Friday - Last bench before my meet
Worked up to 500x1
SS rolling dbl tri ext 45 2x15 w/dbl scap raises 30 2x10
That was it. Everything felt light like it should. Took no stimulants either, so that's always a nice kick for the meet after a few weeks off.
Saturday 7/7/12 - Squat
Foam roll upper and lower
Standing band gm's 3x15
Planks 3x30 seconds
SSB squats 155 5x10
Barbell curls 50 3x10
Really nothing else to say.
Foam roll upper and lower
Upper and lower warmup
Bench, bar 5x20
Barbell ext, bar 3x20
OHP, bar 3x20
Bent over rows, 3x20
Looking strong going into the meet...smash that weight!
Started the process of cutting the other day. Downing 2 gallons a day and increased my sodium. The real cut starts today. I was 283 this morning so it won't be much of a struggle.
Made weight, now it's time to put it back on. Not a ton of weight, but still have to do it. Kiefer is having me put down a bunch of lactose free lowfat/skim milk to replenish fluids. He says it holds better than anything else.
Good luck Vin, time to have some fun!
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Training by Tone Barbaccio
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Best geared meet @ 242
1030SQ, 640BP, 685DL and 2355 total
Best raw meet w/sleeves @ 242
665SQ, 440BP, 727DL and 1815 total
Best raw meet w/sleeves @ 275
700SQ, 452BP, 722DL and 1874 total
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My meet writeup with video from this weekend
This weekend I competed at the APA New England Record Breakers in New Hartford, CT. I made an easy cut from 283 to get down to the 275 class. I just finished what I think was the best 12 week training cycle I have ever had. I was confident I was going to get 600 raw in my third weight class.
After weighing in, I got my weight up with no problems. Kiefer helped me out with some advice. He told me to rehydrate with lactose free milk. He said it holds better than anything else you can drink. I used skim lactaid with great success. Plus, I kept my food comsumption to only homecooking. I never felt sick as a result, which can sometimes happen when I guzzle gatorade and eat take out to put weight on.
One thing I switched from my last meet was not eating carbs the day of the meet. I ate carbs back on 3/31 when I hit 570 raw at 275, and I remember feeling quite sluggish. I don't eat carbs before training and like I said, I had the best training cycle I can remember. So I figured why change it.
Warmups felt great. It's a good thing I stayed away from the carbs because I had to move fast. I usually take an hour to warmup, but because of some confusion with the flights it went quickly. The first bench flight only had 4 lifters? Anyway, I had to squeeze in 11 sets along with everyone else in what was a very tight space in a pretty short amount of time.
My first attempt was 540. I felt like it jumped out of my hands. I guess it was 3 white lights, it was kind of hard to tell because they were using flags instead of lights. I could not have been more confident going into my second attempt. I took the 600, it came off my chest well, and I felt like I ground it at the top. I was pretty confident and got off the bench and celebrated.
As it turned out I got 2 red flags for uneven extension from the sides and a white from the head judge. I don't argue calls so I just walked away. I must not have been the only one confused because I got congratulations from everyone as I walked through the crowd. After people figured out it was no good a lot of them came to the back room to tell me I got robbed. People asked if I wanted to see the vid and I declined, I needed to get my head right to give 600 a go for a third. For the third I drove it up well, but it stalled just short of lockout. I could not grind it at all.
When I got home I watched the vid. The first 600 was not perfect, but not all lifts are. I thought it could have gone 2 white to 1 red. A lot of people tell me they think the same. I will say this here, I implore meet directors to only put competent judges in the chairs. I was told the kid to the right, where I could have gotten a white, looked like he was going to go with a white flag. However, when he saw the left judge throw a red, he did the same. I have judged and have taken a judges test, which I know I lot of others have not. A judges call should never depend on what another judge does.
I know I sound a little sour grapes here, but I'm really not. I have gotten good calls and bad calls in my life. Hopefully they even out in the end. Shame on me for not making it a prefect lift, thus removing any doubt. My point is, a lot of us devote a huge portion of our lives to reaching our goals. Before getting in a judges chair you should really think about that and whether you are truly qualified to make or break a lift. When I judge I give the benefit of the doubt to the lifter. It's like a tie goes to the runner. Hey, if I had gotten the lift, there'd probably be the haters out there calling it crap anyway. Such is life.
The good I take from this is, on 3/31 I barely ground out 570 at 275. In a 12 week cycle I just about put 30 lbs on my raw bench. I already have some adjustments in my head for training and meet day the next time around. I feel strongly I can put up 600 and more in the fall. I was really looking forward to getting back in the shirt, but I am too close to my goal to walk away now.
For now I have to jump in the shirt for 2 weeks. The Last Man Standing Pro Bench Off is coming up on 7/28 in Lancaster, PA. It will be a nice little distraction/break from raw training. Once I win that it will be back to the raw grind. Looks like I'll be holding my weight at 285 for another 3 months, I was looking forward to getting down to 270. Oh well.
Last, but not least, I need to thank a few people for their never ending help in my lifting endeavors. My wife Jessica, training partners and friends Brian, Drew, Josh, Karsten, Rhodes, and Tee, I could not have almost done it without you all. Also to Chris Mason at AtLargeNutrition, Dave Tate and the staff at EliteFTS, and Kiefer of DangerouslyHardcore, your support is greatly appreciated.
I don't think I've ever seen a 540 lbs bench move so fast. That was amazing!
Sunday 7/15/12 - ME Lower
Foam roll and warmup
Sumo dl w/dbl overhand grip 135/185/225/275/315x5 w/straps 365x5
Step ups 2x10
Swiss ball hip ext leg curl 2x10
Wow, I felt really weak. I should expect nothing less the day after a meet. However, I have been thinking long and hard about my lower body training. I have been more or less going through the motions for years now. I have played it safe and have not really made any progress. In speaking with Rhodes I think I have come up with a plan.
By sticking with the same exercise every week, safety squat bar squats, I am really only good in that position. I know when I went with block programing, sticking with bench as my main exercise every week for upper body, I feel my bench suffered. So why not add ME effort to my programming for lower body. Well, first of all, I am quite certain I will bang myself up pretty quickly with traditional ME work. I nearly trashed myself a couple of years ago when I ssb box squatted 700 and missed one side of the rack. Luckily I held it together and got it in before a complete explosion happened in my basement.
So what's the answer, max sets of 5. This way I can build up different weak areas by changing exercises every week, yet keep weight reasonable enough where I HOPEFULLY don't kill myself. After I set up my 5 rep maxes, I have numbers to go after the next time around, ensuring progress.
I stole the idea of 5's from DeFranco's WS4SB. Yeah, I do too much reading sometimes. Now I know traditionally I should have a DE day for lower body. However, for my purposes of increasing my bench, that will just be too much work to recover from. Instead, I will drag the sled for that second day. It will serve two purposes. It will work conditioning as well as lower body training, without beating me up too much.
I am hoping this tweak might just give me a little more leg drive for my bench. I am really close to that 600 raw bench at 275. I don't care whether I get the carryover from upper body or lower body as long as I get the result I want. Every little bit helps.
Monday 7/16/12 - DE Upper w/supplemental tri explanation
Foam roll and warmup
Bench 225 5x5
3 board press 225 w/doubled mini bands 2x10
Inverted barbell row 2x10
Reverse barbell curls 2x10
Just a light upper body workout after the meet. I am very excited that I figured out how to train boards by myself. I took one of my weight vests and took all the weights out. It secured the boards perfectly. I really wanted to get back to some board work on my high intensity supplemental work. Years ago when I was chasing an 800 equipped bench, I kept missing at the top. At a meet in Long Island where I missed, Chris Taylor told me to throw in boards with bands. This helped me hit the 800 at a meet within a month. Thanks Chris. With my last 600, I clearly have to improve my lockout. This should be instrumental.
A lot of people might wonder why I don't do my board work with the crew on Friday nights. Through trial and error I have figured out my raw bench benefits more from doing high intensity supplemental tri work on DE days and low intensity on ME days. I think it's because I get so spent from ME work that I can't put the required effort into the high intensity tri exercise. In addition, considering my weakness is lockout, this gives me the opportunity to work it twice a week.
Yes, this is a never ending saga with me. It was about a month ago when I posted about how tempted I was by food places all around me while I was driving, and temptations in the grocery store. I'm glad to announce I am winning the battle.
For me, winning the battle is sticking with eating food from home. I am seeing incremental changes in my body while remaining at the same bodyweight. I'd like to get my bf measured, but Brian's calipers are broken. I am trying to get an appt for hydrostatic bf testing at the local university, but I think they seem to be on a break or vacation. Regardless, I am seeing more veins in my arms, a few in my legs, and maybe a hint of a shade of an ab. Well, not really an ab, but when the lighting hits right, it's something. Plus I threw on some jeans yesterday that would normally be tight and they were very comfortable.
I really wanted to hit my 600 raw bench and drop another 15 lbs. I am at that point where I am getting a little vain. I'd like to look better. Well as good as a 270 lb bald man in his 40's can look.
The great thing about solid nutritional programming is that I feel great, am getting in better shape, am strong, and have been recovering from training really well. Looking a little better seems to go hand in hand.
I almost forgot, before and after my meet I never went off my backloading protocol. In the past I would usually give myself a break, but I figured why take a step back. This is definitely progress.
Glad to see further strides being made with the diet and in the overall scheme of things!
Tuesday 7/17/12 - Lower/Conditioning
Sled drag, 50 lbs on grass for 20 minutes
This was my first foray back into conditioning in a while. It was crazy hot. I was sweating like crazy and panting like a dog. Mission accomplished. Next week I may throw some sled sprints in. I'm going to change this day up frequently as to not get bored.
Friday 7/20/12 - Shirt bench training for Last Man Standing Pro Bench Off
A few sets of raw and a few sets of shirt
Yep, seems a little cryptic, it's meant to. Things went well especially less than a week after my raw meet. The plan for Last Man Standing is figured out. Bring it on.
Treadmill, 20 minutes interval
Did not feel sore at all from taking a few heavy shirt sessions on Friday. Very cool.
Bar pushups 3x25
Blast strap circuit 3x15
Just getting a little work in with the meet coming up this weekend. Even got a little bit of a pump.
Ok, so this Last Man Standing Pro Bench Off was my idea. Rhodes and I were inspired years ago when we saw the same format used at a Pro Strongman deadlift event at Madison Square Garden. It was very crowd friendly. Knowing multiply benching is still out of the Arnold, I approached Gene Rychlak of the RPS with this idea and he quickly ran with it. The days of catching lightning in a bottle at the Arnold are over. They want to see made benches. To some of you, 700 might not sound like a big bench, but the rest of the world thinks it's huge. I have competed at the Arnold. It's awesome, we need to get it back!
The next move was to get some competitors. There were two guys who I went to immediately, Rob Luyando and Travis Bell. I respect them both immensely as lifters and consider them both great friends. I shamed Tone Barbaccio into doing it. He's stronger than he knows and needs to get his head around that fact. Another great addition was my new friend Brandon Lilly. Seeing him go big raw and equipped, I knew he'd be up for this challenge. A nice surprise was Gene Rychlak throwing his hat into the ring. Gene is one of the best equipped benchers of all time hands down. Last, but not least was my training partner and 900+ bencher Tee Tee McCray. My homie jumped in even though he's hardly been able to train.
For those of you who follow my log, you'll know I have been training raw exclusively for a bench meet I did two weeks ago. So I got one training day in the shirt the week before the contest. I decided to go with the Ace because I had a loose 66 (with pinched sleeves) that I could get weight in easy with. So I hit a 700 and an 800 last week and that was the extent of my training.
Rode up that morning with Jessica and Rhodes. I don't think we talked about the contest once. I stayed on my backload plan and did not eat any carbs prior to lifing. I did however eat breakfast which I don't normally do and made sure to take in extra healthy fats to get me through the day. We got to the meet and hung with the competitors for a while.
Before you know it, we were warming up. I warmed up on a bench with Travis. He was matching me. I think his 500 raw was faster than mine. We both put the shirt on with 600 to a board and we were ready to go.
The comp went like this, all the heavyweights hit 700, Tone missed a call and under the rules was allowed to take it again and got it. Big Gene showed what a gamer he is and hit a token 700, then stepped aside to get back to running the show. Brandon was out with 750 because he had no idea he had blown up to 325 lbs. His shirt looked tighter than a grape skin. He then took over the microphone and got the crowd going. Next out were Tone and Travis with 800. I gotta say Travis' 800 looked really close.
Then there were three. Me, Tee, and Rob had 850 on the bar. I got out of my 66 Ace and jumped into my 62 Ace. I have not worn this shirt in over 2 years. When I took the weight I could not get it in. Part of the problem was the shirt was completely cold. It really is a good thing to get these things on and warm them up. Anyway, I almost panicked and went back to the 66. Travis told me to stick with the 62 and big Tone told me I was really close and to just push my belly up. Sure enough I listened and got the 850. I can't believe I tied a pr on what was essentially a fifth attempt. Of course Rob smoked his first 850. However, my man Tee did not did not get one in.
Now we were down to two. Without getting too dramatic, neither Rob nor I got it. My first attempt at it got out of the groove and I had them take it. I was really surprised I got a decent push on it for my seventh lift of the day. Rob was super close both times. The winner came down to the scale. Rob was 290 and I was 286. Rob was all class. He shook my hand and congrtulated me.
Not to forget about the lightweights, they crushed it. Tim Hensley, Jeff Johnston, and Josh Stottlemire hit 550, 575, 600, 625, and 650. Tim and Jeff tied on 675. Tim won on by bodyweight. You have my respect boys, that was a lot of weight to be moved. Thanks for coming out.
All in all, I couldn't have imagined it going much better. My wife has been to far too many meets, God bless her. She usually corrects papers or reads books when I'm not lifting. She said she was riveted to the stage the entire time. The format was so user friendly, everyone knew exactly what was going on and it was a real competition. In total I think there were 34 made attempts with only 10 lifters. That has to be some kind of record for a bench contest.
I want to thank all of the competitor for coming out. The camardarie was like nothing I had seen before. Each lifter was cheering the next on. This is what lifting is about. Thanks to Gene and Ame of the RPS for putting it on. Rhodes, Karsten, and Josh for helping me out. We have one of the tightest crews around. Thanks to my sponsors EliteFTS, AtLargeNutrition, and DangerouslyHardcore, I couldn't do it without you.
I will leave on this, I am a man of my word. I took home $550 for first place. I said that would all go to the Special Olympics. I was overwhelmed by lightweight winner Tim Hensley who donated $100 of his earnings to the cause as well, so friggin' cool. Matt Rys also said he'd chip in $50 if I won. To my pleasant surprise when I got home today and checked my email, he had already sent it via pay pal. Powerlifters are great peeps. This Novemeber I will have the great pleasure of presenting a $700 check at the CT Special Olympics Powerlifting Meet. Good times.
Oh yeah, I don't think I saw a single person pick me to win this event. For all of you I did my favorite "Suck it!" dance. That fueled me all week. I have said it before and I'll say it again, the best way to get me to do something is to tell me I can't. Your silence spoke volumes.
Here's the vid of my performance.
By the way, my suck it dance rocks!
Excellent read Vin!
The Last Man Standing Pro Bench Off was a great idea - the way it all went down sounded awesome.
Congrats to you and the rest of the competitors!!
Nice job Vincent. It actually looked like an interesting meet from the video. And that was a real close attempt with 900 at the end.
If you were to hold this kind of meet again, I wonder if allowing smaller jumps when there is only 2 people left would make for a better finish or not, instead of both classes being won on lighter bodyweight.
Regardless, that does look like it could be an interesting format for the public to watch at one of the big conventions like the Arnold.
Best competition lifts:
650lbs. raw squat
441lbs. raw bench
580lbs. raw deadlift
1650lbs. raw total
Wow, thanks for the shot out in your log Vincent. I appreciate you keeping this on here and elite. There is so much to learn from reading logs like yours, Matt Rhodes, Travis Bell, Tone's, Brian Hoppers, Brandon Lilly, as well as other members who aren't as well known. As I said to you, the lactose free milk idea for re-hydrating was money.
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