Monthly Archives: February 2015

Press Wednesday: Promising Numbers

VERY HAPPY with tonight’s training. Also glad that the tendinitis was minor and, when it did surface, it was in the final set of inclines… and it didn’t prevent me from hitting a new personal best there, either. This constant calorie saturation is paying dividends, and as I’m doing heavy singles instead of volume work it isn’t knocking my CNS around at all. So I’m going to do one last week of this before starting my program for CAPO states.

Realistically, I should be able to hit a 172.5 kilo bench next week, along with either a 330 or possibly 340 deadlift. I am still having trouble accepting that I am nearly at 350 – it’s like a 6 year dream about to be realised – and I’m excited as hell to give it a final go on Thursday. Squats… well, they are what they are. If everything holds together long enough, I will attempt 250 on Monday. But I won’t sacrifice the rest of the training week to get it: if it’s not feeling good, it’s not happening.

Ultimately, I’d like to go 250/175/3-and-something-fucking-big. Maybe even more on bench, if I can get it on the day.

Bench Press:
Paused
20 kgs x 5
70 kgs x 5
100 kgs x 3
130 kgs x 1
150 kgs x 1
170 kgs x 1 PR
Max reps
130 kgs x 8 PR (I think)

45 Incline Press:
60 kgs x 5
90 kgs x 2
110 kgs x 1
130 kgs x 5 PR

Pull Monday: 705 Pounds

No pulling last Thursday. No Strongman events on the weekend. So much inaction in aid of healing, so I can lift later. Come this morning I wasn’t limping or feeling much pain, so training was back on the agenda… but no way was I going to squat. I swapped it for pulls, and focussed my intent on getting that 320 kilogram deadlift tonight.

It came up, easy.

I’m looking forward to returning to base-building, and continuing the steady climb to 350. If I can pull that some day, with a mediocre 250 squat and slightly better 200 bench, I’d total 800. And that would make me pretty goddamn happy.

Deadlifts:
70 kgs x 5
120 kgs x 3
170 kgs x 3
220 kgs x 1
260 kgs x 1
290 kgs x 1
320 kgs x 1 PR

Underhand bent-over rows:
100 kgs x 10
120 kgs x 10
130 kgs x 5

DB forward raises:
left & right
10 kgs x 10
15 kgs x 10

Press Wednesday: 2 For 2

I LIMPED in to PTC Perth late tonight with a knee complaint, and I limped out with a knee complaint and a brand new elbow complaint.

The pain I initially attributed to a hyperextension of my left knee is centred in the medial meniscus or MCL. I’m hoping it’s just a sprain, and in a few days will be good again… but a tear will need diagnosis with an MRI, treatment, rehab, and all that shit I don’t really have the time or money for right now. Walking this morning was a challenge.

As I was asked by Chris; yes, I am back training full time at Performance Training Centre, Perth, in Malaga. Here I have access to all the speciality equipment I need to train effectively, with a close-knit group of guys and girls who look out for each other, and a serious atmosphere I have missed.

All the same, things didn’t go well for me tonight. I worked up to my best bench one rep max of 165 kilograms (or 364 lbs) with a two second pause, and half way up I felt my right arm failing. It was a prolonged tussle getting it all the way up, but I did. And once I racked the bar, the tendinitis I’d been fighting took hold. It was crippling, and didn’t let up. So I called it a night there.

Two injuries sustained over two training sessions. I was intending to pull something really, really heavy this week. That’s looking like a stupid idea right now.

Squat Tuesday: A Shaky Return

IT’S GREAT when things stop hurting. It’s not so great when you don’t know why things were hurting in the first place. Yesterday my knees were still a bit rough from last weekend, but today they felt more or less okay. So I decided to squat. I warmed up properly and I asked for my depth to be checked on all the money sets. Breaking parallel felt a whole lot deeper than just parallel, but I hit it. Through all my sets, I had no real knee complaints. None. Then, later, I was finishing up bent-over rows and my left knee (the one that generally works better and complains less; the one that was not hurting) hyper-extended. So, back to limping, just on the other foot this time.

Other than that, things went pretty well.

Squats:
30 kgs x 8
80 kgs x 5
130 kgs x 5
160 kgs x 3
180 kgs x 3 no belt or sleeves/wraps

Bent-over barbell rows:
100 kgs x 10
120 kgs x 10
130 kgs x 10 PR

DB forward raises:
left and right
10 kgs x 10
15 kgs x 10

Five Iron: A Perspective

COME April of this year, I will have begun my sixth year of training. In that time I have kicked two nasty habits, lost over 25 kilos of body fat and put back on 15 of what we can hope is mostly muscle. It will be my fourth year as a competitive lifter, and I will be 35 year old.

Competing at GPC states this weekend gone has caused me to look back at my lifting career and make some interesting observationDarwin 1s. I wouldn’t call these direct comparisons, at least not in the context of oneupmanship (an undesirable trait no matter what sport or politic you might inhabit) but more of an appreciation for my own modest achievements and for those of other lifters I follow. Lifters like Trent Harris and Darwin Suteerawanit.

Both of these kids are just that: kids. Seventeen and nineteen years of age respectively. Trent has a 300 kilogram squat at under 100 and Darwin a 300 kilo deadlift at under 90. In addition to possessing this kind of talent at such a young age, they are both regular, humble, good natured guys. Whatever kind of virus – easily transmitted in the lifting community – which has inflated the egos of so many strength athletes, it has so far left these two unaffected.

Since June 2011 I have been learning from people younger than me. I don’t want to ever discount the wisdom of those real old codgers, like Jeremy Hogg and the inimitable Adam Coe (both of whom I had a good long chin-wag with as we watched Saturday’s lifting), but the people who first started giving me one-on-one instruction in Strongman training – and the finer points of lifting in general – were all my juniors by a good ten years. This is to say, I guess, that I never discount advice based on the age of the person dispensing it. If some punk kid totals more than me, that doesn’t mean he knows more than me necessarily… but I pretty much guarantee you he can tell me something new.Trent 1

The day we competed, Trent and I noticed we totalled almost exactly the same. He had 60 kilos on my squat, and I had 60 on his deadlift. The tiebreaker was his superior bench, but even so, there was not much in it. So he and I have come to an arrangement. He is going to work on his dead, and I’m going to get the best I can out of my squat. We will be pushing each other to reach new totals in May, when I enter CAPO states and he travels to the Gold Coast for GPC nationals. There’s not really a prize involved here… it’s not a bet. It’s just camaraderie.

I read somewhere just this morning about how the notion of competing against yourself, or for the personal enjoyment of it, is a weak mentality that people hide behind. I really don’t know that this is a fair call. I enjoy doing what I do not because I am the best at it. Darwin and Trent are just two examples of people who can out class me (a “Strongman extraordinaire”) pound for pound, any day of the week. I do it because of the challenge it offers. Getting to the pinnacle may never happen for me: I may never win ASM (assuming the competition even exists in another twelve months), and with international-strength contenders like Odell Manuel in under 140 Powerlifting, I know I don’t have much chance of taking the gold there either. But the day I can no longer lift, no matter how close I might have come to those podiums, the journey is what will have made it all worthwhile.

GPC Powerlifting State Championships, WA

Performance Training Centre – Perth played host to this year’s GPC powerlifting state championships. Two days of squatting, benching and deadlifting, and it’s hot. Damn hot. While the gym’s aircon fought it as best it could, the humidity was oppressive for lifters and spectators alike. Being there for the duration of saturday taught me a lesson, so on day two, when the temperature climbed even higher (to over 41 degrees celsius, according to my vehicle’s thermometer), I was glad for the extra ice packs and towels I’d brought with me.

Despite the heat, the crowds were lively and excited for what was promised: the moving of some serious weight. And they were not disappointed. Now, if I spoiled the mood by telling you what some of the athletes thought of their efforts it would be no good at all. Sitting in the pews that Saturday I saw Linus, a kid weighing under 90 kilos, squat 280 like it was a warmup (and indeed it was), and then take a shot at 300. Watching that kinda feat makes my hips want to break in sympathy – both of them. It was incredible. And later, the likes of Yianni and Darwin both pulled 280 kilos at under 72.5 and under 82.5 respectively. Phenomenal numbers for their weight classes… but still not where they’d intended to be.

Amongst the other notable efforts for day one, serious improvements were in evidence from PTC crew Danni Pearsall, who squatted 125, benched 75 and pulled 130 at under 52 kilos – all Masters Australian records. And one of the oldest and most well recognised lifters at the comp – Jim Ambrose – equalled his previous personal best deadlift of 225 kilos in the kind of fight which seemed to define the day.

Day two. Let’s take care of my shit here.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This time around I was in the under 140s (just) after a two month bulk. Last year I was typically walking around at 127/128. I weighed-in Saturday at 136.4, and the morning of the comp itself I was 139 and change… successful enough, if the main determinant was scale weight. But I wanted it to translate to a significant improvement on my previous S/B/D total, with the firm goal being 700 or more. A couple of technicalities cost me my opener on squat, and my best ever bench; I locked out 165 kilos but didn’t wait for the start call. And, after 310 I tried to pull 320… got it maybe a foot off the floor when the bar shifted forward just a little (likely from me compensating for my aching goddamn knees) and from there it wasn’t ascending any further. But with singing knees and the serious exhaustion all lifters had to contend with that day, I really cannot be upset with my efforts. 320 will fall, just as 310 has, and in good time. I’d really like 250/175/325 by mid-year. I think it’s achievable so long as I keep with the fortnightly squatting program I implemented late last year… and stick to it this time.

The impressive performances on the day were above and below my weight class. Kat, a lady in the under 82.5 kilo division, squatted an amazing 191.kilos to break the ladies open record. An absolute behemoth from Bunbury, I believe his name was Matt, squatted 330 and benched 230 at a touch under 170 kilograms bodyweight. And PTC’s own Tim Tomkinson went 280/185/300 for a 765kg total at just 103.2kg, taking gold for his division and bronze overall.

Normally I would add a bunch of pics and/or vids about now. Pics and vids I’d either have shot myself or purloined from Gaborjacked (who typically can’t help but bring his enormous digital SLR along to a lifting comp), but thankfully PTC has all that shit locked down. There will be plenty of both coming up in my newsfeed soon, so I’ll just grab some of the better ones and add them here.

A huge thanks has to go to PTC Perth, their major sponsors including Loaded Lifting and Awesome As, and the efforts of the loaders, spotters and referees who made both days run smoothly and professionally.

Final Countdown: Last Bench Before States

IT’S TRULY amazing the difference 90 minutes of dry needling makes. I was a wreck most of saturday, shambling around the house, trying not to use my thoroughly skewered quads or forearms too much. One more lost opportunity to squat… at least I can scrap the wraps (which I’m just not comfortable enough with to risk using on the day) and wear my SBD sleeves instead. I’m much more confident of hitting a decent squat with those to be honest. Maybe come May, and the CAPO nationals, I will be more familiar with wraps. And also shave my legs.

Tonight’s bench session – the final training session before the comp – was promising. 160, paused, is a legit PR, and I’m virtually guaranteed of hitting that and more on the day. It felt good to be benching on the right equipment too.

I have my openers set. I’m as ready as I’m going to be. Bring on Sunday.

Bench press (paused):
20 kgs x 5
70 kgs x 3
110 kgs x 1
130 kgs x 1
150 kgs x 1
160 kgs x 1 PR
125 kgs rep-out x 8 PR

45 Incline press:
60 kgs x 5
80 kgs x 2
100 kgs x 1
125 kgs x 4 PR

Skull crushers:
60 kgs x 10 PR, 8, 8 TPR