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Our heavy training at Jackals Gym wrapped up tonight. We have a week of light training and then we set out on our long journey to Potchefstroom, South Africa to compete in the 40th IPF World Powerlifting Championships. There will be 4 of us from our small Gym we call Jackals, located in very rural Southwest Minnesota, representing the USA. The intensity in the gym tonight was at a very high level, crazy to say the least. You always worry towards the end of a long training cycle that you may be pushing it too hard and have an untimely injury, but fortunately everyone got their work done without any mishaps.
Nick Tylutki has been a fixture on the USAPL team since 2003. I have lifted in 2 IWGA World Games with Nick and this will be our 3rd time as teammates at the IPF Worlds. He will be lifting in the 100KG Class. Nick had some injuries during training but had a great workout tonight and he is ready to go.
Jon Krogman started training at Jackals Gym when he was 15 years old. He weighed about 140 at that time. He has a lot of international experience competing in 4 IPF Junior Worlds; winning 2 of them. He is now 24 years old, and this will be his first Open Worlds trip. I have coached Jon since he started lifting, and now I look forward to being a teammate of his at the World Championships. He has moved down from the 125KG class and will be competing at 110KG. His training has gone very well and we look for him to set a PR Total at his lighter weight Class.
Gary Grahn will be going with to help coach the team. He has travelled many times over the years to support Jackals Gym lifters all over the World. He along with all of the other guys in the gym sacrifice their own workouts to spot, load, motivate and push our training to the highest level. Preparing for any contest can be demanding on everyone in the gym. This training cycle was particularly demanding with 3 gym members training for the same meet. Teamwork is the most important aspect to a successful training cycle. Powerlifting in concept is an individual sport, but it is not possible without a great supporting cast. Teamwork has been the recipe for success at Jackals Gym over the years.
I will be competing in my 13th IPF World Championship. This will be my 10th Open appearance and I have competed in 3 Masters Worlds. I am competing in possibly the deepest nominated Super Heavy Weight Class in the 40 year history of the IPF. I have my work cut out for me, but my training has gone well and I am ready to battle. I'm 44 years old, and having a great time getting ready to compete against guys half my age. It doesn't get any better than that! Supplementing my diet with GNC Pro Performance HMB has allowed me to push my squat and deadlift training beyond previous barriers. The extra lockout work I have done in the bench also appears to be doing the trick. My bench is still down from where it was a couple years ago, but I made some nice progress this time and hope that it will pay off at the meet. My success on the platform will come down to trying to put a quality squat and bench on the board, and then go after that big deadlift.
The trip will be a brutal one. We have an 8.5 hour flight to Amsterdam followed by an 11 hour flight to Johannesburg. I have made many trips overseas, but I still consider my last trip to Capetown, South Africa in 2004 as being the most physically and mentally draining. Weighing 330 Lbs and trying to fit into an airplane seat has its challenges. The key I have found is to try and stay hydrated and relax as much as possible. This is not an easy task. I will have 4 days to recover when I get to the final destination. It will take all of that to feel human again!!!
Train hard, stay healthy, set your goals high, and don't forget to add GNC Pro Performance HMB to your supplement list!