I have wrapped up all of my training for the meet, and I am looking forward to a few well deserved days off.  I’ll do a lot of stretching, icing, and rolling, as well as working on some hip mobility/flexibility to help my bench. As I begin the wrap up of training, I’ll go over the week’s workouts first and then look at the lessons learned.



The week started off with squats as usual. The plan was to work up to my opener with a reverse EFS Band. The original planned opener was 645 pounds. Today I worked up to 585 pounds with no band and then added an average band and took 625 pounds. I had my Metal Jack Pro Briefs, the Metal Jack Pro Squat Suit, and Metal All Black Knee Wraps. The 625 pounds felt like 135 pounds and went up easy. I attribute this to two things: Brian’s programming and the Metal gear.

Metal is simply the BEST lifting gear on the planet. I have used canvas, single ply, and mult-ply gear from other manufacturers, as well as other Metal products. The set up I am using now is my favorite. The Jack gear has a short learning curve and makes you feel bulletproof. If my abs and upper back were strong enough, I would have easily hit over 700 pounds in training this time.

I had a ton of confidence in my squats this week and it showed. I watched some old video of me lifting at several meets going back to 2005, and my squats look much better. I also don’t have a gut the size of Lake Superior. If only the Jack was made in black, I would look JACKED in it.

My technique has improved drastically, too. I have always been a good squatter, technically, but the past training cycle has been one of my best. Not so much in terms of numbers, but for the quality of work and the error correction. If you look at the video from Part 1 to Part 8, it is much better. There is still a lot of work to be done to get to 1000 pounds, but I have more confidence now than I ever did.

After squats, I hit the reverse hyper for three sets and then did Pulldown abs with the Spud Inc Long Ab Strap. I was supposed to do the TRX pikes, but my lower back was pretty pumped and I didn’t want it to flare up in the last week. I also had to touch weight in my next bench session. This JACKS up my lower back more than anything, so I wanted to play it smart.


The goal was to touch my last warmup and then hit my opener to a manpon and KEEP MY ASS DOWN. I did all of these things for a change. I worked on getting my feet back behind me further and out wider. This was totally miserable on my hip, but it kept my ass down. I touched 335 pounds for my last warmup and then did 365 pounds to the manpon.

I took 385 pounds  to a 1 Board, and I am told my ass came up (it did) but not a lot. Hopefully, we will have visually impaired judges that can’t see asses coming up because the weight wasn’t hard to press. The Metal Jack Bench Shirt makes it tough to get down, but it goes up like a rocket when you get it right. I just need to get it right.

Brian had band flys after that for three sets of 20. I did these and also did a little upper back work— just some light face pulls. I really felt like this was not enough work, but I trust Brian.


Again, the plan was to hit the opener of 525 pounds for a single. I warmed up for a long time today and did some extra stretching and used a Rumble Roller that I picked up at the LTT. This thing is miserable. I usually use a stiff roller and then PVC pipe. The PVC has been getting a little easy so I decided I needed something tougher. I’m an idiot. The Rumble Roller kills me. That’s good because it was finding stuff the PVC didn’t. This will be a daily addition from this point out. I think the only way to progress beyond the Rumble Roller is to either have a custom made steel roller with barbed wire and broken glass or to drive over knots with a Buick Riviera.

Anyway, I did 455 pounds for a double in my Metal King Pro Deadlifter. I then put 525 pounds on the bar and pulled it. It went up okay, but I wasn’t happy with it. I waste a lot of energy getting to the bar, and it shows in my heavier pulls. I need to get to the bar better and learn to use the suit better.

After hitting the 525pounds, I decided to lower the opener to 500 pounds.  I have this goofy looking thing that pops up sometimes on heavier sets. It looks like a hitch, but it’s not. I’ve never been called for it, but I don’t want to take the chance. Opening at 500 pounds should ensure that it doesn’t happen.

Brian called for Good Mornings for three sets of 10. I worked up to 225 pounds for these with a Safety Squat bar. Chest Supported Row for three sets of 15 were next, and then the awful TRX pike. I hate these. I used to love them, but Brian has me doing so many that I get sick just seeing it in my book.

I called it a day and went to the office to slam a shake down so I could go through the usual post-workout routine before training a client. Dip and listen to Thin Lizzy. If you don’t have a post-workout routine, I highly suggest putting half a can of Skoal mint in your mouth and listening to Thin Lizzy. It wipes away all the stress of the day.

Lessons Learned

Where do I start?

I need to get stronger. Who doesn’t. I didn’t train for my last meet, I just jumped in for something to do. I only got my openers. The point? I was stronger RAW then than I am now. I am using better gear now, and I am much more beat up than I was then. Except for my shoulder.

Back then, my shoulder was almost falling apart. Now it is not too bad. This is why my bench is coming back slowly. Back to the strength thing. Jim Wendler and I were having a conversation the other day, and he commented in his ultra-supportive style that I am fucking weak. He’s right. If it wasn’t for my technique and the Metal gear, I would not be here. Knowing how to use the gear is very important, and I do know how to use it. I’m just not strong enough to get 100% out of it. The gear is pushing me around a little, not so much now as in the beginning of the cycle, but enough to make things tougher than they need to be. This is especially true on the bench and pull. If I was stronger, I could use more weight on the bench, which would make it much easier to touch. Getting the weight down is exhausting. On the pull, the suit is pushing me out of position because I can’t hold where I need to be long enough to start right. As the old coaches say,”you can’t finish right if you don’t start right.”

I’ll need to spend more time in the next training cycle to get stronger raw. I need this in the following areas, in no specific order:


Upper Back


Lower Back


I need to work on technique, too. I feel my technique is pretty good on all three lifts, but if I can make it perfect, like Frey, I will hit the 1000-pound squat and the 2250-pound total. I think I can do this in the 275s too, which brings me to my next point.

Everything is a PR

Since I am lifting in the 275s, and I am about 30 pounds lighter than usual, I need to get used to my new leverages. This might not sound like something important to the younger guys, but I feel like a different person lifting now. My groove on everything is different. This is especially evident on the bench and pull. (I had an enormous gut before—in Strongman we call it the shelf because you can rest a stone on it). It feels like the bar has to travel a mile before it touches. I’ll need to work on bringing the bar out further like Joey Smith says to fix this.

On the deadlift, my gut used to get in the way and it was hard to get to the bar. Now, I can get to the bar and set up perfectly without the suit on. I am in a better pulling position raw. I need to find the same position in the suit.

With all of this considered, I have to stop comparing myself to a heavier lifter and realize that this is a new weight class and will take some time to get used to. I’ll also have to learn to be happy setting PRs  here.

Get in Shape

I have been running out of gas in my training, partly because in the early weeks I was not eating enough, but more so because I have the GPP of an 87-year old nursing home resident. I need to practice what I preach to my clients. I always say it doesn’t take an ounce of talent to be in shape. I think I might have a small amount of talent for lifting, but if I was in shape, I would have more energy to finish the sessions with some uummpphh. I will make friends with the Prowler® when the meet is over.

I’m sure that when I click “send” and give this to Steve at elitefts™, I’ll come up with more nuggets of wisdom that I should have included. If I do, I’ll be sure to add them to my meet report. This is the last time you’ll hear from me until it is in the books. I’d like to close by thanking everyone who helped me do this, and here is a list in no particular order (if I forgot you, I’m sorry):

Dave Tate, for everything he has done including supplying me with the best gear on the planet and for being a true friend.

Steve Colescott, for encouraging me to write this and for all of the help in the process.

Rhonda Blankenship, for all of her support and just for being awesome.

All of my training partners and spotters in the gym: Jane, Steve, Kevin, Russ, Carlos the Douchebag, The Rear Admiral, Frankie, Mary, Jess, Devon, Ryan, and anyone else who spotted, loaded a plate, or held a board.

Brian Carroll, for doing my programming and for checking up on me all the time.

Vincent Dizenzo, for all of his help with my bench over the years.

Jon Kiefer, for putting my nutrition plan together and getting the fat off of me (most of it anyway). I’ll get the rest off after the meet.

My family, for putting up with me not being able to do much because I am covered in ice packs all the time.

Jen Noyer, for all of her work getting my body to move freely.

Harry Selkow, for being my BFF.

Dr. Nate Tiplady, for being a soft tissue genius and fixing all of the broken stuff.

All of the readers at elitefts™, for supporting me and leaving encouraging comments.

If it wasn’t for all of you, I would not have been able to try and make a comeback after all of these years and injuries. Thanks everyone and wish me good luck.