EDITOR’S NOTE: Ever wonder how a world-class coach actually trains? Wonder what it’s like to train as a “mature athlete?” Welcome to the athlete journal of Charles Staley. A big believer in practicing what he preaches, Charles trains and competes just like his clients. Every Friday you can read what Charles has done this week in his workout sessions.
Hi all, sorry I’ve been a stranger. I’m just now getting caught up after competing at the 100% Raw! Federation’s World Powerlifting Championships on October 6th in Las Vegas, Nevada. The meet went very well. Here’s a short report, along with a quick rundown on my goals for the near future:
First, for the first time ever, I competed as a 198lb lifter, after working all year with nutrition coach Eric Helms of Team 3D Muscle Journey. Eric is absolutely brilliant. I painlessly lost about seventeen pounds of (I’ll put it charitably here) “non-functional” bodyweight, with pretty much no strength loss along the way.
My all-time best lifts as a 220lb lifter were a 401lb squat, a 259lb bench, and a 501lb pull. My goal for this meet was to equal those numbers in the 198lb class, which I almost did. Although I benched 259lb and pulled 501lb, I only managed a 385lb squat, which you can see here:
If you look at the video, it seems like I might have managed five to ten more pounds, but at last year’s Worlds I had a bad experience where I was having trouble with my squats, which pretty much demoralized me for the rest of the competition. This year, I vowed to dial in my squats, open conservatively, and make all (or at least most) of my lifts. My reasoning was that if I could come out of the squat event having made all three lifts, I’d be in a positive frame of mind for the rest of the meet.
My strategy ultimately paid off. While I didn’t equal my best squat as a 220lb lifter, I did total 98.7% of my best total in the 220lb class, and the total is what really matters after all.
One strategy that paid off particularly well for me is opening with easy lifts. If you watch all my first attempts below, it’s clear that I could have at least tripled all my openers, and in the case of the deadlift, I probably could have gotten ten reps with it if necessary. Here’s a video of that pull:
I also tried to take my first and second attempts with the smallest amount of emotional arousal. This approach allowed me to enter the deadlift event with a lot of energy in reserve, and I ended up lifting nine for nine in my second World Championships.
I’m back in regular training now, using a 5-3-1 approach as a base program. At some point down the road, I’ll shift to something akin to Brandon Lilly’s Cube system. I’m looking at doing a local push/pull event in December, and from there I’ll set my sights on the 100% Raw! American Challenge on June 29th, where my goal is to set a 1200lb total in the 198lb class.
I’ll be back with my regular athlete journal next week, but until then, here are the other videos from Worlds: