Friday, June 1, 2012

A Day That Will Live in Infamy

On the 31st of May in the year of 2012 I participated in what was one of the best training days I have ever experienced. Personal Records (PR's) were broken, loins were girded and, you guessed it...

Several things culminated in order to make this day epic. The first of which is that it was the birthday of my friend and training partner, Dan. The second big thing is that it was our last day having a private weight room at the Boston University Athletic Enhancement Center. One of our other training partners, Justin, has been working there for almost 2 years and yesterday was the last day it was open. We've been training there for the last 2-3 months, and it has been fan-fucking-tasting. We have a weight room all to ourselves 2-3 times each week. I guess it's sort of like having your own garage gym, with a great group of guys to train with.

The four of us (me, Dan, Justin and Luis) would go in there on Tuesdays and Thursdays and just go hard. Almost every lift was a barbell lift. Most of them were lower body lifts. Even more of them were Olympic Lifts. Almost all of them were heavy...and a lot of them were performed shirtless. Why? Because testosterone goes up when you don't have a shirt on. It's broscience.

Yesterday was an end of an era. This training group was perfect; nobody was so much further ahead than anybody else that they didn't benefit, and nobody was so far behind that they couldn't keep up. Weights were almost always in the same neighborhood, and we pushed each other. The competitive spirit was alive and well an that motivated us all to get stronger and faster and better. Since we are all trainers, we had enough technical proficiency in the room to make sure our form (almost) always looked textbook. If you were doing something wrong, you'd be corrected and expected to fix it. Excuses were not something we used a lot of, because they weren't needed. Everyone could tell if a weight was just too heavy, or if someone was being a pussy and needed to HTFU (Harden The Fuck Up). With this training mentality, gains were being made left and right. Old maxes that seemed to loom over your head were suddenly vanishing in the distance.

I'll quit babbling and just go ahead and show you the videos of all the big lifts we had on Thursday. Luis, you should be sad you missed this one, bro.

First up is Justin demolishing his PR on the clean by 20 pounds. Previous best was 220, this is 242. It took him  a few rips to get it, but when he finally did it went up easily.

Next is me tying my personal record in the clean at 242. A few weeks ago I posted a video of my first time doing this weight. They look just a little different. I'm wearing the same shorts in both videos, but I swear to God it's different days, and that I washed them.

Attempt 1:
Attempt 2:

I'm extremely happy with that result. The difference is astounding: attempt 1 looks like I might shit my spleen, and attempt 2 looks like it's just another day in the park.

The next video is me hitting a new PR of 440 pounds in the deadlift! At the beginning of the year, I stated that my goals were to deadlift 45-500 pounds in the deadlift, and to clean 250 pounds. Well, I'm pretty damned close in regards to both of those achievements! Yes, before you ask. I am wearing straps for this pull. Why? Because my right elbow gets mad at me and I can't supinate my right arm in order to do the mixed grip. Hook grips don't work for me at this weight. I'm not happy about it, but it had to happen.

It went up pretty smoothly. My next attempt was at 460, and I barely budged the barbell. 450 is right around the corner.

Last, but certainly not least, is the birthday boy. Dan has the strongest deadlift out of us all. He says it's because he spent more time training that than any of his other lifts, but I think a big portion is that he just has great levers to pull. When he stands up straight, his arms reach down to just a few inches above his kneecaps. Regardless of the reason, this kid is a beast on the deadlift.

Yup, that's 606. Six hundred and six pounds. It didn't take very long for it to get up, either. (Note: Justin beat his training PR with a 374 deadlift, but has a meet PR of 402.)

The most interesting thing about these new deadlift maxes? We haven't done any conventional deadlifting in 2-3 months. Not a single one. A week or two ago we did some snatch grip deadlifts. I've done trap bar deadlifting once or twice. Heavy conventional pulls from the floor? I honestly couldn't tell you the last time I did it. Yet, I blew the doors off of my old PR by 25 pounds. The power component of the Olympic lifts has to be entirely at play here.

I hope you enjoyed these videos and got motivated a little bit. Find some people to train with who are dedicated as you are, and go lift something heavy with them. You'll be surprised at how important your training partners are you to. Justin, good luck with your next job, bro!

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