T Nation

My Quest for 1400


Well now, this is quite a strange feeling to be posting here again. For the first time in eon's, I'm not training for fat loss or for a triathlon. Rather, I am training for a powerlifting meet.

See, I had a change in mindset....well, change in bellyset I should say. I have been eating a fat loss diet for what seems like forever (2 years or something really) and I got tired of that style of training. So I looked at my calendar for the year, found a PL meet scheduled for Labor Day weekend in Venice Beach, CA and hired a coach and am going for it.

The only goal I set for myself was 1,400 pounds. Right now we are looking around a 500 squat and dead and a 400 bench. Now those aren't exact numbers but I should be right around that ball park somewhere.

My coach seems to think the squat is my best lift, I think dead's are my best lift but we both agree my bench needs work.

So far I am 4 weeks into my training and while I won't go back and tell you what I have been doing, I will be updating going forward.

I look forward to the interaction of everyone.

Let's go!


So my day turned out to be fucked up.

I was so pissed when I walked into the gym, my coach didn't even bother to come over and say hi to me. I had on a black beanie, down low over my eye's and my hoodie up over my head. He looked at me and asked if I was okay, I said I was fine just really pissed off. He just nodded his head and we got to work.

Here is what I did for my bench session today.

Speed Bench
1x5 bar
1x5 95
1x5 135
6x3 175*

*I change my grips, going from pinky on the rings, to thumb out from the smooth, to the webbing of my hand on the smooth and back out again.

Pin Presses (had this set so the pins were about 2 in from lock out, pinky on the ring for all sets)
1x5 225
1x5 275
1x3 315
1x3 365 - wrist wrapped
1x3 405 "
1x1 435 "
1x1 455 "
1x1 475 "
1x1 500 "
1x AMRAP 225 (I ended up getting 50 reps here)

A1) Rear Flies - 4x10 - 150
A2) Chest Supported Row - 4x6-8 - 250
A3) SA KB Military Press - 3x15 - 12kg

B1) Incline DB Curl - 3x20 - 25
B2) Bow/Arrow - 3x10 - 40
B3) High Cable Face Pulls 3x12 - 40

This was a really good session for me. I used my anger to fuel my session the entire way through and I'm paying for it now. My CNS is shot and I still feel like I could throw up any minute. Dinner is going to be a challeng to put down.

Tomorrow I'm wrapping my knee's for the first time with a suit tomorrow. I am going to try and take video to post as well.


I wish I could say I had this epic day but in reality it wouldn't be true. For some reason, for the past year, every 2-3 months I get these random bouts of insomnia and I'm going through one right now. Last night I only got about 2 hours of sleep and I was dragging ass all day today. I really tried to show up focused to the gym so I could have a good squat session but I can't say that happened either. It was okay but not good or great. Okay won't get me to my goal, so I have some work to do. I do have video and I will post that in a bit. First off, here is my session for the day:

1x5 - bar
1x5 - 95
1x5 - 135
1x5 - 185
1x5 - 225
1x3 - 275 w/ belt
1x3 - 315 suit on, straps down
1x2 - 365 suit on, straps down
4x1 - 405 suit on, straps up, knee's wrapped
1x13 - 225 free squat w/ belt

A1) Iso Hamstring curl - 3x12 25 lbs
A2) Front Pulldowns - 3x12 - 150(x2) 170(x1)
A3) DB Side Bends - 2x6 - 120, 1x12 32kg Kettlebell

My lower back has been really tight and the belt I was wearing wasn't that tight so it really wasn't giving me that much support. I ordered a belt from Titan almost 3 weeks ago and they said it will be at least another 4-6 weeks before I get it. I also just ordered my Metal IPF Viking V-Type squat suit which should be here next week.

Overall, I guess I can't be that upset with the session. It was the first time since high school that I had my knee's wrapped and it was definitely a distraction, especially on my last set as my coach tried to go tighter but I didn't like the feel of the tight wraps. I'm very excited to get my suit though because this suit I'm wearing in the video is pretty broke in. The support is fine but I can't wait to break in my new suit.


Fist set of 405


Best of luck man, there's no way i'm missing this log,
specially when you have the stats i'm chasing

Good luck man, if you went from being an obese guy to a lean dude,
then this will be piece of cake for you :wink:.


All the best Bartl! The more you can embrace discomfort, even extreme discomfort, the better equipped squatter you will become. In an extraordinarily tight suit and wraps that are cutting off your circulation you have to squat with great technique IN SPITE OF your equipment. You'll get better each time you get into the equipment and you'll learn to love the tightest wrap you can get.

What federation is the meet in? If it is in the USPF or USAPL, in particular, I would get a lot of practice in squatting a couple of inches below parallel in the suit without compromising your technique (letting your knees drift way forward at the end for instance). This way, if the judges are particularly strict, not only will you be able to technically handle a deep squat in equipment, but you'll have the fire power to own the weight.

Really enjoyed your other log even though I had about 50 pounds of bodyweight to gain at the time. Now that I can relate to the content I'm sure I'll enjoy it even more.


Its a USPF meet. My coach said the same thing about squat depth, so when we do the box squats we always set it a little below. We do the same thing with dead's too, I use plates that are a little smaller than competition so I can get used to being a little lower off the start.


So this whole lack of sleep thing is starting to piss me off. I didn't get home from work last night until after midnight, didn't fall asleep till about 130 and was up at 445....in the morning. While I for the most, I kept it together pretty well today and I surfed for about an hour, I did hit a wall during my session and my coach totally called me on it. We both got a good chuckle out of it.

Alas, here is my sesh:

Speed Bench
1x5 bar
1x5 95
1x5 135
1x3 95 w/ mini bands*
8x3 135 w/ mini bands
1x1 165 w/ mini bands
1x1 185 w/ mini bands
1x1 205 w/ mini bands

*the bands gave me an extra 40 or so pounds off the chest and close to 90 pounds on the lock out.

Military Press Lockouts
1x3 225
4x3 255

A1) Kettlebell Military Press 3x8 -- 24kg
A2) DB Curl - 3x8 -- 55 lbs
A3) Chest Supported Row - 3x10 -- 185

B1) Mini Band Tri Pushdown - 3x50
B2) Bow/Arrow's - 3x10 -- 45 lbs
B3) High Cable Face Pulls - 3x10 -- 20 lbs

Finisher -- sled pulls for 2 blocks with 70 lbs

So I totally hit the wall during the second tri set. I was just out of gas. I didn't eat that great today, ie I didn't eat that much, so my energy was low and my energy drink didn't do much. Good thing my case of Spike should be here this week. :slight_smile:

My speed on the bench wasn't the best but my bar path and form felt dialed in. My coach was more pleased with where I was placing the bar than he was with the lack of explosion. The one thing I like about my coach is that he understands energy and know's right now with my lack of sleep that I am just not in top form, but he won't stop pushing me and he keep's hammering home the good form idea. Strength will come but right now I have to get my technique dialed in.


This post is coming a day after training because Tuesdays are my super busy day's and I didn't get home and relaxed until about 11 pm and the only thing I wanted to do was read my book until I fell asleep.

Mission Accomplished.

I finally got a good 8 hours sleep last night but it was filled with terrible dreams and not many good thoughts. So while the getting 8 hours was the good part, the dreams totally ruined the buzz of finally sleeping.

My leg day was pretty good but my food intake definitely hurt me. I hit another wall during my final set of the day and was spent when I was done.

Speed Squat - Mono Lift*
1x5 - bar (bar weighed 65 lbs but will continue to put the weights down like its 45)
1x5 - 95
1x5 - 135
1x3 - 185
1x2 - 95 w/ belt & average band
3x2 - 135 " "
6x2 - 185 " "
2x2 - 135 " "

Speed Pulls
1x10 - 135
1x10 - 185
2x3 - 225
4x3 - 250

A1) Glute Ham w/ 10 lb ball -- 3xAMRAP
A2) Pulldown - 3x10 -- 200
A3) Standing Calf Raise - 3x6 -- 460

All in all, it was a decent session. My squat form felt much better than last week but my speed was a little slower than I would have liked. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't very good.

I also did some random ab work as well and will hit them up again at some point today.


So my Spike showed up yesterday and man did it ever jack me up. I forgot how powerful that stuff is but man, did I have some shaky fun!

Speed Bench
1x5 - bar
1x5 - 95
1x5 - 135
1x3 - 95 w/ mini bands
1x3 - 135 "
8x3 - 155 "
1x3 - 205 3 board press w/ mini bands
1x3 - 245 " "
3x3 - 265 " "
1xAMRAP - 135 w/ mini band

A1) Elbows Out Tri Ext. - 3x10 -- 50 lbs
A2) DB Hammer Curl - 3x6 -- 60 lbs
A3) KB Shoulder Press - 2x10 -- 24 kg, 1x8 -- 24 kg + 7.5 wrist weights

B1) Reverse Peck Deck - 3x10 - 155
B2) Chest Supported Row - 3x6 -- stack
B3) Tri Pushdowns w/ mini band - 2x100 ea arm

Good session and I am pretty beat up and sore because of it. If I didn't have legs later today I would go soak in the hot tub. I think the Spike is still in my system because with just a minimal amount of green tea and some coffee, I am completely cracked out right now.

It's kind of fun....


Today was leg day and I made sure to have my can of Spike a few hours earlier so I wasn't so cracked out during my session. It was a good idea too because I had good energy and felt good during my pulls today. I have been dealing with a ton of personal issues and have been finding refuge within the iron. It is my place, it is my time and I am investing in my body and my mind. It is all I am focusing on....personally that is.

Speed Pulls
1x5 - 135
1x5 - 185
1x5 - 225
2x3 - 135 w/ mini band & belt
1x3 - 185 "
4x3 - 225 "
2x3 - 275 "
3x10 - 135 '

A1) HELC - 3x20
A2) DB Row - 3x6 -- 110 lbs
A3) DB Shrugs - 3x6 -- 125 lbs

B1) Pulldowns - 3x10 - 185
B2) Side Bends - 3x10 - 95
B3) Leg Raises - 3x12 - 10

Finisher - sled drags + 90 lbs

My speed felt good and again my technique feels really good on the pulls. I am super happy with my form adn feel that could be my best lift right now.

Video to follow.

I'm off to read 5/3/1 for football training.


275 + mini bands. I think my coach said it was somewhere around 495 at the top.


Yes today is Sunday and yes I hit the gym. I never usually train on Sunday's but after talking with my coach, we decided that it was a good time to change my training schedule. so my new schedule is Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Today was a speed bench day and I felt good and fast with my form and bar path. After today, I feel really good about my bench, now its just a matter of getting my numbers up. We are lowering the volume on the bench because we are starting to increase the volume for my legs.

Speed Bench
1x5 - bar
1x5 - 95
1x5 - 135
2x3 - 135 + 1 chain
8x3 - 135 + 2 chains
1x3 - 135 + 4 chains/ 4 board press
1x3 - 185 " "
1x3 - 205 " "
1xAMRAP - bar + 4 chains

A1) Dips 2x15 - BW, blast strap dips 1x6 - BW
A2) Alt. DB Curls - 3x20 -- 30 lbs
A3) Tri Ext. - 3x50 -- mini band
A4) DB Row - 3x15 -- 75 lbs

B) Mini Band Ext Rotation - 3x12

Overall, I'm pretty happy with today. Even though I don't normally train in the morning or on Sunday's I cannot complain about how today went. Spike + a cup of coffee first thing in the morning is always a good way to start the day.

Now I'm off for a good trail hike with my K9 companion.


For all 2 of my followers out there, I apologize for the break. Life got in the way and I was busy training clients, eating, making protein shakes, trying to get more new clients, writing a business proposal, writing a corporate wellness proposal and reading.

I think I might have surfed in there but I don't really remember. Oh, I did go on a hike with my dog, hit my head on a low tree branch, cut open my head and knocked myself retarded.

So I will do a couple posts here to get you two brought up to speed.


Monday's Leg Day

I don't really remember much from Monday, so I can't tell you the mood I was in when I hit the gym. I do remember that I was stoked because one of my high school kids is getting ready for summer training and he brought a friend to train with him. Let's just say that neither one of them were ready for what I put them through.

All the while I was going through my session working with my coach. He said I had a really good session and he was very happy with how shit all went down.

Mono Lift Speed Squat
1x5 - bar (65 lbs)
1x5 - 115
1x5 - 155
1x3 - bar + heavy band
1x2 - 115 + heavy band & mini band
6x2 - 155 + heavy band & mini band

A1) Glute Ham 3x10 - BW
A2) Two Handed KBell Swings - 3x15 -- 16kg ea
A3) Front Pulldowns - 3x10 -- 175

B1) KBell Side Bends - 2x20 -- 32kg
B2) Hammy Curl - 2xAMRAP + 20 lbs
B3) KB Crunches - 2x12 -- 16kg

I will say this: I am bummed on Elite FTS right now. I ordered my Metal squat suit almost 4 weeks ago and I still haven't gotten it. So I called and they said it was not in stock and on order and that it should have said that when ordering. I said no, the size higher was out not mine.

When they checked, they had the size higher in stock and not vice versa. Needless to say I cancelled my order because I still wouldn't have gotten the damn suit until July.

Good news is that my belt from Tital finally got here, along with my wrist wraps. So at least I got that going on for me.....


Yesterday's Bench Day

So I was having an amazing day walking into the gym. My high school kids were there, the metal flowing through the speakers and everyone had a good energy about them. My can of Spike surely didn't help either (note the sarcasm).

1x5 - bar
1x5 - 95
1x5 - 135
1x5 - 185
1x3 - 95 + band
8x3 - 135 + band

Floor Press
1x5 - 135
1x3 - 225 + dbl wrapped mini band
1x3 - 275 "
1x1 - 335 "
1x1 - 375 "
1xAMRAP - 135 "

A1) Elbow Out - 3x12 -- 30,35,40 lbs
A2) DB Hammer Curl - 3x10 -- 45
A3) DB Row - 3x10 -- 75

B1) KB Military Press - 3x12 -- 16kg
B2) Tri-Ext - 3x50 -- mini band
B3) KB Shrugs - 3x25 -- 24 kg

I was pretty spent after this session but I am starting to feel really good about my upper body. My shoulders and tri's are getting much stronger and I can feel it in my bench. Everything about it now feels quicker and more powerful. Now I just need to get my shirt and really start hammering out some PR's.


Busy weekend.

'nuff said.

From Friday:

Mono Squat - straight bar
1x5 - bar
1x5 - 95
1x5 - 135
1x5 - 185
1x3 - bar + strong band
1x3 - 95 + strong band
1x3 - 135 + strong band
1x2 - bar + strong & avg. band
5x2 - 95 + stong & avg. band
1x1 - 135 + strong & avg. band

A1) Rev. Hypers - 2x20 -- BW
A2) Side Bends - 2x20 -- 16 kg

2 block worth of 90 lb sled pulls


Well, 10 hours of sleep between friday and saturday nights didn't help my session yesterday at all. Benching with speed was a power and I bonked pretty good towards the end. I'm just super tired and super sore.


3x10 - bar
1x5 - 95
1x5 - 135
1x3 - 185
1x2 - 225
1x2 - 250
1x3 - 315 + shirt/ 4 brd
1x1 - 365 + shirt/ 3 brd
1x1 - 365 + shirt/ 2 brd
1x1 - 365 + shirt/ 1 brd
1x1 - 365 + shirt -- fail

A1) DB Press - 2x20 -- 45
A2) Incline Shrugs - 2x15 -- 75
A3) External Rotation - 2x25 -- mini band
A4) Rev. Peck Deck - 2x15 -- 90

So not an overall good session but not a bad session either. Just didn't have the speed that I normally do. My bar path was good and I was tracking where I touched on my chest with chalk and I was right on every time. I used an open back denim shirt which was a little different than the normal shirt I will be wearing but we just wanted to experiment with some other stuff. The good thing about an open back shirt is that in between sets you can take it off, which feels amazing. Overall, this was a good week for me training wise and I have legs tonight, so hopefully I can catch a nap before I go so I can have some good energy, because I was up at 515 this am.....not on purpose either.


I walk into the gym and my coach looks at me and says: "good thing we are going for a deload day because you look like shit."

Good way to start the session huh?

Speed Pulls

1x5 - 135
1x5 - 155
1x5 - 185
1x5 - 205
10x2 - 225

A1) Glute/ Ham - 2x15 -- BW
A2) Pulldowns - 2x20 -- 140
A3) Standing Calf Raise - 2x20 -- 265

B1) Leg Raises - 2x15
B2) Side Bends - 2x20 -- 75
B3) Crunches - 2x50

This was so needed its not even funny. I could feel my body revolting against me so it was nice to have a relatively easy day in the gym. I feel good today and am really looking forward to tomorrow.


After a night of 9 hours sleep and two nights after having some really good sex, I actually had a good bench session. Our de-load week continued and while lifting light weights quickly is all fun and games, I can't wait to get back to lifting HEAVY.

Speed Bench
3x8 - bar
1x5 - 95
1x5 - 135
10x3 - 165

DB Press, neutral grip
3x10 - 80

Military Press Lockouts
1x3 - 135
1x3 - 185
6x3 - 225

A1) DB Hammer Curl - 3x12 -- 30,35,40
A2) Lying Tri Ext. - 3x12 -- 25
A3) Chest Supported Row - 3x12 -- 140

B1) KB Military Press - 3x12 -- 12 kg
B2) Reverse Peck Deck - 3x20 -- 90
B3) External Rotation - 3x20 -- mini band

I was fueled by Spike and a good day of eating and I felt really good after. My energy was high and my muscles felt good and powerful. I'm excited for my session tomorrow. Legs always gets me fired up. Plus it's Friday........hehe