The Freakshow: Relentless

Squats:

For the first time in a long time, I was pain free and felt strong at the same time. The two weeks I took off before the meet definitely helped me come in fresh. Every rep in my warmup was explosive and strong, and I ended with an 875-pound squat in the warmup room. Boom! Smoke show! I was confident for the first time ever.

First attempt: 950 pounds
I absolutely destroyed it! It was the best that 950 pounds has ever felt in my life.

Second attempt: 1,024 pounds
I fired out of the hole, but my chest didn’t come up as fast. Halfway up, I corrected it and finished it easily.

Third attempt: 1,074 pounds (PR attempt)
For the first time ever, I was confident I would smoke a lift. I got to the hole and Blamo! Massive cramp in both quads. I was so pissed because my squats have never felt that good on the platform. Lesson learned—I will do even more in the future to make sure I don’t cramp on meet day.

Gear: Metal Jack pro squatter, Metal ace pro briefs, EFS Krait wraps, EFS P2 Belt

Bench:

I was scared for the bench. Training sucked, and in the shirt it sucked even worse. I opened up really low and that was a mistake.

First attempt: 585 pounds
Too light to touch, so I ended up dumping it on my stomach. It was the first time I have ever done that.

Second attempt: 620-ish pounds
At this point I was extremely pissed and motivated to get that bench. The extra weight kept me in the right groove, and I touched and pressed. Easy.

Third attempt: 677-ish pounds
My confidence was high, and I took it to where it needed to go and hit it! I was good for a PR that day, but I messed it up and opened too low. Wasted an attempt. Lesson learned

Gear: Metal Jack Pro Bencher, EFS Krait wraps

Deathlifts:

First attempt: 705-ish pounds
My confidence and intensity were super high, and I was looking forward to pulling the whole meet. However, I got too excited and just muscled it up with shitty form.

Second attempt: 765-ish pounds
This time, I channeled the anger a little more. I had good form and smoked it—easier than the 705 pounds.

Third attempt: 820-ish pounds (PR attempt)
I felt ready to nail it, and I was strong and confident. I missed it halfway up, though, and I don’t have an explanation for it. The 765 pounds was so easy that I was sure I had the PR. Chalk it up to being the end of an 11-hour day, I suppose.

Gear: Metal pro squatter, P2 belt

 

I didn’t PR, but I am okay with that. The bigger picture was putting on a show for the kids and their families. And we all did just that. Plus, this was the first time I squatted pain free and was completely confident and strong. I have Tom Kemper at Natural Health Chiropractic to thank for that. A combination of FAKTR (like graston) and some well-placed rock tape on my back brought my squat back from the dead. I am so happy that I added speed work to this training cycle. I had never done it before. All three of my lifts were explosive and strong, and that’s never happened to me before.

Plans:

  1. Compete in Bill Carpenter’s UPA meet in Iowa this July. Bill puts on amazing meets, and the competitors that come are just as awesome.
  2. I will be doing my raw training without a belt for this meet and will try to train belt-less as much as I can. It will make me strong(er), so I must do it. I will also need to find a way to combine my style of training with speed work as well.
  3. I am also excited to announce that we will be moving all of our equipment into a bigger and better gym! Dakota Barbell is my home now, and I know we are gonna kill some weight this year!

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About the Author

Like many lifters, Marshall Johnson started out as a bodybuilder and has only been powerlifting for three years now. Now, he's a rising name in powerlifting with a 1000-lb squat.