Athlete Journal: Chris Duffin, Entry 1 – Follow A Champion Powerlifter

The first journal entry from our newest athlete – Chris Duffin, champion powerlifter. Find out how one of the strongest men out there trains to get even stronger.


Welcome to the Athlete Journal of world champion powerlifter Chris Duffin. Follow Chris as he trains and competes in various events over the coming year. Chris’s journal will be posted every Tuesday.

BRIEF BACKGROUND (for more detail – my personal website KabukiWarrior)

To provide a little background I am a competitive strength athlete in powerlifting but also known for some of my strength and work capacity “feats” I’ve done in exhibitions. In addition to being an athlete, I am also owner and Head Strength Coach at Elite Performance Center in Portland Oregon. In the past three years I’ve been ranked number one in the world for either the deadlift or squat in my weight class.

This year I have decided to get into raw powerlifting. Raw lifting is done with only the use of a belt, wrist wraps, and possibly knee wraps (depending on the sanctioning body). This is as opposed to the use of the special powerlifting suits and shirts that provide extra support. Raw lifting is much more challenging on your body over the long term than when using this supportive gear, but right now I’m looking for the extra challenge.

I did my first raw competition in March of this year, which gave me the current number one ranked raw total in the 220lb class.


My raw competitions over the next year are my priority. They are in August, December, and February of 2013. I have a few other competitions to do, however, too. In November I plan on doing Worlds in multiply powerlifting as it in the US this year, which I may not see again in my career. To qualify I have to place at the top three in Nationals at the end of May. I hope to qualify with minimal specific training in powerlifting gear so I can continue with my raw training. I will also be competing against strongman Derek Poundstone in July at a deadlift event, if I can fit it in.

  • May 2012 – Nationals, wearing minimal powerlifting gear
  • July 2012 – Deadlift with Poundstone
  • August 2012 – Raw Pro/Am
  • November – Worlds, in powerlifting gear
  • December – Raw meet in Oregon
  • February – Raw unity meet



The prior week I trained pretty hard and Monday was my fourth day straight of training. I began warming up and on my last warm-up set I decided it was time to just take it easy and give myself a break.






Stopped here


3 x 150ft passes with the prowler for a little conditioning work



165×5, 5



495×1 added belt

585×1 added knee wraps



805×1 added power briefs (typically worn under a power suit)


Glute Ham Raise

BW x 25

BW+2 chains on neck x 16,16,12


Stretching x 30min

Dynamic Effort Bench

145+#2 bands doubled – approx 16 sets of 3 w/20sec rest between sets

Messed around with some Clubs

One-arm Snatch & Windmill (Had never done these before so just trying to learn the motion)





Ab work on Swiss Ball

Ab/Psoas work with “deadbugs”


8:30am Fasted training

Speed Squats to 14” foam Box using Buffalo bar

Warm-up then

155+320(in bands) Approx. 10 sets of 2 reps w/40 sec rest between sets

Filmed to show how you set that pace w/3 people

Deadlift w/Hook Grip

3rd week of hook grip and still trying to desensitize thumbs

475×1 w/5 second hold

545×1 w/5 second hold

605×1 w/5 second hold

635×1 w/15 second hold… yes 15 seconds!! My thumbs were screaming

1 arm Dumbell Row – Strict

150×22,20 per side


BW x 10,5

Kettlebell Face Pulls (technique available on EPC Website)


See ya a little stronger next week.

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