Athlete Journal: Chris Duffin, Entry 21 – Debt of Gratitude

In reflecting on my performance last week and talking to other powerlifters, I’ve realized that squatting 700lbs was actually pretty good, considering the circumstances.

EDITOR’S NOTE: 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. You can also read about Chris on his personal website

Athlete Journal, Entry 21: Debt of Gratitude

In reflection on my performance at last week’s meet, I missed detailing some important facts in my disappointment over catching a cold. The injury I sustained, while fairly minor in and of itself, turned out to be a significant injury due to how it plays a role in my technique and the muscle recruitment patterns I rely on. In talking with other powerlifters who have had a similar injury, it has been something that has held people back in their training for around 6 months. I owe a huge debt to Doctor Philip Snell in helping me recover from this injury in less than 3 weeks. While I was not 100%, I nearly completed a squat that was only 10lbs less than the heaviest raw squat in the history of powerlifting in my weight class. I would call this a HUGE success. There is no way I would have been able to pull off such a feat without his knowledge and support.

I am also proud of the level of discipline and focus I had during those weeks leading into the meet. There was a significant level of work, experimentation, analysis, constant awareness, and juggling of a very tight schedule to pull this off. Pulling off something like this is very rewarding and demonstrates what the body is capable of when you put in the ‘right’ work.

I have linked Dr. Snell’s websites before, but I will do so again. Anyone that is a trainer, coach, physical therapist, chiropractor, or other health care professional should really look into using his service. I love it as a coach and gym owner myself. He has a great website and blog for those who interested in his services, as well as a self-help website for disc injuries.


This week I struggle with being sick all week and trying to get back to training too fast… as is my practice.

Monday I took off from work as my son had gotten the cold by this point and was too sick to go to daycare. Between Saturday and Monday I had slept a total of 30hrs plus a nap Monday afternoon. So despite still being sick I thought I was better since I felt so good from all the rest. Had a great workout as well. Such a great workout with a lot of volume that I think it set me back.

Bench Press






Add sling shot


495×3 almost locking out the 4th

Close Grip Lockout off Pins

445×5,5,5, w/3-5 second hold outs

Shoulder Press on the Thunder Thruster

4×6 w/large bands +25-45lb plate

KB front raises – keeping bell extended




Rolling Tricep Extension




Came in and began warming up on squats to realize I was still sick and my leg still wasn’t 100% and had moved a little backwards after the meet and my discontinuation of my rehab efforts.






45 min rehab work then home


Once again thought I was far enough along to start hitting the gym…and had a decent workout even.

Incline Bench Press



225×29,15,9 – 54 reps total

Turkish Getup



Went into the gym but was feeling pretty bad so outside doing a couple rack pulls, so I focused on coaching





Rack Pull

585×1 w/hook grip hold out

725×1 w/over under hold out


Still sick….

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