I’m 44-years-old and broken, but I’m not done yet. This will be a 10-part series on my road to a comeback.

Let me start off with a little history. I lifted most of my life and was always my own best competition. I competed in powerlifting, Strongman and grip at fairly high levels. I won the APF Submaster Nationals in the 308-pound weight class. I think it was 2005, or 2006 – I can’t remember. I haven't competed in a meet since 2006. I didn't train for that meet, I just jumped in at the last minute because about 10 of the guys in my crew asked me to. I only got my openers. It was a dark day at TPS.

There are many reasons why I only got the openers. The main reason was a lack of preparation, but a laundry list of injuries was there too. There are many other reasons why I haven't competed since 2006, as well. Let’s look at the injuries first.

Laundry List of Injuries

In 1998, I tore the patella tendon in my left knee in a fight, which required three surgeries. I was unable to walk for a year, and the rehab was difficult. I crushed my left Achilles tendon in a motorcycle accident in 1990. This left me unable to walk for about six months. The doctors said I would be lucky to walk right, let alone compete at anything after that. Screw them, they are idiots. I have a torn labrum in my left shoulder, which severely hampers my bench press. My left hip hurts so much all the time that I can’t stand up straight sometimes, and I just rehabbed a bicep tear from lifting stones in December and I tore my left gastroc in 2007. There are a few more little nagging injuries, but they're incidental.

Due to personal and professional reasons, my training was poor from about 2006 until about a year ago. Sure, I trained, but the injuries and the amount of hours I worked was killing me. Every time I was starting to get strong, something broke...usually because I did something stupid.


I let myself go physically, too. I went from 305 pounds, with the top row of abs peeking out in 2002, to about 295 with 12 inches of blubber around my waist sloshing around like a big trash bag full of water under my shirt.


About six months ago, I decided that I needed to do something about my appearance and get rid of the belly fat. I mainly wanted to lose the belly fat so that I didn’t die of a stroke and leave my family alone. There's also one thing that I didn't accomplished yet and it was gnawing at me all the time in the back of my head.

When I was younger, I read about Hatfield’s 1000-pound squat and said to myself, “I will do that someday.” That day never came. I was going in the right direction, but got sidetracked. Business, family, injuries...whatever, they're all just excuses. I said to myself, “Just do it.”

With that in mind, the first step was to get rid of the fat. I started to clean up my act and do things right when I was called to do an interview and article for Muscle and Fitness by my friend Sean Hyson. They wanted to know what to eat before a big lift. I decided to interview a number of very successful lifters and they were using John Kiefer and Carbohydrate Back Loading. I was skeptical, but open. My mind changed when I saw Brian Carroll at the Lexen Extreme meet in March. He was JACKED. Brian was one of the guys I interviewed for the MF piece, but it didn’t sink in until I saw him – he was JACKED. Oh, I said that already.

Carb Backloading

As soon as I got home, I bought Kiefer’s book and read it through quickly. I half-assedly (is that a word?) jumped into back loading. I started out at well over 30 percent body fat and 270 pounds. I then reread the book about five times, called Kiefer, and spoke with him numerous times until I understood how to do it.

Currently, I lost over 35 pounds of body fat and gained an equal amount of muscle. Now, I’m 275 pounds and will stay there until I'm done with my quest. I won’t try and lose any more body fat until the lifting goals are attained. If it happens, good. If it doesn’t, that’s cool too.

Tune-Up Meet Time

Around the same time, I decided to get ready for a tune-up meet. I called up my boy Spud and asked for a program. I'm tired of writing my own programs. While I had great success with this, I just wanted to focus on lifting and accountability to a coach. Spud came through with a killer program and it worked great. Spud is a busy guy and I didn’t want to torture him too much, so I enlisted the services of Brian Carroll.

Brian has been my coach for a few months and things are going very well. I'm confident that I'll hit my end goal with Brian’s help. He has a knack for knowing just how much volume to give me and not overdo it.

I was going to wait and do a meet when my numbers were better. Before I was banged-up, I had a 700 pound squat in just a belt and a 710 deadlift in a belt. My bench has always sucked, but my overhead was at a solid 365 –  strict. I wanted to wait until I got these numbers back, or at least close.

Making My Comeback

However, at Brian’s urging, I entered a meet. This is where this story begins. I'll be returning to the platform at the RPS meet in Attleboro, Mass., on October 21. It's a local meet and I'm using it as a tune-up to give me actual lifts to base a real training cycle of off, so I no longer have to follow one based off gym lifts.

I hope to hit a squat somewhere around 700, bench around 425 and pull whatever pounds I can (hopefully around 550-600).

I will be lifting in the best gear I ever used and used a lot – Metal. I currently use Jack briefs, an Ace suit, a Jack shirt and a King Deadlifter. I will be switching to a Jack suit soon.

I'll be taping all of my work sets and posting them with the articles. I was a little leery of this because the weights I'm using are paltry, but I said to myself (I talk to myself a lot), “I don’t care what anyone has to say about my lifting, let’s see what the haters are saying about themselves when they have walked in my shoes." I encourage you to watch the video and learn from my mistakes.

Keep reading elitefts™ for weekly updates on my progress.


Squat and Bench