Furloughed Powerlifting

So, thanks to Congress, I’ve had a lot of time to hit the gym recently. Trying to maintain strength levels while I’m doing a bit of re-comp/weightloss; trying to drop to low double-digit BF (i.e. 10-12%) in order to be close to 200 pounds for a PL meet in April, so that I don’t have to drop down too much to be at 198. I’m at 219 pounds right now, after dropping a quick 7 pounds in a couple weeks.

Now, I’m finding myself having to diet a little harder (obviously) to hit that next 5 lb. increment. Anyone have any tips? I’m consuming carbs in the morning (before 10 a.m.) and after my lifting session currently; trying to get most of my calories from protein and fat otherwise. Typical meal breakdown:


3 eggs over medium
2 pieces of whole-grain toast
3 strips of bacon


1 cup greek yogurt w/tblspn honey


2 Rice-less stuffed bell peppers (a bell pepper filled with ground beef and onions)


Scoop of whey w/water

Post workout:
Scoop of whey w/nonfat greek yogurt, milk, and a small handful of berries


2 porkchops w/1 cup broccoli and 5 spears asparagus

Another reason I’m dropping the lbs. is because it’s hard on my knees to run at 225+ and I’m joining the AF Reserves soon. Decided I needed that security in my life given recent events.

Anyway, appreciate any advice ya’ll might have. I’ve been steadily increasing cardio and decreasing rest periods, especially since I’m on a bit of a deload week while I let my joints heal up. Basically doing speed work + hypertrophy.

And, felt good after my 15 min. warmup today, so I said eff it and decided to work up to a 1 rep on the DL where I felt like I was in the 90-95% range. Hit 455 fast after two singles at 405. There goes my deload week… turned into more of a deload four days. Hoping to hit 475 as a max within the next month or two.

More training sessions. Not necessarily longer on your main sessions, just add in a bunch of small workouts in addition to what you’re currently doing, maybe 15-20 minutes once a day. A set of adjustable dumbbells (and maybe even resistance bands if you have them) for arms and upper-back work and some bodyweight exercises (push-up and chin-up variations, core work). Light weights, high reps, little rest time.

Muscles like biceps, triceps, rear delts, traps and abs/obliques can be trained daily. You’ll burn more fuel thanks to the extra sessions, and the added hypertrophy will help even further in that cause. And, if anything, the extra workouts with light weights @ high reps will also help with recovery and prehab for the main workouts.

Tack one of these on to your workouts one day a week

Interval Training on the Rowing Ergometer

Sorry I haven’t replied, been preoccupied and my mind easily wanders. Good news is, I got some hours in last week at work, so I’m making some money again… at least until Congress fails again at the end of the month.

Rock978 - I like that idea, I’ve been using bands to get a pump now and it feels great. I’ve been training biceps and triceps almost daily, as well as throwing light shoulder wok in near daily. I think the added volume on my “smaller” muscle groups is really helping. I hit 135X5 on the seated military press the other day, which has been a goal for a long time.

Rampant Badger - I’m holding off on buying any more equipment until I’m sure I won’t be furloughed again (after the end of this month). But that looks really interesting.

Weight loss and workouts have been going fairly well. I’ve had my days where I’ve felt incredibly beat up, mostly due to low-carbs, but usually for a couple of days after my “cheat” meals I feel strong again. Still lifting heavy, hitting weak body parts on the daily to pump up the volume and the blood-flow.

Today went really well, since I had a HUGE amount of carbs yesterday (compared to weekdays). I was on a deadline because of the GF this morning, so I ended up training on an empty stomach (which I don’t usually do), but I think because I only did a 10 min. cardio warmup today and had so much protein and carbs yesterday my strength levels were pretty high. I’m guessing that, compared to how I used to feel training before I was dieting, I was up around 90% today.

Weighed in at 218, so over eight pounds off from my highest measured morning weight (226). I’m still losing slowly, so I don’t plan on cutting calories again until I stall.

Hit a quick session today, worked on front squats today which were brutal since I did weighted abs yesterday (and my abs are a weak point as my lifting progresses). Worked up to a 275 single on front squats, which felt like shit. Then I did multiple single-rep pause squats with 30 secs. to 1 min. rest in-between as the weight got heavier. Stopped at 315 held for a full 3 seconds in the bottom; felt like an eternity. Then I did some 3 in. block pulls, worked up to a double at 455 (full reset), and ended the workout.

I didn’t realize how hard a 315 lb. pause squat would be. Going to keep those in my regular rotation for a while. My goal is to make 315 feel light on my back all the way through the movement.

Anywho, any further advice on staying strong while getting lean is appreciated.

[quote]DonDooley wrote:

Rampant Badger - I’m holding off on buying any more equipment until I’m sure I won’t be furloughed again (after the end of this month). But that looks really interesting.[/quote]

ok here’s some more ideas…

Ooh, I like the complexes idea. Dunno how I missed that one. Thanks!

So, after two days off from the gym, walked in today tired as hell after sitting at a desk for 10 hours (bad) mostly doing necessary but slow-going database transfer work (worse). Had little energy, so I decided to forgo the cardio, even for a warmup, and hit bench, back, and deads (because I felt like it).

Hammered out some incline bench (shoulders and tris are weak), some dumbbell flies, military press, dumbbell rows, narrow grip rows, and barbell rows. Even did some curls for the girls (to protect my biceps when DLing… oh, who am I kidding, I want bigger arms). Thought I would hit some light deads for speed work… and then ego took over. Kids in the squat rack doing 315 pound half-shrugs to show off for their girlfriends were kind of pissing me off (as usually happens when I watch silliness in the gym; I can’t help but feel like the gym should be serious business, and after a long and mentally draining day I get irritated pretty easily), and after 225, 315, and 365 came up like rockets, I decided to go heavy. Hit 415… that came up fast too. Hit 455… easy.

Slapped 20 more pounds on and went for a 20 pound PR.

Came up smoothly… I can’t say easily, but as soon as the bar broke the floor it was one steady movement, constant speed, no hitch.

Long story short, my day got much better.

Well, recently I finally hit the point where my dieting affected my lifting. Three days ago I walked into the gym for a squat day, and felt like 315 on the bar was going to kill me. Played with my mind pretty badly, but I’ve decided to continue losing weight. 20% bodyfat wasn’t acceptable for me, and now that I’m down 11 pounds, I’m going to keep going and see how far I can take it before February or so when I want to stabilize my diet and drop the fat calories in favor of more carbs so I can work more on strength again.

On the bright side, my absolute (read: fed) strength is actually improving. I had my weekly cheat meal with my girlfriend last night - Indian food and ice cream - and walked away from dinner three pounds heavier. This morning I walked into the gym for squat day again, and of course everything felt better. Worked up to a pretty fast single at 385 - lifting alone, always unsure about depth, but next time I squat heavy I plan to record it to make sure. I also hit a 275 pound front squat and a 515 pound 3-inch block pull. All were equal to PR lifts or new PRs.

I’m curious what the next 15 pounds of weight loss will feel like; once I get down to 200, if my strength levels have stayed at least even, I might drop further to decrease the amount of fat I’ll be carrying around come competition time. I hope to compete in April, so here goes nothing.