52 Weeks To My 1st USAPL Raw Nationals as a Masters 1 (age 40-49) Lifter 52 Weeks To My 1st USAPL Raw Nationals as a Masters 1 (age 40-49) Lifter

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Thread: 52 Weeks To My 1st USAPL Raw Nationals as a Masters 1 (age 40-49) Lifter

  1. #1
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    Default 52 Weeks To My 1st USAPL Raw Nationals as a Masters 1 (age 40-49) Lifter

    • phoenix arizona seminar date
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    Peace everyone! New goal, new project, so a new log.

    Quick background and stats on me if you've never seen any of my other logs: I'm 42 years old, 5'8", and as of this morning, I'm sadly down to 212.6 lbs. I've been training since I was 28 years old, weighing a lean, mean and weak 157 lbs. I've been competing in powerlifting - all with USAPL - since 2008. Along the way, I've also become a state referee and certified as a club level coach.

    My best meet was in February of this year, when at a weight of 101.3 kg (223.3 lbs), I totaled 645 kg (1,422 lbs). That included a PR squat of 240 kg (529 lbs) and bench press 147.5 kg (325 lbs). My best deadlift was a few years ago, pulling a modified sumo in the 93 kg class with 262.5 (578.7 lbs). For some reason, my deadlift gradually declined after that. I've since switched back to conventional, and got it back up to 257.5 kg (567.6 lbs) in February.

    I have competed in Raw Nationals twice, in 2009 and 2015. Next year's event in Lombard, Illinois will be my first time at Raw Nats as a Masters 1 (age 40-49) athlete. With the numbers you see above, I have no illusions about my competitive prospects. I know I'm not going to win this thing, and that's okay. I do this because it's my favorite hobby, and I want to see how I stack up against others with similar interests and pursuits.

    My goals for the meet, in order of importance are:
    1. Hit a PR total, and at least one lift PR.
    2. Based on current Marlyand state records, I'd love to set new M1 records at 105 kg for the squat and total.
    3. If the right people miss lifts, sneak onto the platform.

    The dates for Raw Nationals 2019 are October 16-20. Last week, it occurred to me that I was 52 weeks away, and that it might be fun to chronicle my one year journey to the meet. So that's how this project came about.

    Thanks for reading all of this, and if you come back, welcome aboard!

  2. #2
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    Default Week 1 of 52, Summary

    NOTES:
    * In spite of how calendars are written, I consider weeks to start on Mondays and end on Sundays.

    * After doing Project Momentum with Reactive Training Systems a few years ago, I've become a big fan of RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) as a training tool. You'll see notations for it in on many work sets in the training log. (i.e. 2 @9 RPE, 4 @8, etc.)

    If you'd rather watch a summary of week 1, or watch and read, here's the video clip:



    Thursday, 10/18/18
    7:25-9:10 PM

    1. Incline Bench Press
    95/10
    145/6
    190/6 @7.5 - with mouth guard
    210/6 @10 - with wrist wraps and a handoff
    185/9 @9.5 - kept wraps, no handoff

    2. Squat
    135/5
    225/5
    315/5 - with mouth guard
    365/5 @7 - with wrist wraps
    405/5 @7 - with belt

    3. Deadlift
    155/5
    265/3
    355/2
    425/1, 1
    475/1 x 10 sets - with belt and Versa Gripps, took 12:30 from the end of set 1 to the end of set 10

    4. Torso Rotation Machine
    70/15 left + 15 right
    90/15 left + 15 right
    110/15 left + 15 right

    Sunday, 10/21/18
    1:10-2:20 PM

    1. Extended Pause Bench Press (2-3 count in my head)
    95/5
    145/4
    185/3
    215/3
    240/2 @6 - with mouth guard
    260/2 @8 - with wrist wraps
    275/2 @10; 1 @9.5
    235/5 @9

    2. Squat
    135/5
    225/4
    315/3 - with mouth guard
    365/2 - with wrist wraps
    405/4 @7; 4 @8; 4 @8
    420/5 @8.5
    Note: my wife called during the session, and long story short, I had to cut my gym time by about 10-15 minutes. The original plan was 5 sets of 4 with 405.

    3. Seated Cable Row - medium overhand grip, and alternated with squats after the first 405 squat set
    105/12
    150/10
    195/12 - with Versa Gripps

    Abs got skipped because of the shortened gym time.
    Even though I was wearing knee sleeves starting with the bench, I noticed a sharp pain in my right knee (top/inside) for the whole session. Not sure what triggered it. This happens with varying rates of frequency.
    Last edited by K.Diesel; 10-28-2018 at 01:33 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Week 2 of 52, Session 1

    Thursday, 10/25/18
    7:30-9:00 PM

    1. Bench Press
    95/6
    145/5
    185/4
    225/3 - with mouth guard
    255/5 @8; 5 @8.5; 5 @9 - with wrist wraps

    2. Squat
    135/5
    225/4
    315/3 - with mouth guard
    365/2 - with wrist wraps
    405/2 @5 - with belt
    435/2 @7
    455/2 @8
    465/2 @8.5
    415/6 @8

    3. Snatch Grip RDL - wearing slippers
    155/10
    245/10 - with mouth guard and Versa Gripps. Stopped at reps 4 and 6 to fix foot position.
    245/12 - added belt, and started with better foot position. Did reps straight through.

    I hadn't done this lift in a while, so I'm not surprised that I was out of position on set 2. Fixing that at the beginning and adding the belt for set 3 made that one a much more productive set.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Hey, good to see you back. I'm hoping to make it to the raw nationals next year too as a masters 3 lifter.

  5. #5
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    Default End of Week 2 and Start of Week 3

    Quote Originally Posted by codger View Post
    Hey, good to see you back. I'm hoping to make it to the raw nationals next year too as a masters 3 lifter.
    Thank you my friend, and that's great news! Hopefully, we can finally shake hands.

    I planned on squatting along with the other lifts on Sunday. However, I finally replaced my gym bag (poor thing was falling apart), and forgot to put my knee sleeves in the new one. So squats had to wait an extra day, and led to an early start for week 3 of 52.

    Also, I don't think I've mentioned my next meet. I'll be competing at a small meet (50 lifters) in southern Maryland on January 13. My goal there is simply to qualify for Raw Nationals. The qualifying total for M1 at 105 kg (231 lbs) is 612.5 kg (1,350 lbs). I don't expect to miss that, but I try not to take anything for granted. Anything else is a bonus.

    Sunday, 10/28/18
    5:45-7:00 pm

    1. Bench Press
    95/8
    145/6
    190/4
    225/3
    255/2 @6.5 - with mouth guard
    275/2 @8 - with wrist wraps
    285/2 @9.5 - with handoff, and spotter who didn't help, but still put his hand on the bar halfway through the second rep after a pre-set tutorial.
    240/5 @8; 5 @8; 5 @8 - no handoff for these, with longer rest between sets because I was alternating with pull-ups.

    2. Pull-ups, alternated with bench after the first set with 240
    Full stack assisted/15
    1/2 stack assisted/10
    BW/10 x 5 sets - used wide overhand, wider underhand, medium overhand, neutral, and wide overhand grips

    3. Lying Tricep Extensions - I found a video of Mark Rippetoe teaching how to do these with an EZ curl bar, and decided to try them. Instant favorite.
    60/10
    70/10
    80/8
    All of these weights are assuming that the bar is 20 lbs.

    4. Ab Machine - like a crunch/sit-up machine.
    90/15
    110/15
    120/15

    Monday, 10/29/18
    7:20-8:15 pm

    1. Squat
    135/5
    225/5
    315/3 - with mouth guard
    375/2 - with wrist wraps
    415/5 @8; 5 @8; 5 @8.5 - with belt. 6 minutes between sets 1/2, and 7 minutes between sets 2/3.

    2. Torso Rotation Machine
    100/15 left + 15 right, 2 sets
    * I did 1 set before squats, while waiting for the rack. The second set was done on my way out of the gym.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Thank you my friend, and that's great news! Hopefully, we can finally shake hands.
    Looking forward to that!

  7. #7
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    Default Week 2 Video, Week 3 Concluded, and Asthma Returns

    As I wrap up week 3, here's the video recap of week 2. Thanks in advance for watching!



    Here's how Week 3 finished. It would probably be useful for me to make notations in the log as to which day I'm on in my 4 day training cycle. I've been some form of it for several weeks before this 52-week marker, with some tweaks here and there. I'll modify this about 4-6 weeks before the meet in January. The four days are stretched over two weeks, and should look like this:
    * Day 1: 5x5 SQ (1 top set), heavy DL, volume BP.
    * Day 2: volume SQ, heavy BP variation
    * Day 3: heavy SQ, lighter DL variation, volume BP
    * Day 4: volume SQ, heavy BP

    I'll say up front that because of some scheduling mishaps, I had to deviate from my twice-per-week lifting template. Plus I have some other health issues that have come up (more on that at the end). I did the best I could. Here it is...

    Thursday, 11/1/18, Day 1
    7:00-8:00 pm

    1. Squat
    135/5
    225/5
    315/5 - with mouth guard
    375/5 @7 - with wrist wraps
    425/5 @8 - with belt

    2. Incline BP
    85/8
    135/6 - with mouth guard
    175/6 - with wrist wraps
    195/6 @8 - with handoff
    215/6 @9.5 - that's +5 lbs with the same reps from the last time I did these. I wasn't breathing well. My friend who handed off and spotted me said "your voice is wavering in a way that I've never heard it before". I was confident that I could do this set though. I skipped the planned backoff set, and left the gym without deadlifting to pick up my children from dance. I committed to finishing this session the next day. I wouldn't get the chance until Saturday.

    Saturday, 11/3/18, Day 1 cont.
    6:15-6:55 pm

    1. Deadlift
    155/5
    265/4
    355/3 - started using over/under grip
    415/2 - with mouth guard
    455/1 - with Versa Gripps, double overhand
    495/1 x 10 - with belt. 13:00 elapsed from the end of first single to the end of the tenth, so that's an average of about 86 seconds between pulls. I probably got up to an @8 RPE on the last 1-2 singles. The first ones were probably @6, and @7 in the middle.

    Sunday, 11/4/18, Day 2
    5:50-6:55 pm

    1. Squat
    135/5
    225/5
    315/5 - with mouth guard
    365/5 @6 - with wrist wraps
    405/5 @7 - with belt

    My lower back was a bit tight after the DL's yesterday, so I scrapped the plan for 3 sets of 5 with 420, and figured I'd just ramp up to one top set of 425-435. The 405 moved well enough, but my lower back insisted that I not go any heavier. I listened.

    2. Extended Pause BP (2-3 count in my head)
    95/6 - touch and go to warm up
    145/5 - started the extended pauses here
    185/3
    225/2
    255/2 @7 - with mouth guard and wrist wraps
    280/1 + 0 @10 - ran out of gas and missed the 2nd rep. Saved by spotter.
    280/1 @9 - got a handoff, and did not go for a 2nd rep
    235/5 @9 - repeat of the backoff set from the last time I did these

    3. Seated Cable Row - medium width, neutral grip handle
    105/12
    150/10
    195/10 @9 - with Versa Gripps
    225/6 @9.5 - damn, this was heavy.

    Everything felt especially heavy tonight. I came into the gym feeling odd, as in groggy and weak. I still feel like that as I'm typing this. I had plenty of sleep last night - thank you daylight savings time! - but something is up.

    It may or may not be related to the resurgence of asthma that I've experienced in the last week to week and a half. I'm convinced that chronic stress has caused or allowed something that hasn't been a problem for me in 30 years to come back, and worse than I remember it. So while I'm looking at ways to reduce stressors, I'm trying to grab the low hanging fruit on the tree of "get better soon". Those are things like sleeping more and better, eating more and better, staying hydrated, and taking these meds and inhalers as instructed. Honestly, hiking 6-9 miles outside for work every day isn't going to help, so I'll just have to manage that. Tonight's session notwithstanding, it seems like I'm holding up in the gym. We'll see what happens, but I don't see this being something that will derail me.

  8. #8
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    Default Bodyweight, Training and Other Updates

    After five days on prednisone, yesterday morning my weight was up about 5 lbs to 217.6 lbs. I'm sure I can't ascribe that to "gainz", but seeing that number caught me off guard. Meanwhile, I have been eating more food on a daily basis. Hopefully, that is going to lead to some lasting gains - or re-gains in this case - that pay off with added weight on the bar down the line.

    Speaking of those meds, my improvement with this asthma treatment has stalled quickly. I'm following the instructions, and I'm still sucking for air all day at work, and to a lesser degree at home before and after work. It's just a little better than when I went to the doctor last week. I guess a follow-up is in order.

    Instead of shooting for training on Thursday/Sunday this week, I might plan for tomorrow and Friday. I'm going to a banquet with my wife on Sunday afternoon when I usually go to the gym. I could get up early and train Sunday morning, but honestly, I might prefer to sleep in. I'm off on Monday for Veterans' Day, so there's another opportunity there. We'll see.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Instead of shooting for training on Thursday/Sunday this week, I might plan for tomorrow and Friday. I'm going to a banquet with my wife on Sunday afternoon when I usually go to the gym. I could get up early and train Sunday morning, but honestly, I might prefer to sleep in. I'm off on Monday for Veterans' Day, so there's another opportunity there. We'll see.
    Hope that asthma subsides soon, and that you're able to rest a bit over the weekend.

  10. #10
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    Default 2 Pretty Good Days

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    Quote Originally Posted by codger View Post
    Hope that asthma subsides soon, and that you're able to rest a bit over the weekend.
    '

    You and me both, my friend. The last 2 days have been pretty good, in the gym and otherwise. I think part of it may be because the weather went from damp and rainy, to dry and warmer. I did much better at work yesterday, and only used the inhaler today as a preventive measure before training. It's supposed to rain again tomorrow, so I'm bracing myself for that.

    But I have no complaints right now, as I'm smashing a well earned steak burrito bowl from Chipotle while typing this recap. I weighed 217.4 lbs this morning - holding steady.

    Wednesday, 11/7/18, Day 3 - Heavy SQ, Volume BP
    7:40 - 8:50 pm

    1. Squat
    135/6
    225/6
    315/4 - with mouth guard
    385/2 - with wrist wraps
    425/2 @5.5 - with belt, thought depth was borderline
    455/2 @7 - no problem with depth
    475/3 @9
    430/5 @8
    Doubles with a backoff set were the plan for the day. The decision for a triple on 475 was made as soon as I finished the second rep. I'm pretty sure that I've tripled this before, but it has been a while. The backoff was easier than I thought it would be, and I went into the set thinking I might get 4 @9. Just one of those days when everything that can go right actually does.

    2. Bench Press - alternated sets with pulldowns
    135/5
    185/5
    225/5 - with mouth guard
    255/5 @7; 5 @9; 5 @9; 5 @8 - 20 total reps
    I did 3 sets of 5 with this weight last week, so this is an increase of 1 set/5 reps total. Will go up to 260 for 12-15 reps over 3-4 sets next week.

    3. Dual Handle Pulldown - alternated sets with BP
    75/11
    120/10
    165/8 - with mouth guard
    195/8 @8.5 - range of motion wasn't as good... should have made a smaller jump
    180/8 @8; 10 @9

    Thursday, 11/8/18, Bonus Day
    7:37 - 8:34 pm, Towson YMCA (not my usual Y)

    1. Lying Tricep Extensions -done with fixed weight EZ bars, alternated with curls
    20/12
    40/12
    60/8
    80/10 @7
    100/10 @8
    110/7 @9.5
    Second time doing these. I think I'll go for 3 sets of 8 with 100 next time.

    2. Standing EZ Bar Curls - done with fixed weight bars, alternated with extensions
    40/15
    60/10
    80/8 @8
    100/8 @9 - Felt a twinge in my lower back on the right side here. I rarely do curls, so I have no idea what that was about.

    3. Seated Calf Raise - alternated with leg curls
    45/15
    90/15; 15 - exaggerated hold & squeeze at the top on each rep

    4. Prone Leg Curls - alternated with calf raises
    70/10
    100/10
    130/10 @7 - with mouth guard
    160/7 @10 - did not expect this to be so hard
    140/9 @9

    5. Ab Machine - crunch/sit-up type machine
    50 total reps: 5 each at 70, 90, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170, 180

    Right now, I'm planning to get up early enough on Sunday to train before that banquet. That will give me a day of total rest before going back to work on Tuesday.
    Last edited by K.Diesel; 11-08-2018 at 11:12 PM.

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