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Revised Contest Plans for 2009

By Gary F. Zeolla

The following message was posted in the Weight Trainer's United forum and on my MySpace page.

In my post Workout and Contest Plans for 2009 a few weeks ago, I outlined my plans to enter an ADAU contest. The ADAU is a strictly raw federation, allowing only a belt. In fact, it has now added “Raw Power” to it name. I was thinking of entering ADAU Nationals July 12. My hope was that by giving myself six months to prepare, I would be able to condition my body to be able to lift raw without getting injured. However, that is not proving to be the case.

For those following my workout logs, I mention that my left knee has been bothering of late. And that is with doing 3-4 reps on my top set for squats and deadlifts. In my most recent squat workout, both knees were sore after the workout. It is nothing serious, but it is a concern and leaves me very leery to go any heavier without knee support.

As such, I think once again I will have to forgo plans to compete raw. I say “once again” as this is the third time I have tried to train to compete raw. Each time, I have gotten injured. As a result, I think that is it for me ever trying to compete raw. My aging body simply cannot handle it.

Last year, I entered a NASA contest as NASA allows knee wraps in its raw division, although I just wore knee sleeves. That worked out very well. Unfortunately, it does not look like NASA is holding another contest in the Pittsburgh area any time soon.

However, I just came across a brand new federation, R.A.W. United (RAWU). They held their first contest in December 2008. For that contest, only a belt was allowed. But they changed their rules so that their “Raw” division now allows a belt, knee sleeves, and wrist wraps. The rules are the same as for the Raw Unity contest held in Florida each January.

RAWU’s first contests were held in Florida, but they are also holding three contests in Greencastle, PA, which is near Harrisburg, a little over three hours from my home. The first contest was on March 7. The second is June 13-14, and the third is November 14-15.

The June contest will work out time-wise for me, so I am now planning on entering that contest. It is their Northeast Regional & Pennsylvania State Championships. If that goes well, then I might also enter the contest in November. The contest is being held in a Sports Inn, which is adjacent to a Comfort Inn. That makes for a very convenient set-up.

Interestingly, the entry forms indicate that heavyweights compete on Saturday and lightweights and females on Sunday. For every contest I’ve ever entered it has been the reverse. A final schedule will be mailed out after the entry deadline of May 16. But if that schedule holds, it means I will be competing on a Sunday for the first time, which will be Flag Day.

Note also, at the NASA contest last year, I wore APT’s heavy knee sleeves. But APT’s Convict knee sleeves are allowed in the Raw Unity contest and thus in RAWU, so I will probably wear them. They are heavier and longer than the heavy knee sleeves. I will start wearing them for my next squat workout.

With plans to enter this contest, I will need to change my workout plans some. I had planned on using two 12 week routines to prepare for the ADAU contest in July. But this contest is four weeks earlier, so I will shorten my current routine to 10 weeks. That means, after marking my workout logs as “Week X of 12” all year, when I post my next log, it will be “Week 10 of 10” (see Full Workout Logs: Starting 2/19/09: Alternate Weeks: Weeks 6-10 of 10).

I will then start a new routine. For it, I should get in a full ten weeks and at least part of an eleventh week, so I will be marking those logs as “Week X of 11.” For that routine, I will also only do the actual powerlifts every other week. That will have me doing them for Week 10, but I will also do the powerlifts for whatever part of Week 11 I get in. That will give me an “extra” workout for at least squats, which is good as that is the lift I have been struggling with the most (see Full Workout Logs: Starting 3/22/09: Pre-contest Workouts: Weeks 1-6 of 11).

If anyone is interested in these contests, details are on RAWU’s Web site.

APT’s Convict knee sleeves are available at APT Pro Gear.

Revised Contest Plans for 2009. Copyright 2009 By Gary F. Zeolla.

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