2014 American Open Training Week 13 – Fickle Training and Maryland States

2014 American Open Training Week 13 – Fickle Training and Maryland States

Nov 11, 2014


Tuesday should have been my last heavy squat day before we get into the serious meet prep.  And I had high hopes for it.  Too bad none of them worked out.

A. squat 3×2 410,…….
B. DL 1×2+ 385/??
C. SLDL 3×6 275,300, 315
D1. BB row 3×10 105, 125, 145
D2. wt situps 3×15 25

Based on how great my last double at 420 felt, the plan going in was to hit a double at 425 and then, depending on how that felt, hit 430 or 435.  410 felt great so we went ahead and tried the 425.  And failed on the first rep.  Twice.  I don’t have a really good reason for this.  Looking at the video it just kind of looks like I wasn’t staying tight in the hole for some reason.  It’s just a guess but I’m going to say it might have been from the work my chiropractor did on my hips on Monday to try and get stuff loosened back up and behaving like they should.  Either way, there clearly wasn’t anything I could do about it so I moved on.

I also decided to skip the deadlifts for the night and move them to Thursday.  I figured that if my hips weren’t going to play along anyway that this was just as likely to end poorly and I was better off skipping it and getting the work in later in the week.

All the assistance stuff felt pretty good though so at least the night ended more or less on a high note.


A. bench 5×2 175,190, 205, 220, 230
B. DL 1×2+ 385/5
C. paused CG bench 1×3@200, 2×2 to heavy 2 210, 215 x 1
D. paused WG bench 2xAmrap 165/10, 145/11

I decided to start with deadlift when I got to the gym on Thursday because it was definitely going to be the most taxing and honestly, I really just wanted to get it out of the way.  And they went so much better than my squats did on Tuesday.  The last rep may be the slowest deadlift I’ve ever pulled and I tried to focus on keeping the pull smooth even after it slowed down (since I tend to get called for hitching when it goes wrong) so it definitely brought the drama.  I spent a good bit of time sitting on the floor when I was done trying to catch my breath and sort myself out.

Bench also went really well.  After the paused double at 225, I managed to hit a quick non-paused double at 230.  Sadly, I still failed to land the second paused close grip bench at 215, but I’m mostly OK with it.

And now that the training for the week is done and before everyone runs off to compete this weekend, there had to be the traditional pre-meet meal:


You know for luck.  And because no one needed to make weight.  Disclaimer:  This was not my dinner because I wasn’t lifting.  I’ll be having one in December.

Maryland States

The whole weekend was spent at Maryland States.

I first have to say Thank You to all the volunteers.  It couldn’t have happened without you.  After spending all Saturday morning spotting and loading (thank you to all the women who hid their terror when they realized it was going to be me spotting and not some burly dude), I have a new appreciation for just how much hard work goes into a meet.

I spent Sunday handling two of my coaches and another one of the lifters I train with.  They were pretty calm but I have to say running around and keeping them straight made me feel like I should apologize to them for all the nonsense I put them through (I’m still pretty sure I’m a bigger head case.)  That being said, it’s pretty damn funny to have the shoe on the other foot.  For example, I got to say things like “Chill the f@%$ out and go warm up” and “Stop thinking about it so hard and go do this just like you would in the gym.”  I’ve heard both of those things more times than I can count.

And even though I didn’t compete, it was a meet and I learned things so……..

Things I Learned at Maryland States:

  1.   Spotting and loading is really hard work.  Seriously.  And not just physically.  Maybe it’s just me but worrying about keeping everyone safe added a whole extra level of anxiety that was exhausting.   Make sure you thank these people.   They kept you safe and saved you from doing your own math.  Bring them food, buy them a beer after the meet, SOMETHING.  They’ve totally earned it.
  2.  As a spotter, it sucks when the lifter doesn’t STAY WITH THE BAR.  I know sometimes a lift goes badly wrong and there’s nothing you can do about it but as much as you can, without putting yourself in danger either, don’t dump a mess of weight on the spotters.  It’s dangerous and really increases the odds that someone is going to get hurt.
  3.  I’m not quite tall enough to do rack heights for the taller guys.  The lever is plenty long to move some massive weight but being able to reach the top of it to take maximum advantage of physics is a bit tricky.
  4. I yell at people when they lift.  I want everyone to get all their lifts and I just can’t help it.  I hope it’s not hugely annoying.
  5. Deadlifts and pixie sticks.  Apparently this is a thing.  I want to know why no one told me about it sooner.
  6.  You don’t really appreciate your sport until you’ve seen it from multiple angles.  Competing, coaching/handling and volunteering will all give you a new perspective on things.  Next up:  getting my ref certification.

Congratulations to everyone who got up on the platform and competed.  You were all awesome.

Maryland States 2014

The 12 Labours Team


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