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New Suits and Training/ Contest Plans

By Gary F. Zeolla

The following messages were posted in the Weight Trainers United forum and on my MySpace blog.


I just finished my “off-season” training on Thursday (8/26/10). It went very well and according to plan. Thanking the LORD for that. I will start my “in-season” training on Sunday (8/29/10). The idea of having a distinct “off-season” and “in-season is discussed on pages 118-120 of my powerlifting book.

For my off-season, I used an Alternating Weeks routine as described on pages 117-8 of my book. For it, I alternated doing bottom-end work Week A and top end-work work Week B. For my “in-season” my plan is simple: Week A do the powerlifts raw; Week B do the powerlifts equipped. This of course parallels what I was doing in my off-season.

For the “equipped part” I needed new gear. I posted back in June about how I found a new bench shirt on my first try, an APT APEX single-ply shirt. If you missed that post, it is located on my fitness site at: APT Apex Bench Press Shirt.

But I really ran into problems trying to find a new squat and a new DL suit. I ordered and returned several suits over the summer. I also tried on all of my old gear. But nothing seemed to fit right or that it would do any good. I have a terrible time finding clothes that fit, and PL gear is that much harder.

Part of the problem is that some companies now make separate suits for “narrow stance” and “wide stance” lifters. The definition of “narrow” is closer than shoulder width and of “wide” as wider than shoulder width. But my stance has my heels right at shoulder width, in-between the two. After much experimentation, I found that narrow stance seemed to fit better, and I think I finally found suits that will work well: a Titan Super Centurion Squat Suit and a Titan Velocity Deadlift Suit, both single-ply. Many thanks to LiftingLarge.com for their help in this regard.

Some of the suits I tried were just too small. I couldn’t get them on even with help. Others I could get on, but it was very difficult to do so even with help and just as difficult to get off. Just putting the suits on and off left me rather exhausted. And even at that, with some of the squat suits I could squat all the way down without any weight, so I figured they really wouldn’t help much. And with the DLs suits, either I couldn’t get down into position, or it was too easy to do, so they didn’t seem like they would do anything.

However, both Titan suits are not that difficult to get on. I can even do it by myself if I have to. And getting them off is a cinch. Just pull them down over themselves, and they come right off. But they fit very snuggly. With the squat suit, I can only squat about of the way down without weight. I figure it will take quite a bit of weight to get down all the way. In fact, I’m thinking I will need to leave the straps down for my lighter sets and only put them up for my heaviest sets. With the DL suit, I can just get my butt down into position, but it feels like there will be a lot of “spring” when I start the lift, especially if I am able to drop my butt down a bit first.

That said, my raw training will be done without any gear. If my body holds up, that will enable me to enter the raw division of any federation. And by only using single-ply gear, I’ll be able to enter any equipped contest. But I am planning on using 2.5 meter wraps since the feds I most likely will enter allow the longer length.

There are several contests in November and December that I could enter. I will wait and see how my training goes to decide when and which contest to enter and if to go raw or equipped. I am even toying with the idea of entering two contests a couple of weeks apart, one raw and one equipped. But I will wait until the end of October to make such decisions. My “in-season” will probably last 10-12 weeks, depending on which contest(s) I enter.

Week 1 of my “in-season” will be a “deload” week, so I won’t be pushing very hard on the raw powerlifts. Week 2 will be the first time I have used gear in about three years, and with the new squat suit, bench shirt, and DL suit, I’ll basically just be adjusting to the gear. I have no idea how much weight to use for the equipped powerlifts, and no idea how much weight it will take to get down on squats and benches and if my DL suit would make any difference or not. As such, my plans for that week will be to start light and keep adding weight just to see how everything feels, so it will be somewhat of a deload week as well. It won’t be until Week 3 that I will get back into hard and regular training, but that still leaves me 8-10 weeks of training before a contest.

God-willing, that’s my plans. Praying my in-season goes as well as my “off-season” did.

For my first in-season workouts, see Full Workout Logs: Starting 8/29/2010 - In-Season Training - Weeks 1-6.

New Suits and Training/ Contest Plans. Copyright 2010 by Gary F. Zeolla.

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