Lab Rat – RPS Redemption 3

May 28th – Ft. Myers FL.  The day 9 months of offseason training and roughly 3months of pre contest training is tested.

The important things –

Huge thank you to the members from Team Samson that made the drive down to ensure I had the most ideal conditions possible in the warm up room, the platform, advice/guidance when needed, etc.  Thank you Adam, Byrd, Shane and Conrad.  To the families that made the trip down with the significant others and the family members who stayed home, thank you for the support.  I’d also like to thank all the members of Team Samson that couldn’t make the trip but helped support my offseason/pre contest training in the compound.  Lisa Guggisberg, thank you for applying capsaicin on my back going into deadlifts, it saved the day.  Ria, thank you for ensuring all my lifts were recorded, checking up on me in the warm up room and everything else you have done.  Brian, I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done, it’s a long damn list so I’m just going to leave it at thank you, I appreciate it more than you know.

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Kicking off the day – Squats

Todd Guggisberg, Filipe Gusmao, Brian Carroll and I were lifting in the 3rd flight so there wasn’t much of a rush to get there.  After grabbing a large breakfast at IHOP with Filipe we headed down to the warm up room to meet everyone and get settled in.  As always, my warm up started with the McGill Big 3 and a few body weight goblet squats.  Adam, Byrd, Shane and Conrad commandeered a mono lift to ensure the four of us could take what we needed to take and when.

Warm Up –

  • 155 x 5
  • 2 x 3 w/ 245
  • 335 x 2
  • 420 x 1
  • 515 x 1 (wrapped)

Opener – 584.2, miss.  This moved quick, unfortunately I was called for depth.

Second Attempt (4.2lb PR) – Retook opener, 3 white lights

Third Attempt – 628.3, miss.  This moved faster and easier than both previous lifts, called for depth again.

At this point I was pretty damn pissed.  Re-taking my opener wasn’t in my plan at all, I was looking forward to a little gamble on the third to see what I actually could do.  Another meet without a 600+lb squat was a pretty big let down as well.  My bench and pull were both feeling strong at the end of the training cycle so I knew if a gamble on bench paid off the 1700 total was within reach but it would require one hell of a fight on the third deadlift.

Bench –

We had a fair amount of time between lifts and Conrad’s run to McDonald’s ensured we had some food in our system.  I kept hydrated rotating Gatorade, Pedialyte and water.  I applied some capsaicin to my shoulders and elbows and started warming up.

Warm Up –

  • Bar
  • 2 x 4 w/ 135
  • 225 x 3
  • 315 x 2
  • 375

Opener – 407.9  Super easy, just like an opener should be

Second Attempt – 440.9 (0.9lb PR)  Hit the perfect grove and this moved better than my opener.  After a brief conversation with Adam and Bryd..

Third Attempt – 468.5, miss.  This would have been a huge PR and a big step towards a 500lb raw bench (not a goal I’ve publically mentioned)  Upon getting the press command I got the bar to a 2-3 board and ran out of gas, this has actually been a sticking point for a while.  Honestly, I was happy with this because I didn’t get destroyed by the weight.  This and more will happen soon.

Deadlift –

I had a couple pb&j sandwiches along with a monster for the final push.

Warm Up –

  • 225 x 2
  • 315 x 2
  • 405 x 1
  • 495 x 1 (this was pretty much a stiff leg, my back was feeling great)
  • Lisa Guggisberg capsaicin application

Opener – 567.2  This felt light and fast.  Lifters wedge was dialed in.

Second attempt – 611.8 (11.8lb PR)  This lift moved just as easy as the first, felt strong.  I knew 1700 was out of reach for the day so the next number that came to mind was 1650, did the math and put in the third attempt.

Third attempt – 628.3  (28.3lb PR) Nailed it!  Started to slow down around my knees, kept thinking glutes, glutes, glutes and got a solid lockout.

Total – 1653.46lbs (43.46lb PR total)

It’s hard to complain about 4 PR’s going 6 for 9.  There was without a doubt a solid amount of weight left on the platform.  This meet was far from a waste, not only did I add 4 PR’s, I got a taste of where I’m currently sitting, what technical adjustments need to be implemented and I no longer let a weight control me.  One of if not the biggest take away came from Adam – after a year from my last competition I placed a lot of unnecessary pressure on this competition.  If things don’t go quite as planned that’s an entire year of pushing and training wrapped up into one day.  To those reading this, take my advice and get at least two meets in a year.

I have full intentions of coming back stronger and more dialed.  Before that happens there are some personal things that need to be taken care of, more on that in the coming log entries – Jason.



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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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