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Initial Christian Powerlifters Forum Posts

By Gary F. Zeolla

The following messages were posted on the Christian Powerlifters Forum.

By Way of Introduction

I have been lurking on this forum for a while. I’ve read through most of the back posts. And I must say, there have been a lot of interesting discussions.

I could comment on many of these discussions, but in a way, I already have. I am the Webmaster for two Web sites, and on these sites I address many of the subjects that come up in this forum. So I would like to introduce myself to this forum by inviting readers to visit my sites. If you poke around them for a little while, you’ll have a good idea of my background.

The first site is my Christian Darkness to Light site. It addresses subjects like theology, apologetics (defending the faith), cults, ethics, Bible versions and much more.

The second site is Fitness for One and All. It is dedicated to helping people attain their health, fitness, and performance goals. There is a large section on powerlifting.


Bench Shirt in Training

I decided I would start wearing my single- ply, size 36 Power Shirt in training for my regular workouts. This is the least expensive shirt CMW sells. I'll then still use my size 30, Double Xtreme Power Shirt for my full gear workouts and at contests. This is the most expensive shirt CMW offers.

My reason for starting to use the shirt in training is my unshirted bench was stagnating. The reason for this was I would always miss reps at my chest. This was good; it meant the assistance exercises I am doing are working to strengthen the top half of the lift.

Moreover, a belt and wrist wraps make little difference in the bench, unlike squats and deadlifts where a belt and knee wraps makes a big difference. So there was too big of a difference between my training bench and my full gear bench. But the single- ply shirt will provide a good intermediary between the two. I'll wear the single-ply shirt, along with a belt and wrist wraps on my first two work sets, but I'll still do my third (back-off) set raw. 

I had thought before of using the Double Xtreme in training. But with as expensive as it is, I didn't want to wear it out. Plus, with as tight as it is, I find it difficult to do more than a single with it. But with the single single-ply shirt being three sizes larger, that shouldn't be a problem. And besides, I already have the single-ply shirt, so I might as well make use of it. I only wore it for a couple of contests before I "upgraded" to the Double Xtreme.

A while back I had the Double Xtreme shirt converted to an open back/ open neck shirt. So I’m taking the single-ply shirt to a seamstress today to get it converted as such as well.


Stance on Platform DLs with Chains

I use a sumo stance on DLs. Over this fall, I have been doing platform DLs with chains as an assistance exercise. But I have been doing them with a conventional stance as I read somewhere that even sumo deadlifters should use a conventional stance for platform DLs. This way, the hamstrings and lower back get more work than they get from sumo DLs.

But after doing them for six weeks, it didn’t seem like they were helping with my regular, sumo DL at all. So yesterday I tried doing the platform DLs with a sumo stance. And I could really notice the difference. I used the same weight for my first work set as I did the previous workout, and it was way too easy. So I added an extra ten pounds for my second set, and it was still rather easy. So I am very obviously much stronger with a sumo stance than with a conventional stance. And with being able to use the heavier weight, I could feel it a lot more in my upper back. So using the sumo stance would definitely help with the lockout more.

Unfortunately, I only have one week left that I was planning on doing platform DLs. I’ll then be changing to good mornings as my primary DL assistance exercise for several weeks. But at least I know to use a sumo stance on platform DLs the next time I do them.

For more on platform DLs and other DL assistance exercises, see the following page of my site: Deadlift Assistance Exercises.

And for info on using chains, see Bands and Chains.

One final point, I’ve been using a sumo stance for DLs since I started lifting again 2-1/2 years ago as I always used a sumo stance when I powerlifted back in college. But a few weeks ago I wanted to try using a conventional stance. So I did my regular DLs with a conventional stance, starting with my warm-ups. My initial warm-ups went okay, but I couldn’t even budge my final warm-up weight! I then switched back to my sumo stance. I easily tripled that weight then added 50 pounds for my first work set, and tripled it as well.

Now granted, if I were to train conventional DLs more often, I might get better at them. But that was too much of a difference to ever think about switching to them for my primary stance. And my experience with platform DLs confirms this. Even after six weeks of using a conventional stance, I was still much stronger on my first workout with a sumo stance.


A little depressed/ contest plans

I had planned on entering IPA Nationals this coming Friday (November 19). But for various reasons I decided not to go. But if I had gone, I would have started cutting weight today. I weighed myself this morning, and I would have had to loose 5.1 pounds in the next five days (I would have weighed in on Thursday). For my last contest, I lost 5.3 pounds in four days. So this would have been relatively easy.

But my training has been going good, but not great. So if I had entered the contest I probably would have been able to break all of my PRs, but not by much. And, altogether, with registration fees, motel bill, gas and food, it cost me over $500 to enter IPA Worlds this past July, and with Nationals being in the same location, the cost would be about the same. And from the looks of things, I would not be able to improve my lifts sufficiently to justify spending another $500.

Moreover, after Worlds, it took me about two months to get my lifts in the gym back to where they were right that contest. So if I were to enter Nationals, it would probably be the same thing. I would "lose" about two months of training.

And finally, I got really exhausted at Worlds, not just at the contest but throughout the weekend. This was due to my still struggling with fatigue from fibromyalgia. And frankly, I don't feel like going through that again. And the main reason my training hasn’t been going too well is I’ve had some setbacks heath wise of late. But I am hopeful that some new treatments I am now undergoing will work in overcoming these problems. In fact, I’m already starting to feel better and my trainings starting to go better as well.

So my thought is now, it would be best to wait until early spring to enter a contest. This way, I'll be able to train without the interruption and setback that entering a contest causes. And with a stretch of several months of uninterrupted training, hopefully, by then my lifts should be up sufficiently that I will be assured of breaking all of my PRs by a significant amount. And finally, waiting to enter another contest will give time for my health to hopefully improve some more so my training goes even better and I won't get so exhausted next time.

Since I’m not entering this contest, I’m going to use my current routine for another week. Then the following week (Thanksgiving week), I’ll put in my “full gear” workouts. For these, I’ll play it like a contest and use all of the gear I would at a contest and take three attempts. This will give me an idea of what I would have been able to do if I had entered this contest. I'll then change my routine around after that.

But all of that said, I am still a little depressed about not entering IPA Nationals. I don’t like cutting weight, but I really like the excitement of entering a contest!

I’ll decide the beginning of next year exactly what contests I will enter in 2005.


Initial Christian Powerlifters Forum Posts. Copyright 2004 By Gary F. Zeolla.

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