TL’DR – second meet 7/9, 207.5, 145, 222.5 – a 575 total @ 91.6 kg. squat PR, came within 2.5kg of my best total, tactical missteps + life priorities = missed lifts.
Weeewwieee. Had my second meet. It was not perfect, but I am very happy with the results and lessons learned. A bunch of friends and I drove to Ottawa for the weekend and we had a hella good time.
I mainly train out of a home gym with the jankiest setup you can imagine. It does the job well enough for me, but most of my work is barbell work, or accessories I can do with bands or some fatbells I have. I work with Bryce Krawczyk who does my programming for me. This block, since my last meet in January, has been somewhat project momentum style, where I lead with top singles for comp lifts, and follow up with volume. Typically its comp movements 1+ times a week, with comp variations 1-2 more times a week, with work to fill in gaps everywhere else – training 4 days a week. Closer to the meet the volume tapers off, and the variant lifts get more specific. It has been a good training cycle, with lots of volume and rep pr’s along the way.
After my last meet, I had about one-month deload/catch up, about two months of consistent volume accumulation and PR’s, a deload, followed by a six-week peak (Bryce made these calls based on his own observations of my progress)
My previous meet I hit a 577.5 total at 90.4 kg (205, 147.5, 225).
Excuses Priorities leading up to the meet.
I have had a lot of life changes in the past few months, but to summarize the more recent ones:
1) I started a new job about 6 weeks prior to my meet, one which I have already travelled a couple times for. There has been some stress with getting ramped up, but despite the travel disruptions, I was able to mostly stick to my coach’s programming
2) I moved into a new place the weekend before the meet – this bit into my recovery and probably affected my peaking.
3) I had a pretty good scare 21 days prior to the meet, I hurt my back unracking the bar on one of my lighter squat work sets. I was very worried I might not be able to compete but I ramped back into training after a few days of intelligently working around the resulting SI problems.
4) Multiple road trips in the 4 weeks leading up to it (the trip itself was also a road trip).
5) Poor nutrition & recovery the weeks leading up to the meet – just a result of everything above, especially with the move and not having a proper kitchen or bedroom set up, I was eating lots of fast food and not sleeping a whole lot.
Given all these excuses, (a.k.a other priorities) I’m pretty happy I got as far as I did with the meet, and even hit a squat PR!
The meet day was split into a morning event and an afternoon event. We went to Ottawa as a crew, and there were two other nerds lifting in the morning that I wanted to watch, this resulted in a very very long day (arrived at 9, weigh in at 11, lifting started at 12). I watched them compete, but didn’t eat anything until after my weigh in. I wasn’t too concerned about weight, but I hadn’t weighed myself in two weeks, so there was some worry. I weighed in at 91.6 and then scarfed down as much as I could. My event had two flights and I was toward the end of the first.
- Attempt 1 – 190kg. ezpz, no stress. On to ideal attempt 2.
- Attempt 2 – 202.5 kg. I kinda misgrooved it. Oops. It took a lot out of me. My goal for the day was 210, my current PR was 205, so I decided to split the difference and go for it.
- Attempt 3 – 207.5 kg – went well. Wasn’t even that stressful. I got one red, Im not sure what for, but im happy with two whites.
Prior to this my handler and I discussed how the big jumps between attempts really winded me at my last meet. This should have been an indication on how to act.
Unfortunately, the 2nd flight was super long, and there wasn’t good communication on if there would be a break or not before bench, so the result was that we started my bench warm-ups WAAAYYY too early. The warmups themselves felt great.
- Attempt 1 – 135 kg (same as my last meet) – ezpz. Move on to ideal 2nd.
- Attempt 2 – 145 kg (same as last meet) – was easier than last meet, smoother and cleaner, but harder than it was in training. It also exhausted me. I probably had 147.5 in me, but Ive wanted to bench 150 in-meet since my last meet. Ive hit 335lbs TNG in the gym, so I really wanted it. I figured, since I had the 145, and had the 2.5 kg squat PR, if I failed it, it would leave me about even against my last meet. So I asked my handler to enter 150kg
- Attempt 3 – no dice. I was just gassed leading up to it. My setup was fine, the handoff felt fine. I rushed my descent and didn’t have as much control as I would like, and on the ascent, I just lost power and hit a wall. On a good day I’d have it, but not today.
By this point, I was starting to really feel the long day. I tried hard to relax and eat before my warmups, but I started to feel bloated from all the Gatorade, and just couldn’t get any food in. Warm-ups felt okay, my setup didn’t really feel the best, but things were moving.
- Attempt 1 – 210kg – my setup felt off, and the rep felt harder than it should have been. We still decided to go up to my ideal second
- Attempt 2 – 222.5 kg (2.5kg less than my previous third and my PR) – ezpz – It felt cleaner and easier than my opener. We decided to enter my ideal (232.5, just below my E1RM from multiple rep PR’s). This would be my first time pulling above 500lbs, so I wanted to make it a good PR.
- Attempt 3 – miss – 232.5 kg by the time I was up I was feeling really gassed. When I went to do the rep, my setup and breathing felt off, the bar slowed down around my knees, and then I felt a hitch and lost air. I then felt the bar stop moving. At this point, I was thinking I should keep trying, but I could risk hurting myself, could get it up but still get reds for the hitch, in a moment of temporary insanity I just let myself lose energy and motivation, then the bar started moving back down.
Total for the day is 575. If I had made that pull I would have medaled, but that’s not what I am in this for.
I’d like to say I would have changed my life priorities leading up to the meet, but I really wouldn’t have. I’ve had a lot of positive life things going on lately, so the meet was just something on the calendar that I happened to be training for. It does serve as a lesson that doing your best to make sure the environment is ideal really can contribute to meet day. The life stresses, the lack of nutrition and recovery, all the driving, and the long meet day all can add up, and big picture I am very happy that I performed the way I did.
I now know not to do long meet days, or know to prepare differently for longer days. I have no regrets getting to watch my buddies lift and cheer them on (I’ma tag them in the comments).
Making the call to do the 207.5 kg squat was the right one, I 100% had it, and took it. I can hit 210 another day.
I don’t regret my bench choice, I just wish I were a bit more fresh for that, and maybe descended a bit slower. I think in general I need to stick with 2.5kg jumps between my second and my third for bench.
As for deadlift – I was gassed, by that point in the day I had had enough, but I really should have tried to grind out more. Im pretty good with having the ability to grind in training, but it just wasn’t happening on meet day. As for the hitch – I should let the judges decide on that. Also, next time, I am going to make sure I do nothing but eat and lie down for 15 minutes after my third bench.
I have spoken to my coach – meet in late October, I hope, and in the meantime I will be cutting down to ~185-190 lbs, I’ll be doing it fairly slowly so it shouldn’t affect my training that much. After that meet, I will try to fill out the 93 kg weight class properly, instead of carrying extra weight.
Thanks for reading!