After just finishing up my bench meet at 198, I need a new goal. Anyone who knows me or follows my blog knows I need a goal. I could try and best the 440 bench I just hit, but that wouldn't be too hard. If you saw the lift, you know. I had a lot left in the tank. Besides, my best raw competition bench is 605, so anything less is pretty anticlimactic for me.

I could shoot to compete in my seventh weight class, but I have zero interest in going down to the 181's. My body can't handle wearing gear anymore so that's out. At this point bench only is pretty much dead for me.

Where does this all leave me, full meet maybe? For those who don't know, I started as a full meet lifter. I actually had a lot of promise. I won every meet I competed in and that's actually when there was one type of powerlifting. It wasn't snowflake lifting where everyone got a trophy. There weren't ten different divisions in each weight class such as mutli-ply, single ply, raw with wraps, raw without wraps, fire divisions, crossfit division, etc. Plus meets were not nearly as plentiful. In each weight class you were pretty much directly competing against 10 to 20 lifters depending on the size of the meet.

As an up and coming lifter, I was far better at the squat and deadlift than I ever was at the bench. Unfortunately I ruptured two discs in my back and never really came back from it. So I embraced the only lift my body could handle, the bench. Back in the day bench only meets were a big thing. They even had one on national tv, where yours truly won his weight class. Long story short, I had a pretty good run.

The past ten years or so I have had an itch to get back to full meet lifting. The problem was, as a great bencher, I don't think I really wanted to start all over as a three lift guy. Being semi- retired now, I powerlift solely for fun. I don't feel the need to be a top ten lifter anymore. Basically, just staying whole and competing in a full meet would be a good challenge for me.

With that in mind I have a plan. I know I can bench, but I do have to change my form. The arching and driving through my heels wreaks havoc on my back, so that I'll have to tinker with. For the squat I have been solely using a safety squat bar since returning to the lift after injuring my back. For the deadlift I have been using a trap bar. Well, except for the one day I got a wild hair that caused me to pull with a regular bar. I hadn't done it in over a decade, but that didn't slow me down. I ended up completely rupturing my left biceps at 675 lbs. Just an fyi, I tore it on the way up, but still managed a full lockout before I let it go. Just ask Matt Rhodes, that was a fun day.

Being older, wiser, and even more beat up, I have a smarter plan this time around. On my first day back training after the meet, I took 225 on the Duffalo bar for a bunch squat reps and 225 on a straight bar to deadlift and suffered no ill effects. It's a start.

The plan now is to continue with the safety squat bar and trap bar as primary lifts for squats and deads when doing my 5/3/1 reps. After that, I will be completing my FSL (lighter volume work) with the Duffalo bar for squats, and straight bar for deadlifts. I am committing myself to this plan for the next two training cycles which will be eight weeks. After that I will reassess.

I am in no rush. If all goes as planned, which things rarely do in powerlifting, I plan on competing next June. Right now, it's new and fun. The training is light and there's no stress. As a semi-retired powerlifter this is how it should be. Let's hope I can keep it this way.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned...