Looking back on a very eventful 2015, I'm excited and more than looking forward to a fruitful 2016. Events to look forward to, in no particular order:
What are you most looking forward to in 2016?
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Our original plan for today was to take some throws, then get a nice lifting session in. Unfortunately, the weather turned for the worse, so we spent more time in the weightroom. After Taylor was warmed up with the Snatch, we started getting a little more cautious with the weight selection of her working sets. Taylor worked up to to 130#. Her demeanor changed after hitting the lift. Unfortunately, we had a couple of missed lifts in a row. Our conversation went a little bit like this:
Taylor: I'm afraid to have a lot of weight overhead
Me: You are strong enough to easily lift this weight
Taylor: I don't feel comfortable
Me: Ok, let's try some overhead squats out of the cage to get you feeling more comfortable with the heavy weights
Taylor: Sure, let's try it
Me: (25 minutes later) You just OHS 225lbs. with ease!
Taylor: Thanks coach.
Sometimes athletes need a bit of a paradigm shift to help them reach their goals.
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This morning I was able to get a quick training session in. I broke out a new pair of Rehband knee sleeves. Much tighter than my previous Rehband knee sleeves. I had my first pair for 10 years. They really weren't as tight as they used to be. I did some safety bar squats.
SS: Bar/10/10, 155/10, 205/5, 245/5, 295/5, 335/5, 385/5, 425/3/3/5
Good Mornings: 135/8/8/10
All in all, a good training session.
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On January 25, 2015, I competed at the USAPL Northeast Iron Beast II meet. With the new weight classes going into effect on January 1, 2015, I had a decision to make. I would either compete in the 264lb. weight class, or compete at 264lb.+ weight class. Fortunately for me, I made weight on Sunday morning, weighing 256lbs.
I trained for eight weeks. My only expectation was to qualify for the 2015 USAPL Raw Nationals in October, 2015. If I hit the 264lb.+ total, I would have my choice of competing at either weight for Raw Nationals. I barely hit the 264lb. total, the exact total to be exact.
I opened with a meager 205kg. squat. I have always had the fear of missing my opening squat attempt and then having to play catch up in the meet. That was not the case here. I just wanted to hit the qualifying total. I got three white lights. I took 215kg. for my second attempt. It was heavier than it looks on the video. Again, three white lights. I went for 230kg. on my third attempt. I did not have any problems with this weight in training, and thought it would be a good third attempt that would set me up for a good total. Un-racking the weight was fairly easy. I stalled on the lift about 2/3 of the way up. Not a bad start to the meet 2/3 on squats.
I warmed up longer than usual on the bench. I was one of the first lifters in my flight. Again, I just wanted to make sure I would have a decent number to ensure I was going to qualify for Nationals. I took 115kg./125kg./132.5kg. on three successive attempts. 3/3 on the bench and a pretty good start to the meet.
Deadlift went better than expected. My plan was to not take a very heavy attempt here, but just enough to qualify. After the squat and bench, I did have to do a little bit of work on the deadlift to make sure I would be ok. On three successive attempts of 185kg./200kg./210kg., I hit my qualifying total of 557.5kg or 1229lbs. 50lbs. less than the first WNPF meet I competed in August, 2013. My WILKS total is the lowest I have ever had at 322.402.
Overall, I finished 2nd in my weight class of 264lbs. It was a long three hour drive home on a Sunday night. When I was a more competitive lifter in my younger days (about eight years ago) I would hit 1229lbs. in training on just my Squat and Deadlift days.
Without the worry of my doctoral courses getting in the way, I have started a 7 week program to get ready for the USAPL Iron Beast meet on January 25, 2015.
Squat: Bar/10/10, 95/10, 135/10, 225/10, 275/10/10/10
Mid Shin Deadlifts: 135/5/5, 185/5, 225/5/5, 275/5/5
Bench: Bar/15/15, 95/10, 135/10, 185/10/10/10
Pull-Ups w/ Average Band: 5/5/5
Pushdowns w/ Mini Band: 10/10/10
Face Pulls w/ Average Band: 10/10/10
Nothing crazy as you can tell. I need to get out of the habit of training for a meet, competing, and then sitting around for a couple of months, training, etc. I have been in this cycle for a couple of years. I had a stretch back from 2009-2012 that I trained on average 4 days a week, but I never competed in a meet. Just mindless training.
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Since my last meet back in August, I have not done much lifting. Maybe three or four training sessions. A lot has happened since my last meet. The most time consuming piece is that I'm enrolled in school again. I'm working on my Doctoral Degree in Executive Leadership. It is an accelerated program that takes 29 months. At this time in 2016 I should be defending my dissertation.
My classes for the program meet every other Friday night and Saturday. My last day of classes for this semester is Saturday, December 6th. I don't have class again until January 16th. So why not train eight weeks for a meet after not doing much for four months!?!
USAPL is a powerlifting federation I competed in quite frequently in my early and mid 20's. I had some success, still holding three records in the Junior category at 242 and 275. I have entered the USAPL Iron Beast Winter Classic II. The meet is being held on January 25, 2015. I have eight solid weeks of training for the meet.
USAPL Raw Nationals 2015 will be held in Philadelphia, PA. My plan for this meet is to hit the 264.5lb. class qualifying total. Once I hit the qualifying total in January, I will put my focus to Raw Nationals, to be held in October, 2015. The link to the meet can be found here:
I was 5 pounds over the day before weigh-ins. I have never been over the night before a meet. I put on my vinyl sweat top, and sat in the garage with the heater on. I jumped rope for about ten minutes. I spent about thirty minutes in the garage all together.
I immediately weighed myself when I woke up. 270lbs. I packed up all my gear, and headed out.
The meet was held at Victory Baptist Church, located in Henrietta, NY. It is a great facility to lift in. Ron, the VP of the WNPF, always holds great meets. I like their monolift, and their bars are much better than the one I train with.
I met up with Ron to weigh in. With just my boxers on, I weighed in at 271lbs. This was at 8am. I went to get some breakfast after weigh-ins. My opening attempts were 525/315/455.
The first flight of squats started at 10am. I started warming up as soon as the first flight got going. My warm-up attempts felt pretty easy. I didn't take as many as I usually would. I'm not sure if this hurt me or not. I took my last warm up at 495. I had about 7 minutes before my first attempt. I un-racked the bar without issue, waited for my commands, and smoked the weight for 3 white lights. I told the judges table I was attempting 550lbs. for my 2nd attempt. I felt really good un-racking the weight. I waited for my commands, and stalled out about two-thirds of the way up. What felt like a minute was probably 5 or 6 seconds. The spotters helped me up with the weight. I told the scores table I was going to attempt it again for my 3rd attempt. I shouldn't have even attempted it. Let's just leave it at that.
My bench training was going really well leading up to the meet. I felt really good warming up for the bench. There were fifteen lifters in my flight. I warmed up a little slower than I would normally. I opened at 315lbs. My spotter un-racked the weight for me, and I smoked it for 3 white lights. I told the judges table I was attempted 340lbs. for my second attempt. This would be a raw meet record for me. My spotter un-racked the weight for me, and again I smoked the weight for 3 white lights. I was not sure where to go for the next attempt. After very briefly discussing the decision with my training partners, I told the judges I would attempt 355lbs. Again, my spotter un-racked the weight for me. It didn't come up as fast as the previous attempt, but I received 3 white lights. I set a new raw bench pr of 355lbs.
I was not sure how my deadlift was going to go. Only once in my training session did I attempt 500lbs. I warmed up fairly well. I was 5th in my flight of thirteen. I opened at 455lbs. This was very conservative. I easily got 3 white lights. I told the judges I wanted 500lbs. Again, this was very conservative. I easily got 3 white lights again. This set a new raw pr for me. I asked for 530lbs. on my third attempt. This weight went up a little slower than the previous attempt. With very little struggle, I again got 3 white lights and a new raw deadlift pr.
My meet totals were 525 (tied my pr) in the squat/355 (raw pr) in the bench/530 (raw pr) in the deadlift. Meet total of 1,410lbs. This was the highest total of the meet by 10lbs. I had the biggest squat of the meet. I had the biggest 3 lift bench of the meet. My deadlift was middle of the pack.
Overall it was a great meet for me. Meet total pr, along with my bench and deadlift pr's. I'm not sure when I will be competing again. Hopefully sometime in the spring, 2015.
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.
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
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.