T Nation

Crow's Journey to Masters National Champion


June 4, 2011

Wow this has been a year of changes in my life. First things first let me introduce myself. My name is Jeff Crow and I train in Red Bluff, CA at the Tehama Family Fitness Center. I am 35 years old, currently about 235lbs./107kg. I am self coached at this time. I am not a stranger to T-Nation or the forums, I've just been absent for a while. I have kept a few different logs throughout the years, (in the strongman and powerlifting) forums. My training life has come full cycle.

In 2003, after years of just muscle magazine bullshit pseudo-bodybuilding style training I started training seriously under the direction of a former Albania national team member, learning olympic weightlifting. I trained and competed in OL for about 3 years. After Coach Ago returned to Albania, I switched to powerlifting mainly because I needed training partners and no one else OLed. During the next few years I bounced between powerlifting and strongman.

Well fast forward to January of this year and I have for odd some reason been bit with the OL bug again. I don't know why exactly, (I'm 35 now so officially an "old man" and can enter as a master now, I've been inspired by Donny Shankle, Jon North, and the California Strength blogs and videoes, I feel I never truly reached my potential all those years ago, and finally its an epic challenge). I want to set the PWA snatch, clean & jerk, and total records, and then win the masters national championship. So this is what I mean by my training life has come full circle.

Personally, I'm getting married July 9th to the love of my life Cori (moncanlift in the powerful women forum). I will be the proud stepfather to 3 beautiful children. So for the first time ever in my life there is something more important to me than training and competing. I realized that today. I competed to a small local strongman event and did pretty bad by my standards (3rd out of 4 people). However I did flip a 1000lbs tire to win $100! Although I was pretty distraught I came home and had lunch with Cori and her kids, and played "Go Fish" with her 4 year old daughter. I alomst completely forgot my disappointment holding this beautiful little girl. This put everything in the proper perspective for me. I don't think her girls even realized where I placed, I was still a hero to them. I love training and have some clear definitive goals, but I need to always remember what is truly important, (my God and my family).

In my first life as a weightlifter I competed in the 94, 105, and 105+ kg divisions. My best competitive snatch was 110kg and clean & jerk was 140kg for a 250 total. I back squatted 200kg and could front squat 160kg back then. Since January of this year and reentry in this sport, my best snatch is 115kg, clean & jerk 125kg, back squat 175kg, and front squat 150kg. So my leg strength is a huge weakness now, as is my clean. I do think my technique
is vastly superior now.


First of all I need to lose some weight and walk around at about 210lbs. I will compete in the 94kg class.

Short-term Snatch 120kg, long-term 140
Short-term Clean & Jerk 140kg, long-term 160
Short-term Front Squat 160kg, long-term 180
Short-term Back Squat 200kg, long-term 220

I will probably still compete in small local strongman events and the occassional raw powerlifting meet (my future beautiful wife loves doing those together).

I'm going to use a Bulgarian style approach to training (snatch, c & j, squat heavy every workout).

I plan on posting my log in this forum and hopefully receive feedback and suggestions from you guys.


Welcome aboard mate!

Nice info background story. Love it. Gives people here a more sense of history and what you've been up to.

I'd suggest your goal is to FS 200kg mate. 180 is BS and won't get 140/160 with a 180 FS man!!! Sn 140 will give at least CJ 170 mate unless your my mate DW who can SN 132.5 but can barely FS 160 on a good day, you can't CJ/ Sn heavy with a weak FS...but he is a very exceptional case. The weakest legs you've seen in a person to SN 132.5!

Forget the BS. Only FS. Just get your FS JACKED and continue to Sn and CJ and the FS will pull up the rest of your lifts.


The weight issue. Forget the weight. Just continue to train hard and eat leaner/ cleaner food/ cut out the junk. See what class you settle. Weight drop is the biggest thing to kill your lifts. I was retarded and stuck to the 85's and lost a good 2yrs training as I was a retard :(. I'm 5'10 did 118/143 @ 83.3kg, tried staying down to 85's filled out, lean and I just kept losing too much strength cutting and it ruined me for 2yrs with no gains. Moved up to the 94's instant results!

How tall are you?



Thanks Koing. I'm 6'0". Should I totally ditch the back squat or just make the front squat a priority (FS 3xweek, and BS 1xweek)? I will post some currents videos soon of my current lifts and maybe you could be kind enough to assess them for me.


You'd be a thin 94! But don't worry about the weight. Just eat well and train your nuts off and see where your bodyweight goes. But the biggest thing is to not let the weight slow your lifts down. Thats TERRIBLE. I wasted 2yrs of no gains because of this. I was transfixed on C&J 2x bw at 85...I'll just do it as a 94 lifter instead and then some :smiley:

My advice is to ditch the BS.

FS at the start of your training and at the end of your training

FS to max single, go as heavy as you can, if you dont' PB you don't PB, you should be able to PB at least every 3-4 weeks if not 2. Depends on how you handle it
Sn do some work here, technical work and go heavy, depends how your form is, if your form is good I'd just suggest max out, no more then 3 failures, yeah I failed 5x before I got the 127.5 but I'm a stubborn mofo...just make sure it doesn't take too much out of you for the CJ
CJ again follow hte above, if you need work do the work, if your consistent just max out
FS to max, then drop 10-15kg and do 2reps x 2sets. Aim to increase this if you can so aim to do a bit more next time

Yeah post up the video and I'll take a look



June 5, 2011
BW 235.8

FRONT SQUAT to daily max
110/2 120/2 130/1 140/1 149/1 151/miss

SNATCH to daily max
90/1 95/1 100/1 105/x,1 107/x,x

CLEAN & JERK volume matrix
100/2 110/1 120/3x1

SLDL 140/2x5


Crow, good to see another Master's lifter here!! I too am a master lifter, getting ready to turn 38 at the end of the month!! Looking forward to following your log and see how you do!! Also, will look forward to meeting you at a National Master's meet in the future!!


Welcome aboard (back aboard?). I agree w/Olylifter 106 - it is good to see another Master here on the boards.

I agree with the notion of work the lifts heavy enough as frequently as you can w/out too many misses and drive the FS w/intense, frequent, but low volume efforts. Listen to your body - some can go three weeks hard/one easy others find 2/1 a better ratio. Remember your long-term goals, train hard and smart - we're old enough now to know how to train smart!

Also agree with Koing on the nice biography - congratulations on the upcoming wedding!(Proverbs 31:10)

Onward and upward...



Do more FS. Don't forget unless your FS 14x a week doing singles is not enough. You need to do doubles as well.



JUNE 6, 2011
BW 233.8

POWER SNATCH volume matrix
70/2 80/1 90/4x1

POWER CLEAN & PUSH PRESS volume matrix
90/2 100/1 110/3x1

BACK SQUAT daily max + doubles
121/3 140/2 151/1 160/1 171/1 151/2,2,2


JUNE 7, 2011
BW 233.0

FRONT SQUAT volume matrix
121/2 130/1 140/1,1,1,2

SNATCH volume matrix
85/2 95/x,1 100/1 105/1,1,x,x,1

CLEAN & JERK daily max + doubles
90/1,1 100/1 110/1 120/1 125/x,x 100/2,2

1A PULLUPS bw/3x10
1B PUSHUPS bw/25,25,20
1C DB Y's #15/3x10


JUNE 8, 2011 REST

JUNE 9, 2011
BW 233.4

FRONT SQUAT daily max
110/2 130/1 140/1 149/1 153/1 PR! 135/3x2

SNATCH daily max
90/1,1 100/1 105/1 107/x,x,1 109/x,x,x

CLEAN & JERK volume matrix
100/2 111/1 120/3x1 111/2 115/1 125/2x1

100/3x3 120/2x2 140x1

Excellent training session!!!



No need for Sn DL, more FS.



JUNE 10, 2011
bw 234.0

BACK SQUAT volume matrix
145/2,1 155/1 165/3x1



Kind of a bullshit session.



JUNE 12, 2011
bw 235.4

FRONT SQUAT volume matrix
121/2 130/1 140/3x1 130/2 135/1 145/3x1 147/1

SNATCH volume matrix
85/2 95/1 100/1 105/3x1 95/2 100/1 110/2x1!

CLEAN & JERK daily max
90/1 110/1 120/1 125/1 127/x,x

1A PULLUPS bw/15,11
1B PUSHUPS bw/30,25
1C HYPERS bw/10,10
1D DB Y's #15/10,10

A really good session for me. Front squat is progressing nicely. The snatches were awesome, no misses today! I haven't hit 110 in about 5 weeks, today I got 2 singles! 235 is a training PR total.


hey. welcome :slight_smile: congrats on your front squat progress. and on having a good snatch day, too.


Very nice. Did you go for 112? Sometimes it just comes to you out of no where. I wasn't feeling the squats yesterday but I did 176 so 2kg below pB and I doubled 163 for a +1 2RM and 164 for a +2 2RM!



JUNE 13, 2011 REST

JUNE 14, 2011
bw 234.0

111/2 120/1 132/1 141/1 146/1 132/2,2,2,3

90/1,1 95/1 100/1 105/1 109/x,x,x

CLEAN & JERK volume matrix
100/2 111/1 120/x,1,1,1 111/2 115/1 125/1,1,x,x

This session was brutal! I knew while I was warming up with 60kg on the FS it was going to be a rough day. After hitting 153 in the FS on Sunday, 146 was an absolute grind today. I did get some good doubles and even a triple at 132 after though. The snatches were good and bad. I didn't miss until 109, then missed it 3 times so I moved on. The C&J was bloody hard. After my first progression up to 120 my legs were dead. I was shocked I hit the 125 on the first attempt. I made the first two and then missed two in a row. All and all a pretty tough day, but am glad I stuck it out.


I felt pretty burnt out 2 days ago but I hit a 176, so thats only 2kg below my PB! You can definitely PULL IT OUT OF THE BAG at times, and others you are just BURIED no matter what you do LOL.

Just keep at it. Your FS should be racing up 1-2kg at a time every 2-3weeks imo. Also hitting 2RM every 2-3 weeks as well.

What do you mean by volume matrix?



Koing, the volume is something I found on the internet (unknown author) in an article about Bulgarian style loading. You essentially start with a training max (TM) that you should be able to hit everyday without any extra psyche up or emotional arousal (for me 105 snatch, and 120 C&J).

Session 1: (TM-20kg)/2, (TM-10)/1, TM/3-4 singles
Session 2-3: Repeat session 1 + (TM-10)/2, (TM-5)/1, (TM+5)/2-3 singles
Session 4: Repeat session 2 + (TM-20)/2, (TM-10)/2, (TM+5)/2 singles, (TM+7.5)/2 singles
Session 5: Repeat session 1

After session 5, you add 2.5kg-5kg to your training max


I see.

But why not just max out and see where you are? If you don't hit a PB youd on't hit a PB. If you hit 90% thats an okay session, 95% is a good session, PB is a really good session.