Wow. What a day! I can honestly say that, as a whole, the March 7th NorCal Powerlifting meet was my best meet performance. I’ve said many times that I’ve learned something at every meet I’ve done, good and bad. At this one I learned three absolitely HUGE things about meet prep and the day itself.
Overall, my training going into the meet was very good. I don’t recall missing any lifts, with the exception of a shot-in-the-dark bench attempt about 5-6 weeks ago. I did have a little back tweak on a deficit deadlift day about six weeks out but I took care of it and it went away pretty quickly. All-in-all I felt like I was supposed to coming down the stretch.
This leads into the first lesson. I really nailed my taper down to the meet. I’d been doing a fair amount of volume and accessory work for the months leading in. With about a month to go I started cutting down on the accessory work and did a little more high weight work on the competition lifts. I did my openers three weeks out and then did lighter rep work the following week. About 60% of 3 sets of 6-8. I did each lift twice that week and then the final week I did 3 sets of 5-6 at about 50% on Sunday and Tuesday. Doing this I felt fresh, but also still ready to go.
Lesson 2. Breathe! During my squat warmups I started to get a little nervous. This happens to me from time to time with squats. The stress of timing my squat warmups, getting wrapped and getting the first lift in is always a little nerve wracking. Anyway, I started to feel my heart really race and when I took a 275 warmup (about 150 pounds less then my opener) and it felt like 800 pounds I knew I had to settle myself down. I slowed everything down and worked on my breathing. I concentrated on breathing in and out slowly and deeply and then took and easy 315 and 385.
Lesson 3. Nutrition. I never felt like I really figured out how to eat on meet day. I knew to eat light and stay hydrated but it was always a little bit of mystery to me. What I did on this day was treat each lift like it’s own seperate training session. Meaning during warmups and each lift eat/drink my usual workout drink. This and a few small snacks did the trick. After each lift I had a dip in energy but by the time the next lift came around I was back up and felt great.
Onto the lifts!
Squats – As I mentioned before, once I got my breathing under control my warmups felt good and solid. My last warmup at 385 was fine and I felt under control. I hit my 429 opener pretty easily. I hit my 451 OK with a pretty good sticking point in the middle, but I felt OK enough to give 463 a shot. Unfortunately, I lost my tightness at the bottom and wasn’t able to recover. I was pretty OK with my 451, though.
Bench – My warmups here felt pretty good. I went up to 225 for a pretty easy double. I opened with 253 and it flew up with no problem. Here was my nemesis, though. I have attempted 276 at every single meet I’ve ever done and have never been able to hit it. I have hit it twice in the gym, but never at a meet. Having said that, I nailed it here and felt great! I went for 281 on my third and got pretty stapled. I think that I was so happy to hit my 276 that I was kind of mentally done for my third. Overall, I was very happy to hit that 276 here.
Deadlift – It was getting late in the day and after bench I definitely felt a little tired but about 30 minutes before my deadlift warmups I started really feeling good. In the warmup room, everything absolutely flew up. A few people asked me how I felt and I was actually afraid to tell them. I went up to 415 and I think that was just as fast as my 225. I opened with 474 and it was easy. I took 501 on my second and it was just as easy. My main goal for the day was to hit a PR total so I went a little conservative here and went for a 513 so I could hit that number. This one took an extra second to get off the floor but came up pretty well after that for a new PR total of 1240!
The total PR meant a lot to me because I hit my previous one about two year ago and weighing in at almost 17 pounds heavier. Adding to that, the last meet I did was the worst one I’ve done so being to hit this felt like one heck a victory for me.
You can check out the video of my lifts below.
Thanks for reading!
Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Lean Eating Coach, FMS
2861 Grove Way in Castro Valley
I Help People Discover Their Strength!