Last night I was able to get a shoulder training session in, along with some sled dragging before the heavy rain came. I don't normally isolate shoulders during prep for powerlifting meets, but they have been feeling really good. I have also noticed a little bit of a difference with my bench sessions.
Shoulder Shrugs: 45/10/10, 135/10, 185/10, 235/10/10/10
Upright Rows: 45/10, 65/10/10/10
Plate Raises w/ 25lbs.: 10/10/10
Sled Dragging: 15 minutes/10.5 laps around my backyard w/ 100lbs.
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Happy Birthday America! On this 4th of July morning, I had the opportunity to train at North Coast Barbell. Great gym, and an even better group of training partners! It was deadlift day at North Coast Barbell. After my last deadlift training session, I could not have had a better deadlift session 6 weeks out from my meet.
Deadlift: 135/5/5, 185/5, 225/5, 275/5, 315/3, 365/3, 405/1, 455/1, 495/1
It was not so much about lifting today, but it was more about training with a group of guys that have the same idea in mind, to get as strong as physically possible. I will make sure to get another training session in at North Coast Barbell in the very near future!
Today I had the opportunity to lift at Victory Baptist Church, located in Rochester, NY. A lot of my friends have had nothing but great things to say about the guys who trained there. I met the assistant Pastor when I arrived, and he gave me a tour of the facility. I never would have thought that a community center located at a church would have a powerlifting team and MMA team training at the same time. The lead pastor helps coach the MMA team. Not something you hear on a regular basis.
Half of the guys that benched last night are lifting in the WNPF meet I am on August 2nd. The other half of the guys are lifting in the RPS meet on August, 9th. Two separate federations on back-to-back weekends lifting in the community center of a church in Rochester, NY. It is great news for the sport of powerlifting for the same facility to have two separate meets by two very different federations on consecutive weekends. From what I hear about the RPS meet, one of the sessions has already sold out!
My training last night went as follows:
Bench: 45/10, 95/10, 135/10, 185/5, 225/5, 275/3, 315/1, 335/1 (PR), 350/1 (PR) The last two reps with the press commands similar to the WNPF. Huge post surgery bench PR by 25lbs., from what I lifted about a month ago with my brother Frank
Lat Pulldowns: 10/10/10/10/10 at the 10th pin
Orange Band Assisted Pull-Ups: 3/3/3
Push-Ups on DB: 10/10/10
DB Curls: 40/5, 45/5/5, 50/5/5, 55/5/5
It was one of the best bench training sessions i have had in years. Definitely the best since my surgery. I felt accepted right from the very moment I stepped foot into their gym. It is not everyday I get to train with guys in the 132, 181, 198, 220, 242, 275, and heavyweight classes at the same time. Jeremy, one of the lifters training for the RPS meet, hit bench numbers of 405/3, 455/1, 475/1, 500/1. Not a bad training session at all.
Below is the video of my 350lb. bench.
I don't think I could have picked a more humid night to get a squat/sled session in. Last night I started my training at approximately 8pm, garage door open, and with a temp still over 85 degrees. As you can see from the platform, nothing but sweat last night. If my scale is correct,
Squat: 45/10, 135/10, 225/10, 315/5, 365/5, 415/5, 445/5/5/5
Deadlift (mid shin pulls in cage): 135/5, 185/5, 225/5, 275/5, 325/3/3, 395/1/1
Sled Pulls: 200lbs. x 5 trips around the backyard in 10 minutes 29 seconds. Much better and more efficient than the other night
For some reason I just can't seem to get my deadlift going. I have never really had a great or good deadlift to begin with, but even 395lbs. should go up fairly easy. Something to work on over the course of the next 6 weeks. I should probably start channeling my inner "horseman" mentality. Over my left shoulder I have a picture of The 4 Horsemen; JJ Dillon, Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, and Ole Anderson. Ric Flair and Arn Anderson are wearing The Great American Bash t-shirts. I am guessing from the 1986/1987 Bash.
In the dvd titled "Ric Flair and the 4 Horsemen", there is a segment in which Tully Blanchard states, "The is the symbol of excellence (holding up the horsemen hand signal of four fingers), be whatever you want, but be the very best". Not sure where I am going with this, but please bear with me for a moment. I have only been powerlifting for ten years. In those ten years I have competed in 7 full powerlifting meets and 1 bench press only meet. Right out the gate in my first two powerlifting meets, I broke 3 USAPL Junior (20-23) New York State age group records. The squat in the 242lb. weight class, and the squat and bench in the 275lb. weight classroom. Since then, the big numbers have been few and far between. I have always strived to be the very best version of myself. I guess I was a little spoiled hitting some pretty good numbers at 22 and 23 years old, or what I consider good numbers. Good enough for the USAPL of New York.
In my mind, I look at being the best from two different perspectives. The first perspective is hitting a Personal Record (PR) or Personal Best (PB) in a competition, but not winning the competition. In track & field, this has happened to me more times than I can count. I hit huge PB's in the hammer, and lost competitions by more than 30, 40, and in some cases 50 feet. Same thing with the 35lb. weight, I hit huge PB's in competition, and still managed to lose by 10 or 15 feet. My other perspective has become more developed and evolved from coaching. When thinking about what to say to my throwers before Championship meets, I always try to bring a unique frame of mind to each athlete. While some are competing to win a championship, others are just happy competing. For the championship contenders, I always mention the fact that it is not necessarily about setting a PR or PB on this given day, but to throw far enough to win. Depending on the meet and goal of the athlete, winning the meet might not necessarily require a PB performance. This happened twice this season to my best weight/hammer thrower. At our indoor conference championship, he was seeded first in the weight by over 7 feet. He threw 5cm more than the second place competitor, throwing 6 feet under his PR. While the second place competitor set a PR by over 5 feet. I am not sure if he let the moment get the best of him, but he came out with a win and a not very good distance. In our outdoor conference meet, the same situation occurred. He was seeded first in the hammer by almost twenty feet, and barely came away with a win, throwing twenty feet less than his PR. Again, not sure if he was throwing down to his competition or just picked two championship meet days to throw horribly and still come out on top. Fast forward to the outdoor DIII ECAC championships held at RPI. Seeded 16th, he threw two huge PR's, made the finals, and finished 9th overall. He was extremely happy with his performance, but upset about his finish.
The one constant I can take from coaching college athletes is that they are somewhat unpredictable. I never know what is going on between their ears, or what their mindset is at meets, whether championship or otherwise.
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.