And so the journey begins.
For those that don't know me, my name is AJ Roberts and I'm the former 308 All Time Total record holder in powerlifting with best lifts of 1205 squat, 910 bench and a 815 deadlift.
Up until about 2 months ago I trained at Westside Barbell alongside some of the strongest lifters on this planet. However, after 10 years in the sport I decided to walk away having reached all my goals.
Some may say I left too soon, and that the best was yet to come, but I gave everything I had to the sport and mentally had nothing left to give.
I'm now living in San Diego, California and after a few weeks in the gym going through the motions and sort of being at a loss for what to do I've decided to set what many may feel is one of the hardest goals there is: To become the fittest man on Earth.
Having spent close to 2 years running the Crossfit powerlifting Certification with Louie Simmons, Shane and Laura Sweatt, and Chris Mason I've become a big fan of the community.
Also I've always said after powerlifting I'm going to lose 100lbs (320-220) and feel that this is only going to happen if I have something other than weight loss to train for. I've followed the sport closely as it has grown and actually get excited about the thought of competing in it.
So what's the gameplan?
I'll start with my diet as this is an area that has had to dramatically improve. Although I ate what many would consider a pretty clean diet for a powerlifter the truth is I ate to get bigger and this meant pushing things to the limit. I spent the first month just eating clean and dropped from 320-293 and then for the past 2 weeks I've been doing CarbNight loading under the guidance of buddy Mark Bell.
If you haven't heard of this before he's a quick little video Mark put together: http://youtu.be/GAbym1WIV2c
The reason I decided to go with CarbNite loading vs other diets is because at this point I have a lot of weight to lose. I probably wouldn't recommend this to others unless they had a significant amount of weight to lose and would favor more of a carb rotation or backloading approach. But for now this is what I think will work best and so I'll continue on until I feel it's time to switch to something else.
As far as training goes my template looks like this
Upper body speed - Olympic lifts
1-2 Assistant exercises for Shoulders
Upper body metcon
Lower body Max effort - singles & or rep maxes
1-2 Assistant exercises for back
Lower body metcon
Upper body max effort - singles & or rep maxes on a bench press or overhead variation
1-2 Assistant exercises for chest & triceps
Upper body metcon
Lower body speed - Box squats / free squats
1-2 Assistant exercises for glutes/hams
Lower body metcon
On my off days I'm trying to get 30-60 mins of interval training in on the elliptical for now. I plan to head down to Crossfit Invictus as well as Crossfit PB to start getting some coaching on technique and to get on the rings and other equipment I currently don't have access to
The biggest things I need to work on right now is my conditioning, flexibility and mobility. I'll need to get up to 3-5 workouts a day to be ready when the Open starts in February but for now am taking it day by day.
This journal will serve not only as a place to record my progress but also a place that publicly keep me accountable.
Here's to a new beginning...
I personally think this is very cool and am eager to see what AJ can do. Watch here to chronicle his progress.
Power Clean - 135 x 8 sets of 3
Really worked on my technique with the power clean today. Strange lifting the barbell with the legs vs back off the floor. The weight was really light but as I struggle with the catch position at the top it allowed me to really practice my form.
Handstand Pushups - 3 sets of 5 reps
Wasn't sure how these would go but managed to crank out 5 reps. Did have to use a spotter to keep myself up against the wall as my legs wanted to drift back on every rep due to not having my low back flexibility. Each set I got a little better though. These completely smoked my shoulders.
Metcon - 4 rounds
Battle Rope - 1 minute
Sledgehammer Tire Strikes - 10 each side
Really pushed the pace on these and took minimal rest between the battle rope and sledgehammer, wanted to quit after 2 rounds but pushed it to 4. My grip was completely gone at this point due to all the blood that had rushed to my hands.
If you have the dedication and motivation to become one of the strongest people to ever walk our planet, I don't see a problem with you attaining your next goal. Good fortune to you sir and thanks for coming to WBB!
21 - 5'11'' - 180 lb
PR's - Squat 350 | Bench 290 | Deadlift 400.4 | BW 203
P Clean 98 KG | Jerk 106 | Full Clean 106 |
Philippians 4:13 - "I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me."
"I'm really impressed with your dedication. I will call it your jedication." - killxswitch
J O U R N A L !TJW
Very cool AJ. I have been training out of a crossfit gym since I started Powerlifting. CF is on my list of things to do after bodybuilding.
Whoever said "Good things come to those who wait" couldn't have amounted to much. If you want it get off your lazy ass and get it!!
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This will definitely be a great story to follow. Best of luck with the new challenges that await you.
Im really glad to see you do this as Ive already told you... Lead the way and let nothing stop you.
I train at Lexen Xtreme in Grove City, OH. My current training partners are Jimmy Harris, Ryan Messmer, and a few others that rotate in on different days.
Current best total 2530 @ 307.2 BWT, April 2012 at RPS Powerpalooza
Current best Raw w/Wraps total 2105 @ 308.2 BWT, June 2012 at RPs Summerslam
Fuck, another beast to add to the list. Crossfit invicticus is one of the best, I was going to drop in last month but I had some difficulties with the hotel I was at in SD, so I didn't get to go.
I look forward to seeing this unfold, and I will see you at regionals some day
Edit: thinking about your strength, I bet you could do grace in like 2:00. And I bet you would destroy Linda, setting a record that will never be broken.
Look forward to seeing your progress.
Can't wait to see your progess. Good luck.
Back Squat 435lbs
Shoulder Press 195lbs
Bench Press 315lb
I'm sure you're probably already doing this, but be sure to check out www.mobilitywod.com for all there videos and advice. And since you're already in California I would make regular trips up to San Francisco to visit CFSF and Kelly Starrett personally.
Best of luck in your CrossFit endeavours!
You had the fortitude to be one of the strongest men on the planet. That same drive will lead you to success with your newest endeavor. Looking forward to watching your progress and eagerly awaiting your first competition.
Bad ass, I am sure he will be at the top of this game too, in time...kick its ass AJ
Awesome! Got the link bookmarked on the homepage of my IPad, looking forward to following this! Good Luck! PS: Would love to see videos!!
Thanks for all the comments everyone. Means a lot to me to have so much support going into this new chapter.
Today was Max Effort lower. I jumped in with the powerlifting group for the main movement and then broke off for accessories.
1" Deficit Deadlifts w/Short light bands (~150lbs at lockout) - worked up to 415x10
Although I'm still doing Max Effort on this day I'm taking a slightly different approach and changing up the reps each week. This is to focus on my strength endurance as right now it lacks in comparison to my maximal strength.
Wide Grip Rows - 3x20 reps
Ultra Wide Grip Pulldowns - 3x10 reps
Metcon - 3 Rounds
Back Raise - 20 reps
Alternating Lunge Jumps - 10 reps
Bodyweight Squats - 20 reps
I went through this with practically no rest, by the end I was completely shot. Had that feeling you get just before you throw up. You know dry mount, shakes etc. Managed to keep everything down though so thinking I should have done 1 or 2 more rounds. Maybe next time.
haha remember Lou always said if you throw up it's your body rejecting the training so sounds like you did just perfect.
DL's looked strong man.
Got to meet you last Summer at a Westside CF Powerlifting seminar. So first thanks again for being such a great resource on training and answering all of my questions.
If anyone can make a successful transition from Powerlifting to CF, you'd be the guy.
I will be following your log. We are making the transition at the same time so i think it will be useful to bounce training ideas off each other. Good luck, ill be seeing u, hopefully before Uncle Rhabdo drops by.
All Time 198 Squat Record of 1,050 pounds
All Time 220 Squat Record of 1,100 pounds
** 1063 squat , 611 bench, and 733 deadlift for 2408 Total
All Time 242 Squat Record of 1,108 pounds At 228)
** 1108 squat , 639 bench, and 700 deadlift for 2447 Total
What I Lack in Genetics, I Make Up For With Determination and Discipline