2 PRs at the UGSS

TAGS: Toalston, UGSS, bench, powerlifting

I have to say that this was by far the best UGSS I have attended. Mostly because I think of S4 as my “home” gym now and I'm comfortable there. I was also a lot less star struck and intimidated than at the past two. I was able to learn, talk and laugh with a bunch of the people and felt normal and like one of the crew. I was still the weakest person there and even pretty sure that I have the lowest co-efficient on record out of the group, but someone has to be the weakest right? This year was also great because of all the strongman and woman competitors. There was just a ton going on. As for my training…two PRs, so it really couldn’t have been better either. I’ll get to that in a bit.

I'd like to mention a few of the many things that impressed me.

Chris Vaughn is a great guy and one strong dude. I knew he was one of the recent additions to the Elite team and had checked out a few of his log posts. His posts don’t do him any justice. I saw him flip the “big” tire twice and was pretty impressed. When I saw this, I thought the tire was 700 pounds only later to find out it was 900, DAMN. I don’t know what he weighs, but in my head it wasn’t enough to flip even a 700 pound tire. I better stick to powerlifting.

Andy Deck…the first thing I noticed was his calves. They are so huge it looks like his hamstrings slid down and hit his ankles. He was doing single-arm overhead dumbbell press with 185 pounds or so and he just started laughing. His laugh is like the bellow of some wild animal and I’m sure that elk in Alberta perked up at the sound.

Amy Wattles…I didn’t get to speak with her but to say hello. I did see her doing some crazy heavy farmers walks. I’m going to start reading her log.

Al Caslow helped me out a ton with my lifts and impressed with some of his own. He is a great guy and one hell of a powerlifter.

Brian Carroll, Jo Jordan, Brian Schwab, Jeremy Frey, Adam Driggers, Kroc, Pegg and Molly all put on a show.

  • “Just a 1000.”
  • “I have not had on gear since 2009.”
  • “First time in this shirt.”
  • “That felt light.”
  • “650 SHOULD touch.”

That was just a few of the comments. Crazy knowledgeable and a sick strong group.

Dave, Traci, Rach, Zach and Matt put on an amazing weekend. I’m sure it’s like coordinating the animals at Barnum and Bailey Circus. Everything from feeding times to making sure everyone knew where to poop. They had it all planned out and things went perfectly.

O yeah…make sure and get one of the new Jeremy Frey shirts: EFS Board Press Shirts.

The plan on Saturday was to work up to something around a 2nd attempt lift on the squats and openers on the pull. Molly, Steve, Caslow, Taylor and I all squatted in the EFS Signature Monolift.

I worked up to 750 for a single with full gear. This was a 40 pound PR and more “straight” weight than I had ever had on my back. It went surprisingly well and the time between lifts pretty accurately represented a meet. Frey called my depth so I’m sure I would have got white lights. Having Frey call my depth helps because when he says “up” I’m a little scared not to come up. I find motivation in the strangest places.

After squatting I ate some great BBQ, food I don’t normally eat, and could feel the water retention growing in my face. I tried to take a little nap in the middle of the gym, but never actually got to sleep. Dave asked if I was ready to start the pulling, so down time was over. Much like a meet I was whipped and really would've rather just BS-ed the rest of the day. Caslow watched my pulling and critiqued my form. He noticed that I flex my calves a ton when I pull and knew that it was because I am not on the rear outside of my feet when I begin. I got it fixed for a 545 pound attempt. I pulled 605 for a single, but got forward again because I “rushed” it. I got the lift no problem, but getting a PR at the meet will require me to take my time and get my balance right.

Sunday was time to bench and working to a second attempt was the plan again. I benched with Molly, Steve, Carroll, Caslow, Jordan, Schwab and Driggers. I tried to get Pegg to shirt up, but no luck. Caslow again critiqued my form and instantly had me more stable. My leg would twitch when I was pressing and he knew I had my feet too far back. I moved them forward an inch and I felt a lot more in control. I also have a tendency to stall a bit before I can get my elbows flared. Al had me move my grip in a half a finger and I got more out of the shirt allowing me to push right through my sticking point. I worked up to 520 for a single and a five pound PR from two weeks ago. I felt I had more, but stuck to the plan and shut it down.

I spent the rest of the time there helping out and watching the show.

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