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It is hard to believe I am already going into the fourth week of my final phase before USAPL Deadlift National Championships. Training has been moving along very nicely. I was able to complete a completely raw 600x5 in the deadlift. I will gradually build up to a near max set of five with just a belt. To improve the lockout of my deadlift I have been using chain deadlifts performed with the weights starting on a 3-inch block. These have been good so far; I completed four singles with 575 pounds of bar weight and 80 pounds of chain last week completely raw. I will continue to build this movement up and work to a near max single later in the training phase. Videos of the raw deadlift and the chain deadlift can be found on my YouTube site.
The 5x5 squat program popularized by Brad Gillingham has continued to be the staple of my squat training. I have struggled through these training sessions in recent weeks. I have been dropping some bodyweight over the past several weeks. Typically, when a strength athlete loses bodyweight the first thing that is affected is lower body strength. This has been the case for me. I will continue to push through these training sessions and push the leg strength up at the same time. Handling the same loads at a lighter bodyweight has challenged the recovery process quite a bit. However, HMB continues to give me an edge over the competition in this area.
I have recently learned that the best lifter by Wilk’s formula automatically qualifies for the GNC IPF Pro Deadlift at the 2011 Arnold Classic. This only adds to the motivation going into this contest – a contest that will feature stern competition in the deadlift. One day at a time, one training session at a time, one set at a time, one rep at a time . . . this is the quest for a national championship!