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Training continues to move along right on track as preparation for the GNC IPF Pro Deadlift at the 2011 Arnold Sports Festival closes in on four weeks to go. The lower back feels the best it has felt in two years and every component of the deadlift is stronger than it has ever been. Some highlights from training the past three weeks include the following: 24” rack deadlift 1005x3, 5x5 raw squat @ 455, 21” rack deadlift for a very easy 855x1 and raw deadlift for a very easy 580x5.
As life typically is, the training process has not been without speed bumps and the first one came this past Saturday during the 21” rack deadlifts. One of the best ways to build grip strength for the deadlift is to work up as heavy as possible without lifting straps on rack deadlifts. I decided to stay without straps up to 855 and unfortunately a big piece of skin ripped off of the palm of both hands on this repetition.
This will not hold my training back one iota. You have to condition your mind so that whenever you face any type of adversity in life (and you can bet that adversity WILL come) you fight back. No matter what type of adversity presents itself your response CANNOT be to give in to defeat – every single time you must respond by fighting back. It is in fighting back that we learn; it is in fighting back that we grow; it is in fighting back that we succeed.
You must leave yourself one option when up against challenging situations: come out on top. You must let three words drive your thoughts, your words and your actions: FIND A WAY. No excuses, no obstacles too big, no defeatist thoughts entering your mind. There is always a way to thrive. Your job is to find it. It is amazing how easily and often success comes when failure is not an option.
The remaining preparation for the Arnold Classic still has a lot in store, including max 18” rack deadlifts, max 15” rack deadlifts, attempting a personal record in the raw 5x5 squat, and attempting a personal record in the 5-repetition maximum on the deadlift. The assistance work has really helped increase strength levels as well. In particular, the high rep dumbbell rows are really adding strength to the upper back for the top end of the deadlft, and the snatch-grip deficit deadlifts are really strengthening the glutes for the top end of the deadlift as well.
The body is feeling unbelievable right now. I have upped my daily fish oil consumption to twelve grams per day (it had been eight grams per day) and I have seen a pretty marked effected on my inflammation levels. Of course, my HMB regimen has remained a constant: 8-9 grams per day and the recovery is better than ever!