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Weightlifting Discussion Board Posts for 4/4/04

By Gary F. Zeolla

Below are three messages I posted on the Weightlifting Discussion Board on April 4, 2004.

Full gear workouts/ updates on gear

I was going to enter a contest this weekend, but for various reasons was not able to do so. So instead, over the past week I used full gear for each of the powerlifts and did some max attempts.

For background, my last contest was IPA Nationals, November 14, 2003. I competed at 114s in the men’s, amateur, open and masters (40-44) division. My next contest will be IPA World’s July 9th.

At my last contest, I pulled 380 on my third attempt, wearing, of course, full gear. The week before this workout, I pulled 380 for a single without the suit. For my full gear workout (CMW DL suit), I doubled 385 then pulled 395 for a single. And the 395 was with strength to spare. So it looks like the suit is now adding at least 15 pounds.

I've added five pounds to my max DL each month for the last three months. I'm very happy with slow but steady progress.

At my last contest, using my CMW double-ply suit, I squatted 365 on my first attempt, but then was called for depth on both tries with 385. After that, I dropped my weights down in training so I could sink it more and began gradually building back up.

Last month, wearing my single-ply suit, I doubled 375, then got buried with 385. This time I used my double-ply suit. It was a real struggle getting in on and especially getting it off myself. Next time, I'll try to get some help!

In any case, my first set was with 375. I was planning on doing a double, but the first rep didn’t feel right, so I stopped at a single. The second set, a single with 385, also didn’t feel good, and I wasn’t sure if I sunk it enough.

I was only going to do two sets, but with the first two sets not feeling good, and after all the hassle putting the suit on, I did a third, and I'm glad I did! I went up to 390, sink it well, and came up with it rather easily. I probably could have gotten a few pounds more. And the lift just felt great and was the most I've done since I started lifting again. And this workout showed that the double-ply suit helps more than the single-ply enough to make it worth the effort. So I'll be using it from now on.

At my last contest, using my CMW Double Xtreme Power Shirt, I benched 195 on my first attempt, then missed 205 twice. But since then, I got the shirt converted to an open back shirt. Then before this workout, I made one more alteration. I had Velcro put on the back near the bottom, in the waist area. Having this pulled tight holds the shirt in place, and it seemed to make the shirt help even more.

After my squat workout, I decided that from now on for full gear workouts I would just play them like a contest and always do three singles. So for my bench workout, I did 205, 215, then 220. And the 220 was with strength to spare. For my workout the week before this one, without the shirt I benched 195. So it looks like my newly altered shirt will now be adding at least 25 pounds. And I'm really excited about this!


At my last contest, I totaled 940. Adding up my best lifts in the past week would give me a 1005 total. But, of course, lifting in the gym and at a contest are two different things. But still, I’m happy with my progress. And I still have about three months of training left before my contest. And I think I got my gear woes figured out. The way I have things planned out now, I’ll probably wear full gear twice more before the contest. This will give me a chance to get even more used to it.

Bodyweight Update

I’ve mentioned some about my struggles with my weight in the past, so I wanted to give an update. For some quick background, when I powerlifted in college (1979-83), competing at 123s, my training weight was around 128 pounds (I’m 5’1” before anyone asks). For health reasons, I stopped lifting altogether in 1985, and over time, my bodyweight dropped down 112.

When I started working out with Nautilus equipment in the late 90’s, my weight went up to 117. But then due to some more serious health problems, it dropped to a low of 105.8 pounds on April 19, 2002. But thanks to some alternative treatments I was undergoing at the time, my health improved enough that I was able to start lifting again in July of that year. And since then I have been gradually gaining weight.

Within the past month I have now tipped the scales at over 120! So I’ve gained over 14 pounds in the past two years, mostly muscle. And I am excited about getting my weight back up. However this is going to make making weight for 114s a lot harder.

For my three contests last year I didn’t have too much trouble making weight. But by my contest in July, it’s going to be more of a struggle, and I’m going to have to take into account the possible strength loss when I set my attempts. But I do want to stay at 114s for at least that contest and my next one In November. But after that, I just might have to move up to 123s. And that’s what happened in college. I started competing at 114s but then had to move up to 123s.

WNPF Western PA Championships

I went to watch the WNPF Western Pennsylvania Championships yesterday (4/3/04) in Beaver Falls, PA. This was actually a contest that I thought of entering but didn’t for various reasons.

The contest started at 10:30 am. I got a late start and had some trouble finding the place, and I got there a little late. So I missed the first flight of squatters. But I got to see enough of the second flight to get an idea of the judging. Someone had mentioned in this group about the WNPF expecting you to really sink your squats. But it didn’t look like the judging was much stricter than what I’ve seen in the IPA. And I’m pretty sure how deep I’m squatting now would be more than good enough.

There were 35 lifters competing, and the contest moved along rather well. It was over by 4:00 pm, including the handing out of trophies. With only 35 lifters, it seemed like everyone got a trophy! I don’t think there were more than two lifters in any one weight class/ division. And the WNPF sure seems to have a lot of divisions: equipped, non-equipped, single lifts, full power, iron man (I think that was Squats+DLs), powercurls, and , of course, the various age and men's/ women's divisions.

I was most interested, of course, in my possible weight classes. There was one female lifter and one 13-16 year old lifter at 114s, but that was it at 114s. And neither of them totaled any where near what I can. So I would have won easily. I also would have been able to easily break the WNPF American squat record, currently 350. As I mention in another post, I squatted 390 this week in the gym.

The bench and DL records are a little out of my reach right now. But the total record is 1000. As I said, elsewhere, my lifts in the past week in the gym would total 1005. So on a good day, I might be able to break that one.

Prior to this contest, it also looked like I was close to the records at 123s as well. However, Steve Snyder competed at 123s. He actually remembered me from when we both competed at Teenage Nationals in Chicago way back in 1980! How he remembered me I don’t know. But I recognized his name from checking record books.

In any case, he went 390-200-440-1030, on a 6/9 day. I believe these were all new WNPF American records. If I had entered at 123s it would have been a close contest, but he would have beat me on the strength of his DL. Also note that he wasn’t wearing a bench shirt. He said he didn’t like them since he pulled a pec wearing one. But I told him about how the alterations on my shirt have made it so much better, and he said he might try altering his shirt in the same way.

Steve said he weighed 140 about a month before this contest. So he really had the job cutting weight! He wants to stay at 123s for WNPF Nationals and Worlds this year but said he might move up to 132s after that. I’ll keep an eye on the results for those contests. If do move up to 123s next year and compete in the WNPF it will be his records that I will be going after. I didn’t mention that to him though!

In any case, along with himself, Steve also had his wife, daughter, and son competing. A real family affair! And his “team” won the team award.

If I enter a WNPF contest in the future, I was thinking of trying the powercurl contest. I wanted to get an idea of the judging for this event, but only two people competed in it at this contest. Both went 2/3, easily getting their first two lifts and missing entirely the third. So I still don’t know how strict the judging would be.

But the problem with entering a powercurl contest would be that usually, after I am done deadlifting, I have time to take a quick shower and get back before the trophies are handed out. That way, I can leave right afterward. But if I entered the powercurls, I’d have to stick around to do that and wouldn’t be able to shower until later. So I’m not sure if it would be worth it or not.

A couple of final points. The contest seemed rather “quiet” compared to the IPA contests I’ve entered. At IPA meets there’s always heavy metal music blaring the whole time, lots of cheering for the lifters, lifters screaming etc. At this contest, there was no music and little cheering and screaming. But I kind of like the noisy atmosphere; it more fits with my style of lifting.

But still, the contest was well run, the judging looked fair, and gear rules in the WNPF are similar to the IPA. So a WNPF contest would be an option for me in the future.

Weightlifting Discussion Board Posts for 4/4/04. Copyright 2004 by Gary F. Zeolla.

Powerlifting and Strength Training
Powerlifting Training: Newsgroup and Discussion Board Posts

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