I don’t write about my training too much, mostly because I am not too happy with it and that it isn’t all that interesting compared to my EliteFTS teammates.

Without going into all of my injuries and sounding like a whine bag, let’s just say that I am nowhere near as strong or as physically capable as I once was.

As I approach 50 very soon, I am seeing the toll that years of being stupid in the gym has taken on my body as well as what my other line of work did to it.

I was a Deputy Sheriff for 21 years and there is a large physical component to that line of work. Lumps, bumps, bruises, shit tearing off all add up.

Couple that with training since the early 1980’s, much of it dumb, and not having the huge amount of quality information available to us today, things just don’t work like they used to.


I am feeling pretty good. In fact, I feel and move better than I have in years.


Well, I am pretty sure that since I cleaned up my nutrition, got out 95% of the shit and dropped almost 85 pounds, my body is much happier and is functioning better internally than it has in decades.

Losing over 80 pounds is a lot easier on the joints and skeletal system. Shit hurts less just being smaller.

I’m also not out of breath just walking the 10 steps from my office to my sweet Ram pickup.


RPR, powerlifting, cj murphy, elitefts, old man, canvas;

I am also 100% sure that the proper inclusion of RPR techniques done consistently has made the biggest difference.

If you are unfamiliar with RPR and what it can do for you, READ THIS.

I am so much a believer in RPR that we have made it a mandatory part of all client/athlete programs, and I’m having JL Holdsworth out next weekend for an RPS Level 2 Certification seminar.

I perform RPR daily.

Every morning before I get out of bed, I do Zone 1, which is the foundation of RPR. It targets breathing, Psoas and Glutes. These three things are pretty important to human movement and performance.

To say the least.

I also do RPR pre-training and it has replaced virtually all of my warmup work except a small amount of Acumobility ball work and lift specific warm up.

EG: starting with an empty bar for the lift of the day and doing as many sets of 5-10 as I think I need.

Since I returned to competing in Bench only, I’ve done two meets.

One ok.

One awful.

My numbers at the first meet were excellent for me and where my body was, they were not what I wanted, but as it says in the article, I could not bench an empty bar about a year before that meet, so hitting 380 was a win, especially at the much lower weight.

I always lifted in the 275's and 308's, mostly 308's classes, but these were in the 242’s.

In both meets, we saw the bane of my existence  (pun intended) rear it’s ugly head: my ass popping off the bench.

I’ve never been able to keep it down on heavy benches.

I’ve tried just about everything to fix it and nothing has worked.

Until last week.

During last week’s session in the awesome Metal Jack shirt, my training partner Matt noticed that I was panicking as I tried to touch the shirt and letting my abs release. This made me pop my ass off the bench.

We tried a few more sets and I focused on nothing but keeping my abs braced.

It worked. Only problem, I worked on it raw as I was spent after the shirt work.
It was a lot easier to do with the lighter weight.

My other partners, Russ and Coach Candace agreed that I needed to move my feet way further forward than I ever had before. I was VERY reluctant to do it, but as I said in a previous log I needed to stop being a dick, listen to and trust my partners.

Russ went so far as to quote Vincent and said to move my feet to a position where the ass could not come off the bench no matter what.


The problem was that I was never able to find the position.

So, after a few sets with a little less weight, they had my feet out about a mile in front of the bench and I tried as hard as I could to lift my ass, but it would not come up.


One problem arose.

My hip hurt like a bastard after each set. This has not been an issue for a while now (a few months) and it gave me great concern.

I shut the benching down and did some Edema JM presses after and told them I’d see how the hip felt the next day.

Here’s the kicker. It felt as good as it has the next day, no ill effects.
I think it  just needed to get used to the new position. It will take some time.

On the next training session (last Wednesday) I had Box Squats  planned.
This in and of itself is amazing to me because I have not been able to squat for a LONG time due to pain in the hip which was made much worse if I even bent over, never mind squatted.

The RPR, and Duffin’s KMS stuff has changed all that and I’ve been squatting.

After figuring out what I could do over the course of a few weeks, we realized I can box squat to a height that keeps me out of the pain range which is meet depth.
I’ve been using a 15 ½” box, which is the height I’ve always used to train for equipped meets, but I added a 6” block of foam.

The addition of the foam did two things:

  •  Forced me to stay tighter on the box -which is GOOD
  •  Kept me about 1 ½”-2” above the pain zone, so all of you internet experts, don’t bother telling me it was high, I know. That is on purpose.
  • I’d rather squat a little high (for now) than not squat at all.

So, the plan was to use the Kabuki Transformer bar with this box set up and a pair of Metal briefs and hit 315 for triples.
The briefs do a lot to keep pain away, they aren’t just good for lifting more.
As I was warming up Russ came over and said he had two nice Metal suits that would fit me in the office if I wanted to try them on.


RPR, powerlifting, cj murphy, elitefts, old man, canvas;

I said I am feeling stupid, why don’t you grab them and I’ll just try one on.

He came out with a Jack suit and a Canvas suit.
I have used the Jack suit a zillion times, but never the Metal canvas. I think you know here this is going.
I tried the canvas suit on and it fit like it was custom made.


  • 365 goes on the bar.
  • And it goes up.
  • 405 goes on the bar.
  • It went up.
  • 455 goes on the bar.
  • It went up.

Naturally Russ told me to go to 5 plates, but I did not.

Well today was not as planned. I was going to take 315 with the @mad_scientist_duffin Transformer bar to a high box just above where the hip usually hurts (15 1/2") + the big foam, but I got Russ'd. Everyone's favorite coach came over as I was warming up with 225 and said (read in the Russ voice) I have 2 suits in the office that'll fit you. So I said I'm feeling stupid. Lemme just try one on. Out comes the Metal canvas and it looked pretty sweet so I tried it on. Then it made me squat in it. 1st video 405. 2nd video 455. The bar clearly exposed a weakness in my upper back, but the weight moved fast and felt light. And! No hip pain! After not being able to squat for such a long time, having this much weight move pain free felt AWESOME. The boys said to go to 545 but I played it smart. Maybe next week...... #tpsmalden #bostonsstrongest #whiskey #elitefts #powerlifting #canvas #metal # transformer #oldguysrule #brokeasship #gettingbetter #tpsmethodforpowerlifting #teamtps #teamelitefts #multiplytillidie #gometal @underthebar @nateharvey2600 @kabukistrengthlab @clint_darden

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I have not had that much weight on my back in a long time, and I wanted to shut it down and see how the old man hip felt the next day.
Note: In the video you see me dumping a little.
This is for a few reasons.

  •  I am not that strong.
  •  The Transformer bar, at the setting I used causes a much bigger dump than an ordinary Safety Squat Bar, at least for me.
  •  I think I forgot my groove after being away for squatting for so long.

The next day, I was 100% surprised that my hip felt as good as it has. No ill effects once again.
I hit the shirt again this week with my feet in the new position and squatted in the suit again, but stayed at 405 to fix my form issues.

All of the weight in the shirt felt much heavier than usual, which leads me to a point.

Of course it felt heavier. I was doing basically a brand new movement that my body had to learn and develop pathways for.
Whenever you make a change, many people look for instant performance improvements but that does not always happen.

I was looking for two things with the new foot position on the bench.

  • To keep my ass down
  • To keep the pain from coming back

I was not looking for a PR.
That would be dumb.

When you make changes, you have to realize that you must give it time to work.

You may take a step backwards initially.

That is no reason to give up. Sticking with something and giving it time to work will usually pay off in the long run.
In this instance, I am sure it will pay off as my ass stayed down. I’ll need to get stronger in this new position and give it time to work.

Had I continued to work where I was, my gym lifts might have gone up, but my meet lifts would not have as it would not have fixed the ass popping off then bench.
What you lift in the gym doesn’t count. What you lift on the platform does. Asses need to be down on the platform.

This last few weeks of training made me realize something I need to do with my own training that I do with older clients I train-which goes against my normal programming methodology.

Change movements (not just exercises) weekly.

Let me explain.

I’ll use one person I train as an example. She is a very fit and very active woman over 55.
For years, I did my usual templates of sticking to the same movement for two to three weeks with her, but it wasn’t working well as of late.

A lot of her out of the gym activities can cause some of the issues we saw with her, such as nagging strains, aches, and generally being jacked up.

She rows a lot, runs, bikes and golfs. The rowing and the biking are the ones that cause a lot of the issues I saw in her hips. I needed to do something about it. I decided to rotate movements every week and repeat them every few weeks.


We used to Squat each week for three weeks, then switch.
Same for pressing and pulling.
Now, we will follow a plan like this:

  • Week 1: Squat, Overhead Press
  • Week 2: Trap Bar Deadlift, Incline Bench Press
  • Week 3: Good Morning, Floor Press
  • Week 4: Split Squat, Dumbell Bench Press
  • Week 5: back to week 1 and change reps scheme.

Her assistance/accessory work changes every week as well.

She has been training with me for about 17 years, so she knows the movements well.  I wouldn’t do this with a beginner as they need time to LEARN the movements.

With this rotation we have seen almost all of the nagging issues go away.
Rotating movement patterns each week for the older athlete is a good idea.
I am an older athlete, if you consider Powerlifters athletes…….

So, I am going to begin an experiment and start rotating movements weekly and see what happens.
I’ll keep you posted.


RPR Level 2

We’ve got a few spots left for JL’s RPR level 2 seminar next week. Info is on the RPR site.



If you like my logs and would like some in person coaching, we are running our monthly Training Day this Saturday at noon.

We are coaching the Squat this week.

For only $20 you can drag your ass to TPS and from noon until 2:00 pm my team of professional coaches will teach you:

  • RPR warmup
  • Proper Rooting and Bracing
  • Correct foot position for you
  • Proper bar placement
  • How to squat MORE and be strong(er)/strong(her)

Link to attend is on my Facebook page and Instagram.
Beginners, non members and competitive lifters all welcome.
See you there.


Did you miss my last log?

Click the picture to read it.

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Vincere vel mori

Total Performance Sports


By: C.J. Murphy

July 19, 2018