Updated: Jan 29, 2020
Picture this: You’ve trained a lot, worked very hard and stuck to a decent diet for 14-weeks. At the end of the 14-weeks, you find yourself walking onto the platform after your weights are loaded for a heavy lift. 50+ people are watching and cheering for you, the spotters are ready, and you get under the bar for a squat. You un-rack the bar, take a couple of steps back to get your feet set. You look up and hear the “squat” command from the judge and now it’s go time! You start the squat, hit your bottom point and now your fighting to come back up. After a long battle to stand back up, you get it!
My first powerlifting meet was fun. The energy and excitement there was just incredible! My powerlifting journey alone so far has been incredible too. It has taught me to be patient and I’ve been learning a lot of stuff… and I’m still learning! A couple of things that still stick out to me is this: Weights don’t lie. They’ll check your ego and humble you rather quickly if you aren’t already. What does this mean? In powerlifting, the objective is to get stronger without injuring yourself. This includes not sacrificing your form to complete a lift with a weight your body isn’t ready for. This is easier said than done though!
Anyway, lets talk about how my first meet went. I drove up the day before for weigh-ins and to get my squat rack height. It could’ve been done the morning of the meet, but I don’t like rushing for anything especially with not knowing how many other people were competing. I was finished within 10 minutes and on my way back down the road. Lets fast forward to the meet. After going over the rules and such, we were told what group we were lifting in. The groups just make the entire day organized and while one group is lifting, the other group is resting and/or warming up. The meet always starts with the barbell squat. After doing my warm-up, it was go time since I was the first to go in Group B. You get 3 attempts to achieve the heaviest weight that you can lift. I started out doing 310-lbs which was easy enough for me to get numbers on the screen. My second lift was 340-lbs and my third was 360-lbs. My first and second lift were good; however, my third squat was tough. I made it halfway up after surpassing my weak point (getting stuck at the bottom) and just couldn’t push anymore. I gave it everything that I had in me which is better than not trying at all! The good news is 365-lbs is the current Missouri state record for squatting in my weight and division when I compete in the fall of 2019. I plan on beating that record this year!
After a short break while they swapped out the equipment, it was time for the bench press. I started with 210-lbs, 220-lbs for my second attempt and 235-lbs for my third. All three were successful lifts. I wasn’t too worried about bench pressing other than my shoulders and upper back hurting from doing squats 15-minutes before. I was a little afraid that I was going to start cramping up so I started sipping on water and Powerade then refueled with a little oatmeal/trail mix.
Deadlift... My Favorite!
After another short break and removing the bench press equipment, it was time to do our last big lift, the deadlift. This is my favorite lift and the toughest one. Think about it for a second. We started lifting at 10am and it was now 2:30 or 3pm so we’re all tired. My opening lift was 350-lbs, 380-lbs for my second and a personal record of 410-lbs for my third lift. The 350-lb and 380-lb lift weren’t too bad. I knew that 410-lbs would be heavy, but I did that during training on two different occasions. I chalked my hands, cracked open my Skull Smash Ammonia bottle for a quick adrenaline rush then took the platform. I got my feet set up then my hands. Before I began the lift, I re-positioned one of my hands and not the other. Doing so caused me to begin an uneven pull which resulted in one side coming up first and having no control of the other side at all so the lift was no-good. The most important thing that I learned from my 410-lb lift was to take my time and not rush into a lift. I was a little disappointed, because that could’ve been avoided if I had just looked down again to make sure my hands were where they should've been but hey… it was only my first lifting meet!
At the end of the day I met some cool people, had some fun, learned some lessons and took home a medal! Most importantly, every lifter there did their best and I’m sure they’re all proud. Now it's off to start off-season training and begin planning for my next meet later this year!
Thank you to every single one of you who have supported and encouraged me while I was training!