Here is a training diary and some thoughts on my preparation for the 2001 IPA Nationals. This was my first powerlifting meet ever, so I didn’t know what to expect. From what I saw and heard from other competitors is that this meet was as well run as any meet they’ve ever been at. I would encourage anyone interested in powerlifting to enter a meet and experience how much fun it is. Plus, it’s the first time in my life that I’ve been around a group of people that actually have the same ideas, goals and lifestyle that I have. It’s a great place to trade training ideas and stories and to learn.

Despite my rookie status, I did have expectations for myself. I honestly thought I could have totaled elite in the 275 class, and I was only 41 lbs. from doing so. My third squat attempt was 825 and it was a joke. Since I had no prior experience, my opening weight on the squat was much too low. I left a lot on the platform on my squat. With my bench, I opened at 455, then 480 and narrowly missed 500. I was using a borrowed bench shirt and it actually fit me very well. My deadlift is another story. I have a lot of work to do. I have a fairly easy time getting the weight off of the floor, but my lockout is pathetic. I opened at 600 and had two misses at 645. If I would have gotten the 645 deadlift I would have had an elite total. But now I have a something to shoot for. I have some big goals for the IPA meet in March, but I’m not going to list them here. I have mapped out a plan and hope that when the time comes, my training will help me reach my goals.

I would like to thank my training partner, Kevin Deweese, who competed in the teen amateur division. We believe that Kevin set 3 IPA records in the 242 division for amateur teens. He is a big reason why I did so well. We never missed a training day together and I am lucky to have a training partner as dedicated and intense as Kevin is. A good training partner is crucial to your success so if you don’t have one, find one. If you can’t find one, look harder. Also, thanks to Jim Laird and Kevin for handling me. Jim spotted the first two days and did a great job.

I hope that you learn from my training and perhaps get some ideas for yourself and see what could work for you. No two people can train exactly the same, but at the same time, don’t re-invent the wheel. Figure out what works for someone else and adapt to you. If you have any questions or comments about anything you can reach me at Here are some thoughts about my training leading up to the meet as well as a complete workout diary.


Dynamic Squat
- For Friday’s DE Squat workout, I used the program that Dave outlined several months ago. I based my percentages on a 725 squat. At the meet, I did a very easy 825. This tells me two things. One, the percentages are just guidelines. Two, speed is the most important thing. Though the workouts were tough, none were slow. I wore loose suit bottoms throughout the cycle, and put my competition suit on the last three weeks. I felt I needed to get used to a new suit and feel if the groove was any different.

The rest times were strictly monitored; I probably averaged 60 seconds rest between sets. This is crucial. Not just for the lactic acid tolerance training, but because if you push through the pain, the meet will be a joke. Some of my Friday workouts were tougher than the meet.

Since I don’t have a monolift, the band set-up was as close as I could get. I was able to get a significant amount of band tension at the bottom. The power rack I used was altered by having a platform built inside of it so I could take a wider stance as well as hooks drilled in the platform for bands. I used a super wide stance and tried to point my toes forward.

I had no trouble squatting without a box at the meet. After having done a hundred

squats on a slightly below parallel box, there was no question that I would break parallel at the meet. All of my squat attempts were given 3 white lights.


Dynamic Bench- If there was one big mistake I made, it was going too heavy on DE Bench Day. I should have used 205 instead of 225. Just like DE Squat, the percentage is just a guideline. Don’t let your ego take over. I alternated using bands and 2 chains/side, changing every three weeks or so. Another thing I learned is that if you are not tired after DE Bench, then you aren’t pushing as hard as you should. Just because the weights are light doesn’t mean your intensity should be. I think that DE days are tougher than ME days, but only if you want them to be.


Max Effort Squat/DL - I could bore you with why Max Effort work is important for intramuscular and intermuscular coordination, but Dave and Louie have touched on that in numerous articles. I think Max Effort work really boils down to two things. First, your body has to learn to strain and fight against maximal weights. Second, you have to have the cajones to get under some serious weight. How can you expect to set PR’s during the meet if you can’t do it every Monday? ME work is nothing but attitude and desire. Bob Youngs once wrote a response on a message board that I will never forget. Someone asked him what it took to squat 800lbs. He responded by writing about a bull rider that was asked what it took to ride the biggest, nastiest bull. The rider answered that it isn’t so much technique but the balls to get on the big S.O.B. Get rid of doubt and fear. Chances are you are not going to die, so you are really risking nothing but your own success. By the way, I never wore a belt on this day.


Max Effort Bench- Just like the ME Squat/DL, you need to learn to strain. Though I missed 500 in the meet, it was very close to lockout and I never stopped pushing. This told me that I learned to push for the required 3 seconds plus more. Again, I learned not to fear big weights. I had several bad weeks leading up to the meet in which I failed to set PR’s. It was probably several different things (new work schedule or too heavy on DE Bench day) but I probably should have used some more variety i.e. adding chains/bands. That way I have more PR’s to break and my confidence will always be high.


Volume - I let my body dictate the volume. I cut out some of the extra workouts during the end of my cycle, because I was very run down from work. I didn’t have a prescribed plan on how many exercises and sets I would do each day. But also, I didn’t let myself give in to fatigue.


Diet - I ate everything I could including Taco Bell and Burger King. Once I stopped worrying about getting X amount of protein and Y amount of carbs, I could concentrate on more important things like training. I’m not advocating a diet based entirely on fast food, but don’t lose your hair over such trivial things. If you want to get strong, you have to eat. You don’t see too many big lifters eating skinless chicken breasts and drinking mineral water. I did eat quite a few protein drinks throughout the day, but I have no idea how many grams of protein I got. I’m guessing around 250-300 on a good day and less than 150 on a day I forgot to prepare my meals. Of course, I didn’t have to watch my weight to remain in the 275’s, so that certainly helped me. Unless you are looking to break some records in a certain weight class, I have no idea why anyone would intentionally diet. But that’s just my opinion.


Equipment - For the squat, I wore a Frantz double polyester squat suit and Frantz double poly groove briefs. I wore Inzer Z knee wraps. For the bench I wore a double denim open back Inzer shirt (Thanks to Keith Conrad for supplying the shirt). For the deadlift, I wore my groove briefs and a loose squat suit. I’m not an expert on equipment and relied on Dave Tate for giving me suggestions. Equipment is a big part of this sport, whether you like it or not. Figuring out how it works best is up to you. I have really no idea how a good bench shirt is supposed to fit, or which squat suit is best. Yes, good equipment can help you out, but I bet if you laid a bench shirt on a bench, it couldn’t do much by itself.

Week I

Sunday, August 05, 2001

Glute Ham Raise - 2x8

Roman Chair Sit-ups - 2x15

Bench Press 8x3 @ 225 + 1 chain/side

JM Press - 135x5 225x3 275x3 300x3 275x5

Pullups - 5x6

DB Military - 4x10-12

GPP - 10 min. of Med Ball Throwing

Monday, August, 06, 2001

Glute-Ham Raise - 2x8

Roman Chair Sit-ups - 2x15

Chain Suspended GM’s - 340x1

RDL’s - 4x10

Weighted Stabilty Ball Sit-ups - 5x10

Reverse Hypers - 3x10

Extra Workout

100 rep pushdowns

Upper Back Exercises


Tuesday, August, 07, 2001

Glute-Ham Raises - 2x10

Side Bends - 2x10

Band GM’s - 2x20

Wednesday, August 08, 2001

Chain Suspended Lockouts - 515x1

DB Triceps Extensions - 5x10

Chest Supported Rows - 5x10

Extra Workout

100 rep pushdowns

Upper Back Exercises


Thursday, August, 09, 2001

Glute-Ham Raises - 2x10

Roman Chair Sit-ups - 2x15

Friday, August, 10, 2001

Glute-Ham Raises- 2x10

Roman Chair Sit-ups - 2x15

Box Squat - 8x2 @ 365 + Green Bands

Reverse Hyper - 4x10

Weighted Sit-ups - 4x10-15

Week II


Sunday, August 12, 2001

Bench Press - 8x3 @ 225 + 1chain/side

245x3, 275x1, 315x1

JM Press - 135x5, 185x5, 225x3, 275x5, 315x3

Pull-ups - 5x6

DB Military - 4x10

Monday, August 13, 2001

Glute-Ham Raises - 2x10

Roman Chair Situps - 2x15

Chain Suspended GM’s - 425x1

Straight Leg Deads w/ band through belt- 4x10 @ 275

Reverse Hypers - 4x10

Pull down Abs - 4x10

Wednesday, August 15, 2001

Floor Press - 225 + 8 chains/side x1

225 + 9 chains/side x miss

DB Triceps Extensions - 3x10, 3x8

Chest Supported Rows - 5x10-15

Seated DB Power Cleans - 3x15

Extra Workout

Sled Dragging - 6 trips

Thursday, August 16, 2001

100 rep pushdowns

Upper Back Work

Friday, August 17, 2001

Glute Ham Raises - 2x10

Pull down Abs - 2x20

Box Squat - 8x2 @ 385 + Green Bands

Reverse Hypers - 3x15

Pull down Abs - 4x10-15

Saturday, August 18, 2001

Sled Dragging - 6 Trips

Reverse Hypers - 3x15

Stability Ball Abs - 4x15

Face Pulls - 3x20

Week III

Sunday, August 19, 2001

Bench Press - 8x3 @ 225 + 1 chain/side


5 Board Press - worked up to 455x3

Green Band Lat Pulldown - 5x10

Shoulder Complex - 3x30

Monday, August 20, 2001

Glute-Ham Raise - 2x10

Roman Chair Sit-ups - 2x15

SS Bar Box Squat (14”) - 585x1

Straight Leg Deads w/ band through belt -

3x10 @ 275

Reverse Hyper - 3x10

Roman Chair Sit-ups + 25lbs - 3x10

Side Bends - 2x10

Wednesday, August 22, 2001

2 Board Press - 475 x 1, 495 x miss

DB Triceps Extensions - 5x10

Chest Supported Rows - 4x15

DB Cleans - 3x15

Friday, August 24, 2001

Glute-Ham Raise - 2x8

Roman Chair Sit-ups - 2x15

Box Squat - 8x2 @ 415 + green bands

Reverse Hypers - 3x12

Saturday, August 25, 2001

Sled Dragging - 6 trips

Reverse Hypers - 2x15

Pulldown Abs - 2x20

Glute Ham Raises - 2x12

Week IV

Sunday, August 26, 2001

Bench Press - 8x3 @ 185 + mini bands

5 Board Press - 440x4, 405x7

Band Lat Pulldown - 5x10-15

Bradford Press - 4x10

Monday, August 27, 2001

Glute Ham Raise - 2x8

Pulldown Abs - 2x20

Chain Suspended GM’s w/ SS Bar -

425x1, 475xmiss

GHD w/ pink band - 4x6

Leg Raises - 3x10

Straight leg Sit-ups - 3x15

Tuesday, August 28, 2001

Sled Dragging - 6 trips

Reverse Hypers - 4x10

Stability Ball Abs - 3x25

Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Close Grip Bench w/ 3 chains/side + 50lbs. weight releasers - 365x1, 385xmiss

Tri. Ext on Floor - worked to 205x6, 225x4

Chest Supported DB Rows - 5x12

Shoulder Raises w/ mini bands - 3x36

Friday, August 31, 2001

Glute Ham Raises - 2x8

Roman Chair Situps - 2x15

Box Squat - 8x2 @ 435 + green bands

Reverse Hypers - 3x10

Standing Abs - 4 sets

Week V

Sunday, September 2, 2001

Bench Press - 4x3 @ 185, 4x3 @ 205 + mini-bands

Rack Lockouts - worked up to 495x2

Body Rows - 4x10

Bradford Press - worked to 225x8

Extra Workout

100 rep triceps

Upper back work

Monday, September 3, 2001

Glute Ham Raises - 2x8

Roman Chair Sit-ups - 2x15

Deadlifts off 3 inch plates - 600x1

Reverse Hypers - 4x10

Straight leg sit-ups - 4x10

Tuesday, September 4, 2001

Sled Dragging - 6 trips

GHD - 3x8

Weighted Roman Chair - 3x10

Reverse Hyper - 2x10

Wednesday, September 5, 2001

3 Board Press - 500x1

Tried out bench shirt, blew out bench shirt.

Lying Tri. Ext. on floor - 5x6 @ 190

Thursday, September 6, 2001

Tricep Pushdowns - 100 reps

DB Chest Supported Rows - 4x12

Shoulder Raises w/ mini-bands - 2x30

Friday, September 07, 2001

GHD - 2x8

Roman Chair Situps - 2x15

Box Squat - 8x2 @ 385 + blue bands

Reverse Hyper - 3x12

Hanging Leg Raises - 3x10

Week VI

Sunday, September 9, 2001

Bench Press - 8x3 @ 225 +2 chains/side, 275x3

JM Press w/ SS Bar - worked up to 335x3

Body Rows - 4x10

Bradford Press - 4x10

Monday, September 10, 2001

Bent Back GM - worked to 500x1

GHD - 4x6 w/ 10lbs. plate

Side Bends - 3x10

Pulldown Abs - 3x10

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Sled Dragging - 6 trips

Reverse Hypers - 4x10

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Incline Press - 365x1

DB Ext. on Floor - worked to 3x6 @ 85

Hammer Rows - 3x10-15

Thursday, September 13, 2001

Tricep Pushdowns - 100 reps

Hammer Rows - 3x15

DB Benches on Stability Ball - 3x15

Seated DB Cleans - 3x15

Friday, September 14, 2001

GHD - 2x8

Roman Chair Situps - 2x15

Box Squats - 8x2 @ 415 + blue bands

Speed Deadlifts - 4x1 @ 315, 4x1 @ 370

Reverse Hypers - 3x15

Week VII

Sunday, September 16, 2001

Bench Press - 8x3 @ 225 + 2 chains/side

5 Board Press - worked up to 455x3

Elbows out extensions - 4x10

Face Pulls - 4x15

Monday, September 17, 2001

Manta Ray Box Squats - 600x1

Side Bends - 6x10

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Floor Press - 425x1, 435xmiss

Triceps Extensions - worked to 185x8

Hammer Rows - 4x6-10

Rear Lateral - 3x20

Friday, September 21, 2001

Box Squat - 8x2 @ 435 + blue bands

Speed Deadlifts - 8x1 @ 405

Roman Chair Situps - 5x6-10


Sunday, September 23, 2001

Bench Press - 8x3 @ 225 + 2 chains/side

275x1, 315x1

JM Press w/ SS Bar - worked up to 335x5

DB Military - 3x5

Green Band Lat Pulldowns - 3x10-15

Extra Workout

100 rep tricep pushdowns

Monday, September 24, 2001

Good Morning Squats - 545x1

Seated Good Mornings - worked up to 500x1 Reverse Hypers - 4x10

DB Side Bends on GHD - 3x10

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Reverse Band Presses - 485x1

Triceps Extensions - 7x6

Various Lat. Work - 5x15

Upper Back Work - 4x15

Thursday, September 27, 2001

DB Benches - 3x20

Shrugs - 3x20

Hammer Rows - 3x15

Tri Pushdowns - 3x25

Friday, September 28, 2001

Box Squat - 6x2 @ 385 + blue/pink bands

Speed Deadlifts - 3x1 @ 365, 3x1 @ 415

3x1 @ 465

Reverse Hypers - 4x10

Various Abs

Saturday, September 29, 2001

Reverse Hypers - 4x10

GHD - 4x6

Roman Chair Situps - 6x5-10


Week IX

Sunday, September 30, 2001

Bench Press - 8x3 @ 205 + mini-bands

275x1, 315x1

JM Presses w/ SS Bar - 355 x5

One Arm Rows - 3x10

Chain Pushups (w/ green band behind back) - 4x15

Monday, October 1, 2001

Reverse Hypers - 5x10-15

GHD - 4x5

Hanging Leg Raises - 4x10

Wednesday, October 3, 2001

2 Board Press - missed 485x1

JM Presses - 5x6

Chest Supported DB Rows - 5x10

Seated DB Power Cleans - 3x15

Friday, October 5, 2001

Box Squat - 6x2 @ 415 + blue/pink bands

Speed Deadlifts - 2x1 @ 365, 3x1 @ 415

3x1 @ 465

Reverse Hypers - 3x10

Side Bends - 3x10

Saturday, October 06, 2001

Reverse Hypers - 3x10

GHD - 3x8

Roman Chair Situps - 3x15

Week X

Sunday, October 7, 2001

Bench Press - 8x3 @ 205 + mini-bands

275x1, 315x1

Rack Lockouts - worked up to 495x3

DB Military - 4x10

Hammer Rows - 4x10

Elbows out Extensions - 4x10

Monday, October 8, 2001

Chain Suspended GM’s - 545x1

GHD - 3x10

Reverse Hypers - 3x10

Hanging Leg Raises - 3x10

Tuesday, October 9, 2001

Sled Dragging - 6 trips

Wednesday, October 9, 2001

Illegal Wides - 405x5

DB Extensions - 3x6, 1x10 @ 90

Hammer Rows - 4x6

DB Cleans - 5x12

Thursday, October 10, 2001

100 rep triceps pushdowns

Wide Grip Bench - 2x20

Hammer Rows - 2x15

Face Pulls - 3x15

Friday, October 11, 2001

Box Squat - 6x2 @ 435 + blue/pink bands

Speed Deadlifts - 2x1 @ 365, 2x1 @ 415

2x1 @ 465

GHD - 3x10

Roman Chair Situps - 3x10-15

Week XII

Sunday, October 14, 2001

Bench Press - 8x3 @ 225 + 2 chains/side


5 Board Press - worked to 455x4

Bradford Press - 4x8

Blue Band Lat Pulldowns - 4x10

Elbows out Extensions - 4x6

Monday, October 15, 2001

Glute-Ham Raises - 6x5-10

Reverse Hypers - 4x10-15

Pulldown Abs - 5x10-20

Wednesday, October 17, 2001

3 Board Press - missed 505x1

DB Extensions - worked up to 100x8, 115x5 Hammer Rows - 4x10

Seated DB Cleans - 3x15

Friday, October 19, 2001

Box Squats - 6x2 @ 385 + blue bands, 500x1

Speed Deadlifts - 2x1 @ 365, 1x1 @ 415

1x1 @ 465, 1x1 @ 515

Reverse Hypers - 3x15


Sunday, October 21, 2001

Bench Press - 8x3 @ 225 + 2 chains/side

Tricep Extensions - worked up to 225x5

Military Press - 4x10

Monday, October 22, 2001

Rack Pulls - 705x1

GHD - 5x10

Reverse Hypers - 3x10

Roman Chair Situps - 4x10

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Close Grip Bench Press + Mini-Bands - worked up to 385x1

DB Extensions - 7x8 @ 65lbs.

Chest Supported DB Rows - 3x10

Seated DB Power Cleans - 3x15

Thursday, October 25, 2001

100 rep triceps pushdowns

Upper Back work

Friday, October 26, 2001

Box Squats - 6x2 @ 435 + green bands

Speed Deadlifts - 2x1 @ 365, 4x1 @ 415

Week XIV

Sunday, October 28, 2001

Bench Press - 8x3 @ 225 + 2 chains/side

5 Board Press - 455x3

One Arm DB Rows - 4x10

Tricep Pushdowns - 3x15

Monday, October 29, 2001

Box squat w/ SS Bar - 600x1

GHD - 4x8

Reverse Hypers - 4x10-15

Hanging Leg Raises - 4x10-15

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

Extra Ab work

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Close Grip Floor Press - 430x1, 440xmiss

Tri. Ext on Floor - 5x8-10

Chest Supported DB Rows - 4x10

DB Cleans - 3x15

Thursday, November 1, 2001

100 rep triceps pushdowns

Upper Back work

Friday, November 2, 2001

Box Squat - 6x2 @ 385 + green bands, 500x1, 600x1

Speed Deads - 1x1 @ 365, 1x1 @ 415, 1x1 @ 465, 1x1 @ 515, 1x1 @ 600

Reverse Hypers - 3x10


Week XV

Sunday, November 4, 2001

Bench Press - 8x3 @ 225 + 2 chains/side

JM Presses - 5x5

Pull-ups - 4x6

DB Military - 4x8

Monday, November 5, 2001

Chain Suspended GM’s - missed 585x1

GHD - 4x8

Reverse Hypers - 3x10

Hanging Leg Raises - 4x10

Tuesday, November 6, 2001

Extra Ab work

Wednesday, November 7, 2001

Reverse Band Press w/ blue bands - 585x1

Tried out Bench Shirt

Thursday, November 8, 2001

Triceps Extensions - 5x10

Hammer Rows - 4x10

Rear Laterals - 3x15-20

Friday, November 9, 2001

Box Squat - 6x2 @ 365 + green bands

Speed Deads - 6x1 @ 415

Reverse Hypers - 4x10


Week XVI

Sunday, November 11, 2001

Bench Press - 205 + 1 chain/side

Elbows out extensions - 4x8

Hammer Rows - 3x10

Monday, November 12, 2001

Reverse Hypers - 3x10

Ab work

Wednesday, November 14. 2001

Light Triceps Work