Training for Powerlifting at Planet Fitness (Iím not joking!) - Page 3

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Thread: Training for Powerlifting at Planet Fitness (Iím not joking!)

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Baltimore, MD
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    1,053

    Default An Example Of Why I Donít Plan Deload Weeks

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    Unfortunately, more mailman urban hiking (last 2 days: 17.8 miles, and just under 40,000 steps while working 21 hours) plus a chronic lack of sleep and an increase in life stressors have caught up to me. I had every intention of training yesterday, but got home and crashed hard. Couldnít think straight, couldnít move off my couch and fell asleep sitting up, then got in bed and slept through my alarm this morning. I figured Iíd train today, but I guess Iím still pretty beat, and the fact that it rained all day in Baltimore today didnít help (minor effects from Zeta passing to our south).

    I have to train at my brotherís on Sunday, to get another exposure to a real barbell 13 days before the meet. If I can get in the gym tomorrow, I donít want to do anything that will beat me up, or prevent me from giving everything I can at his house. So Iíll probably do something on machines that is very non-specific to powerlifting (more non-specific than training at PF in the first place &#128513. Either that, or relatively light squats and benches on the Smith machine - something I can recover from by Sunday.

    At this moment, I feel better than I did last night. Iíve eaten quite a bit, and after I post this, Iím shutting down and getting at least 6 hours of sleep (thatís an improvement for me). Sunday is a big deal: my goal on this visit to my brotherís is to settle on my openers. From there, Iíll set up my game plan for meet day (warm ups through possible 3rd attempts).

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Baltimore, MD
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    Default Sun. 11/1, back under a real bar

    I made it back to my brotherís house on Sunday. Iíve just been working late and havenít been online much after work. Thatís why I havenít updated the log. Unfortunately, I havenít been getting a lot of sleep. Iíve just been zoned out on the couch. Fortunately, the American Presidential Election is over now, at least for me in terms of being a mailman during the election with the most votes cast by mail ever. If all goes well, there will a lull before the December holiday season kicks in. Iíll still have to work a lot of overtime, but the volume of mail Iím carrying should be down.

    When I woke up on Sunday, I weighed 207.8 lbs. That means Iíve lost almost 4 pounds in the last couple of weeks. When youíre 2 weeks from a meet, and youíre not trying to make weight in a certain class, thatís a bad sign.

    Squat

    bar/8

    135/5
    205/3
    275/2
    335/1 - started using mouth guard
    385/1 - started using wrist wraps, felt twinge in my lower back
    425/1 - started using belt
    455/1 @8.5 RPE
    455/1 @9 RPE - started wearing a mask. Iíll wear one at the meet.
    457.5/1 @9 RPE - this was a psychological lift. My brother has micro plates, so I loaded the bar to 207.5 kg

    Bench Press

    bar/12

    135/6
    185/4
    225/3
    255/2 -
    275/1 - started using wrist wraps
    290/1 @10 RPE - this was way harder than the 290 I did a few weeks ago. I attribute it to my weight loss.
    275/2 - started wearing a mask
    275/1 - no doubt about the pause on this one

    Deadlift

    225/4

    315/2 - started using mouth guard
    385/1 - started using Versa Gripps. Forgot to talk to my brother about chalk. Might haunt me later.
    445/1 - started using belt
    485/1 @9 RPE - started wearing mask
    505/1 @10 RPE - very difficult off the floor, then accelerated through the finish.

    I did this in about 2 1/2 hours, while trying to help my son navigate a virtual reality video game that I have no experience on. My trouble with the deadlift could have been due to fatigue, as this was the first time Iíd done all 3 lifts on a barbell in the same session since September 13, and only the second time since maybe some time last year. I pulled a relatively easy 500 a couple of weeks ago - much easier than this 505 - but I only squatted before hand.

    At this point, barring something crazy happening, my planned openers are:

    SQ: 207.5 kg (457.5 lbs)
    BP: 125 kg (275.6 lbs)
    DL: 217.5 kg (479.5 lbs)

    As Iíve said all along, my goal is to get as close to, or surpass 500 in the SQ, 300 in the BP, and 530 in the DL - the numbers I hit when I tested my lifts the weekend before gyms closed for Covid. Not much longer until we find out. 😁

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Walled Lake, Michigan
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    6,011

    Default

    I love watching your videos and listening to you great commentaries. I plan to sign up to your videos. I think I have watched you in the past.
    There are two SS gyms in the Baltimore area or at least there used to be. I'm sure you know about them. Are they still closed?
    One comment on squats: I feel like a neophyte asking a masters athlete but you seem to drop rather fast on your squats. Maybe it's just the lighter ones
    Best wishes on your competition later this month. Good work young man.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Default Last Heavy Session At Planet Fitness + Video

    Quote Originally Posted by carson View Post
    I love watching your videos and listening to you great commentaries. I plan to sign up to your videos. I think I have watched you in the past.
    There are two SS gyms in the Baltimore area or at least there used to be. I'm sure you know about them. Are they still closed?
    One comment on squats: I feel like a neophyte asking a masters athlete but you seem to drop rather fast on your squats. Maybe it's just the lighter ones
    Best wishes on your competition later this month. Good work young man.
    Thank you so much! I appreciate your watching, and your support. On the SS gyms, Iíve only known about one in Westminster, Maryland, which is about an hour or so from Baltimore City. As far as I know, itís still open. On the squat descent, it is pretty quick these days. It probably has been like that for a long time, unless Iím doing pause squats. I never feel like Iím out of control, and as long as I stay tight, I think itís pretty safe.

    This is it. Meet week is here! Hereís the video showing my heaviest lifts from my brotherís house (logged in my previous entry) as well as the ones I did on Sunday at Planet Fitness (logged below the video).



    Sunday 11/8

    * On the Smith machine, I only count the weight of the plates, so the bar on the machine is represented by a +

    Smith Machine Squat

    bar/8
    90+/6
    180+/4
    270+/3
    320+/2 - started using mouth guard
    360+/2 - started using wrist wraps
    400+/2 - started using belt
    420+/2
    435+/1
    450+/1 @9 RPE

    Smith Machine Bench Press

    bar/12
    50+/8
    100+/6
    140+/4
    180+/2
    210+/2 - started using mouth guard
    230+/2 - started using wrist wraps
    250+/2
    270+/2 @10 RPE
    270+/1 @9.5 RPE

    About 30-60 seconds after the last bench press, I felt a pain in my right shoulder where it meets the pec. A few hours later, and the next day, the pain had moved from that spot to more of the top of my shoulder. I canít think of anything I did to injure it. As of today, it feels mostly normal.

    Seated Row Machine - neutral grip

    70/15
    130/12
    175/10
    205/8 @8.5 RPE

    The game plan from here is to train one more time tonight. That will be a Smith machine squat, a machine chest press (not the Smith, because of the pain I had), rear delts and abs. Maybe 1-2 sets of rows. I have a formula for a meet week session that I got from my first powerlifting coach 12 years ago, and my revised version still works well. But I have no idea how to use that in this setting. So Iím basically winging it based on experience and knowing my body well enough to call it on the fly.

    As far as my body weight, things went backwards somehow. I weighed 207.8 on Sunday. I know Iíve been eating more calories for 3 days, even some dirtier than normal ones for this week just to get them in. And this morning, I weighed 206.0. That could be due to dehydration, because I was urinating a lot more than normal for some reason last night. But just in case, Iím taking advantage of having today off (Veteransí Day) by pounding down as many calories as I can stomach without feeling sick.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    59

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    The 505 deadlift flew up. When you put down both deadlifts, I know you were protecting your brother's floor, but you looked really strong the way you carefully placed the bar down on the mat. You even wiggled the bar a little bit to get it off the rails at the bottom of the rack. You've got to be strong to baby the bar like that--most deadlift work reps get set down hard because the lifter doesn't have any choice but to put it down quick!

    The squats also looked strong (and didn't look like you felt they were heavy on your back, which you mentioned before).

    At any rate good luck on your meet--go crazy, but not too crazy (given your limited prep on actual barbells). We look forward to a report next week!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Baltimore, MD
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    Default The most unconventional meet week workout of all time

    Yesterday - Wednesday, November 11 - was Veteransí Day in the United States, a federal holiday to salute all those who have served in the American armed forces. That means there is no mail delivery, so I had the day off. It rained all day and night here in Baltimore, so for me, the holiday couldnít have happened on a better day. My wife is also a government employee, and our teenage daughterís school is closed every Wednesday (Covid stuff). So the three of us went to brunch at a popular local, socially distanced restaurant. I tried to knock down about 2,000 calories in there, with the hope of getting a big mid-week surplus with little activity.

    My wife takes a nap every day after work (Iím so jealous). Even on her day off, she wanted to keep up with that habit. I decided to do the same, and figured Iíd sleep for about 2 hours. I woke up four hours later 😂 and felt great. But it meant that by the time we fed dinner to our clan, and got everyone ready for bed and school the next day, we didnít get to Planet Fitness until after midnight.

    Wed. 11/11 (but technically Thu. 11/12)

    Smith Machine Squat

    bar/5 x 2 sets
    90+/6
    180+/4
    270+/2
    320+/1

    I used my older and looser Rehband knee sleeves rather than my SBDís. Also, I did not use my belt, wrist wraps or mouth guard.

    Hammer Strength Chest Press

    30 per side/12
    60 per side/10
    80 per side/8
    100 per side/6

    Rear Delt Machine (the pec deck flipped around)

    70/15
    100/12
    130/10 x 2 sets (I wrote down 8 reps for these, but Iím sure I did 10. It was almost 1 am, so ???)

    Hammer Strength Ab Crunch Machine

    40/15
    60/10 x 2 sets

    That last set of abs was the hardest thing I did the whole time. Done in 42 minutes, and that included stops to give my wife some input on her workout.

    Thatís it! God willing, the next time I lift something, it will be at the USAPL Winter Wrecker on Saturday. If my bodyweight hasnít crept back up to at least 209 lbs by then, then Iím going to reduce my squat and deadlift openers by 5 kg, and my bench opener by 2.5 kg from what I have planned (logged a couple of entries ago).

    As for my last 2 days before the meet: I worked a ridiculous 13 hour day today (why is the mailman getting off work at 10:30 pm?). Iíll probably only sleep 5 1/2 hours tonight. But the long nap yesterday helped a lot. I didnít need any caffeine today beyond my morning cup of coffee. And Iíve already arranged with work that Iím going to have an 8 hour day tomorrow. So my wife and I are going to leave for Virginia by 6. We should be there by 8 at the latest, stopping for food on the way. Our room has a jacuzzi tub, so Iím going to lounge in there like Tony Montana for at least half an hour. Plan is to be in bed by 11 at the absolute latest. If all goes well, I have a legit chance to sleep 7 hours before I leave for weigh ins (Iím in the morning session). Thatís 1.5-2 hours more than I get on most nights, so Iíll gladly take that.

    Quote Originally Posted by J. Killmond View Post
    The 505 deadlift flew up. When you put down both deadlifts, I know you were protecting your brother's floor, but you looked really strong the way you carefully placed the bar down on the mat. You even wiggled the bar a little bit to get it off the rails at the bottom of the rack. You've got to be strong to baby the bar like that--most deadlift work reps get set down hard because the lifter doesn't have any choice but to put it down quick!

    The squats also looked strong (and didn't look like you felt they were heavy on your back, which you mentioned before).

    At any rate good luck on your meet--go crazy, but not too crazy (given your limited prep on actual barbells). We look forward to a report next week!
    Wow, thank you! Yes, I did feel much more comfortable and confident with the bar on my back. Itís weird - most of these lifts feel harder than they look. I need to remind myself before, and in the moment, that Iím not attempting to lift anything that I havenít lifted before. The mental aspect of this is very real.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    64

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    I've been lurking here for a couple of weeks, Kaisheem, and am looking forward to your success this weekend. Good luck!

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
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    Default Meet recap - mission accomplished!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anders View Post
    I've been lurking here for a couple of weeks, Kaisheem, and am looking forward to your success this weekend. Good luck!
    Thank you sir! Iím glad to have you following this.

    Peace everyone! First off, thanks for everyone who has followed this experiment so far, whether youíve been lurking, or commenting and offering feedback. I competed in the USAPL Winter Wrecker in Ashburn, Virginia on Saturday, November 14. Hereís the meet recap. First up is the video, along with time stamps below the thumbnail (itís kind of long).



    I
    ntro - 0:00

    Backstory (Planet Fitness) - 0:22
    Meet Footage - 9:03
    Epilogue (Final Thoughts) - 16:16

    USAPL Winter Wrecker, 11/14/20

    First off, if you donít watch the video, itís hard to describe just how incredible the production value of this meet was. I knew the meet director had a reputation for excellent meets, and he exceeded my expectations. If youíre anywhere in or near Virginia, and you want to compete in powerlifting, and you see Sabre Schnitzer is promoting a meet, sign up for it ASAP.

    I was in the morning session, starting at 9am. I arrived at the venue around 7:30-7:40. I checked in, submitted my rack heights and openers, then weighed in. I was exactly 94.00 kg (207.2 lbs). Since Iíd lost about 4.5 lbs in the last couple of weeks, I lowered my squat and deadlift openers by 2.5 kg each. My strategy was to remain confident in getting on the board in each lift, while still keeping myself in striking distance of my hopes for 3rd attempts.

    SQUAT - warmups and attempts

    bar/8
    135/6
    225/4, 1 - my wife (game day coach) had me do the single because she wanted to double check my depth
    315/2
    385/1 - added wrist wraps and mouth guard
    425/1 - added belt

    1st attempt: 205.0 kg (451.9 lbs) - GOOD LIFT!

    2nd attempt: 217.5 kg (479.5 lbs) - GOOD LIFT!

    3rd attempt: 227.5 kg (501.5 lbs) - GOOD LIFT!

    BENCH PRESS - warmups and attempts

    bar/10
    95/6
    135/5
    175/3
    205/2
    235/1 - w/commands, added mouth guard
    255/1 - w/commands, added wrist wraps

    1st attempt: 125 kg (275.6 lbs) - GOOD LIFT!

    2nd attempt: 132.5 kg (292.1 lbs) - GOOD LIFT!

    3rd attempt: 137.5 kg (303.1 lbs) - GOOD LIFT!

    DEADLIFT - warmups and attempts

    135/2
    215/2
    315/1 - started using over/under grip
    390/1 - started using chalk, added mouth guard

    450/1 - added belt

    1st attempt: 217.5 kg (479.5 lbs) - GOOD LIFT!

    2nd attempt: 230.0 kg (507.1 lbs) - GOOD LIFT!

    3rd attempt: 240.0 kg (529.1 lbs) - GOOD LIFT!

    TOTAL: 9/9 (27 white lights!), 605.0 kg (1333.8 lbs)

    Summary
    ē At my old gym on March 13 & 15 - exactly 8 months ago - I weighed 217.8 lbs, and I squatted 500, benched 300, and deadlifted 530.

    ē At the meet on November 14, I weighed 207.2 lbs, and I squatted 501.5, benched 303.1, and deadlifted 529.1.

    ē I did not train for more than 3 months, except for some occasional push-ups and pull-ups.

    ē My first workout at PF was June 28, and I didnít enter the meet and start training for powerlifting again until August 19.

    ē I only trained with a real barbell on 4 occasions before the meet (9/13 - all 3 lifts, 9/27 - SQ & BP, 10/18 - SQ & DL, 11/1 - all 3 lifts). I finished the meet 9/9, with 27 white lights, which tells me that my technical proficiency was good in spite of limited practice with barbells.

    I believe this experiment demonstrated that in at least some cases, a powerlifter can successfully train for a meet at what may be the most anti-powerlifting gym in America.

    So, whatís next? For now, I plan to continue training at PF. I have been accumulating some equipment for home, but it requires some assembly and some rearranging in my basement. I also donít have enough weight for squats and deadlifts, so I still canít do everything I want to at home. Plus to be honest, I really like some of the machines at PF. But Covid is going to dictate what USAPL does, as well as our access to gyms. Thereís nothing geographically close to me on the USAPL calendar yet for the spring. Nothing has been announced for Regionals or Nationals for 2021. Right now, itís a waiting game. My next order of business is to regain the weight I lost.

    I plan to keep this log going, and I invite you all to continue following it. Even though I donít have a meet on the horizon, Iím still training for powerlifting at Planet Fitness. Based on how things went this weekend, I donít have any reason to think I shouldnít.


    Thanks for reading all of this! ✌🏾

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    59

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    The video turned out great, and I'm glad the meet went so well.

    One thing I wanted to mention--if you're in the Charm City, have you ever looked at Fivex3 Training. They are a Starting Strength affiliate gym, not too far from the Fells Point:

    Fivex3 Training - A Strength and Conditioning Gym |

    Coach Socolinsky has a lot of great content up on the Starting Strength website.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    64

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    starting strength coach development program
    Fantastic work, Kaisheem!

    And what a great experiment with PF. We haven't used one, and as soon as we saw the Lunk Alarm go off during your deadlift, we were "Oh, Hell No!". But even after the explanation (closing), we stand by our response. Although I do understand the desire for it, after watching bros at our local gym slamming empty bars into racks just to draw attention.

    That was quite the production for that USAPL meet. I'm glad that they put on quite a show.

    Lastly, we had a laugh about you using the hydro-massage. My wife is a massage therapist, which does come in handy during training and meets. But she's never done a hydro-massage and you've got her curious.

    Congratulations on going 9/9 and keeping your strength through all of this. We look forward to more.

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