4 weeks out, Day 6, deadlifts

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 (squat/bench press/deadlift).

Since I don't normally take progress pictures, I had to use some photos taken of me last fall when I was (unsuccessfully) trying to learn how to stand up paddleboard.  I tried to recreate the poses as much as possible and wore the same swimsuit to see the 28 lb weight difference.  While I'm still far from lean now, I am noticeable smaller.  From a powerlifting performance standpoint, that extra 28 lbs of mostly fat did nothing for my lifts since I'm stronger now (in the gym anyways) than I was then.

Even if I were slightly weaker in the competitive lifts, not having to carry around 28 useless pounds is showing benefits already.  From a pragmatic angle, I can wear XL shirts and they fit.  I also sweat a lot less.  Those of us that have spent a lot of time being overweight usually get warm very easily and spend a lot of time sweating doing things that normal sized people do perfectly dry.  I realized this just last week when I had to walk at a fast pace from the far, far end of the GO Train parking lot while wearing a suit and tie.  At my previous normal weight of 245 or so that rushed walk, while only about 400 meters, was usually enough to dampen my undershirt and cause beads of sweat to form on my brow once I got on the train and sat down.  Even without feeling like any sort of exertion, I used to break into a sweat very quickly.  This time, the walk to catch the train didn't raise my body temperature at all.  It was a novel feeling not having to feel sweaty from the slightest amount of movement.

255 lbs, Sept 2013, 227 lbs Nov 2014

Aside from taking progress pictures, I also took a complete day off from the gym.  It felt good to get in a day of rest after going to the gym 12 days in a row.   Today would not normally be deadlift day but since I didn't train yesterday, I decided to get in my deadlifts rather than the normally scheduled squats.  Next week will be the last week of training before a week in Las Vegas so everything that needs to catch up on recovery will do so when Vivian and I are exploring the town.

I worked up to 4 singles with 545 today.  They felt pretty good.  If I feel good this week, I'll work up to a heavy deadlift single on Thursday as well and spend the next week recovering.  Once back, I'll have one week before the meet to work up to my deadlift opener and then shut it down until the competition.  As poor as my back felt after my last meet in June, I have to say it feels pretty good right now and hopefully I'll be able to give a good attempt at 280 kgs to match what I pulled at Nationals in April.

Deadlifts:  225x5, 315x5, 405x3, add belt, 495x2, 545x1, 545x1, 545x1, 545x1

Barbell shrugs:  315x6x3 sets

Seated cable rows:  140x10. 140x8, 140x8, 140x8

Hoist crunch machine:  90x10, 90x8, 90x6

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