Wednesday, December 29, 2010

End of 2010

It is the end of a trying year, for sure.
First of all, I must have deleted one of my previous posts by mistake, it has disappeared.

Rick Phillips -
July 20, 1960 - November 23, 2010.
I miss you. I love you.
I will see you on the other side, at sunset.

Ok me - trying to get my strength on. Seems to be taking MUCH longer to bounce back this time. I did do dome squats 350 x 3 the other day. Feels like the oomph is in the legs, but not quite in the core and back. I'm still sore as all heck. It is Wednesday and we trained gams on Sunday....geeeezzzzz.

Held the weight on the benches down to 230 last night. Only did sets of 6.
Followed by weighted dips ( love them) and medicine ball plyo- push ups. Those things simultaneously suck and rock at the same time.
Corner presses for shoulders, close grip benches, and then push-downs.

GW has come back to join Rob and myself in the gym. We are the 3 musclateers again!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Back to Training

I took off Monday and Tuesday. I have been feeling worn out, burnt out spun out, wigged out, wired out, and just plain out and out tired....
I suppose that Rick's death, a 15 week diet that resulted in me looking like a walking anatomy chart, and a case of cellultits would be enough to do that on top of everyday doings....
Went back to the gym to deadlift last night. Trying to do a more power oriented style of training rather than the typical cross of bb and power I am accustomed to.

wanted to go to a set of 3 reps with 370 to finish with , but hah! silly me. One felt like 500 lbs here.

Good mornings.
We weren't sure where to begin or end up with these, as we never have done them before in our training. We went
185 x I forget
I love Good Mornings.

One arm rope pulls. 3 sets each arm. (Rope is hanging from floor to ceiling. Start with you laying on supine on floor)

Face away from the cable pull down machine and do a kind of lat pullover (we'll find a name for it)

Reverse grip pullups

That's it.
Good Stuff!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Deadlifting at IronSport Gym

Went up to IronSport Gym to train deads with Steve Pulcinella the other day. First time I ever trained with resistance bands, save for a few box squats in the past.

I must say, I liked them, and felt the carry over immediately. I can't remember what color they were - maybe blue???

I couldn't tell you what he did, but I did 3 sets of 315 with bands, then 3 singles -
365, 385, then 405.
Then did 3 sets of bentover barbell rows -
3 sets of pullovers, 90 lb dumbell.

If I don't overdo it,as I have a habit of, I project my strength to come back sometime within the next few months.Walking arounf looking like death on a stick for a few months takes its toll, and that it hath done to me.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Post Nationals

It's all over, history, in the books. Nationals 2010 - 4th HVW...

I came in exactly the way I wanted to look (save for one snag -story to be told in a moment). NO ONE could hold a candle to my conditioning. Was I penalized for being in such freaky condition? I dunno - we predicted that fourth would be all they would "allow "me from the get-go of my prep. I got so much positive feedback from spectaors, other competitors, a few pros, so many people that I was most likely second and couldn't possible be lower than 3rd, that I almost let myself believe I would be. But NPC plays its corrupt games, and 4th I was as we predicted! I'm not bowing to thier games. I am hardcore, old school, not going to give in and tone it down. I am not a Diva. I am an athlete. I love heavy iron - time for powerlifting again. :) YEAH!!! (still have some rehab for the arm to endure first - but my strength WILL return.)

Nuff said -

My trip to Atlanta turned out well, I had a great time, even traveling solo as I did, but it was almost a disaster. I was a day or so away from having to scrap it ....scary situation. A few weeks ago my training partner Rob pointed to my calf and asked me why it was bleeding. I didn't know - probably ran into something and scratched it. I always run into things.I didn't think twice about it. A few days later a rash appeared in that area. I called Gary, my prep coach, we discussed it, I did heavy topical cleansing.moist heat etc. and it seemed to diminish. On the second day of my drive down to Atlanta, my calf swelled up and hurt. At first I thought it was from such a long period of driving, but I realized shortly after starting out on Wednesday that something was askew. I called Gary, sent him phone pics, he determined an infection, but we thought it wasnt so bad and we could bring it down if I went to a pharmacy and got some cleansing items,heating pad, epsom salts etc. I spent Thursday trying to bring it down. Even cancelled a photo shoot. Wasn't working. If you look at some of the photos on the internet you can see my right calf is swollen, red, and a scabby area. During pre-judging I couldn't really flex the right leg at all, thigh or calf, and had to change up my mandatory posing and routine last minute. After pre-judging I limped back to my room because it hurt and was so swollen. After the night show, I had a Doctor friend look at it ( was it coincidence that he and his wife- another competitor- were rooming right across the hall from me in a 1250+ room hotel???)

He was very concerned after looking at it, and called me in a prescription at a local 24 hour pharmacy for antibiotics. I taxied out on Saturday night to get the meds. I stayed through Sunday for my 3 photoshoots, but on Monday I decided to make the entire 14 hour trip in one shot because I was getting a bit frightened after hearing stories from people about infections, cellulitis, MRSA....Tuesday my DR. confirmed cellulitis. I got some stronger meds. It seems to be slowly coming back to normal. SLOWLY. I think the meds are working, but it is still swollen and a little painful at times.

BE CAREFUL!!! MRSA and CELLULITIS are running epidemic throughout gyms these days. Always clean up after training, and if you get a scratch or wound - IMMEDIATE cleansing with hydrogen peroxide etc. Gyms are NOT sterile environments. Cellulitis can be much worse than what I got. You can lose a limb, or even death can be the result. There seems to ALWAYS be an obsatcle in my way when it comes to competing-yes???? Life is a challenge, many tests, just need to perservere.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

2010 Nationals - counting down

It is Thursday before competition day - FINALLY!!!
I got the insane notion to drive down to Atlanta. It took me 2 days, but really, it wasn't a bad trip at all. There is just wayyyyyyyy too much stuff to bring if you want to do this properly. And if I'm going to do it, no half-assing around.
I must have brought 15 bags worth of "stuff" !

I have a gorgeous room here in Atlanta on one of the top floors with a view of the city to die for. I may not want to leave my room for a couple of days! Though it is beautifully sunny and warm outside...a short stroll may or may not be in order today.

I hear the heavyweight class for women's bodybuilding is under 10! That sux. I enjoy competition.

I'll leave you with a few progress pix from Monday, 5 days out from the show and check in after the show.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

3 Weeks Out

Coming to the final stretch here. 3 weeks to go from today as I type this. Gary changed up my diet one more time yesterday. I can't say that it is brutal, by any means, but this is going to be a looooooooooooooooooooong 3 weeks.

Rob and I are training again at the Firm Fitness Center in Rehoboth Beach. It is a nice change of pace. The owner,Paul, is a serious triathlete himself and understands what real athletes need to do to train properly. It is nice to be able to feel like we don't have to hold back for fear of offending anyone. Not that we get obnoxious or anything, but real sport athletes need to be able to do what they need to do to excel.

Anyhoooo I am getting freaky ripped, very hard, and striated everywhere. 3 more weeks to carve it all in. You shall be able to grate cheese on my striations when we present the final product!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

4 Weeks Out

I didn't realize it has been soooooooo very long since I posted anything here. I am a FaceBook addict, lol, so that's where my postings and pictures usually wind up.

However - here is my 2010 Nationals progress update:

I apologize to many for leading them to believe that I might be competing as a lightheavyweight.
Unless I cut off one of my arms or legs or emaciate myself into a shapeless stick, my plan has been to be a heavyweight all along. I only said that because there are a few people who have no business to be, but are always up in my business. Just threw in a little curve to confuse them.

I'm 4 weeks out, and hanging around 153 today. I don't do what most typical bodybuilders do in the last couple of weeks before a show, with carb depleting, dehydrating, recarbing, rehydrating, and diuretics, so I will probably only lose a couple more pounds total in the next few weeks. Heck, we were way too far ahead at one point and had to add food, mostly carbs, back into my diet. I am right where we want me to be at this point. I have striations coming in everywhere, and the glute striations are showing more every day! Enjoy these progress pictures taken yesterday at 4 weeks and 1 day out.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

11 weeks out

I'm sitting at 11 weeks out and feeling pretty darned good about my prep for the Nationals. I'm wayyyyy ahead of last year, condition wise. I don't even have much more weight to lose, which almost makes it difficult to diet but keep enough weight on ! After seeing the results of last weekend's Masters Nationals, then seeing the trend at the USA's, I'm more confused than ever as to where they might place me.
How do Competitors A,B,C,and D wind up 1st, 2nd,3rd and 4th in order and less than 15 minutes later wind up 2nd,4th,1st and 3rd ???
Absolutely tragic, the Masters, and we'll never get an explanation. With the USA's it seems they went for natural structure with "ok" conditioning over everything else. Thats fine when the natural structure has decent muscle on it, hence the term body"building", but way too often we see so called natural structures with "potential" beat out a "built" physique...

I got to hang out with two really great friends who competed in Pittsburgh. Gary and Tim. I got a trainer pass for backstage and got to oil up lots of muscular manly physiques... I rather enjoyed that :). Met two wonderful FaceBook friends in person - Matt and John. John Casciato is in training to become a licensed massage therapist, and brought his table over to the hotel and I got the most wonderful deep tissue massage. Nothing like a 290 pound powerlifter bearing down on your sore spots...OWWW!!! (but AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH ). If you are in Pittsburgh and seek a most competent massuere, you can probably track him down at Celli's Fitness Center, in Pittsburgh.
Had a nice photoshoot with Mark Shaffer. I wonder what Janet Kauffman needs to do to get the
judges' nod. She looked exquisite, should have definitely won her class if not one of the pro cards at the Masters!!

I'm training totally bodybuilder style now. My arm is healing, slowly but surely. There are still many exercises I cannot do, but for the most part I have been able to pick up my training back up enough to brutaly trash myself each workout. I do so miss the heavy stuff, but I'm convinced that even after my arm heals, I'm going to need a couple of montwhs or so off to rest, recoup, recover before I dig into the power training again. I suppose that will be next year....woe is me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

2010 DE Summer Special Olympics

I was honored once again to partake in the Special Olympics this year, acting as judge for the powerlifting as I have done for the past 3 years. This year was extra special as I took on the task of coaching one of the athletes. Robert Smith is his name, he is from Oceanview, Delaware, and he had a great day on the platform. Robert hit PR's in both the bench, by 15 lbs. and the deadlift, by 5 lbs. He benched 115 and deadlifted 205! Congratulations Robert - you worked hard and your medals were well earned.

Me, Robert with his 2 bronze medals, Mike - director of the SODE Powerlifting, and Ann Smith (Robert's mom).

Here I am spraying my friend Jon Stoklosa's mohawk purple for him! He sprays it a different color each time he competes.

Jon after completeing a big 370 bench. Jon is going to the National Special Olympics next month, as well as my friend David Hill, also a powerlifter, and Forrie Brown - basketball.
Bring home the medals fellas!!!

I weighed in at 164.6 the other day. I'm told I look bigger than that, but no, that's all. I attribute it to all the different techniques I've used over the past year, both in training and diet. I imagine my diet, should I continue on to the Nationals (remember, for the record - I have NOT commited yet) would begin sometime next month - YIKES!!! Though with about 25 lbs to lose I am wayyyyyyyyyy ahead of where I was last year, when I lost a total of 41.
My arm is doing quite well after training last week. I will add a little bit more weight each workout, but no huge weights for me for a while to come. :( I was doing some cardio over the weeks that I could not train, but now that I am training again with weights, I must stop the cardio, as it is causing me to become terribly overtrained. My legs hurt so much I couldn't squat the other night and had to train them extremely light. Hah! Most people pick up thier cardio on contest prep - I have to curtail!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Update on the bicep tear: I fiinally went back to training my upper body last night. 10 whole weeks of was tough on the old mindset, but I made it through. I only benched 135 last night, 20 to 15 rep sets on those and everything else, nothing to failure. Now comes the really hard part - reigning myself in each and every workout for awhile to come. Obviously I won't be hoisting anything substantial for awhile, so the plan is to resume training in a full bodybuilding type mode. Sets of reps, and volume, pumping blood through the tissues.

Gary feels that I can be ready for the Nationals should I choose to compete, but as I was off for so long and didn't gain the size like I had wanted, the most rational way to go about it would be to come in as a lightheavyweight, on the very upper end of the scale. I haven't withered, miraculously, but most of the heavies are taller, or structured to appear larger, so I think that he may be right. I am very much leaning toward doing just this, but I shall keep you posted. The next few weeks will tell the tale so long as my arm holds up and I take it slow and easy.
Here is a photo from last year's Masters Nationals that shows how incredibly dry and hard I was!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Delaware Power Classic 2010

DELAWARE POWER CLASSIC 2010 took place this past weekend. I can honestly say it was the best one yet! OSX Fitness in Newport DE and proprietor Steve Oldham welcomed us with open arms. The venue is perfect for a powerlifting meet, as both sides of the building have oversized garage doors that open. The weather was perfect! The crowd was huge. We had 43 lifters, and many big lifts. It was alot of work on my part, but I wouldn't trade putting these meets together for anything! Results can be found here:

Pictures and videos can be found here:

Hank Stoklosa - how do we ever thank you for all of your work taking the pix and video??!!!

Dynamo Club Powerlifting- I love you guys! Thank you also to Kathy Fields, Derek Hill, Len Walker, Julie Trincia, 4G's Catering, Steve Pulcinella and Iron Sport Gym, Rob Haas and Sussex Fence, the list goes on, and especially THANK YOU to Steve Oldham of OSX Fitness - !!! Can't wait til November 13 for the next meet - same place - be there!!!

I now own a monolift, yes I do...but instead of housing it in my garage to rust, I have sent it up to IronSport Gym in Glenolden PA. I want it to be used, and I know there aren't any other monolifts in the area. So if you are a Powerlifter in the DE, PA, NJ, MD area and want to train on a monolift - IronSport Gym now has one!!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

April 30

I officially fell apart - i hve been nursing what seems to be a left bicep tendon strain, and probably a bit of a tear. I haven't trained in a month! I'm going batty, but I have been busy focusing on the upcoming Delaware Power Classic (May 08) and some other non-training related issues. I have started training a Special Olympian for the DE Special Olympics in June.
Robert has participated for the past few years, and I think we can get him up to benching and deadlifting both with new PR's.

Last week I played announcer at the Pennsylvania State Boys' Powerlifting Championships.
It was a huge meet. I was very impressed with the athletes and thier enthusiasm. The meet was well expedited. They had 4 platforms of lifters all competing at once, so my guess is there were at least 100 lifters if not more. It was held at Glen Mills Schools in Glen Mills, PA - a gorgeous, rolling and lush campus dotted with beautiful old stone buildings.

NO - I am not giving up bodybuilding!!! Hah - how many people read that statement of me being currently "sick" of it and misconstrued that statement????
My plans have to change again due to the injury, but I'm not going anywhere. I will probably be sidelined for 3 - 4 more weeks. It sucks, but this is what happens when you know you need to back off, but don't.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I am living in absentia....pardon my invisibility, but nothing is happening. I am on mandatory hiatus from training, due to severe overtraining, and strained biceps tendon, and God-awful leg pain that has returned not only in a vengenace, but double-fold. Boo! Boo-Hoo!!!

I am about sick of bodybuilding - I don't even want to go there, just leave it at that I am powerlifting this year. Period. Exclamation mark! I know I'll lose my national qualification if I don't compete this year, but who the heck cares. Not I. I'll get it back next year, no doubts, no worries.
One cannot excel at both of these sports simultaneously. Key word = excel. I love my strength. I want to be strong. I have powerful goals this year. Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Another No Go :(

I had been preparing for the IPA DE State Championships next weekend, March 13th. Of course, as per usual, something always happens to me that prevents me from making it to the platform. No change in that status quo -
This time the meet was cancelled due to lack of entries. Woe is me, I feel I was well prepared. My bench and deadlift were on. My squat has been up and down, but I would have at least been able to do one. My legs are starting to give me a bit of problem again, but I think I can nip it by going back to an every other week squatting regimen.
I went in on bench day and did my planned opener, 285. Went up smooth and quick. Decided on 305 for a second - I have pushed 305 legitamately several times before, but I must say, this one was the best I have ever done. Smooth and quick. That was it. What the third attempt will be remains to be decided on meet day (whenever THAT shall happen again! ).

Since almost everyone else in the world including my training partner Rob went out to the Arnold Classic this weekend, I travelled up to IronSport Gym to train deadlifts with my good friend Steve Pulcinella. I knew my dead would be decent, having pulled a good 370 x 8 a few weeks back. It is hard for me to jump out of the car after driving for 2 hours and feel like training at all, much less pulling, but it went much better than I expected. First you have the awesome atmosphere of a real hardcore gym, an ATHLETE'S gym. Then there was a small group of guys on another platform doing deadlifts as well. (yes - several real lifting platforms!) When I go back and look at these videos I can see and still feel my sluggishness, but they were good and I still had "a little left in the tank"....
Steve filmed these :
first a 405 x 4. I should have stopped at one or 2, but I was "caught in the moment" .

Then a 440 x 1

I have been training recently at times off a 100 lb plate, and I think that is really helping my initial pull off of the floor putting more leg drive into it, however I am also not putting my back into it now as quickly. If I can do that again a little faster - hah! Look out world!!! . Actually, I havent done all that much pulling in the past year, so I am happy to have the strength back up to where it was last year - FINALLY! That bodybuilding stuff just saps me!!!

Steve popped off a nice 675. He has a shoulder injury, hence the double overhand grip and straps.

I will be "deloading" this week - was going to anyway because of the meet, but now just because I NEED to. I feel just this side of a train wreck. I have another meet in mind to prepare for in the not too distant future. I just need to keep from falling apart.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

No Snow is Good Snow

I'm not sure it really has anything to do with the mandatory "rest" I have been subjected to, but whatever - last night was a really good bench night. I popped 4 really good 280's up. I've done 4 before, but they weren't nearly as nice as these. I actually surprised myself. The snowy cold and dampness was definitely making me feel like I was never going to warm up. My first working set,250, felt heavy and I felt sluggish. For some unrational reason I decided to go with 280 even though I thought that one was going to be a struggle and voila - I guess I did warm up enough. 4 easy breezy beautiful reps. Then 230 for 11. My weight - 170 lbs. I've been doing less volume with the focus being on strength now instead of aesthetically building. Our second movement was flyes - 3 sets.

We have been doing this exercise for our shoulders that I like/hate. I don't know if it has a name, and I haven't yet figgered what to call it. You stick the end of the barbell in the corner, and the plates on the other end. You push up against the wall using delt "hoist".... holy moley - they work my shoulders like nothing else ever has. It is like doing real work, as opposed to a machine that fabricates motion, if that makes sense. Just one deltoid exercise, but this one was more than sufficient for trashing our shoulders.

My back is not sore from shoveling, but only because I don't own a snow shovel - HAH!!! I went out Monday searching for one at various stores, but the lesson here is Supply and Demand - don't go looking for something when everybody else needs it too. I could not find one anywhere. So I let a couple of strapping young fellows that knocked on my door shovel part of my driveway, yet I still have to wade through the snow to get to my car from my door. High steppin' cardio ?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blizzard Be Gone

Here I sit during the second blizzard this week! Third snow storm in 2 and a half weeks.

Ok, you mid-westernerers and northerners tell us we Mid-Atlantic babies are whining, but it isnt just snow. These are actually full fledged "Nor'easters" coupled with snow. 60 mph gusts of wind - you'd be whining too. We aren't used to t here on the lovely Delmarva Peninsula. I think I got off with a mere 20" or so total. It's hard to tell I can't see out the window right now!!
Training - besides the gym being closed alot because of the weather, I had some personal issues keep me out of the gym for a week or so... however, typically I don't rest much from the gym unless it is forced rest, and by cracky this forced rest has done me good! My muscles look really big and full right now.
I still have abs at 171 - 172 !!! And veins in my arms and shoulder striations...My
strength has been up and down because of the time off and the drain of the personal issues, but I foresee it going in the right direction once again rapidly - UP!!!
We did dealdift the other night, that of which I really have done very little of lately. I did them off a 3" block, 370 for 5 - all resets. I have no clue what that would translate into off the floor. I really like pulling out of a deficit position. It feels good in the hamstrings and glutes. Today WOULD HAVE been chest day....grooooan. It's just turned into nap day. ZZZZZZZZ

Monday, January 18, 2010

January 18 2010

I am training. I am just quiet. Things are going well, for the most part. I really want to get to a meet to compete before I fall apart or get too old.

Rob Haas is a great training partner. Even though we don't always do the same exercises. he is always good for motivation and I like training with him.

I attended a very informative bench press clinic the other day at IronSport Gym in Glenolden PA. Shawn Lattimer really knows his benching. Shawn benched a perfect 875 at one of my meets a couple of years ago.
I picked up a couple of good tips, let's see if I can translate them into my own benching program!
Still hanging with a low 300's max bench.