Earlier this month I received some great news that I have been invited back to the Arnold Pro Deadlift Competition! The competition takes place during the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio in March 2019. This is the 12th year USA Powerlifting has been involved with the Arnold. I was on the inaugural USA Powerlifting planning committee 12 years ago that brought USA Powerlifting events to the Arnold and helped develop the current format of the Pro Deadlift Contest.

For many years, I not only competed but was also part of the planning committee and helped organize the lifters on meet day, while still trying to get in enough warm up pulls to go out and compete. This is never an ideal way to get ready for a contest, but I had some of my biggest pulls on the Arnold Expo Stage. Competing in front of that massive crowd always got me really pumped up, and I was fortunate to pull the biggest deadlift in the contest for six consecutive years. In the past, I always hoped for a 900 lb. pull at the Arnold, but the thought of pulling 900 lbs. is long gone. Having not participated in this competition in five years, my goal is to get back over 800 lbs. in 2019!

Training is going well; I have continued to train a high volume of rack pulls and rack squats. I really enjoy training with the heavy weight. I am utilizing several pin heights in both lifts. With winter around the corner, it is getting cold in the back of the gym so I am training less with the sandbags and farmers walks. I am already looking forward to hitting these heavy again next spring. I will start my Arnold Pro Deadlift meet peaking cycle after Christmas. I will keep my pulls light from the floor and continue to pull heavy out of the rack.

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Aside from my own training, I want to give a shout out to my daughter Lizzy; her Minneota Viking Volleyball team won the Minnesota State Class A Volleyball Championship earlier this month. They had a dominate season finishing 36-1. What a great season! As an added bonus, Lizzy was nominated to the All-State Team. Her hard work on the court and all the hours lifting weights has paid off. With the volleyball season ending, the basketball season has started. The basketball team is primarily made up of the same girls that are on the volleyball team. The team is currently ranked 1st in State and is looking to return and improve on a 3rd place finish last year.

Stay Strong!

 

Brad Gillingham

Brad Gillingham is a Hall of Fame Powerlifter who is a 6-time IPF World Powerlifting Champion and has more than 30 IPF World Championship medals under his belt.  Brad is the co-owner of Jackals Gym where he coaches a variety of athletes.  Brad is also strength and conditioning coach for wrestling and volleyball at Southwest Minnesota State University.

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