2014 USAPL Raw National Weeks 9 and 10 – PRs, Donuts and Changes

2014 USAPL Raw National Weeks 9 and 10 –  PRs, Donuts and Changes

May 19, 2014

Week 9

So contrary to the last couple of weeks, this week was pretty quiet.  No big drama at work or in the gym.  No more large acts of clumsiness (the little ones are so common they aren’t even noteworthy at this point.)


Squats were 1 x 8+ at 305 with a cap of 12.  They felt good and fast and I was very glad for the cap even though I felt like I could have gotten a couple more.

A. squat 1×8+ 305/12
B. paused squat 3×3 330, 340, 350

My Paused squat are still going up too.  Which is good since I like to know I’m at least making progress if it’s going to feel this bad.  Thankfully, they look better than they feel.

And to finish out the day….

C. SLD 3×6 185, 210, 225
D1. DB flat bench 3×15 30, 40, 50
D2. trunk twists 3×40 30



Warmed up with 3 x 5 front squats at 190 and got into all the deadlifts for the day.  And I do mean all……

Deadlifts for the day were 8 x 3 with one minute rest between sets starting at 260lb.  They looked like this:

B. DL 8×3 260

If you count them, you’ll notice that there are actually 9 sets.  My math got off when I was loading the bar.  I knew the plan was to work to 365 but I forgot what the planned jumps were to get there.  And deadlifting for this many sets makes me dumb under the best of circumstances.  I will say the last set felt incredibly grindy and it probably wouldn’t have if I’d done what I was supposed to.  So, bonus set for me and no one died.

After that…….

C. def DL (4″) 3×6 225, 275, 315
D. block pulls 2×8 275, 315
E. wt situps 3×15 20, 25, 25


Heavy bench day with 5 x 2 starting at 180 with all reps paused.  I’d set my goal for the day to get to at least 210 and they went far better than I expected them to.  Even with my back fairly pissed from all of the deadlifts.  Sets were 180, 190,  200, 210 and 215.

We deloaded press and started our sets of 4 x 5 at 95lbs after my second failure at 110 last week.  So these were all light and easy.

And the last bit for the day……..

C. incline bench 4×6-10 95 x10, 115 x10, 130 x 9, 140 x 7
D1. seated DB press 3×15 20, 25 x 2
D2. DB flat flys 3×10 20, 25 x 2

It isn’t normally true but today PR’s meant donuts.  Because it was the last one.  And chocolate frosted is my favorite.  And it’s a donut.


I mean seriously, do I need any other reasons?

Week 10


I was still feeling pretty good about my progress in general when I hit the gym on Tuesday and was looking forward to my heavy squat day.  Even though I got off late from work (again) and was therefor late to the gym (again.)

So 3 x 2 squats starting at 370 and working to a heavy double.  370 and 390 went fine so we set up for 405.  In my mind, this was not as dramatic as the 405 deadlift.   I did fail it at the end of my last cycle going into the Arnolds but it only happened the once so it hasn’t had a chance to set up camp in my head and taunt me.  Even then, I knew it was a lack of confidence and not a lack of strength that caused it so……

405 x 2 squat

It felt good.  Only a little heavy and definitely like there was another rep or two.  Or maybe just a bigger double.

I thought my paused squats would feel great after this since they were so much lighter.  I was wrong.  They still felt like crap.  Given a choice I would much rather have taken on another set at 405.  But since that wasn’t one of my choices…..  3 x3 at 340, 350, and 355.

For the rest of the day…..

C. SLDL 1×6 200
2×6 225
D1. bench 3×1 (40×15, 50×12, 50×10) Actually, 3 x 15 DB Bench
D2. abmat situps 3×25

For bench, I somehow misread what I was supposed to do and ended up doing DB Bench (that should have been done Saturday) instead of regular heavy bench.


Front squats for the day were 2 x 5 at 190 and 1 x 5 at 195.  These honestly just keep feeling better and I think the slower progression was really the right call.

Deadlift was 1 set of 350 x 6+ with a cap of 10.  I got 10.  They actually looked pretty good all the way until the last 1 or 2 and the lockout on those is definitely a bit suspect.  But, hey……..10.    And I’m all good with that.


C. def DL 4×3 315,325, 335, 345
D1. BB shrugs 3×10 235, 285, 320
D2. up/down planks 3×1 min AMRAP 15, 16, 18
D3. DB row 3×15 50, 55, 60

I’m especially pleased that the up/down planks didn’t make my wrist freak out, so it looks like that’s well on the way to being fully healed.


Saturday’s training started really, really early.  Being at the gym at 8 on a Saturday is hard.  I know there are probably a mess of you that train earlier than this but I am not a morning person.  I hit the snooze twice before I was mauled by a cat and barked at by a dog (because they were apparently sick of the alarm going off every 10 minutes) before I managed to drag my ass out of bed.

Once I got to the gym, I didn’t feel too bad though.  Bench for the morning was 6 x 2 with 1 minute rest starting at 150.  I didn’t actually bother to use the stop watch for these since it takes so long to change out the plates, mess with my wrist wraps and get set back up.  Sets were:

bench 6×2 150

I’m really liking the way bench is feeling lately.  I spent a long time stuck around 200lbs so to be able to fairly casually hit anything above 200 for reps feels awesome.

Press is on it’s way back up 4 x 5 @ 100.  Nothing special and dramatic except me smashing a finger between the plates when I was loading the bar.  So, yeah, pretty much normal.


D1. CG bench 4×6 115, 140, 160, 180
D2. crunches 4×15
E. banded tricep ext 1×50 22, 10, 8, 10



It’s definitely one of the big pro/con facts of life that nothing stays the same forever.  Change can even be good.  It lets you branch out and get a new perspective.  It give you a chance to chase something new and let go of the old.   But sometimes it also just sucks.

I’ve lost coaches before.  Three of them in the time I’ve been powerlifting (seriously, y’all…..  Is it me?)  And I don’t think it’s ever going to get easier.

So since writing just this little bit has set off some pretty serious allergy induced watery eyes……..

Good luck, Coach Ryan!  You’ll be missed.  And we totally expect to have a place to lift and crash when we make it out to the shore.



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