The best laid plans of mice and men sometimes go astray.

Whenever I hear that quote I think of Lenny petting some rabbit, or pretty girl, to death. That's just where my head goes: a big goober who doesn't know his own strength accidentally killing stuff. But, I realize the idea is that no matter how well you plan, things can still go wrong.

While I have found this to be true more than once in my life, for me, RUM9 was not one of those occasions. From soup to nuts, my game plan was well laid, and well executed. Everyone I worked with had the best day of their lives on the platform and I left the meet feeling spent, but really satisfied.

I'm writing this from 30,000 feet, peering out the window of the private jet I purchased with my earnings from the 5thSet Ebook ($60 seat on Spirit Airlines economy class). I am completely at peace with leaving the ocean salt air of Jensen Beach, where I spent yesterday after the meet, for the road salt all over my car, waiting at the airport outside of Pittsburgh. That is the level of zen in this bitch right now.

The meet organizers from RUM9? Probably not quite as tranquil. You see, there was a good bit of controversy about the plates that were used for the meet. It turns out that the plates were not calibrated, a new requirement for world records to be recognized by Powerlifting Watch, which went into effect less than a month prior, on January 1. This might not have been a huge problem if Paul Nguyen had not broken the all time world record total with 1668 at 165, but he did. You can add him to the list of people who were probably not as happy as me. At least one other world record was broken as well.


The Internet was all over it because, let's face it, the powerlifting Internet at large is just waiting each weekend for something to be outraged by. Usually it's high squats or some other lift technicality, but RUM is strictly judged, very smoothly run, and those who compete in it are some of best technical lifters on the planet. Luckily for the Internet, there was this mix up with the plates for everyone to lose their minds over and make memes about.

But all kidding aside, this new rule has gone into effect and this situation with the plates put Paul's world record, which he earned, in jeopardy. So I spoke with Bob Gaynor and Spero Tshontikidis, two of the organizers. It turns out Bob misunderstood the requirement and thought that a new set of plates needed to be purchased. He didn't realize the standard plates they had before purchasing the new set could have been certified. The new set didn't even need to be purchased, and they were the wrong ones anyway. He felt horrible about the whole thing.

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I spoke with Johnny Vasquez from Powerlifting Watch, concerning the records, and it didn't look good. Eventually Bob and Johnny spoke to each other and went over the specifics and decided that the plates which were used should be handed over to the "weights and measures" people, ex post facto, and if they turn out to be within requirements, they will be certified and Paul's record will be honored. This is the last I have heard on the subject and my fingers are crossed for everyone involved that the plates weigh out as they should and get certified.

Thank God no one I work with broke a world record, right? Otherwise I'd be thinking about Lenny tending them fucking rabbits. Well, Dani Overcash, my elitefts teammate, came within eleven pounds of the world record total for her 123-pound weight class. We were even told at one point, mistakenly, that she did break it. She didn't, but she did post the current number one total in that class.


It's a point of pride for me to tell you that Dani used the principles of my 5thSet methodology to build her own cohesive program, including activation warm-ups and rehab protocols, drawing from her unique well of combined experience as an elite powerlifter and a doctor of physical therapy. She performed additional testing throughout her prep with heavier than standard lifts in training as well, but stuck to the script in regard to her peaking cycle and attempt selection.

Given her talent for lifting and expansive technical knowledge, it's no surprise that things went as well as they did. I can't say enough good things about Dani. I am very proud of her as a teammate and a friend. She might tell you I coached her for this meet, but in reality I offered a small amount of technical feedback and cueing direction based on video review. This was her opportunity to take the reigns and show everyone (most importantly herself) that she is entirely capable of applying all of the knowledge she has to her own needs, and I think that has been made manifest at this point.

Sin Leung and I made the decision to use RUM to experiment with her first real water cut. The objective was not to move down to a lower weight class (this time), but rather to prove that she would still be able to perform well after making the cut, while also improving coefficient. She ended up lifting at a body weight approximately 10% greater than when she weighed in, hitting PR's across the board and feeling good the entire day. Her performance moved her up to number five on Powerlifting Watch and secured her the bronze medal in a stacked class. This is the lightest she has ever weighed in and the heaviest she's ever been on the platform. I kept meticulous records from the cut and recomposition, like I do with everything, so I am confident we will be able to duplicate that cut in the future, any time it will work in our favor.


And anyway, it provided us the opportunity to spend a bunch of time together stuffing our faces with carbohydrates and talking about life. I'm pretty grateful for that last part. She is one of my closest friends, her lifting aside.

I've been a party to more weight cuts than anyone I know and one thing I've learned is that tolerance for the cut is something which can vary dramatically from lifter to lifter. Things can go of the rails wildly and quickly. I have guidelines I use, and I've never had things go sideways, but large weight cuts always involve some risk. Supervision from an experienced advisor should be mandatory for anyone who chooses to take that risk. For that reason, I will never produce any literature detailing the protocols I use.

I also had the opportunity to work as a surrogate coach for Rebecca Lorch, whom I had not met before the meet, which was unexpected, but pleasant. My friend John Gaglione is her coach, but had business and could not make the trip so he asked me to help out. She hit a PR 833 total and even managed to PR on bench with 193, in spite of my awesome help, misloading one of her warm-ups like a true douche. So I did what guys do when things go wrong, and said it has never happened to me before. Then I told her to go PR and not to question my methods, so she did. It's worth mentioning that she shattered her femur in a motorcycle accident at one point and couldn't even do a bodyweight squat when she started working with Gaglione. She buried 298 and smoked it this weekend, though.

So another year at RUM is in the books, another weekend of 5thSet lifters kicking ass on the platform, too. Once my plane lands I will have four days at home with my team before leaving for another weekend in another city. I wouldn't have it any other way.