My final powerlifting meet with Purdue Barbell is in the books and the feeling is bittersweet to say the least. Looking back over 7 semesters, it seems like yesterday I was traveling to Cleveland, OH for my first meet. I squatted 425lbs that day and nearly bombed out after only hitting my final attempt. Fast forward to 3 1/2 years later and I am the president of this club, watching my teammates wrap each others knees and break all time club records. We have come a long way from 10-20 students who just wanted to be the strongest around to a self-sustaining organization with an amazing network of coaches and mentors who make us better than we could ever be as individuals.
Travel, Weigh-Ins, and Pre-Meet Action
This past weekend we competed in our team powerlifting meet for the semester. We chose the RPS Mafia Mayhem meet in Louisville, KY this time around. I decided after long debate to cut down to the 242 weight class once again after not competing at that weight since a year ago in the Spring. Long story short, I made weight on Friday morning and used the rest of the day to rest and get some calories back into my body. Most of our teammates and family that came down to compete or cheer us on got into town Friday during the day. We all ate up, shared some laughs, and got plenty of rest in preparation for Saturday’s lifting.
The day began at 9am when the first flight began their squat attempts. There were a little over 70 lifters signed up for this meet so we knew starting out that it was going to be a long day. For squats, the flights took almost exactly an hour per and with 4 flights for each lift, I did not begin warming up until around 11am. I took my first squat attempt of the day at about noon. My attempts went as follows…
Opener: 518 (Good)
Second: 523 (Good)
Third: 556 (Good)
My opener, for some reason, felt like a third. It moved very slowly and was a grind from the hole all the way to the top. Because of this, I only made a five pound jump for my second attempt. I have watched and re-watched the video of my first lift and I still have absolutely no idea what I did wrong but I went on to absolutely smoke my second attempt. I was now stuck in a spot where I was hitting my groove with squat but had to take a huge jump to hit a new PR. I chose to take the jump and walked away 3/3 on squats with a 5 pound all-time PR at 556lbs.
Anyone who has followed my progress as a powerlifter knows that the bench press is by far the lift that I struggle with the most, especially on meet days. That being said, I have made great strides with this over the past year and knew I was good for a PR last weekend. I opened a little more aggressively than normal and decded to make small jumps in order to get as much out of my presses as possible. Although I missed my third attempt, I did manage to set a 6lb PR with my second lift. My attempts went as follows…
Opener: 314 (Good)
Second: 325 (Good)
Third: 330 (Miss)
This one is a little harder to talk about but its all part of the day so I need to go over it. Going into deadlift I was dragging. I began my warm ups at around 6:30pm and tried to get myself going for one last round of lifts. During warm ups I was feeling good and the weights were moving like I felt they should. I even took a last warm up which was closer to my opener than normal just to make sure I was going to kill my first attempt. I did in fact kill my opener but that is where the good news ends. During my second lift, my left hip cramped and pulled with the bar right below my knees and I wasn’t able to recover from the slip up. I took the weight again but it was a no go. This was very disappointing for me considering that my deadlift is usually my best event for the day. My pulls went as follows…
Put simply, this meet was in fact a success. I walked away with two new PRs on the squat and bench as well as a PR total for myself in the 242 weight class. Although there are a couple of attempts I wish I had one more shot at I have to look back at this experience and realize that I did in fact accomplish my goals. As I had said a few weeks before meet day, my first priority for this meet was to have fun and enjoy the company of my teammates around me. Years from now when I look back on my last meet with Purdue Barbell I am not going to remember my exact total or how the lifts felt but what I will remember is the moments I shared with good friends. Now its time to enjoy this milestone and start getting geared up for the World’s Strongest Boilermaker competition in April. More training and updates to come shortly, but for now I’m going to catch up on my sleep and calories. Until next time!