So, after a good number of years of training, watching innumerable YouTube videos involving (typically) bloated, hairy dudes squeezed into skin-tight polyester briefs, suits, and shirts, reading message board and forum posts arguing about squat depth, supplementation, training methods, etc, etc, etc, I have finally competed in my first powerlifting meet.
This past weekend, I competed in the 2013 USPA Missouri State “Show Me” Classic, here in Springfield, MO. To get straight to the details, I went 9/9 on my attempts, squatted 639, benched 429, and deadlifted 639 (the meet used kilogram plates), and ended up with a 1707 total.
I arrived at the meet location around 8:15, with the expectation of getting rolling around 10 a.m. Well, turns out there were 78 lifters in all, with the majority of them competing full power (squat, bench, and dead). I think the meet finally got rolling around 10:30 or so, with 5 full flights queued up for the squat. Because I was going multiply, I was listed in the fifth flight, and didn’t start squatting til around 1:30 or so. I was bored shitless for the most part, but there was some good lifting going on, and I had a backpack full of Cheez-Its, Gatorade, Oatmeal Cream Pies, and Nutella/peanut butter sandwiches to keep me bloated and occupied.
I went 575, 609, and 639 on my squat attempts. As I was waiting to take my first attempt, my stomach was all kindsa twisted up, and I kept thinking to myself, “Don’t throw up, don’t mess up, don’t bail.” Walking up to the platform, seeing everyone staring back at me, and getting set up to squat was, to sound cheesy, a thrilling experience. Like I said, I was super nervous, and just wanted to get it over with. But, in true fashion, I crushed it, and all stress was gone. From that point on, I was just having fun.
I definitely left some weight on the platform (for all three lifts, not just the squat), but the goal for the day was to go 9/9 and get experience competing, and now I can move on, and really try for some big weight.
Compared to the other two lifts, my bench is pretty pathetic. But, I’ve spent time learning the shirt I use (Metal Jack), which is a pretty forgiving and accommodating shirt, so I was confident I’d do well. I went 375, 407, 429 for my attempts. My third attempt stalled out for a minute about halfway up, but I pushed through it. I probably had another 10-15 pounds left in me, but again, that’ll come with time and further training.
All three deadlift attempts went very smooth. I opened at 560, then went 617, and 639. After watching my video over and over again, I think my third attempt actually went better than my second. The one thing I know for certain is that trying to get down to the bar with the suit straps cranked down tight is awful. I was sure of two things as I was getting set up; 1. My head was going to explode, and 2. My nose was going to start bleeding from the ammonia cap I had just snorted. Fortunately, neither of those things happened, and after what felt like a lifetime of trying to get in position, I pulled a successful 639, which is a 34-pound PR for me. Personally, I think going shirtless for my last two attempts was the secret to success.
From start to finish, I spent roughly 13 hours at the meet. There were 5 flights for the squat, 6 for the bench, and 5 for the deadlift, plus the awards ceremony afterward. Being the only person to compete in the 242 multiply class, I won a gold medal.
1st out of one isn’t too shabby, right?
I met a couple of cool people there, including EliteFTS sponsored lifter Al Caslow, and met some real goobers. I won’t get into the trash talking, name calling, and other bullshit that seems to go on in powerlifting, but I will say that there were some…entertaining…individuals there.
But hey, to each their own, and do whatever works for you.
As of right now, I’m taking a week or so to get recovered and back into the swing of things. I’m planning on competing again on June 8th, at the SPF Ozark Mt. Classic Powerlifting and Bench Press Championship, which will be held at Strong Gym, here in Springfield. Right now, I’m only about 10 weeks out from the meet, which will give me about 9 weeks of training. It’s not a lot of time to prepare, but I just came off a meet, so I should be alright. Plus, my coach knows what he’s doing, and I have faith in his programming.
To conclude, I’d like to say “Thank you,” to my coach, Jeremy Frey, my training partners Adam Potts, Justin Winder, Jared Dale, Zach Condo, Bob Dale, and everyone else. Big thanks to Matt Reynolds, Paden Stringer, and Will McNeely, and everyone else at Strong Gym for letting me use their facilities. Thanks to Ashley and Claire for taping the meet for me, and of course, a HUGE thank you to my girlfriend Caitlin for putting up with me as I got ready for this!
Thanks for reading.
Stay yoked and loked.