T Nation

Chasing Records


515lbs Squat @ 160

Tacked another 5lbs on to my squat PR last night. Not a bad birthday present to myself! This lift felt even more solid than the 510 from a few days ago. I had briefly contemplated loading up 520 instead of 515, and I wish I had because I would’ve made it, but I was starting to psych myself out so I went for the small PR. I actually unracked 515, bitched out at how heavy it felt and re-racked it. I had to give myself a metaphorical slap in the face to go back and get the job done. And I’m glad I did.

After this I worked up to an easy 505lbs deadlift just to get an idea of what my opener will be. I felt like I had about 550 in me. I’ll probably open around 500. Just one more squat session and 2 more bench sessions to go before the meet.

Squat- 135x5, 225x3, 275x3, 325x2, 375x1, 425x1, 475x1, 515x1
Deadlift- 135x3, 225x3, 315x3, 365x2, 415x1, 465x1, 505x1
GHR- 5,5,5,5,5,5



315lbs Bench Press @ 160

Well, I finally benched 315 pounds, aka 3 motherfucking wheels. Given that the top guys at 148 are hitting 350+, this is not very impressive. But honestly, my bench press was stuck around the 275 mark for like 4 years so I am quite pleased with myself for FINALLY breaking past that barrier. I’m simply not a gifted bench presser. I’m just stubborn.

I did a ridiculous amount of benching/pressing volume this training cycle. This was my last heavy bench session before my next meet. I’ve got one more session left where I’ll probably just work up to my opener or my 2nd attempt at the very most.

For this last heavy day I removed all assistance work and kept it really heavy throughout the session. I hit a bunch of quality doubles after the single with 315. I’ve been tapering my volume down all week, until this upcoming final session where it will practically be nil.

Bench- 265x2, 285x1, 295x1, 305x1, 315x1 (PR+10)
295x2 (PR+5), 285 x 2,2,2,2,2

Face pull- 130x15, 150x10, 160x10, 170x10, 180x15



530lbs Squat @ 160

Got in my final squat session before the meet last night. I warmed up how I plan to do at the meet and took “attempts” in order like I will there as well. I managed to hit a grindyyy 530 single, which is a 15lbs PR. I’m happy with it though. Nothing to do now but rest until the meet.

Squat- 135x5, 225x3, 275x2, 325x1, 375x1, 425x1, 465x1 (final warm-up)
500 (opener)
520 (5lbs PR; solid)
530 (15lbs PR)

And that’s a wrap. Wish me luck.


1388lbs Raw total @ 162

This is kind of long, but I had my meet this past weekend, and things went pretty well. I fell short of my goal total/goal Wilks but I still had a good day overall. This was my first meet in the USPA and first meet without wraps. My goal was to total 1430lbs @ 148 for a 500 raw Wilks. I failed obviously, but that Wilks number is burned in my head and I will get it. The lifts went:

227.5kg (501lbs) good
232.5kg (512lbs) good
237.5kg (523lbs) good

132.5kg (292lbs) good
140kg (308lbs) good
142.5kg (314lbs) no lift

232.5kg (512lbs) good
252.5kg (556lbs) good
265kg (584lbs) no lift

Total: 630kg (1388lbs)

Anyway, I was planning for this to be my last meet at 148 and then I was going to fill out as a 165 and compete again late this year or early next year. I got to about 153 and my body stopped sweating and my blood pressure got pretty low so I quit the cut a few hours before weigh ins and started eating/chugging Gatorade. I weighed in at 162. So I already know I’m not going to get the 5 hundo Wilks but I still want to hit my goal total. I get to the meet and start warming up for squats and the warm up area is a Crossfit section with nothing but the flimsiest Oly bars I’ve ever used. Now I’ve squatted with some flexy bars before but these were a whole new level. By the time I had 400+ on the bar it was yanking me all over the place in a way that I was very unaccustomed to. I had to greatly slow down my descent so I didn’t get thrown onto my ass. This really fucked me up by the time I got to the platform and you can see it on my opening squat where my knees fall back when I hit the hole. This made my opener feel hard and so I had to take a more conservative 2nd attempt (232.5 instead of 235) and that shorted my 3rd attempt (I took 237.5, but originally was planning for 240). In retrospect I think I definitely still could have grinded out 240 but after that terrible warm up session things just felt so off and I had no confidence in my descent. Still not a bad outcome.

Bench went pretty well. I can’t really complain. I was hoping to take a crack at 145kg but it just wasn’t there that day. Probably could have hit 142.5 if the dude wasn’t making me pause for an eternity.

Now the deadlift…you can’t really see it in the video but the only reason I let my 3rd attempt go is because the bar was already basically falling out of my right hand. When I took 556 on my 2nd attempt I knew I could pull 600 or probably even a little bit more but I could feel the bar starting to rotate in my right hand when I was waiting for the down command. Realistically I probably could have held onto 572 (260kg) at the very most and I wish I would have gone for it instead so that I could have cracked 1400, but 265kg had been a number i told myself I wanted to go for going into the meet so I went for it anyway. Either way, I know what I need to work on the most. My grip. Because it lost me no less than 20kg off my total this time around. And if I’m going to compete as a proper 165 I have to be able to pull into the mid 600’s, something I am confident I can do, as long as I can work up to holding onto that much weight.

Now, I’m going to rest for a little while and let my body heal. Then I will begin the process of bulking up to like 180-185 and getting in a few solid training cycles. Next time I step on the platform I will be a true 165 and my goal will be to total 1550lbs to get my 500 raw Wilks.


Update and new video

No real new news in terms of my own training. I’m still recovering from the meet and haven’t begun a new training cycle yet, but I’ve been to the gym a few times this week to begin rehabbing that stupid hamstring tendonitis I’ve been dealing with. It was pretty aggravated in the days following the meet, but it’s starting to feel better. My hope is to get it back to normal ASAP so that I can put deadlifts and power cleans back into my training program. The squat is the exercise that really seems to cause it to flare up so I think I’m going to have to take a break from squatting for possibly quite some time because I certainly don’t need this injury to flare up every time I start a new training cycle.

Anyway, new video is up on my channel. It’s how I program strength training cycles for intermediate trainees. Give it a watch and let me know what you think!


Hang Power Clean 225lbs x 5

I’m taking a little bit of a “deload” after my meet. I’ll be taking some time off from squatting while I rehab my hamstring, but I’m hoping to be able to center my programming around deadlifts, benching, power cleans, and jumps for a little while. I’d like to get some more of my explosiveness back before I jump into a powerlifting focused cycle. I will however also be doing a shit load of upper body pressing volume during this time because I’ve made it a goal to bench 350 in my next meet. I’m calling it Project 350.

These power cleans were pretty good yesterday. I don’t really know how to do a proper Olympic lift anymore and I know using straps for cleans is frowned upon, but oh well. These felt strong considering I haven’t done any cleans for several months and haven’t truly focused on them since before the surgery, and they do a good job keeping me strong while I take layoffs from squats.

Power clean- 135x5, 155x5, 175x5, 195x5, 205x5, 215x5, 225x5

That is all.


255lbs Hang Power Clean

Was doing some traveling last week and I got invited to a pretty nice little Crossfit type spot do some training so I decide to take advantage of the quality bar/bumper plates and do a whole shitload of power cleans. My planned workout was only going to be a 5x5 with 205lbs but I ended up doing a few heavier sets of 5’s as well as a few heavy triples and even a couple singles. The workout went…

Hang PC- 135x5, 165x5, 185x5, 205x5, 215x5, 225x5, 230x5, 235x3, 240x3, 250x1, 255x1, 225x5
3 inch block pull- 425lbs x 5,5,5
Barbell Step up- 45x10, 65x10, 85x10, 105x10, 125x10

Volume, volume, volume. Done.


Shuttle runs and broad jumps

For this training cycle I’m going to dedicate one day each week as a field day and go out and run different shuttle drills, short sprints, and do some broad jumps. I haven’t really done any work like this in a couple years (haven’t run shuttles since like 2013) and haven’t done any hard cutting since I’ve had the surgery. I’m not sure if this type of training has any benefit towards increasing my total, but it’s really fun to me and it keeps me agile and athletic. I was an athlete before I ever discovered the weight room and possessing that level of movement capacity is a part of who I’ve always been so maintaining it is important to me. Anyway, I kept the volume pretty low for this first session but I’ll start adding more and more as the weeks go by.

I started with my favorite shuttle drill: the 3 cone drill. My goal here is to beat my personal best time from 2012, which is about 6.5 seconds. I clocked around 6.7-6.8 on my first day out, which isn’t too shabby.

3 cone drill- I did 5 of these at a 100% effort level. Each run covers total 30 yards and involves multiple hard cuts and turns. The times were all between about 6.7 and 7 seconds. My goal for the first session was simply to go sub 7. I felt surprisingly quick and nimble, all things considered.

Broad jump- 3,3,3,3 (12 total jumps) - best jump on the day was only 9’3". For reference, my best ever broad jump is 10’6". I felt terrible on these. Like I couldn’t even leave the ground. I wanted to hit 11’ someday but given the performance here that may no longer be in the cards. We’ll see how things go over the next few weeks though.

That was all for week 1.


More shuttles + new vid

Ran some more shuttles yesterday. This is only the 2nd session so far but I hit what appear to be some pretty decent 3-cone drills towards the end of yesterday’s session. Things started off a bit sluggish but then I really caught a jolt and the last 2-3 runs were quick. After I ran the 3-cone drill I did a couple 60 yard shuttle runs to make myself run a slightly farther distance. These felt slow and the stopwatch agrees. I was clocking around 11.5 seconds. My PR is about 10.8-10.9 and I would like to go sub 11 again. My cuts still feel kind of awkward though and I haven’t quite gotten that pep back into my step. I’ll get there though.

Also, someone asked me my opinion on lifting belts a little while ago and I finally got around to making the vid. Check it out and let me know what you think.

3-cone drill: 6 runs (best run is around 6.6 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than last week)
60 yard shuttle: 2 runs

Total ground covered: 300 yards


How do you look so big for 160, just being shredded?


Hahah I don’t know man. I suppose that being lean helps. I’m sure that being short helps too though.


My Squat Comeback Post Hip Surgery

I made a little chronicle of my return to squatting after I had hip surgery last year. It was a long road. If you follow my log you know I started back up from pretty much nothing about 5 months after the surgery and I worked all the way up to a 530lbs single during my meet peak, which was a 30lbs lifetime personal best without wraps. I also hit a 523lbs squat in competition at 162. One of my goals was to hit that number at 148 because it would’ve been up there but unfortunately I was unable to make weight and had to settle for 165. My goal now is to fill out as a 165 lifter and see if I can join the 600lbs club! Let me know what you think of the video.


I guess that explains how you can put up really impressive numbers at low weight classes. I’ll check out your video and your channel later.

How exactly did you go about learning olympic lifting? Did you have a coach, or…? I am getting into olympic lifting after training for powerlifting for a few years, and I am still going through the process of learning the lifts enough that I can actually lift what I am supposed to be at my strength level.


I was completely self-taught, which explains why I was so bad at it hahaha. But yeah, all I did was film myself every session and watch video after video of good lifters to get an idea of what I should be trying to do and how the lifts should look. I haven’t done the full lifts in years though. Did you stumble across my old footage?


Yeah, you have some posted in the front of your log, and I think I saw some footage in the old oly board log.

I was asking since you were definitely a lot better at the oly lifts than me. lol


Ah yeah I used to post all my old stuff there haha. How long have you been trying to learn the lifts?


I’ve been trying to learn the lifts for about a month. I already kinda-sorta knew how to clean before, so the jerk and snatch are the biggest issues for me at the moment. Speed under the bar is the biggest thing in general for my lifts. The pulls are really coming along though. I am getting good at keeping the bar close, and being in the right position for the last extension while doing the first/second pull at a reasonable speed.


Sounds like you have the right idea. Positioning is obviously the most important thing and basically building up to the highest tempo you can manage while still maintaining those perfect positions. Other than that, if you aren’t going to hire a coach, you should film literally everything and watch every lift immediately so the way it “felt” is still fresh in your mind and you can visually see the changes you should attempt to make on the next lift. This is assuming you’ve watched enough footage of pros that you already basically know how the lifts should look ideally.

I used to like the snatch the most. I also loved to do jerks from blocks, but man I was shit at cleaning haha.


Long update, boring training, a new video

Hello, friends. Long time no talk. I’m chilling at home in MD this week, I’ve logged like 10 training sessions and just finished up a new video so I figured I’d do a quick update. As far as the weights go, nothing exciting is really happening. I’m slowly progressing both the volume and the intensity in my squat training. I’m up to 2 squat sessions per week (1 back, 1 front), each session consisting of 4-6 sets with 10 reps on the back squat and 6 reps on the front and very modest weights. The purpose here is two-fold: one, I need the volume because I feel that I need to build my base again. I’ve set the sort-of-kind volume goal in my head of back squatting 405lbs for 3 sets of 10 reps. And two, I’m trying to gradually build up the amount of punishment my hamstring tendonitis can take before it starts to bark at me. This is very important because it greatly hampered my abilty to train in the lead up to my last meet. The only thing keeping it at bay before was squatting with the wraps (I thought it it had healed, but the wraps were just hiding it).

I’ve been seeing an ART practitioner to work on breaking up some of that scar tissue in my hamstring; I’ve been rolling the fuck out of it very single day with a lacrosse ball; I’ve developed a supplement regimen designed to combat inflammation and build tendon strength; and lastly, I’ve begun doing weighted glute bridges, kettlebell swings, and hyperextensions multiple times a week to strengthen and stretch the area. Combined, all of these things have really improved the area, but it is still far, far from being ready for any sort of real punishment. For now, my plan is to continue slowly increasing the squatting intensity week by week, and continue with my rehab protocol and hopefully I can rid myself of this plague once and for all. Oh, I’ve also begun doing some research into prolotherapy and what’s known as percutaneous needle tenotomy as means of encouraging healing/restructuring within the tendon. I’ve considered PRP therapy many times, but I just can’t swing it with the outlandish price tag right now, unfortunately.

Anyway, that’s enough rambling. Just to give you an idea of things here are my last 2 squat sessions. The first is from Tuesday and the second is from yesterday.

Tues: Back squat - 345lbs x 10,10,10,10 (40 total reps - easy, I just couldn’t breathe lol)
Glute bridge- 225x20, 315x20, 405x15,15,15,15
Hyperextension against bands- 10,10,10,10,10
Box jump -5,5,5,5,5

Sat: Front squat - 285lbs x 6,6,6,6,6 (30 reps, very easy)
Glute bridge - 225x20, 315x15, 405x15, 455x10, 405x15
Kettlebell swing - 80lbs x 20,20,20,20
Box jump - 5,5,5,5,5

I’ll add 10lbs to each squat session next week. If you’re interested, I’ve been posting small training footage clips to my Instragam account (www.instagram.com/ape288). I haven’t been posting much training footage to my YouTube channel lately, but today I did just publish a new video covering my take on the utility of pause squats for powerlifitng. Anyway, I’ll try to update this more frequently in the future, I just don’t have as much motivation to update it when the training isn’t very exciting.


Squatty, squat, squats (and stuff)

Finally got around to compiling last week’s squat session into a video with some added commentary, mostly just a bit of semi-logical rambling about my plans for making increasing my squat this year haha. I already posted the workout numbers in my last training log update, buttttt I’ve got some more workouts to add now!

Let’s see…

Front squat - 285lbs x 6,6,6,6,6
Glute bridge- 225x20, 315x20, 405x15, 455x10, 405x15
Swings(80lbs) - 20,20,20,20,20

Bench - 215lbs x 10,10,10,10,10
Close grip bench - 195lbs x 8,8,7,7
Wide grip bench - 205lbs x 6,6,6,6
Close grip chin- 15,15,15,15,15
EZ bar curl - 85lbs x 15,15,13,12,10

Back squat - 355lbs x 10,10,10,10
Glute bridge - 225x20, 315x15, 405x15, 455x10, 455x10, (against heavy band)- 25, 25
Hyperext. - 45lbs x 15,15,15,15

Bench - 240lbs x 5,5,5,5,5
Slingshot bench - 255lbs x 8,8,8,8
No leg drive bench - 210lbs x 5,5,5,5
DB bench - 75’s x 8,8,8,8
Face pull - 150x20, 160x20, 170x15, 180x15, 190x10, 200x10, 200x10
Cable Tri. ext. - 20,20,20
Cable curl- 20,20,20

Swings - 50lbs x 50,50,50,50
Hypers - 45lbs x 15,15,15,15,15


Also, today is the one year anniversary of my hip surgery. I realized that since the surgery I’ve squatted 530 (30lbs more than I ever did before it), leaped onto a 60 inch box, clocked a 4.5 40 yard dash, and done many other things that several doctors told me I wasn’t supposed to be able to do anymore. So I’m happy about that today.