2014 WPC World Championships Bench Prep and Ernie Frantz at 2XL

2014 WPC World Championships Bench Prep and Ernie Frantz at 2XL

Aug 26, 2014


^Howard Penrose and coach Joe Atef at the Global Bench Wars

Things have been interesting with the APF Masters Nationals in Dallas behind us and the mid-gym build-out Global Bench Wars competition in Detroit over the past few months.  The biggest drain on energy and resources has been the gym.  However, it is the culmination of a 25 year dream.  Now that the gym is open, including our Grand Opening on August 16, 2014, it is time to concentrate on training for the WPC Worlds and equipped bench.  I’m also starting my rehab towards a return to full powerlifting at the Illinois State Powerlifting Championships sometime around March, 2015.


^The night before the Grand Opening of 2XL Powerlifting

The Grand Opening went great with a deadlift seminar by Ernie Frantz followed by a demonstration deadlift competition (unsanctioned) and open house for the rest of the day.  It went very well with a number of lifters stopping in to check out the place and trade stories with Ernie.


^^Ernie Frantz Deadlift Clinic


^^Appreciation award for Ernie Frantz from APF Michigan presented by APF Michigan Chair Joe Smolinski


^^ Trading stories and…. yeah, had to listen to a bunch of powerlifters sing ‘happy birthday.’  See what you missed?  Yeah, I’ve got a mental block too.


^^Following a 265 Deadlift raw which tied her previous best of 265 equipped – great results from just 2 hours with a great teacher!  Sword Winner of the Day – Alex Vallejo, Team Stone (third competition in three weeks)


^^A few of the seminar attendees

The following week was fairly quiet as the survivors of the Grand Opening crawled in for a rather lack-luster squat training.  Hey, we throw a good party.

On the Wednesday I started the cycle towards Illinois State by working my first conventional deadlift by following some of the instruction given by Ernie during the Grand Opening.  It was awesome!  My form really sucked but the weight shot up and exceeded my post-injury lift limit to 365lbs where I stopped, even though I had plenty more.

The Team Stone bench day is Friday evenings starting at about 6pm (warm-up starts at 5-ish).  Based upon discussion during the Grand Opening, we put together a team including Paul Rupright, Jeffrey Orr, Joe Atef and I to start Saturday Morning bench specialist training (heavy and equipped) and will continue to expand this group (several more will be joining us this next Saturday).

This was followed with Sunday squat training which started seeing the team building back up to ‘normal’ size.  Things were still a little light, but moving to where we are used to.  I keep my squat work relatively low right now, with the intention to push squat training following WPCs.


^^Two racks going at any given time during squat days

During squat day I am focusing on leg press, sleds, and other work to continue rehabbing  the leg.

Monday night started my bench accessory training with chest supported rows, shoulder work, tricep work, DB rows, cable rows, then speed band/reverse band work.  I am using a set of heavy bands to work my lock-out with very little tension at the top (enough to align the bar as I work solo on these and don’t have a lift-off).  Towards the end I will add in a Ram in order to work with handling greater weight.  I am about 70lbs behind where I was prior to the gym build-out (June).


Good Lifting!



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