Last weekend was an awesome learning experience for me as well as a great time for me to chat with some people who are similar to me in that they enjoy lifting heavy ass weights.
Although last weekend I didn’t finish with the results I wanted, I did gain much more knowledge to use in my training. Not to mention chip on my shoulder, I will be using in my training from now on.
But before I get started I just want to say how I am proud of the decision I made after my first powerlifting meet to go ahead and go for a national championship in July. I gave it 100% focus and attention but fell short placing 2nd overall for the USPA nationals drug-free national championships. We started late and I did not feel up to it.
NATIONAL MEET FIELD REPORT
The morning of the meet, I woke at 7 am feeling fatigued from the binge eating day on chick fil a, junk food and a buffet I so desperately needed after taking my body from close to 200 lbs all the way down to 180 in a matter of weeks. How did I do it? Countless gallons of water, leafy vegetables, steam rooms and cardio I did all of this within the span of two weeks and the last 10lbs in the span of 2 days (I’ll write an article on that later). Anyways, when we got to the meet we realized that it would be starting late. I was so focused on competing I didn’t even take the time to open and read any emails that morning so I was just clueless for a couple hours before it finally started.
I digress, I was such in a rush to get to the meet that we got there before 8 am, in our minds the starting time was supposed to be 8. I then later was informed that the meet would not be starting until 10 AM, so instead of being a square, I did something spontaneous and out of character of me. I’m kind of scared to say, but I will anyways. I ATE BREAKFAST! I usually train in the mornings without eating and don’t have my first meal until later on during the day. For this day I didn’t want to leave any room for excuses later.
I got a pretty tasty meal (Chicken Biscuit and a Large Fry with Powerade) from Chick Fil A and got back the go to take get breakfast not feel up to it. When I got back to the hotel it still wasn’t time to start the meet.
This wait weighed on me because I was so fired up and ready to start moving heavy ass weight but after a couple more hours of walking around the venue and talking with other athletes it was time to go.
I was bored so I decided to just talk with some of people competing it was a bit awkward for me but I went up and talked and just shot the shit with people who were not only my opponents but also my peers in that they were going for the same thing I was going for, anyways I was completely confidnet in my training and ready to compete.
As time counted down and the meet was getting closer to the starting point mentally I was getting nervous and my hands were getting sweaty. I couldn’t get present to save my life.
When warming up for squats I felt just like I envisioned mysef like I did hundreds of times in my head squatting the all of my predetermined squat attempts with speed.
My first attempt was only at 490. Typically for your first attempts in a meet you want it to be something you can hit for a triple. I had confidence in this weight because of the massive amount of volume I implemented into squats at that weight. I blew through it with relative ease. I
I blew through it with relative ease. I did however, get a comment from Steve Goggins as I went to tell the meet recorders my next attempts, telling me that I was cutting close on my depth on the squats. I thought to myself that even though my depth was close I still got three white lights (which means good lift) to do the exact same thing and not think of it again.
On my next squat attempt, I am extremely pumped and instantly become present to the moment and I wake up and realize I am actually in Atlanta, Georgia competing for a national championship. It was an amazing feeling and I felt like it was time to turn it up and to actualize my dreams. 490 went up so fast and I knew I was going to crush 525 as well. I grab the bar with both hands on the rough part of the bar and do my usual pre squat routine. I keep in mind the comment I was given earlier about my depth and I go even lower on the 525 attempt than the 490 attempt (or at least it looks like it on film) and I get red lighted. (the lift is no good)
My goal for squat was to hit 551 but because I obviously I wasn’t hitting depth I decided to go a 10 pounds lighter and crush it. At this point, I was in my head and was questioning all of my squat training. I was wondering if I was going low enough and whether or I was doing with squats as I train with no shoes had anything to do with the depth problem.
I had no doubt I was going to get this last attempt, all I had to do get as low as possible and explode back up. As I unrack 540 I feel confident because it feels light on my back, I take a big breath in, tense my core and squat. On the way up, about half way, I feel a ton of resistnace, I know its going to be a grind. I stand up with the weight, but it is much harder than expected. I turn around and red lights again. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement but after playing sports and being a competitive athlete since I was a kid I knew that the way I carried myself while waiting for my next event would determine everything.
I turn around and red lights again. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement but after playing sports and being a competitive athlete since I was a kid I knew that the way I carried myself while waiting for my next event would determine everything.
Bench press was where I kind of made my way back into the meet after disappointing myself with my bread and butter (the squat). My goal for this Bench was 336 to aid me in going for a 1500 total, but at this point, I was shooting for 1st or 2nd overall still. My first attempt was 300, felt like 225, 320 felt like 315. This is where I started to struggle. As I was coming up during the concentric portion of the movement I had a bit of a pause half way. I felt that maybe my triceps were a little tight or maybe a lack of focus but it still went up pretty easy. I felt very confident for a 336, but again half way up because the weight was a bit higher than 320 I even had some downward
My first attempt was 300, felt like 225, 320 felt like 315. This is where I started to struggle. As I was coming up during the concentric portion of the movement I had a bit of a pause half way. I felt that maybe my triceps were a little tight or maybe a lack of focus but it still went up pretty easy. I felt very confident for a 336, but again half way up because the weight was a bit higher than 320 I even had some downward movement on the upward motion which caused me to miss the lift.
This is where it gets fun! This is where the lights go out for about an hour before the meet gets going again. The meet consisted of 4 flights (Groups of lifters in similar weight classes). I was in the fourth one meaning we were the last to lift. Everyone up until this point had completed all nine attempts on all their lifts for the day up until our flight. Right before our flight comes up all of the lights in the whole hotel shut off because of a huge thunderstorm. Did the lights ever come back on you may be wondering? No, they didn’t, and at this point, they are contemplating just calling the meet right there. Thankfully they had enough poise to ask if we wanted to continue and of course everyone did. All of the electricity was cut off so everyone had to sit closer
Thankfully they had enough poise and respect to ask if we wanted to continue the meet and of course everyone did. All of the electricity was cut off so everyone had to sit closer around the platform and turn their cell phone lights to the platform. Instead of having lights signaling the lift to be good the judges simply just used a sheet of paper.
I am so glad the continued the meet at this point I am so fired up. I miss two of my squats and I misgroove a bench press attempt at this point I am 3/6 a bad meet so far. Thus far my hiccups have been form mishaps I felt if I could muster up enough focus and icy hot (for my back) I felt that should be able to crush 600. I try some easy weight to stay in the meet so blew past 529 like butter. Next was on to 566 a bit more difficult but still a 4/10 on difficulty. For the finale, I put 272.72 on the bar for all the marbles and 2nd place. My friends in the crowd are yelling for me and everyone else in the crowd are yelling for me t00 because they know what kind of day I had been having. One, two, and pull the easiest pull of smoothest pull ever. It was a mix of adrenaline and visualization that led it to feel that easy I felt like I had at least another 20lbs in me, but that’s for another day 🙂
Getting 2nd isn’t all bad, it gives me motivation to keep going and hit even bigger goals. I met some awesome people out there and got to see what I have to compete with down the road as I continue to compete and push myself in training! I want to thank all of my friends and family who support me and Tyler Perdue for letting me use an awesome training facility all crazy times of the night to work towards my dreams!
Nobody remembers second, but everyone who wins first at some point was a second. Feeling pumped for my training and meets in the future.