T Nation

Heading off the Reservation


#1

I’ve been keeping a log for years in various places and thought I’d start a new one here since it’s the start of a new cycle.

I’ve been competing since 2008. My most recent meet was this past Friday. I think it’s somewhere between 25 and 30 meets now. I typically compete at 57kg in the M2 age division. I’ll be 52 on Friday. On Friday I competed at 63kg in our Provincial Championships mostly because I just couldn’t be bothered to cut down.

I was very happy with the meet results. I weighed in at 58.8. The only thing that felt unusually strong (for me) going into the meet was squats and I ended up with a 5.5kg PR and an M2
national record.

Bench was bench and I was happy enough given I’ve been having issues with my shoulder since last May.

I wasn’t certain at all about deadlifts. It’s my strongest lift and I pulled up to my opener a few weeks out and it felt just okay at the time. However, the meet bar has a lot more flex in it than our texas PL bar and I often end up doing better.

Squat

102.5kg good
107.5 kg good
110.5kg National record and 5.5kg meet PR

Bench Press
50kg - good
52.5kg good
55 kg called on technicality

Deadlift
135kg good
142.5kg good
147.5kg good 2.5kg meet PR

Total 310.5kg

Final squat

Final deadlift ,


#2

My next planned meet is the beginning of January. When I started competing I was equipped but haven’t competed in gear in a couple of years. We are having our Central Regional Championship in January just up the road so I thought I’d dig all my old stuff out and take it for a spin. Hopefully I can relearn the groove in 6 weeks.

This week is just a deload and recovery.

Today was

SSB squat
50-5
70-5
90-5
110-5
130-5
150-5
170-5

DB Bench
25-3x12

KB swings
30 3x20


#3

In to watch and learn. I want to get in gear one day but it doesn’t seem practical any time soon.


#4

It’s tough to do on your own. I train with my husband and he’s experienced as well. It’ll be challenging to pull it together again in 6 weeks.


#5

I have a couple crews that train locally, just don’t have the time/money to make it happen consistently. Plus I’m still a relative beginner, and all the big local meets are 99% raw. Just makes sense to wait. Definitely interested though.


#6

Deload day two

Jefferson Squats - I haven’t done these much before and they’re really kind of tough and a bit awkward. I may keep them in the rotation for assistance.

135-2x5/side
155-3x5/side

dumb bell rows
25-3x10

SSB good mornings
50-10
120-3x8

weighted crunches
30-3x10

I dug through my bin of old gear the other day. We haven’t half collected a ton of it over the years. I pulled out my super katana shirt, two super centurian suits (one I bought in January 2009) and a velocity deadlift suit. The really old super C has been my fall back for deadlift for quite a while. I never fell in love with the Velocity but am will to give it another go. I prefer super tight hips and the material in the Velocity just never felt stiff enough.

Hopefully it goes okay. It’s been long enough that I kind of feel like I’m starting over.


#7

Deload day 3

SSB squat
50-5
140-5
150-5
160-5
170-5
160-5
150-5
140-5

Floor press
45-5
65-5
85-5
95-5
105-5

Straight leg raise
3x10

Band pull aparts
3x25


#8

@ouroboro_s hypothetical … I’ve never used gear. If I had 8 weeks to prepare for a bench-only meet and wanted to learn to do it in a shirt is that feasible?


#9

It’s feasible if you have a training partner. I can train in a suit by myself but can’t put a shirt on or take one off by myself.

There are a ton of different shirts with varying characteristics and tightness. I’ve typically competed in a super katana but don’t jack the shirt much and let the neck ride up so it’s easier to touch in. I’m a weak bencher and would need more weight to touch than I could lock out. If I let the neck ride up, it’s easier to touch with a lighter weight.

That’s is something I recommend trying to people new to using a shirt; kind of a thin edge of the wedge. As you become more accustomed to the groove and pull of the shirt, you get your training partner to pull the collar down further and belt it to keep it down.

I remember the first time I tried a shirt my reaction was “are you fucking kidding me with this?” A very experienced bencher recommended moving to a larger size until I gained some experience.


#10

I don’t have a training partner usually, but a geared bencher that I am friendly with is going to give me a shirt to play around with. I’ve always been curious so now is my chance.

I actually wrenched my back up deadlifting last week so I’m proceeding as if my upcoming meet will be bench-only - and hopefully will just be pleasantly surprised if I recover in time to squat and pull 100%. But I thought I’d maybe lift in the shirt if all goes well, just for fun. I actually have 10 weeks until the meet, but probably won’t have the shirt for another 2.


#11

Week 1 day 1 - squat

Squat
Bar-10
135-2x3
165-2
185-1
225-bunch suit bottoms and belt
252.5-2 straps up
267.5-1 s/up
275-3x1 s/up

225 and 252.5 were nose bleed high. I’d also forgotten about getting visual swimmers from blood pressure changes. The reps at 267 and 275 were pretty close to where I need to be. I changed my belt on the last rep at 275. I use a wehlander belt but it’s not great in a suit. You slide it to move it over to latch it and it doesn’t slide well on a suit. The last rep I used my old inzer lever.

This is the last rep at 275. It’s really slow and tentative. It’s having to relearn a different groove. Even bar placement. With straps up, I get more bar movement because the suit material can be more slippery than a t-shirt and I get more sliding. It’s harder to get my hips back because the straps pull me forward.

On balance though, it wasn’t bad for almost 2 years off.

Bench
bar-5
90-4x5
This was quite painful. I’ve had shoulder issues on my left side since last May. Although the weight was really light, it was more painful than it’s been in a while. I spent the evening gobbling naproxen and rubbing voltaren up my neck and down to my elbow.

Stiff leg snatch grip deadlifts
135-10
145-10
155-10

Rolling dumbbell extensions
10-3x12

Band pull aparts
5x25
These are done periodically while we train. I find they warm my shoulders up a bit while we’re squatting.


#12

Week 1 Day 2 Deadlift

I thought I’d start off with my old velocity. I haven’t loved it in the past because it lacks the stiffness in the hips that I prefer. However, I’m giving it a go after time off.

135-2x5
225-2
265-1
295-2x1 straps up

This felt much nicer than squats on Monday. I’m having belt issues. Last year I bought a wehlander belt. I had a beautiful custom belt that my husband bought me a couple of years ago. With the change to the IPF rules though, I needed one that was by a specified manufacturer. I have an Inzer lever but like to have a prong belt because I find them more versatile. I thought I’d give the wehlander a go. It’s nice but just okay. The lack of love may be due to the fact that it was bought to replace a belt I love (three colours of blue with my initals embroidered on the back).

Where the wehlander is good for unequipped, it kind of sucks for equipped. The fastening mechanism doesn’t allow for leverage when you’re tightening it up. That’s fine for unequipped and I prefer my belts a bit looser. However, when you’re tightening against gear, you need some leverage. I switched back the the lever but I have it on the very, very last hole. Over the past few years, my mid section has thickened up from both muscle and middle age. My weight is the same as it was 5 years ago when I last competed at 63 but my body composition has shifted.

This is the second rep at 295 in the Inzer belt.

BO BB rows
115-3x8

SSB squat
50-5
122.5-25
This was supposed to be 5x5 but I decided to do one set. Maybe not the smartest and my quads will hate me today.

Bar roll outs
3x10

Band face pulls
3x20

I’m trying to find upper back/trap exercises that don’t exacerbate my shoulder issue. Shrugs are fine but I’ve been doing so many I’d like to switch things up. Face pulls and band pull aparts are good. High pulls or anything of that variety lights my shoulder and arm up in a ridiculous way.


#13

LOL I thought you would be some late 20s college dude getting back into a healthier lifestyle. Buuut you are a record breaking PLer doing a geared meet, awesome and I am in for some learnin!!!


#14

Maybe I should change the log title to be more clear. Something like middle aged female PL shoehorning her ass back into a squat suit :grinning:

That’s all part of the fun, hanging off the rack trying to wedge into the gear. I’m a bit of a wuss about it and don’t come close to the lifters who have their knees wrapped so tightly their coach carries them to the edge of the platform.


#15

Week 1 - day 3 bench

Squat
bar-10
135-5x6

Bench
bar-5
95-3
105-2
135-2 shirt on
145-1
150-3x1

Like I recommended a bit above, I let the shirt ride up on my neck because the weight was too light to touch with the shirt jacked down. I have a Christmas party tomorrow night and have some sassy abrasions across my neck.

While I find deadlifting nice, bench is difficult. When you bench in a shirt, you’re almost rowing the weight to your chest and you have to pull the bar through a bubble; the chest plate where you get the most ‘pop’. If you go high or low, you don’t get much from the shirt. There are also safety issues of heavy weight sliding off the bubble onto your stomach on on your face. I don’t bench a ton but I still don’t want it sliding off the bubble onto my face with any speed. People have lost teeth like that in the past and that’s why we now have safeties on bench at competition.

Hanging leg raise
3x10

Bent over dumbbell row (executed almost like a bent over face pull)
17-3x10

Multiple sets of band pull aparts


#16

Week 2 - day 1 squat

Squat
45-10
135-2x3
165-2
185-1
225-3 suit bottoms
260-2 straps up
275-1
287.5-2x0 Both times I was too slow searching for depth and my hips shot out and I crashed
287.1-1
287.5-0 same issue as before

This was very frustrating and disappointing. It’s not a strength issue; it’s all technical. Next week I’m going to spend time with lighter weight and hammer speed and technique. It didn’t help that I had a large dinner and then forced myself into the squat suit sausage casing so when I got under the bar in full gear I could feel it pushing dinner back up. It’s tough failing with weight that you previously considered ‘baby’ weight even when you’re actually stronger.

Bench
45-5
95-4x5

Good news here that my shoulder wasn’t too bad. Last Monday after squatting it was very painful with a light weight.

RDL
135-10
155-10
165-10

overhead tricep extension
30-3x15

I have to commit to the meet by next Sunday which means doing it without another squat day.


#17

Week 2 - day 2 deadlift

Deadlift
135-2x5
225-2
275-1 suit bottoms
315-2x1 straps up
275-2 straps down

BO BB Row
117.5-3x8

SSB Squat
50-5
125-13
125-12

Shrug
205-10
225-10
245-10

super set with

weighted crunches
30-3x10

Deadlift went much more smoothly than squat. 315 felt good. Typically it would be my final warm up equipped.


#18

Week 2 - day 3 bench

Squat
45-10
135-2x3
140-5x5

Last night I let the hips out in my squat suit. When I last used it I was about 4 kg lighter and had tightened the hips right up. I thought I’d throw it on and give it a quick go to see if it helped

225-3 suit bottoms
255-2 straps up
275-1

It feels a bit better so we’ll see next squat day.

Bench
45-5
95-3
105-2
115-1
140-2 shirt
150-1
155-4x1 We played around a lot with the shirt. The first one was the best when I left the collar floating up. However, we played with pulling it down and working on keeping it on the bubble.

My husband wasn’t paying enough attention when he was first putting the shirt on me. When it was over my head, he couldn’t pull it down and it was super claustrophobic. It was like being stuck in a canvas tunnel. That’s when he realize it was backward :frowning:

Leg raises
3x10

Banded face pulls
3x20

band pull aparts
4x25


#19

Week 3 - Day 1 squat

Squat
bar-10
135-2x3
185-2
225-2 suit on straps down
267.5-2 straps up
287.5-1
292.5-4 x1add wraps
275-3x1

This is much more than planned. I was supposed to end at 3 singles at 292.5. However, it was much better than last week. My depth isn’t there yet. I get to a spot that is a dead stop. I lowered the weight to see if I could hammer away at it and get enough speed to get lower.

Bench
bar-5
97.5-4x5

Stiff leg snatch grip deads
135-10
145-10
155-10

band tricep push downs
3x20


#20

Last rep at 292.5