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Breaking the All-Time Powerlifting Total

November 5, 2008 12:27 PM

Andy Bolton posted 2806 lbs total in March of 2007. Prior to that, the seven-year reign belonged to Big Garry Frank of Baton Rouge. Still going backwards, it was Ed Coan, Dave Pasanella, Anthony Clark, Bill Kazmaier, and the original record holder was Don Reinhoudt of the early seventies. That is a total of seven very strong men. I wanted to be number eight. At this point in my Powerlifting career, I am 43 years old, trying to figure out how to do this without falling apart. I tried in November of 2006, posting a 2770 lbs total. I felt crippled for two months afterwards. I tried again in Cincinnati Ohio, August of 2007. I bombed severely but did not get hurt. November rolled around again and I posted a 2775 lbs total in York, Pa. I was one lift away from the record but denied by simple mishaps. Now back to Columbus Ohio exactly two months later. I missed my first two squat attempts. Got it together and hammered my last attempt to stay in the meet. The bench went better than expected. I needed a 755 lb deadlift to break the record. Done. I pulled 795 lb for my second to get a rounded number of 2850lbs. My back was completely fried. I could not attempt my 835 third deadlift. So I decided to end the day. All my lifetime dreams were realized at that moment. It sort of left me depressed. Competition is the key ingredient to my soul. That is living to me. Boy, have I lived.

The key to my achieving this huge thing was my extra workouts. My training partners leave the gym after they do their main lift. So I usually train for another two hours once they are gone. They think I am nuts anyway. The days I train are Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I do recovery work on Tuesday and Thursday. Sometimes on Saturday too. It is not uncommon for me to train seven days a week. On Tuesday I start with the kettlebell one arm bar. That leads to a circuit of band training from foot stomps for my glutes to scissors and wishbone movements on the Jump Stretch board with bands. All this is done for one-minute sets. Lastly I do 4 x 10 RDL'S. Pavel told me last year that stretching my hamstrings and glutes with just bands will not even touch the muscle. I needed to do something drastic. The RDL's were the answer. I never miss them. I go only to 275 lbs for this. A quick drop and catch is all I need to stretch those stubborn posterior chain muscles.

Thursday is upper body sled day. I do five 200 ft. walks using two green rubber bands attached to the sled strap. I do flies, rear delt sides, overhead pulls, and iron crosses. Always hook up with training fanatics to do the sled. They will be there for you in July during the 115-degree heat. My training partners are nowhere to be found on sled day. Then I perform the KB one arm bars again.

You need very strong shoulders to hold up to the rigors of professional Powerlifting. I have incorporated the double KB military press for this. I do about five sets of twelve with the 40k's. On lower body speed day, I do my dead snatch for about five sets of five. I only use the Beast for this one.

This develops tremendous speed in your hips and lower body. On lower body max effort day, I do all my swings. Alternate one arm swings, one arm swings, double KB swings using a sumo stance and double KB swings outside the legs using a close stance. All are three sets of ten. I also like banding the Beast and doing double hand swings for power. Very fun. Every other week I do the twist deadlift with the Beast for added pleasure. I did cut out swing snatches for the last six months due to the fact that I felt I just overdid the exercise. Almost four years of them. My wrist and elbow thanked me for it. That decision led to an 80 lb increase in my world record bench. The key to being the best at any age is to put your time in. DO NOT skip the little things. They are the glue that holds you together. Anyone can do the big lifts. But what happens when something in your body suddenly snaps? I do not want to experience that. I am missing a lot of competition from men stronger than me because they are on the Internet too much when they could be training and they are lazy in training. They do a heavy single and go home, forsaking their assistance work. I am hating it for them. If you do not want to be a champion, you can bet I will be right there to claim it in your absence.

I work for Progressive Sports Physical Therapy in Columbia, South Carolina. I am in a training facility all day at work. The Compound is a warehouse I converted into a training facility and my residence. I live there with my English Bulldog and love it. My point is, I will do whatever it takes to be victorious. I will outlast, outlift, and outweigh anyone in front of me. It is shear determination to reach beyond my grasp that keeps me going. Being the best at what I do is my passion! It comes before family, job, and anything else. It is not a hobby or a lofty ambition. It is an obsession. I find God in my steel jungle. Not in a wooden steeple. I pray to him before I attempt a weight that will crush me. So you see, everything you really want in life has a price to pay. Are you willing to pay it?

The future for me and Powerlifting is simple. I will compete in England this summer against some top superheavyweights, Andy Bolton, Chad Aichs, Ano Turtanian, and Vlad the impaler. Then I will conclude my career in York, PA this November. Two more meets and out. Will the 3000 lb. barrier be met? Will I best my all-time total? I can promise you one thing, not many people care what we lift! But it sure is a lot of fun!

I train young athletes aspiring to go to college to play a sport. I develop them to be ready and also some may get Division I scholarships if they are prepared properly.

There are many people I would like to thank for my success in Powerlifting. One man is Mark Blackburg. He is owner/operator of Jungle Gym in West Columbia, SC. He has been a great sponsor and friend to me since my start in powerlifting. "Cool Breeze" from Lake City, SC. He kept me fed with the best steaks in the world from his Railway restaurant. Scotty Mills, owner of PASCO Sprinkling Systems. My Mom and Dad in Chapin, SC. Dave Tate with for their sponsorship. Williams Strength in Columbia, SC for being an equipment company that gets it. Pavel, for single-handedly prolonging my lifting career.

Learn the techniques that have helped Don in his quest
for the All Time Historic Total Record from these DVDs:
Resilient and Strength Stretching

Outlast the competition.