well, at the tender age of 47 i decided to enter my first pl meet. why you ask? because i want my training to count for something. i had a major shoulder repair last may, 2 rc tears and a slap tear on the left. it was my 5th shoulder repair. the surgeon turned me loose to start training again in sept, and i set out with the goal of entering a meet around the first of the year. i found an APF/AAPF meet, the great lakes open, that was about 2 hours from where i live. i decided to take the plunge, sent in my entry fee (now i'm committed ) and started a 5/3/1, literally with the bar, for all 3 lifts.
the day started out with crappy weather. we had about 4 inches of snow the night before and i woke the family up at 5:30 and schlepped them across the state to grand rapids. it's normally a 2 hour drive, but the snow turned it into a 3 hour drive. we got there a little early and had to wait around a bit for the weigh in. i weighed in at 191 - i didn't care what i weighed and was going to lift in whatever weight class i ended up in. in hindsight, this was a mistake. the guys in the 198 class were a lot bigger than i am. lesson learned, next time i cut to 181. the meet was at a typical commercial gym and we had to wait for the f'ing zumba classes to end before the room was set up for us. you should have seen the looks on the members faces when their nice little gym was invaded by 50 gorillas of various size and shape sitting on the floor eating after weigh in, precious!
after weigh in, we had another bit of a wait until the rules meeting, where they go over the commands etc... at this point, the nerves started to set in. i'd been struggling with squat depth near my max for the few week prior to this. i'd never squatted out of a monolift before and this was a bit of a concern.
first up was the squat. i was up 4th so i got to see how the judges were calling depth before getting on the platform. i picked my opener at a weight i could roll out of bed and do a triple of: 250. i really don't remember stepping on the platform and setting up. i do remember not getting my feet right in the monolift and when i lifted off, i had to adjust my feet a little - not a good start. i got my feet under me, waited for the squat command from the judge and smoked it. WOO HOO, now i'm in the meet!
my second attempt was at 280. i was feeling a little more confident now, and when i got in the monolift, my feet were good from the start. lifted off, waited for the command and smoked this one too.
third attempt was at 305 - i picked this because i missed 315 about 2 inches high a couple weeks prior. those of you who checked out my sponsored iForce Intimidate log may have seen the vid. feet were good, lift off was good, depth was good. hell yeah, 3/3 for the squat! what's disappointing was that 2 of the 3 judges told me to put some weight on the bar when i was walking off the platform. that wasn't a dig, they were telling me i left a little on the bar. i was talking to the head judge after the squat was over and he said i prolly had 330 in me. looking at the video and my bar speed, i think he was right. lesson learned, dave tate says you're always stronger than you think you are once you stop being a p.ussy and now i know what he means.
next up was bench - ugh, by far my weakest lift with all of my shoulder repairs. i picked my opener at an embarrassing 185 - i just wanted to get one on the board. felt good after the lift, came down, pause on the chest and waited for the press command - which seemed like for f'ing ever. pressed up and almost jumped the rack command. in all actuality, he could have called it no lift after watching the video. but, i got 3 white flags and now i'm on the board. 2nd attempt was a still embarrassing 205. lift off was good, came down good, waited for the press command, up we go and this time i waited for the rack command. 2 for 2. third attempt was 220 (still embarrassed). this one felt wrong from the beginning. after the lift off, for some unknown reason i came down really slow on the eccentric. waited for the press command, came up about halfway, ran out of gas and the bar dipped a little. he called the spotters to take it from me, no lift. 2/3 for the bench, but i'm on the board.
up next was the deadlift. i was feeling pretty good at this point, much more comfortable. i picked 340 for my opener - something i could do in my sleep. stepped on the platform and smoked it. 2nd attempt was 360, same result. third attempt was 380, i had no idea if i was going to be able to do this, i did 355 a couple weeks ago while training and it went up pretty easy so prior to the meet i was going to do 375 for my 3rd attempt. i felt a little froggy so i called for 380. set up was good, drove my feet through the floor and started the lift. about halfway up i was like, uh-oh, but once i got it past my knees i contracted my glutes like they've never been contracted before and was able to lock it out. looking at the vid, i was able to keep my form pretty tight - no major back rounding. did i underestimate this too?
my day was done, total = 890 and went 8/9. that may not seem like a lot to some of you, but i busted my ass for this and thank god i didn't have the lowest total for the meet
first off, this was a hell of a lot of fun. i highly recommend to anyone thinking of entering a meet to send in your entry fee. you really don't know anything about how you train until you step on the platform. you might think you squat 400, but until you have 3 judges looking at your depth, you don't really know. everyone i met at the meet was really f'ing cool, from the judges to the competitors. one of the things i like about powerlifting: the guys you're competing against are 10 feet from you yelling GO, GO, GO. or calling your depth for you when you squat. everyone was pulling for everyone else. i got to see 2 state records in the squat be set, both at 198 equipped. one guy did 815 and set the record. another guy came up after him and did 830. guess who was helping him in and out of his squat suit: the guy who's record he just broke. and they didn't train together either. really positive vibe from start to finish.
1. commands, commands, commands. this ain't the gym, there are rules that you have to follow. plenty of guys were no lifted for not waiting for the rack command in both the squat and bench. the judge could have easily no lifted me for my opener in the bench. god, how embarrassing would that have been - no lifted at 185!
2. i have a decision to make: stay where i'm at and cut to 181 for next time, or eat and train like a madman and grow into 198. i'm not sure yet.
3. i need to assess what i'm truly capable of prior to a meet. i do think i left a little on the bar in the squat, and prolly could have grinded out another 10 lbs for my deadlift. to those thinking about a meet, be honest with yourself. if you think your max is 300 in whatever lift, don't open with 310. 3 guys bombed in the bench - missed all 3 of their attempts. this makes no sense to me, always always open with something you can easily do a triple with. if you bomb in any of the lifts, you don't get a total. why work your ass off and not get a total?
anyone interested in vids can check them out on youtube - nalpam5264 is my channel.
props to the APF for putting on an awesome meet and giving me a great first experience.
off to reset my 5/3/1 template with new maxes and start over, next stop, a 1k total...