Powerlifting Stuff

It's a SQUAT not a curtsey dammit! (T-shirts)

I've only been lifting since the fall of 1994, making some good progress (beginning lifts included a whopping 85 lb bench press!). At the start of 1996, I decided to start powerlifting with an eye towards competition, after having been weightlifting for a little over a year. Now, after trying my hand at a number of competitions, I enjoy it a lot - I'm hooked! Here's my meet performance (to the nearest pound) so far (* is a state record):

MeetDate ClassSQBPDL TotalX/9PlaceProgram Used
USPF TX State 3/96181375226430 10306/95th of 58,6,4,2,burn
USPF TX State 4/97181375248430 10534/95th of 118,6,4,2,burn
USPF TX State 3/00181413281457 11529/96th of 9Pacifico
USPF Barbee Classic 8/00181446287452 11855/92nd of 3Pacifico+ACME
USPF TX State 3/01181430287452 11686/93rd of 5Pacifico+ACME
USPF SouthTexas 6/01181430298457 11856/91st of 3Korte 3x3
USPF TX State 3/02198480320474 12738/94th of 6
3rd of 5
3x3 + PacHybrid
APF Southeast
Powerlifting Challenge (pix)
7/06198502386518 14056/81st of 1
1st of 2
1st of 1
PL/BP Meet
3/07198 350*475* 8257/81st of 1mixed
PL/BP Meet (pix)
8/07198450*360*500* 1310*11/121st of 1mixed
PL/BP Meet
(blew R bicep!!)
1105*6/81st of 1P90X (gym mod)
RAW Personal Push-Pull
Witnessed non-meet
3/6/10187 375
495 870 mixed
PL/BP Meet
9/91st of 1
Best Lifter
BP weekly:
PL/BP Meet
open, 45-49
1175* 9/91st of 1
Best Lifter
BP weekly:
PL/BP Meet
open, 45-49
1190* 6/91st of 1various
no BP work!
PL/BP Meet
1135* 7/91st of 1various
PL/BP Meet
1100 9/91st of 1various
lifting w/
pulled hamstring!
PL/BP Meet
1210* 8/91st of 1various
lifting w/ hurt back
10 days prior!
PL/BP Meet
OPEN and 45-49
1300** 7/81st of 1various

Lifting Programs: simply plug in your current max in the appropriate cell, and the program will calculate out the correct poundages for each lift. Updated 5/21/06!

Program OpenOffice.org Format Excel Format Notes
8,6,4,2,burn n/a n/a max you can do for each
rep range, then burnout
with your 8 rep weight
Pacifico pacificobench.ods pacificobench.xls Larry Pacifico's famous BP
peaking program
Pacifico+ACME pacificohybrid.ods pacificohybrid.xls Pacifico's program as a base,
but with Nick Singleton's
suggestions plus some Westside
Korte 3x3 3x3.ods 3x3.xls Classic Korte 3x3 program,
as listed in the archives of
Strength Online
3x3 + PacHybrid 3xpachybsq.ods 3xpachybsq.xls 3x3 for BP, but
Pacifico+ACME for DL and SQ
High-volume SQ tyesquat.ods tyesquat.xls Basically, Pacifico's program,
but applied directly to SQ

Before the 2000 TX State meet, what helped a lot was trying out Larry Pacifico's 8-week bench press routine. With it, I'd been able to add 30 lbs to my bench so I'm quite happy with it and am looking forward to more gains to come. I've also put together a kind of a hybrid program, combining the Pacifico program with the suggestions of Nick Singleton of ACME Training, still taking 8 weeks. It's an aggressive program, but seems to have done quite well (I added 30 lbs on SQ, 15 lbs on BP, and 20 on DL - though you couldn't tell it from my numbers for the Barbee Classic or the last TX State meet!). It basically adds the benefit of a bit of Westside philosophy, especially with regards to deadlifts and fast singles, among other things, to the already-good Pacifico routine. For the 6/01 meet, I tried out the Korte 3x3 program. For the 3/02 meet, I kept with the 3x3 for the bench press portion of my training, while going back to the Pacifico hybrid for the SQ and DL portion. Those have been what worked well in the past; this time they netted me new PR's in all lifts with an all-time 34 lb gain in SQ, 22 lbs on BP and 17 lbs on DL! And I left probably 10/15/10 lbs on the platform - I could have broken 1300 finally!

For the 2006 APF Southeast Powerlifting Challenge meet, I changed things up (see the following paragraph), but on my opening squat I felt something tear on top of my left quad - still got the lift (491), but it was Not Fun (tm). I decided to try another squat and see if I could at least do one of the things I came for and break 500 at a meet so I called for 502 - it went up fine but was a bit of a struggle. Decided to skip my 3rd lift and hope I wasn't screwed for the rest of the meet. I took 800mg ibuprofen and hoped for the best. And of course squatting really tweaked my elbow quite badly. In any case, warming up for bench was rough since you use your top quad quite a bit. Got my opener at 385 so I went up to the record-setting 413 I wanted. Got it, but not really - raised my butt while I gave it everything I had. On my third attempt, I had nothing left sadly. So 1 of 3 in BP only, and didn't break 400 in a meet. Argh. DL went much better - went 3 for 3 and the first two flew up fine. The third, a grinder was fine and a new PR and would have been a state record if I was a Texas resident.

For that 2006 meet, I had been trying a program that worked pretty well benching 3x per week, on MWF. Every BP day I alternated between 8642 (going up if I can reach 10753) and 5 sets of 6 with varied grips (close, wide, sorta narrow, normal, narrow, and going up if I can get 8 on at least two of those sets). Other lifts include MF: 3 sets heavy rows, 2 sets plate lifts, 2 sets heavy dips, abs, curls; and W: 3 sets SQ, 3 sets shrugs, 2 sets bar holds, abs. Following this while upping my protein and watching my diet, supps, sleep, and eating every 3 hours I finally hit a RAW paused single BP with 375 at a BW of 195 on Wed, July 26, 2006. But the cost for such an aggressive program for someone my age is injury. I'm nursing a good case of bencher's elbow and also my right should may have rotator cuff problems. Eventually, I'm still shooting for a 2xBW paused bench press in the short term. Then it's on to 405... If you're curious, take a look at my current training log.

When training, I stick to the basics and follow my personal lifting motto: "Lift psycho or leave!" However, I do train safely and have never gotten an injury other than minor tendonitis and the like. I'm also illegal drug-free (which should be obvious from my lift totals - best I've done in any venue so far is only 505 405 518). If you want to guesstimate your current maxes, here's a handy utility in Excel format for predicting around where your one-rep max is: 1-REP max calculator. Just put your workout weight on the row matching the maximum number of reps you can do and it'll do all the rest.

I've tried numerous training regimens, including super-slow (10 second reps), pyramids, hardgainer, HIT, but when I'm not peaking for a meet, I always seem to fall back to one of two methods which seem to work the best for me for strength gains:

3 sets of 8-10 reps
6 sets of 6 with the core SQ/BP/DL (2x week BP, 1x week SQ, DL)
pyramids (8,6,4,2,burn,+aux work)

The first is for when I'm coming back off of a layoff, and I work it so that I start off at 2-3 times per week per bodypart, easing down to 1-1.5 times per week as my strength comes back. The second, also working each bodypart 1-1.5 times per week, is for the bulk of the time - that is, when I have my strength but am not peaking for a powerlifting meet. I do all exercises to positive failure, and some to negative failure. I keep my workouts to less than one hour (though they have been known to creep up to 1.5 hrs at times) and stretch well afterwards. Save for the aux work (which can be isolation or compound), the lifts I do are, of course, centering around the so-called compound exercises: those that involve many muscle groups working in concert. These include such things as

I work out at Natchitoches Health and Raquet Club in Natchitoches, LA, though I started out in the Texas A&M Weightlifting Club, with thanks in getting me started out right while I was at Texas A&M University to Blaine Hufnagle and Tony Cardella.

Also, check out these excellent powerlifting and lifting resources:

Starting Strength - A useful Wiki guide for lifters after they've gotten through the just starting stage.

Jason Burnell's Strength Online - be sure to check out the archived articles and routines.

Tony Cardella's GOHEAVY.COM - discussion forums on all aspects of strength sports and training.

Tom Griffin's Weighty Matters - archiving the best discussions from misc.fitness and misc.fitness.weights.

Krista Scott-Dixon's Starting Weight Training - Geared towards women, but extremely useful for *anyone*!

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since Dec 12, 1998
Tye's Kung Fu
Last Updated: Monday, 11-May-2015 07:04:58 EDT,by Tye W. Botting