44 and Broken, Part 6

I am now 3 weeks out from the meet. I have asked myself over and over again, how am I doing? Mentally, I have been better. I said going in that I don’t care about my total THIS TIME, but I think I do. What lifter doesn’t care about his total? Not me. That’s why we lift, right?  I need to step back and remember why I am doing this meet.  I am doing this one to get a CURRENT total, so that I can accurately plan to achieve my goal. I need real numbers from a meet to set up a training cycle for the next meet. This is what will get me to my goal of a 1000 pound squat.

I am also a little tweaked mentally because I have missed a few weights that I should not have. Did I choose too aggressively, or is it something else? I don’t know. It’s not the programming. Brian is doing a good job there. Is it the environment? Maybe. Not training in a crew of STRONG guys is a challenge. It is tough to get spots sometimes; it is tough to get wrapped when you need it. All of the crew here that is helping is doing the best they can. It was just a lot easier to attack the workouts years ago when there were eight or more of us guys training together.  I train with Jane now, and while she may be awesome, she can’t spot me for a 600 pound squat or a heavy bench. I need to go and get some of the other guys who train here. Training at another time when the big crew is here at night is not an option. I have work to do then. I’ll have to figure it out. Plenty of guys get balls strong training alone. I should be able to do better.

Physically, I am beat up. I am more beat up than when I began the training cycle. My back has been junk the past week. I tweaked it last Saturday pretty bad while benching. I am working on keeping my ass down, and I have been moving my feet wider to help with this.  It locked up on me in my last shirt workout and has not been right since. This affected my training all week.

On to training: Monday was squat day, and the plan was to take my opener for a single. I warmed up a lot and did extra PVC work on the back to make sure it was OK. As I got to the end of the warm-ups, I talked to Steve, and we decided that the plan was off for the day. I took 600 pounds for a good single and shut it down there. I might lower my opener to 600 pounds. I wanted to go 645, 685, 705 pounds, or something in that range. I never pick my seconds and thirds. I tell my handler what I want to total and have them call my attempts at the meet. I don’t want to know what is on the bar. I just want to lift it. Steve and Kevin will be with me at the meet, and they know how to call lifts for me better than I do. I’ll open at 600 pounds and let them make the calls. I am sure they will get it right.

After the openers, I had to do three sets with the straps down. I used 405 pounds for three triples. I was out of time by this point, but I was supposed to do Reverse Hypers and Abs. I had a client coming in and had to go. Am I slipping into my old ways again? NO! I started the session with more than enough time to get things done, but the back really slowed me down. I felt I needed to stretch and roll more than I needed to do the assistance work. Good thing I did this because I was fairly crippled all night. I can’t imagine what I would have felt like if I didn’t do the recovery work.

Bench day was next. Since I did my shirt work with Vincent on Saturday, he suggested that I try and bench light, with my feet in front to take the pressure off of my lower back, and do my scheduled assistance after. Seems like a great idea. There is no learning curve for this, as I benched this way for years. I began with the Super Shoulder Saver™ Bar and my feet out. 225 pounds hurt, so I stopped. I then did JM presses with the Safety Squat bar. This is one of my all-time favorite bench assistance exercises. I worked up to 225 pounds for my last set. Surprisingly, nothing hurt on these. After that, Brian had band flys. I did three sets of 20 with a light band and then McGill Crunches. I chose these for abs because they take all the pressure off of your lower back and hit the rectus ab hard. They are not the best choice for powerlifting, but it was this or dipping in my office. I did these and then dipped my face off. Why can’t Skoal get you STRONG and JACKED?

Deadlift day was on Friday.  The back was about 80%, and the plan was to take openers for a double. I took it for a single instead. Not because I am lazy, but because I was four weeks out and already had a back injury. No need to make it worse. The 525 pounds felt pretty good for a change, bad back and all. I am getting the hang of the Metal King Pro Deadlifter suit finally. By the time I was done pulling, my back had swole up like when I was in the 308’s walking to the car. Those in the “know” understand. Rack pulls from the ankle were my second. I worked to 455 pounds for triples and was so swole after that I had to sit down for about five minutes. The lower back cramp and pump was unreal.

I did back raises as my third exercise. Brian had Safety Bar Good Mornings down, but they were not happening. He also had about 6547 reps on the TRX pike too. I opted for something that did not involve my lower back: hanging leg raises. I did a bunch of sets of these and called it a day.

I had to skip my Saturday workout. This is an optional workout for me and I hate skipping it, but there was work to be done. TPS does seminars all over the place, and we had one out of state today. I had to take my Russians to a Crossfit box to do an Olympic lifting seminar. If you ever get the chance to hang out with my Russians, do it.  They have a very different perspective on life than we do. I would try and convey it to you, but I cannot do it justice. Something gets lost in the translation, and it is nowhere near as funny without the accent.

I made a few adjustments nutritionally this week in order to get more carbohydrates in at night. I am now starting my back load on non-training nights while at the gym. The night before training, I normally have one or two meals when I get home and end up at 250 grams of carbs. I have told you, I need 1100 grams per the CBL guidelines. I have no idea how one person can consume 1100 grams of carbs between 6:00 p.m and 11:00 p.m. If you could drink soda it would be easier. Bad for your teeth, but easier.

I am now having two shakes with 50 grams of carb powder and Gatorade, as well as a loaf of potato bread in the gym. When I get home, I am adding 100 grams of dextrose to 32 ounces of Gatorade. This is awesome because it does not make me piss 38 times during the night. This is an additional 350 grams of carbs and has been a huge help. I think the fat loss might have jump started a bit too.  I am now at around 500-600 grams of carbs at night with my food intake added in. Any suggestions as to how I can get another 500 grams? Post to me on the Q&A. I’m all ears!

I look forward to next week. I am hoping my back will cooperate, and I will do my best to get my mind right.



If you are in the Boston area, stop in to Total Performance Sports to meet Murph.