Hanging with the Boys!

Hanging with the Boys!

Aug 6, 2012

Travel Log August 5th, 2012: Old Saybrook, Connecticut

Howard W Penrose, Ph.D., CMRP

The latest trip was to visit my sons, Nick and Matt, at my other home in Old Saybrook, CT. Nick is entering his fourth year at UCONN in Chemistry and Matt is entering his second year in Electrical Engineering at WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) in Mass. We were originally planning to visit a powerlifting club I had been in contact with, but issues with coordinating the visit will have to put it off until a later trip.

Nick Matt Howard Figure 1

Matt, Myself, Nick in Connecticut

“Back to Illinois with You!”

I am in a de-load week and my squat and deadlift days were altered due to this trip, as often happens with travel. We selected a local gym I’ve used in the past, the ‘Shoreline Health and Fitness’ health club. This club has limited equipment for heavy lifting, but enough to be creative in lighter work.

Shoreline is located just off Main Street in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, with a sister location on Main Street in Clinton, Connecticut, a few towns away. The Old Saybrook location is housed in an old movie theater that has been converted to allow for a variety of health activities, spinning classes, aerobics and a good sized workout area. While the equipment limited our workout from that of a well-equipped powerlifting gym, it was all well maintained and relatively safe.

Shoreline Fitness Figure 2

Shoreline Health and Fitness – Not Marked with Signs!

We decided that we would do light sets of squats, good mornings, deadlifts and pull-throughs. The primary reasons were the types of squat racks and bars as well as the fact that we had not worked out together in well over a year.

Nick and Matt Figure 3

Matt (Background) and Nick (Foreground)

Complex Squat Rack with Lots around the Feet!


  • Warm up – they had foam rollers!
  • Squats: 2xbarx10; 135×5; 225×5; 275×5; 315×5; 3x405x2
  • Good Mornings: 135×5; 225×5; 2x315x4
  • Deadlift (sumo): 135×5; 225×5; 315×5; 365×3; 405×1; 455×1
  • Pull-throughs: 3x120x20


I had Nick and Matt doing box squats to work on practicing form. The box was high and I’m concentrating on depth, so I kept mine standard. However, when available, I have a few box tricks that I will discuss in future editions.

On this trip I only brought a carry-on so did not have room for bands, which I have not tried to bring through airport security before – perhaps on a future flight. Otherwise, this would have been a better speed-strength day. We did work the attempts for speed.

Deadlift Figure 4

Nick Setting up Deadlift – View from Squat Rack

No Pads to Put Under Deadlift Weights!

This is one of the challenges with travel and training. Hotel gyms mostly leave much to desire. I’ve even attempted to call ahead and get assurances related to the equipment in a variety of hotels only to find that the respondent’s definition of workout equipment is drastically different than mine. The same situation exists with local commercial gyms!

The advantage I have had in the past is that I have been competing raw – imagine asking a local hotel resident to assist you in putting on a bench shirt! This is still the primary focus this year as I will be competing both bench and full power at the WPC World Bench and Deadlift Championships in November, 2012. However, I am starting down the path of equipped lifting and I am trying to decide if my first equipped meet will be in October or in 2013.

Leading up to November, I will be traveling approximately every other week to a variety of locations within and outside of the United States, including a two week trip to Croatia and Serbia, and possibly one to China at the end of the year or the beginning of 2013. I am still looking into gyms within the small towns I will be visiting.

This should make things…. interesting.


About the Author

  • APF/AAPF Drug-Free Lifter
  • AAPF National and World Records SHW Masters II Raw: Squat (195kg), Bench (160kg), Deadlift (205kg), and Total (560 kg)
  • APF Bench Press 308 Class Masters II Raw National Record 165kg
  • AAPF National Records 308 Class Masters II Raw: Squat (200kg), Bench (160kg), Deadlift (205kg), and Total (565 kg)
  • Team USA Raw Masters II 308 Class for WPC World Championships for both bench press and full power and qualified Team USA Raw Masters II SHW Class for the AWPC World Championships full power


Writing this Edition

 Professional Bio

Dr Penrose is the Vice President of Reliability at Dreisilker Electric Motors, Outreach Director for SMRP (Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals), the Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society Webmaster/Web Editor in Chief for IEEE, serves on the Board of Directors for the Autism Society of Illinois, and is the President of SUCCESS by DESIGN Publishing and Consulting. He has 25+ years in the reliability and maintenance industry with experience from the shop floor to academia and manufacturing to military. Dr. Penrose is a past adjunct professor of engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 1997-1999 and a Senior Research Engineer at the UIC Energy Resources Center. He is a past Chair of the Chicago Section IEEE, past Vice Chair of the Connecticut Section IEEE and has held numerous other elected and appointed positions within IEEE as well as membership in the Vibration Institute, Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals, International Maintenance Institute and MENSA. He is well published in trade magazines and is frequently invited to speak at industrial reliability events. He is a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional, NAVAIR and NAVSEA RCM specialist as well as numerous other industry certifications. Dr. Penrose received five UAW and GM People Make Quality Happen Awards from 2005 through 2009 in relation to reliability, maintenance and energy projects within GM, is involved in hybrid vehicle motor development and participated in the development of the LEV-VAD Heart Pump through the University of Virginia. He has also received the 2008 Axiom Business Book Award for “Physical Asset Management for the Executive: Caution – Do Not Read this on an Airplane,” and 2008 Foreword Book of the Year for “Electrical Motor Diagnostics: 2nd Edition.” Dr. Penrose lives in Lombard, Illinois and Old Saybrook, Connecticut.


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