Dan Dalenberg- Off season Focus

Finishing up post meet rest period. Body feels great and I generally feel good as well having lost the pre-meet bloat. Ready to start a productive off season in a week. 

This week I will be working on writing up a plan for the next 15 weeks or so. I will have a nice long off season and then will be prepping for a late spring/early summer meet.

I would have loved to do the XPC Arnold, but turns out I will be in Florida getting married that day! Piece of advice- do a destination wedding. Planning is EASY and I will get two vacations with my girl this spring, first to Florida for a few days and then Mexico. So I will wait until after all that is done to worry about a meet. Three reasons:

  • It would SUCK to get hurt at a meet and then spend my Mexican honeymoon on crutches.
  • Watch my meet video from a couple weeks ago. I look like the freaking Michelin man. I’m super strong at 255-260 but I’d prefer not to  be Mr. Wide Face in the pictures.
  • I want to focus on my personal life. I know there are no personal lives in the jungle, but I only get to do this once. I want to be 100% focused on what is the most important to me, and that sure as hell isn’t going to be lifting weights this spring.

The next meet is still to be determined. I’d love to do the Olympia but at the same time there are a lot of freaks in the middle weights of raw. Outside of the IPF, single ply is pretty small it seems but 220-275 raw is very competitive right now. So I keep going back and forth on what to do. Either way, here is what I will be working on during the off season


Weakness- The last squat I missed was a 760 at an EliteFTS seminar in April. Missed right at depth, just couldn’t come up with it. At Relentless, my knees came in slightly with my 800. I noticed this with my biggest training lifts too. It’s not dramatic but it does happen.

What I need- I need to work on hip and hamstring strength. I squat narrow and pull conventional. My hips and hamstrings don’t get a ton of work.

What I will do- Main assistance work will be pause squats and sumo pulls. Secondary work will include direct hamstring work (GHR, leg curls, etc) and hip abduction/adduction with bands.


Weakness- From a strength standpoint, I missed in the middle of the lift AGAIN. Like I do every single damn time I miss. Technique wise, my back locked up pretty good.

What I need- Mid range strength and load tolerance in my lower back

What I will do– Main assistance work will be partial range of motion benching. 1, 2 and 3 board at higher volumes. Secondary work will include lots of close grip pressing, possibly off the floor. I will also be experimenting with a flat footed position to take some pressure off my back


Weakness- The middle of the pull is still where things get hard for me.

What I need– This plays in nicely with my squat. More hip and hamstring strength should be helpful here.

What I will do- Block pulls have proven VERY effective for me for the past year. I will be sticking with that but likely start introducing some other heights. Most my block pulls have been off of a 5″ block, so I think I will add a 3″ and maybe something a little higher too. The direct hip and hamstring work should carry over nicely from my squat work. [share title=”Share this Article” facebook=”true” twitter=”true” google_plus=”true” linkedin=”true” pinterest=”true” reddit=”true” email=”true”][author title=”About the Author”]

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Daniel Dalenberg

Dan Dalenberg is a pro level raw and equipped powerlifter with elite totals in the 220, 242 and 275 class. Best official raw meet lifts include an 804 squat, 507 bench press, 715 dead lift and 2006 total. Best equipped lifts include an 950 squat, 715 bench, 735 deadlift and 2400 total at 242. Dan has been training under Brian's guidance using the 10/20/Life methodology since late 2010.
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