Training: Oct. 25 2015

I’ve had this site for years and never really known what the hell to do with it, but since it is now essentially a graveyard of a few old posts and little to no actual traffic, I think I’ll treat it as a diary for my training, under the assumption that no one will ever read it anyway.

Truth be told, over this past year, I’ve had my most successful span of training and competition. In February, I broke the all-time raw (no wraps) world record at 148 (1482, a record that has since been broken); afterwards, I made the move up to 165, put my knee wraps back on, and totaled 1603 in my first meet. I made it into the top-20 all-time in my first go-around, had meets in two weight classes with a Wilks of 520+, and upped my total from 1388 in the fall of ’14 to 1603 in the fall of ’15.

With all that said, I’m less interested than ever in powerlifting, and sometimes I have to be creative to find ways to rekindle my passion. I still appreciate and enjoy training, but my relationship to it has changed over the years. So, a diary will give me a chance for self-reflection at a time in my life in which it doesn’t otherwise exist.

Today, I just did some easy reverse-band squats. I started at 405 and went back to Thompson-style progression (something I’ve done in the past when I’m nursing a boo-boo), taking 20-pound jumps until 505×5. I just went up until I felt like I was starting to lose technique, then called it a day. Outside of that, I ran through the McGill big 3 before my squats (bird dogs, McGill crunches, and side planks), and that helped reduce discomfort greatly! I actually also did my first elbows-and-toes plank for time afterwards, clocking in at 5:06. Not bad, but I should probably train this weekly.

Introduction to Team Keough

Hello all,

Team Keough was created about a year ago, after I had fielded several requests to offer programming for lifters in the immediate area. Since that point, I’ve (slowly) added to our roster by accepting new lifters. Team Keough consists of a group of lifters–for whom I handle their programming–but it’s also a team, comprised primarily of lifters in the Des Moines area.

Currently, there are seven of us, and I’m always willing to discuss programming for anyone interested. I don’t charge anything for programming, but I am selective in who I program for. My criteria includes either: a.) working with lifters I know and trust and/or b.) working with lifters who pose unique challenges and have great potential. I strongly prefer to work with good people who share my dedication to the sport.

If I had to write a manifesto on my training philosophy, it would be something akin to the following: there is no ____ Training System(s) here. I try to cast as wide a net as possible in writing programming, and I do believe in a relativist understanding of what exactly makes people stronger. In other words, the programming I do is highly individualized. That’s not to say that I don’t have an “identity” as a coach, but the programming for my lifters is always different; sometimes, it’s markedly so.

Philosophically, I’ve always felt most comfortable with the belief that the truth, in most every instance, lies somewhere in the middle. So, while I believe in individualized programming, I don’t reject the tried-and-true methods that have proven time and time again to be reliable strength-builders. I also try to straddle the line between applying very general training concepts to lifters’ regimens and bucking that trend by letting anecdotal evidence influence my decisions. My programs are usually some combination of a reflection of personal experience and an incorporation of an external resource.

To put it simply, I tend to find myself somewhere in the middle of most polarizing conversations in powerlifting strength training. And finally, a forewarning: my programming is free because I do not feel I have anything to offer that’s worth selling. I’m still learning, both about my own training and about the training of others. I consider Team Keough to be a guinea pig of sorts; the upside to this sort of trial-by-fire is that it’s produced one of the most supportive and dedicated groups I’ve had the good fortune of being a part of.

If you’re interested in discussing programming with me, please feel free to contact me at Our team is a veritable open book, and so you will find the programming done for all our members is readily accessible on this site.

Kyle Keough