1 week Out
As I sit here today, I am six days out from my WNPF meet on August, 2nd. One of my original goals from when I started this journey was to make the 242lb. class. Well, unfortunately that is not going to happen. I am working on making the 275lb. class, and hitting some big numbers along the way. Big numbers to me and my powerlifting career.
A few nights ago I hit an easy bench session. I worked up to 185lbs. for 3x3 with a choked elitefts.com orange light bands. I then hit 185lbs. for 3x3 with the choked light band and double choked mint green elitefts.com monster mini bands. This proved to be heavier than I thought, but the resistance at the top will be extremely helpful for handling the heavier weights this upcoming weekend. I am realizing that my gym numbers now in the bench are not as high as when I was in my early and mid 20's. I look through my old training journals on a regular basis. I probably look at them more than I should, but it is a reminder of what I once was capable of doing. My best geared numbers are pretty respectable, to me anyways. My raw numbers are slowly taking shape. I will be opening with numbers this weekend that I could not come close to a year ago. The little man was just born, and I trained seven weeks for my competition back then, in September, 2013.
Below you will find my last heavy squat session. It was my second time training at North Coast Barbell. The weights went up much easier, which is nice. I took 3 singles at 525lbs. The depth was pretty good on all three. You can jud I plan on taking 525lbs. as my squat opener. 550lbs. for my 2nd. Maybe 565lbs. for my 3rd. We'll see what happens when I get there.
Last Heavy Squat Session
This morning I got a great training session in at Victory Baptist Church. I have had the pleasure to train with a great group of guys, all with the common goal of getting stronger and becoming better people.
This is also the last heavy squat session I am completing before my meet on August 2nd.
Squat: 45/10/10, 135/10, 225/5, 315/5, 405/3, 455/1, 495/1, 525/1
This the same number I hit last week. I want to make sure I feel comfortable with the weight. I also want to make sure I get a good lift in. I will take my opener next weekend. I am still looking to open at 505lbs. Then to take 530lbs. for my second. I will see how I feel
Heavy Bench Session
Tonight was my last heavy bench session before my meet in two weeks. It was a late training session, but my best one since I started training for my WNPF meet.
Bench: 45/15/15, 135/10, 185/5, 225/5, 275/5, 315/3, 345/2, 365/3 with a double choked micro mini band
Pull-Ups with Orange Band: 6/6/4, 2/2 bodyweight
EZ Curls: 45lb. plate on each side 8/8/8
Red Mini Band Tricep Pushdowns: 20/20/20/20
Squats with Bands
I have not used bands within a squat session in a long time. To be honest, without looking at my training log, I couldn't tell you. I usually get my training sessions in late at night after my son goes down, but today I was able to get my session in at around 4pm.
Squat: 45/10/10, 135/10, 225/5, 315/5, 365/3, 365/3/3 with strong band, 415/1 with strong band
Deadlift: 135/5, 225/5, 315/5, 365/3, 415/3, 445/1
Sled Pulls: 155lbs. 5 laps around the backyard in 8 minutes
Cardio and a bench session
Over the course of the past couple of months I have noticed that a lot of people are posting training sessions of themselves on social media while wearing a weighted vest. The exact weights have varied, but none-the-less it seems as though the training sessions have been much more difficult. For the first time, last night I experienced what it may feel like to complete a training session while wearing a vest.
My wife and I were outside last night playing with our son. I did not get a chance to mow the lawn over the weekend, so I decided to mow the lawn. For a brief moment I was out of the eye sight of my son. He began to cry. I thought it would be a good idea to wear the carry pack as I mowed the lawn. My wife loaded my son into the pack (that looks like a book bag), I strapped myself in, and away we went. The total weight of my son plus the bag was probably close to 35lbs. I began mowing the front of the yard without any issues. As soon as I transitioned to the backyard, it suddenly hit me that my core was on fire, and that I was getting a non-typical cardio session in. After about five minutes of mowing the backyard, I felt my son get really comfortable. He placed his head at the base of my neck/upper back, and fell asleep. How he was able to sleep in that position is beyond me. It took about an hour and fifteen minutes to mow the lawn. Not a bad cardio session after all.
After dinner and reading to the little man, I was able to get my bench training session in.
Bench: 45/15/15, 95/10, 135/10, 185/3/3/3 with monster mini band, 185/3/3/3 with monster mini band and mini band, 185/3/3/3 with monster mini band, mini band, and double choked micro band
Band Assisted Pull-Ups: Light Band 5/5/4, BW 2/2 An accomplishment I am proud of!
Inverted Ring Rows: 5/5/5/5/5
I feel really good heading into this meet coming up on August 2nd. I am a little more than 3 weeks out, and am looking for a PR raw total. Looking back through my last training journal, I have added volume to my 12 week program, and my training weights are slightly higher than last summer at this time. At around this time last summer I hit 315lbs. for my 3rd attempt. I received 3 white lights. The other day I hit 325lbs. for 3. I am looking for 350lbs. in a few weeks.
Hitting my squat opener
Today I had the great pleasure of training at Victory Baptist Church, in Rochester, NY. My plan for today was to hit my squat opener, three weeks out from the competition. The competition will have a monolift, so I won't have to walk the weight out of the cage. Victory does not have a monolift, but being able to walk out heavier weights will definitely prepare me better for hitting the big numbers at the WNPF Upstate Championships.
We were ten guys lifting in the main cage, so it set itself up nicely for lifting in a flight similar to one at a powerlifting meet. Our bodyweights ranged from 130lbs. all the way up to 285lbs. Our ages could not have been farther apart as well, with guys still in high school all the way up to 62 years old. After watching Jimmy hit 315lbs. for 2x2 at 62 years young, it makes me greater appreciate what I am physically capable of achieving in the weight room and platform.
I worked up to a solid single of 525lbs. A far cry from a workout I completed in August of 2005, 505lbs. 2x5. I hit 505lbs. before my 525lbs. attempt. There was no way I was taking 505lbs. for 2x5 today. I would like to someday get back to those types of workouts, but it will take a consistency that I have not been able to quite master in this past year.
Squat: 45/10/10/10, 135/10, 225/5, 315/5, 405/3, 455/1, 505/1, 525/1
I think 525 for an opener might be a bit much. I feel comfortable hitting 505 for my opener, moving to 530 for my second (which would be a 5lb. PR), and then hitting the WNPF New York State Open Raw 275. record of 550 on my third. The current record is 545lbs. With a couple more squat training sessions to come, I know I will be able to hit 550 and break the record.
I have noticed a significant increase in motivation and focus when training with the guys at Victory Baptist Church. Being held accountable to show up, train, and put forth 100% effort has brought out two very solid training sessions. I hope that I have been able to add to the intensity and focus of the team. I have attempted to train with groups of other powerlifters in the past, in various gyms around Rochester, and have never really felt that I fit in with everyone else. I feel welcomed at Victory. I also feel that by having like minded individuals working together towards a common goal (in this case, getting better at powerlifting), everyone is better able to accomplish and meet their goals. I do not always feel the same when I train alone in my garage gym. I think it takes a similar amount of discipline to train alone, when nobody is watching. It is much easier to say that I will take tonight off because of whatever reason. Even though my gym is five feet from our living room, it still is difficult at times. It makes me appreciate the team at Victory that much more.
Winding down the bench
A few weeks before my last powerlifting meet I had some great bench sessions. I was working well within the 85%-92% range of my max. Unfortunately, I left my best numbers in the gym and did not hit a very good lift at my meet. For my meet in 4 weeks, I am going to shut it down earlier. Last night I hit some pretty good numbers, even for before my surgery. I feel really good going into the meet. The New York State record for the 242lb. and 275lb. full meet WNPF bench records are unrealistic for me at this time (395 & 430 respectfully). I don't want to hurt myself even trying to go that high right now.
Based on last nights training session, my planned attempts in the bench right now are 315/335/350. 350 is what I hit at Victory last week. If I can hit that again, after squatting, I will be happy with the results, and it will be a meet bench PR for me.
Bench: 45/15/15, 135/10, 185/5, 225/5, 275/5, worksets 315/3/3, 325/3
Orange Band Assisted Pull-Ups: 5/5/4/3/4
Ring Dips: 4/3/2/2/4
Inverted Ring Rows: 5/5/5/5/5
Sled Pulls: 155lbs. for 15 minutes/11.5 laps around my backyard. That is a full lap better than earlier in the week with the
On October 1, 2005, I competed in the Albany Strength Challenge, in Albany, NY. I was 23 years, and had completed an 8 week cycle to get me ready for this meet. The results of the meet can be found here http://usapowerlifting.com/newsletter/28/results/1001albany.html.
The records can be found here http://www.goheavy.net/records/viewrecordset.aspx?recordsetguid=a048d93c-bce8-4f1f-83ad-0aeb4180f208
This would be the second meet of my career that I was lifting in. The first one came in December, 2004, at the American Open in Philadelphia, PA. In PA I lifted in the 242lb. weight class. Here in Albany I competed in the 275lb. weight class, weighing in at 274lbs. the night before the competition.
Just recently I came across a VHS tape of the meet. My parents came to Albany to offer their support, and taped my lifts. I have been looking for that tape on and off for a couple of years. I came across it this past weekend, while staying at my in-laws for the 4th of July. It was in a box of old track & field VHS tapes, along with some WWE and WCW VHS tapes. I watched the tape when I got home with my son. My son, along with my wife, probably could care less of what I did way back in 2005. My son may appreciate it someday, depending on if he begins to lift with me in our garage gym. My wife, well that is another story.
As I was watching the tape, a couple of thoughts came to mind:
1. I obviously looked much younger back then, but my body also looked different-fuller and stronger
2. My intensity on the platform was 100x higher than the last couple meets I lifted in
I mentioned both to my wife. She watched my squat attempts, and said that my body looked much different back then. I am still roughly the same height, 6'0", and I weigh pretty much the same 275lbs. She also said that I did look much stronger in the video, but that may have been the Inzer Hardcore Squat suit that I was wearing. It definitely makes my quads look bigger, and it took three people to get it on me that day. I put it on last night without a problem. It came right up over my quads and hips without any issue. Not very motivating with a meet coming up in a couple of weeks. I was also wearing my Inzer lever belt, over my squat suit in the video. Now, it just hangs in the garage. I was able to wear it back in November, 2013, on the very last hole, and it was extremely tight and uncomfortable.
My wife also commented on my intensity on the platform. She said that I had this look that she has only seen in my eyes when I threw the hammer. She specifically said I had that look at the last Empire State Games I competed in back in 2008. She also said that in the videos of my lifting from September 2013 and November 2013 that I did not have the same look. In the same breath she said I have more important things to focus on, like our family and my son specifically.
The USAPL New York State Open 242lb. and 275lb. records are way out of my reach right now. Well above what I ever lifted in a gym or meet from the past. The chase is what motivates me now. I ask myself everyday, "Can I reach those numbers?" I am not sure that I can, but I will continue to try.
I wonder if a Junior in New York State someplace looks at the numbers I set and thinks, "I hope I can break those records someday?"
Squats & Deadlifts
Last night I was able to get one of my best training sessions completed in quite awhile. I got started at around 9pm. I wrapped up at 10:15pm. I have noticed over the course of the last few training sessions that the type of bar I use, along with the time of day I lift, directly effects how my training session is going to go.
The last couple of training sessions were done using standard Texas Squat and Deadlift bars, with other like minded lifters, at normal times of the day. I trained at Victory last Thursday night and I hit a bench PR of 350lbs., using a Texas powerbar, with other lifters, at 5pm. On Saturday, I trained at North Coast Barbell, hitting a big deadlift of 495lbs., with other lifters, at 8:30am. When I got home from each session, I told my wife how great I thought I did. Now, to put it in perspective, my wife really could care less about how my training is going. Not in a negative way, but I think she would still stay married to me whether I squat 600lbs. or 300lbs. She takes interest in the fact that I am doing well and that I have a hobby that keeps me busy and motivated. She may have been more interested in my training/throwing when we first started dating, way back in 2007, because she did not know any better. I know at the end of the day she loves and supports me regardless of what I do or how well I may compete.
Her training theory, though obvious, makes a lot of sense. She said that when the meet comes around, I should be a lot stronger because I will be around like minded people and that I will be lifting at a normal time of the day. I train with a Rogue Beater Bar. It is thicker than most bars, and shorter in length than the bars I compete with at meets. I cannot justify buying a $400 or $500 bar now, especially since I train alone and have important things that money can purchase right now. But I have noticed a difference in how Texas bars feel in my hands, and the added motivation of training with like-minded individuals.
My training from last night went as follows:
Squat: 45/10/10, 135/10, 225/5, 315/5, 365/3, 415/3, 445/3/3/3 (worksets)
Deadlift: 135/5, 225/5, 315/5, 365/3, 415/3/3/3 (worksets)
Grey Band Good Mornings: 10/10/10
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.