If you haven’t checked out Parts 1-4 yet, head here so you know the context of this time period in my training. Part V is going to focus on how I used Lyle McDonald’s Rapid Fatloss Handbook to lose 80lbs in 30 days in order to qualify for USPA Nationals.
If you’d rather watch than listen:
I Love Powerlifting
Moving to a new city where I have few contacts has forced me to re-examine nearly every aspect of my life. Training was the first consideration.
No matter what rationalization I tried to apply, no matter what excuse I tried to grasp onto, I just couldn’t pry myself away from the sport of powerlifting. I love powerlifting. Powerlifting is what I do. Powerlifting is who I am. This is my sport. The light has been lit; the iron bug has already sunk its teeth deep into my skin. I’ll be lifting heavy shit until the day I die.
Nonetheless, I still had a burning desire to channel my efforts towards an accomplishment within the sport that would be meaningful to me personally. I had to find a goal large enough, difficult enough, and competitive enough that I would be forced to become something more were I to achieve it.
The Ultimate Sporting Accomplishments
In most sports, there are generally two ultimate accomplishments: winning the world championships and setting some sort of individual record or receiving the highest individual accolade (such as an MVP or something like that).
As far records go, Powerlifting is fairly obvious: if you set an all-time world record, you’ve achieved one of the highest levels that can be attained in the sport.
However, there are no true powerlifting world championships in the sense that the very best lifters all gather together in one place to compete against each other. That said, even though it isn’t all inclusive, in my opinion, the IPF still holds the last legitimate world championship in powerlifting. With more than 10,000 participating athletes and more than a hundred affiliated countries, IPF Worlds fields a truly international event.
Now, because only drug-free and tested lifters can compete in the IPF, the talent pool is greatly limited, but, in my opinion, the IPF has successfully created a scenario where if you are the IPF World Champion, there is very little doubt that you are the best drug-free and/or drug-tested lifter in the world particularly under their incredibly strict conditions.
Once that lightbulb went off in my head, the IPF was the only choice I could make.
The IPF Will Have to Wait
Ethically, only lifters who have been drug-free for three years are allowed to compete in the IPF. I won’t lie by saying that I didn’t consider keeping my secrets to myself and competing in the IPF much sooner than that. In the end, it wasn’t a real possibility for me.
As competitive as I am, there are few things I disdain more than cheaters. In some sports there aren’t multiple options, but, in powerlifting, you have to intentionally seek out drug-free contests. Beyond laziness and convenience, in terms of local meets, I just can’t understand why someone would even want to cheat the process like that. But I digress…
My point here is that, due to my personal decisions regarding supplementation in Sep ’13, I cannot compete in the IPF until late 2016.
The USPA and New Goals
As it just so happens, the USPA is very big in Las Vegas. In fact, the USPA currently hosts both Nationals and Worlds right in my backyard. Considering that the USPA has a reputation for strict judging, doesn’t allow monolifts, and has the option to compete without knee wraps, I have a competitive option that mimics what I’ll experience in the IPF at least somewhat.
In the short term, on a day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month basis, my goal is always the same: get better. That’s it. I just endeavor to improve my process and do everything in my power to produce superior results on the platform. I’m not concerned about particular numbers or anything of the sort. In the now, all I want to do is get better.
Obviously, I’ll eventually move on to compete in the IPF, but, in the “medium term”, I have two primary goals: a) Be as absolutely competitive as possible at USPA Nationals and IPL Worlds and b) Surpass my best supplement-enhanced performance completely naturally.
In the case of the former, that is just who I am; that is what I stand for. In my opinion, athletes should do everything in their power to perform to the best of their abilities and win at the highest levels they are individually capable of. I consider myself an athlete. So, why not try and win Nationals? Why not try and win Worlds? Why not? Why not try to win? Would it really mean anything? I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. To me, it would be special.
In the case of the latter, I just have a point to prove.
Planning the Work and Working the Plan
For me to have any chance at placing well come Nationals and Worlds, I knew that I needed to be leaner. It was that simple. Not only that, but I had to be leaner in a hurry. The only meet in my area that would allow one to qualify for Nationals was on March 22nd. You have to qualify in the weight class you’ll be competing in.
I did the only thing that made sense to me at the time: I started a HARD cut. I used the diet from Lyle McDonald’s Rapid Fatloss Handbook.
On January 1st, I weighed in at an even 200.0lbs. On March 18th, I woke up at 169.0lbs. On March 21st, I made weight at ~164lbs. I competed the next day at just over 170lbs.
The plan worked. I qualified for Nationals and Worlds at 165lbs.
Results and Reflection
Dates: Jan 1st, 2014 to Mar 22nd, 2014
Bodyweight: 200lbs to 170lbs
Squat: ~405 to 429
Bench: ~250 to 242
Deadlift: ~455 to ~451
Total: ~1100 to 1124
While I certainly didn’t gain any of my old strength back, I definitely didn’t lose any strength from the beginning to the end of the cut either.
Granted, I was a bit disappointed to not total more, of course, but given the circumstances of my training for this meet, I’d say the training cycle was a success. I’m now set-up in a position to vastly improve upon this performance at Nationals. Because my weight is now in check, I won’t have to operate in an extreme caloric deficit anymore and this should facilitate better training conditions.
A Note on RFL
The Rapid Fatloss Handbook (RFL), contains a diet called a protein-sparring, modified fast. Essentially, you eat lean proteins, some essential fatty acids from fish oil, fiber, and then you try to eat as few other usable carbs and fats as possible. In simple terms, you’re basically eating nothing but chicken and vegetables.
However, because I’m efficient, or just lazy, your choice, I did the entire diet via protein shakes, physillium husk, and fish oil pills. Because I know everyone is going to ask, my favorite brand of protein powder, and the one I used for this diet because of its low carb/fat properties AND DELICIOUS taste, is Syntrax Matrix 5.0. I used Source Naturals Psyllium Husk Powder and Kirkland Brand Fish Oil. With the help of caffeine powder, using this combination, I was not very hungry throughout the diet at all.
Now the diet is more complex than what I’ve presented here. I plan to do a full review of RFL as a separate post in the future. I want to keep this as much about my training as is possible. I’ll just direct you to Lyle’s site for more information about RFL for now.
Wrapping up My Story…
I’d just like to say that my primary aim with PowerliftingToWin is to improve my sport. I want more people to participate in powerlifting. I want more people who already participate to take powerlifting more seriously. I want to see more people doing great things in powerlifting.
The best way I know how to make that happen is to be the epitome, the very embodiment, of PowerliftingToWin. My I pour my heart and soul 100% into powerlifting and into this project.
With that said, I’d just like to thank you for the gift of your time. I truly hope you decide that PowerliftingToWin is something worth following and believing in.
Have a nice day.
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Table of Contents
Part One: Starting Strength and Gaining 80lbs in 9 Months
Part Two: My First Meet and Cutting 50lbs
Part Three: My Experience with Steroids and Totaling 1405@220
Part Four: Tren, Almost Getting Arrested, and Why I Quit Steroids
Part Five: Losing 30lbs in 80 Days and Qualifying for Nationals