Julie and I focused on some mountaineering and trekking goals for the past couple of years and I finally got back to powerlifting in the Fall of 2022.

I signed up with a new coach on both a training programming engagement, as well as a nutrition programming one. I started in late October with the following weight & waist measurements:

  • Weight: 179 lbs.
  • Waist: 35″

I just finished the 23rd week of training and 3 separate blocks of training that were layered and programed specifically for my development and real-time results of performance, fatigue, and stress. Each of the blocks went extremely well and I was able to leverage my experience with strength training to avoid any injuries.

There were a couple of minor things that came up, but each was easily managed in a few days and off I sent. There is no substitute for a sound training program that adjusts in real-time to how your are actually doing, getting the proper dosing for every session, and having the experience to understand these factors and applying them appropriately.

Here are my results after 23 weeks:

  • Weight: 196 lbs.
  • Waist: 35.5″

Except for a handful of very tough weeks, where (mental/physical) fatigue was high, I otherwise felt great throughout the whole period. Right now, I feel fantastic and the result’s of last week’s “test week” were great. Here is the summary:

  • Back Squat: 425 lbs., a new personal record (PR) of at least 7 lbs.
  • Bench Press: 295 lbs., a new PR of 30 lbs.
  • Deadlift: 535, tied my previous PR

Bench press has always been my weakest lift due to no real background in upper body strength in my past. So, there was a lot of work that went in here with both volume and also technique, as bench press can be highly technical. Margins for error are thin and achieving gains is a slow process. So, adding 30 lbs. to my bench has been a huge experience for me and I’m hugely stoked. My coach’s programming called for an RPE10 (or maximal) effort and that’s exactly what you’ll see in the video below I captured of the week’s top lifts. I was not expecting to be this close to the magic 300!

The squat was an excellent feeling to handle that much weight with no problem at all. It was supposed to be RPE9.5, which it clearly wasn’t. So, I’m excited about what comes ahead to achieve my goal of a 500 lb. back squat in the future.

The deadlift only tied a previous PR and one where I set the world record back in 2019 in Ireland at the World Championships. Again, the programming was for a 9.5 and this was clearly not it as there was more in the tank. But, it’s all good. It was a good demonstration for this week and I look forward to using this new foundation to keep striving towards my big goal of a 600 lb. deadlift.

That’s it for now, things have been going well. I’ve really cleaned up my lifts with confidence and technique both very solid right now. Always room for more refinement and hopefully I will get further technique improvements as the work continues.