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The Arnold Classic GNC Pro Performance IPF Deadlift Championship is less than a month away. This event has been a very big success with large crowds directly in front of the stage numbering in the 5,000-10,000 range. I have been fortunate to compete in four Arnold events; with Strongman appearances in 2002 and 2003. Unfortunately, I injured my biceps in successive years in the strongman events that required surgery. This being said the thrill of competing on that stage has been every bit worth the pain that we as strength athletes can endure when pushing our bodies to the max.
I was very fortunate in 2008 and 2009 with victories in the deadlift event. Last year I achieved a big milestone with a 400 kg (881) pull that had me really thinking about a 903 attempt this year. Unfortunately I injured my back in late November doing front squats. I got off balance and leaned too far forward and pulled/tore a muscle in and around the SI joint. Training has been difficult, and I have not been able to train the deadlift in any heavy fashion. I feel that the injury to the muscle has almost healed in the last couple weeks. I have been doing a lot of stretching, reverse hypers and have now added kettle bell swings. The kettle bells swings appear to be the missing ingredient. Just 2 weeks of performing this exercise and the lower back muscles have loosened up and have become much stronger. Adding GNC Pro Performance HMB to my supplement regiment has also been a big bonus. Although the injury has forced me to train light I feel that I have had a faster recovery, I have increased my light training volume, and I have kept my muscle mass.
Tonight was my big test. I told myself that if I was not able to pull 750 I would have to drop out of the contest. Keeping in mind that I have only pulled over 600 one time in the last 2.5 months. The 750 was completed very easy; although with some pain. My dream of 903 is not going to happen at the Arnold this year, but I am still hopeful that I can pull into the 800s and defend my title. Three training weeks to go and I have a lot of work ahead of me!