Mike's Road To The 600# DL Training Blog
Most recent training is at the bottom

As you may or may not know, I have been competing in powerlifting since 1987. The comes to over 150 times on the competition platform beating up my body. I competed in single-ply equipped 99% of the time and have done 3 raw meets.  This coming May I will turn 60 and for about a year now I have been thinking about a goal to deadlift 600+ when I am 60. Single Ply gear of course.I will find a meet that in 2024 to accomplish this. In 2014 I had a total left shoulder replacement so my benching is well below par. I will try to use a bench shirt at this meet but have not had one on since 2004.  I decided to post my training week to week up to this competition for all those masters lifters out there.
My training has changed so much in just the last 6-7 years. Once you hit that 50-year-old mark the body just doesn't recover or handle the volume anymore. Training will be 3 days a week with one of the big lifts on each day with 3-4 assistance exercises. I generally stick with the same workout for 3 weeks and then rotate exercises so that I cannot master any assistance exercises and keep my body adapting. I cannot use a regular squat bar anymore so all my squats will be done with a Kabuki transformer bar to a box set just above parallel and just below my hip height for the start of my sumo deadlift. I will implement training gear a few weeks in and stagger the use of it until the meet. Too many weeks in it just tear my body up. I will start with a Spud squat buddy for DL assistance and then progress to Spud gateway briefs and then into a Titan Velocity deadlift suit. I will add the use of a belt along the way but hold off as long as I can. I will start using the Titan Super Ram for bench press about 10 weeks out and get into a low-cut collar Super Katana about 6 weeks out from the meet. All of this is subject to change depending on what my joints tell me.
Starting body weight 257lbs

Jan 1st 2024
Sumo DL no belt with Texas DL bar 5x5 @365lb effort 7/10
Suspended good morning 4x6, belt buckle height. 135,155,175,175 effort 6/10
Bent over rows 4x6, 155,165,165,165 effort 6/10
Standing Cable curls 6x10 45 all sets effort 6/10
Core, Band rotational twist, hips stable 4x8 effort 7/10
Thoughts: Easy workout, can’t push too hard too soon at my age and battered body stage. 

Jan 3rd 2024
Regular grip Bench Press 5x5 185,195,205,215,215 effort 8/10
Rack lockout, 3-4 inch ROM to a max triple 315  effort 10/10
Flat DB press 4x8 75,75,75,75 effort 7/10
Cambered bar skull Crusher 4x8 25# all sets, Still trying to find a good grip for my shoulders
Cambered bar pushdowns 4x8 45,45,45,45 effort 6/10
Thoughts: My head is still limiting me on the bench. All I think about is the tiny part of steel and plastic holding my shoulder together. Need to push past that.

Jan 5th 2024
High box squat 5x5 315,345,365,365 effort 7/10
Belt Squat 4x8 315,315,315,315 effort 7/10
V Handle Pulldown 4x8 115,115,115,115 effort 6/10
Back Raises 3x8 just bodyweight effort 5/10
Core, ball rotations 45 sec x 4 effort 7/10
Thoughts: I have always loved squats. It was my best lift in the past and it is still hard not being able to get under a regular bar. Thankfully I have a transformer bar that can get me as close to the feel of a regular bar as possible. I have been cutting out all the junk food and extra food this week to get my weight down to 245 to train for the meet. I have never done well with the big weight drop the 10 days before the meet. I like to taper down, and I don’t feel deprived. The joints feel ok so far. I will duplicate this last week's workout next week but up the weight somewhat. I cannot say what percentage to raise the weights. It is just a feeling. I want to get a good muscle and lung workout but don’t want to leave the gym exhausted. It just takes too long to recover these days. It is better to leave a rep or two in the tank than wish I should not have tried the extra reps or weight.

Jan 8th, 2024, BWT 250
Sumo DL no belt with Texas DL bar 5x5 385 all sets, effort 7/10
Suspended good morning 4x6, belt buckle height. 185,205,225,225 effort 7/10
Bent over rows 4x6, 155,175,175,185 effort 7/10
Standing Cable curls 6x10 35,40,45,50 effort 7/10
Core, Band rotational twist, hips stable 4x8 complete effort 7/10
Thoughts: I widened my DL stance about 4 inches and it came off the floor smoother. Still, no belt was used, good morning felt much easier, concentrating on flexing the entire mid-section before each rep. On bent-over rows, I have a hard time not just loading it up and cheat repping the sets. 

Jan 10th 2024
Regular grip Bench Press 5x5 185,200,210,220,225 effort 9/10
Rack lockout, 3-4 inch ROM to a max triple 325 effort 10/10 
Flat DB press 4x8 70,75,80,80 effort 8/10
Cambered bar skull Crusher 4x8 85 all sets effort 8/10
Cambered bar pushdowns 4x8 50 all sets effort 6/10
Bench felt a little better today, I was able to sustain and drive through the reps. I held the rack lockout for a 3 count at the top to get my hands used to the weight again. I think I finally found a comfortable grip for skull crushers on the cambered bar.  Well, at least this week it seemed better. 

Jan 12th 2024
High box squat 5x5 315,365,365,385,405 effort 8/10
Belt Squat 4x8 315,365,390,390 effort 7/10
V Handle Pulldown 4x8 115,140,140,140 effort 7/10
Back Raises 3x8 30#KB effort 5/10
Core, ball rotations 30 sec x 4 effort 6/10
It felt nice to have 405 on my back, Squats felt great, but still no belt was used. Belt squats also were nice and smooth, My Shoulders felt lubed up today, so I was able to increase the pulldowns.  Next week will be the 3rd week of this routine and after that, I will start a new 3-week block. It is hard not to load the weight on the bar. When the effort level is 7/10 or less than in my 20-year-old brain it means I am not working hard enough but my 59-year-old body will thank me the next day.

Jan 15th, 2024, BWT 247
Sumo DL no belt with Texas DL bar 5x5 405 all sets, effort 8/10
Suspended good morning 4x6, belt buckle height. 205,235,255,275 effort 7/10
Bent over rows 4x6, 175,185,19,195 effort 8/10
Standing Cable curls 6x10 45,45,45,45, effort 8/10
Core, Band rotational twist, hips stable 4x8 complete effort 7/10
Wrist Curls, DB’s 30# 4x10
The deadlift is feeling much better now with the Texas bar. I had been training the last year or so with the Kabuki DL bar and the Texas bar took some getting used to. Suspended good mornings seemed to be much easier today. I added some wrist curls as I feel my forearm strength is lacking. My grip is fine but strengthening my forearms will only improve the feel on the bench. Overall, everything is progressing nicely and most importantly the old injuries are not knocking on the door.

Jan 17th, 2024 
Regular grip Bench Press 5x5 185,205,215,225,230 effort 9/10
Rack lockout, 3-4 inch ROM to a max triple 325  effort 10/10 
Flat DB press 4x8 effort 80 all sets 7/10
Cambered bar skull Crusher 4x8   80 all sets effort 8/10
Cambered bar pushdowns 4x8  90 all sets effort 7/10
I am very happy that 3 weeks in a row by bench press increased as did my assistance. My shoulders are still feeling good. I do feel it in my wrists though. A little arthritis in both from the loads. I am holding the rack lockouts for a 3 count at lockout for the tension in the arms. Since I cut the junk and processed foods from my diet, I still have energy at the end of the workout. 

Jan 19th, 2024
High box squat 5x5 365,385,405,405,425 effort 8/10
Belt Squat 4x8 315,365,390,390 effort 8/10
V Handle Pulldown 4x8 140,140,140,140 effort 8/10
DB wrist curls, 35# 4x10 per hand
Core, ball rotations 30 sec x 4 effort 6/10
Felt a little hip flexor tweak on my last set of squats. Just a twinge. We will see how it is tomorrow. Overall, I liked the weight on my back for squats. All the other exercises went well.  I will change it all up for the next 3 weeks starting Monday. I am still working on the program. I may add a belt on the last set or two of squats and deadlifts in the upcoming weeks. My energy level is still great since cutting processed food from my diet. I am not monitoring anything other than keeping the junk out of my body. I will start monitoring protein intake starting this coming week. I want to keep my body weight at about 242-245 for all the weeks leading into the meets. 

Jan 22nd, 2024 BWT 249.5
Block DL 5x5 5 inch with Brahma belt. belt 505 all sets effort 8/10
RDL 4x6 225,225,225,225 effort 7/10
DB rows 4x8 80,80,80,80 effort 6/10
Curls cambered bar 4x10 75,75,75,75 effort 6/10
Ab slings 3x10 10,10,10  effort 7/10
Wrist curls DB 4x8 35# Db’s effort 6 of 10
 The block pulls put me at a weird and awkward height which is good. I used my Brahma multi-function lever belt for all the block pulls. I felt all 5 sets in my upper back. You can see a video here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huV-HnaNEFw .  I took RDL’s a little easy as for some reason I could feel the hip flexor strain a little bit on them but not the block pulls. I just absolutely hate DB rows. Someone said a long time ago that if you hate that lift it is because you are weak at it. This is the only reason I do them. This week's workout is going to be compressed because I take off to Powerlifting America Bench Nationals to set up a booth for Lifting Large. Overall, the workout went well.

Jan 24th, 2024
Titan Super Ram BP 5x5. 275,255,275,275,285x4 effort 10/10
2 board press 4x6, tempo 0-2-0 225,235,235,235 effort 9/10
Bar push-ups 4x10 10,10,10,10 effort 9/10
Palms up pushdown 4x8 35,45,45,55, effort 7/10
Plate raises 4x8 35,35,35,35 effort 6/10
Parallel Box squat 5x5, hip flexor hurt, not done
Power good mornings 4x5, hip flexor hurt, not done
Wide Pulldowns 4x8 150,150,150,150 effort 8/10
Ab wheel rollout 4x8 effort 9/10
DB iso curls 3x8 45,45,45 effort 7/10
I tried to jam 2 workouts together as I am leaving on the 25th for Austin to set a booth up at Powerlifting American equipped and unequipped bench nationals. Bench press with the super ram and the boars kicked my butt. My hands to my lats were just toast after I was done. I am not used to carrying that much weight in my hands. The only thing to fix that is to keep putting that load on my arms and shoulders. Board Presses were done with a tempo. Palms up push downs seem to put less stress on my shoulders. My hip flexor is still bugging me a bit from last week so I squashed the squats. I will be more rested to pull on Monday of next week. Sitting in the truck for 11+ hours each way to Austin and back won’t help any though. It will be great to see equipped benchers again at a meet. So off to the hot tub and some massage gun therapy. 

Jan 29th, 2024
I drove the rest of the way back from Austin this morning (8hrs). I knew going in that it would not be the best workout but it needed done. I did a lot of thinking about my training program during the 23 hours of driving over the last few days. I think I am going to switch over to a slightly modified conjugate method of training up until the qualifier meet in March and see how it goes. If it does not work then I will go back to what I was doing.
Block DL 5x5 5 inch  high with Brahma belt to max 3 reps, 535 effort 10/10
2 inch deficit conventional DL, no belt to max 3 reps, 405 effort 9/10
Wide pulldowns 4x8, 145 all sets effort 6/10
Wrist curls with DB’s 40# 4x8
I was just mentally done after this. All the driving just tired me out. I did not weigh myself after eating out for 4 days to and from the meet. It would be too depressing. LOL. There is a Powerlifting American meet during the state fair here in September and I may do that meet. I am working on getting Teale to bench and deadlift at it also. 

Jan 31st, 2024
ME day
Titan Super Ram BP up to max 3. 295lb effort 10/10
2 board (benchblokz)press up to a max 3 275lb effort 10/10
Bar push ups 4x10 10,10,10,10 effort 7/10
Palms up pushdown 4x8 40,50,50,50 effort 7/10
Plate raises 4x8 40,40,40,40 effort 6/10
Wrist curls on belt squat machine 20# 4x10 effort 8/10
150lb gripper 4 sets of 10 effort 7/10
My wrists took a beating during this workout. I had a lot more weight in my hands than normally while working up to my max triples. Only wore wrist wraps on the last 2 sets of board presses. My weights are going up and I am feeling a little better with my shoulder stability. In 2 days, I will have a dynamic day so the loads will lessen until next week. Teale has decided to lift with me at the Powerlifting America meet in September. It is outdoors in the evening during the fair. She may bench and deadlift as they are on separate days. I plan to do the same. We will both be single-ply. One of our gym members may also join in. Training always goes better in a group when we all have the same goals. Off to get protein now and rest until Friday.

Feb 2nd, 2024
DE Day
KB swings 4x10 with 60#
Parallel box squat with KB 1 Bands  8x3 with 30 sec rest 225# bar weight about 75lbs of band tension
Conventional DL 8x3 w/ 30 sec rest 225# bar weight, Band tension about 75lbs
Pull-thrus 4x8 65,90,90,90 effort 7/10
Seated row with the Spud pulley Set up 4x10 super strict 120,120,120,120 effort 7/10
Ab Wheel roll out to 75% extension 4x8
Wrist Curls on belt squat 4x10 45lbs 8/10
Squats and deadlifts were not heavy as they were not supposed to be. I tried to generate as much speed in the concentric part. I will admit the entire set of squats and DL winded me pretty good with only 30 seconds of rest between sets. Pull thrus really gave me a stretch. I really concentrated on using the glutes to pull through. I am sure This will be evident in the next day or two when sitting down or getting up ??
I really like doing seated rows very strict. It just allows me to completely focus on my lats. Ab wheel rollouts are a great core exercise but my jacked-up shoulders only allow me to roll out about 75% of the way. I do a slight pause at the extension before coming back in. It was a good quick workout, felt good to get the blood moving. No old injuries have reared their heads yet. Finger Crossed!

Feb 5th 2024 BWT 249
High box squat, max 3 with spud squat buddy top set 515
Sumo DL , blocks  max 3, 10 inches top set 485
barbell rows 4x8 185,195,195,195 effort 8/10
curls 4x8 incline DB's 30’s all sets effort 7/10
ball roll 4x 20 sec effort 7/10
Wow, this is the first time in close to 10 years that I have 500+ on my back. It charged me up a bit. The walkouts didn’t feel steady but the actual squat felt great. I used my belt and added the Spud squat buddy at around 475lbs. It is like a slingshot for your hips. Not a huge amount of support, more tightness and confidence. I was expecting a little more of the deadlift for my max triple but it just wasn’t going to happen. Wore my belt only. By the time I got to barbell rows my low back was very tired. Rows were a little harder than expected, No strap or belt was used. I just throw in curls to keep the bicep tendons working. Years ago I had a lot of problems with them. I didn’t do any curls for the first 10 years of powerlifting I believe. Off to the hot tub now to try and recover a little before max effort bench in 2 days.

Feb 7th, 2024
ME day
Titan Super Ram BP up to max 3. 305lb effort 10/10
2 board (benchblokz)press up to a max 3 285lb effort 10/10
Bar push ups 4x10 10,10,10,10 effort 7/10
Palms up pushdown 4x8 5,55,60,60 effort 8/10
Plate raises 4x8 45,45,45,45,effort 7/10
I added 10 pounds on my max 3 rep from last week and a 10lb increase on my 3 board max. Bar push-ups stayed the same. I added a little on my pushdown and 5 pounds on my plate raises. It was a good workout until the final rep on my plate raises. I felt a super sharp pain in my right shoulder on the downward part. This is not my shoulder that has been replaced it is my other shoulder that needs to be replaced. I of course stopped. Iced it a couple of times in the evening along with some nasaids. I did not sleep at all that night. The shoulder was just in constant pain radiating into my thumb. The next morning the pain had subsided a little. All the pain is in external rotation. I added to diclofenac for the pain and inflammation and will ice several times a day for a few days. 

Feb 9th, 2024
DE Day
KB swings 4x10 with 
Parallel box squat 80lbs of chain hooked up twit the Spud Looper Straps 8x3 with 30 sec rest 225# bar weight 
Sumo deadlift 8x3 with 30 seconds rest, 60lbs of chain.
Pull Thrus 4x8 75,85,85,85 effort 8/10  Video link: https://youtube.com/shorts/nU7KhYLMG0E?feature=share
Shoulder retraction with KB3 bands 4x12 effort 6/10
Incline sit-up 4x10. Effort 6/10
My shoulder is 75% better after the problem on Wednesday. I have iced it a few times a day and did ROM rehab on it. I was not able to do any lat work as anything that extended my arm in front of me caused some stress on the shoulder. I added some chains into my speed sets today. I felt like I had good speed off the box and good acceleration on pulls. Off to the hot tub

Feb 12th, 2024
ME deadlift bwt 252
Sumo DL w/belt, suspended bands to max 3, Kilo band 5 max 585, using belt and spud squat buddy. See the Video here
Conventional deficit DL 1.5inch to max 3 425, no belt
Barbell rows 4x10 145
ab sling leg raises 4x10, completed
Today went better than expected as I was planning for my shoulder to hurt after last week's bench. Barbell rows were the only thing that I felt it on, so I stayed light. Suspended band deadlifts felt good. The bands deloaded the bar by 135lbs on the floor and provided no support at lockout. To help recover my shoulder  I have done rom exercises and iced it multiple times a day since last Wednesday. The massage gun also made it feel better. On bench day this week though I will have to stay very light I am sure. 

Feb 14th, 2024
ME Bench
DB press sets of 20 reps 30,35,40,45,50
DB kickbacks 4x12 35,35,35,35
Pushdowns 4x15 40,40,40,40
Wide grip curls 4x10 45,50,50,50
Still taking it easy on my right shoulder. It is doing much better but no need to test it out yet. I am icing at least twice a day and going through ROM exercises 2-3 times a day. I will give it a little test next week.

Feb 16th, 2023
DE Day
KB swing 50lb 4x10
Parallel box squat 8x3 timed, 80lb chains 245#
Sumo with 40lb chain 8x3 times 30sec 245#
good morning 4x8 185,185,185,185, effort 7/10
Db rows 4x15 35,35,35,35
Leg raises 4x12 12,12,12,12,
DB forearm curls 4x12 30,30,30,30
Squat and deadlift felt very fast today. I used the kabuki transformer bar for squats and the Texas deadlift bar. On good morning I went almost parallel to the floor with a slight pause at the bottom. I kept rows light so as to not stress my shoulder and increased the reps. Added some leg raises and forearm work to round it off. All in all the week was a plus in regards to my shoulder recovery. 

Feb 19th, 2024
Sumo DL w/belt, suspended bands to max 3, kb5 600# , wore belt and Spud squat buddy
Sumo DL  1.5 inch deficit DL max belt only 425#
SB rows 4x10 185,185,185,185, effort 7/10
Wide curls 4x10 55,55,55,55
We I had 600 in my hands but re-injured my right hip flexor on the right hip. Probably worse than at the beginning of getting ready for these meets. SB rows felt ok on my shoulder but I still kept it guarded so hopefully I can bench in 2 days. Pretty bummed with the hip flexor issue. I will just put more effort into rehab for it and adjust my training to work around it. No longer do I heal in a week like years ago ??

Feb 21st , 2024
Close grip BP 4x8 155,155,155,165
DB press 4x15 65,65,65,65
V handle push downs 4x12 55,55,55,55
Wrist rollers belt squat machine  4x10 65,65,65,65
Hip and shoulder mobility, 20 mins
Well, it feels like the wheels are coming off the bus before it even gets up to speed. The shoulder is better than last week but still is not great. It is not muscular so it is tendon or ligament which means a long recovery time. The hip flexor is much better but still, I can feel it. I did benches with my feet kicked out as well with DB press. Everything is getting heat and ice, mobility work, and ROM work. It makes me wonder how I am going to make it until June for nationals. I will just keep doing what I am supposed to be doing and see if the wheels tighten back up

Feb 23, 2024 DE 
Parallel box squat 8x3 30 sec rest 245lbs with KB4 bands, Additional 80-90 at the top
Straight leg Deadlift 3x8 245lb
Chest supported rows 4x8 125lbs
The wheels did not get any tighter this time. My hip flexor still is bugging me. Squats were fine but I couldn’t do speed deadlifts with bands so I did a few straight-leg deadlifts. MY shoulder hurt a little doing bench over rows so I opted to do a slight incline on the chest-supported rows. Frustrating times to say the least. I am getting a little bummed out.

Feb 26th, 2024 ME DL, BWT 250
High box squats with belt only, max 3, 485LBS
Suspended good morning, belt only, max 3, 385lbs
Core, Ball rolls 4x 45 seconds
Geez more injuries. The arthritis in the CMC joint on my left hand flared up to the point I could not hold a pen and tie my shoes on Friday night. Needless to say, with 3 injuries now this workout did not go as planned. I was supposed to deadlift but could not grip the bar. I did high box squat with the Kabuki bar so no grip was needed. Opted out of using the squat buddy so it did not put pressure on my hip flexor. I stopped adding weight on squats when my hip flexor pain started ramping up. Suspended good morning we set at about an inch above my bellybutton and the bar was suspended in the Spud monolift straps. The lift started from the bottom. I wore a belt only. Just keep pushing along I guess.

Feb 28th, 2024
Bench Press narrow grip 4x6 195lb effort 6/10
Tricep Extension with football bar 4x8. 95,95,95,9 effort 7/10
V handle pushdowns 4x8, 95,95,95,95, effort 7/10
Football bar wide curls 4x8, 65,65,65,65
DB iso curls 40,40,40,40 effort 6/10
This was the first workout in 2 weeks with no shoulder pain. The weight was light but the key was no pain and don’t push it. Concentrated on speed on the bench press. Using the football bar puts less stress on my shoulders due to the angled grips. Had to speed through the workout to get to a high school meet to judge. I was happy to finish the workout pain-free. 

March 1st, 2024 DE Day
Conventional Deadlift with KB3 Bands, 80ish pounds of tension 8x3 , 30 sec rest 245lbs
Box Squat 8x3 , 30 sec rest, with KB3 and KB4 bands, 120lb tension 245lbs
Wide grip pull downs 4x8, 95,95,95,95,
DB hammer curls 4x8, 35,35,35,35
Speed stuff went well. Only used a belt. I stayed away from the squat buddy this week to keep extra pressure off my hip flexor. No pain this time. Thumb joint arthritis is 75% gone. I liked the extra tension with both bands added for squats. Walking out is much more challenging with band tension. Everything went well. Next week and ME day I will add some Spud Gateway 1-ply briefs to squat and deadlift. 

March 4th, 2024 ME DL BWT 250
Sumo DL with Spud Gateway Briefs to a max 3, 515lbs
Box Squat with gateway briefs to a max 3, 500lbs
DB rows 4x8, 80lbs effort 6/10
Plank DB rows 4x8, 20lbs effort 7/10
The briefs felt great by giving me a little hip support and tightness. They are so easy to put on and take off. They are a great training tool. I was hoping to get to 525 on the pulls but it didn’t happen. Squats were a little harder as I had just pulled heavy. They went well though. I tried plank rows for the first time. That was certainly a core exercise. I am sure I will feel those for a couple of days. No old injuries flared up. Off to the hot tub to recover.

March 6th, 2023  ME bench
Regular grip BP to a max 3, 240lbs
Lockouts suspended in Spud suspension straps, 5 inch ROM to max x 3 305lbs
Skull crusher with football bar, 95,90,90,90 effort 8/10
Rocking DB press 4x8, 30# all sets effort 7/10
Standing Cable curl 4x8, 45# all sets, effort 7/10
This was my first bench day in 2-3 weeks without shoulder pain. I was very guarded, but it went great. Actually, a pain-free workout. LOL. Next week I may put on a very loose shirt. 

March 8th, 2024
Front squat with Kabuki bar 4x8 225# all sets effort 7/10
GHR 4x8, bwt all sets effort 7/10
DB rows 4x8 80,85,85,85 effort 8/10
Hanging legs raises 4x10 effort 6/10
Just decided to take it down a notch since I will be putting a deadlift suit on Monday. It felt strange using the Kabuki bar in a front squat position. I had to really pay attention, so it didn’t dump me forward.  Good workout.

March 11th, 2024 BWT 252 ME deadlift
Deadlift with Velocity Sumo suit size 50 straps down to a max 3, 545lbs
Belt Squat to a max 3, 525lbs
Plank rows 4x8 , all sets 50lbs effort 8/10
I have not had a suit on in about 5 years. I thought the 50 was going to be loose but it was much tighter than expected. Now it was not competition crazy tight but just much more than I thought. Getting my set up correct to pull with the suit on took some work and will still need work. I definitely felt the rocket from the floor with the suit. Oh boy did it leave marks on my hips and legs. Definitely painful but man what a rush after all these years. Single Ply Till I Die. Oh and no pains from current running injuries. We will see how I feel tomorrow though.

March 13th, 2024 ME Bench
Bench press with Super Katana LCC AS 52 shirt. 1 board 3 rep max 315
2 Board press to a max 3, 345lbs
Football Bar Skull Crushers 4x8, 95 all sets effort 6/10
DB alternate curls with arm blaster 4x8 30# all sets. Effort 7/10
Well, this is the first time training in a shirt in 10 years since my shoulder replacement. The shirt was pretty loose and my competition fit would have been a 50. I could pinch the sleeve cuff up about ¾ of an inch. Still pretty tight across the chest though. The shirt felt like home. See the video here. https://youtube.com/shorts/VWPojNFu2hU?si=tjOpqkh3e8LerTBZ .I understand what is going on and had no par path problems. It is like riding a bike, I guess. I only had stability issues because of the weight that I was not used to. The control will come with a few more shirt workouts. The shirt was not pulled down at all and I am pretty positive that I could have touched 315 but there was no reason to push it. My shoulders felt fine in the shirt and even after it came off. They were definitely fatigued though as I probably did a total of 20 reps with the shirt on. My fear crept in a little about my shoulder while using the shirt but I think will calm down with a few more shirt sessions. My qualifier meet is next week and I will bench raw at it. It felt great to be in a shirt again.

March 15th, 2024 bwt 256
I diid nothing today except judge a high school powerlifting meet for 5 hours. I needed the rest, not that judging for 5 hours is resting. I have another high school meet to judge on the 18th also.  My meet is next weekend and I am 14 pounds over. Oh boy.

March 18th, 2024 bwt 255
Judged a high school powerlifting meet for 5 hours this afternoon. This is the 6th meet I have judged at in the last 5 weeks. I am the New Mexico High School Chairman of Judging. 

March 20th, 2024 bwt 250.5
Bench Openers ( raw) 245x1
Tricep pushdowns 4x8 95,95,95,95

March 23rd, 2024 bwt. 109.9kg lifting in 110kg class
Qualifier meet
BP attempts 105kg, 115kg, 120kg, 3 white all lifts
Deadlift attempts 225kg, 240kg, 250kg, 3 white all 3 lifts, and a Drug tested National masters record. Poor quality video HERE
 Well, this is one for my record and storybooks. 5 days before this meet I was 13lbs over the class weight. I have not cut weight since 1989 which I believe is the last time I lifted in the 242 class. I cut all salt and limited fatty and fibrous foods during the first 3 days. The last 2 days were zero carbs and zero salt. For the entire 5 days, I tried to get at least 2 gallons of water down. Nothing at all on the day of weigh-ins. I weighed it at 430pm. Came in .1kg under. Under is under. I spent the next 18 hours trying to rehydrate and refuel. I went to the meet by myself as my wife was busy and it wasn’t a big meet or big deal. I picked openers that should be easy enough for a triple any day of the week. 
Bench press. I opened at 105kg got 3 whites and went to 115kg, 3 more whites, and finished with 120kg and all white lights. With the weight loss, my head was a little loopy. It felt like I was on a caffeine buzz but hadn’t taken any. Deadlift. I thought my suit might be a little loose with the weight loss and I was correct. Not bad though. I did 4 warmups to start deadlift. 135x5, 315x3 put the suit on and with straps down did a single with 365 and then 455. At meets, I usually don’t take many deadlift warmups. I opened with 225kg and did not wear a belt. It went easy and my dizziness had gone away since bench. I asked Collin Rhodes to take my straps down and when I pulled my right arm out I had a pain in my rotator cuff like no pain I have ever felt. With my arm just hanging down the pain was 9/10. I could not move my arm at all but of course, being the true powerlifter I am I turned in my 2nd attempt at 240kg for a national record. Collin put my straps up for this and I was very careful how to put my arm through. I could just barely put my belt on due to the pain. I sent up and pulled. Halfway through the pull I would have bet a month's pay that I tore several things in my shoulder as the pain just ramped up even more. 3 white lights and I got the record. What the heck let’s do it again I thought. Asked for 250kgs on my 3rd. Same story lots of pain and 3 white lights. I have about 10-15 more Kgs left in the tank. I went 6 for 6 and aside from my shoulder problem, I was very happy with it all. I usually use Skull Smash ammonia and listen to some Metallica but since I was alone and alone at the meet I had to pay attention to where I was in the flight and I didn’t feel like I needed it this time. I did miss my wife yelling at me and supporting me though.   The drive home was 3 hours of pain at a 7/10. It was radiating into my forearm and into my neck. Not sure if I actually tore anything but we will see how it is in a few days. I am sure this coming week will be all lower bodywork with no arm support and rom for the shoulder. It is the price to pay. LOL

March 25th, 2024 Well, the left shoulder is pretty jacked up. Moving it to abduction is almost impossible. I can only raise it about a foot away from my body. My supraspinatus I believe is strained or torn. I can’t get into any ortho doctor until April 10th. I am going to ice 4 times a day and do support mobility work with a little pulley setup I still have since my shoulder replacement. I will still be doing whatever I can in the gym. 
Belt squats 4x8, 455,495,495,495
Calf Raises 4x12 , 215,215,215,215
Wrist curls 4x12 40# DB
 Incline Sit-ups 4x12, bwt
15 mins of shoulder mobility. 

 March 27th, 2024
I can tell the swelling has gone down a bit. Icing at least 4 times a day. The pain sometimes radiates into my trap.
 Band push downs with KB1 band, 3x50
Seated concentration curls 35# db 4x8
15 min of shoulder mobility. 

 March 29th, 2024
Landmine squats 4x8. 225,225,275,275
Sissy squat with body weight 4x8
Concentration hammer curls, 4x8 with 40# db
Incline sit-ups 4x8, bwt
15 minutes of shoulder mobility 
Not much change in my shoulder. Still, 4x a day with ice.

April 1st, 2024 bwt 252
Spud Monster Strap deadlift 4x8  275lbs effort 4/10
KB5 Band Good mornings 4x12  effort 4/10
Landmine Shrugs 4x12 200lbs effort 4/10
Seated KB3 band leg curls 4x10 effort 5/10
DB concentration curls 4x8 35lb db effort 7/10
Incline sit-ups 4x12 bwt, effort 6/10
I haven't done Spud Strap good mornings in years. You do not have to use your arms with them and they are rough on your neck but I got the movement down. I tried to find things to do without using my shoulder. It is better a bit but I do not want to aggravate it. Still, 4x a day ice and mobility work. 

April 3rd 2024, Bench day?? LOL
Shoulder mobility work
75# ball slam, 4x10
Bench press 95x10, 105x10, 120lb x 10, 135x not a chance, pain
Single arm rope push downs 4x10, 15 lbs
 Football bar rows 4x8 125lbs
Incline sit-ups 4x12
I was happily surprised I could bench but when I hit 135 my shoulder said no more dumb ass.
The pain did not linger though. Kept it light on everything else. Good workout though. Still hitting the ice 3 times a day. 

April 5th, 2024 Squats
75# ball slam 3x8
Shoulder mobility work
Parallel Box squat with kabuki transformer bar. 5x5 all sets 275lb effort 6/10
Glute ham raises, bwt 4x8
Good mornings, parallel, 5x5 225,225,225,275 effort 6/10
Incline sit-ups , tempo 1-0-4 4x10 with bwt
All was good with the shoulder for the most part. I have an ortho appointment this week to get the story on my shoulder. I have stopped the ice.

April 9th, 2024
Sumo deadlift 5x5 with 385lbs, Effort 7/10
Landmine Squat 5x5 275lbs effort 6/10
DB rows 4x8 60lbs effort 5/10
Planks 4x 1 min effort 7/10
I was a little hesitant about deadlifts as that is when my shoulder got injured at the meet. It went just fine. I kept it light because I may pay for it later. On my last sets on DB rows and on my last rep I felt it all in my shoulder. I think I let my guard down with my form and let my shoulder drop. I guess ice is in the forecast for the next day or two. I stopped taking Diclofenac on Saturday and I can tell it was doing its job as all my aches and pains came back. Just need to give my body a break from it for a couple of weeks though.

April 10th 2024
Shoulder mobility work 10-12 minutes
Spud Long ab strap push downs 4x12  45lbs effort 7/10
Kilo band #1 push downs 2x 50 effort 9/10
Long Ab strap standing crunches 4x12 95lbs effort 7/10
150# gripper 4x15 each hand
DB concentration curls 4x10 35lbs effort 7/10
My shoulder is aching from DB rows early in the week. Pretty bummed about the whole thing. Ortho appointment tomorrow. 

April 12th, 2024
 No workout as I am the head judge at the state high school powerlifting meet overseeing 6 platforms for 2 days. Ortho doc said possible a tear in the supraspinatus. I would need an MRI to confirm. I have decided to just proceed with rehab as I do not want surgery. As a small business, Teale and I have no health insurance due to the cost. The cheapest insurance was $1200 per month with a $12K deductible per person. I pulled out of the USPA DT nationals in June. I do have another meet in September on the calendar but will look for something in July possibly. I just need to rehab the shoulder. I will focus on that and just pulling at the next meet. 

April 15th, 2024
Conventional deadlift 5x5 405lbs effort 7/10
Belt Squat 4x8 400lbs effort 6/10
Hanging ab raises 4x8
Concentration DB curls 4x10 35lb
I got an appointment with a shoulder specialist ortho surgeon in a few days. The shoulder is just not right. Conventional pulls taxed my back but it will help my sumo. It always does. I need to get back to a plan next week and stop screwing around. 

April 15th, 2024
Football bar bench, 3 grips 3 sets of 24 reps changing grips each 3 reps, 105lbs effort 8/10
Palms up pushdown with elbows tucked tight 4x10 55lbs effort 8/10
stability ball planks 4x 30sec hold
The bench with the football bar did not hurt my shoulder at all. The high reps though really gave me a pump and my arms were vert fatigues.  I see the surgeon tomorrow.

April 16th, 2024
Surgeons visit. Well, it was about what I suspected. He said a partial rotator cuff and/or bicep tendon. After looking at my X-rays he was just amazed that I could operate at the level I was with the disaster in my shoulder. He said that he usually only sees shoulders this bad after an accident. I have no spacing at all in my rotator area. A ton of arthritis. He went on to say he would not operate to repair any tears and he believed that any surgeon would not operate to repair any tears. He said the bottom line is the shoulder needs to be replaced. This I already knew. He is a sports doctor who deals with Oly lifters.  I ended up with a cortisone shot to calm down the inflammation, knowing this is not a fix. We will see what health insurance holds for me next year and getting it fixed. Back to the road to 600 for now.

April 19th, 2024
High box squats 5x5 405lbs effort 7/10
Narrow belt squats 4x6 400lbs effort 8/10
Good mornings, parallel, 4x6 225lbs effort 7/10
Back to the program next week. If I can only do a 135lb bench then that is what I need to do to compete to get a 600lb pull on the books.

April 22, 2024 bwt 255lbs
Sumo DL to a max 3 set, 455lbs, effort 9.5/10
Straight Leg Deadlift 4x8, 225,245,245,245 effort 8/10
Palms under bent over rows 4x6  245lbs, effort 8/10
Hammer DB curls 4x8, 35,40,40,40 effort 8/10
Pulls felt good even though I have not kept up on mu intensity. This shoulder stuff just weighs on my head. I will blow the cob webs out over the next couple of weeks. 

April 24, 2024
Football bar bench, 3 grips 3 sets of 24 reps changing grips each 8 reps, 95,115,125 effort 8/10
Tate presses 4x8 35lbs, effort 7/10
Shrugs 4x10 225lbs, effort 7/10
Cambered bar curls 4x8 60,70,80,80 effort 7/10
So far the football bar does not bother my shoulder. I will just keep with it and high reps for a while. The cortisone shot definitely took the inflammation down on my shoulder. I just need to be careful not to push it.

April 29, 2024
Conventional DL on 2.5 inch blocks to a max single, 485lbs effort 9.5/10
80% of that single on the blocks 3x5 385lbs effort 9/10
Bent over rows , bench grip width 4x8, 205lbs  effort 8/10
V-handle pull downs 4x8 125,125,125,125 effort 8/10
Hammer DB curls 4x8 35lbs
Plank for time 4 sets, 1 min each
Back at a written program now with some structure. There may be a meet in mid-July that I am looking at. I will see how the next 4 weeks go. 80% of my single for reps was harder than I thought it would be. My shoulder does not allow me full ROM on pulldowns so I have a bit of a lean back but I really focus on pulling with my lats, usually about a tempo of 3-0-1. 

May 1st, 2024
Football bar bench, 3 grips 3 sets of 24 reps changing grips each 8 reps, 115lbs effort 9/10
Bar push ups 4x10 effort 9/10
Push downs 4x8 , 45lbs , effort 8/10
Shrugs 4x8, 235lbs, effort 7/10
Standing cable curls 4x8, 40lbs effort 8//
Weighted incline sit ups, //40lbs, 20degrees 4x8 effort 8/10
I am just doing what does not hurt my shoulder at the heaviest level possible. Added weighted situps to the routine. I have done these is years but it should help with core strength for the deads. 

May 3rd, 2024
Conventional speed pulls. 10 sets /of 2, 20-sec rest, doubled KB1's with about 100#'s at lockout  225lbs
Belt squats wide stance 340lbs effort 9/10
GHR only bwt 4x8 effort  9/10
Cambered bar cable curls 4x8, 40 lbs, effort 8/10
Stand abs curls with Spud long ab strap, 4x8 95lbs effort 8/10 - Video HERE
The speed pulls kicked my ass. I was planning on going heavier but my speed was not there. GHR's were tough after speed pulls. I am sure the hamstrings will be screaming tomorrow. Standing abs really engage the hip flexors as well as the core muscles. 
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May 6th, 2024
High box squat max single. 485 effort 10/10, See the video here  transformer bar set to 1.5C
80% of the max 3x5, 390lbs effort 9/10
Palms supinated rows 4x8 155,175,175,175 effort 8/10
Wide grip pull downs 4x8 90,115,115,115 effort 8/10
DB hammer curls 3x10, 30lbs
Plank, 1x max time, 1min 15 seconds effort 10/10
I was still tired from the speed pulls Friday. I had no pop off the box and felt slow on everything. I thought the 80% would be easier but I was way wrong. Wide grip pull-downs don't work well with either shoulder but I need the range of motion. Palms supinated rows are easier on my shoulders. 
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May 8th , 2024
Football bar bench, 3 grips 3 sets of 24 reps changing grips each 8 reps, 125lbs effort 9/10
Bar Push-ups 3x8 with bwt 9/10
Palms supinated push downs 4x8 45lbs effort 8/10
DB Shrugs 4x8, 80lbs db's effort 7/10
Standing cable curls 4x8, 45lbs tempo 2-0-2 effort 8/10
Weighted include sit ups 50lb DB 4x8, effort 7/10
Just another day trying to keep my shoulder pain-free. I got a good pump with the football bar bench press. I have always sucked at shrugs. I have never cheated them and just have no strength in them. It seems like an awkward movement to me.
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May 10th, 2024
High box Squat with bands KB2 bands 10 sets of 2 - 30 sec rest 285lbs transformer bar set to 1.5C
Narrow Stance belt squat 4x8 225lbs effort 8/10
GHR 4x8 BWt, effort 8/10
Standing ab crunches with the Spud long ab strap 4x8 105lbs effort 9/10
The band tension on the squats was a bit over 100lbs. Speed felt good and I started with 295lbs and it didn't feel speedy so I backed down. Narrow stance belt squats were just rough for some reason after the speed squats. I squatted in my chucks this time instead of the ground lock slippers. I forgot that I had changed them so I guess it did not make a difference.  
Gear used this workout: KB2 Kilo Bands, Spud Suspension Straps, Belt Squat Belt  
Use discount code 600DL to save 10% on your first order, Not valid on sale items or ER equipment

May 13th, 2024 BWT 247
Sumo DL to max off of 2.5 inch blocks 495lbs
80% of single 3x5 395lbs effort 9.5/10
T-bar rows 135 effort 8/10
V-handle pull downs 125lbs effort 8/10
Cambered bar curls 75 effort 7/10
Planks 1 min 3 sets , effort 8/10
My pulls were very slow today for some reason but I ground them out. My left knee was hurting a bit for some unknown reason. A little lotion and my crusher sleeves helped a bit. 
Gear used for this workout: Brahma multi lever belt, Orange Crusher Sleeves, Blue Lotion
Use discount code 600DL to save 10% on your first order, Not valid on sale items or ER equipment

May 15th, 2024
Football bar bench  4x8 155,165,175,175 effort 8/10
Db flat press 4x10 65lbs effort 8/10
Push downs 4x8 with spud long ab, 40lbs effort 9/10
Shrugs 4x8 on belt squat machine, 220lbs effort 7/10
DB iso curls 4x8 40,45,45,45 effort 8/10
Weighted sit-ups 4x8 60lb DB effort 7/10
Went a little heavier on the football bar bench this week and stuck to 8's. Zero pain at all in the shoulder. I was happy with that. Decided to try a flat dumbbell press and it went smoothly with no pain. When I got to push downs my tri's were screaming. Executed shrugs slowly and with a long range of motion. It is easier to do this with the belt squat machine. Threw in some curls and weight sit-ups on a 20-degree incline. Pain free workouts are always a win.
Gear used for this workout: Spud Long Ab Strap
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May 17th, 2024
Speed Deadlift, 80# chain, Conventional 10x2 with 30 sec rest 240lbs
Zercher squat 4x8 , 155lbs effort 7/10
single leg band leg curl KB2 band 4x10 effort 9/10
Reverse curls 45lbs effort 7/10
Standing rotational band twists 4x10 effort 8/10
I was supposed to do sumo speed pulls but my left knee has had a pain on the side of the knee cap that I could not work around. Conventional did not bother it. Pulls went well. I have always sucked at zercher squat but I did them anyway.  Single-leg banded curls are always tough especially the last few inches of each rep. 
Gear used for this workout: Kilo Band KB-2 Band 41 inch - Black , Spud LoopersSpud Looper Straps 
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May 20th, 2024
Deficit sumo DL, standing on 1 board , ME 425 effort 10/10
80% of sumo deficit 3x5 340 effort 9/10
Bent over rows 4x8 200,205,205,205 effort 8/10
Seated V handle rows with Spud pulley 4x8 125,125,125,125 effort 8/10
Plank 1 set, 2 mins 14 seconds
My knee and hip were hurting today and I just could not pull good slack on the DL to get a good pull. I did what I could. I did seated v-handle rows with the Spud super pulley set up in our squat cage. It worked super slick. I wanted to make 3 mins on planks because Teale did earlier but just couldn't make it. LOL
Gear used today: Spud Super Econo High Low Pulley ComboLifting Large Orange Crushers, Brahma 13MM Multi-Adjustable Lever Powerlifting Belt
Use discount code 600DL to save 10% on your first order, Not valid on sale items or ER equipment


Elaine Waugh

Date 1/27/2024


Date 2/1/2024

Gary Gilpin

Date 2/16/2024


Date 3/8/2024

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