Jim - I had the best meet of my life last April at the USSF in Kansas City (I took third overall and hit a major DL PR), but I put on twenty pounds and generally beat the shit out of myself training up for it. I was proud, but felt like shit, and since I’m 39 and I’ve been at this since I was 14, I figured it might be time to get out of competing.
I’ve since lost 42 pounds (from 238 to 196) while completing some pretty major goals (e.g., I can hit 20 strict pull-ups, my time in a mile run is under six minutes). I’ve started to get the powerlifting bug back, and a couple weeks ago while just fuck’n around with one of my training partners in the garage, I pulled 500 for an easy triple (est. 1RM = 550) even though I haven’t touched a heavy barbell since the USSF back in April (where I hit 585).
The point is that I’ve barely lost anything in the DL despite the fact I’ve become something of a skinny bastard. I think I’m going to see what I can do competing at 198. So here are my questions:
(A) I think Beyond 531 is the way to go For me. My plan is to start easing back in with just two days/week, and slowly build up to however many days I can handle. On Friday I’ll BP using B531 and Sunday will be DL B531. After DLing (instead of down sets) I plan to add SQs progressing week by week from sets of ten, to eights, fives, and eventually singles. I’m a bit reluctant to jump into a higher intensity template for the SQ after losing so much weight. Once I’ve felt things out for several weeks, I’ll start adding B531 SQ sessions. Does this sound like a reasonable approach, or would something like the the 75-85% volume approach make more sense for an older guy who is only interested in strength gains (I’m not afraid of mass, but it’s not a priority)?
(B) Over the last few months I’ve run in with a group of buddies who pay racquetball. We play twice/week for about an hour and a half, and it’s some pretty intense conditioning. Whatever one might think of racquet sports, it’s fun as he’ll just getting after competition regularly. I realize that this will compromise strength gains to some degree, but do you think it’s something that will simply not mix with B531? My hunch is that I will be OK, since I kept about 95% of my DL over a period of several months during which I was running 5-10K three times/week. Of course, I’m going to taper my condittiong now overall. (Distance running and powerlifting don’t mix.)
Thanks for your time!