Well, here I am, two weeks out from my next meet, trying to get ready. At least I’m not in the wilds of Florida at Cape San Blas like I was in July. Inasmuch as I am not an elitefts sponsored athlete, I don’t get to write about my training. Actually, if I did, it would probably be rather boring. My program is very basic: a combination of things I’ve learned, part Wendler, part Donnie Thompson, part Kroc, and part me, with Dave Tate thrown in. I have used chains and bands and I like them, but I haven’t used them lately.

Someone I trust once told me, “If you want to squat heavy, squat heavy.” I apply that to all three lifts. I have followed Donnie Thompson’s advice and have trained my squat recently in single-ply briefs. I like them and have seen results from them, but hope I haven’t become dependent on them. Wearing them has created a bit of a conundrum: it has created in my mind the possibility of lifting in gear. A teammate very generously gave me a multi-ply squat suit and briefs. They are a size that should fit, but so far I am yet to get my old ass in either of them. I know there is a proper method for putting these on but I don’t know what it is. Without help, I can’t do it. I do not have a multi-ply bench shirt. Therefore, lifting multi-ply in two weeks is out of the question.

RECENT: Motivation Found in the Gains of Others

Using the single-ply briefs brought to mind that I have two single- ply squat suits and a single-ply shirt, all of which I bought on eBay before I became associated with elitefts. I used them to train years ago and felt they made very little difference in what I could lift. I was told that was because they weren’t tight enough. Now, quite a few pounds heavier, the suit is tight enough! So much so that I can’t get it on. With help, however, it may work. The shirt, while tighter, is still too big or is in need of alteration in some spots. After this meet, I will reach out to some teammates and learn a great deal about gear and how to use it. Also, I will get my old ass into the multi-ply gear and compare it to single-ply and raw classic and make some decisions. In the meantime, the question is raw classic or single-ply.


Another conundrum! Shortly after open-heart surgery, my weight left the 181-pound class and I caught it before it got out of hand. I have not, however, returned to the 170’s where I think I belong. I believe I feel better at that weight and I know I look better, for whatever good that does. Ten to twelve pounds could be accomplished by a good weight cut, but what would that do to what little strength I have? I have never done it but may give it a try. My issues then are raw classic or single-ply, 181 or 198.

My biggest issue, however, is still this damn hand. I can deadlift a lot more than I can hold in this surgically repaired hand. I was assured it would be stronger after the surgery, but when? I’ll probably open with something silly light, just to be safe and stay in the meet. Then I guess I’ll test the limits of what this damn thing will hold.

I had an epiphany recently. I have never voluntarily taken an off-season to work on specific weaknesses or hypertrophy or get a little rest. I have had a few involuntary off-seasons for hip replacement surgery, open-heart surgery, and hand surgery. Even then, I was so anxious to get back at it, I’m sure I started too early. It is my intention after the next meet not to have a weight on my back for at least two months. Notwithstanding the hip replacement, I intend to belt squat for a while and give my shoulders a rest. It is my further intention to develop a posterior chain from hell. Glute, hamstring, and back development are my goals. While I’m at it, I may train those areas that I can see in the mirror, just to be a little cockier. There is a meet I plan to do in April of 2018. My season will start again when I begin to prepare for that meet.

So, what’s the plan, old man? I don’t know yet, but I always have a plan. The problem is, it seems that nothing ever goes according to plan. I learned long ago while trying cases to always have a plan. What separates the good trial lawyers from the average is their ability to adapt, vary the plan, or have an alternate plan. It also helps to disrupt the opponent’s plan. It’s not a matter of going with the flow, but using the flow to go where you want to go. Powerlifting requires some thoughtful planning and the ability to adapt to any given situation. It’s not just a matter of picking up heavy shit and putting it down. I’ll make my plan, adapt as necessary, give it 110%, and see what happens.