My first powerlifting meet of the year is in the books and, as always, there is a lot to take away from a day so packed full of excitement and opportunities for learning. The day began at about 6:30am when my eyes popped open and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I was just too excited for the day ahead. I weighed about 250 when I woke up which is my normal training weight so I just ate a standard breakfast and packed my stuff. We arrived at River City Barbell around 7:30 and set up base camp for the day, greeting the rest of the team as they arrived. After a quick rules meeting, I began stretching out and foam rolling while the first flight took their squat attempts. I assume that the rest of my teammates will be writing similar meet recaps so I will not go into too much detail as to how everyone performed. I will break down my lifting experience from yesterday by lift as follows.
Squat was my biggest question mark going into this meet. My previous meet PR was 446lbs before yesterday but I knew I had made great strides in this area and would blow that number away at this meet. I had hit 475lbs in sleeves alone while squatting at Brandon’s gym with a monolift but couldn’t afford to over estimate my ability, especially with my opening lift. I decided to set my opener at 450lbs as this was going to be easy and also a new personal record. I smoked that rep and continued on to hit 480 and finally 500 with the same sense of ease. I know I left 20 or 30 pounds on the squat platform but I will come back to get those later. I hit the numbers I was planning on hitting and built confidence going into the bench. Overall, I got a 54 pound PR on the squat and that is a massive accomplishment. I finally performed to my full potential on the squat during a meet after screwing up during the last few outings.
Things came off the rails a little on the bench but i still set a new personal record. I had hit 345 in training on the bench but once again did not want to overdo my first attempt and risk messing up too badly. I hit 315 as my opening attempt but was called for lifting my butt off the bench. After consulting with Brandon, I decided to retry the 315 press and got it up no problem on my second attempt. This put me in a tough spot regarding what weight to go for on my final attempt but I called 330 trying to be conservative. On my final try, I got stuck with 330lbs about half way through the lockout and had to have my spotters take it. Again, I left 10 or 20 pounds on the platform but hit a new personal record in a meet.
Deadlift has been my ace in the hole ever since I started competing. If you told me I had to add an extra 5lbs to my total to win a meet I would get it on my deadlift. Yesterday however, I was put in a position where I had no idea what condition my deadlift was in. For the month leading up to the meet I had not been able to pull heavy which left a big question mark for the lift that had been my best in the past. I set my opener conservatively at 515 and decided to see how warm-ups felt before making changes to that. Warm-ups went very well so I decided to stick with the 515 opener. This weight went up like nothing along with my second attempt of 535. On my final attempt. I called for 550 pounds which would have been a 5lb meet PR for me. I gave this weight everything I had but I just couldn’t get the bar above my knee. I know that if I had just been able to pull it an inch further I could have locked it out. Overall, I did not do re-injure anything and deadlifts felt better than they have since mid-summer. I was happy with finishing my day on the platform in one piece and with new PRs on two of the three lifts.
My only real goal for this meet was a 1400lb total. I fell a little short of that, finishing the day with a total of 1350 but I did leave poundage on all the lifts that I could have gotten. As I mentioned briefly at the beginning of this post, there is a lot to be learned during a powerlifting meet. One’s weaknesses become very apparent very quickly. Although I fell a little short of my goal I know I was capable of hitting the right weights, the cards just didn’t fall that way. I now have a very clear picture of the weaknesses I have which need to be brought up and what I can do differently to improve my chances going forward. As for right now, I plan on resting most of this week and getting caught up on school/administration items. I will probably get back in the gym around Thursday and start following a new, Post-Meet program that Brandon is about to release. This will be a high volume, bodybuilding style program which will get me back in shape to start lifting in an off-season style once that concludes. I appreciate all the kind words I have received during this prep and from my meet results as they are ever encouraging. A big shout-out goes to all of Purdue barbell who competed and cheered us on yesterday. I have the best team I could ever ask for of that I have no doubt. Until next time!