2014 USAPL Raw National Week 13- The Beginning of the End

2014 USAPL Raw National Week 13- The Beginning of the End

Jun 16, 2014

I’ve been lied to.   I thought this week I would be starting a taper and then I got this week’s programming.  Turns out “taper” might not actually be the right word.  Seems I should have just been calling it meet prep.  There’s quite a bit less in my programming but at least this week, there’s still a pretty decent amount of volume.   I don’t know how I feel about this.


It rained about an hour before I left work for the gym and it was plenty hot.  The end result of all of this heat and lingering humidity is that the gym felt like a swamp.  You know you’re in trouble when just changing clothes makes you sweaty.  And then I tried to pull on my knee sleeves.  They’re a little tight anyway but they normally go on without too much drama.  Not today.  The right one got stuck before I even got it over my calf but I was eventually able to wrestle it up to where it belonged.  It was worse with my left one.  I never did manage to get it all the way up to where I normally wear it.  I gave up as soon as I got it high enough to cover my knee and not make anything feel weird.  People laughed at me.

So after that little extra warm up and with sweat already everywhere, I got to work.  Squats for the day were one set of 5 at 365.  That’s it.  Nothing fancy.  No crazy number of sets or reps.  Just work up to it in sets of 5 and do it.  Since I’m also trying to work on making bigger jumps at higher weights so it doesn’t weird me out if I need to do it at Nats (and I probably will a bit), I’m also working on that.  Sets were 135, 225, 315, 345 and 365.   The heat made things a little grindy and bleh but nothing felt heavy.

The paused squats were a different story entirely.  I started at 315 with plans to work up to 325 or 330 and get in at least 2 sets (because only doing 1 set just feels wrong.)  315 felt like ass.  Seriously.   I felt worse than my regular squats and actually even felt a bit heavy so I called it a day with just the one set.

After that…….

paused bench 4×5 to a heavy 5 rep 165, 175, 185, 195
CG bench 4×8 to a heavy 8 rep 135, 145, 155, 165

I know this isn’t the best time for it but I experimented a bit with my bench and moved my hands in a finger because I haven’t really been feeling like I was getting as tight as I could have been.    Moving in a little seems to have helped and all of these reps felt nice and smooth.


Deadlifts were sets of 5 to a heavy 5.  These actually went pretty quick since it doesn’t take as much to warm up my deadlifts as it does my squats.  I will say the first couple I felt a little tighter than usual through the hip since we pulled the front squats out.  I may need to throw something else in to help get better warmed up next time.  So sets were 135, 225, 315, 355 and 375.  No drama and no fuss.

The rest of the day was all assistance work.

SLDL sets of 8 to a 8RM 135, 185, 225, 255
DB single arm row 3×15 55, 60, 65
hang knee raises 2×12



Since we’re doing meet prep, I’m back to squatting twice a week.  So again I got to do 5’s to a heavy set of 5 with the goal of doing more than the 365 from Tuesday but no more than 375.  Saturday morning was much, much less humid and sticky.  I didn’t waste a bunch of energy getting knee sleeves on and I didn’t feel like the only way to breath while squatting was to break out the gills.  Sets were 135, 225, 315, 350 and 375 and they felt fantastic.

Sadly, the paused squats still didn’t feel good.  So I did one set of 5 at 325 and called it a day for squatting.

Finished out the day with more benching and some sit-ups:

paused bench 3×5 195 use the final weight from 6/3 for all three sets
CG bench 3×8 165 use the final weight from 6/3 for all three sets
abmat situps 3×30

The bench is definitely feeling strong and I’m looking forward to how it goes once we start getting into the lower rep ranges.  This is also a huge difference from where i was last year when there was no way I would have been able to get multiple sets at 195.


So here we are…….. 5 weeks out and suddenly stuff is getting really, really real.  And because I’ve been running all over the place, I STILL have no pictures this week.  So I’ll leave you with an older one that somehow never got used……..

My entry form for Raw Nats before I dropped it in the mail.

My entry form for Raw Nats before I dropped it in the mail.


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One comment

  1. Absolute Zen /

    Wow so much prep-wotk and technical details to take care of. I am in awe of all the hardwork. I cant wait to get my feet wet soon and you will be a huge inspiration. My challenge has been finding a powerlifting friendly community/gym near where I live. I finally met someone today that has a crossfit box where some powerlifters train but it will be a 25 minute but I am at this point willing to sacrifice everything to get this passion going. My first meet is July 19 followed by one in August. Wishing you tons of goodness and positive vibes.

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