When I first joined the Purdue Barbell Club we were a group of around 10 students who shared a passion for training hard and enjoyed being around others who felt the same way. I never imagined that this little organization would take off in the way that it has. Last Saturday I saw 13 lifters proudly wearing their Purdue Barbell shirts as they took the platform to compete for our team. I saw over 10 club members come out to support their teammates, many working their tails off all day assisting with knee wraps, photography, loading/unloading plates, etc… I saw just as many family members travel hours to watch their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, husbands, and wives compete with Purdue Barbell. What this organization has become is mind-blowing to me. We have filled a niche at this campus that was much bigger than any of us imagined and the response has been amazing. As I took it all in this past weekend looking around at all my teammates, some who were competing for the first time and some who were trying to build on past meets, I couldn’t help but smile. This club has become family and I am very proud to be the leader of such a spectacular group.
Enough with the gooey stuff, here is how meet day went for me!
Travel and Weigh-Ins
For the first time since my first meet in Spring 2014, I did not cut down to 242lbs for a meet. After my last meet I made the decision to put on some weight and attempt to fill out the 275lb class. This proved to be a little harder than I would have imagined as my weight gain stalled at around 264lbs at the beginning of meet prep, 6 weeks out from the meet. This did not bother me to much because my plan was to make the weight jump slowly while adding solid weight onto my frame. Since I did not have to cut, I chose to wait until meet day to weigh in instead of weighing in 24 hours prior to meet on Friday morning. Two of the lifters that I took with me, Ethan Lenn and Austin Elpers, had cut for this meet so we drove down Friday afternoon after weigh ins and stayed in a hotel. I must say that not having to worry about making weight did take a little stress out of the preparation for the meet. After getting settled in to the hotel, those of us that had already arrived went out to eat with Brandon Smitley and enjoyed a relaxing evening.
Meet Day Morning
Since I had not weighed in yet, we arrived to the meet venue right at 7am. We just beat the rush and I weighed in at an expected 266lbs. After the rules meeting at 8am, things started to pick up a bit as the first flight guys and gals took over the warm-up room. I was third from last to lift in the final flight so I relaxed, hydrated, and took a little time to get my head right.
Squat started off very oddly. As I mentioned we had 10+ lifters competing in this meet and 5 of use were in the final flight for squat. The problem started in the warm up room when we ran out of time to take our final warm up attempts. By the time the bar was ready for me to finish my practice sets, I was too close to my name being called to take the weight. I ended up making a 80lb jump, going from 425 in the weight room to an opener of 505 on the platform. To make matters worse, 3 of us were scheduled to lift back to back! This meant that we needed to get the knees of 3 lifters wrapped and ready to go in a very short amount of time. Brandon performed like the professional he is though and we were able to make it through our squats all wrapped and good to go. My attempts went as follows…
Opener – 505 (Good) Second – 523 (Good) (PR) Third – 551 (Good) (PR)
As I have discussed frequently, the bench has always been my weak point in competition. Whether is a technical mistake or simply not being strong enough, something has gone wrong during the bench for my past few meets. For this meet, I set my opener low. I wanted to make sure that I crushed the first rep and had momentum going into the second. I really believe that I am on the verge of busting my bench wide open and will see a huge increase in strength over this coming off-season. Although I did miss my final rep on the bench for this meet I did PR on my second attempt and have a solid foundation from which to grow now. The attempts went as follows…
Opener – 305 (Good) Second – 319 (Good) (PR) Third – 336 (No Good)
Deadlift is my favorite, everyone that has trained with me or kept up on my training log knows this. I think the reason that I enjoy it so much is the lack of thinking you have to put into it. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of technique that goes into a good pull but in comparison to the control that you have to exert on the squat and bench, deadlift is just a primal, grip it and rip it type of lift. To me deadlifting in competition is so simple, it comes down to one thing, I am either strong enough to pick this weight up or I’m not and its as simple as that. Anyway, back to the meet, I was amped up as always for my pulls. I opened a little heavier than I should have but I am comfortable with this lift and wanted to set myself up for a nice PR. I ended up finishing the day going 3 for 3 on deads and a 11lb PR in the books. Attempts went as follows…
Opener – 523 (Good) Second – 541 (Good) Third – 562 (Good) (PR)
At the end of the day I went 8/9 on my lifts, only missing that last bench press attempt. I set new PRs on all of my lifts and subsequently a new PR total as well. My new best lifts look like this…
Squat – 551 Bench – 319 Deadlift – 562 Total – 1432
I have been chasing a 1400+ total for a long time and although it took me a little longer than I originally thought, I cannot complain one bit. This meet had the greatest showing by Purdue Barbell to date and resulted in a bunch of PRs and good times. I believe that everyone that competed from Purdue Barbell came away with some type of hardware. It was a great day and I look forward to the next team meet.
In the days since the meet, I have been able to sit down and come up with a tentative gameplan for my training during this next offseason. I plan to stay out of the gym for at least 4 days before hitting a few volume training days. After that I think I am going to jump back into offseason training with a new training partner who is currently training to compete at the XPC finals at the Arnold Classic this year. I am really looking forward to hard training days again and getting back to making strength gains. I appreciate everyones support as always and hope you will continue to follow along and I gear up for another Fall/Winter of training here at Purdue. Until next time!