Dan Dalenberg- SQ/DL Deload and Relentless

10 weeks out. Squat and deadlift deload. Preparing for the tough weeks ahead.

Squat- 3×3

325 x 3

Dead- 3 x 3

315 x 3

Suitcase carry- 100 yards with 35 pounds in one hand

McGill Curl Ups- 50 reps

Really easy session, nothing exciting just preparing my body for the coming weeks. I promise my training log is about to become much more interesting!


Like a lot of lifters I heard about the Relentless powerlifting meets through social media. I knew a couple of the lifters in the first couple meets and had watched from afar, reading meet reports and following activity on Facebook. Once I moved to the Kalamazoo, Michigan area in early 2013 I started hearing a lot more about it. I knew that summer I wanted to get involved and sent Tommy Westhoff a message as soon as he posted that registration was open.

Fast forward to that fall. I was having a stellar training cycle. SMASHING weights and making unprecedented progress. I was much bigger, heavier and stronger than ever before. The charity side of the meet hadn’t caught up to me yet. I was getting donations and working towards the financial goal but I didn’t fully understand what it all meant and how impactful the whole experience would be. It hit me several times…

Late one Sunday night I went into the gym to hit a light upper training session, incline presses and a lot of back work was on schedule. Tommy posted about one of the groups we were benefiting- The Allie Jollie Baldwin Foundation. I knew a little about it, Allie was a young girl who had lost her battle with cancer and her parents had started this foundation in her name. However, Tommy shared Allie’s whole story with us. Stories of small victories and great setbacks, brutal hospital stays and a little girl getting poked and prodded every day. Not the life of your typical toddler. The part I remember the most was about Allie’s mother. Her mother had hit a breaking point and was in tears watching over her little girl. What does Allie do? Asks if momma is ok, says she loves her and that everything is OK. Keep in mind Allie was a toddler.

Allie was stronger than me.

The Relentless families shared many stories of their struggles, hospital stays and medical treatment. One of the girls, Maddie, is from Grand Rapids. She was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer at 4 months old. She has been battling this beast for around 3 years and just won’t quit. Her mom posts pictures and updates often, telling stories about going to the clinic for blood work and treatment. Maddie is a warrior, but she is only 3! Each trip means more needle sticks, more drugs and more uncomfortable pokes. She is fighting for her life but all she really seems to want to do is play dress up with her sister and hang out with her friends.

Maddie is stronger than me.

Amber is 16 years old. She certainly seems like your typical teenager, enjoying things like getting her driver’s license and going to concerts. In the days following the meet last year Amber had several ribs removed. She has a cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma which resulted in tumors in her ribs. From what I understand the surgery was brutal and recovery was challenging. Going into my third attempt bench last year my back was locked up good. I wanted to pass on my third a bit. But I passed Amber in the hallway and saw her smile, that she was enjoying herself. That moment reminded me of why I was there. She was having BONES REMOVED within a couple weeks. I could suck it up and bench. So I did, and I sure as hell didn’t miss.

Amber is stronger than me.

Lindsay has a disease that many may not have heard of. She has Progeria which causes the body to age at an abnormally fast rate. The prognosis is not good. Lindsay, however, lives life to the fullest. This little one has more spunk than anybody around. She was all over the place, making friends and having a blast. She and her family continuously raise awareness and fundraise for progeria, in hopes for research and treatment to provide better outcomes. She has a particularly special bond with David Douglas. David recently popped a bicep and needed surgery. She and her family made the trip from Michigan to San Diego to be with him on the day of his surgery. The support, love and hope work both ways.

Lindsay is stronger than me.

So here we are again. 10 weeks out. Fundraising has gone well, heck my team is already over the minimum and poised to go way over. Training is off to a great start. Bodyweight is up and I honestly think I could walk into the gym any given Saturday and PR my total. Not unlike last year, I’m making massive progress and smashing weights. There is one major difference though and that is that I know….

These kids are stronger than me.  [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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