What’s up guys! After a crazy couple of days I’m finally getting around to recapping my last Powerlifting meet on September 22 at Old School Iron Cleveland. Before getting into specifics, the meet went absolutely great overall. From following through with the brutal weight cut to 180 from 215 to stepping on the platform in a very competitive meet with very high expectations and delivering as best as I could, I would consider the meet a success. Below I will recap each lift individually!
Opener: 584 (good lift)
2nd attempt: 617 (good lift)
3rd Attempt: 650 (good lift)
Of all three lifts I was most confident in my squat headed into this meet. The squat is my bread and butter when it comes to building my total and I have always been very consistent in competition. This day was no different. I opened with an easy 584 and took a conservative jump to 617 on my second attempt which felt just as easy, setting me up very well on my 3rd. Originally, my plan was to take 633 on my third attempt but My training partner Mingo who was wrapping my knees on this day gave me feedback on each of my lifts and convinced me to go big on my 3rd squat and take 650. I knew 650 would be a challenge for me but I also knew it would take a lot of mental pressure off of me going forward in the rest of the meet. The gamble paid off, and when I un racked 650 I was surprised at how light it felt on my back considering my best lift throughout training was only 605. When I hit the hole I had no doubt I was going to make the lift. I left squat 3/3 with a 23 lb lifetime PR and feeling good about the rest of the meet.
As always, I am happy with my 650 Squat for the moment and will be setting my sights on a 700-710 squat in a meet by the beginning of next year at the latest. I loved what the max effort variations of the movement did for me the last training cycle and will be looking to continue the momentum moving forward.
Bench Press: 2/3
Opener: 314 (lowered from 330-good lift)
2nd Attempt: 325 (good lift)
3rd Attempt: 340 (no lift-uneven lockout)
After squats, I was feeling absolutely smoked headed into bench. I felt as if I couldn’t get my upper body warmed up and was feeling very stiff over all. This is not necessarily new to me as I rely heavily on my squat to build my total and typically takes a lot out of me especially after a weight cut. This usually results in some sub par benching for me. As a result I decided to lower my opener to 314 from 330 to ease my way into a decent press. 314 flew up, as did 325 for my 2nd attempt. On my 3rd, I opted to take 340 (12 lbs below my planned 3rd in training). The weight felt surprisingly light and flew off my chest, I was able to lock the weight out but not before I was called for uneven lockout of the bar resulting in a no lift. I wanted a 350-360 Press and only got away with 325, so I was very disappointed on bench press.
Bench press continues to be a struggle for me in competition, despite having the best bench training cycle that I have ever had. I am happy with my current plan of attack, but know that I will need to get that number up considerably if I hope to be competitive at an all time level, which I know I am capable of.
Opener: 578 (good lift)
2nd attempt: 611 (good lift)
3rd Attempt: 633 (no lift-downward motion of the bar)
After bench press I knew I needed a good deadlift to break over a 1600 lbs total on the day. The warm ups we’re a bit more rushed than the other 2 lifts for the day as it was a small meet and was moving rather quickly. I did not feel great in the warmup room, working my way up to a 550 pull in less than 5 min. To my surprise, my opener 578 FLEW. I took a conservative jump to 611 to break the 181 deadlift and total record at my gym and tie a PR. 611 moved well but not well enough for me to take 640 like I planned. Instead, I called 633 which I was fairly confident in. My position off the floor on my 633 pull was the best it felt all prep, and moved well up to my knees before the bar drifted forward a tiny bit and dipped before I was able to recover and lock out the weight. Unfortunately, the slight dip of the bar cost me the lift and I was red lighted for downward motion of the bar. 633 would have been a 22 lb meet PR and would have put me well over a 1600 lb total for the day. Unfortunately was not in the cards on this day..
Going forward, I will be placing a heavy emphasis on adding in more posterior chain work and fixing my starting position on this lift which is always a work in progress for me. I am happy to know I can hold onto weight in the mid 600s when called upon, considering that grip has been somewhat of a limiting factor for me in past meets.
Takeaways and Moving Forward…:
Going into the meet I made a lot of changes to my training, the main one being a switch to a primarily conjugated style of training, using far more special exercises and favoring max effort and dynamic work heading into competition than I ever have in the past. I was very satisfied with what this style of training did for me and is something I will be continuing to use in my workouts as I figure out what works best for me. Although I didn’t execute the way I wanted to in this competition, I’m confident that with a few minor adjustments I’m on my way to a much bigger total.
As it stands, I do not have a date planned for my next meet but I would love to end the year with one more. I am most likely saying goodbye to the 181 weight class once and for all after this past meet, as I look to add more mass to my frame and make a full time run at the 198s from here on out. The cuts have become increasingly strenuous and I know that I am limiting myself in terms of both aesthetics and strength by making such large cuts and staying in the 181 class.
With that, I must say my fire is lit and haven’t been this excited about Powerlifting in a long time! Excited for what’s next!