On Friday afternoon I picked up a new bench. My old Competitor 600 was not as stable as I thought it was. Tonight I used the new bench for the first time. It was a good workout.
Flat Bench: 2x15 bar, 1x10 95lbs., 4x10 135/135/185/185
Green Band Assisted Pull-Ups: 8/8/7/6
Bodyweight Push-Ups: 15/15/10/10
EZ Bar Bicep Curls: 2x10 25s/2x8 35s
Red Band Tricep Pushdowns: 2x20
Red Band Overhead Tricep Extensions: 2x20
My family and I visited Cape Cod in the summer of 2006. Every summer we would take a family vacation. Sitting on the beach one morning I was reading Powerlifting USA. I noticed there was going to be a meet in Albany, NY. It had been almost two years since my first meet, so I sent in my registration a few days after getting back from vacation.
I was still training at the SUNY Fredonia gym. I told my mentor Dick that I was registered for another powerlifting meet. We discussed a ten week plan for me to get ready to compete. I was just coming off a great training cycle where I placed 3rd in the 2006 Empire State Games Men's Open Hammer competition. I was ready to go.
Our plan consisted of a four day split, two upper and two lower days. Sunday was heavy squat, Monday was speed bench, Wednesday was a speed squat/deadlift day, and Friday was a heavy bench day. I was competing in the 275lb. class in single ply gear.
My training partner leading up to the competition can be seen spotting me below, Nick Lord. He was one of my throwers at SUNY Fredonia. He ranks all-time in the top 10 for the 35lb. Weight Throw indoors and Hammer throw outdoors.
I squatted/deadlifted in the same squat suit, an Inzer Hardcore Squat Suit. I benched in a shirt that Dick Furman gave me. It was not very tight, but it got the job done.
Ten days before the meet I took my deadlift opener for an easy 550lbs. A week before the meet I took some singles at my squat opener of 550lbs. You can see that in the picture below. That was my first attempt of the meet. I received 3 white lights. I took my bench opener at 405lbs. I felt especially confident in my bench that I would take 440lbs. on my second.
The meet took place on a Saturday afternoon. Nick, my parents, and I drove down on Friday night for weigh-ins. I weighed in at 271lbs. The officials checked my gear and we were off to dinner.
We got to the meet early in the morning. There were not that many lifters. I was in the second flight of squat, second flight of bench, and second flight of deadlift. I started warming up for the squat as the first flight was taking their second attempts. I worked up to 455lbs., then put my suit on. I took 495lbs. with my suit on and straps down. Not the ideal situation, but I was still learning. As you can see from my picture, my knee wraps are not as tight as they could have been. I opened at 550lbs., received 3 white lights, and was in the competition. I took 605lbs. as my second attempt. This attempt was a little more difficult, but I know I went down deeper in the hole with this attempt. I received 2 white lights. The side judge to my immediate right called me for depth. It was a meet PR! I took 645lbs. on my third attempt. I went down to what I thought was parallel. When I racked it I received 1 white light. Two judges called me for depth.
Against what I had been taught in regards to setting openers and keeping them, I felt tired after the squat. I changed my bench opener to 365lbs. That was a good idea. I only got first opening attempt in, at 365lbs. I took 405lbs. on my second attempt, and threw the weight into the cage. I did the same on my third attempt at the same weight. My total going into the deadlift was 970lbs. I can think of about fifty lifters that can either squat and/or bench that weight raw. It is good motivation moving forward.
I did the same thing with my deadlift. I was going to open at 550lbs., but changed it to 500lbs. That was another good idea. I took 500lbs. for my first attempt, and received 2 red lights and a no lift. I hitched the weight when it got above my knees. I took 500lbs. again for my second attempt, and received 3 white lights. I took 530lbs. on my third attempt, and received 3 white lights. I totaled 1500lbs. At the time, I thought it was a very good total for myself. Ten weeks of training with gear went well. I definitely needed more practice and tracking my opening/second/third attempts.
This set me up for a very strong 2006-2007 indoor track and field season. A few weeks after the meet SUNY Fredonia throwers threw at Kent State University. My training from this powerlifting meet helped me throw a PR 17.72m and 7th place finish in the 35lb. Weight Throw. Not bad considering I threw against two Olympians!
Before I bought gym equipment to keep in my garage, I never lifted after 8pm or 9pm. I would always go to the gym on my way home from school or work, be home by 6pm, have dinner, and call it a night.
My wife has been extremely supportive through this garage gym process. She encourages me to workout after our son goes down for the night. There are literally no excuses not to train anymore. We eat dinner, go through our routine with our son, put him down, and I go train.
Tonight was a great session. Can I say that about all of them? Thus far I have hit all the numbers I have planned on hitting. Every time I take some time off from lifting, I always seem to come back fairly strong. Tonight's workout was not difficult by any means, but it was heavy for me. Certainly not heavy for most, but for me it was tonight.
Squat: 2x10 bar, 1x10 95/135, 1x5 185/225/275, Work sets 2x10 305lbs.-It is not the cool 315 because the bumper plates that I currently have plus the bar add up to 305lbs. I told my brother today that my goal is to hit 4x10 at 305lbs., then I will reward myself with some more plates.
Barbell Shrugs: 1x10 135/185, 2x8 235lbs.
Green Band Goodmornings: 3x10
Tonight's workout was short and sweet. I am starting to increase the volume of my floor bench, ever so slightly. I have another four weeks until I really start getting into my blocks for the meet on August 2nd.
Floor Bench: 2x10 bar, 1x10 95lbs., 1x10 135lbs., 3x5 185lbs.
Green Band Assisted Pull-Ups: 8/7/6
Bodyweight Push-Ups: 15/15/15
Straight Bar Curls: 1x10 bar, 1x10 65lbs., 3x8 95lbs.
Red Band Tricep Pushdowns: 20/20/15/15
Getting that pump back jack!
Tonight was a very good training session. I have not been able to get into the gym as much this week due to a very busy work schedule. One of my motivational pieces for my meet in August is the picture above. I took first place in a WNPF meet this past September. I had not competed in a meet in the previous three years. I lifted in the 275lb. class. I plan on making the 242lb. class this August.
Squat: 2x10 bar, 1x10 95lbs., 1x10 135lbs., 1x5 185/225/275/275/275, 1x10 305lbs.-Still building up my volume
Barbell Shoulder Shrugs: 4x10 135/135/185/185
Band Good Morning: 1x10 Orange/2x10 Green
Front Plate Raises: 3x15 25lbs.
I learned tonight that I definitely need to buy clips and 45lb. plates. Having 305lbs. of bumpers on the bar almost takes up the whole collar.
Tonight I got a great training session in. I have not been able to get into the gym until after 8pm, when the man goes down for bed. On the bright side, I was able to take an old record player from my grandparents house. It still works just fine. I just need to stock up on some LP's and 8-tracks and we will be good to go.
Floor Bench: 2x10 bar, 1x10 95lbs., 3x10 135lbs.-Much better than last week
Green Band Assisted Pull-Ups: 6/6/4-Again better than last week
Bodyweight Push-Ups: 10/10/10/10
EZ Bar Bicep Curls: 1x10 bar+20lbs., 3x10 bar+50lbs.
Red Band Tricep Pushdowns: 3x15
EZ Bar Preacher Curls: 8/8/6 bar+30lbs.
All in all it was a good session.
Similar to yesterday, today was my first upper body training session since November, 2013. At the WNPF meet I lifted at in Philadelphia, I benched a whole 135lbs. I then passed my next two attempts. I did this because at the time I thought I had re-injured my right tricep muscle/tendon. I ruptured my right tricep tendon in June of 2012. In my training leading up to this particular meet, I thought I did it again, so I took a token bench to ensure my squat would be upheld.
Floor Bench: 2x10 bar, 2x5 95lbs., 3x5 135lbs.
Grey Band Assisted Pull-Ups: 2x5, 1x3-Horrible attempts, and I almost tipped over my cage doing so. It will need to be either bolted to the garage floor or bolted to a lifting platform I am going to build this weekend.
Body Weight Push-Ups: 3x10
EZ Bar Curls: 1x10 bar, 3x10 bar+20lbs.
Red Band Tricep Pushdowns: 3x10
My tricep feels fine. I finished this workout about an hour ago and still feel a pump in my biceps and triceps. Summer is almost here, and I need to look good in our pool.
Today I got my first training session in of my program geared towards the WNPF Upstate meet on August 2, 2014. I would like to start off by stating that I have not got a lifting session in since my last meet in November, 2013. I am starting fairly fresh, and extremely light. With that in mind, this is what my training session consisted of today:
Squat: 2x10 bar, 2x10 95lbs., 2x10 135lbs., 2x5 185lbs., 2x5 225lbs.
Barbell Shrugs: 1x15 bar, 3x10 95lbs.
Orange Band Goodmornings: 3x10
Plate Front Raises: 3x10 with a 25lb. plate
Some of you that may be reading this may be thinking to themselves, "Why would this person post such low numbers for the world to see?"
I will leave you with this, it is not where you start, but where you finish that matters most.
I graduated from SUNY Fredonia in May of 2004 with a BS in Childhood Education. I did not find a teaching job immediately after graduation, so I took a job running our college fitness center. I was able to do this while going to graduate school full-time. I stayed in Fredonia over the summer, and purchased a gym membership at Darwin's Gym. It is a small gym located in the village of Fredonia. After a few weeks of training there, I noticed that a lot of guys were wearing Darwin's Powerlifting Team shirts. I asked the front desk worker who I could talk to about joining the team. They told me Dick Furman was in charge.
I met Dick a few days later in the college fitness center. He worked the early morning shift of 6am to about 9am everyday. I introduced myself, and told him I would be working from 9am until 3pm. I also told him I was interested in joining his team. I asked him if he could train me at the college since he was already there in the morning, and I didn't start until 9am. Dick told me he lifted from time to time in the IPA federation. I looked him up on-line and found that he held at the time and still holds records in the squat, bench, deadlift, and total for the 220lb. weight class. Specifically in the 60-64 and 65-69 year old age groups.
Our first training session that August of 2004 was very eye opening. He asked me what my best bench press was. I told him, very proudly, 405lbs. "Well, you might get 350 then at your first meet." I did not understand what he meant until he explained the rules, and that it was not a touch and go press like he had observed me complete in the gym before. On that particular day I remember barely hitting a 275lb. two second pause attempt. I was very humbled that day. I set a goal of 500/315/500 that day for the 242lb. weight class. I only weighed about 230 at the time, so we decided it would be better to just train and not worry about cutting weight.
My program for set for 15 weeks. Looking at my training journal from that time, I rotated three blocks lasting five weeks in duration. Week 1 was a Floor Press max. Week 2 was work up to a 5 rep max. Week 3 was work up to a 3 rep max. Week 4 was to work up to a 2 board max. Week 5 was to work up to a 1 board max. I took my squat and deadlift opener seven days before the meet. I took my bench opener five days before the meet.
The American Open was held in Philadelphia, PA, in December of 2004. I competed in that meet with my brother Frank. He was a freshman at Mary Washington College at the time. A friend of his dropped him off in Philadelphia on the way home for the semester break. Frank lifted in the 198lb. weight class. I drove in on Saturday afternoon. The 198lb. class lifters and heavier competed Sunday. I figured this would be a good way to relax and take in my first meet. I weighed in at 232lbs. Sunday morning. My brother weighed in at 195lbs. So we were good to go. According to the schedule, I was to lift at 1pm. I did not step on the platform until 4pm. This later made driving back to Fredonia difficult.
I was the first lifter in my flight. I opened at 230kgs, or 507lbs. I got three white lights, and was officially on the board. I opted for 240kgs, or 529lbs. on my second attempt. I got one white and two red lights. I was called for depth. I took the same weight on my third attempt and got two white lights. My 529lb. squat at that meet was at the time and still is the USAPL New York State Junior (20-23) 242lb. record.
My bench that day did not go as planned. I opened at 140kgs, or 308.6lbs. I wanted to make sure I would stay in the meet, and thought this was low enough for me to be successful. I got three white lights, but the weight seemed extremely heavy. I took my second attempt at 145kgs, or 319.67lbs. I got two white lights on this attempt. Obviously it felt heavier than my first attempt, but it took a lot out of me. I went for 150kgs, or 330.69lbs. on my third attempt. I missed the lift completely.
Being this was my first meet, I was not sure how I was going to feel coming into my deadlift. I felt strong enough to open at 230kgs, and got three white lights. I was very cautious and only took 235kgs, or 518lbs. on my second attempt. I also received three white lights. I should have gone heavier on my third attempt, but I did not know any better. I took 240kgs for my third attempt and received two white lights. I stepped off the platform at 8pm.
My first meet total at 242lbs. was 529/319/529 for a 1377lb. total. I was very pleased with myself at the time. I am still surprised that my 529lb. squat from almost 10 years ago still stands as a USAPL New York State record.
I would not compete in another powerlifting meet until November, 2006.
Dr. Infurna is an active powerlifter and thrower. He has recently shifted his focus to training for Triathlon races. His next race is the Rochester Sprint Triathlon at the end of August, 2019.