T Nation

Baking A New Cake


Yesterday, I sent in my entry for a meet in Ottawa: www.ottawastrong.com/1.html
It's on July 18th, so 5 weeks to go. I've been around the forums for a long time and have learned a lot, but have never really been much of a contributor.

I hesitated about doing this, just as many other lurking members probably do. Then I thought, time to give back. Maybe someone will learn something from my (mis)adventures. I know that, just by writing it down, I'll learn a lot myself.

I'm 56, weight 179. I've been weight training, for sport and general fitness, for almost 40 years. I always focused on leg strength for cycling and cross country skiing, and tended to neglect upper body.

I'll be competing in Masters II, in a CPU (IPF) sanctioned event. I plan to squat and deadlift in gear, so that'll be part of the meet prep. I squat narrow stance and pull conventional. I'll be using a Metal IPF Squatter.

My recent gym lifts (raw):
Squat 405
Bench 200
DL 475
Box Squat 385
(2 inches below parallel)

I know, the bench stands out for its extreme suckiness. I have lots of excuses - arthritis around base of thumbs, partially torn ligaments at right elbow - but truly, I just never liked it or did it much.

I'll cover training prep in my next post.


Hey - Yet another CPU lifter! Woohoo! Ouroboro_s is competing in Ottawa as well. I should be there to help out some teammates if any of our club lifters decide to do it. Ottawa is always a good party so we're trying to convince some of them to lift so we can party :slight_smile:

Good luck in your meet prep. Have you done all the logistical things (ie. CPU card, singlet, etc)?


My Prep Training

My usual training routine was, for years, centred around 3 days a week of squats, box squats, deads, DB bench, heavy DB rows, incline DB bench, military press, power cleans, snatches, rack pulls, some accessory work.

My lifts 7 weeks ago:
Squat 375
BB Bench 150
DL 455

When I decided to compete, 7 weeks ago, I knew I had to do some serious work. I had seen a 12 week Dave Tate program, Maximal Strength, on John Berardi's Precision Nutrition site. I latched onto that like a drowning man - just the right length, focused on strength and from Dave Tate, so I trusted that it would help me achieve some PRs.

I have followed the program to a "T", no deviation except for some additional pre and post workout dynamic stretching and foam rolling.

The entire program is structured around a 4 days/week scheme. The sets, reps and loading change each week, and some of the accessory lifts change every two weeks.

Monday ME Squat/DL

Wednesday ME Bench

Friday DE Squat

Saturday De Bench

Phase I is a 3-week prep, with a total focus on technique and priming the body.
Phase II is 6 weeks of Max Strength work. Phase III (3 weeks) is the deload, test and deload some more phase.

As Dave writes "In my experience with working with hundreds of ahtletes and lifters, I always see the same things. Weak points are mental, physical or technical. Everyone wants to focus on the physical aspects while they only account to what I guess to be 10% of the equation. What I am trying to say here is you can make SIGNIFICANT (empahasis the author's) improvements in your strength with better technique. I have found the best way to do this is by using multiple sets of 2-3 reps."

One of the things I like most about this program is that everything is laid out. There is no guesswork, not much thought. It has also been an attitude boost to change up, break out of a routine. The added day per week has definitely improved my overall fitness, although I won't be sportin hawt abz anytime soon.



Nutrition and Supplements

I eat pretty clean, following Berardi's Precision Nutrition guidelines. Generally low carb, except around workouts - protein and veggies with every meal, some fruit, lots of variety in the types of veggies, some nuts, whole grains only after training. I found that one of the secrets to staying on track nutritionally is to prep food. I always have roasted chicken breasts ready to eat, hardboiled eggs, tuna and salmon salad for a day. I'm fortunate to work from a home office, so meals are easy.

Protein sources - I eat a ton of chicken, some beef, lamb, pork, fish. I usually have one protein shake per day - 50 grams of protein blended with spinach, flax seed meal, a cup of frozen berries, a banana.

I tried the 5 to 6 smaller meals a day routine for a long time, but I feel better eating less often.

For pre, during and post training, I mix up 1 1/2 scoops of waxy maize, 20 grams of whey isolate, 10 grams of leucine in a shaker bottle. I start drinking that while driving to the gym, drink some during and the balance after. I tried every variety of creatine, but they all made me bloated as hell. It did seem to help with stamina towards the end of a hard session, but I couldn't tolerate the bloated belly.

Biotest Alpha-GPC (just got this, will try today)
Fish Oil (Carlson's liquid)
Protein - I like to change this regularly
Biotest ZMA - helps me sleep
Biotest Z-12 - if I still can't sleep
Waxy Maize
Vit C and Vit D
Life Extension Super Miraforte (herbal test booster and estradiol control)

I was on daily Hormone Replacement Therapy (doctor-prescribed) for a couple years, but I had some side effects (elevated hematocrit and then hypertension) that caused me to reconsider. The doc suggested the Miraforte and additional zinc when I tapered off the test cream. My test has dropped over the last six months but is still in normal range.


Hey Court, thanks for dropping in. I have my CPU card, ordered the mantard and a new belt from Louis. Have my soccer socks, picked up some tighty whiteys yesterday. My next big challenge is to incorporate the squat suit into my program. I know it's time to start using it, so I'm open to suggestions - e.g. how often.

I know I'll feel a bit special roaming around Extreme Fitness in my suit.



I'm in Week Six of the program, the third week of Max Strength. Here's what I've done this week:

Monday - ME Squats
Warmup - 5 minutes on the stairclimber, pushing REALLY hard.

Box Squats - 10X45, 10X65, 5X85, 5X105, 5X135, 5X165, 3X195, 3X225,
2" below parallel 3X255, 3X285, 3X315, 3X345, 3X375, 1X385

DB Swings (push hips thru) - 10X30, 10X45, 10X55, 10X65, 10X65, 10X65
Standing Cable Crunches 10X60, 10X80, 10X100, 10X120, 12X120, 12X140, 12X140
45 Degree Back Raise - 10, 12X25, 12X35, 12X55, 12X55, 12X55
Machine Pullups (Assisted) - 10X-80, 10X-50, 10X-20, 5X-20, 4X-20
Standing Calf Raise - 10X135, 12X235, 12X335
Static Stretching

Wednesday ME Bench
Bench Press 10X45, 10X65, 5X85, 5X105, 5X135, 3X155, 3X175, 2X185, 1X195, 0X200
CG Incline Press 10X45, 10X65, 5X95, 5X125, 5X135, 5X155
Side&Front Lat Raise (no pause) 8X15, 8X15, 8X15
DB Rows 10X40, 10X80, 10X100, 10X100, 10X100
Dips (BW) 3X10
HS Decline Bench (close grip) 10X45 (side), 10X70, 10X90, 10X90
Static Stretching


Hey - it's great to have another old fart competitor here. If this keeps up, I may get inspired to do a comp for my 50th.


Tnanks for the welcome Soldog. You should do it. It gives you a new goal, and shakes up the training.


Today (Friday)

DE Squats
Low Box Squats - 10X45, 10X75, 5X95, 5X135, 5X165, 5X195, 10 sets of 2 @205 (50% IRM)
Deficit Snatch Grip DL - 10X95, 10X135, 3X225, 3X275, 3X275, 3X275, 3X275
Hanging Leg Raises - 2 sets of 15
Seated Good Mornings - 10X45, 10X135, 10X185, 10X225, 10X225, 10X225
Lat Pull Downs - 10X72, 10X96, 8X108, 8X108
Life Fitness Fly Machine - 10X90, 10X110, 10X130, 10X150, 10X150

Oh, and the Penguins just took the Stanley Cup.


Good luck on your meet. I sincerely hope the best for you in this endevor. And remember, especially for your first meet it is all about just getting on the platform and getting it done.


Thanks for the good wishes PeteS. I was hesitant about putting this out there on T-Nat... er Tmuscle. For this first meet, I am not looking to be competitive with anyone other than myself. I know that there can be a big dose of reality when the gym lifts don't translate to the platform, under a judge's eye and with the stress of making depth or locking out. Well, no guts, no glory.


Have you used your suit before? Wear the suit a few times and people won't even stare after a few weeks :slight_smile: If they do, just growl in their direction.

If you've never been in the suit before, I would get into it asap. Even if it's just using some sub-maximal weights to see how it changes your squatting style. If you don't have people that know PL depth around, get some videos from the side so you can tell. Are you using knee wraps as well? Get into those too.

I'd start using it once a week when you squat and once a week when you DL. 3 or 4 weeks out I'd be in it squatting twice a week and every time you deadlift heavy.

Depending how tight the suit is, it may take you a few sessions to hit depth...for you to get over the pain aspect and just do it.

I'm officially heading up there and will likely be helping to run the table/scoreboard/attempts/etc. I was volunteered into that position today after training. It's not bad though because it means I get to see all the lifters :slight_smile:


Thanks for the advice. I've only put it on at home so far. It's damn tight, but it goes eventually, with suit slippers, some harsh words and an assist from my son.

I'll follow your advice and get into the suit on Monday for my Max Effort squat day. I squat twice a week and pull heavy about every 10 days, so I have a few sessions to get some feel for it. I occasionally use Inzer knee wraps (hate 'em. They f'ing hurt) or ATP knee sleeves (love 'em, like a tea cozy, but not much rebound).

I look forward to meeting you and Ourobouro_s at the meet. I've followed both your threads and have really enjoyed them - a good mix of info, insight and entertainment.



In my unprofessional opinion, I suggest you learn to think that the knee wraps feel like warm tea cozies because if the suit is so tight that you need suit slippers plus a person to get in it, the knee wraps should feel like tea cozies in comparison when you squat in the suit :slight_smile:

I tried a new suit today that needed suit slippers, 10 minutes and a helper to get on and 10 minutes and 2 helpers to get off. I'm not new to the equipment pain, but it bit into my legs so much today that it threw me off a bit when I was going to deadlift.

See how you feel using the suit without wraps... at least in my old suit, I found it awkward as hell to squat with the straps up without being wrapped... but who knows.


Well, you're right. If I'm going to be a dirty cheater, then I should man up, wrap up tight and ignore the bite marks and numb feet.

I just read about your (mis)adventures with the new suit. Congrats on the easy 335 DL.

Today will be DE bench day, tomorrow max effort squats and possibly some dl. I'll try to strongarm younger son into videotaping. I know that I would really benefit from some form feedback. There are a lot of fairly strong guys at my gym, but no powerlifters that I know about. However, I've influenced (shamed) a very few young guys into squatting deep and pulling heavy - "If that old bastard can do it, I guess I can."


Good on you CW!


Thanks Soldog.


Sunday, June 14

Week 3, Day 4 of Maximal Strength, Phase 2

DE Bench Day

Facepulls, Pushups, External Shoulder Rotations, 45 Degree Back Raises, Front Planks, Foam Rolling

Barbell Bench

Wide Grip 2-board press
3X155 - ran out of gas

Narrow Grip Tricep Pushdowns

Seated Rows

Rear Lat Raises
3 sets of 10 @12

Some stretching

Home to cook up thick pork chops, grilled asparagus, boiled new potatoes, grilled red peppers and onions. And now I'm going to top that off with a cold Czechvar beer.


Monday June 15

Week 4, Day 1 of Maximal Strength, Phase 2

ME Squat/Deadlift Day

Stair Climber, pushing hard - 5 minutes
Foam rolling, dynamic mobility crap

Close Stance Box Squat - 2" below parallel
3X215 (belt)
3X245 (belt)
3X285 (belt)
3X315 (belt)

Squat - time to start using the suit
0X345 (belt, suit, straps down) - suit pitched me forward coming out of the hole. Big surprise!
3X315 (belt, suit, straps down)
2X365 (belt, suit, straps up)
2X385 (belt, suit, straps up, wraps)
1X405 (belt, suit, straps up, wraps)

Got the last 3 sets on tape, so I'll get them posted tomorrow.

315X3 - belt
315X3 - belt
405X3 - belt
405X1 - belt, suit, straps down - didn't like the feel of this at all, very hard to get to the bar and really felt the pull in my hamstrings
405X1 - belt, suit, straps up - same feeling as straps down, really rounded my back
405X3 - belt
455X2 - belt
455X1 - belt - got on video

Hanging Leg Raises

45 Degree Back Raises
12X25 (holding plate)
12X60 (holding DB)

Pull Downs

Static Stretching

Received an email today saying my entry is in, so I guess it's official that I'm doing my first meet.


Good for you cakewalk! I too just did my first meet (push/ pull RAW) on June 6th down by Windsor (Belle River), and have entered my second meet (World Police and Firefighter Games) in Burnaby BC first week of August. It is addictive, be warned!

I had a great time. Met some fantastic people (Court and Ouroboro were two of them, they are sweet hearts!) and learned a great deal... from the advice of others, observations and personal reflections.

Your training is looking good, go and have a good time, and compete against yourself!