Jimmy GUNS Bryan APA Raw Nationals, Defuniak Springs, FL
By Jimmy GUNS Bryan on 4/29/2014 Back to Articles

Jimmy GUNS Bryan APA Raw Nationals, Defuniak Springs, FL


Jimmy GUNS Bryan APA Raw Nationals, Defuniak Springs, FL


I started this year off coming back from a minor pec tear in my right outer pec. Didn’t know when the next time I would compete and really had decided to just get back into my powerbuilding routine and slowly work up to some heavier weight and put on some more size. Around last Christmas, the gym that I was going to decided to just basically shut the doors and not really tell many people about it. So that made my decision to start training at Richard “The Ant” Hawthorne and Aaron “BigRed” Williams Southern Elite Training Facility! It’s a 25 minute drive, but well worth it. I had started to relearn my deadlift and tweak my squat a little bit, but for the most part, things were looking great. As Richard was in prep mode for Raw Unity, we were training deadlifts on a Saturday and I was feeling really good. We had worked up to 530lbs for 6, as I pulled my first rep, it flew up and I knew I had the 6 reps in me. On the 2nd rep, something popped in my left bicep elbow. I decided it wasn’t extremely painful and decided to go for 3, that’s when I felt the pain. I just was positive I had torn my bicep! I took a few weeks off from deadlifts and worked around the injury. Dr’s said it was not a tear and told me I was getting too old and need to stop lifting heavy! Haha, he even said that I should take up yoga to keep in shape and keep my flexibility up. Fuck you! I decided to switch grip so the injury side was set at an overhand grip. Now, when you have been training your body for all these years, you just can’t imagine how strange it felt to switch grips. But things started to feel better and better each week. When I watched R.U.M. it lit a fire under my ass and I decided I was ready to get into meet prep and find a meet! I decided to go after APA Raw Nationals. Only thing, it was 7 ½ weeks out! I felt pretty confident I could get into prep full swing. About 3 weeks into prep I was warming up on squats and strained my quad! WTF! Another injury! I thought for sure things were not looking good for the meet. 2 big injuries, and in the middle of prep. I worked through the quad pain and decided to just start lightly wrapping. But that didn’t work. So I basically took 2 weeks off of training squats (no more than 135 for higher reps) in the middle of the prep. I felt like I was way behind on everything except my bench. It was strong and I thought would have to be the one movement that carried me through the meet. Getting closer to the meet, 3 weeks out, my numbers for some reason, just started to climb like crazy in my squat! My bench was on point, hit close to my last meet number for reps on bench and squat! But my deadlift was really starting to go down. The last training day for deads I couldn’t even pull 530 off the ground. I was seriously thinking I wouldn’t even get close to the total I had 10 months earlier. 2 weeks out I set my openers at 560 squat, 410 Bench and 525 for deadlift. I took a full week off before the meet and just rested. I foam rolled a few times and did some light stretching at the beginning of the week.

Took me 3 hours to drive over to Defuniak Springs, Fla. Checked in to the hotel, and then went straight to weigh-ins! I had been sitting right at 270 all week. I guess the drive took a little weight off, lol! I weighed in at 266. I was happy with that. I was at 258 at my last meet, so looks like I had gained some decent size! Went straight to eat, then headed back to the room to just relax. I surprisingly got in a good amount of quality sleep. But woke up at 330am, and from then on, I just could not sleep.


Meet day!

I was pretty much just lying in bed, thinking about the lifts. I got up and could not really eat! Nerves, excitement, anticipation combined! I forced a few chocolate chip pancakes down. And headed to the meet. I found out there were 84 lifters not including crossovers, so this was gonna be a long one. I was in the 5th flight, the ladies kicked off at 8am.

During squat warm-ups I felt a small strain in my groin, I was concerned. My opener was 562 and I sank it deep and it came up really fast! It was super easy! Something I believe in when setting your openers, is to hit a number you can hit for an easy triple! Richard and I talked about moving it up to 589 for my 2nd attempt. But I asked him what about 600? I felt strong and knew I had it in me. So we went 601.7. Again this felt light, I sank it deep and it came up fast! Lots of discussion with Richard and BigRed, we went to 644.85! Most weight I had ever had on my back! But again, deep and fast! Had a lot left in me, but this was a huge 70lb meet PR! Went in the back of the room and chilled for what seemed to be eternity. I think we started bench around 5-6pm sometime.

Bench had been the one lift I had the most confidence with during my prep due to the injuries. I warmed up well, and even got to warm up with Jeremy Hoornstra and a few other big benchers! I went out on my opener of 407 I think, super controlled and it went up fast! I realized I used no leg drive! 2nd attempt I went up to 429. Much better leg drive, and it went up nice and fast! Felt like I had a bunch left in me, so we went to 440.91. I have never benched over 413 paused. And I was already pretty excited about my numbers. 440 was a great number. I may have only had 5-10lb more left in me! The 440 was not super tough, but not as fast as the other two attempts!

Again waited around for quite a while. Resting and even laid on the floor with my feet up. Ate some salty French fries and a chocolate chip pancake! We started warming up around 730-800pm, and I was starting to cramp. I had drank a ton of water and electrolytes. I had brought some pickle juice just for this reason. I drank 3 pickle juices from the time I was warming up deadlifts, till right before my last attempt. That shit works! So warm-ups went really well, and went out and pulled my opener 524 pretty easy. 2nd attempt didn’t go so well. I was completely ready. Everything was feeling great, as I walked up to the platform I noticed the loaders did not straighten the bar up across the platform. So I started moving it back and forth, but it kept rolling back to the same spot. I started getting frustrated and just said fuck it and pulled it! Well I realized after all was said and done, I had gotten my mind all out of concentration and focus, and just really mind fucked myself out of a lift I easily had in me. Lesson learned! So we stuck with the same weight of 578.71. Pulled it pretty easy and walked away with a 5lb PR, lol!

All in all this was a huge PR meet for me! I was only going after breaking a 1600 total! I ended up with a 1664.46. This is a huge 105lb meet PR! I know I have 1700 in me and will work on a few things to get myself stronger for the next one!

A thanks goes out to my family for putting up with a grumpy old guy the last few weeks leading up to the meet! Also to Southern Elite training facility  for the help along my prep, and Nutrition Xcellence for supporting me with my supplements!

Thank You Strength Crew! Stay strong! 


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