2017 was a hell of a year. I’m sure some of you are tired of reading this by now, but for my own sanity, I’ll briefly recap it all. Sometimes looking in the rearview mirror provides a fresh perspective. In my humble opinion, I haven’t done shit in powerlifting...yet. That’s why I have to thank Dave, along with my elitefts family, from the bottom of my heart for being there for me. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from them in the last few years aside from "a lot."
In March I was on top of the world, ready for a huge total at the Arnold. I completed my weight cut, and then kept dropping weight. Normally sub-220 pounds would be a stretch for me. At weigh-ins, I was 214 and on meet day I was about 215, even after trying to rehydrate and eat. Obviously recognizing this was a problem, I backed out of the meet and was subsequently diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Over the next eight weeks, I lost 60 pounds. It strained my relationship with Yessie, among other things that I was selfish about regarding our relationship. But she proved to be my rock. She has taught me to love myself and truly embodies unconditional love. For that, I’ll forever be gratefully indebted to her. I think we’ll get married, but she may have other ideas. Either way, we’ve both come to realize that’s life. And we promised to always be there for each other, no matter what.
After I got some relief from my gastrointestinal condition, I tried to get back to normal. I had lost so much blood that I was severely anemic and required a blood transfusion. I couldn’t stand up without getting dizzy. I couldn’t stand longer than a few minutes because I was so tired. I couldn’t go up or down stairs without losing my breath. It was humbling, to say the least. After my blood counts showed some signs of improvement, I decided to train.
I was lighter, sitting around 220. On day one I decided to squat, bench, and deadlift 135 pounds for three sets of 10 each. I was so weak and anemic that I was cramping and could feel myself getting sore while I was lifting. It made me laugh, in a way. Day two, a few days later, was squat, bench, and deadlift three sets of eight at 185 pounds. Then day three was three sets of six at 225, day four was 185 for three sets of ten, and so on. After a couple months of this, I got back to 405 on all three lifts and decided to put briefs on, which led to my decision to compete in September at Old School Iron.
Squat Rehab, May 2017 — 275 Pounds, 3x6:
Training went about as well as I could have expected. There were good days and bad days. I tried some multi-ply gear but it was too much for my strength levels at the time. But single-ply felt really natural and supportive, so it was an easy decision. In training I ended up squatting 800, benching 620, and deadlifting an easy 765 — about four months after being 180 pounds.
The meet didn’t translate so well. 800 pounds threw me around like a rag doll. A 600-pound bench was all I could manage with a bum knee, and a 700-pound pull was all I had in me at the end of a long day. To put it in perspective, I hit a 2300-pound total in single-ply in August 2016. Regardless, I was proud and that’s all I’ll say about that.
I have some challenges ahead of me in order to get back to the platform and hit some big raw numbers.
- Physically: I need to get my diet dialed in so I’m not having digestive issues that interrupt training, or more importantly recovery. I need to keep up with recovery modalities like the X-Wife, deep tissue massages, etc.
- Mentally: I know I’ll have bad days where it feels like I’ll never get back to where I was before. I just have to have some faith that the only thing I can control is sticking to the plan and taking it one day at a time.
- Emotionally: To be your best in powerlifting, at any level, will force you through a wide range of emotions, so I don’t see a whole lot changing here, other than that when I get to the top, it will feel that much sweeter.
I typically consult Dave about my meet plans. I think I do a pretty good job of objectively analyzing where I’m at and where I can get over the course of the year. So Dave and I agreed that another single-ply meet in December would help me in the long run for a string of raw meets in 2018. During that time I’ll also be trying to put some mass back on. I’m back to about 235 pounds, but I can see in pictures that my back is smaller than it was before. That’s an obvious fix that I need to make to be at my best. From there, I plan to compete at the US Open at 242, weighing about as much as I can — if that means a small cut, good! Then I’d like to compete at Boss of Bosses in what I assume would be August. And finally, maybe single-ply again at the Olympia against Mr. Marshall Johnson.
- December — Total 2300 in single-ply again
- May 2018 — Bodyweight 250 pounds
- May 2018 — US Open Top Secret Total
- August 2018 — Top Secret Total
- Olympia 2018 — One pound over Marshall
Here's a vlog covering some of the same information, cut short with a Yessie Martinez phone call:
Single-ply 2300 total for reference (August 2016):
Pre-Arnold 800-pound raw squat (February 2017):
September 2017 Meet Lifts
Squat — 700 Pounds
Squat — 750 Pounds
Squat — 800 Pounds
Bench — 600 Pounds
Bench — 650 Pounds
Deadlift — 700 Pounds