T Nation

Another Diablo Barbell Experience

Hey everyone:

It has been a long time since I posted on this website. In my absence, I have waffled in and out of training. 6 months ago, I had found myself in the worst shape of my life with my body having health issues at my ripe old age of 25. I knew I had to change. So, I decided to move to the Bay Area to try and find a new path. Fortunately, I also found Diablo Barbell in Concord, CA.

During the last six months, I have went from a weak, fat wannabe athlete to a legitamate lifter (Fortunately, Im still fat though).

Since I learned about Diablo from T-Nation (thank you Erica and Heavythrower), I thought it would be appropriate to share more about an experience that is truley life changing. Here you will find my log, training vids/pics.

Unfortunately, most of the pictures and movies I have at the moment are of me. There definetly will be more to come that do not include my fat ass.

Here is a video of me squating about right when I started. It show how poor my form was. Thankfully, it also shows how far I have come.

Here is a double with 505. These are both a little high, but it was my first time in a suit.

Here are last weeks workouts:

Arch Bar/doubled minis

Floor Press straight bar/quaded blue minis

Sled Row-trip=20 reps
7 platesx2
8 platesx2
9 platesx1
10 platesx1

Shrugs powersquat
worked up 1100lb + green bandsx10 or so, then I passed out

plate holds
Fat Bar Curls
Tricep pushdowns

ME Squat
Box Squat (SSB)
425x1(should have tripled this), 475x1, 515x miss Piece of motherfucking, goddamned shit, 515x1, 540x0

D. Deadlifts
225x5, 275x5, 315x5x3


Today was dissapointing. My body has been acting a little funny/clumsy the last couple of days. Lots of rest during the holiday should help.


Straight bar chain press
up to 275+4 chains x 1, 275+4 1/2 chains x miss, 275+2 chainsx2

Tate press on sled-trip=20 reps
2 platesx2 trips
3 platesx2 trips
4 platesx2 trips

Dumbell row
125x10x3 found out that I was being a pussy at this, 145x10x1

Tire Flips
4x5 flips


DE Squat
Straight Bar/ Straight Weight


pull throughs

Here is a video of me squating

Heres Jesse being the motherfucking man that he is.



Straight bar+80lb chains per side

3 board press +80lbs of chain

Tate press

Prone Row

Curl press combo


Diablo is the shit. I got to train there while on a business trip. Don’t take it for granted, there are not many gyms like that out there.

Am i the only one that can see only the first 3 seconds of the clips?


I hear you. Diablo is my home now, and it only second to westside in my opinion. With the lifters that are established, and once the developing lifters hit thier potential our depth of competition will be unreal. Regardless, next time your in town hit us up.

Shane, Sean, or Combo.


I am not sure why that is happening, but if you scoot the play bar along right after the clip pauses up, it seems to work fine.

Shane, Sean, or Combo

[quote]Shane Mesias wrote:
I am not sure why that is happening, but if you scoot the play bar along right after the clip pauses up, it seems to work fine.[/quote]
Then the sound disappears. any yotube links for a bigger picture?

in the second squat video you look sooo tight it’s scary, compared to the first one.

ME Squat

#1 Pin Pulls
415x3, 465x1, 505xmissx2 switched to sumo 415x5

Prowler pushs (trip=90 ft)
4 platesx2
6 platesx2
8 platesx2
1 reverse pull with 6 plates

spud abs

I am having a lot of set up and technique problems with my deadlift. I know that I have the strength to pull at the very least 600 whenever I want to, but my PR is 477 done at our last meet here in Diablo. My PR’s in my good mornings are 560 with a Giant Cambered Bar and 475 with the safety squat bar. Generally, people who can do that pull 700lbs. Tonight, I am going to read Marc Bartleys article on how he improved his deadlift. He is built a lot like me, so, hopefully, his insights might help me.

Shane, Sean, or Combo

I wouldn’t say you can pull at least 600 whenever if your best is 477.

While technique is very important, a conventional pull is very much a strength lift; you’re just pickin the bar off the floor.

Your GMs are strong, but some people just suck at pulling because of build/grip issues/whatever.

You’re with a great group of lifters and your progress looks great. But technique won’t put at least 130 lbs. on your dl instantly.

Btw, i was at your last meat and helpin out in the warmup room a little.


You make a very valid point. You really cannot compare one lift to another. Generally, people can pull more than they good morning though. Which led me to believe that what I have is not so much a strength problem, but a technical problem.

I strongly doubt that I will change my technique and magically be able to pull 600+, but I do think that it will push me into the 500+ barrier which I have been working on for six months or so. There will be plenty more time to bring it up to a even higher level as I bring up lagging bodyparts and fix poor technique. I am sure better conditioning will help as well.

Also, I think that conventional pulling is part of what is hurting me. I have a lot of girth in my upper body and very short arms, and it makes it hard for me to get into a good position when I am deadlifting.

I am going to try sumo and a few other techniques to try and find something that works. Thanks for the comments; they are always more than welcome.

Shane, Sean, or Combo

Here is a video from my first meet in June. It is my third attempt, and I believe that the weight was 584.

El Diablo himself spreading the good news at Team Supertraing in Sacramento.

Yeah, I figured you were probably pissed off about your lifts that night when you wrote you should be able to pull at least 600 whenever. I know if I have a disappointing workout I will think a little weird right afterwards.

But experimenting with sumo is a good idea. I’ve put them back in my training and will hit them basically once a week for a while to try to bring my hip strength up for the squat. I also like hitting both styles of the dl, especially far from a meat when training isn’t very “structured”.

Sounds like you definitely have a good idea of some things to work on, and you’ve already made some great progress. I trained down there myself once a week for like 4 months when I first started powerlifting.

sled/warm ups

Reverse blue floor press
315x3, 365x3, 405x1(PR), 435x0
New exercise, new PR

Tate Press

Chest supported rows
2 plates per sidex5x8

Curl/Press Combo
30x8, 40x8x3, 50x8

Bandy Pushdowns

This has the makings of a great log…

On the sumo issue… I found for me it took ALOT of time to transition over to becoming good at it. It was definately worth it tho becuase when I pulled my first max attempt with it a couple of weeks ago I git a super easy 7.5kg PR over my conventional and came close to 15kg! My conventional pull for reps also stronger than ever even tho I haven’t done it in over 8-10 weeeks. Which is just cool.

If you do switch over, prepare to be humbled. For a while :wink:


I have had wierd experiences with sumo before. I can handle speed wieght and up to 80 percent of my max or so easier than conventional, but my form collapses with the heavier attempts. I think that it will work out in the end, but it will be at war with my body to get it.

Shane, Sean, or Combo