Montreal Barbell The PR GYM

Strength Training, Powerlifting, Strongman, Bodybuilding

Fri Sept 23 2011 Shirt Bench

Great group of people tonight. Was surprised to see Joanick, haven't seen him for a while, glad he came to bench with us.

Lots of talking so missed warming up with the bar

warm up with lat pull downs, then

135 x 10

225 x 8 did more to try to warm up more

315 x1

425 x 2 force my form and arch and everyone said that was my best looking bench ever

500 x 1

545 miss - locked out left arm, right arm lagged behind, then didn't have the feet in the right place to drive with my heels to lock out the right arm. I kept missing 540 so I decided to skip it this week and go to 545.

550 miss - best form but not enough pop, I think I loosen my shirt too much. Curd played a fast one, I thought it was 545 but he threw on extra 2.5's and it  felt the same to me.

Made a real effort to eat this week, and got up to 238 lbs but by the end of the week weight dropped back down to almost my lowest, 233 lbs - both shirts were loose, I got my tight shirt on myself. So, with loss of weight and strength, I am compensating by forcing my technique more and trying harder.

Mike went up to 800 lbs then stopped - one forearm swelled in the meaty part. Curd did 700 three times and touched and sent it up so fast he lost it at the top - some of his best lifting yet. Curd is patient and improves tremendously each week. Chris benched just one set in his shirt then stopped because his arm was hurting. Chris is working so hard, he is riding a fine line with his body pushing it and resting it and pushing it. Steve didn't bench because of his finger, but came in to help spot, that's being a team player. Alex came in from Sherbrooke and video taped, then squatted up to 195 lbs for reps raw with good form. Joanick tried his denim shirt but it is loose on him for the weights he wants to do. Time for him to step up to tighter shirt, He found a brand new Karin denim that was made with single ply sleeves and it fit him perfectly. He had trouble touching at first, but forced a touch with 545 lbs and it flew, then the sleeve started to rip. Nice thing about the Karin's denim shirts is they don't explode, they start with a small tear that can be fixed. Joanick was thrilled with the new support he found in the shirt. Chris is ready now too for a tighter shirt. Ghislain is making some shirts this week so we will see how they fit. Ghislain stuff is moving, We sold three suits last week. So, whatever he makes we sell. This will be interesting.

It was a great bench night, everyone was so glad to see each other that it is almost turning into a social event. It's great that we can lift seriously and still have fun. Was good to lift with Joanick again.

Tues, Wed Sept 20-21 2011

Tuesday Raw Bench

warm up with lat pull downs and chest press machine, tight from last weekend

bar x reps

135 x 12

225 x 13 PR

225 x 10

Pause 225 x 5,4,3,2,1

Pause 225 x 5,4,3,2,1

Didn't feel great, but was strong anyway. Derek Tiller drove in from Tremblant just to bench with us, then drove back after. He was great to train with, did everything that I did same weights but did 4 sets of 225 x 10, no complaints and enjoyed it. Mike got 405 x 9 at PR for him then did pauses 315 x 10 pauses 1,2,3,4,...10. Tina did some good work 4 sets of the bar x 55 reps and last set got 13 reps, then two sets of pauses with the bar, she is gettiing stronger fast. Then Tina wanted to squat. Tried it first time ever and squatted 145 lbs x 5 reps to a high box, Mike was shocked, Tina was thrilled. She had great form, legs wide and chest up.


Wednesday Deadlift

I did not deadlift, just coached.

Mike's hips were sore, tried 775 twice and missed, form was good, perfect on the lower weights, a little forward on the heaviest weights. I think the belt squat fried his hips last  Satureday plus he deadlifted twice last week. Chris changed shifts at work and was tired but deadlifted up to 500 raw sumo, very strong. Tina deadlifted for the second time ever and picked up 185 sumo then did some down sets with 5 x 135 I think. Mike was shocked again but smiles everytime. He can't imagine how such small hands can hold that much weight. He is impressed with her grip strength.

Fri and Sat Sept 16-17 2011 BIG TRAINING No 2

What another GREAT Weekend!! Nathan Robertson and Stan Wilband, Ryan Tingman and Ryan Oake from the Amherst Powerlifting Team in Amherst, Nova Scotia came up for the weekend to train Friday and Saturday. Derek Tiller made it in from Paris, Ontario and had a blast.


A huge group of lifters, great excitement. I love it when the lowest raw warm-up weight is three plates and three guys warmed up to 500 lbs raw before putting on their shirts.

bar x reps

135 x 12

225 x 6

315 x 1

loose shirt on

425 x 1 and missed the second rep, lost it backward

tight shirt on, but got it on myself and arms turned inside the sleeves

500 x 1 felt good

540 miss felt strong just not high enough

540 miss, Joffrey coached got supper tight and strong but overshot the touch

540 miss best form, best touch, ran out of steam on the way up

Mike said the temperature was perfect, it was cool. Two benches going full time, incredible energy. Highlight was Chris Skoda coming in determined to get his first 600 lbs. First attempt he popped it up four inches and then sheer determination push and pushed and got it to lockout, but the spotters started touching the bar, me included because it didn't look like he was going to get it, so he got it but not a clean lift. I suggested to Chris to do it again and get it clean. This time he was ready, I jacked his shirt lower and he was patient taking it down then for the first time he found his line and road the shirt back, it just sailed up easy to the top, beautiful! Chris was shocked how easy it was and super excited. Everyone was happy for him, Chris kept pacing up and down not knowing whether to scream, laugh or cry, he was so happy. It was great to see.

Leo pumped up 500 for three fast reps raw and did triples all night - good hard work that will make him stronger. Mike did one rep with 500 then put his shirt on and came close to touching with 7 plates, at 8 plates he got dizzy and his arms wobbled so we took it. He said he didn't feel the wobble and didn't remember pressing it up, so he was ready to pass out again. We made Mike stop there, he took NoExplode as a preworkout and it messed with him, so it was not worth the risk. Carmine got six plates and just missed 600 at lockout, everything went up really nice, just stopped short. Steve was sore but went for 500 for the first time, getting stronger every week.

Nathan Robertson came in with a new orange Metal Jack shirt only tried it once before, looked like a bit big on the chest plate. He completely changed his form to MM style and on 500 did it perfectly, touched and the it flew up easy. Then at 550 he wasn't able to find the same form. Young Ryan Oake was very strong, so was 'older' (and wiser...) Ryan Tingman. The Amherst guys were all benching to boards in their shirts but they will change that when they get back home. They moved along quickly compared to our slow pace.

Curd came in looking refreshed was going to do triples but got caught up in the energy and said "load up 800, I want to feel it". He took it down with good control and was and patient with it and handled it well.

Derek worked with a handme down size 54 Super Katana, way too big, but was good for learning new form. Derek did a lot of work just taking the bar down in good form until it stopped and took it patiently one step at a time.

Shany was very strong. She hasn't been in her shirt for a while so when she started she had bad form, elbows  came in and bar went straight for the stomach instead of down. But, with each set she started to find her form again. Incredible determination, She got 365 then up to 385, the 405, then missed 425, 425, 415, then went for 430 twice I think and missed them both but was very close to lockout. I was worried that she was doing so much work, but she said with Joffrey they are doing more work and building stamina for heavier weights. Very impressive.

It was a night to remember, like a meet but with more time to talk to and work with everyone. Great fun. Very pleasantly exhausted and energized at the same time.


Saturday, Sept 17 2011 - BIG SQUAT TRAINIG!!

Went to bed at 2, got up at 7am too excited, couldn't sleep. Got to the gym 11:40 and everyone was there warming up already.

I was beat up from the bench, legs hurt and tired, so I let everyone start and I warmed up slowly, then stopped warming up, quads hurt. Finally  with everyone was almost finished, I put on my briefs and tried to do what the plan was.

bar x a million reps

145 x tons of reps, legs hurt

235 x 8

325 x 5

briefs on

415 x 3 felt good but legs just hurt

505 x 2 hurt in the bottom

put suit on

595 x 1 felt much better almost felt light

685 (7plates) with knee wraps and a huge buildup and everyone yelling, I took the bar out shook, started down and had zero umph, so went back up and just racked it, done and disappointed. Need to get ready for next week.

Was fun working with everyone, helping find the best squat form, yelling and screaming at everyone. Nathan Sawatis came in from Cornwall and tried a new white M3  suit on. It was a bit loose but it worked well for him. He dumped 6 plates then did it again right away and got it, then went to 7 plates and he took it down and popped it up beautifully. Who knows what Nathan will be able to do in the squat. Nathan Robertson brought his stance in a bit and pushed his knees out over his feet and had a much straighter stance, looked beautiful - he went up to 8 plates and a 25 which is 825 lbs. As the weights got heavier, Nathan handled them better, super strong, Nathan will squat 1000 lbs with good form and a tighter suit. Stan got into a white M3 suit as well and it fit him well. He was very eager excited to squat and had a lot of fun, great energy with everyone. Dereek put on a M3 suit and tried doubel ply for the first time. Went up to 505 then back down to work on form, then back up to 505, Derek worked hard. Steve got another PR with briefs only, up to 625 lbs, huge. Chris was extremely strong and did triples all the way up to 7 plates, then took 750 for a ride. Ghislain came back stronger and is working his way back up to his previous strength but at a lower and sexier body weight. I think he said he will start eating more now. Ghislain went up to 775 or 825. Young Ryan Oake went raw and flew with 505 lbs, then went 555. Then he deadlifted 6 plates raw easliy and even did 635 lbs raw as well. Very impressive. We need to get him in a suit so he can go heavier. Mike deadlifted and worked on form, but deadlifting Wed took something out of him and he tried and missed 8 plates twice. He almost got it last week. So, with more rest he will come back stronger.

A great squat and deadlift day for everyone and I think everyone was also satisfied and exhausted. It was a great atmosphere of friendship and everyone together helping each other. The Amherst Powerlifting Team has a great attitude and they work hard and they will grow strong as a team. We are very glad they made the trip and although its long I think it was worth it for them. It's like being with old friends and you're so happy to see each other and wish we could spend more time together.

I spent Friday night and Saturday with Nathan Robertson going through technique and together we analyzed everyone's lifts. We went  through Metal Militia technique, training and attitude. In the end, Nathan passed his Metal Militia Certification and he will receive his certificate in the mail soon. Congratulations Nathan, you are what Metal Militia is about and you will inspire and train many new an great lifters!

Wed Sept 14 11 Deadlift

Only 8 training weeks left before Limerick, Ireland, so need to get into the suit and start deadlifting for real.

135 x reps to stretch and work on sumo form, everything will be sumo from now on.

225 x 6 singles

315 x 3 singles

briefs and Metal suit on, very tight in legs

405 x 2 singles

495 x 1

chenged suits, legs were too tight, put on Inzer suit with wider legs plus rolled up briefs and suit

545 miss popped well off the floor to just above the knee, I was out of line and didn't want to fight it so put it down, plus nose was bleeding lots.

Left it at that as my first heavy deadlift since about April. Next week will try the suit without the briefs. I will have to see what works. It seems that when I get down below parallel I am weak to start, can't do 405 raw from this position, so two things, will have to work to strengthen this or will just go back to using tight gear and pivoting on the hips from a higher starting position. Will wait and see what happens next week when I go just in the suit and get into a better starting position.

Chris did really well, got 545 lb raw sumo. He is starting higher and using his hips and legs to lift the weight. The suit is messing with his abilitiy to get down into start position and he goes before being ready and then its just much heavier. I am sure we will work out the suit technique.

Steve got 500 for a nice PR, very strong and explosive.

Mike was ready for a big deadlift and after searching all over the gym for his suit, we realized that I gave it to Ghislain to make another one same size for Nathan and Jamie. Mike worked on doing triples and forcusing on form and balance.

Tina tried deadlifting for the first time. Bar first, then Mike was going to add 10 lbs to each side, I said add 25. She ended up doing 135 easily bent over sumo style for 3 singles and 1 double. Mike's eyes went big and he smiled.

Sun Sept 11 11 Squat

Tough to get up in the morning, stayed up late, couldn't sleep even Kuma would not get out of bed to go to the gym, tried to wake her up but she just put her head down. Was going to leave her at home, but finally she picked her head up. Made a coffee and went to the gym. Me - "I'm not going to squat today",

Chris -"Ross, you are going to squat".

Me - "I don't know, I'm tired, I don't feel like it, blah, blah, blah"

Chris - "Ross, you are going to squat".

Later, "Chris, I am going to skip a turn, I am not ready, I have to put my briefs on..."

Chris - "The bar is loaded for you and waiting, go put your briefs on, we are waiting for you".

It was that kind of squat day for me. Dragged into it. But, the bar felt like a toothpick, 145 was light for reps,

235 felt the legs hurt, x 6 reps

325 x 3 got deeper and felt my quad hurt, not warmed up well yet.

briefs on:

415 x 3 attacked it aggressively, music made me emotional

505 x 3 agressive again, much better, great standup, just popped it up

595 x 1 took it down slow and strong then popped it up, was surprised, felt good.

Wrapped it up there, not a lot of work, but at least got some maintenance in.

Nathan squatted raw really well, nice and wide and deep, so we put him in a suit. The suit was tough to learn, but he got better with each set. Stand up had to change and by the last set with 6 plates, 595 lbs, he got a great standup, and started down straighter, got better depth and then popped it up. He got the feeling and it felt great for him. Chris went up to 7 plates and a 35 = 755 lbs and handled it well but came up early. It was a new weight for him - he's come a long way and is on his way to 800 soon. Steve did an incredible 3 reps with 6 plates in briefs only, very strong. Mike deadlifted sumo for the second time and in a suit, this time popped up 7 plates very easily and got 8 plates to above his knees, 765 lbs. A good energy and a great lifting day again for everyone.

Next week we are going to squat and deadlift on Saturday instead. Will be a huge group of lifters and big PR's again.

Fri Dec 9 11 Big Bench Night No_1

Lots of anticipation for this bench night, everyone came in earlier and was very excited. Mike Guay, Tina, Chris, Steve, Carmine, Cornwall guys: Jamie, Nathan and Ryan Kingma, Yassine, Me,Alex from Sherbrooke and Leo Tilli. A great group, great atmosphere.

I got down to business pretty quick,

bar x reps

135 x 12

225 x 6

315 x 1.5

shirt on,

425 x 2

500 x 1

540 miss

540 miss

Again,body weight is still down by 10 lbs, so I focused on form and attitude instead. Weights felt light because body was tight and atmosphere was thick with energy. I missed 540 twice at the same spot, felt it go forward and up on my toes which lets me push it up but not back to finish it. 540 felt heavy but I didn't care. Mike and Alex said my form was awful and everyone said I gave up too early. Will push harder next time.

I will put together a video as soon as I can, but the highlights were, Mike 3 reps with 5 plates raw, Leo PR's with 7 plates and then again with 700 lbs - just incredible, it stopped, then he grinded it out at the top, very strong. Biggest excitement was Chris locking out 6 plates a big milestone for him - he's very strong, but sheer desire pushed this one up for him. We were careful with Chris because he is feeling wrist and forearm pain. Alex's doctor told him the x-rays showed many little fractures in his arm which caused the break just below the wrist wrap. The forearm pain was a warning, the pain was from the many fractures in the honeycomb of the bone and with two three weeks of taking it easy it should heal stronger. So, we are all more careful with that now. Yassine did really well too.

It was one of the best nights we've had in a long time, great feelings with everyone, everyone really enjoyed it and stayed late to talk afterward. Next Friday is going to be even bigger, all the same people will be there plus the Amherst Powerlifting Team from Nova Scotia with Nathan Robertston, and also Shany and Joffrey and Curd. Will be a huge group with huge benches. This would be worth coming down to watch. You won't find energy like this anywhere else.

Wed Sept 7 11 Deadlift

315 x 3

That's it. Felt light, but still sick, have to start feeling better soon.

Chris worked form in suit, no briefs, easy 500 twice but knees came in on 550. Steve, up to 475 nice explosive, then back down to 4 plates, then 3 plates then 4 with straps up. Got the feeling in the end, 4 plates flew, I was glad to see him get it.

Yassine, continues to surprise. Walked in - one plate, two plates, three plates PR. Walked over didn't think about it and picked it up, Was great. Then, 225 x 10 reps x 4 sets. Great work!! Not afraid to work hard. The first big bench Friday is coming up, got to eat up for this. Weight today 232 lbs. Have to make a training plan for Ireland, time to get some work done.

Tue Sept 6 11 raw bench

This past week I've not done well. Was very weak on Friday's bench, missed 475 lbs, then tried 500 and it felt like a ton, so stopped there. Didn't squat Sun - was sick all week and stressed badly.

Came in today, everyone was excited, Tuesdays are turning into pretty fun bench days, raw day is different for all of us, short and sweet, working on form yet still trying very hard. Ross are you ready to bench..."nah, I'm still sick and weak, lost  tons of weight this week, lowest ever, don't want to lower my immune system.... I'm not going to bench much, maybe a plate, blah, blah, blah."

bar for reps, felt light

135 for about 12 reps again very light

225 x 12 tied my PR, what's going on???

245 x 9 PR

Pause bench 245 x 4.5 reps

What?? Where did the strength come from? Form felt good, weight felt light, I don't get it, wasn't even going to bench tonight, haven't eaten, drank or slept in days. The only answer I have, feel less stressed. stopped worrying about things I can't control - got to the point that enough was enough and delt with three issues today. Stress really is an amazing thing, it can really weaken you.

Or, maybe it was just the energy level of the group tonight, everyone doing so well. We couldn't get Yassine to stop smiling, smacking him just made him smile more, lol. Chris pumped out 6 reps with 315 and Mike did 9 with 405 both PR's I think. Oh, and Yassine got 5 x 135 for 3 sets, one was only 4 reps but the other two were 5.5 reps so we can call it an even 5. Tina did the bar for 3 sets of 5, big PR for her, couldn't do the bar two weeks ago.

Only 9 training weeks before Ireland.

Update April to Sept 2011

It's been a long time since I updated my training logs. I have been training each week all along, have not taken any time off, I just let a few updates go and it turned into 5 months of no updates. Sorry.

A short summary of what has happened since April:

Shawna and I came back after our meet in California where she got 5 th spot ranking in the Squat with her 424 lb squat and a 5 th ranking in the bench press with her 292 lb bench press in the current women's U.S. rankings. I was disappointed with my meet results and when I came back I kept working the squat.

Next we ran and competed in the Canadian Pro/Am Nationals, our most successful meet todate. I benched in the bench only and didn't do very well, it's difficult to prepare and run a meet and then compete in it as well. Shawna did very well and got two AWPC world records. Shawna was also drug tested at this meet and passed the tests to confirm her amatuer drug free world records. She really rose to the occasion and said it was one of the happiest days of her life. Shawna also did most of the legwork in organizing the meet.

Next we ran and again competed in the METAL MILITIA MONTREAL  Bench Wars. I got a 508 lb bench, again disappointing and Shawna again rose to the occasion and got an incredible 330 lb bench press and further set the Canadian record higher. It was a great meet.

Because we felt that Shawna had more left in her to increase her bench press, we looked for another meet were we  could compete in. We competed Aug 6 in Ithica, NY in the UPA Ultimate Pro/Am where Shawna won best lifter female and set the highest bench in the U.S. and achieved No 1. ranking in the U.S. current women's ranking with her 340 lb bench press. She almost got 350 lbs in a fourth lift when she locked out one arm and was an inch away from locking out her right arm. We thought of looking for another meet to get the 350 lbs but after lifting four benches over 300 lbs, she was spent. For the first time, she really gave it all and had a satisfying feeling of contentment and extreme happiness. I benched my best 500 lbs ever for an opener then somehow missed 525 lbs twice.

So, for the last four months I have been squatting, not too heavy in briefs only, but I have really been focussing on increasing my bench. In training, I did get 535 lbs in April and three weeks ago I got 530 lbs. I have not been deadlifting much, just occasionally and not heavy, not past 405 lbs.

So, this pretty much brings my training up to date.

My plan is to compete in the GPC World's in Limerick, Ireland in Nov 16, 2011 and I am starting to build myself back up to getting stronger than I have ever been. It's just that stress takes a lot out of you, more than you realize. People at the gym have stepped up to help and support, a big thanks to Chris, Mike and to Steve.  I will get back on track and we will make this work guys. Everyone needs a coach and I lost my coach, but Chris has stepped up to motivate me and coach me. Thanks Chris.