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Ryan's "Hope to compete again in 2014" log


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Had a slow week for lifting last week after the good squat day. Wednesday did some olympic stuff, just lots of power snatches with 164 lbs. for singles through triples to get started, did some 18" deadlifts with a lower weight of 405 just to get used to the height more. Did around 8 sets of 2-4 pulls with various stance widths of conventional and sumo, still working on getting the feel right. Other than that no lifting for the rest of the weekend, should be squatting again tomorrow!

 

Ryan

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Had to atone for my sins of laziness and slacking over the past week, so I did an extra-long session today to make up for it. Legs and shoulders - didn't feel great at the start, but it got better as the time went on.

 

Overhead presses in the rack -

1x5 (strict) @ 135

1x3 (strict) @ 185

1x3 (push) @ 225

1x3 (push) @ 255

1x1 (push) @ 265, failed on 2nd rep. Curses!

1x5 (push) @ 225

 

Squats -

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

1x2 @ 405

1x2 @ 435

1x2 @ 455

Didn't feel like I was going to make it for a bit - winded really quickly, just felt crappy with the squats.

1x5 @ 315

Next, stacked some plates to 12" for box squat simulating, did a 3 quick doubles with a light 275 and a very wide stance.

 

Standing overhead lockouts in the rack - done from about 4" above head height, bar was high up since I didn't want to do them seated today -

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 185

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 275

1x6 @ 225

 

Good mornings up next -

1x5 @ 275

2x3 @ 335

Just didn't have the feel for them today, didn't push my luck.

 

Wrapped up with some squat lockouts, just about a 6-8" ROM from bottom up -

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All lockouts were held for 10 seconds, except the 855 which was just for about a 5 second hold. Felt good for more, but nothing I can do about that - no more room left on the gym bar to add more, that was it for the day.

 

I feel good now that I actually did some freaking work - it wasn't my best, but that'll come soon enough. Should get in some back and chest work Thursday, maybe some event stuff this weekend if anything's going on!

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Chest and random stuff tonight -

 

Close grip bench press (hands 14" apart) -

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 185

1x3 @ 225

5x3 @ 255

 

Hise Shrugs

1x10 @ 315

1x10 @ 405

1x10 @ 495

1x10 @ 585 (PR)

Walked out with 630, was getting spent for heavy stuff, did 2 reps and stopped at that weight.

1x20 @ 405

 

Overhead shrugs in the....ugh....smith machine (still getting used to the feel of these, will drop the smith in a week or two)

1x10 @ 180 (not counting stupid counterbalanced bar)

1x10 @ 270

1x10 @ 320

 

Seated barbell wrist curls

2x10 @ 135 (wrists a bit sore lately, need to get them back up to speed)

 

Inspired by a video of Jesse Marunde doing a 495 lb. behind the neck push jerk, I decided to see how lighter ones felt. Did 3x8 @ 135 since I never do behind the neck pressing, didn't feel too bad once I got the timing right.

 

That's all for today! Event training or deadlifts this weekend and that'll do it.

 

Ryan

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All lockouts were held for 10 seconds, except the 855 which was just for about a 5 second hold. Felt good for more, but nothing I can do about that - no more room left on the gym bar to add more, that was it for the day.

 

Wow, this is pretty amazing! Awesome work Ryan. I reference you quite a bit when I talk about huge strong vegans with guys at my gym or just in conversation.

 

Awesome to see the powerful lifts!

 

Great work man.

 

-Rob

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nice squatting there ryan

 

in your next competitions are you going to be competing raw or equiped? i was just thinking that due to your huge triceps (and impressive close grip benching) that you would be very strong in a shirt. i could see 375-400lbs after a few sessions getting used to it. depends on whether you want to do it or not - i was quite anti gear until i got active on fortifiediron.net, but i guess its just a slightly different sport.

 

i am much more bothered about my raw bench at the moment (plus i have yet to push it to a respectable level!) so i will keep concentrating on that for a bit. plus i dont have monster squats and deadlifts that i can be competitive with!

 

jonathan

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Jonathan,

 

I'm adopting Sensless' attitude toward equipped lifts - I'd like to be able to hit about 1450-1500 lbs. raw before I start using equipment. I think that I can add about 50 lbs. to the bench this year if I work it hard, and I'm quite confident that I can get the squat and DL up to 600 each as well, putting me well past the desired amount. Once I get around that total I'll probably buy a shirt and squat suit and see what happens - it'd be nice to eventually post a 1700+ total, so we'll see what happens in the next year!

 

I'm definitely not anti-gear - I just think that I still have a lot of natural strength to develop first, and once that really comes to a peak then it'll be time to play around with other stuff. This past 2 years has taken me from a 350 lb. squat to what I estimate will be 525 within a month, a 400 DL to 545 and a 250 bench to 300 (with almost no work on benching!), so I'm going to slam myself silly first to build a super-solid base and then start looking to try equipment a bit just to find out what kind of totals I can post once or twice a year for competition. Though, I'll probably enter USAPL meets like the one I did before, so it'll all be single-ply and not the super suits that some of the less-strict federations use.

 

You've got a bench that's equal to mine, your DL is strong, and if you push that squat hard I bet you'll be cracking the 400 lb. mark before long. Just keep hammering out those core lifts and I won't be surprised if you add 100-150 lbs. to your total in the next year without much trouble. Work that overhead pressing and do some bench variations to boost that area (close-grip and lockouts), and start laying down the squats from all heights and styles and I bet you'll see the numbers jump quickly. Best thing you can do is find a contest about 6-10 months away, commit to entering it, and go for it - nothing will push you to gain more quickly than having a deadline to meet (which is what I just did with signing up for the Chicago's Strongest Man event in April!), so give a PL meet a try and have some fun with it! I didn't do well in my first meet, but now I know better about how to approach it next time and I'll destroy my first total next time I hit a comp in 2005!

 

Ryan

 

Ryan

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Event stuff today, definitely fun.

 

Got there late but jumped into the yoke right away. Did one run with 460ish for about 50 feet, switched directions and came back with about 10-20 seconds between. Did better with heavier stuff this time - did around 640ish for about 50 feet, rested for a few seconds, wrapped up the last 25 or so feet. Better than last time where I made about 15-20 feet total at most! Only thing is my right knee feels just slightly off, probably beat it up a bit when I got unstable with the 640 and dropped it. Should be better in a few days.

 

Reverse band overhead log work (log suspended from bands in a tall power rack to make the initial press easier, hard at lockout - basically it goes from feeling like about 150 lbs. to double the weight by the time it is fully overhead). Did some doubles and triples up to a shaky 315 with either complete or near-complete deload at lockout. Not good with this yet since I've done almost no log work since late summer, so I've gotta get back on this stuff.

 

Wrapped up with stones, had some good times in this area. Hit a new PR of a 345 lb. stone to 49" with relative ease, tried 3 times to get 375 but only managed to break it off the ground a little bit. I swear, if I'd have lapped it I'd have loaded it! Did about 7-8 singles with 285 to 49" and 53" as well (I thought it was 250!) and that did it for the day.

 

Good stuff, should be squatting again on Tuesday, back with a writeup then!

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Okay, it's been hell month for work with no less than 12 hours/day for 12 of the last 14 days, but that's no excuse for taking a full 8 days off lifting!

 

Headed to the gym today after a good restful Saturday and it went pretty well - despite the weird knee injury it didn't affect performance or hurt at all, which is quite good. Still feels odd at times, but nothing I can't handle. Started with squats:

 

1x5 @ 135

1x3 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

1x3 @ 405

1x1 @ 455

1x1 @ 475

Got pissed at the lack of lifting this past while, decided to toss out a new PR even if it was only a few lbs. over the old best. Loaded 505, but set the pins slightly high so I tapped them at the bottom, making me angrier. Still made the lift, but I felt compelled to do it again. Dropped the pins 2" more so they were below parallel instead of right at it, hit the squat again at 505 with minimal stall at top. So, despite being overworked and overtired I at least tacked a few lbs. to my PR and did it twice!

 

Next, did some push presses in the rack -

1x3 @ 225

1x3 @ 235

1x3 @ 245

1x3 @ 255

This went better than expected - I'm hoping to hit a triple @ 275 in January and PR @ 300, so I'll keep working this hard.

 

Tossed in a few Good Mornings, but these didn't fare as well:

1x5 @ 255

1x3 @ 315

1x1 @ 365 - was ugly, felt bad, didn't go for 390 as intended

1x3 @ 315

 

Back to overhead stuff again, I played around with behind the neck push jerks a bit to get more comfortable with them:

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 165

2x3 @ 185

Feeling better with these after only my 2nd try at them, and I'd like to start hitting them for triples @ 225 in the next month or so once they feel totally natural and my confidence is up.

 

Finally, wrapped up with standing overhead press lockouts in the rack, about a 5" ROM to lockout:

1x5 @ 225

1x5 @ 275

2x1 @ 315 for a PR

1x8 @ 225 and followed with an immediate 1x8 @ 135

 

Could barely lift my arms at this point, that was it for the day. I feel redeemed, even though I changed my lifting schedule around a bit to get there. Next week I'll get back on course, but I should be deadlifting on Tuesday, back to report afterward!

 

Ryan

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I've been trying to copy & paste from another site I keep my log at to this one with no success, but I'll keep working until I get it right! Hopefully I'll have an entry that goes in correctly this evening.

 

I think that that is a brilliant idea.

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Thanks for the kind words, both of you I feel there's a long way to go until I awe myself, but that just motivates me more to keep getting stronger. Then again, I'm never really satisfied with my progress, so let's see what 2006 brings!

 

 

Met with Sensless today for some after-work lifting (a rare treat this December with the terribly long days!) and it turned out to be quite fun.

 

Started with some olympic lift warmups, just doing some power snatches and other stuff working up to 185 lbs. Once that was out of the way, we did some military strict pressing for a few quick sets:

 

1x5 @ 135

1x3 @ 185

1x1 @ 225

1xfailure @ 235 - felt good on the 225, but it wiped me out and the PR attempt didn't go well. Just did a double with it for a push press and that was it for this.

 

Next, did some 18" deadlifts in the power rack (18" from bar to ground height, just about mid-knee height for me). Did the following:

 

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

1x2 @ 405

1x2 @ 495

1x1 @ 585

2 attempts at 635, moved an inch but stopped there and lost it. It'll go up soon!

 

Moved to Good Mornings next and set a PR with these -

1x8 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

1x3 @ 365

1x2 @ 405 for an easy PR

Attempted 455, went down and knew I wouldn't get back up so that was all for these.

 

Finally, went back to the O-lift platform and played around with power snatches again. Did 185 easily, felt like going for a PR, made 3 singles @ 200 for a new highlight. First one was a bit of a pressout, the 2nd two were much better but not quite perfect. Still have to work form on these!

 

Now it'll be a nice restful weekend, then back to business to hit the squats again Tuesday.

 

Ryan

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Squat day today!

 

Started off with good 'ol standard squats for the "make it or die trying" day that I've been meaning to do again for a bit. Goal was 25 reps minimum @ 430 lbs. done in as many sets as necessary. Got it as follows:

1x10 @ empty bar

1x8 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

1x2 @ 405

8x3 @ 430

1x2 @ 430

 

Totaled 26 reps in about 38 minutes, but I knew my time for them was up once I hit that last set for 2. I'd wanted to get 30, but I figured I'll save that for next time when I go for 440 lbs.

 

Did a few 1/3 squats with a ROM of about 14", starting from the bottom on each rep -

1x5 @ 500

1x3 @ 550

1x3 @ 600

Could have gone a bit higher, but I was getting beat to hell and nearing my end.

 

Wrapped up with a bit of goofing around. Did 2x3 with 315 with the pins extremely low, sunk to where I couldn't go any lower, did 5 seconds paused at bottom and fast back up. Last thing was 2x3 light 10" box squats with 225 and I could barely move.

 

I can barely walk now, but I find that I always start gaining quickly with my squats when I hit a heavy endurance day like this. Next week is light speed work, then the following week will be the 525 PR attempt. I have no doubts that I'll hit a new mark once the time comes.

 

Should be some lifting again Wednesday, back with a report when it is done.

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Totally late to the gym tonight, so instead of shoulders/back it was shoulders only, but a good day nonetheless.

 

Started with push presses in the rack -

1x8 @ 135 (strict)

1x3 @ 185 (strict)

1x2 @ 225 (started with push presses at this point)

1x1 @ 245

1x1 @ 265

1x2 @ 275 for a new PR hitting a double at that weight. Tried for a 3rd rep but only got past top-of-head height and lost it.

1x3 @ 225

 

Was pleased to hit the double with 275, then it was standing overhead lockouts in the power rack, done from about 3-4" above forehead height -

1x5 @ 185

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 245

1x3 @ 265

1x5 @ 225

1x8 @ 135

All sets were done quickly, only about 90 seconds rest between each one.

 

With 7 minutes left I did a few sets on the Hammer Strength plate-loaded shoulder press, a rare visit to the machines -

1x5 @ 180

1x5 @ 230

1x5 @ 280

1x5 @ 230

1x5 @ 180

All sets done quickly with rest period only being the time to change the weight between each set.

 

Headed home and began a bit early on my new year's resolution to start focusing on more grip work again. It was my passion last winter/spring, but I've slacked hard on it and need to get back on it again.

 

Pulled out the York blobs for some pinch gripping. Started at the 42.5 lb. blob since my smaller one was slick from being left outside in the rain for an hour on accident, but I got a few good lifts right handed and one or two with the left. Tried the 45 lb. blob, budged it about 3" off the ground right handed, no movement left handed.

 

Did some bending next, working my way through a handful of steel to wrap up at a 5.5" Grade 8 bolt. My skill with bending has taken the largest hit, so that'll need a lot more work this winter to get back up to speed.

 

Finished with a few lifts pinching a pair of old York 35 lb. plates. 2 lifts right handed, 2 lefty and that was it.

 

Should be getting some lifting in either Friday or Saturday for some deadlifting, I'll update when it is done.

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Last real workout before I head to San Diego for a wedding this week, so I hit up the old Ballys I used to go to so I could see if it changed for the better (it hasn't, unfortunately).

 

Started with overhead push presses, which went quite well -

1x5 @ 135 (strict)

1x3 @ 185 (strict)

1x5 @ 225 (push from here on out)

1x5 @ 250 for a PR at that weight

1x2 @ 275 (missed 3rd rep by just an inch!)

1x3 @ 225

I was wondering if I'd hit too many sessions of overhead work lately (there was one from last Friday as well, but it sucked and only did 2 sets) but for the fact that I hit a PR on reps with 250 and almost finally hit a 3rd with 275 I think it went quite well. Maybe I haven't been working the overhead pressing enough.

 

Squatted next. I was already pretty beat from the push presses (I've been exhausted since Christmas), but I forced out a fairly decent day just to get one more heavy workout in -

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

1x3 @ 405

1x2 @ 430

1x2 @ 455

1x1 @ 475

1x1 @ 495

Had to work for the 495 which shouldn't be that hard now, so I know I still need some recovery time on the legs.

 

Good Mornings were next -

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

1x2 @ 405

Knew I didn't have a third rep at 405, called it quits for these.

 

Wrapped up with some single-arm DB presses. Did 2 sets standing first -

2x7 @ 100 lbs. each arm (no push, strict with a bit of slight side lean)

Next, wrapped up with one quick set for speed doing a seated 1x10 each arm @ 60 lbs. and that was it.

 

May get some grip work in tomorrow, otherwise, no gym work until this weekend. That is, unless I somehow get lucky and find a decent hotel gym, but we all know how likely that one is...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Easy leg day today since I've been feeling half-sick and just flat-out tired the past few days. PR attempt for a 525 raw squat is next week, so today was going to be lighter to be ready for it.

 

Did paused bottom squats (2 seconds to deload weight on pins just below parallel, lean back and foce it up), and it went as follows:

1x8 @ empty bar

1x5 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 315

1x1 @ 405

1x1 @ 455

All went pretty easily - the paused 455 went up easier than the 405, which was a PR for a paused bottom squat for me.

 

Next, did 5x2 @ 315 for speed, powering up as fast as possible on each rep. Varied stance a bit with every set, going from narrow to wide back to narrow again. Went well, except I blew the ass out of my jeans when I went wide and lost one more pair of pants to make it the first pair down of the new year.

 

Did a few bottoms-up Zercher squats to get re-acquainted with them since I haven't done much with them in the past year. Just a few quick sets of doubles with 225, 315 and 405 and that was it for them. I attempted to do a Zercher off the floor (I'd made 365 about a year or so ago and was aiming for 405), but my flexibility to get my arms under the bar at ground level is shot. Gonna need to do some serious stretching to get that one back again.

 

Finally, I dared to try some heels-only leg presses on this goofy Hammer Strength unilateral leg press machine I've seen for months now. I can safely say, it was terribly uncomfortable and I've never heard my knees crackle so much even with relatively light weight for the 2 sets I did. I can rest easy knowing that it is a machine I will never touch again unless my life depends on it.

 

Thursday I have to assist with moving a friend's stand-up arcade game, then it should be back and chest day afterward.

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Didn't get to move the video game yet, missed meeting with Sensless to go lift, but I made a quick 40 minute session before closing time in the end.

 

Went for a sorely-neglected back workout, had a solid session.

 

Barbell bent over rows -

1x8 @ 135

1x5 @ 225

1x3 @ 275

1x3 @ 295

1x3 @ 315

1x3 @ 335 (last rep pretty iffy about whether or not to count it)

 

1-arm cable pulldowns -

1x6 @ 120 each arm

1x10 @ 90 " "

Haven't done cable pulldowns in ages, didn't like this machine, quit early.

 

DB rows -

2x12 @ 120 lbs. each arm

 

Hammer Strength plate-loaded one-arm pulldowns

1x20 @ 90 lbs. each arm

 

Back was quite fried after this since I've done around 2 half-assed back workouts in the past 6 weeks, so it was nice to get on track with this.

 

Working from home tomorrow, should make a miscellaneous lift day to get some stuff in like shrugs, quarter squats and close-grip benching in. Also found out about another local strongman event in late April, so I've now got 3 comps lined up before the middle of June. Should be a fun summer!

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Thanks, CG - I actually started to feel better just a day afterward, but I was pretty run down from the travelling just a few days beforehand. Whenever I fly, I feel burnout for a while afterward and it all caught up to me at the beginning of the week. Much better now, provided I don't catch the cold that everyone around me has been suffering through!

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You are a strong beast! You have been one of my favorite vegan lifters over the past 4 years we've been in touch. Wow....has it been that long? Just about!

 

Best of luck in strong man contests this year. I enjoy seeing the heavy weights being thrown around. I feel sorry for the iron as it is being mastered by the massive VEGAN!

 

-Rob

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Hey, Rob!

 

Thanks for the kind words - this year is the breakthrough year for really putting the strength on, so I'm giving it all I've got. 2005 was good, but with months of injuries and illnesses I didn't gain as much ground as I'd hoped. We'll see where 2006 takes me, and I've got plenty of contests lined up to get myself in gear and work harder than ever!

 

Today was an unusual day in that I've actually lifted two evenings in a row, definitely not common for me. Had a good time, though, so it was well worth it.

 

Started with overhead push presses in the rack -

1x10 @ empty bar

1x6 @ 135 (strict press)

1x3 @ 185 (strict press)

1x2 @ 225

1x1 @ 255

1x1 @ 275

1x1 @ 295 for a 10 lb. PR!

1x5 @ 225

There's no question that 300 would have gone up, but I'm holding out for another month to try and hit 310 or 315 once I get a little more lockout power under my belt. The 295 went up nicely - hit the groove right, didn't slow down until the last 5" of lockout and then the triceps kicked in and capped it off. Very nice.

 

Next, did some Hise shrugs in the rack -

1x6 @ 405

1x6 @ 495

1x6 @ 585

 

After that, it was time for bottoms-up 1/4 squats with about a 9-10" ROM -

1x3 @ 585

1x1 @ 675

1x1 @ 765

1x1 @ 855, walked it a few feet forward afterward and re-racked it.

Can't do any more weight than this at my gym, so until I get my own rack and 1000 lbs. of plates I'm not going any heavier.

 

Next, it was short (2") ROM standing overhead lockouts in the rack -

1x1 with a 10 second hold @ 225

1x1 " " @ 315

1x1 with a 5 second hold @ 365

Just missed 405 by a hair - moved about an inch, lost stability and it went back down. How the hell does anyone hold that much weight overhead and keep stable?!?

 

Wrapped up with 2 sets of Kelso-inspired shurgs, one set on the cable tower at head height, pulling in from the side one arm at a time for 20 reps with the full stack. Next set was V-handle low row shrugs, one set of 20 shrugs with a full forward stretch @ 170 lbs.

 

Good enough for now, next lifting will be Sunday or Monday!

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Thanks, Richard! Fantastic pic, by the way!

 

Inspired by some flak I've been catching at the Vegan Fitness board regarding my lack of benching, I decided to do a some chest work today and threw in some long-awaited arm work as well just to do a few things I don't normally touch.

 

Started off with close-grip benching, hands about 16" apart -

1x8 @ 135

1x3 @ 225

1x2 @ 255

1x2 @ 260

1x2 @ 265

1x2 @ 270

2x2 @ 275

The heavier sets @ 275 felt very easy, much moreso than expected. I almost contemplated asking for a spot, but after the first rep I knew it'd be no problem. My benching needs a lot of work, but since I don't care much for standard style I pretty well only work narrow grip since it'll transfer over to overhead pressing far more.

1x6 for a backoff set @ 225, each rep about 3 seconds down and 1-2 seconds paused at bottom

 

Next, did a few sets of barbell curls, just because I haven't done them in ages -

1x5 @ 135

1x5 with reverse grip and a bit of cheating @ 135

Regular BB curls don't feel comfortable, so I don't like to do them often. even EZ bar curls don't feel comfortable, so it is rare that I toss any of them in.

 

Next up, close-grip half benches to lockout in the rack (about a 10-12" ROM, half of my usual distance for a full press)

1x3 @ 225

1x2 @ 195

1x2 @ 315

1x1 @ 325

[email protected] 225

 

Finally, last set was one run at DB curls as I headed out, did 1x8 @ 60 lbs. and that was it. I even capped the session off right by flexing in front of the mirror on the locker room, just to keep the chest/arm theme running in the vein of how most of the goons at my gym handle their business. Very silly.

 

Felt good today, felt strong, hopefully it'll carry over on Tuesday once I go for a 525 lb. raw squat!

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