Lab Rat – Pre Contest in London


After running a couple blocks of PowerBuilding I decided to compete at the APF Equipped Nationals June 16-18 in my backyard, Jacksonville, FL.  Even though the meet title says equipped I’ll be lifting raw with wraps.

For this contest prep I’ll be running a modified 10/20/Life Pre Contest influenced by the upcoming PowerBuilding book.  Aside from improving my total my other goals include a slight weight loss and better overall health.  Current body weight is sitting around 255lbs.

Where to start?  Well, I’m updating my training log sitting in pub a couple weeks out from a competition.  Going into this pre contest block I knew there was a high probability of a work trip to London so I planned my deload around the tentative date.  Long story short that week trip turned into a week away, a week home then another week away.  Having to be in the office Monday morning meant leaving Saturday afternoon, ultimately forcing me to squat, bench and deadlift Saturday morning. Before both trips.

JUMBO Day – Saturday May 13, 2017

My flight to London departed at 2:30pm so Byrd offered to show up a little earlier to ensure I had ample time to knock out all three lifts.  My warm-up consisted of the McGill Big 3 and a few sets with an empty Mastadon Bar.

Squat – 420 x 2, 510 (wrapped), 560 (wrapped)

After squatting I immediately went into benching.  I took 370 as my last warm up then two singles with 410.  Unfortunately, these didn’t move as well as expected.  At this point I was hopeful this was due to the lack of time between squatting and benching.

Not learning from my potential mistake I immediately moved to the deadlift platform and worked up to 565 for a fairly easy single. After that it was a quick shower and off to the airport.

No Training- Monday May 14th – 21st

Work didn’t allow much of any time to visit anything remotely close to a gym so I focused on body weight movements, core work and a couple walks. The usual travel delays caused me to miss training with Team Samson Saturday the 20th.

Reload Work – Monday May 22, 2017

Since I missed Saturdays training I decided to squat and pull while the team benched. A few doubles with 335 on squat and deadlift followed with some core work.

Reload Work – Tuesday May 23, 2017

Another fairly easy training session as I knew there was another jumbo day on the horizon. Worked up to 245 for a few doubles with a comp grip then did some sets of 8 with the shoulder saver. Wrapped up the day with incline dumbbells.

JUMBO Day – Saturday May 27, 2017

Here we are again, another jumbo day before leaving to London. Luckily this time my flight departed Sunday so I wasn’t pressed for time. The normal warm up protocol was followed then we started adding plates.

Squat – 420 x 2, 510 (wrapped), 570, 615, 650 (reverse band)

Everything felt solid with these squats, I took a short break then started benching. I followed the same weight/rep scheme as my previous jumbo day with a higher top set instead of two singles at 410. Again, 410 didn’t move as expected but I made the jump to 425 and missed. At this point I was pissed but quickly shook it off and decided to make up for it on deads.

Another short break later and i was pulling 315. I’ve been working on getting a better wedge, the few reps and 405 and 495 felt great! I decided to pull 545 (somewhere close enough to an opener) then go in second attempt territory. The team loaded 605 on the bar and it stayed on the floor! Ha! I actually got it just below my knees and didn’t have any more gas in the tank or checked out mentally. Keep in mind from my first squat with an empty bar to this pull was about 2.5 hours total. I expected to do better and there’s no excuse.

Just like the last trip I haven’t touched a weight since Saturday. Core work and a couple walks was the only additional movement I did while in London. This Saturday calls for last warmups or possibly openers.

The final stretch will be interesting!
*photo credit to a Google search

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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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