Jason Kowalewski – 2 Floors and a Busted Knee

I’m currently in pre-contest training to compete at the RPS Central Florida PHG Throwdown May 26th in Orlando, FL.  I’ll be looking to improve on my performance at the RPS Chalk & Iron September 28th where I tied my best total of 1653.4 lbs (squat – 633.8 lbs, bench 435.4 x lbs. deadlift – 584.2 lbs) at a bodyweight of 241.6 lbs vs. 268 lbs.  

Squat / Deadlift – Saturday March 31, 2018

Pre Contest Week 2 brought 80% for several singles and the supporting accessory work.  As always the morning started with a purple monster followed with the McGill Big 3, goblet squats and a few sets with an empty bar.

Squat (bulldog bar)

  • 2 x 5 w/ 155
  • 2 x 4 w/ 245
  • 335 x 2
  • 425 x 1 (light wrap)
  • 475 x 1 (light wrap)
  • 4 x 1 w/ 515

The top sets brought some discomfort to my right knee however I didn’t put much thought into it.  It was just a dull ache which happens from time to time, BioFreeze and onto pulls.


  • 315 x 3
  • 405 x 2
  • 455 x 1
  • 4 x 1 w/ 495

Pause squats – 245 x 1.5

Yes, you read that correctly.  The first rep didn’t give me any issues however the second rep proved to be very different.  As soon as I broke my hips and started sitting back a sharp pain shot through my right knee forcing me to immediately turn it around and find the rack.  Things were shut down there and I was worried.  For a little back story last December I started having  issues with my right knee and associated it to  deep pause belt squats.  After moving away from those things got better so I left the gym assuming pause squats were the issue.

Later that day I discovered I couldn’t perform a bodyweight squat nor walk down a flight of stairs.  Not the best place to be 4 training sessions into a contest prep and signing papers to purchase a two story house!


Bench – Monday April 2, 2018

With the help of Todd Guggisberg and Paul Oneid a plan to correct the issues believed to plague my knee was formed and quickly put into action.  Training started with single leg hamstrings curls, banded TKE’s, Peterson squats and Bulgarian split squats.  After knocking my rehab work out I got under the bar and stuck with my contest prep.  As I was going into a deload anyway I made the decision to keep my contest prep on track, avoid any squatting during the following week then test the waters and see if a full meet was still in the cards.

  • 2 x 5 w/ 145
  • 195 x 5
  • 235 x 5
  • 285 x 3
  • 320 x 2
  • 4 x 1 w/ 360 (paused)

Close Grip Bench (3 board) – 320 x 5, 350 x 5, 370 x 5

Incline D/B – 3 x 10

D/B Skulls – 3 x 15

Band fly – 100


Leg / Back Accessory – Wednesday April 4, 2018

Every training session now starts with rehab work for my knee (hamstring curls, banded TKE’s, Peterson squats).  After this work the focus was upper back to ensure the knee was a rested as it could be.

Wide grip pull down – 3 x 12

Narrow grip pull down – 3 x 12

D/B row superset with D/B shurgs – 3 x 8

Hammer Curl superset with reverse curl – 3 x 15

Double Over Hand Barbell Shrug – 3 x 15

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Jason Kowalewski

Jason Kowalewski is an up and coming raw powerlifter residing in Jacksonville, Florida where he trains with Team Samson. In his younger years he was a “gear head” who built his first drag car before obtaining a driver’s license. Within the last 6 years his primary focus has shifted from motorsports to powerlifting. Jason began training under Brian’s tutelage in February 2013. He was actually one of the initial test subjects, hence the name Lab Rat. Since then he has seen significant improvements on all lifts with his commitment to Brian and the 10/20/Life methodology. To date his best total is 1653.4lbs via 633.8lb squat, 435.4lb bench and 584.9lb deadlift at 242lbs.
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