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Thread: Powerlifting Past 40: Doing the Best I Can with What I Have

  1. #1
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    Default Powerlifting Past 40: Doing the Best I Can with What I Have

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    Peace everyone! I've been meaning to start a new log for some time, and I figured now would be as good of a time as any. I just competed in the USAPL Mid-Atlantic Regionals on Sunday, and had a great time. Before I get into the details of the meet and future plans, here's some brief background info:

    I'm 41 years old, have been training for 13 years, competing for 9, and refereeing and coaching for about 7. Currently, I compete in the 105 kg (231 lbs) weight class, and am nowhere near that ceiling. My goal is to ultimately grow up to 225 lbs or so, and see how walking around and living at that size is. My gut tells me that I don't want to be walking around at 235-240 and cutting to 231, but I have a long time before I need to worry about that. As for my lifts, I just want to see how far I can go with this thing before Father Time continues his undefeated streak with me.

    I work as a mailman, carrying loads of various weights anywhere from 6-9 miles in urban hiking per day, depending on overtime. I've been married for 16 years, and we have 3 children, ages 12, 7 and 4. My wife competed for a few years, but 2 surgeries in 2016 followed by a stroke in January of this year have put her on the sidelines for the time being. Her survival was a miracle unto itself, let alone the extent of her recovery. She continues to improve, has returned to work and just about all activities, and refereed at a meet here in Baltimore last month, and did a fabulous job as my game-day coach on Sunday. I mention all of that because that stuff - work, family, outside sources of stress, etc. - can affect eating, sleep, training, and performance. I'm not different or worse off from any of you in that regard, because we all have lives and what not. But since it's my log, I figured I'd give you a peek at what goes on with me outside of the gym.

    With all that covered, here's a written and video summary of the meet, which serves as our starting point:

    USAPL Mid-Atlantic Regionals, 8/6/17, Morristown, NJ

    Weighed 97.7 kg (215.4 lbs)
    Competing in 105 kg (231 lbs) class, Open and Masters 1 (40-49)

    SQUAT: Warmups were 135/4, 225/2, 315/1, 365/1, 415/1, 455/1

    1st: 217.5 kg (479.5 lbs) - GOOD!
    2nd: 227.5 kg (501.5 lbs) - GOOD!
    3rd: 235 kg (518.1 lbs) - GOOD! PR! Felt like I had at least 2.5 kg left in me.

    BENCH: Warmups were 135/6, 185/3, 225/1, 225/1, 245/1, 265/1, 285/1 - I've had some shoulder injuries and problems, so I take longer to warm up on bench. This is also part of the reason my bench is still so weak after all of these years.

    1st: 137.5 kg (303.1 lbs) - GOOD!
    2nd: 142.5 kg (314.2 lbs) - GOOD!
    3rd: 145 kg (319.7 lbs) - GOOD! PR! Felt like I was good for 147.5 after the 2nd, but I wasn't sure I could lock it out cleanly. Went for the safe call.

    DEADLIFT: Warmups were 225/2, 315/1, 405/1, 475/1

    1st: 235 kg (518.1 lbs) - GOOD!
    2nd: 247.5 kg (545.6 lbs) - GOOD!
    3rd: 255 kg (562.2 lbs) - GOOD!
    Note - I just switched back to conventional deadlifts 8 weeks ago. After starting as a conventional deadlifter, I'd been pulling sumo for the last several years. I topped out 2 years ago at 262.5 kg (578.7 lbs), and it has been declining ever since. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I tried conventional again. My deadlift is improving again, so I'll stick with it for a while.

    TOTAL: Went 9 for 9 with 27 white lights. 635 kg (1400 lbs) - ties PR! 1st place, M1, something like 5-6 in the Open - not mad since I was the lightest and oldest guy in the Open. I also qualified for Raw Nationals as an M1. Since the 2018 Nationals are all in Spokane, Washington, I might make the effort for a trip to Orlando this October. I doubt I'm flying to the west coast next year, unless I somehow become a favorite to get on the podium.

    Here's the video from the meet.



    Thanks for reading and watching all of this. We leave for Disney World on in 13 days, so I'm kind of treading water when it comes to training. There's no need in starting something serious between now and then, since I won't have access to a real gym until I get back on the 28th.

  2. #2
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    8/9/17

    On the way home from the meet, my right forearm - middle/inside, from my elbow to wrist - starting hurting pretty badly. I figured it I strained it at some point during the meet, and the adrenaline didn't allow me to notice until a few hours later. It hurt as in it was painful to steer our vehicle, let alone pick up anything. It was no better on Monday. That, along with some pain and reduced mobility in my right shoulder which had been present for a week or so before the meet, was enough to send me to a nearby urgent care center on Monday. So far, my forearm has responded well to a muscle relaxer and topical ointment. My shoulder - not so much luck there. I'm going to have to be more aggressive in treating it, and I hope it won't require another round of physical therapy, or worse.

    Meanwhile, I tried a yoga program for the first time today. It's a Beginner's Yoga DVD that we got some time back from Walmart. I figured today was as good a day as any to try it, and I actually enjoyed it. I sucked at it, but it was a good enough experience that I'd be willing to try it again with some regularity. For now, I'm thinking once a week, maybe twice, is realistic. We'll see.

    If any of you have experience with yoga or any other regular activity besides lifting heavy stuff, what are you into? Does it help your lifting, or is it just something that enriches your life in another way?

    Right now, my plan is to hit the gym tomorrow. Just winging it, and I'm probably not benching or squatting.

  3. #3
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    Hi Kaisheem,

    I guess this is better way late than never. I should have introduced myself to you when you were right in front of me warming up but I was overthinking it and kept to myself and my little group of people. I can be socially awkward sometimes....sometimes very socially awkward. Also, your handler didn't look like she would've been okay with you playing around and signing autographs when you had work to do. That's a good thing!

    Anyway, it was good to see you out there, as I've been following you on here for years and on @planetswole and Youtube. You are one of the many people that inspired me to start logging on this board back in the strengthmill days and to start powerlifting.

    Congrats on the PR's, 9/9:27/27 performance, nationals qualification, and the trip to Disney.

    Much respect,
    Dwayne

  4. #4
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    Strong Lifting! Nice video work too! Looking forward to following your log...

  5. #5
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    from one mailman to another this is good stuff

  6. #6
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    Default Thu. 8/10/17 - Just Winging It

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne_KONG_Wint View Post
    Hi Kaisheem,

    I guess this is better way late than never. I should have introduced myself to you when you were right in front of me warming up but I was overthinking it and kept to myself and my little group of people. I can be socially awkward sometimes....sometimes very socially awkward. Also, your handler didn't look like she would've been okay with you playing around and signing autographs when you had work to do. That's a good thing!

    Anyway, it was good to see you out there, as I've been following you on here for years and on @planetswole and Youtube. You are one of the many people that inspired me to start logging on this board back in the strengthmill days and to start powerlifting.

    Congrats on the PR's, 9/9:27/27 performance, nationals qualification, and the trip to Disney.

    Much respect,
    Dwayne
    Whoa! Thank you for sharing all of that. It's incredibly humbling to learn that you have an effect on someone through these keyboards and devices, and whatever role I had in helping to get you on the PL train, I'm glad because you're awesome at it. I remember you - Double hook grip on the sumo deadlift! I just started following your IG page. Congratulations on your performance, the SQ/DL PRs and the first place finish. If we get another opportunity, please feel free to approach me, but if I see you first I'll reach out.

    FYI - I just read your comment to my handler, who happens to be my wife. She hadn't been in a warmup room in a while, and this was her first time handling anyone since she had her stroke. With me being the lifter, she was probably extra nervous herself. She laughed and said "I don't come off as that mean... do I?" I responded "Well......" She's really quite nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by skid View Post
    Strong Lifting! Nice video work too! Looking forward to following your log...
    Thank you! Glad to have you on board.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Larousse View Post
    from one mailman to another this is good stuff
    Ha - a brother in the struggle! Thank you sir.

    Had some errands to run today, including one in Harford County, MD which is about 30 minutes northeast of where I live. I train at a YMCA in Baltimore, and the membership extends to all of them in central Maryland. So I ended up going to the Y in Harford, and literally had no plan in mind when I walked in the door, other than not to hurt anything or lift anything very heavy. I almost succeeded.

    1. T-Bar Row
    10 reps each at 45, 95, 110, 145, 160 - put Versa Gripps on for the last 2 sets. I wish my gym had one of these.

    I aggravated the strain in my right forearm, and got a twinge in my right bicep, but this is still better than it felt Sunday - Monday.

    2. Bench Press
    135/10 x 3 sets - close grip for set 1, normal competition grip for sets 2 & 3

    3. Incline Bench Press
    135/10 x 2 sets

    Yesterday, I didn't think I'd be benching today. I ended up doing some because I worked in on what was close and available. I didn't want to be there long, because the longer I would have stayed, the more I would have lifted. Hopefully, I'll do a little lower body stuff after work tomorrow, and then a more legit session on Sunday.

  7. #7
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    Well done at the meet...fine lifting!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris McCarthy View Post
    Well done at the meet...fine lifting!
    Thank you Chris!

    Change of plans: yesterday, when I was thinking about training today, I'd forgotten that my wife had somewhere to go tonight, and that I'd agreed to stay home with the children after work. So I won't get back into the gym until Sunday. Saturdays hardly ever happen - literally once or twice a year - because I work every Saturday, and never get off in time (gym closes at 7pm).

    Here's something that I'll add today, and it may end up being a regular part of the log - a summary of my daily "urban hiking". It has a direct effect on my energy levels, body weight, aches, pains, stress, and more, so I suppose it's relevant. Any data will come from the Health App on my iPhone. I have no clue about how accurate it is, but assuming it's at least consistent, then it's still a helpful tool in comparing one day's activity to another.

    8/11/17

    Walking + Running Distance: 8.4 miles
    Steps: 19,488
    Flights Climbed: 15 floors
    Last edited by K.Diesel; 08-11-2017 at 09:49 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default 80% wasn't too bad

    I got back in the gym on Sunday, topping out right around 80% of my best lifts at Regionals. Here's how it went, along with the last few days of hiking totals:


    Sun. 8/13/17

    1. Squat
    135/6; 205/3; 275/3
    added mouthguard (more of a comfort and psychological aid than anything)
    345/3
    added wrist wraps
    385/3
    added belt
    415/5 @6 RPE

    2. Bench Press
    95/5; 145/5; 185/5; 225/5
    added wrist wraps and got a handoff
    255/5 @7 RPE - this felt like an 8, but I dropped the rating by 1 after looking at it.

    3. Deadlift
    205/3; 315/2
    added Versa Gripps
    385/2
    added belt
    455/1 x 7. Completed the 7 singles in just over 7 minutes. I wouldn't rate any of them higher than a 6 RPE. FYI - almost all of my working sets of deadlifts are singles, done on the clock.

    Nothing hurt more than it did when I went in. I count that as a win. The plan is to do singles around 90% on Thursday.

    Urban Hiking Log

    Sat. 8/12/17*
    Walking & Running Distance: 8.6 miles
    Steps: 19,076
    Flights Climbed: 14 floors

    * I had to leave the phone in my van to charge for about 45-60 minutes. The actual numbers are higher.

    Mon. 8/14/17
    Walking & Running Distance: 8.9 miles
    Steps: 20,377
    Flights Climbed: 7 floors

    Tue. 8/15/17
    Walking & Running Distance: 6.5 miles
    Steps: 15,281
    Flights Climbed: 10 floors
    Last edited by K.Diesel; 08-15-2017 at 09:44 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default 8/13 training video

    starting strength coach development program
    Here are the top sets from Sunday's session, my first real session since the meet. If all goes well, I'll train again tonight, and then I'll just be goofing around at the Disney resort gym until Tue. 8/29.

    Last edited by K.Diesel; 08-17-2017 at 10:56 AM.

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