If you read my blog regularly you probably know that I have been working with Mike Robertson of IFAST for the last 2 1/2 years.  For the full story on why I went to see him in the first place, check out his interview with me here.  Long story short I had to take quite a bit of time off from heavy lifting to fix some major postural issues I was having.  It was awful and I hated it at times, but I knew it was what was best for me in the long run.  My main goals are to stay health and injury-free, have an aesthetically pleasing physique, and be as strong as a house… that’s not too much to ask, right? 😉

While I am interested in competing in Powerlifting again (I have dabbled in it in the past), I am not willing to sacrifice my long-term health and safety for it.  Some people are, and that’s fine for them and I admire people who are that dedicated… it’s just not for me.  That being said, I want to be as strong as possible while being as safe as possible, which is why Mike is the perfect Coach for me.

A couple of weeks ago, Mike told me that it was about time to test my maxes and I have been ecstatic about it!  I held off on testing my Deadlift max this time around because I haven’t deadlifted for 6 weeks due to a weird pulling going on in my lower back.  I have seen a PT for it, and she released some stuff in my right glute and it’s feeling 100% back to normal, but I won’t test my DL max until deadlifting has been back in my program on a regular basis.

Here were my previous maxes:

GYM (2009):

Squat: 235 (I squatted 245 but got a little help on it)

Bench: 150

Deadlift: 315


Squat: 237

Bench: 148

Deadlift: 341

RAWR! Thinking about the ladies of Girls Gone Strong definitely motivated me hitting PR’s!


I haven’t purposefully tested my 1 rep max in any lift since 2009, although I have squatted 245 a couple of times in the last 6 months.  The funny thing is, I thought that I was matching a previous PR and when I went back and watched the video I realized I got some help with 245, so I inadvertently sent a PR when I squatted 245 recently.

Anyway, I took last week off as a de-load week (read more about de-loading here) and the first several days of this week I just did some conditioning and a little light lifting.  I was PUMPED to go in tonight and smash some weights.  I was planning on squatting around 275 and benching around 165.  I started taking videos with my Flip Cam and then it pooped out on me… so I can’t access my warm-up videos on squat.  Oops.  Oh well… the rest is history:



So there you have it.  A 20 lb PR on squats and a 15 lb PR on bench press.  I was a little disappointed with my squat (hoping I would get 275) but all it has done is motivate me to work harder!  I am also including a video of some breathing and bracing drills that my partner Jim Laird and I have been doing with our clients and ourselves.  Jim learned them from Bill Hartman (Mike Robertson’s partner in IFAST).  It has helped my core stability tremendously and I definitely recommend it.  Enjoy!


So what do you think?  Have you hit any PR’s lately?  On any exercises?  1 rep max PR’s? Rep PR’s?  I would love to hear about them!  Thanks for reading and please share this blog post if you support what I do!  Thank you!

18 Responses to Testing My Maxes… Squat and Bench.

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