wednesday, and light squats on Thursday.  Basically trying to keep things moving but keeping volume low so there is no appreciable recovery stress.

Squats:  135x5, 135x5, 225x3, low bar, 225x3, add belt, 315x3, add wrist wraps, 365x3, 365x3, 365x3

Parallel grip chins:  5, 5, 5

Hoist crunch machine:  90x10, 90x6, 90x6

1 week out, Day 2, bench press and deadlift

It's exactly one week out from the bench press only portion of the Provincials.  In past years, I've never entered the bench only competition because I've never been light enough to make weight for the 105's two days in a row.  I'm not a very good bencher but I thought it would be fun to get an extra competition in next weekend.  Since I've been working with an increased training frequency I don't expect to be too adversely affected by maxing out two days in a row in the bench.

Tonight I worked up to my planned opener of 330.  It was an easy paused single even after paused doubles with 295 and 315.  I finished up with a couple fast sets of 5 and then some weighted dips in order to keep my triceps from feeling left out during these peaking weeks.

I also worked up to my approximate opening weight for the deadlift for two singles.  The bar moved as well as I can ever remember going back over the past couple years.  I'm definitely looking forward to next Sa…

1 week out, peaking singles, squat and bench press

Sunday's squat singles did a good job of getting my body out of vacation mode and back into meet-peaking mode because things felt good tonight.  I was going to work up to a top single of 485 but shut it down early because I was feeling little back spasmy feelings in my upper glutes/lower back. It was probably a result of having to shovel the driveway for the first time this year earlier this evening.   Even still, 465 and 475 moved well and everything seems to be rounding into 1RM form nicely.  It'll be nice to compete as a 105 kg lifter without having to cut any weight and I'm expecting to peak right up to meet day versus previous meets as a 105 where I peaked a week out and then tried to hold on to as much as possible while I cut 7-8 lbs.

Bench press singles went well too.  My top single of 340 is the most I've handled in a meet peaking situation ever so I'm confident I'll hit at least 155 kgs for a new 105 kg wt class PR.

Squats:  135x5, 135x5, 225x3, low ba…

2 weeks out, vacation deload and meet peaking begins

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It's been an interesting 8 days.  From Saturday to Thursday, Vivian and I had a great vacation in Las Vegas. I was able to get in a couple workouts in the hotel gym early in our vacation but since they didn't have any barbells, it was machine and dumbbells only.  We did a ton of walking and managed to hit most of the eateries that we had targeted in our pre-vacation research.  We even saw someone famous while out for dinner at the Wicked Spoon buffet in the Cosmopolitan hotel and casino.


In addition to The Wicked Spoon, we also dined at Naked City Pizza, featured on Drive In's, Diners, and Dives and Ronald's Donuts, considered by many to be the best donuts in the city.  Both lived up to their billing, in fact we ended up making a special trip to visit Ronald's Donuts a second time.  Apparently many of the varieties of donuts at Ronald's are vegan but you'd never know from a quality or price standpoint as they were uniformly amazing and there was no premium …

3 weeks out, Day 5, squats and bench press

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Last training day before vacation and I'm glad to be done with it.  I had to cut squats short because my back wasn't loosening up but bench presses went well.  I'm looking forward to a week of recovery before the last week of training.

Squats:  135x5, 135x5, 225x5. low bar, 225x5, add belt, 315x5, 365x3, 365x3

Bench Press:  all reps paused, 135x5, 135x5, 225x5, 275x3, add wrist wrap, 295x3, 295x3, 295x3

Parallel grip chins:  5, 5, 5

By this time tomorrow evening, Vivian and I will be in Las Vegas and will have already made a stop at my favourite burger joint ever, In N Out Burger.


3 weeks out, Day 4, deadlift and bench press

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I didn't sleep well last night so I skipped the morning light squat workout.   I also knew that I had to deadlift up to heavy single tonight so I figured I might as well let my back rest as much as possible.  My plan for tonight was to do some heavy singles, working up to a top set with 585.

Everything felt pretty good and my three top singles of 545, 565, and 585 reached my goals for the session.  Since I haven't pulled anything heavier than 545 since the last meet in June, I wasn't completely sure 585 would be there but it was.  585 in the gym usually means I'm good for at least 605 in a meet so unless something changes between now and November 29th, I'll probably open with 250-255 kgs and jump to 275 kgs for my second.

I finished up with some touch and go bench presses to make up for some of the volume I skipped on Monday and Wednesday.  Tomorrow morning I'll hit my last light squat workout and some more bench presses.

Deadlift:  315x5, 405x3, add belt, 49…

3 weeks out, Day 3 bench press, trying to get to the deload

I definitely feel like I'm in a slight over-reaching phase.  The lifts feel tough and there's just a hint of ache that wants to intrude and attenuate bar speed.  I was able to work up to a paused single with 335 again but the bar moved very slowly.  I never felt like I was going to fail the lift but I had no speed off the chest.  Instead of doing back off sets with 295, I decided to do touch and go sets with 275.  After two sets of 5, I shut it down.  I was starting to feel the lifts in the joints not the muscles so I took that as a sign that I should stop.

I just need to get through three more workouts and then I'll have almost an entire week of active recovery (lots of walking, a couple or three sessions in a hotel fitness center, and food and beverages) to let things get right again.  Once back from vacation, I'll have a week to hit some heavy singles to re-accustom my body for the meet.  I hope I'm able to control my appetite while I'm away so that I don…

3 weeks out, Day 2, AM deadlifts, PM squats

This morning's session was very abbreviated.  Everything felt super tired so I took it easy and tried to loosen things up.  Once the light snatch grip deadlifts finally did the trick, I worked up to an easy triple with 455.  I was going to do 3 sets of 3 but the first set was well grooved but felt just stressful enough that I decided I would quit while I was ahead.  I had planned on using next week's vacation as a deload but it seems that the previous month's work is making the choice for me.

Before this evening's session, I watched my Toronto Rex Powerlifting Club teammate Trisha Boyle lift in the IPF Open Worlds in Denver via internet stream.  She had a fantastic meet, setting competition PR's in all three lifts and the total.  She also broke her own Canadian total record by 17.5 kgs.  I had hoped her performance would inspire my squat workout but there wasn't anything in the tank.  I worked up to a single with 455 and some back down sets and shut it down ear…

3 weeks out, Day 1, Bench press and my weight loss plan

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After posting the in progress pics yesterday, a few people were curious about how I've been going about losing weight.  I'm old and a bit of a skeptic so I don't do anything really novel.  None of the fad diet stuff that's going around except for a month of mostly compliant Whole 30 to start because Vivian was doing it.

I say mostly compliant because that Whole 30 plan is super restrictive.  Among other things, no dairy, no artificial sweeteners, no legumes.  Well, I needed to continue using whey protein powder (that is artificially sweetened) because my budget could never afford to fuel my 100% of my protein demands with actual meat.  Especially not this year when meat prices have gone through the roof.  And I rely on a steady diet of lentils because they fill a role as both a carbohydrate and a protein source, plus they're filling.  After that first month, Vivian went back to a lower carb atkins-like approach that has worked well for her in the past so I was able…

4 weeks out, Day 6, deadlifts

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Since I've finally dropped below my last weight plateau of 229 lbs and have been weighing 226-227 in the morning, I decided to take some progress pictures.  I rarely ever take 'progress pictures' because I don't lift weights to look a certain way (no style points given in powerlifting) but I did have some pictures from last fall (Sept 2013) when I weighed about 255 and I wanted to see the difference.

255 lbs has been the upper limit of my typical bodyweight the past 4 years.  It has usually bounced from about 235 to 255 depending if I had a meet where I needed to be 231 or if I wasn't particularly careful about what I ate.  I haven't been below 228 on a regular basis since probably the late 1990's so my current fat loss plans have been unusually successful.   I started making an effort to drop bodyfat on August 1 when I weighed 245.  Since then I've lost 18.5 lbs and more importantly, have either gained or maintained strength in the three powerlifts (sq…