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[Meet Report] USAPL Mens Chicagoland Open Raw Power, Chicago, IL (March 6 2016) | M | 457kg (1008lbs) @ 81.9kg (307.85 Wilks)


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Hey guys! First meet report (and first meet) here, had a total blast and wanted to share and hopefully get some advice on further training and progress.

 

TL;DR: Went 7/9 (failed 3rd squat attempt (complete fail) and 2nd bench (technical)), left some pounds on the platform but still set some PRs. Amazing experience for my first meet and reinforced my stance that everyone who ever thinks about doing a meet, competition or race should just do it.

PLAN YOUR WORK. WORK YOUR PLAN!

 

TRAINING:

Going into this meet I ran Candito's 6 Week Strength Program, which has been amazing. However for various reasons the cycle was awful: lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and just awful posture...all due to a new, non English speaking U.S. citizen arriving in my house (and sharing a bed with my wife) a few months ago.

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So safe to say this meet was a bit last minute and the training was bit rushed.

 

I was able to make just about every training session, but hip issues made my squat pretty disappointing leading up until the Monday before the meet where I hit my PR pretty smoothly. Bench was feeling amazing and deadlifts felt strong. 

MEET:

Got into the gym around 8, thankfully the gym is only a 5 minute walk from my house, so there wasn't much planning needed for travel. If any of you know me or follow my challenges/battle log, I'm a fatty with no will power when it comes to burgers, beer, and cookies. So I was very worried about making weight, but after some water manipulation I came in at a pretty light 81.9kg/180.5lbs and easily made weight. Brought a bunch of food and a decent amount of candy and didn't really eat much of it to be honest.

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After weigh in I was able to run home, eat a sandwich, make breakfast for the family and change into the above. The meet started at 10:30, but was delayed by about 45 minutes or so due to difficulties with the computer. There were a total of four flights and about 10 lifters in my weight class.

 

SQUAT:

The only thing I was really worried about coming into the day was how to time warmups. My gym is awesome and there are about 7-8 places to squat, so we didn't have any issues of 5+ guys per rack, so warmups went pretty well and everything was feeling good. I just warmed up during the 2nd attempts of the first flight and that gave me more than enough time to warm up properly, but not have to run to the platform after my last single.

Opener was super easy (as an opener should be) at 160kg/352lb. I was supposed to go for 172.5 (a PR) if I felt good and 170 (current PR) if things felt bad. I did not follow this plan. Second attempt was a pretty easy 170kg/374.8lb. I then jumped up to 177.5kg/391.3lb and completely failed it right out of the hole. So unfortunately there was no squat PR on this day. Had I worked my plan I should have taken 172.5 for my second and just 175 for my third and gotten a 10lb PR.

A lot of lifters were getting red lighted for depth or weak/soft lockouts, not an issue for me as I often waste depth and never worry myself about it.

BENCH:

Warmups for bench was fast...because I'm weak and use light weights. I was 6th or 7th in my flight with squats, but maybe 4th for bench.

Opener again was super easy at 92.5kg/203.9lb. Commands were super easy to follow and I ended up using a hand off though I didn't expect to being that I never get a hand off in training. Followed the plan here for choosing my second attempt and went up to 100kg/220.5lb for my second attempt and FAILED it. My butt and heels came up off the bench and I didn't have to sit up to see the red lights and know I failed. The actual lift felt good, so I took a conservative jump to 102.5kg/226lb despite the miss. Came back and nailed it, small grinder, but the butt and heels stayed in contact though it was CLOSE.

DEADLIFT:

And the embarrassment begins. My deadlift is by far my worst lift. So I went from 6/7th on squat, 4th on bench and then like 2nd/3rd on deads. My third attempt for deads I went second, only after a 70 year old lifter.

Anyway, opener was super fast. 2nd attempt was a very modest (1.8lb) PR which was easy. So at this point I had to figure out if I wanted to go for over 405lbs or if I wanted to play it safe and break 1000lb total. If I missed my 3rd attempt I would end up at around 997lb total and I just couldn't let that happen, so I played it safe and went with 182.5kg/402.3lb, despite a fellow lifter telling me my 2nd attempt looked super easy and I should go higher. I stepped up to the bar and easily pulled 182.5kg and right about at my knee I got pissed that I didn't go higher.

 

RESULTS/WRAP UP:

Went 7 for 9 with one complete miss and one technical lift. Ended up getting 2-3 PRs and finally broke 1,000lbs.

A good number of lifters bombed out for various reasons (not listening to commands, not knowing the rules (they needed @SpecialSundae to tell them to RTFM), or just poor attempt selections). The one guy I hung out with most of the very long 10 hour day went 2/9 and missed all squat and bench attempts. I, surprisingly, had absolute no issues or nerves going into this meet besides making weight. Also, I thought I would have had a bit more nerves dealing with the commands and just having 150+ pairs of eyeballs watching me lift, but the commands were easy enough and I honestly didn't see the crowd whatsoever on any of the lifts.

The meet was absolutely amazing and it really helped that my first meet was at my own gym. I mean it made EVERYTHING easier - "travel", food, knowing the equipment, et cetera, but the best part was that I spoke to about 10 lifters that I see in the gym regularly that I never talk to and everyone from my gym was super loud with cheering when I was stepping up to the bar. This was my first powerlifting meet, but not first competition and every time I'm still shocked at how nice and supportive EVERYONE is at these things.

Unfortunately I got no footage at all of any of my lifts as we couldn't get a babysitter and the room where the lifting was, was just WAY too stuffy and packed for my wife to have the baby in. Though I did get to have the kid on my shoulders to watch a few lifters squat and he absolutely loved it and apparently when he left he was telling strangers about his dad lifting weights, so that was great to hear.

 

RANDOM THINGS:

  • Masters lifters are the coolest lifters at any meet. 70 year old lifter bombed out on squats due to depth, but he went thru and finished the meet. Just really cool watching him and he likely got some of the loudest cheers.
  • Two spotters got hurt. The first was an issue with the bar loading, one loader went to raise the rack height while the loader on the other side was changing plates at a lower height. All the weights slide off making the bar drop, and then once the plates were off, that side came flying back up into his groin/crotch reason. Had that been me, the meet would have been postponed/suspended cause I would have been rolling on the floor in a puddle of vomit, so he is a much better man than I. The other one was more serious (if that's possible). Lifter squatting 585lb dumped the bar over head and said bar landed on the spotter's foot and apparently there was a lot of blood and a good chance of several broken toes/broken foot.
MOVING FORWARD:

Again I was really happy with this first meet experience. Going into it I was looking forward to getting it over with and being able to relax for a bit. However, as I walked out of the gym I was just thinking about finding my next meet and was up at 3am or 4am that night looking up deadlift programs to fix my baby deadlift.

I'm looking to increase my deadlift about 90lbs and my bench about 40lbs by the end of the year. Sounds very aggressive in my head, but I feel like both lifts need to be drastically increased to make me a bit less pathetic. I'm thinking about paying $40 for George Leeman's P.R.O.M. deadlifting program. For bench I might run Candito's Advanced Bench Program at some point this year. I don't know and I don't really have a plan as of yet.

All I know is that bench and deads are holding me back.

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Congrats, really glad you liked it. I love how people are always surprised at how much they do.

 

Masters lifters really are the coolest. The nicest people at the meet and most laid back.

 

Holy shit on the injuries. Did someone knife the asshole who dropped the fucking bar? You never do that shit when you have spotters.

 

Like I said in the other thread, I like Cube for deadlifts, it's been really solid for me. For squats my best success has come through Madcow, but I think my current 4-5 days a week squat programming is really going to get me there in the long run. It's a personal thing though for what works for each person, so keep trying stuff and see how it goes. Remember though, you gotta do a program for 2-3 months to really be able to guage its effectiveness.

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Congrats, really glad you liked it. I love how people are always surprised at how much they do.

 

Masters lifters really are the coolest. The nicest people at the meet and most laid back.

 

Holy shit on the injuries. Did someone knife the asshole who dropped the fucking bar? You never do that shit when you have spotters.

 

Like I said in the other thread, I like Cube for deadlifts, it's been really solid for me. For squats my best success has come through Madcow, but I think my current 4-5 days a week squat programming is really going to get me there in the long run. It's a personal thing though for what works for each person, so keep trying stuff and see how it goes. Remember though, you gotta do a program for 2-3 months to really be able to guage its effectiveness.

 

Yeah, I knew I was going to love it. I just didn't expect to want to look for another one within a couple of hours of finishing up.

 

Yea, the guy was awesome. He was kind of oblivious to everything going on. Ref would say "bar loaded", announcer would call his name, and he would just stand there holding his sweater and then I would just go behind him, smack his back and yell "let's go Frank!" then he'd go lift.

 

They did not. I was surprised he wasn't disqualified, I mean he bombed out anyway, but still. I don't even think he went over to the spotter and asked how he was...at least not immediately from what I saw.

 

Squats I really liked Cube because I was able to do front and paused squats. Candito has been great for my bench. And deadlifts just move slow. I really like the length of Candito's program, but might make small tweaks. In the 2.5 years I've been training I've run SL5x5, 531, Cube, Cube for Strongman, SmolovJr for squat, a TNation program, and Candito's (though I wouldn't count Cube for Strongman or the SmolovJr against me as those were one offs or done for a specific purpose). So I'm a bit of a program whore while looking for what works and what doesn't. But I'm thinking about doing a lift specific/specialized cycle, followed by two cycles of Candito, then another lift specific cycle. Rinse and repeat. But, we'll see. I'm often all over the place after a competition.

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Nice wrap up! Best part is the picture of your little nugget :)

 

GAHHH!!! NEVER BAIL ON YOUR BAR!!!!

Prime example of why that is a BAD FUCKING IDEA. If I was a judge that guy would have been DQ (regardless if he already bombed out or not). That's a serious pet peeve of mine! As I've loaded/spotted about 4 meets, it's something that always happens and people get seriously hurt! /rant

 

Good job! Congrats on finally breaking 1000! Excited to see what you have in the tank for that deadlift.

 

P.S. you're still a bitch.

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Nice wrap up! Best part is the picture of your little nugget :)

 

GAHHH!!! NEVER BAIL ON YOUR BAR!!!!

Prime example of why that is a BAD FUCKING IDEA. If I was a judge that guy would have been DQ (regardless if he already bombed out or not). That's a serious pet peeve of mine! As I've loaded/spotted about 4 meets, it's something that always happens and people get seriously hurt! /rant

 

Good job! Congrats on finally breaking 1000! Excited to see what you have in the tank for that deadlift.

 

P.S. you're still a bitch.

 

Yea, I had to go back and throw some pics and random YouTube videos in to break up the huge wall of text that no one would read.

 

YAY! My nagging came to some good! :-p

 

Haha, your nagging would have helped them, I only really read the section on what can and can't be worn. 

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Yea, I had to go back and throw some pics and random YouTube videos in to break up the huge wall of text that no one would read.

Haha, your nagging would have helped them, I only really read the section on what can and can't be worn.

Didn't say that all of it worked.

You competed. I rest my case.

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Yay, competing! Great job :)

 

I've found just basic periodisation to be the best thing for my squat. Do a bunch of volume with 70%-80% for a few weeks, then do less volume with higher intensties for a few weeks. Then do more volume again but a bit heavier than before. Then higher intensity again with more weight... you get the idea. Granted, somebody else does my programming but I've added about 25kg to my squat in the last 12 months.

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Yay, competing! Great job :)

 

I've found just basic periodisation to be the best thing for my squat. Do a bunch of volume with 70%-80% for a few weeks, then do less volume with higher intensties for a few weeks. Then do more volume again but a bit heavier than before. Then higher intensity again with more weight... you get the idea. Granted, somebody else does my programming but I've added about 25kg to my squat in the last 12 months.

 

My squat and deadlift pale in comparison to yours. Sadly our benches are pretty similar.

 

Don't worry, the singlet is black, you can barely see it.

 

Literal lol

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Nice job Matty.  Now I have to get my ass in gear and finally get that 4 plate squat.  You've caught me.

 

Nice wrap up! Best part is the picture of your little nugget :)

 

GAHHH!!! NEVER BAIL ON YOUR BAR!!!!

Prime example of why that is a BAD FUCKING IDEA. If I was a judge that guy would have been DQ (regardless if he already bombed out or not). That's a serious pet peeve of mine! As I've loaded/spotted about 4 meets, it's something that always happens and people get seriously hurt! /rant

 

Good job! Congrats on finally breaking 1000! Excited to see what you have in the tank for that deadlift.

 

P.S. you're still a bitch.

 

Our head judge during rules explanation said exactly that.  Any bar drops in Squat were a DQ.  Very surprised that didn't happen.  

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Nice job Matty.  Now I have to get my ass in gear and finally get that 4 plate squat.  You've caught me.

 

 

Our head judge during rules explanation said exactly that.  Any bar drops in Squat were a DQ.  Very surprised that didn't happen.  

 

Dude.  Rochester.  April 23.  24 spots open.

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Have you had any luck finding anything in Jamaica?

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Not yet. They had this bodybuilding show last year and kind of powerlifting meet thing. If they keep it this year I'll try to go. It was too late in the night last year and I don't drive so its pretty unsafe. But I'm planning to keep my own mock meet in the future if that falls out. What you think?

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Not yet. They had this bodybuilding show last year and kind of powerlifting meet thing. If they keep it this year I'll try to go. It was too late in the night last year and I don't drive so its pretty unsafe. But I'm planning to keep my own mock meet in the future if that falls out. What you think?

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Yeah, no you definitely should try to do the meet if possible. But mock meets and test days are never bad. Just take the attempt selections seriously. I NEVER do and it kinda showed at the actual meet.

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Yeah, no you definitely should try to do the meet if possible. But mock meets and test days are never bad. Just take the attempt selections seriously. I NEVER do and it kinda showed at the actual meet.

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What I was planning to do is try to set up at least 2 cameras from different angles and video my "mock meet" and use it like a glorified form check. 3 attempts each weigh ins the works. Just no singlet. One day I'll probably buy one though. That's the rough plan I have so far.

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What I was planning to do is try to set up at least 2 cameras from different angles and video my "mock meet" and use it like a glorified form check. 3 attempts each weigh ins the works. Just no singlet. One day I'll probably buy one though. That's the rough plan I have so far.

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Do it. Or just ask Gains when the next virtual meet is and just keep building strength till then.

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