Letter of Intent 2013 & PR Friday

PR Friday: Post your training PR’s and updates to comments.

This morning I’m travelling to DC for this weekend’s 70’s Big Seminar, so there won’t be a lot written here. Check out the MopeilityWOD video by Brent below; he makes an intriguing point and then easily squats 405×5 (Chris then squats something a lot heavier than 5).

Letter of Intent – 2013

Follow this post up with “The Next Step“.

In 2009 my friend Gant asked website readers to commit themselves to achieving something through competition (Letters of Intent – 2009, 2010, and 2011). This isn’t merely a list of “resolutions” or meager goals — the point is to get your ass into a real competition, especially if you’ve never competed before. There’s no better time to sign up for a powerlifting, Olympic lifting, strongman, highland games meet, Tactical Strength Challenge, the dying CrossFit Total, or other strength and power events. We would prefer that you prevent in something that would take advantage of your strength and conditioning training so that you have the direct benefit from your training. In other words, flag football is competition, but it isn’t as dependent on your training as doing a meet. Adults will probably get more out of solo sports (like martial arts) than team sports since we don’t have the time to commit to proper team practice.

As Gant said in the original post:

I don’t want to hear any crap about how you can’t win. Competition isn’t all about winning at the amateur level as much as it is learning about yourself. Hell, I don’t win most of the stuff I compete it (in fighting, you have the added benefit of possibly breaking something or being choked unconscious), but I keep going back, and I get better every time.


Competition is helpful for more than just the introspective learning. Again, from Gant:

Competition puts your training into focus. A date on the calendar forces you to taper your program (hell, HAVE a program), tweak your nutrition (especially if you’re in a weight class), and arrange your schedule (sleep comes to mind).

You also get instant feedback on your training program. You will quickly find out if you did too much or too little conditioning, spent too much benching and not enough squatting, or didn’t work your technique enough.

You also learn game day management. I’m talking about how to pick lifts, when to warm up, what and how much to drink before your event, and the myriad other things that don’t come up during training. This can ONLY be learned by competing. Most of it is learned by watching and asking other competitors, many of whom will become your friends.


Gant has a focus these days on performing and teaching Judo, but he will always use proper strength training with high intensity conditioning to prepare for the sport. It’s easy for all of you to jump into a powerlifting meet since you’re already performing the lifts (squat, bench, and deadlift), but if you’re jaded with that sport that perhaps you should try learning something new, like Judo, and compete in a local tournament. There are Judo forums that could provide you with basic information, but find a local place and get started.

Today is about committing to a competition. Search the internet, find what is near you, and circle the date. Commit to it today. You don’t need to be a certain strength or skill to compete, but you do need to have a pair of balls (or ovaries) to actually commit to it, and that is much more meaningful. Committing to competition will immediately make each training session meaningful.

What is your intent?

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…who strives…who spends himself…and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

–Teddy Roosevelt

99 thoughts on “Letter of Intent 2013 & PR Friday

  1. Missed Friday, but caught up today with some 1RM tests: Got new PRs!! So, here’s to a New Year…
    Back Squat – 365# – 20# PR (Goal 405#)
    Press – 165# – 10# PR (Goal 185#)
    Deadlift – 405# – Tied PR (Goal 455#)

    I don’t have any fitness/strength competitions I’m interested in, but my main goal is to get “invited” to play in A league for Hockey… which will require a lot of skill work.

  2. Well, I snatched 70 kg on December 29, so I did that before the end of 2012. It wasn’t my most beautiful snatch ever, but it happened.

    For 2013, my goal is to compete at Nationals. The QT is 159. Right now, my best total is 150, which is what I needed for the AO.

  3. Friday I hit two PRs.
    Snatch 69kg
    Clean and Jerk 90kg

    On Wednesday, I also hit a new PR on my front squat at 130kg. Oh, and on Saturday, I squatted 115kg for 20 reps. :)

    I intend to compete in two national competitions this year, USAW Nationals and the American Open. I will also have local meets between now and then, chosen by my coach.

  4. I intend to compete in two powerlifting competitions this year. By the second one I’d like a 1300 total at 198. Right now I weight 220 and am around 1100 for a total.

    Es mi palabra.

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  6. Any recommendations for a good, but not too expensive weight lighting shoe? I am looking at the VS shoe. Seems like a good buy at $85. Anybody have experience with these or suggest something different right in that $100 range? Was also thinking about the Pendlay Do-Win @ $105.

    • My Pendlay Do-Wins are falling apart after 1 year of lifting… They aren’t completely useless yet, but the rubber is coming off the toe on my back foot in the jerk. Otherwise, they are good for the price and they are great if you have wide feet.

  7. Justin, I have a question regarding protein powder. Is it necessary and if so, do you recommend a couple brands?

    I’m on my 2nd linear progression and used GOMAD plus the “Grandma” eating during my first linear progression to go from <180lbs to 205lbs. I stopped GOMAD after about 5 weeks and I never used a protein powder because my post-workout was a quart of whole milk. I still drink the same thing post-workout but that's it as far as milk goes. I also still eat like grandma would want me to, and I consume 1.5 grams of protein per bodyweight.

    Aesthetically, I'm not looking for anything in particular. I just want to eat big and clean, and lift big weights. If I'm drinking a quart of milk after I workout and getting enough protein throughout the day, is protein powder even worth it? Would throwing a couple scoops in my milk be worth it?

    As far as supplements go, I take fish oil, psyllium husk fiber, and a multivitamin. Have you found any other supplements to be very beneficial? I'll stop rambling now. Thanks for all you do, please update the food log soon and maybe an article in the future on supplements, etc, even though it's fun going back and reading the old articles.

  8. Late to the party since I just got back from vacation. Already planning on a powerlifting meet either March 2nd (Cincinnati) or March 9th (Kokomo) depending on whether I go to a wedding or not. Hope to total over 1000 there in the 148lb class. If I find a meet in the fall or winter I’d like to be up to 1100.

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