Monday, November 24, 2014

Relentless meet write up

It has been a few weeks since the meet and I am finally getting some time to sit down and put everything down on paper.

Being a part of Relentless is one of the most amazing things I have ever done.  It is about lifting but it is not.  These meets are about HOPE.  As a whole we raised over $214,000 to help kids and families with life threatening illnesses.

When people talk about the relentless family they truly mean it is a family.  It is like a reunion at these meets.  Lifters helping other lifters even though it might hurt their own performance.  The meet atmosphere is different.

Going into the meet I had some goals.

1. Get through a full meet and put up a total
2. Set myself up for a bench and deadlift PR
3. Squat 525, bench 535, deadlift 740.  (planned 3rd attempts)

I de-loaded a little longer than I had planned so I wasn't sure how things would totally end up.

Friday we drove out and I made weight at 239.2 after my wife decided to play the heat game to cut the last few pounds and make weight.

Meet day 


Planned attempts 475, 500, 525

Since I was squatting in just briefs I was first in the flight.  I opened easy at 475.  Everything felt good so I jumped to my planned 3rd attempt of 525. Three white lights so I jumped to 550 and it ws good as well.  Looking at the video I should have gone heavier but I still would have been short of a PR total so it didn't really matter.

Actual attempts 475, 525, 550 - 3 for 3

Bench press

Planned attempts 500, 515-520, 535

A few weeks out from the meet I found a run and a small hole in my single ply shirt.  i wasn't sure if it would hold up through the meet but I was going to use it until it blew.

The weights felt light in the warm up room and my shoulder didn't give me much trouble as I warmed up.  I opened with 500 and had some difficulty touching but I touched and pressed very easily.  I was urged to take a big jump.  I decided to go for 525 since I was in the meet and my squat was above what I had planned.   My second attempt again flew up and I was urged to take a big jump.  Into uncharted water I went. Blowing past my PR of 530 to 550.  Taking jumps like this make me nervous because I have never pressed this much before.  My third attempt was good and this looked to be about the right call.  Six for Six!


Planned attempts 685, 715, 740

My lifting has always been about the deadlift.  It is my lift.  Training went well and my indicators shows I should be good for about 750.  My indicators we dead on.  After an easy opener and second attempt I took my planned third of 740.  My second attempt was a small pr and my third would be 25 pounds more than I had ever deadlifted from the floor.

740 came up like an opener!

9 for 9

 It is always exciting to see your training come together and do exactly what you set out to do.  Yet it is almost disappointing knowing that you left so many pounds on the platform.  I am now eagerly awaiting some down time to recover and relax.  It won't be long before prep for Relentless Minnesota begins.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Relentless Detroit 3 weeks out

10/13 Dynamic Effort Lower
TRX leg curls 4x10
Speed deadlift 455 5x1
Yoke bar goodmornings 145 3x8
Single leg hypers 4 plates 4x8
Situps on ghr 2x8

10/15 Speed bench
Speed bench – Short mini and long micro mini 165 5x5, 185 1x5, 205, 225x1
Db press on steep incline 80 x12, 9, 9
Banded scap rows – avg band 2x12
A1 neutral grip pushdown 4x10
A2 side raises 4x15

10/16 Bench assistance
Neutral grip pulldowns 4x8
Alternating db curls 3x8
Barbell rows 2x10
Drag curls 2x8

10/17 Max effort Lower
Tuesday my knee felt great. After the soft tissue work my swelling was down to as good as it gets.  Wednesday morning I took my dog for a walk and my knee was tender to talk on. It felt like I had a bruise next to my knee cap. The problem is I did no lower body and don’t remember hitting it on anything. Needless to say I tried to keep things simple and put as little pressure as possible on the joint.
Suspended yoke bar good mornings
Worked up to 365x2 – Very good for me from this position.
A1 long strap hypers 9 plates 4x10
A2 side bends 70 4x12
I trained a client then did Serrano slplit squats with a Purdue Barbell lifter. I think this caused my knee to swell more or stay swollen. I felt alright. I have a feeling my Lateral quad is tight and pulling my kneecap over enough to cause some issues.

10/19 Max effort upper
Had a visitor come in and train with me today. We had a good pace and he pushed me to work harder today. I am always grateful for those workouts.
Reverse band bench with elitefts strong bands
225, 275, 315x5
365x3, 405x2, 455x1, 495x1
515x1, add grey catapult 545x1, 565x1

Relentless Detroit - 4 weeks out

10/7 DE lower
Pretty beat up from last weekend so I kept things very easy.
Reverse hypers 8sets
Side bends 3 sets

10/8 DE upper
3 board
275, 295, 315, 335, 355x5
4 board
345 3x5
Speed bench
Short mini + long micro mini
185 6x5
Pushdowns 3x12

10/9 Upper assistance
A1 dumbell rows 130 3x8
A2 DD pulldowns 130 3x8
Jwalking 2x
B1 DB preacher curl 3x12
B2 hammer curls – bottom half 3x12

10/10 Max effort deadlift
Manual leg curls 3x5 assistance from avg band 3x5
Deadlift with plates raised 2 ½ inches (4 mats)
Add  jack sumo deadlifter
625, 675, 715x1, 750 close but no cigar.

10/11 Deadlift For Hope
The meet raised $2500 for Detroit Relentless.  I am very happy about this. 

After the meet I had some soft tissue work done. It beat me up pretty good but I felt better.

10/12 ME upper
Still beat up from the day before I did what I could.
Floor press with 120# of chain 185, 225, 255x1 ( I called it there rather than push it. )

Serrano overhead press 8 2x15

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Relentless Detroit - 5 weeks out

9/30 Rep lower
Ball leg curls 3x12

Speed squats with light onyx band
225 4x2, 245 2x2, 275x1, 315x1

This was the first time I have done traditional speed squats in a very long time. I love it but my body just can't handle it.

stiff leg deadlift w/ 2 chain
315x6, 365 2x6

10/1 Speed bench
3 board
325 3x5

4 board

speed bench with short monster mini band
185 6x5

10/2 upper assistance
A1 dumbell rows
130 3x8

A2 pulldowns

B1 preacher curl
B2 hammer curl


10/4 and 10/5 at the elitefte compound.
I was able to participate in the UGSS at elitefts.  Things went down like this.
Squat worked up to 510 in briefs

deadlift 4x isometric deadlifts superset with CAT deadlifts at 495. The last two speed deadlifts were 545 and 585.  These felt great even with it being the first time in a new jack sumo deadlifter.

Shoulder felt pretty good. The prehab work and neck stretching has helped.
Worked up to 530 in my single ply bash. I got some tips on how to twist the sleeves and how it should work.  I didn't get many reps but I am very happy with the end result.

I had a fantastic time with the elitefts family. I can't wait to go back.

Relentless Detroit - 6 weeks out

9/22 REP lower

band leg curl

box squat

Speed squat 235 and 120# of chain  3x2

long strap hypers 8 plates 4x10

9/24 DE upper
Right shoulder felt normal with no issues but my left is still catchy and giving me issues.

If I push the bar very straight with the right grip I could do my board work but speed work was out.

3 board
315 3x5

4 board

4 board was 2 off my record and if my shoulder were healthy I think I could have gotten 10. But as long as I got 5 I can live with this for now.

band pushdowns - avg x50

serrano ohp 15 2x10
tates 40 3x12

9/25 upper assistance 
straight arm grenade pulldown 30 3x12

db curls
grenade facepulls
barbell curls

9/26 Max effort lower

Rackable camber bar box squat  with halfed monster mini band
185, 225, 275, 315x1

Stiff leg deadlifts
275 2x6

9/28 Max effort upper
Shoulder was still bothering me so I took it easy again.
bench w/ 120# of chain
black catapult 275 x3

reverse band jm press 185 5x6
reverse band rows 3x6
hammer curls

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Relentless Detroit meet prep - 7 weeks out

After my last bench session both shoulders were really ate up.  So I had to play things by ear.

9/16 Rep lower


box squat

My best box squat post surgery. Knees were achy but I did feel strong.

back raise
60 2x12

calf raise
situps on ghr

No pressing - Shoulders still hurt.

JM press
95 3x6

serrano ohp
12 2x12

45 3x12


9/18 upper assistance 
scap rows + tbar rows 4x12

Sled t and y

9/19 Lower max effort

bodyweight 237

isometric deadlift and CAT deadlift
2x against pin 2 and 2x pin 3

CAT - 465 + 2 pair of chain.

9/21 max effort upper
shoulders are slightly better. Good enough to do something.

Steep incline

DB press with light band around back
80x12, 100x12

A1 rear delt rows
30 4x25

A2 rolling db ext
45 4x12

serrano ohp
db curls

Monday, September 15, 2014

Relentless meet prep - 8 weeks out

9/8 Rep lower

band leg curls - Avg 3x12

Box squat - 275x15
Block DL

side bends - 80 3x12
Band good mornings - 5x20

9/10 Speed bench
4 board - 325 3x6

3 board
275 2x5
300 x5
320 x5
340 x5

speed bench w/ monster mini band
135 3x5
155 3x5

pushdowns 50 4x12

9/11 Upper assistance
Meadows rows 85 3x10

db incline curls 3x10
rotator pulldowns 4x12

Jwalking 3x distance
pulldown abs 3x10

9/12 Max effort lower
BW 234

ankle weight leg curls 2x12
deadlift work up to 485

A1 isometric deadlift in pin 1 4x6 seconds
A2 speed deadlift 485x2 reps  (4 rounds)

yoke bar good mornings 185 3x8

B1 short strap hypers 6 plates 5x10
B2 knee raises 4x10

C1 wall sit (60#, 80#) x60 seconds
C2 lunges 3x8

9/14 Max effort upper

add silver catapult

Add single ply shirt

right shoulder was toast after this.

serrano overhead press 10 2x12
Tates 50 3x12
low cable rows 90 3x12
jwalk x1

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Relentless meet prep - 9 weeks out

I was down for the count the last few days with a stomach bug. Weight dropped to about 231 and has not budged since. Even with carbs during the day. We will see what happens.

9/3  Dynamic effort upper
Speed bench with monster mini  155 6x5
185x1, 205x1
Db press
100x8, 130 x8,8,7,6
A1 klokov press 95 3x10
A2 incline bb extension 95x8, 115x8, 135x8

9/4 Upper assistance work
Meadows rows  75 4x12
Strip the rack ohp  3x6
Rotator pulldowns 2x12

9/5 Max effort lower
Ankle weight leg curls  2x12
Low box squat
Up to 355x1 – Stopped when my knee started to bother me. Had a little more left in the tank.
 I did a few other things but it was a mix of coaching Purdue barbell club and training. 

9/6 Max effort upper
225x5, 275x5, 315x5, 345x2
Add black catapult 365x2
Add silver catapult 385x2, 405x1 ½
Add single ply bash 425x2, 455x1, 495x1 (sloppy), add 1 ½ board 515x1
A1 Rolling db ext 60 3x10
A2 close grip pushups 4x8

9/7 Upper assistance
A1 sled Y+T  3x distance
A2 Keg (66#) ohp x8,10,12

Side raise with 5 second lower 12x12, 15x12, 20 2x12
Arnold press 25 2x12
Fat DD pulldowns 120 4x12
Fat gripz bb curls 3x12

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Relentless Detroit meet prep - 10 weeks out

8/27 Dynamic effort upper
Speed bench with swiss bar
225 6x5

DB press

A1 trifecta 20x60,15x60,10x60
A2 swiss bar ext 85 2x8, 105 2x8

band fly w/ stretch

8/28 upper assistance

neutral grip pulldown 130 5x12

rotator bar face pulls 8- 3x20

db preacher curls 30 3x8
hammer curls 3x12

8/29 Max effort lower

ankle weight leg curls 3x12

deadlift against 120# of chain
365x3, 405x3, 455x3 500x1

Ran out of time before a client got there.

Took a 75 minute break before finishing.

long strap hyper
7 1/2 plates 3x8

Then the worst decision I have ever made.
the 100 rep drop set. (10sets of 10)
9 1/2 plates down to 1.

That concluded my week.  Because I caught the stomach bug my kids brought home the very next day. This left me on the couch for 8 hours on Saturday before heading to bed for another 8 hours.  I am still sore and achy.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Relentless Detroit 11 weeks out

8/18 REP lower
knee was still swollen from the weekend so I cut down on the reps I would do. I am not rethinking my squatting up to the meet. I am not sure I can handle so many heavy loads on my back.  Time will tell.

band leg curls 3x10

Box squat 265x8

yoke bar good morning
135 2x5, 185x5

A1 band leg ext (5 second lower)
orange x10, greyx10

A2 wall sit
60 pounds x30 secs, 100 pounds x45, 60 secs

pulldown abs

8/20 Dynamic upper

Speed bench w/ long mini band
165 6x5

3 board 295 2x5
4 board  295x3, 315x3, 335x3, 355x3, 370x6

A1 dips - chain around neck 3x10
A2 rolling db extension 35 3x12

8/21 upper assistance
Neutral grip pulldown 5x12

facepulls with rotator bar 3x20

db preacher curls 3x12 with 5 second lower
hammer curls 30, 35x12

band pushdowns 2x50
band fly/rearfly x50 each.

8/22 Max effort lower

short strap hypers 4 plates 3x8

rackable camber bar goodmornings w/ 120# of chain

yoke bar box squat
225x3, 275 3x1

glute ham raise
orange band x5, grey band x5, black band 2x6

single arm farmers walk 50x2

8/24 Max effort upper
bench against 120 # of chain
135x5, 185 2x3, 225x3, 255x3, 275x1
add 4 board
315x3, 345x1, 375x1, 390xmiss
add catapult

A1 db bench
70 3x15

A2 low cable rows 120 3x12

sled drag Y+T 3x

ez curls and pushdowns

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Relentless 12 weeks out

8/13 DE upper

speed bench with ling mini band
135x5, 145x5, 155 4x5

4 board

A1 dips with 30 pound of chain 4x8
A2 rolling db ext 35 4x12

decline curls

8/14 upper assistance
Neutral grip pulldowns 120 4x12

pulldown abs 70 4x12

Thorasic mobility
rotator cuff work

8/15 and 8/17
I was at the elitefts powerlifting experience and all I have is some video.

Relentless 13 weeks out

I am a little behind on my posts because I was out of town coaching at the elitefts powerlifting experience lat weekend. What an amazing experience and I am sure this will help usher even more people into powerlifting. Anyway onto my training.

8/8 ME lower

A1 GHR - 3x8
A2 TKE 3x12

Yoke bar squat with 120 pound of chain
135, 185, 225x3
255, 285, 315x1
245 x5, 2, 2 rest pause

B1 Front Squat on ramp 95 x20, 15, 10
B2 leg extensions light band x10, 10, green x10

abs against ghr

8/9 Max effort upper 
reverse band bench with large onyx band
335, 385x3, 425x2, 455x1, 475x1, add catapult 500x2, down set 385x7

bradford+1 65, 75, 95x10

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Relentless meet prep 14 weeks out

8/1 ME lower

A1 GHR 3x8
A2 TKE 3x10

deficit deadlift (1+ inch)
385x1, 425x sloppy double overhand
425x1, 475x1
add belt
515x1, 565x1, 585x1 PR

B1 abs against ghr grey band 3x12
B2 Serrano split squats with 1 chain around neck 3x6

8/2 ME upper

reverse light onyx band
315x3, 345x3, 375x2, 405x1
add catapult
425x1, 445x1

Add single ply metal bash bencher
465x3, 493x2, 513x1
Switch to 2ply shirt
543x2, 581x1

A1 close grip bench 225 4x8
A2 tates  35x12, 40 3x12

decline curls 2x15

8/4 Rep lower

A1 ankle weight leg curl 3x12
A2 TKE 3x12

Box squat

195 + 120 pound of chain  4x2

Stiff leg deadlift  335 3x6

B1 Side bend pushdowns 2x10

B2 lunges 2x10

8/6 DE upper

Speed bench w/ short mini band 6x5
add 5 pounds each set 135-165

A1 - close grip 225x5, 245 3x5
A2 - dips 5x10

single arm pushdown - grey band 15, 15, 10 , 10

B1 - fat gripz easy curls 60 3x12
B2 - hammer curls across body 50 3x8

8/7 upper assistance

Chin ups 5x2

side raise with 5 second lower
10x45 seconds, 15 2x45 seconds

band pull aparts
monster mini band 3x15

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Training log 7/23- 7/30/2014

7/23 speed bench
speed bench with 120 pound of chain
165 3x3
170 6x3

db flat bench 80x21, 100x12, 130x8 (shoulder hurt so I stopped)

A1 - jm press with 120# of chain 65, 85, 105, 125x6
A2 - rope pushdowns grey band x12, 12, 12, 12, 12

B1 - barbell curls 3x12
B2 reverse curls 3x12 bottom half only

Rotator bar pulldowns 6x12

Y+T 15 3x10

7/25 Lower (max effort deload)
Roller hyper leg curls 3 plates 3x12

reverse mini band squat
295, 315, 345, 365, 390, 410x1

long strap hypers 7 plates 3x10

Serrano split squats - 1 chain x6, 2 chain x5 each leg

wall sits 30# 2x30 sec.

7/28 max upper - 5 board up to 455x2. Then a few other things.

7/29 DE lower
Ankle weight leg curls 3x12
TKE 3x10
Box squats 245x14, 285 3x2
stiff leg deadlift 315 3x8
side bends

7/30 DE upper
speed bench with 120# of chain 170 5x3, 185 4x3, 205x1, 225x1
db bench 70, 80, 90x12, 100 2x12

A1 - jm press with chain - 95 3x6, 115x6
A2 - rope pushdown 4x12

B1 - barbell curls 4x12
B2 - reverse curls 4x12

Time to ramp things up in meet prep for Relentless Detroit. Still far from where I want to be but not in a terrible place.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Training log 7/14-7/20

7/14 - Rep lower

Ankle weight leg curls 3x12
TKE 2x12

box squat
250, 285, 315x1

body weight leg extension 2x10

rackable camber bar goodmornings 185, 225x8

7/16 - DE upper

185 9x3 with 60 pound of chain

bamboo bar 4x20
incline db extension 35 5x12

A1 band pushdown 3x20
A2 decline curls 30 3x12

swiss bar curls 3x18

7/17 - upper assistance

Deadstop barbell rows with 5 second lower 135 2x10, 155 2x10

upright rows 115 2x30
A1 side raises 5x15
A2 banded grenade rear fly 4x20

7/18 - ME lower (deload)

A1 roller hyper leg curls 4 plates 3x12
A2 roller hypers 4 plates 3x12

long strap hypers - Do sets of 8 and worked up to 11 1/2 plates adding 2 plates per set
Then a massive drop set. Do 12 reps and drop 2 plates. For a total of 60 reps.

Side bend pushdown 3x12
db stiff leg 100 2x12

7/20 - ME bench

Illegal wide bench 275x6, 295x6

A1 - close grip bench w/ 5 second lower 225 4x6
A2 - grey band pushdown 4x15

B1 trifecta (rear, side, front raise) 20 2x30
B2 trx rows 3x12
B3 hammer curls 353x10

Saturday, April 26, 2014

You need to follow her!

If you are not following my wife and her blog you are missing out. I don't post much on here but I do like to brag about my amazing wife at times. She is beautiful, strong, smart and a great mother.

This is her second post in her 52 Weeks of Awesome. This will get you thinking about where you store body fat, the possible reason and a way to fix it. Check it out at

So if you want to be more awesome go check out her stuff!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Relentless 8 weeks out and a big PR

Bench with Fat Gripz
350x1 - PR
360x1 - PR

band flys
band pulldowns
face pulls
ez curls

Isometric deadlift -  I forgot to write it down but did get some video.

Speed bench against mini band
165 6x5

5 board

band pushdowns
band flys

band leg curls 4x10

Deadlift with plates raised 1 1/4 inch

445, 495x1
add briefs
535, 585 625x1
715x1 - With collars this is actually 726. PR

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Relentless meet prep 9 weeks out

Our HopeKid - Caleb 

If you would like to donate to hope kids please click here 

Bench press
360x2 (pr)

5 board
Stopped since my 6 year old could not handle the board well enough. 

band pulldowns
ez curls

ghr x6,8,8
ghr situps 3x10

deadlift with plates raised 3 inches (deadlift for Caleb)
add belt

stiff leg deadlift on 4 inch deficit335x8

serrano split squat


Speed bench + mini band
155 5x5

5 board

barbell ext on the floor
Chain YWT

Our new elitefts deluxe monolift, elitefts competition bench with added band pegs and face saver and platform for our R2 rack were delivered. We spent most of the day moving equipment so I took the day off. My knee has also been taking a beating so I decided a day off might be good. The swelling since has gone down some.  If you are in the Chicago/Northwest Indiana area and would like to visit or train with us, please leave a comment or contact me via

Relentless meet prep - 10 weeks out


add catapult
Shoulder was wonky so I cut it there. This might have been a record double with the catapult.

Band rows
catapult pull aparts
ez curls



situps on ghr

I opted to not box squat in favor for speed deadlifts with a sumo stance to get in some skill work that I need before Relentless.  Each set got better and more explosive. I need to overcome the apprehension and fear of pain.

425 2x1
475 5x1

stiff leg deads on 4 inch platform
315x6, 365x6, 405 2x6

Serrano split squats

(knee did swell from this but calmed down by morning) I will try and pull sumo every other week. 


DE bench 
60# of chain  205 9x3

4 board

brandford press
db cleans
barbell ext 

TRX leg curls 4x10

ssb goodmornings (band pulling forward)

round back band GM
singl eleg hypers
calf raise
side bends.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Relentless meet prep - 11 weeks out

11 weeks post op. Still trying to see wha tI can do, the volume I can handle and not totally destroy my knee in the process. I am still on the quest to deadlift 800 pounds.  I hope my body can make it to that point.


Bench - 315x5

4 board
431x1 (pr)

side raises
dumbell front raise
Catapult pull aparts
band ext on GHR
band rows

GHR 3x5

situps on GHR

Box squat
245 3x2
245 +60# chain x1
245+120# of chain x1

speed deadlift conventional
405 8x1

Serrano split squats
ghr deadlifts


Speed bench with 60# of chain
185 4x3
205 4x3
225 x3

4 board
280, 300, 325, 345x5, 365x9

Ohpress swiss bar
135 x12, 12, 11

rolling db ext
60 4x10

bb rows
rear fly
db curl

band leg curls

Deadlift with plates raised 3 inches
495, 535, 585, 605, 625x1 (pr)

band goodmornings