This past weekend I competed in my 2nd powerlifting meet this year. It was my first full power meet in over a years time, and my first ever multiply full power meet. This meet was supposed to act as just a qualifier to get to the XPC Semis Bench Bash in September where I could compete to try and qualify for my main goal, the Arnold XPC Bench Freakshow on the expo main stage
At the time I signed up for this I also bought myself a used Metal Squatter multiply suit on eBay via an auction. I ended up winning the suit and figured why not just compete full power and have some fun while attempting to qualify for the bigger bench meet. So I entered the meet as a 220 lb class lifter.
As the meet approached and my weight was not budging any higher despite my efforts to eat more, I decided to just make a pretty sizable weight cut to compete at 198 this meet. It would give me a shot to hit a 1830 lb total to qualify for full power at the Arnold, as well as make the bench qualifier much easier on me (Hitting 550 instead of 600)
The Saturday prior to this meet I weighed 225 lbs, I was amidst my sodium and carb load process. As the week went on, guided by my friend Andrew Petti, I was able to get my weight down to 209 the day before weigh ins. That morning I spent 6am to 11 am in and out of the sauna, it was brutal to say the least but I managed. I left New York to head to Pennsylvania at 11:30 am weighing just under 201 lbs. Over the course of the three and a half hour drive while spitting in a cup most the way, I was able to weigh in at 198.4 on the dot, the absolute cut off for the division
Now we were in business! I made the weight and thought I had the 550 bench in the bag. I previously had a lot of worries that I wouldn’t fill out my gear after this cut. I figured I’d stick with the gear I have and even after a big cut I’ll at least have enough to hit the 550 bench and get my bodyweight back up to 235 for September
The morning of the meet, when I checked out of the hotel around 11am my last weigh in was about 219.6. I was feeling good, I spent the morning in the jacuzzi and stretched after. Upon arriving to the venue I found out my teammate laura was able to hit some big lifts and had herself a great meet that morning. That motivated me to have a great day and continue the teams success. I was ready to go
First up was squats and I was full of confidence. I had already imagined everything in my head many times prior to the meet. It was just a matter of going up there and delivering. Warm ups felt light and my opener of 600 lbs was the smoothest squat I had yet. We jumped to a planned 650 and although I got a little rounded in the bottom, I still moved the weight and stood up with it. After consulting with John we decided to throw 680 on for my last attempt. I had never even had this weight on my back before but I was feeling good. I took it and felt like I kept position pretty well, I haven't went down with a squat in over 2 years so I knew I had a great grind in me. Sure enough I stood up with it slowly and was riding the adrenaline
I was extremely proud of the squat seeing as how at a specific point in training I couldn't even unrack 600 lbs after hurting my back. The most I squatted in training was 665 with a reverse band, and 630 straight weight. 680 for a 50 lb PR was an awesome way to build some confidence and keep me in the running for a 1830 total.
I was rolling hot and my main lift was up next. The bench press. This 550 opener was the only reason I was there that day. I needed that bench! Everything felt good in warm ups so I knew for sure I had this weight. I got up to bench and got my hand off. I got to my chest a little unsteadily and began to press, to my amazement the weight got away from me on my left side and I lost it! I couldn’t believe it, I was shocked. I had done 585 for 2 off a 1 board in training and 605 off a 2 board no problem but this 550 nailed me. I shook it off and refocused my mind although it was like getting rocked in a boxing match
Second attempt began and while the bench was a little smoother, I just missed locking out the weight barely. I was stunned. I was against the ropes and in need of a miracle. John helped me jack up the shirt as best we could, it was obvious the shirt was becoming way too loose for my frame. I was not getting anything out of it. I still knew in my mind though that I could get this bench. I focused in and got ready to do what I needed. The third attempt I took down perfectly, hit the right spots, and fought fought fought to lock it out and I did! A struggle but I was back in it! Not so fast, 2 reds for butt off the bench. The gig was up and my day was done. I did not throw a fit at the judges, I respect what they do and I’m sure without a doubt that they were right on with their call. I packed up my stuff and rode off into the sunset early
This was my first ever bomb out and it sucked. It's an embarrassing feeling and one I never wish to experience again. That’s geared lifting for you. Your strength may be great that day but if you aren't working the equipment right then you won’t have it. There is much more that plays into your success than just your raw strength and thats what I love about equipped lifting. I was strong enough to hit 600 again but the shirt was just not working with me to make that happen. Thats how the cookie crumbles.
Now that the meet is over, I have no plans to compete again in 2016. In fact I have no recorded official lifts in 2016 since my bench was at an unsanctioned meet. I find this experience to be tremendously motivating and I have that fire under me that I needed and that fueled me to hit my first 600 bench. That motivation to prove something and make a statement. I am using that motivation to fuel my training into 2017. When I get back on that bench I am going to do something big
The PA States was a great experience and taking that 680 squat is something I won’t soon forget. I am so thankful to my training partners for helping me out during the prep and especially my girlfriend for helping me through my water cut and being my right hand woman during the meet. I can’t do these without her. It was a team effort and I am humbled for the support. I am in great spirits and have already returned to training and it’s going great. I am excited for things to come in the year ahead. Keep an eye out for me!