First Powerlifting Meet Results and Reflection
This past Saturday, The Old School Gym held it's annual Christmas powerlifting meet. 54 competitors braved the elements and competed. This was my first powerlifting meet and really the first time I had done anything competitive in over 2 years since my last collegiate soccer game. There were many highs and a few lows associated with the meet and the hype around it; I'll break down my approach to Saturday, the meet itself and reflect on things I enjoyed and will keep the same, as well as things that I will definitely change for the next one. I got a ton of great advice from CoryG, Nick Showman, Zach Homol and the #4amCrew in prepping for this first meet, so I was definitely lucky to have as many knowledgeable people around as I did.
Since this was my first competition I did not cut at all, which put me right in the middle of two weight classes, 165 and 181. I decided just to continue and try to put on weight in the months coming into December. I was able to weigh in at 175.6 on Friday morning and the bloat was on. I drove back to Athens and got $25 worth of Tim Hortons breakfast and I was so excited to eat. I got home and finished about half of the meal and felt so bad that I took an hour and a half nap.. epic fail. But after that I was able to cook two Digiornio pizzas and get my food and drinks ready for the rest of the day. I had to work a basketball game in the evening so it was a struggle later on in the day to get my calories in. BUT, overall after breakfast I was I was able to eat two full pizzas, some sushi, oreos, peanut butter, 300+ ounces of Gatorade, a gallon of water and potato chips. I was able to weigh in Saturday morning with clothes on at 189.8. So the bloat was successful, but I am still feeling it, even today.
The one thing I did not expect was how nervous I got before my opening squat. The rush was awesome and being up there in front of everyone was a thrill, but until I got that opener out of the way, I felt awful. Between the nerves, the cold and shakiness I felt from all the sodium I had in my system and the pre-workout, I didn't feel great early on.
Squats: I hit 385 on my opener very easily and got the nerves out of the way. My next attempt was for a 5 lb PR at 420, which I hit pretty smooth. My final attempt at 435 was so close, and if you watch the video on IG, about one more inch up and I probably would've been home free. But overall I was very happy to hit a PR. And gotta give a s/o to CoryG for the knee wraps, they were cast-like haha.
Bench: We will skip this one.....
Just kidding. I have a long way to go with bench. My opener was 225 which I hit a little shaky, just didn't feel strong at all. My next two attempts at 245 I got called on both for my butt coming off of the bench during the press, so they were no good.
Deadlift: I was unsure about how this would go heading into the day. I set my opener pretty light at 375, which was nice and easy and it placed me in the first flight of lifters for deadlift which I actually liked because I didn't have to wait around as long. I decided to go for a 10 lb PR my second attempt at 415, and smoked it pretty easily. So after a quick talk with Cory, I decided to go for 440 on my last attempt. The atmosphere for squats and deadlifts was awesome and I have to give OSG and the crowd a lot of praise because they really got up for PR lifts. I smoked the 440 rep as well and walked away at the end of the day with 2 PRs and an awesome experience.
Overall the experience was great. My family, friends, crew and mentors were all there supporting me, as well as I was able to support the crew and all the other lifters hit new goals. It was a humbling experience but I wouldn't change it because now I have my baseline numbers and new goals to shoot for during the next meet.
The only things I would really change about my approach to the meet were my meet day nutrition and my increased rest during the week. I felt very shaky all day on Saturday and it was because I didn't bring the right foods and didn't end up eating until around 12, when I usually eat my first meal. I will eat small snacks early and often with a lot of sodium for the next one. My other thing I will change is not taking squats so lightly in the days leading up to the meet. I took openers on Monday and 275 on Tuesday and Wednesday and that was it besides taking the bar later in the week to keep my squat streak going. My central nervous system just never adjusted fully to the heavy weights that day after having so much rest time in the days leading up to it. But I was still able to hit some goals for myself and although I missed my overall goal of 1100 by 15 lbs, the day was so much fun and a great experience mentally and physically.