Lab Rat – Pre Contest Openers

I’m training to compete in the RPS Chalk & Iron September 30th.  I competed in the APF Equipped Nationals (June 17th)  where I totaled 1631lbs (squat – 606.X lbs, bench press 418.X lbs, deadlift 606.X lbs) at a body weight of 239.9lbs.

At this point most of the hard work has been done, this week is designed to establish a safe openers on each lift and make the final touches to technique / form.  Having just competed a few months back I had a very good idea where my openers would be so these sessions were more fine tuning, especially concerning my deadlift.

Squat / Deadlift – Saturday September 16, 2017

As always the day starts with the McGill Big three and some type of kettle bell work (goblet squats or swings) followed by a few sets on an empty bar.  There weren’t many people on a straight bar so I was able to work through the sets relatively fast.  This isn’t always a bad thing as you never know what type of pace will be kept at the meet.


  • 2 x 5 w/ 155
  • 2 x 4 w/ 245
  • 335 x 2
  • 425 x 2
  • 515 x 1 (medium wrap)
  • 580 x 1 (less wrap than the previous set)
  • 580 x 1 (opener wrap)

Stuff happens.  I didn’t get much wrap with my opener, it still moved as expected however I didn’t get to sit back or load the wrap as much as my training partners would have liked to see.  Easy call, re-take the attempt with a solid wrap.  I was able to sit back, load the wraps and generate much more bar speed than the previous wrap.  Onto deadlifts!


  • 2 x 3 w/ 315
  • 405 x 2
  • 495 x 1
  • 555 x 1

My form isn’t quite ideal but it’s leaps and bounds better than where I was at the start of the training block.  I’ll pull what I need to meet day.

Pause Squat – 3 x 5

Single Leg deadlift – 3 x 15

Suitcase Carry – 3 per side

Stir the Pot – 60


Bench – Monday September 18, 2017

My warmup sets felt great.  Once I got into the heavier sets I felt some discomfort in my elbows so I decided to hit my opener and shut it down.  There is nothing to be gained from close grip work and DB work at this point, much smarter to be healthy come meet day.


  • 2 x 6 w/ 140
  • 2 x 4 w/ 230
  • 320 x 2
  • 370 x 1
  • 400 x 1
  • 400 x 1

Band press down – 100 reps

Back / Leg Accessory Day – September 20, 2017

I’ve been following the same routine for my accessory day since the start of this program.  Barbell rows were omitted as staying locked in cooks my lower back, again think healthy come meet day.

McGill Big 3 – couple rounds

Piston Squats (safety squat bar) – 3 x 5

Paused Goblet Squat – 3 x 10

D/B row x 10 and D/B shrug x 10 – 3 rounds

Stir the Pot x 20 and Hammer Curl x 15 – 3 rounds



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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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