Here’s a real short recap of my day.
- 830 miss – leaned forward
- 830 good
- 865 good – 39 pound PR
- 750 miss
- 760 miss
- 760 BOMB
I weighed in on Saturday at 265.4, felt great and was ready to go. My squat went OK and I hit a 39 pound PR, but not quite what I wanted. I wanted to take 900 pounds for a run. However, I was happy with the PR and still have work to do.
Warm-ups on bench went well, and I ended with 710 pounds to a 1-board. I took my first attempt at 750 pounds and had a very hard time touching, then pressed and flared my elbows to early…went into the racks. I took 760 pounds on the second attempt, missed groove and brought too low…lost it. I took 760 pounds on the third attempt, touched after taking a while again and came up with it, but was spent at the top and couldn’t lock out. This sucked because I was looking forward to hitting a good PR on the bench, especially since I hit a 780 PR in July at Laura Phelps’ SPF meet.
Well that was my day, it is what it is and back to the drawing board. I have some things to work out and think about with my training and weight. I’ll be training for my yearly physical for the next four weeks and letting my body heal. Then, I’ll get back at it after that and will be going down to train with a good friend, Rob Luyando. He’ll get my bench taken care of and get me over that 800 mark.
Now for the good news, my training partners’ results at the Pro-Am:
I had two guys, Zane Geeting and Clint Ewald hitting Pro totals. Zane (220) hit 800 squat/625 bench/725 deadlift for his 2150 pro total. He got big PRs on all his lifts. Clint (308) hit 925 squat/770 bench/705 deadlift for his 2400 pro total.
Then my other two guys Garett Curtis (teenage 165) and Dirk Deboer (275) hit big PR’s and their elite totals.
I was very happy for my training partners and they had great days. We have a great crew.
Want to give big thanks to Brian Carroll for my programming for the Pro Am. I’m the strongest I’ve ever been, just didn’t put it together on this day. Big thanks to my training partner Ken Richardson for coming down and handling all of us, and the rest of my training partners for all the help. I also want to thank Dave, Jim and EliteFTS for all the support.
It was a great weekend getting to hang out with good friends, Brian Carroll, Brian Schwab, Jason Pegg and Matt Kroc – always great seeing these guys.
It was great weekend to watch some world records get hit by the best powerlifters in the world. Shawn Frankl hit 2700 total at 220, just amazing, all his lifts are flawless. It was also was great to watch Al Caslow, Dave Hoff, Chuck V, Luke Edwards, Laura Phelps, Mark Bell, Cartinian, AJ Roberts, Pat Hakola, all have great meets and hit some big lifts.
The Pro Am in August has slowly risen to be the meet to be at for multi-ply. It’s perhaps the only meet where you can find MOST of the top guys. Though participation has dropped off some, it’s still the one meet where you can go and see some of the best lifters on the same platform on the same weekend. With that said, it was a meet I couldn’t pass up. My life at the beginning of this year took a wicked turn professionally and it has made training for a meet or anything at all really, almost impossible. ALMOST. If there’s a will, there’s a way.
Without a doubt, I don’t regret anything about how I prepared myself for this meet. I wouldn’t change anything either. I rolled with the punches and did what I could with what I had. You’ll never truly be satisfied though, and I had a few moments where I began to really become aggravated with things. Despite that, I finished with a 25 pound TOTAL PR of 2125. My squat went good hitting a PR of 24 pounds with a 910. Bench sucked, as always, finishing with a 540 and deadlift has been down for a bit, so I pulled a 675. BUT, I’m very happy and proud of myself. I trained at 9AM, 7:30PM, 2PM, 9PM Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The best part about all of it, is that I had fun with training and at the meet. Of course, this never would’ve worked regardless of my efforts, without my supporting cast. So I’d like to thank my team SOS for coming in when they could and doing what they could for me, it’s a great group of guys and I always enjoy being around them and training with them. My second family – BIG IRON. Every week, almost daily at times I would talk numbers and ideas of how to maneuver my days and plan for it to be effective and Rick Hussey and Shawn Frankl made this easier than it could’ve been. They basically, told me step-by-step what to do on bench. Usually I deviate from it, take bits and pieces, but that hasn’t worked for two years, so I bit my tongue and word for word I plagiarized. Besides training, thank you to Dave and Traci Tate for their phenomenal support, patience and understanding. Two people and a company that goes far and beyond the lifter (ALL LIFTERS). Thank you to Scott Conroy and Jeff Johnston for their supplement support and encouragement, many know me and know I need and utilize supplementation to the fullest and LG Sciences came through BIG. My man, Rudy Rosales for his labor and taking my gear alteration needs and making it happen, but foremost for his loyalty as a friend and his willingness to handle me in Cincinnati when I needed it.
Congratulations to Shawn Frankl and Mike Cartinian for their incredible efforts and amazing success this past weekend, all the lifters, and of course the people supporting us.
I also want to congratulate Mike Ferguson and Louie Simmons for putting on a first-class meet with a great venue. Always doing the little things to improve on it and the things to make it great for us, the lifters. NO COMMENT ON THE JUDGING.
Lastly, I send my love and thanks to GOD, my wife and daughter. Without them, I’m not the person I am, nor am I able to do what I can do.
Well, I was supposed to lift Friday. I say supposed to, as I did some attempts IN THE WARMUP ROOM. My damn hip shit out to the point that I made it about six warm-up reps before deciding that it wasn’t going to happen. I hit 710, which was 170 pounds under my opener, and the fact that it nearly brought tears to my eyes kind of made the decision for me. Kind of sucks, but what can you do? Alva and some of the other dudes noticed I looked like shit and were favoring it heavily, so I decided that the 100 bucks I spent to weigh-in and do some reps in the back was value enough for me. Hell with it.
After talking to some guys, it seems that this is an injury that’s going to take a few months of no squatting to heal. Time to take a step back, look at some things, see what I can do, and get after it. Once I have the plan 100 percent figured out I’ll post it. The plan for now is simple: get healthy and get after it. I’m going to spend some time figuring out what I can and can’t do and go from there. I’m also planning a trip to see my buddy Mike Robertson soon, as he’s a genius with these things.
On the positive side, Claire had an awesome first meet. She totaled 660, which, after the abomination of Thursday to Friday morning, is impressive. Rather than go on a tirade about the “meet hotel” and the misunderstanding about the weigh-ins, I’ll just say that we had a good weekend, and she was happy with her first meet.
I definitely had a good time seeing old friends and making new ones. We went to Outback 49,873 times over the weekend, because Carroll is on “baller” status. Got to hang out with him and Ria, Josh McMillan and all 485 pounds of his training partners and their groupies, Caslow, ALL of OBB EXCEPT Jo Jordan, and others of our ilk. Met Kiefer too. He’s a smart ass…fits right in.
Want to say thanks to Alva for driving three hours and staying in a shit hole hotel to watch me do some warm-ups, Danny and Chuck V. for letting me come out and train, Leigh An for some anti-inflammatory type stuff, Claire for letting me run around like an idiot all weekend, and Dave and Jim for all of their help and support, as well as you guys reading this and giving me an outlet to make an ass of myself, talk some training, and bitch about how awful I am. I appreciate it more than you realize. Thank You.
I hit a nice 1100 on the squat, but my bench has turned to absolute garbage. I couldn’t do anything on bench right and couldn’t even get one in. I plan on tearing it down piece by piece and putting it all back together from scratch because my form and arch have went to crap. NO excuses. Need some time away and will address all of this.
I’m feeling a bit better now (after sleeping all day today) and I think the worst of this bug is behind me. I couldn’t get cleared out enough the night before the meet to get my cpap on until about two hours of trying. I didn’t feel great on weigh-in day/meet day, but I didn’t feel bad until the night of the meet and yesterday. It was basically a head cold that had been going around at my training studio and didn’t hit me until the weekend. Anyway, I feel much better today, so here are my thoughts on the Pro Am…
We landed in Cincinnati at 12PM on Thursday. This is exactly why I always fly out early every time because even a direct flight can get strange. This was after our flight turned into a five-hour direct connect from a two-hour, due to fog in Cincinnati. Oh well. Stuff happens. We got to our hotel – and THANK GOD we didn’t stay in the meet hotel. I happened to come and hang in Pegg’s room for a while and boy was it awful! Clint Smith handled the reservations and booked rooms at a LaQuinta for us and it was much, much better than the HOJO. Props to Clinton.
I made weight after cutting from about 280 to 266 by some carb/water manipulation. Due to Hoff and Chuck being much lighter, I needed to bridge the gap to stand a chance with formula. This wasn’t a big deal to do, so I just did it. I ate and drank a bit and was back to 280 within an hour or two. Looking back, I shouldn’t have bothered, but oh well.
On meet day, I was very nervous (I was the night before too) and this was very unusual. I do get anxious, but not nervous — almost like I dreaded having to lift. This is just stupid. Speaking of stupid, Clint left his squat suit in his car at the hotel and didn’t realize this until it was time to put it on (midway into warm-ups). Luckily for him, my wife is such a trooper and raced over to his hotel and grabbed his suit. All this happened while Clint’s wife was getting her beauty rest in their hotel room. She wasn’t disturbed, nor was she inconvenienced. Also, the meet director let him jump to the 2nd flight (he was in first) and he was able to dodge a huge bullet and could have ruined his day.
Squat warm-ups felt OK and I stayed with my plan of opening at 1030 pounds. It went well and to be safe, I went to 1100 on second and it went well too, but wasn’t easy. We went a conservative 1115 on a third, but I miss-grooved it and had them grab it. It wasn’t worth 15 pounds to do a good morning with that much weight. Nothing was hurt, but my back did tighten up very bad.
Bench warm-ups felt fine, but I couldn’t get stable or keep from shifting all over the place. I was flattening out very badly and taking the hand-offs terribly, like I had never benched before and I was all over the place. To be honest and direct, I wasn’t even close to making a bench with 780 or 800 pounds…and this was very embarrassing! I was all over the place from top to bottom – this was a shame. Since my shoulder injury last year, my bench strength has come back, but form and consistency has been very hit or miss, no matter what brand of gear I wear. The same thing happened at the Pro Am last year on bench, so this is really sad. I have since matched my best of 785 pounds in February, but I had it all right that day and form happened to be on. My arch and form are garbage and this will be totally addressed. No excuses, just changes are a must.
It’s sad to say, but it was almost a relief to not deadlift once I was done “benching.” Don’t confuse this with being glad that I bombed! This wasn’t the case! I had an extremely busy summer and I was kind of glad it was all over and since I don’t have immediate plans, I could actually relax mentally and not have to worry about other obligations. I need to take a few steps away for a bit and decide what I want to do and need to do. More on this later…
Lots of great stuff happened this weekend. Lou and Mike put on a fantastic meet this year, just like every year. Lots of cash, and they put their money where their mouth is. They use the best of everything equipment-wise and they make sure EVERYONE is ready and they always give us everything we could ever ask for.
Frankl is unreal. He’s one of my very good friends and I still can’t believe how he does it. Hoff is unreal as well. He’s 22 years old and will be the youngest to hit about every big number you can think of. Al Caslow and The Toon had very, very good meets as well. Both 8-9…I believe. Good dudes and good friends. Tincher and Tina from OBB had very good meets too. It was very cool to see them do so well. Schwab didn’t come in and do what he wanted, but the dude is a legend and will be back. My training partner, Clint Smith, had a great meet with almost PRs in every lift going 935/785/755 for 2470 pounds, with some misses that would’ve put him at 2500 or better. He only weighed in at 233 as well and JUST missed third place overall in heavyweight.
I want to give a special congrats to Zane Geeting. I’ve been handling his training for the last year-and-a-half, and he went 800/625/725 for a 2150 pound total at 220 for a 150 pound PR total in five months. Dirk and Garret hit all PRs as well. Josh McMillan is one massive joker and hit a big PR on the squat, but couldn’t find his groove on the bench at couldn’t put it together enough to get on in. I hated to see that, but he’ll be back. I handled all of these guys training this cycle and I’m very proud of all of their progress and it was great to see them and watch them lift. Also, Mike Szudarek nailed a sweet and easy 905 pound PR squat on a third. It was good to hang out with all of these guys.
My plan: NO, I’m not quitting, but I don’t want to roll right into a meet anytime soon at all. It has lost its spark for right now and this has happened before, so I know it takes time to get past and to get a renewed fire for competing and continuing to push myself to the limit in every way — like I have been for the last 7.5 years. I’ve had some dry spells in the past, and they pass. I do know that I’ll be focusing on the bench for now and won’t be competing until that issue is totally fixed. This has happened on the squat and kind of on the deadlift before. It’s going to be a process, but I’ll take my time and work with some great people on this. I may just be a bench-only for a while or until I can do it decently again.
I want to say thanks to Dave and EliteFTS for their help and even though it hasn’t been a great year lifting wise, I’ll be back better than ever after taking the time to make improvements that are needed and getting everything in order in the right time. I also want to thank Criticalbench.com, Proteinfactory.com, SpudInc, and Kiefer at DH for all of their help and support. Most importantly my wife Ria, who’s one of the most important members that Team Samson has ever encountered. She’s so helpful and does it so unselfishly. I’m so grateful for her in my life and I realize that most wives/girlfriends wouldn’t even do half of the things that she does with no problems. I also appreciate each and every one of my teammates for their help and support over the years. They’re my best friends and I’m sorry I let them down this weekend. Adam, Tony and Kiefer were a great help this weekend and even though I didn’t have a good showing, I still had a blast.
Here are Mitch McMahon, Me, John Land, Daniel Tinajero (aka Tinaro), “Marky” Mark Lessmann and Brian Tincher at the Powerstation Pro/Am.
First of all, I have to thank all of my training partners and everyone at OBB for their constant support and help, the gym, and all of the lifters here to get to where we’re at today. It’s amazing how far we’ve come from our humble beginnings at local APA meets and hosting our own meets out of the garage in the back. Thank you to EliteFTS for allowing me to have an avenue to post my training, results, and life, regardless of the outcome. Thank you to Mark, Mitch and John for going to handle us, but thanks most of all to my wife Trinity for always being supportive regardless of what happens.
The only PR I made in this meet was making more mistakes than ever before. The basic gist is that I was stupid, dropped too much weight, and opened too heavy, but of course there’s more to it than that. I once again dropped too much weight for the coefficient weighing in at 157.6 pounds. I opened with 795 on the squat after having squatted 800 twice relatively easily in the gym, but could only stand about ¾ of the way up on each attempt. I felt totally drained. It’s an indescribable feeling that’s incredibly frustrating. As you may already know, I’ve been having issues with my right shoulder and already had two cortisone shots in it. The first worked great. The second didn’t do anything, so I sought an alternative. Many, many lifters had told me how great prednisone works, so I thought I’d give it a try. My doctor had no problem prescribing it and actually said it should be peaking in time for the meet. I started taking it a week out. This was my biggest mistake. It was horrible for me. It gave me heart palpitations, heartburn, made me sweat and wheeze. On top of all that, it made me unable to sleep. Since I couldn’t sleep I had to take ambien in addition to it which just compounded the problem. I should have stopped taking it right away, but had already taken the first few days of the initial large doses hoping it would work. We had read so much on the negative effects of not weaning off of it that I was afraid that would make the situation even worse. I finally weaned off of it on my own taking the last dose the day before the meet, leaving about 5 days left in the pack. By then it was too late. I will never, ever take that drug again, nor would I recommend it to anyone else. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise since I don’t really know how my shoulder would’ve held up in the bench.
Brian Tincher and Daniel Tinajero both had amazing days. Brian went 805/575/645 for a PR 2025 total at 181 pounds. Daniel competed at 201 in the 220s, where he went 840/670/700 for 2210 and four PRs! Damn kid gets stronger every day. Congratulations guys! I’ll post video of them as soon as I can.
Of course Shawn Frankl stole the show once again going 1060/875/780 for friggin 2715 as a light 220. I honestly think if he keeps gaining weight that he’ll eventually break the all-time highest total, regardless of weight class. Cartinian totaled 2315 at 198 for 2nd place overall. Elite’s own Al Caslow had a great day going 910/540-/75 for 2125 at 181 and 3rd place overall.
We still had a good time on the trip. We went to Hooters then hit “Beer 30” where we played Corn Hole. How many bars can you play corn hole at? We also played beer pong, and John said, “Tinch will snap you like a twig,” to one of the locals which is always a good idea.
I got to hang out with some of the guys I only really get to see at meets like Brian Carroll, Adam Driggers, Tony Garland, Jason Pegg and Josh McMillan (who is without a doubt one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met). Kroc even made a guest appearance!
Funniest quote of the meet was Tinch saying “Remember that one good meet you had?” This was in reference to one of the previous meets we both did well at, but it didn’t sound very good.
The highlight of the meet, for me, was lightweight Mike Anderson sitting next to me waiting for our first attempt squats. He leaned over and said “Brian Schwab, I just have to introduce myself, I’m starstruck right now. You’re my Powerlifting idol!” I thought that was pretty cool. Another lifter had his picture taken with me and a lady, I think her name was Sherry Bullock. Sorry if I got that wrong, but the whole day is a blur to me now. She told me how she always reads my log. I thought that was nice.
Although everyone keeps telling me I need a break, that’s not how I am. I need to have a goal to be motivated. My plan is to compete in Tommy Fannon’s Tampa Barbell Invitational on December 11, before preparing for whatever Pro/Am is next around March.
“Life’s a journey, not a destination.”
Mike Anderson and I.