Showing posts from 2016

SBD Lever belt review -- TL DR; it's good, very good.

I turned 50 this past summer and a couple months ago, my beloved Vivian threw me a surprise birthday party.  Among many of the unexpected but very much appreciated guests were Mark and Kinnon from my powerlifting team, Toronto Rex Powerlifting Club.  Even though Mark and Kinnon had already brought beer, they also brought a card and a gift on behalf of the team.  The gift was a e-gift card for Inner Strength Strength Products, a powerlifting supplies company run by Ryan and Rhaea Stinn.

Among the many excellent products they offer on their website, one of most popular lines is the array of products from SBD.  A few months ago SBD introduced their lever belt.  While lever buckle belts have been around for probably 30 years now, it wasn't until SBD that a lever buckle belt combined the same easy-to-adjust fit as a single or double prong buckle with the easy-to-apply tightness of a lever.  Since I already have a singlet and knee sleeves, I decided to apply the gift card to one of th…

2016 Ontario Open and Masters Powerlifting Championships, Classic division report

Almost 1 year ago, I sat down and wrote up my performance at the 2015 Ontario Powerlifting Association Masters and Open Classic Provincials.  While I had performed well in the squat and bench press, my lower back was not cooperative and I had a poor deadlift performance.  Immediately after that competition, I made the decision to lose weight on the premise that walking around at 240-245 lbs was doing my back no favors. As I moved into the M2 age group (50-59), I needed to consider making life easier on all of my joints and internal organs that have to deal with carrying around so much weight.

A "walking around weight" of 240-245 lbs meant that I always needed to cut 10-15 lbs in order to make the 231 lb (105kg) weight class limit.  In the past I had accomplished this by dieting for a month or so and then cutting the last 4-7 lbs by drying out over the last 24-36 hrs before weigh-ins.  While this is very much standard operating procedure in the powerlifting world (2 hr weigh …

8 days out from next meet and training thoughts

Since my last training blog entry almost 2 months ago, a couple things have changed.  One, I won't be lifting in the 93 kg weight class on November 11th.  Two, I've added in morning sessions of cardio training (plus assorted accessory movements time permitting).

Number two in that list actually came before number one and was actually intentioned originally as part of my strategy to lift in the 93 kg weight class.  However, I have not lost weight due to the extra energy expenditure, in fact, I've gained weight, so I'll be in the 105 kg weight class.  This morning I woke up weighing 228 lbs.  About 8 lbs more than where I was when I wrote my last blog post in early September.  Reasons for the weight gain?  I've eaten more probably.  Vivian and I went on a cruise in early October.  While there was a lot of walking both on the ship and on shore adventures and I managed to hit the ship's gym 4 times, I still ended up with a +15 lb bloat when I got back home.  Some o…

The cut down to 93 kgs continues...meanwhile, turned 50, feels the same as 49 so far.

I haven't bothered blogging about my training lately because, frankly, it hasn't even been interesting enough to me for me to think about writing anything about it.  I'm still in the process of dropping my bodyweight down enough that I can compete in the 93 kg weight class and while that's happening, I haven't put much of a priority in strength development.  At best, I'm trying to maintain what strength I have in the hopes that when I finally get my body to stabilize somewhere around 200 lbs, that I'll be able to build strength from that point.

At the moment I'm still 215 lbs so I have quite a bit of work to do to make 93 kgs (205 lbs) comfortably by Provincials on November 11, 2016.  I was able to make 93 kgs for the Niagara meet in May but it required a weight cut from 218 lbs a week out and 213 lbs the night before.  The cut sapped my strength approximately 10% so, while I was able to make a total and complete the meet, the quality of my lifts was de…

4 days as a part-time dog walker and first two weeks with an Isolator 6 meal cooler bag.

The two items in the title are related only in that they both began in the same week.  The week that the powerlifting team that I'm a member of, Toronto Rex Powerlifting Club, was holding the Ontario Powerlifting Association's Toronto Supershow Powerlifting Open at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, my wife Vivian came to me with an emergency request.  One of her dog walkers had a family emergency and would be unavailable to service her client's dogs for the entire week.  Vivian asked me if I could take vacation days to cover the client's dogs that needed to be walked.  It wasn't an ideal situation to burn 4 vacation days but Vivian has been busting her butt growing her business (it has been an amazing success) and I wasn't about to not support her now.  I had already committed Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday to the powerlifting competition but now I was also a part-time dog walker Monday through Thursday.

Since Vivian's business doesn't do pack …

Prep for Provincials, November 11-13, 2016, begins...

Now that I've officially competed as a 93 kg weight class lifter, the preparations for the next two competitions begins.  As of this morning, my weight was 219 lbs, up a few pounds from just before I started the water cutting process for last weekend's competition.  Next week, I'll be 24 weeks out from the Ontario Powerlifting Association's Ontario Open & Master Classic and Equipped Championships (Provincials, for short).  My goal is to be at or below 205 lbs by August 24th, the date I'm flying back to visit my family and to celebrate my 50th birthday.  I'll be out of town for about a week and while I will likely be exercising, I will also be drinking many local Boulder, Longmont, and Fort Collins area brewery product as well as other interesting beers found at the local liquor warehouse.  I will also be getting my fill of mexican food and Mom's home cooking.

After returning from Colorado, it will take a few days for my weight to normalize back around…

Meet Report: 2016 Niagara Open, first meet as a M2 lifter, first meet as a 93 kg lifter

Back in November, I made the decision that my next competition (and all those thereafter) would be as a 93 kg lifter.  At that time, my "walking around weight" was between 240 and 250 lbs.  To make the 105 kg weight class, I would usually have to diet for about a month and then do a 4-6 lb water cut.  After a lackluster performance coupled with some nagging back pain, I decided that carrying around extra weight wasn't doing my health or my lifting any good.  The only challenge was, I hadn't been anywhere near 205 lbs since the mid-90's.  Losing upwards of 35 lbs was going to be a long process.

For some reason, I have been exceptionally motivated by this goal and I have been able to maintain a calorie restricted diet since mid-November 2015 with the only notable exceptions being the Christmas/New Year period and two trips to Las Vegas.  My weight loss has been a pretty consistent 1 lb per week, slower than I would've liked but I chalk that up to a combination …

Weight cut, first 20 lbs down. 15 more to go.

This week I hit 220 or 20 lbs down from my starting point.  Since I started this process about a week before Provincials on November 22 it's been 17 weeks or so.  The pace of weight loss has been about what I planned since I'm doing no extra exercise other than my 3-5 times a week weight training sessions.

I've been taking progress pictures but they're not particularly noteworthy since I'm still a mostly ab-less squishy person.  Maybe I'll have something presentable when I'm down to 205 but I'm not holding my breath.  I didn't start this process for aesthetic reasons so it doesn't make sense to shift goals mid-way.  I did start this process to eventually feel better and I can definitely say I feel as though I have more energy and my back hurts less, especially in the morning.

I've had to take some clothes in for alterations and more will eventually go to the donation pile but I had planned for these expenses to occur.  Along with smaller c…

Training update, weight cut update, sweet potato sheet bread

Back in early November 2015, I thought that I should consider dropping weight and since the next lowest weight class was 93 kgs, it would mean I would need to commit to a different set of priorities.   After a less than satisfying performance at the Provincial Championships later that month, I decided that changing my priorities had very little downside. My sore back was preventing me from even hitting previous levels, let alone set PR's in the total and it was pretty clear that carrying extra fat was not helping me make strength gains.

There's an old adage that goes along the lines of not ever becoming fat AND weak.  Well, with the stagnation of my progress and back soreness that was becoming chronic, I was now doing both.  And I can do something about "fat" part even if my body isn't letting me fix the "weak" part.  When I started the process, I was walking around at 240 lbs and required a combination of carb depletion the week or two prior along with…