Thursday, June 29, 2006


Today I almost didn't lift. I was still sore all over from earlier this week. The only part that I could conceivably lift without hitting already sore areas was neck. So here is what I did (and I had to rush it as I had a 1:00 meeting):

Standing Preacher Bar Front Rows: 8 x 115, 3 x 6 x 135

Barbell Shrugs: 8 x 225, 3 x 6 x 245

Seated Close Grip Cable Rows: 8 x 170, 2 x 8 x 190, 8 x 200

Core work: In between sets I did 10 Captains Chairs(100 total)

Felt good about this workout even though I wish I had another 30 minutes for more.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Chest - focusing on feet placement and drive

Man my legs are probably the sorest they have ever been. Monday's workout was bare bones, but did it ever kick my butt! The good thing is, it won't take very much to improve in the legs and hopefully it will skyrocket. Hoping to be unsore enough on Friday to do another session.

Today's bench was to focus on feet placement and driving my heels into the mat.

Flat Bench: 10 x 225 warm up
4 x 4 x 225 - with bar pausing on my chest for seven seconds, then driving the weight up as powerfully as I can with my mind focusing on keeping my feet under my butt and driven into the ground.
2 x 8 x 275 with 4 blocks. These are touch and go, no pause.

Incline DB Press: 3 x 10 x 65 (The heaviest DB's we have. Wish I could afford heavier ones, but these will have to do.)

I did 50 crunches between exercises: 500 total.

I put a post up on the Utahpowerlifting forum and got several people offering to have me lift with them or get some tips. Very cool group of people. I called David Edgell and talked with him for a bit. Looks like he and a group of guys workout up at the Roy Gold's Gym at 7:00 a few days a week. I told him that I would call him in a couple weeks once I get back from vacation to find out what day the week of July 10th his group will be doing bench.

From the conversation, I get the feeling that I will definitely be thrown into the fire by working with these guys, but I think that would be good for me. I wish I had unlimited resources and time and then I would definitely join in full blast. I'll have to be satisfied with probably twice a month going up to the Roy Gold's gym. Hopefully I can take much of the methods learned there to the Tomax Gym and even get somebody at Tomax to really get excited about lifting too. There is a WABDL competition in Elko which David is interested in getting me to train for. I'd love another chance at 405 (with the proper technique and training this time) soon rather than waiting another six months. After I get back from the vacation I'll have to have a serious talk with Cathi to see if she is OK with me putting a little more priority on lifting.

Monday, June 26, 2006

First time doing legs in a long time

Squats: 12 x 135, 8 x 155, 6 x 175 - My legs were cramping up pretty good at this point. Reminding me to stretch before I do squats next time.
SLDL: 3 x 8 x 225 - These were tough to complete especially the 2nd and 3rd sets, but I did get them!
I figured I would be plenty sore tomorrow so I stopped here. My goal is to do legs twice a week which is a huge improvement over once every two weeks which was about what I was doing before.

Getting back to work

This morning I met Wayne and Brendon for some biceps:

Pullups (Rotating between lat/bicep grips): 4 x 7 x bw (240)
Standing Preacher Curls: 12 x 90, 12 x 85, 15 x 80, 15 x 75
Preacher Curls: 12 x 75, 3 x 10 x 95
21s: 3 sets

I got a good burn. My lower biceps are cramping up a little today so it was a great workout. We need a fan in that workout room badly! Dude I stink!

2006 Utah Summer Games - Bench Only Competition

Short Story –

1st attempt – 385 (success)
2nd attempt – 395 (fail)
3rd attempt – 395 (fail) My goal was 405 for 3rd if I got the 395 on the 2nd.

I was disappointed with my results in this meet, I had some surprises which threw me off, but next time I’ll be more prepared, not to mention stronger!

Here is a video of the lifts.

I did end up getting the gold medal in the open 235 and up weight category for the bench-only competition. So that was cool, but like I said when I started, it was the PR I wanted most, so getting the gold was bitter sweet.

Long Story -

Weigh in was at 8:00 am. I weighed in at 239. I was supposed to weigh under 235, so I was pushed into the heaviest category, 235 and up. I didn’t care too much as the only concern I had was with getting a new personal record, not what anyone else was doing.

At 9:00 they started squats. There were several guys squatting over 400 and a few at 500. I was in awe. They started with the youngest category moving to the open division and heavy categories. They didn’t start bench until around 11:00 or so. Then there were so many people doing bench only that it wasn’t until 1:30 that I did my lift. I was there drinking Gatorade and trying to get pumped for 4 hours and by the time I did my lift I was exhausted mentally.

About 15 minutes before my lift I did 275 twice with no shirt on, I was surprised at how heavy the weight felt. I knew though that the shirt and the pressure would give me that extra 100+ pounds.

As it turned out I was the last lifter for the day as I had the biggest opening lift (385 pounds). It was strange for me to see these really big guys lift and sometimes fail at weights that I have done. The heaviest weight benched to that point was 405 with the second best being 390! I had confidence that I could get the 385 and 395 since they were weights I had done before. At this point the gym had more people in it than the whole day. Here was the last bench of the day – talk about huge pressure and this was my first time doing a big lift outside of the Tomax basement!

My first lift did go up with some struggle, but it did go up. 385 down, 395 and 405 to go!

I had about 3 minutes until I had to lift 395. I was so anxious, it was hard for me to relax that whole time. I was angry earlier in the day that the lifters would take so much time (making me wait) so I felt self pressure to hurry up a little. What was most distressing was that it seemed as everyone was watching me. I hated that!

When I went for the 395 I couldn’t get it more than 3-4 inches off my chest before it stopped and started coming down. The spotters quickly grabbed it out of my grasp. What a bummer!!! My chance at 405 is gone! There is no way I’m going up in weight on my 3rd attempt if my 2nd wasn’t even close! So I had to at least tie my PR (395) on my third.

On the third I went further, but got stuck and couldn’t lock it out. I was upset that I didn’t meet my goals! However I was at least grateful I got 385. If I were to bomb out completely that would be the worst (and there were a few that did earlier in the day).

I was angry at myself because I have been struggling with my feet ever since I’ve started benching over 300. I have never had leg drive and my legs don’t give me any help at all. I talked with John, the master powerlifter who was the ref. He said I did need to work on my leg drive. He said to put 225 on the bar and let the bar sit on my chest for about 5-10 seconds (still pushing though so the weight isn’t resting on me) and then concentrate on my legs pushing my body up the bench so that they stay on the ground and help me get that weight up until the power transitions to my traps.

Lessons learned:
· focus on legs, not only for bench, but to get my squats and deadlifts to a respectable level.
· Next time I will not drink Gatorade all morning
· I will start major mental prep no more than 15 minutes before.
· Stay outside the gym until 10-15 minutes before my lift. Its too intense watching the others right before me.
· Make my opener smaller
· RELAX!!! Until its time to perform, and when it’s time do so with some RAGE! This meet I was unable to get some real rage as I was mentally exhausted by the time it was my turn.

Some things I thought were handled very well at the meet:
1. The organizers were good at judging. There were several people bouncing the weight off the chest, and they didn’t let that slide.
2. They were good at getting the crowd to cheer. When monumental lifts were being made they announced something that would cause the crowd to wake up a little and cheer.
3. They accommodated people who had music preferences and played their music during their lift.
4. John (the main judge) would give those who failed their lifts good direction on how to overcome their flaws and motivation to get the next attempts. But the fact is that without practice it’s hard to really adopt big changes unless those techniques are already mastered.
5. The gym was well cooled. It was probably 100 degrees outside (the doors were wide open too), but the gym stayed comfortable.

Some problems I had with the meet:
1. Two folding chairs. There was a lot of gym equipment, for spectators to sit on, but only two folding chairs! I was surprised at that! I had to sit in uncomfortable places for over 5 hours before my lift!
2. The water fountain was very wimpy and only had about a 1 inch arch. I was so sick of Gatorade by noon that I started drinking from the drinking fountain and I wasn’t impressed.
3. When I asked where the closest bathroom was, I was directed to a porta-potty about 50 yards away. I didn’t really think about this until I used it, but let’s say I take a dump in a portapotty with no facilities for cleaning up, and then go lift, my dirty hands are going on a bar that someone else is going to touch in the same place. I located a real bathroom where I could wash my hands but I don’t know if a porta-potty should be made available when a bathroom is twice as far, but people can wash their hands.

Thanks to everyone (Especially Cathi!) for supporting me in one of my passions in life!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Massage by Kristyn

Yesterday evening I got an hour long massage just on my upper body. It was awesome. There was a knot in my back just below each shoulder blade. It was quite painful to get them worked out, but they sure feel better than before. She did a fantastic job and was very professional. I'm definitely going back.

If you are interested in getting a good massage and live in North Davis County, Utah, give her a call at 644-5724. She's located at the Lifestyle Fitness Center in Layton at 1014 W. Gentile.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Taking it easy

I heard that I need to really rest up before the meet and I have been doing that except for today I did just a few sets:

Speed bench: 3 x 275, 3 x 275, 3 x 225

I experimented with finding my ideal grip on the bench. I believe it is with pinkys just inside the ring rather than middle finger on the ring.

It's been painful to stay completely out of the gym. In fact, I'm getting a one hour massage tonight, thanks to my in-laws for the Fathers Day gift!

I compiled a little list of things that I must not forget to pack for the trip:

Leather Belt
Wrist straps
Bench Shirts
NB Shoes
MP3 Player

I am getting really excited. I ordered #9 How Not To Bomb Out of a Meet DVD last week. I hope it gets here soon and that it contains something I can use for this Saturday.

I've remained on my decision to do 385/395/405. I'm doing the bench only. I really want that 405 bad!!! I've done 385/395 in the gym, so I'm hoping that the extra enthusiasm in the competition gives me that extra push to get the new PR. After this weekend I'm going to start working the legs real hard.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Biceps early in the morning

This morning I went of to Brandon Mattson's again, this time for biceps:

Pullups: 4 x 8 (5-8 with help)
Standing Curls: 12 x 95, 3 x 12 x 75
Preacher Curls: 2 x 12 x 75, 24 x 65, 20 x 65
Alternating DB Curls: 4 x 10 x 40

The car door locked on me with the keys in so that added an extra 10 minutes to my day. The weights today were much better and I was getting a good burn. Never felt like I was overexerting myself with too much weight. Lifting extremely light for the rest of this week until next Saturday.

Monday, June 12, 2006

That chest workout I was supposed to do light!

I was supposed to take it easy this morning, but oh boy did I overdo it. My pecs have cramped up several times throughout the day. I imagine I'm going to be pretty sore tomorrow. Its hard to really cut back! Make me feel really slack to go 5 reps of 65% That would mean I would do five sets of 255 and thats it! I'll have to do that next week for sure.

Lifting Chest in Brandon Mattson's basement

Yesterday evening Cathi suggested we go see Mattson's new terrier puppy. Cathi told me a couple weeks ago that Brandon lifts every morning with a friend of his. I called him last week about lifting with him but he had to go on a business trip. Well yesterday evening he showed me his gym and offered to let me work in with him and his partner, Wayne.

I got to bed late (11:30pm) and got up at 5:45 to go lift. Here is what I did:

Flat Bench: 15 x 225, 6 x 6 x 275
Incline Smith Press: 4 x 8 x 185
Military Smith Press: 12 x 115, 2 x 8 x 125, 5 x 145
DB Flys: 4 x 40
supersetted with
Tricep Cable Extensions: 10 x 65, 3 x 8 x 75

There was basically no rest between sets with the three of us constantly moving in/out and changing weights around. I was sweating like a pig, and I was completely fatigued by the time it was over. Next time I will definitely need to contain my enthusiasm and keep the weight much lower so I don't overexert myself as the meet gets closer. Excellent workout! I'll call him tonight to see if he still wants me to come on MWF or T and TH to avoid it getting too crouded.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Shoulders and back

SLDL: 3 x 5 x 225
Shrugs: 3 x 5 x 225
In between exercises did 50 crunches

Alternating DB curls: 3 x 5 x 45
DB Military Press: 3 x 5 x 45

In between exercises did 15 situps

Back Cable Extensions: 3 x 5 x 200
Preacher Curls: 3 x 3 x 145

In between exercises did 10 captains chairs

I wasn't planning on lifting today, but Brendon was interested so I wasn't going to flake on him. Finally getting some benefits out of having a partner! Also my neighbors wants me to join him tomorrow morning during his morning workout.

I'm anxious to have another good evening of Table Tennis at the club tonight. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Last heavy bench day til the games

Today I got Brendon and Luke to spot on some heavy bench work:

1 x 315 (slow with no shirt)
Put the shirt on....
1 x 385 (slight pause again at the half way point, but pushed past it)
1 x 395 (Stuck at half way point, struggled and weight came down (Thanks spotters))
1 x 405 (This one coming down was nice until I got to the half way point then it came down too fast. Stopped on the chest and I couldn't get it even 1/4 way up, so the spotters helped me get it up the whole way nice and slow)

DB Press: 20 x 65, 2 x 12 x 65 speed press
Decline DB Flys: 12 x 40, 2 x 12 x 45

I knew that the 405 I would need help on, but I was disappointed that I couldn't get the 395 up. I'm thinking that I'll start at 385 at the meet, and on the third attempt hopefully get 405.

This is my last time doing big weights before the meet (June 24th). I'll be doing some speed presses at 65% the next couple weeks.

Monday, June 05, 2006


Seated Cable Rows: 6 x 200, 2 x 6 x 200 (with Chains)
15 Situps
Chest Supported DB Rows: 12 x 35, 8 x 45, 8 x 50
15 Hyperextensions with 45 BB
Close Grip Cable Pulldowns: 12 x 150, 2 x 6 x 180
15 Situps
Military Press: 8 x 135, 2 x 6 x 165
15 Good Mornings with 75 pounds

Today I worked out with Brendon and it was nice to have a partner to move things along. We did this workout in less than 35 minutes. It was hot in the weight room too! No Air conditioning and no fan.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Biceps with Brendon

Today I convinced Brendon to join me. He choose Arms so we did:

Preacher Curls: 3 x 10 x 95
Tricep Cable Pulldowns: 12 x 80, 2 x 6 x 100
Alternating DB Curls: 3 x 8 x 40
Close Grip BenchPress: 12 x 185, 2 x 6 x 225

I didn't want to hit anything too much today as I'm going to the Table Tennis Club tonight. I got enough Birthday money to get a new Mark V GPS paddle which I hit with after this workout against the robot, and boy did it hit differently. It gives a much more hollow sound versus my old Mark V Paddle, but it is much faster and "crisper" than the old paddle. I'm excited about hitting there tonight.

Earlier in the day I read a post from "ironjohn" regarding how I should best be preparing for the June 24th meet. I'll go for one more big lift next week (385,395,405) and then go with sets of 3 at 335 for the next two weeks.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

DE Bench

Well - my neighbor cancelled, so I had to do my DE at work. I got Luke to help spot me so I did the following:

8 x 225
Put the shirt on....
1 x 365 (easy)
1 x 375 easy
1 x 385 paused at the sticking point but did get it up after yelling it out.

I rewarded myself with 30 minutes of hitting ping pong balls against my robot. Next week I'll have two spotters, so I'll definitely start at 375, 385, 395.

Pleased with today's numbers.