Working with Team Stone!

Working with Team Stone!

Aug 12, 2012

August 12, 2012

Howard W Penrose, Ph.D., CMRP

I first met Eric Stone when I participated in my first AAPF meet last October, 2011. He is the APF Illinois Chapter chair and the lead with Team Stone. Eric works at Right Fit, a sports fitness and wellness gym that also developed the Raise the Bar program for disabled children, such as those with autism. I watched several of the team compete during the ‘APF/AAPF Rise of the Deadlift/Beast of the Bench,’ a push-pull event, which was held at Progressive Sports Performance in Northbrook, Illinois. Best lifter of the day was Joe Atef, also of Team Stone.

I friended several of the members on Facebook, as I have been building a network of powerlifters. In spring of 2012, Joe Atef posted that he was ready to lift but no-one was there. I responded and was invited to the next workout, which was great as I was primarily self-training at a commercial gym. Now I split my time between Team Stone (W-F-Su), the Progressive Strength Team (Sat), and the commercial gym (HealthTracks, Glen Ellyn, Illinois) when I am not traveling. Most weeks I’m in a gym 5-6 days doing main lifts split with support work (changed-up every 2-3 weeks).


Right Fit is owned and operated by Suzanne Gray who is also the creator and director of the Raise the Bar program, something I will write about more in the future. In the meantime, information on the program can be obtained through

Team Stone works out three days per week with Wednesday deadlifts at 6pm, Friday bench at 6pm and Sunday squats at 11am. If you are in the Willowbrook, Illinois area and wish to participate, contact Eric Stone through

Each of the lifters on Team Stone primarily participate in AAPF (drug tested) meets, when able, and all compete in multiple federations. The environment is supportive and new lifters attend on a regular basis, from 13 year olds to middle aged, who are participating or just entering the sport.


Joe Atef during the 2012 APF/AAPF Chicago Bash on July 28, 2012 –
903lbs successful – PR total 2203 during the meet.


As I have only trained and competed raw, the team has been supportive in assisting me in selecting and training in gear. This last Friday was my first successful attempt at touching in a jacked-up Viking bench shirt, a very, very easy 405lbs, with this upcoming Friday, August 17th testing to see how much I can handle right now.

Sunday, August 12, we worked squats with the equipped lifters doing banded squats and raw lifters doing straight weight. Kind of a strange day as everyone was feeling off, most likely due to a significant weather change over the past few days (that’s my excuse… ha ha). Still, went very well. No PRs set, but all felt pretty good. I stayed light as I did bench Friday, deadlift Saturday, and squats Sunday.

Eric Stone Banded Squats – briefs only
Left to Right: Justin Sepe, Peter Crifase, Eric Stone (squatting), Ken Stone, and Joe Atef


Me – Raw Squats


Joe Atef – Banded Squats

Right now I’m concentrating on bench as I will be competing both bench and full power at the WPC World competition in November.  Joe Atef will be assisting as my on-site coach and liftoffs for bench during Worlds in Las Vegas. One last set of 5x5s before traveling to Croatia and Serbia, where I am expected to visit a few gyms, if possible.

This past week: Mon – Bench: 2nd set 5×5 at 85% max with accelerometer; Wed: Light deadlifts; Fri: Bench raw workup followed by bench shirt; Sat: deadlifts for explosiveness using accelerometer; and, Sun: squats.

Today’s workout:

  • Raw Squat (all in lbs): bar x 5 twice, 115×8, 155×5, 205×5, 335×3, 385×2, and, 425×1
  • Support work – hips, glutes, hams

Prior to the trip that starts on August 18, I will be working out: Tue – last bench 5×5; Wed – deadlifts (Team Stone); and, Fri – shirted bench.

One of the tools I’ve added to my arsenal is a 3-axis accelerometer. I am looking to the results and will discuss soon!


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