TeamTPS Athlete Updates:

    We’ve got a few updates for you this month, up first is Zach:

    Making a Fresh Start
    By Zach DiCostanzo

    I hate clichés.
    Like, absolutely cannot stand them.
    Throughout my entire academic experience, it was drilled into me that they should be avoided at all costs.
    They’re lazy.
    A cliché is the writer’s way of taking the easy out when they aren’t original enough to turn a phrase themselves.
    Among my least favorite clichés is the concept of “New year, new me!” that gets thrown around every time the calendar hops from December 31st to January 1st.
    The idea that you need a “new year” to be able to make significant changes to your life is appalling to me.
    Why wait for a special occasion to fix something that’s broken?
    Why not just fix it the second you realize something is wrong?
    Occasionally, however, a cliché just really, really fits, and there’s no way of avoiding it.
    So if I had to explain the last month and a half or so of training, my despised concept of “New year, new me,” begrudgingly, is perfect.

    2016 was a rough year for me.


    I dealt with a pretty rough injury, my numbers on every lift dropped significantly, I lost confidence in my training, and I bailed out of three consecutive meets.
    At the tail end of it, though, I forced myself to commit to competing in January for better or for worse.

    Since then, everything has, amazingly, fallen into place.
    Forcing myself to compete allowed me to overcome some jitters and apprehension that I didn’t even realize I’d had. I went into the meet knowing I wasn’t going to set any PRs and just focused on getting up there on the platform, doing what had to be done, and living to compete another day.
    Afterwards, it felt like I was a hundred pounds lighter; which, admittedly, isn’t always a good thing for a powerlifter, but in this case was fantastic.
    My stress was gone, and my fear of not being as strong as I once was, irrelevant.
    Best of all, I was able to approach my training with a completely different perspective, and rebuild from the ground up.
    I messed around with my squat, I played around with bench technique, and I committed to sumo for my upcoming meet.
    And, not-so-surprisingly, I’ve gotten stronger.

    I feel stronger now than I ever did when I was worrying every day about how strong I was or was not.
    My next meet is in twelve weeks time, and it’s going to be huge.

    I can feel it.
    New year, new me.

    Training Excerpts:
    Training to this point has been very high volume and RPE based. Here’s a snapshot of the past week.




    Comp Squat 3×8 @8
    Front Squat 3×6 @7
    Dumbbell Hammer Curl 3×10

    Pause Bench 2×2 @7
    Touch-n-Go Bench 4×10 @7-8
    Seated Dumbbell Press 4×10
    Front Raise 3×12

    Sumo Deadlift 1×1 @8
    Sumo Deadlift 5×6 @6
    Lat Pull Down 4×12
    Seated Cable Row 4×12

    Pause Bench 3×7 @8-9
    Extra Wide Grip TnG Bench 3×6 @8
    Single Arm Dumbbell Press 3×12
    Barbell Curl 3×12

    High Bar Squats, Wide Stance in Flats 4×5 @8
    Front Squat 4×6 @8
    Dumbbell Curl 3×10
    T-Bar Row 3×12

    4 Second Pause Bench 2×2 @7
    Pause Bench 5×6 @7
    Sumo Deadlift 4×4 @5-6
    Underhand Lat Pull Down 4×15
    Dumbbell Row 3×10

    And next is the awesome Lodrina:

    March Updates by Lodrina Cherne
    This month I’ve been working on my sumo deadlift technique.

    Using some of the skills from the Acumobility workshop held at TPS earlier this year, I’m working on accessing lower body mobility then patterning the hips through movement in my warmup. The goal is for my body to remember it can recruit new found mobility in the sumo pull.

    After pulling conventional for 6 years it’s exciting and frustrating to learn a new big lift. I’m focusing on pulling for reps and am nowhere near testing a max; I’m not in the right part of a training cycle to take a heavy single and my technique has been inconsistent from one training session to another.

    What’s great is seeing instant improvement when I do the right warmup and find the right cues that click for my setup.
    Take a look at the picture comparing an older training session (top) versus a more recent session (bottom).


    You’ll notice feet move from inside the rings on the bar to outside the rings and chest is much more vertical which is ideal.

    My sumo pull is still a work in progress but it feels good to be on the right track. If you want to know more check out Murph’s recent coaching article on EliteFTS and look for a step by step sumo video from Acumobility coming soon.


    Next up is a submission from Coach Andrew Simons:


    TPS coach Andrew Simons just did a Weightlifting meet.

    Here is how he did in his own words:


    My training leading up to the meet was different than anything I had done before.

    I used a conjugate style approach with a lot of accommodating resistance along the way. I was very skeptical about this style of training, and i thought the use of bands would absolutely destroy my technique with the Olympic movements.

    • Power cleans and snatch pulls against bands?
    • Squats to a box?
    • Bench pressing?!?!
    • These are scary words to weightlifters!

    No way is this going to work, this is a terrible idea, but I decided to give it a shot anyways.

    My training paid off and translated to my lifts on the platform.

    My only goal going into this meet was to total at least 195kg and while I did not have my best performance on the platform (2/6, 88/110kg at 71.8k), it was good enough to qualify for the American open in the 77kg class.

    I felt strong going into it but this was only my 2nd meet, and nerves got the better of me that day.

    I missed my opening snatch behind my head, hit my 2nd attempt at 88, then missed 91kg despite putting the bar above my head.

    Going into the clean and jerk I was a bit more confident with my opener and I hit 110kg easily.

    Once the bar hit the platform I knew my goal was accomplished and whatever else happened didn’t matter.

    For what it’s worth I missed 112kg twice, despite yet again putting the bar over my head. I am not pleased with my performance but I am glad it happened the way it did, and I know what I need to focus on in my training.

    The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary, put in more work, achieve more success.

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