Category Archives: powerlifting

This is my last post on this site…….I’ve moved!


To have more control over my blog, I moved it to it’s own site: http://www.monstersquat.com/

All previous blog entries, pages and comments have been move.

Please unpdate your favorites and subscribe to the blog on the new site.

Thanks for following.

Joe “Ironman” Norman

 


2012 APF Single-Ply Nationals


Yesterday’s meet day started out like every other meet day. I got to the meet early, set my stuff down, got my rack height and went back to the warm-up area and rested. I was in the second flight so I was able to get a good 45+ minutes rest before I needed to get warmed up.

I planned on opening with 959 lbs. so I planned my warm-ups as follows:

Warm-ups
Bar x 5
Bar x 5
145 lbs. x 3
145 lbs. x 3
235 lbs. x 3
465 lbs. x 1 – Start briefs
665 lbs. x 1
845 lbs. x 1 – Start suit

Everything was going well, until the last warm-up. On the way up the injury I suffered a few weeks ago in my right arm reoccurred. I felt something pop in my elbow join with shooting pain going down my forearm and up my bicep. Pissed off and discouraged, I was going to drop my opener, but my handlers convinced me that I should stick to my plan, deal with the pain and stay with the opener. I agreed and figured that we could re-access the situation after I opened. Here’s the video of my opener. I don’t have any more videos because I told my wife to forget about filming, that it was going to be a bad day.

As you can see by the video, I had absolutely no speed out of the hole that I usually have. I was so worried about my arm that I couldn’t concentrate on squatting. My plan for the competition was to open with 959 lbs. then go straight to 1,060 lbs. to try and get the all-time highest single-ply squat. After that opener, my handlers and I decided that it was best to take more of a conservative jump, so I went to 1,019 lbs. On my second attempt, I set up with the bar a little higher on my back to try and help the arm out a little, but as I descended, my arm just couldn’t keep the weight in place and it dropped a little on my right side. This caused it to shift and threw me off balance a little. I tried to compensate but when 1,000+ lbs. starts to move one way, 255 lbs. of muscle and bone just isn’t going to stop it, so I shook my head for the spotters to grab it. I passed on my third attempt.

Squat
959 lbs. – Good
1,019 lbs. – Miss
Passed

At this time, I was ready to throw in the towel. I was pissed off and my arm was hurting.  As I sat there with a frozen bottle of water on my arm, we had to come up with a new plan for the rest of the competition. My plan was to take a token bench and deadlift and call it a day, but my handlers had much more in mind. They knew how much I trained for the meet and that even with the injury I could possibly put a nice total together.

The plan we came up with for the bench was this. Ice the arm as long as I could before the bench started. Warm-up raw and find a relatively easy raw opener, then put on one of my larger shirts so it would not be so hard to touch and see what weight I could push up within the pain limits of the arm.

The Bench went like this:

Warm-ups
Bar x 5
Bar x 5
135 lbs. x 3
225 lbs. x 1
315 lbs. x 1
405 lbs. x 1 – Start shirt
455 lbs. x 1
495 lbs. x 1

Bench
315 lbs. – Good (Raw)
551 lbs. – Good
600.7 lbs. – Good

On my last warm-up I was able to bring the bar within a one board to my chest so we decided that another 50 lbs. would make it touch, that’s why we went to 551 on the second attempt. The opener went easily. On my second attempt I was able to touch pretty well and push it up pretty hard. I left my belt unbuckled so the shirt could ride up and make it easy to touch. The only issue I had was at the lockout. When I bench, I get a good blast off my chest making my press more of a “throw up and catch” style. The bar comes up fast and I have to kind-of catch it at the top when it gets to lockout. This causes the bar to drop down hard on the arms at lockout.  I felt another pop in my arm again as I caught the weight and it took everything to not let the arm drop. It may have actually dropped a little but it wasn’t enough for the judges to red light me. At that time I was ready to pass my third, but my handler again said it looked like I had another 50 lbs. or so left in that arm so he convinced me to keep going. For my third attempt I decided that I needed to slow the weight down and not pop so hard of my chest, horse it up in a way, so I wouldn’t have the lockout hit. We readjusted the shirt and rolled the sleeves up as high as we could to get the sleeve pressure off the elbow joint. I also buckled my belt this time to keep the shirt from riding up. This time it took longer to touch but I was able to push it up slower and locked out slower. My lockout wasn’t the prettiest thing but I was able to get two white lights.

My plans for the deadlift were to open with 622.7 lbs. then try and push it over 700+ lbs. With the arm we had to change those plans as well. My handlers and I figured we would let me warm-up and see what the arm could take, then figure out an easy opener. We also decided that I needed to switch my grip. I normally deadlift with my right hand under and left hand over the bar; if I were to try and pull with the injured arm under, it would have hurt it even more.

Here’s how the deadlift went.

Warm-ups
225 lbs. x 1
225 lbs. x 1
315 lbs. x 1
425 lbs. x 1
515 lbs. x 1
565 lbs. x 1

Deadlift
600.7 lbs. – Good (Lowered form 622.7)
650.2 lbs. – Good
705.2 lbs. – Missed

The overhand grip with the injured arm didn’t affect the deadlift very much at all. I was able to hold the bar without pain. The only issue I was having was switching my grip. When you train and compete for thirteen years one way and in switch something, it is just awkward to say the least. The first two attempts came up pretty easily but on the last attempt I floated the weight out in front of me and just couldn’t get it back in position.

Despite all the madness of the day, I ended up with a 2,209.9 total, my third highest personal total in single-ply gear, so I can’t complain. Also, going in to this meet I was under the belief that there was a $500 cash prize for winning your weight class. To my surprise, they did not give out money for winning your weight class, only the best lifters in the raw and single-ply division got cash prizes, $1,000 for each. My total was enough to win my class and take best lifter in the single-ply division. So I got to come home with $1,000 in my pocket. I owe it all my handlers for keeping me from quitting, for pushing me throughout the day and for coming up with back-up plans for the bench and deadlift.

I guess if there is any moral to this story it would be:  Don’t give up, don’t quit! You will be surprised what you are capable of when you fight through adversity and misfortune.

I spent 13 weeks training for this meet, got injured two week before it, re-injured on warm-ups, but with the help of my friends I was able to make a bad day into a good day. I may have not hit the goals I set out for but the day turned out well considering the situation.

P.S. I bought everone dinner for helpign me so much.

GO MOVE SOME METAL!

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Comments and questions are always welcome.


Quick Meet Results


Today at the APF Single-Ply Nationals I hurt my arm again during squat warm-ups. Despite my injury, I was able to do well. I will go into details tomorrow. Right now I need to get so rest.


Competition Training Oversights


It’s less than a week to go before competition. All the heavy lifting is complete but training for the meet is far from over. There are still two important aspects of competition training that often get overlooked and are just as important as actually lifting weights. Those are Rest and Inspiration.

Rest
Most lifters, including myself, get so caught up in training, that they forget they have been beating their bodies up for weeks. The natural momentum leading into a meet gets you all pumped and excited that you just want to keep it going.  Most people also get it in their heads that they will lose all the gains they made if they stop to rest.  This is just not true. In fact, you will probably make some last minute gains, if you do stop and rest the week before the competition. An old training partner used to tell me. “The work is done. You aren’t going to get any stronger in one week, so rest.”

Inspiration
Inspiration can come in many forms. Music, movies, photos…. The week before a competition, I like to watch certain movies that get me pumped for the meet; Rocky (1976) and Rocky Balboa (2006), to name a few. I also like to watch my own training and competition videos. Watching myself hit some personal record lifts, not only get me in the proper state of mind for the meet but boost my confidence and ensures me that I can go to the meet and accomplish any goal I set for myself.

Get your rest and find your inspiration the week leading into competition. When meet day comes, you will find yourself physically and mental ready to accomplish anything.

 

GO MOVE SOME METAL!

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Comments and questions are always welcome.


My Quest for Another Monster!


It’s less than a week to go before competition. I guess now is as good a time as any to let you in on my personal goal for this meet. I got it in my head last year that I wanted to be the first to squat 1,100 lbs. in single-ply gear. Now I don’t care if I walk it out or not, just to get under that amount of weight and squat it would be enough. A pretty huge goal, but I believe it’s possible. When I told my training partners about it, they thought I was crazy and one of them brought to my attention that the highest single-ply squat was actually 1,058 lbs. They convinced me that I should try for that first. I agreed and set my goal for this meet, to 1063.5 lbs., the next kilo jump over 1,058 lbs. Considering that last year I squatted 1,003 lbs. at the same meet I’m preparing for, 60 more lbs. is not that outrageous of a goal.

With my newest “Monster Squat” goal in mind, I set out to do what it takes to achieve it.  

Normally, I like to run a twelve week training cycle for a meet; ten weeks of hard training, one week light and the last week for rest leading into the meet. For this meet, I extended the cycle one week because of the goal I had in mind, to give myself an extra week of rest.

My typical meet cycle consists of traditional squats, two top-end overloading exercises and deadlifts thrown in every now and then. I normally start out raw and work up to briefs for all the squat workouts. As the meet approaches, I work into full gear.

I knew if I am to squat 1,063 lbs. I will have to get my lower back stronger, as well as get my body accustomed to holding that amount of weight or even more. The squat exercises I chose for this cycle to accommodate my goal were the Safety Squat Bar, Chain Squats and Band Assisted Squats. Safety squats would work my lower back while the other will give me the major top-end work I want. For this cycle, I also wanted to work myself harder so I stayed Raw for the first time performing each exercise making sure I hit some personal records for each.  

Here is the cycle:

  Exercise Gear Top Set
Week 1 Safety Squat Bar Raw 660 lbs. x 1
Week 2 Box Deadlifts Raw 700 lbs. x 1
Week 3 Band Assisted Squats Raw 910 lbs. x 1
Bands help with 250 lbs. of Pressure in the hole and 0 lbs. at lockout
Week 4 Chain Squats Raw 515 lbs. x 1 + 365 lbs. chains weight (880 lbs. total top-end)
Week 5 Deadlifts Single Suit/Briefs 675 lbs. x 1
Week 6 Squat Single Briefs 800 lbs. x 2
Week 7 Safety Squat Bar Single Briefs 800 lbs. x 1
Week 8 Chain Squats Single Suit/Briefs 735 lbs. + 365 lbs. chains weight x 2 (1,100 lbs. total top-end)
Week 9 Deadlifts Raw 645 lbs. x 1
Week 10 Band-Assisted Squats Single Suit/Briefs 1,110 lbs. x 1
Bands help with 250 lbs. of Pressure in the hole and 0 lbs. at lockout
Week 11 Squats Single Suit/Briefs 1,000 lbs. x 1
Week 12 Squats Raw 420 lbs. x 3
Week 13 Bar weight only, and spotting.

The only other things I changed up for this squat quest is that I won’t be cutting weight. I normally train right at a body weight of 255 lbs. and cut to 242 lbs. for the meet. This time I’m staying at my training weight. We also changed our Max squat days to Mondays instead of the end of the week. This will also give me more time to rest between my last heavy day and the meet.

Now this is Week 13 and tonight I plan on going to the gym to help spot, do some stretching, squats with just the bar, some leg extensions and leg curls and that’s it.

To sum it all up.

  1. Heavy raw training in the beginning of the cycle
  2. Safety bar for stronger lower back
  3. Chains and reverse bands to overload the top
  4. Perform exercises twice in the cycle, once raw and one geared
  5. Not cuttign body weight
  6. More rest

We will see next week if my plan worked! Wish me luck.

 

GO MOVE SOME METAL!

teamjaxfl@gmail.comhttp://www.youtube.com/Teamjaxflhttps://twitter.com/#!/MonsterSquathttp://www.facebook.com/MonsterSquathttp://about.me/joeironmannorman

Comments and questions are always welcome.


Week 12 – Max Bench Came With A Little Irony


Wednesday was max bench day the last week before the meet. This was supposed to be one of the easiest max bench days but it came with an ironic ending. I will get into the irony in a minute; first here are my sets and reps.

Bench
Bar x 10
Bar x 10
140 lbs. x 5
140 lbs. x 5
225 lbs. x 5
225 lbs. x 5
275 lbs. x 5
315 lbs. x 5
315 lbs. x 5
315 lbs. x 5

That’s it! Pretty easy right? Notice, no others exercise?

Now for the irony.  On our way to lunch that day, two of my co-workers and I were talking about a team building lunch that was coming up next week and that I would be missing it do to the meet. The lunch will consist of pizza and bowling. I told them that even if I were able to go, I wouldn’t be taking part in the bowling that close to a meet. I don’t like risking any kind of injury when I’m so close to a meet.

That night, we were short on spotters and the only other two training partners there were getting in their bench shirts. Needless to say, I was the only one available to hand out. Everything went well, until one of their last sets. When my partner went to bench 600 lbs., he pushed the bar back toward the uprights. I had to grab it, pull it out and up to get it in the rack. At that moment I felt something pull in both my biceps and forearm.

It’s been a day and half since and my forearm still hurts but my bicep feels better. There was no black and bluing so it’s not a tear. Yesterday, I was able to do my speed squats with a wrist wrap around my forearm, so I’m sure I will be able to squat at the meet. Ice and my electric stimulator machine for the next 10 days and hopefully I will be able to put in a bench and deadlift at the meet.

While I’m here this was last night’s Light squat workout:

Squat
Bar x 5
Bar x 5
140 lbs. x 5
140 lbs. x 5
140 lbs. + Peach Bands x 2 x 8 sets

Band Hip Rounds
4 sets x 15 reps x Gray

Shin
4 sets x 15 reps x Small Black

GO MOVE SOME METAL!

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Comments and questions are always welcome.


Week 12 – Max Squat Day


All the heavy work is done, so this week’s squats were light, just enough weight to feel something but not enough to get sore. Besides, this weekend I was sick. I had a sinus and chest cold, so bad that I was unable to do anything Saturday and barely anything Sunday. I am glad it happened after all the heavy day sin this training cycle. Hell, it was probably all the heavy training that killed my immune system. Well, heavy is all over now, its light days for the next week and a half leading into the meet

Squats
150 lbs. x 5 reps
150 lbs. x 5 reps
240 lbs. x 3 reps
240 lbs. x 3 reps
330 lbs. x 3 reps.
420 lbs. x 3 reps.
420 lbs. x 3 reps.
420 lbs. x 3 reps

Leg Curls
100 lbs. x 15 reps. x 4 set

Leg Extensions
110 lbs. x 15 reps. x 4 sets

As you can see, very light. Now is the time to rest, get over this cold and prepare myself for the meet.

GO MOVE SOME METAL!

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Comments and questions are always welcome.


Week 11 – Deadlifts


Last night was supposed to be light day but seeing that I haven’t deadlifted for a while, I figured I would get one more heavy pull day in before the meet. For the last four months, I had been working on my sumo style deadlift, but the last time I tried it, it didn’t work out so well. This week I went back to conventional style to see if I could still do it.

Deadlifts
135 lbs. x 5
140 lbs. x 5
140 lbs. x 5
250 lbs. x 5
250 lbs. x 5
340 lbs. x 3
430 lbs. x 1 – Start Suit
520 lbs. x 1
610 lbs. x 1
660 lbs. x 1
660 lbs. x 1

Because of the extra weight I put on, it was a little hard to get into position once I got my suit on. I had to pull the legs up into my crotch and turn my belt around, but I was finally able to get in position on the last set. I was thinking about going up another set to 700 lbs. but my training partners convinced me that it wasn’t necessary and to save it for the met in two weeks.

GO MOVE SOME METAL!

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Week 11 – Max Bench


Last night’s workout was my last heavy bench day before the meet. Following the previous two weeks, the plan was to try and keep the weights the same but drop a board. Two weeks ago was three board, last week two so this week was one board presses.

I felt a little uncomfortable, seeing that I wanted to get up to at least 700 lbs. but we didn’t have enough spotters. There were enough spotters to spot the weight but no one to hold the board. Also, when going up that heavy, I like to have a three-man hand out. Jordon, our youngest but one of our biggest members, did a great job handing out the weights up to 600 lbs. After that we had to tape the board to my chest for the last two sets.

Being my last heavy week, I also decide to take my warm-ups a little differently. My thoughts were to take light weights for high reps for multiple sets, enough the get stretched out and get the blood flowing in my arms and chest. Then shirt up and take large jumps to limit the heavy sets and save my energy for the heaviest sets.

Bench
135 lbs. x 10
135 lbs. x 10
225 lbs. x 10
225 lbs. x 10
410 lbs. x 1 – Start shirt – 4 board
495 lbs. x 1 – 3 board
610 lbs. x 1 – 2 board
660 lbs. x 1 – 1 board
700 lbs. x 1 – 1 board (near miss)

Incline Bench Press
135 lbs. x 10
185 lbs. x 10
185 lbs. x 10
185 lbs. x 10

Floor Triceps Extensions with Kettlebells
45 lbs. x 10
45 lbs. x 10
45 lbs. x 10
45 lbs. x 10

Triceps Pushdowns with Rope
100 lbs. x 10
100 lbs. x 10
100 lbs. x 10
100 lbs. x 10

Overall the workout went well. I was pleased considering the spotter shortage. 700 lbs. came off the board pretty easily. It was my right arm that failed, so I will tweak the shirt next time to give it some more help.

GO MOVE SOME METAL!
teamjaxfl@gmail.comhttp://www.youtube.com/Teamjaxflhttps://twitter.com/#!/MonsterSquathttp://www.facebook.com/MonsterSquathttp://about.me/joeironmannorman

Comments and questions are always welcome.


Week 11 – Max Squat Day


Three weeks out from APF Single-Ply Nationals

All I can say about this week’s heavy squat day is that I got through it. Warm-ups were going well, but once I got on my briefs, things seemed to change. I haven’t been watching my weight for this meet and I’m running around ten pounds heavier than usual. The briefs and suit were cutting into my legs so bad I couldn’t tell if the pain in my legs were my muscles cramping or just from the gear. I was tempted to stop but Lester convinced me to suck it up and continue. After all it was my heavy day before the meet. I continued and was able to hit my 1,000 lb. goal for the day.

As for sets and reps; when I’m in meet mode, I like to take large jumps to conserve my energy for the heaviest sets.

Squats
150 lbs. x 5
260 lbs. x 3
260 lbs. x 4
440 lbs. x 1 – Start Briefs
620 lbs. x 1
820 lbs. x 1 – Start Suit
910 lbs. x 1
1,000 lbs. x 1

Leg Curls
90 lbs. x 15
100 lbs. x 15
100 lbs. x 15
100 lbs. x 15

Leg Extension
120 lbs. x 15
120 lbs. x 15
120 lbs. x 15

GO MOVE SOME METAL!
teamjaxfl@gmail.comhttp://www.youtube.com/Teamjaxflhttps://twitter.com/#!/MonsterSquathttp://www.facebook.com/MonsterSquathttp://about.me/joeironmannorman

Comments and questions are always welcome.