Montreal Barbell The PR GYM

Strength Training, Powerlifting, Strongman, Bodybuilding

Fri Dec 24, 2010 Shirt Bench

A great bench session, started at 12 noon on Friday with BIG Leo, Camine, Pierre, Cheryl, Shawna and me. It Pierre's first week with us and he is picking up the bench form really well.

warm up 135 x 12

225 x 5

315 x 1

put loose shirt on

405 x 2

455 x 1  slow hard lockout because feet were not in a good position to drive with my heels

put tighter shirt on

500 miss at lockout

515 miss

475 x 1

I am starting to feel stronger in my bench and ready to bench heavier and get on the other side of 500.

Carmine missed 475 and we moved him to a tighter shirt. It will take a couple of sessions for him to get used to keeping his arch in the tighter shirt. BIG Leo went up to 405 x 4 reps and decided to take an easier day and did dumbell presses the last set with 185 lbs in each hand for a few reps.

Wed Dec 22, 2010 Deadlift

Pretty good deadlift night.

walked in saw 315 lbs loaded and picked it up 3 times

315 x 3

Then sumo

135 x 6

225 x 5

315 x 3

Put briefs and suit on

405 x 1

495 x 1

585 miss

586 miss

The 585 came off the ground and up to my knees. First time I tried this in sumo. I will continue to work the sumo with the suit and I am sure that even though I love the feeling of conventional, the sumo will surpass the conventional. Sumo doesn't feel good to me, but it goes up. Carmine got a PR of 615 lbs raw and Chris picked up 495 for the first time. Both of them were very happy.

Tues Dec 21, 2010 Raw bench

My dad's birthday today. He's 22 years older than me and he goes to the gym three times a week. His upper body is still big and strong and he tells me one of these days he'll come and do a powerlifting meet.

My light raw bench day turned into a heavier raw bench day, with Carmine, Chris and Shawna.

bar x reps

135 x about 15 focused on being tight and pushing with the legs

225 x 10

275 x 4

275 x 4

275 x 3

275 x 3

pause bench

245 x 4 reps only.

Felt good again tonight. Feeling stronger and more determined than in a long time. Relaxed and strong. 

Today we started a new diet, well actually made a commitment to eating cleaner, more protein this time with carbs. Back to eating steaks again. I feel like making a real effort to eat more total food and calories. It's time to start increasing my lifts.

Sun, Dec 19, 2010 Squat

bar x reps

145 x 10

235 x 6


325 x 3

415 x 3

Plan was to go easy today and let my inner quad heal a bit more. Having trouble with the bar position on my back, seems to sink into my left shoulder and create pain down into it. So, I will take it easy and wait for things to feel stronger. Ghislain squatted 775 and deadlifted 535 lbs working his way back up to heavy weights. Carmine, Chris and Shawna worked on getting down deeper. Carmine and Chris did strong box squats to below parallel. Chris up to 325 lbs and Carmine up to 505 lbs for reps, very strong. Box squats are done sitting back on the box, relaxing, rocking back and forward and shooting up fast. They help develop the right technique and explosive strength.

Fri Dec 17, 2010 Shirt Bench

Another electrifying bench night at Montreal Barbell. Everyone had a GREAT night - BIG Leo, Carmine, Joanick, Chris, Jarod and his dad, and Shawna and me.

warm-up with the bar

135 x 8

225 x 5

275 x 1

put loose shirt on (looser than normal)

405 x 3

455 x 1

put tighter shirt on

475 miss

475 miss

475 miss

455 x 1

pin presses 4 inches, 3 reps holding the 3rd for 3 seconds. Started with 225 for 3 reps then added 25 plates, then took them off and added 45 plates, then 25 plates etc. until failure at 405, so 225 x3, 275 x3, 315 x3, 365 x 3, 405 scared it a bit but didn't go up.


Why was is it a great night? It started with regular with warm ups and going through work sets and up to their maxes. It was Shawna's first shirt bench in weeks and three weeks after her wisdom teeth extractions, so she loosened her shirt and worked up slowly making sure she didn't blow out her blood clot. Shawna made a nice steady progression with doubles up to 210 which she missed. She came back and was determined and got it smoothly. That started the frenzy for big lift PR's. BIG Leo got the nicest 455 x 3 reps raw ever, very smooth then followed up with 475 x 2 - I took it  from him, he wanted 3 reps with it, hungry for more. Chris got 405 in the shirt, then missed 455 once or twice. I suggested to go back down and work up, but he said he wanted to do it again, I really want to get this. With that determination, he got down and got it up to within 3 inches of lock out then sheer desire just kept pushing right to the end and locked it out smooth, WOW! He was happy. Now, Carmine was determined, same thing, missed 455 his best before was 405, then got down like a man possessed with desire and Carmine just pushed up 455 with great form and right to the top, Fantastic, he was happy. Then, Joanick worked up to 545 which he missed twice, then back down to 495 for a double, then back up to a smooth and patient 545 and he got it. It was that kind of night, where one person's energy and desire builds and motivates everyone else. Amazing really, everyone missed their big lifts then came back with determination and got them. What can you attribute that to? The electrifying and supportive team atmosphere. That's what working with a great team is like. It motivates you.

By the way, it was a great night for me too, because it was my first heavy shirt bench since I backed off and took time off after dental extractions three weeks ago. I felt motivated and I wanted to bench - haven't felt that in a long time. So, it feels great.

Wed Dec 15, 2010 Deadlift

Some stress was gone in my life today and I felt like lifting the world. First time in a long time I felt like pushing hard. LIfted with Chris, Carmine and Shawna.

135 lb x reps about 10 then some sumo

225 x 3 or 5 all conventional

315 x 3

put suit on

405 x 1

500 x 1 quad shook so stopped there

then put briefs on and practiced sumo

275 x 5

405 x 4

rack pulls

405 x 5

5 plates x 5

6 plates x 5

lat pull downs

low rows 2 sets last set was the full stack x 7 reps

felt great and it felt great to feel great. Now just need to heal my quad so I can lift heavier. Shawna pulled up to 275 tonight and it flew like never before.

Tues Dec 14, 2010 Light raw bench

Benched with Chris and Carmine

bar for  reps,

135 lbs x 10

225 x 8 till shoulder felt pain

225 x 10

225 x 8

that's it, it felt good to bench again. Carmine and Chris went crazy on the pause benches, Chris did 5 pauses with 275 lbs and then again with 285 lbs, he is getting stronger fast. Carmine, just finished two weeks of exams and did pauses with 315 lbs getting 4.5 reps out. Fantastic.

Took some time off and MM Pro/Am

Since the last log on the Friday shirt bench, I squatted the following Sunday, the usual work my way up to 650 for one rep. But a few things have been happening that signaled for me to back it down for a bit. First, started feeling weaker and shaky in my lifts. second, I had three teeth pulled and bone grafts done which took three weeks to heal, third I pulled my inner quad squatting heavy and to add to all that I had some extra stress in my life which wore on my more than anything else. So, I decided not to  do the Dec 11 meet in Lake 'George and just back down my training a bit. I still came in a did a few lifts, like raw bench for a few sets of light weight and even squatted with 145 lbs for a few reps just to remember form. I couldn't actually leave the gym because I had to train others. Slowly, I am starting to feel like lifting again. I need that desire to come back, the desire to lift more than before, the desire to get stronger.


Metal Militia Pro/Am meet in Lake George, NY Dec 11, 2011

Shawna and I and Kuma drove down to help Cheryl and Joanick. It was a great meet. Lots of friendly people, people I hadn't seen for a while and a very lifter friendly supportive atmosphere. Cheryl flew in from a project she was working on in North Carolina and was feeling nervous about her squat. Cheryl has been training well and consistently but didn't train specifically for this meet. She decided to do the meet instead of me kind of at the last minute. so, we chose lower openers to reduce the stress for her. It worked out well because Cheryl went 9 for 9 in the meet, something she has never done before and broke the 1200 lb total barrier with her 1255 lb total. Cheryl struggled with form and muscled up her first and second squat and didn't get serious until she got under 500 lbs for her third which then was her best squat. Oh her bench, she easily did her first and her second attempt with 280 lbs just flew to the top. So, we loaded her with 305 lbs a 5 lb meet pr and she got it. We dropped her deadlift opener to 375 lbs to keep her in the meet, then she went to 425 and for a third went for a 25 lb pr with 450 and just simply made it look easy. Everyone enjoyed watching Cheryl compete, she had a quiet professionalism and determination about her. She had done these lifts in the gym and she just did them the same way at the meet. Cheryl was very pleased with her day, but she deserved every bit of it. She ignored the distractions and just focused on what she wanted and what she came to do, that's what was most impressive about her lifts, besides the fact that she made incredible heavy weight look light.

Joanick started the day strong and opened with 750 in the squat. He didn't get it deep enough and may have had trouble with balance but the weight felt easy for him. He felt confident enough to jump to 800 lbs for a second, but then missed it both on his second and his third in exactly the same way, strong lift looked great, just came up too early and the lifts  were high. Just like that a good strong day, turned bad and the meet was over for him. In retrospect it would have been better to stay with the 750 and sink it deep on the second. He entered the push pull so he could bench and squat, but only got his openers on both. Its tough to find your focus and determination again after what you came for was gone. Everyone wanted Joanick to do well. Sebastian Burns and Bill Crawford both came over to encourage Joanick before his third squat. But, it was a matter of inches like in many sports, just two inches difference between a  great day and lousy day.

The meet was fun, it was great to meet many people and just be in that atmosphere that Metal Militia and powerlifting meets seem to foster.

Fri Nov 26, 2010 - Shirt Bench

New guy Chris joined us today. He did well.

bar for reps

135 x 10

185 x 5

225 x 5

315 x 0 crushed me

405 x 1

425 x 2

425 x 2.5

455 x 1.5

Head felt great, body felt achy and weak. It's amazing when you tell yourself you are weak and hurt and then you push through and work on form and the weights go up. I was happy with the session.

Great to bench with Leo Tilli, Carmine, Cheryl and Chris. Chris worked in well with us, tried really hard to bench the new way for the first day. He has great potential as a lifter.

Tues Nov 23, 2010 Light raw bench

Wasn't going to bench, shoulders too tight and bicep too tight. Shawna stretched me out, very painful but felt great after. I lay on the floor and she puts a knee on my shoulder and then bicep and pushes down hard till I tap out.

bar x reps

135 x 10

225 x 6

225 x 8

275 x 2

300 x 1

going raw hurts my shoulder and doing high reps hurts. so I will try to do fewer reps next time. The raw bench day is an extra day, so I really don't worry about it. I doesn't affect my Friday night shirt bench. 

Shawna was impressive tonight again. She benched in her shirt and deadlifted a new pr because tomorrow she will have three wisdom teeth pulled in the morning and she won't be able to do any heavy lifting for three weeks. So she packed it all in tonight. She went up to 250 lbs again on her bench and took three tries only getting it on her third with 330 lbs on the deadlift. What was very impressive and inspiring to watch was how she fought with the weight when it stopped below her knees and she just didn't give up. I think that was the hardest I've seen her try. And, it was great to see her succeed. Congratulations Shawna. Bryan Smith came in and deadlifted 500 lbs for 3 reps and then 545 and then took a shot at 585 getting it to his knees, all raw. Cheryl, Carmine and William followed the normal Tues night light raw bench. Carmine did pause benches with 280 lbs a pr for him and Cheryl did them with 140 lbs.