2017 IPA Battle of the Beast 2 with Tank's Training Facility Powerlifting Squad

TAGS: 2017 IPA Battle of the Beast, Tanks Training Facility, Chris Janek, meet prep

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Our powerlifting squad likes to participate in three meets yearly. We always do the XPC Powerlifting Championships at the Arnold Classic in March. After that we try to find another couple meets that fit most lifters' schedules. On July 8th, we traveled to Press Fitness to compete at the Battle of the Beast IPA Powerlifting meet. The drive was about six hours from our home base in Granite City, Illinois. Lifting at this meet we had six lifters: Kate Hueller (114-pound raw), Steph Burger (165-pound raw), Aaron Mitchell (220-pound raw), Bobby Simpson (275-pound raw), Nick Novacich (275-pound single-ply), and Brian Forestor (275-pound multi-ply). Handling and coaching was myself, Randy Presswood, Ed Clark, and Tyler Jennings. Tyler did the majority of wrapping knees while Randy, Ed, and myself helped load, spot, call depth, etc. We also had a good amount of people come to watch and help out with small stuff such as grabbing food, drinks, or just getting anything the lifters might need.


RECENT: Powerlifting as a Team Sport — The Professional Mindset of Tank's Training Facility


The venue, Press Fitness, was awesome. The owner Bobby Betts has some serious equipment for his lifters and clients. The meet itself was over 50 lifters with a good ratio of raw and equipped. It was good to see other gyms there as well, such as Westside Barbell, Nebo Barbell, Sweatt Shop, and Cell Block, just to name a few. Seeing and catching up with some of my peers and coaches I look up to is always great and makes the trip even better. Catching up with Louie Simmons and Laura Phelps-Sweatt was awesome. Most people don't recognize me anymore due to my major weight loss (I've lost 60 pounds, mainly muscle) and it is a weird thing to see their reactions once they realize who I am.

The meet itself posed a problem for lifters trying to do exactly what every lifter wants: setting a PR total. It was extremely hot that day in the area we were in. Add to that 55 lifters and another 10 or more attendees and the temperature goes up even more. Despite that, our six that lifted that day all did extremely well.

Kate, our 114-pound lifter was competing on the platform for her first time. She totaled 745 pounds with her lifts at 275-155-315. She broke into the top 20 in the world for squat. She now holds the number 26th best total ever in the 114-pound weight class. She is coached by Tyler Jennings. They both have joined our team about six months ago and have been great additions.

Steph Burger upped her last meet and set a PR total at the 165-pound weight class with a 1015-pound total. Steph would have even had more if she would have held on to her third squat of 400 pounds. She killed the squat but for some odd reason didn't rack it right and got red lights. Steph has been with us almost two years and just keeps getting better. She is coached by our in-house coach Ed Clark. Aaron, Bobby, Nick, and Brian I helped them out this training cycle. Every one of them set a PR to their total.

Aaron Mitchell killed it that day. He squatted 710 pounds (25-pound PR), benched 365 pounds, and deadlifted 700 pounds (15-pound PR), with a 1775-pound total and a 40-pound PR on his total. Unfortunately, Aaron tore his bicep and had surgery this past Wednesday. The way he pulled his second attempt deadlift of 700 pounds, I know he had another 25 or more pounds in him and would have gotten over 1800 pounds that day. He will be back, as we are already mapping out a game plan to get him back and healthy.

Bobby Simpson is another fairly new lifter to our team. And like Tyler and Kate, Bobby is a great addition. Bobby came to me and asked for help, so I helped him. He really meshes well with the others he lifts with (Aaron, Nick, Brian, and Sam). Those guys have some great, intense sessions. Bobby had some major cramping/locking up issues later in the day of the meet. He missed his first two deadlifts attempts due to both calves cramping up and having to fall forward. Despite this, he sucked it up and got his third deadlift in which let to a PR total of 1750. From watching Bobby's training, he should have gotten around a 750-pound deadlift, but the cramping and heat hurt his total.

Nick had another good meet. This is his second meet since coming back from an injury. He now competes single-ply instead of what he used to do in multi-ply. Nick set a squat PR of 850 pounds, a bench press PR of 540 pounds, and a 2065-pound. His second deadlift was his last attempt. He passed on his third deadlift, which would have upped his total even more. Nick was just too depleted from the heat.

Brian came to me recently for help after programming for himself. I really tried (like I do for all my lifters) to build up his raw strength before he got into the gear. Brian has not done a meet in years and this was great to see him get after it again. He squatted 800 pounds after not squatting that much since 2007. He benched 500 pounds and deadlifted 625 pounds (his last deadlift in a meet was 600 pounds in 2012, single-ply) and totaled 1925 pounds, which was a PR.

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We ran the powerlifting squad all the same, as if everyone was competing that week of July 8. We tested a couple of our younger lifters and they hit some crazy PRs. I am a big believer that if it ain't broke, why fix it? Everyone I have trained has always set PRs on their total — some five pounds, and some over 100 pounds. I try to stay away from watching all these social media new methods to "get better" or "improve your lifts." There isn't much more to develop in the lifting world. I stick with what I know works. After that, you need the lifter to get in with others who are like-minded and want to get better over the long haul of a career. We have had to let a few go over the last few years due to reasons such as loyalty problems and selfishness. The worst one was a know-it-all not from learning hands-on but from social media. I am also a big believer that if you constantly watch all these social media lifts, you will never make progress but will always do something newer and "hip" at that time.


Here is a sample of a few weeks of what we ran starting at week 10 up to the meet:

WEEK 10

Monday

Pre

  • Spin Bike: 4 minutes
  • Static Quad: Hold one minute each leg
  • Prone/Spine Scorpions x 15

Lift

  1. Speed Deadlift: 10x1 with 65%. 45 seconds rest between sets. Work on SPEED. Pull against small greens.
  2. Zercher Pin Good Morning: 5x8 heavy (second hole)
  3. Strap-lunges: 4x20 reps each leg
  4. Crunch Machine: 5x20, add as much weight as you can.
  5. Heavy Backward Sled Pull: 250-300 pounds, do 5 trips.

Tuesday

Pre

  • Band Wall Walk x 10
  • Superman Hold with Light Dumbbell x 1 minute

Lift

  1. Elitefts Shoulder Saver Press: 4x10 moderate weight
  2. Narrow Grip Pulldowns: 5x8 heavy
  3. Band Pull-Aparts: 3x75, palms facing up
  4. Dips (Machine or Bench): 4 x failure with bodyweight
  5. Crazy KB Curls: 4x12

Thursday

Pre

  • TKE x 25
  • Hurdle Mobility: Under/Over x 12 each side

Lift

  1. Cambered Bar Squats: 5x5 heavy, work up to a heavy set of 5 and then perform that set for all 5 sets.
  2. Glute Ham Raise: 5x8 with pause at 45%
  3. Band Leg Curls: 3x100
  4. Belt March: 3x50 each leg, heavy as fuck

Friday

Pre

  • Internal-External Rotations: 20 each arm
  • W's x 25 (against wall)

Lift

  1. Bench Press: 5x5, work up to a heavy set of 5 and then perform that set for all 5 sets.
  2. Kettlebell Rows: 5x8 heavy as hell
  3. Barbell Floor Press: 5x5 heavy
  4. J-Pulls (Band): 5x8
  5. Extra: Biceps or triceps if needed

Raw guys, wear all gear you would in a meet. Geared guys, add shirts and gear.

WEEK 11

Monday

Pre

  • Spin Bike: 4 minutes
  • Static Quad: Hold one minute each leg
  • Prone/Spine Scorpions x 15

Lift

  1. Speed Deadlift: 6x1 with 70%. 45 seconds rest between sets. Work on SPEED. Pull against small greens and small oranges.
  2. Zercher Pin Good Morning: 4x5 heavy (second hole)
  3. Strap-lunges: 4x15 reps each leg
  4. Crunch Machine: 5x25, add as much weight as you can.
  5. Heavy Backward Sled Pull: 350-450 pounds, do 5 trips.

Tuesday

Pre

  • Band Wall Walk x 10
  • Superman Hold with Light Dumbbell x 1 minute

Lift

  1. Elitefts Shoulder Saver Press: 3x8, heavier than last week
  2. Narrow Grip Pulldowns: 5x6 heavy
  3. Band Pull-Aparts: 4x50, palms facing up
  4. Dips (Machine or Bench): 5 x failure with bodyweight
  5. Crazy KB Curls: 4x15

Thursday

Pre

  • TKE x 25
  • Hurdle Mobility: Under/Over x 12 each side

Lift

  1. Cambered Bar Squats: 3x2 heavy, work up to a heavy set of 2 and then perform that set for all 3 sets.
  2. Glute Ham Raise: 5x6 with pause at 45%
  3. Band Leg Curls: 4x80
  4. Belt March: 3x40 each leg, heavy as fuck

Friday

Pre

  • Internal-External Rotations: 20 each arm
  • W's x 25 (against wall)

Lift

  1. Bench Press: 3x3, work up to a heavy set of 3 and then perform that set for all 3 sets.
  2. Kettlebell Rows: 4x6 heavy as hell
  3. Barbell Floor Press: 4x4 heavier than last week
  4. J-Pulls (Band): 4x6
  5. Extra: Biceps or triceps if needed

Make sure to do all main lifts with commands and as you would do in the meet. Raw and geared guys, wear everything you would in the meet. I will send a couple of you guys some extra stuff as we spoke on. You've still got a lot of time, so stay healthy and get lots of rest when you can.

WEEK 12

Monday

Pre

  • Spin Bike: 4 minutes
  • Static Quad: Hold one minute each leg
  • Prone/Spine Scorpions x 15

Lift

  1. Speed Deadlift: 3x1 with 80%. 90 seconds rest between sets. Work on SPEED. Pull against small greens and small oranges.
  2. Zercher Pin Good Morning: 3x3 heavy, work up to a PR triple on the second hole.
  3. Strap-lunges: 3x20 reps each leg
  4. Crunch Machine: 5x30, add as much weight as you can.
  5. Heavy Backward Sled Pull: 400-500 pounds, do 3 trips with some rest between.

Tuesday

Pre

  • Band Wall Walk x 10
  • Superman Hold with Light Dumbbell x 1 minute

Lift

  1. Bamboo Bar Bench Press: 4x20 reps with 3/3 tempo
  2. Narrow Grip Pulldowns: 5x5 heavy as fuck
  3. Band Pull-Aparts: 3x50, palms facing up
  4. Dips (Machine or Bench): 4 x failure with bodyweight or added weight
  5. Crazy KB Curls: 4x12, heavier than last week

Thursday

Pre

  • TKE x 25
  • Hurdle Mobility: Under/Over x 12 each side

Lift

  1. Squat: 3x1 with planned opener minus 8%. Rest as you would at the meet (4-5 minutes) and use competition setup and commands.
  2. Glute Ham Raise: 4x12 with added weight or bands, no pause
  3. Band Leg Curls: 3x50, heavy tension
  4. Belt March: 3x30 each leg, heavy as fuck

Friday

Pre

  • Internal-External Rotations: 20 each arm
  • W's x 25 (against wall)

Lift

  1. Bench Press: Work up to your planned opener minus 8% on the bar. Do three singles with 4-5 minutes rest between. After that, hit a 3-4 board (your choice) with your planned third attempt. Use competition setup and commands.
  2. Kettlebell Rows: 4x5 heavy as hell
  3. Barbell Floor Press: 3x3 heavier than last week
  4. J-Pulls (Band): 4x5
  5. Extra: Biceps or triceps if needed

Commands are a must. You are too close to the meet to squat high, not pause on the chest or lock out, or to not lock out the deadlift. We will pull real weight the next couple weeks. The amount of tension has and will set you guys up for a huge pull. Be smart on all lifts. Use good spots, someone to call commands, etc.

Our biggest squat and bench will be little over 14 days from meet, and the biggest deadlift will be similar. Keep getting after it. Keep making me jealous so I can get back with you guys sooner than later.

WEEK 13

Monday

Pre

  • Spin Bike: 4 minutes
  • Static Quad: Hold one minute each leg
  • Prone/Spine Scorpions x 15

Lift

  1. Reverse Hypers: 3x15 heavy with no pause.
  2. Zercher Pin Good Morning: 3x3 heavy, work up to a PR triple on the third hole.
  3. Walking Lunge: 4x8 with light weight.
  4. Ab Pull-Downs: 4x8 heavy on knees.
  5. Prowler Push: Get heart rate up/jog pace, do as many as you need.

Tuesday

Pre

  • Band Wall Walk x 10
  • Superman Hold with Light Dumbbell x 1 minute

Lift

  1. Bamboo Bar Bench Press: 4x12 reps with 3/3 tempo
  2. Narrow Grip Pulldowns: 4x8 heavy as fuck
  3. Band Pull-Aparts: 2x75, palms facing up
  4. Dips (Machine or Bench): 4 x failure with bodyweight or added weight
  5. Crazy KB Curls: 4x10, heavier than last week

Thursday

Pre

  • TKE x 25
  • Hurdle Mobility: Under/Over x 12 each side

Lift

  1. Squat: Work up to a heavy single and try to get as close to your third attempt as possible. Don't miss. Use full competition setup and commands.
  2. Glute Ham Raise: 4x10 with added weight or bands, no pause
  3. Band Leg Curls: 3x40, heavy tension
  4. Belt March: 3x20 each leg, heavy as fuck

Friday

Pre

  • Internal-External Rotations: 20 each arm
  • W's x 25 (against wall)

Lift

  1. Bench Press: Work up to a heavy single, close to your third attempt. Don't miss. Use meet competition and commands. Hit a 3-3.5 board heavy after.
  2. Kettlebell Rows: 4x4 heavy as hell
  3. Barbell Floor Press: 3x2 heavy
  4. J-Pulls (Band): 4x5
  5. Extra: Biceps or triceps if needed

WEEK 14

Monday

Pre

  • Spin Bike: 4 minutes
  • Static Quad: Hold one minute each leg
  • Prone/Spine Scorpions x 15

Lift

  1. Heavy as FUCK Deadlifts: Work up to a gym PR or projected third attempt at meet off two black mats.
  2. Reverse Hyper: 4x10 moderate to heavy
  3. Walking Lunge: Bodyweight (stretch)
  4. Ab Pull-Downs: 4x6 heavy on knees
  5. Prowler Push: Get heart rate up/jog pace, do as many as you need.

Tuesday

Pre

  • Band Wall Walk x 10
  • Superman Hold with Light Dumbbell x 1 minute

Lift

  1. Bamboo Bar Bench Press: 3x8 reps with 3/3 tempo
  2. Reverse Grip Pulldowns: 4x6
  3. Facepulls (Bands): 4x10
  4. Biceps/Triceps: Light, on own

Thursday

Pre

  • TKE x 25
  • Hurdle Mobility: Under/Over x 12 each side

Lift

  1. Squats: Work up to last warm-up or opener (your choice).
  2. Glute Ham Raise: 3 x failure, just get a pump.
  3. Decline Sit-Ups: 3 x failure, just get a pump.
  4. Fat Man Cardio: Sleds, walk the turf, etc.

Friday

Pre

  • Internal-External Rotations: 20 each arm
  • W's x 25 (against wall)

Lift

  1. Bench Press: Work up to last warmup or opener.
  2. Barbell or DB Shrugs: 4x10
  3. Push-Ups (Partial): 3 x failure
  4. Dumbbell or Kettlbell Rows: 4x8
  5. Extra: Biceps or triceps if needed

On deadlift, go apeshit. For squat and bench it's up to you. Don't turn this week into a negative. If you need another heavy day, go to your opener. If you are feeling beat up or feel confident, just go to your last projected warmup or close to it. Commands are key. You can cut out some accessory movements if you are beat up or tight on time.

More than normal, stretch, ice, use Celebrex, etc., from now until the meet. Almost game time.

After this, the week of the meet was up to the lifter to rest and recover or do some light cardio if weight was an issue. Again, this template is just the tail end of what we did weeks 10 through 15. I am not a fan of the online trainer or programmer. I don't feel that one can truly help someone to their best ability unless it is hands-on and you can see them daily or weekly. I also do not receive any money or compensation to help my crew. I am just doing what Dave says best: LEARN, LIVE, PASS ON!

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