What a Journey It Has Been...

TAGS: training for a meet, strength gains, fat loss, deadlift, squat

What a Journey It Has Been...

...and it’s only the beginning.

Flashback to October 2010. I had just turned 37 years old and was tired of being fat and weak. I took a long look at myself and decided that it was time to do something. I joined a ‘hardcore” gym and decided to start hitting the weights. Like others, I jumped all over the most popular raw strength program that was out there.

The Beginning

Looking back, my starting numbers were horrible—a 305-lb squat, a 250-lb bench, and a 345-lb deadlift. Pathetic. Yes, I’d been out of the gym for more than 10 years, but come on. These numbers represented a starting point and a place I will never be again (barring injury).

In November 2010, I began training. It went well for...two months, and I was inconsistent with my work. The gym where I trained was about ninety minutes away and it was just “too far.”

I bounced around for a few months from January through May 2011 and then I got serious. I finally got to a gym where I could train on my way to and/or from work. It worked great. I was also preparing for my first powerlifting meet.

In June, I tested my maxes in the three lifts (squat, bench, deadlift). I achieved a 425-lb squat, a 325-lb bench, and a 480-lb pull.

Getting Serious

As is common for many people, life had different plans for me other than a powerlifting meet. Once I put that meet out of my head, I decided to get serious with my training. I spent some time on the reading forums and blogs and saw the training footage of Adam Hires. When it was announced that Adam would be offering his programming services, “Hulk Training Systems,” I jumped at the chance.

Adam’s program was tough. As he warned, I felt like I was in a constant state of overtraining for the first three weeks. It was tough. I had gotten lazy on my own training and wasn’t used to the volume that was listed on the sheet Adam gave me. I trudged on though. I believed in the program and I believed in Adam’s expertise.

Customized Program

Over the course of 12 weeks, Adam customized my program based upon the feedback I provided, the videos I posted, and informal conversations we had via email, text, and phone. If I had a problem with a lift, he changed some things up. If I was hurting, he cut some things out. He programmed deload weeks into the program and always had my final goals in mind.

I decided to enter the SPF Record Breakers meet held on November 12, 2011. The main goal I had for that meet was to pull 600 lbs. I’m sure Adam was tired of hearing me say this, but he kept the encouragement up and kept me working hard.

The Meet

Meet day came and I was a nervous wreck. This was my first meet and I had no clue what to expect. Did I pack enough food? When did I warm up? How should I pick my weights? Adam was right there (via text) to keep me sane. I know he was busy, but he kept the words of encouragement flowing to my phone. When I was thinking too much, he gave me some tough love. He knows how to talk to me because he took the time to know me not only as a client but as a friend.

At the end of the day, I posted my first total—1485 (525, 360, 600). When I planned on my first meet, my goal was a 1250-lb total, and I thought that was lofty. I couldn’t have done it without Adam’s help. Because he paid close attention to the volume, intensity, and exercise selection as well as my feedback, he got me to where I needed to be. I did the work, but he laid out the road map.

What’s next? We talked about it and I’m going to drop to the 242-lb class and strive for national ranking. I know with my hard work and Adam’s programming, I’ll easily reach this goal.

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