Hey everyone! Thanks for checking out the blog once again. Today’s post is about my powerlifting meet (USAPL MO State Raw Meet) and a little challenge I’m extending to all of you.
To the uninitiated, a powerlifting meet consists of three lifts- the squat, bench press, and deadlift. For each lift you have three attempts to lift the maximal amount of weight. Your first attempt, the opener, sets the bar for each subsequent attempt. That is, once you choose your opening attempt you cannot decrease the weight on the bar once you attempt it. For this reason it’s very important to crush your opening attempt and “get into the meet” or put a number on the scoreboard. If you miss your opener and all subsequent attempts this is known as a bomb-out- which is very, very bad. Being that this was my first foray back on the platform in years- and my first sanctioned meet in the USAPL ever I did not want to risk missing my openers. I competed in the 181 class RAW- which denotes the absence of any supportive equipment like a squat suit, bench shirt, power briefs, etc- and only allows the lifter to use wrist wraps, a belt, and knee sleeves (not wraps). Let me walk you through my meet….
Friday Night- The Weigh-In
I woke up around 7am and weighed myself- 181.6 lbs. Good I’m right on track. I pounded a cup of black coffee and 7 egg whites. After a trip the lavatory- 180.6lbs. Nice! I didn’t drink any water because I was scared of having to go to extreme measures to cut the water back off and missing weight. So fast forward a few hours to 1pm. 180.0lbs said the scale so I had 6oz of chicken and another cup of coffee. After I took a shower, ran some errands, and used about 8 pieces of gum to “spit” some extra water off I re-weighed myself- 179.8lbs. Good, I though, this should make up for any discrepancy in the official scale I would weigh in on and my own personal scale. I drove to the meet location (Oakville High School) and checked in, bough my USAPL membership, and got my equipment checked in (belt, singlet, wrist wraps, and knee sleeves). So far so good. Then I went into the weigh-in room where 4 dudes in their underwear where nervously spitting and trying to make weight (after failing once already). It was my turn- so I stripped down and stepped on the scale. The guy weighing me in said “Holy Sh!T” when I took my shirt off- guess it’s cool to be lean these days (+1 for the ego). I weighed in at 80.2kg or 176.8lbs. Woof. I haven’t weighed in the 170’s since like high school. The weigh-in guy said to the other dudes standing around “Oh he’s 26, he’s got a good metabolism.” Let me just say, I have never, ever in my life been told I had a “good metabolism”. In fact, my nickname used to be ‘bubba chubs” so get that BS out of here!
Okay, weigh in was finished around 6:05pm. I made a shake in the parking lot (2 scoops whey, 1 C oats, 2tbsp agave) and slammed that as I drove home along with 2L of powerade zero -to get my electrolytes back up and rehydrate. When I got home (~630pm) I had 1lb of chicken, 2C of white rice, and about 10 rice cakes (~120g protein, 200g carbs). Then about an hour later as I was watching SLU beat Memphis I had a dozen eggs + 1 C of almond flour to make pancakes + more agave syrup. Finally, I polished off a bag of sweet potato chips and another 3L of water. Before I went to bed I weighed 190. Life was good.
Saturday Morning- 630 am- 185lbs.
Breakfast- 8 egg whites, 1 C white rice, 1C strawberries, 2 cups of coffee + heavy whipping cream.
8:30-get to the meet and meet my brother to start getting ready. Now here is where things started to go sideways. There were 3 flights lifting on my platform, flights A thru C, and I was flight C. I did not take into consideration that flights A and B had a bunch of competitors and that I should hold off on warming up. I basically hit my last warmup squat -385 x 1- about an hour to early. Oh well, live and learn.
First attempt- 401= total smoke show, way too light for my opener.
Second attempt- 418= easier than the first.
Third attempt- 440= another smoke show. Realistically I should have opened here and shot for 470 on my final attempt. It was pretty explosive.
Squat overall = A
Again, for some reason I got warm way too early and my legs started cramping up. Dumb.
First attempt- 308= totally easy. Interestingly, I don’t use a lift off and the rack was awfully low. In addition, these bars had like 3 rings on them instead of the usual 1 ring that I use to gauge my grip placement. This would come back to haunt me.
2nd and 3rd attempt- 320= fail x 2. Honestly, I could go on for hours about being tired, my grip, cramps, the bar, etc, but bottom line I made to big a jump and just didn’t have it. I’d done as much as 330 in training with a pause but some days are better than others.
Bench overall = C
Deadlift, my baby!
And yet again I warmed up too early. You’d think I would learn. I hit my last warm up -445- about 35 minutes before my first attempt. Sonofa.
First Attempt- 500= easy peasy. Although again, these bars were terrible, multiple random knurlings, and weird center margins. Oh well.
Second attempt- 519= crushed it. The announcer said to put some weight on the bar…lol, ok….
Third attempt- 540 = another smoke show. This should have been my second attempt and I should have gone for 550/560 on my third. Pretty pumped tho.
Deadlift Overall- A
All in all I’m pretty happy with my performance. I’ve just been rehashing that bench press over and over again and I’m pretty eager to get back to the platform. I’ve qualified for the USAPL nationals in Killeen, TX (outside Dallas) and I’m planning for that to be my next meet. It’s the first weekend of August right before school starts again so I think it will give me an opportunity to really train for it (unlike this one) and put up some good numbers. I’ve made a pact with myself that unless I’m squatting 500 and pulling 600 I won’t go. I think this is attainable. My ultimate goal is to qualify for the Arnold Sports Festival in 2013. I need to have a WILKS coefficient of 390 to qualify. If I max out my weight -aka 181 lbs or 82.5kg- I only need to total more than 1288lbs, which is what I totaled in this event. So it’s totally possible. Wish me luck!
This brings me to my challenge to all of you- SIGN UP FOR A COMPETITION! By this I mean something that’s legitimately hard and geared towards your goals. If you are physique oriented sign up for a bodybuilding/figure show. If you’re a power/strength athlete sign up for a powerlifting/strongman/Olympic weightlifting meet. Finally, if you’re endurance minded sign up for a sprint triathalon, half marathon, criterium, adult track meet, etc. Do something that you can actually train for and suits your goals. As soon as you mail in your entry form your training will automatically jump to the next level and so will your nutrition. With a firm deadline and specific goal you will find yourself taking things more seriously and getting better results literally overnight. Something just changes when there is a competition on the line. So what’s it gonna be? Let us know what you’re planning on doing and let’s see if we can help with structuring your training/nutrition.