My next meet

I’ve decided that my next meet will be the USAPL California State Meet usually held the weekend of President’s Day in February. This roughly puts me 17 weeks from the meet.


I’ve decided that I want to focus on competing in the USAPL for the foreseeable future. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. Many of the top lifters that I respect compete in this federation
  2. It’s drug tested. I have nothing against PEDs I just currently don’t want to use them and don’t want to compete against those that use them.
  3. It’s known for being strict and I’d like to have my lifts held to a high standard
  4. It’s raw, therefore the meet will go faster… right? …maybe?

Considerations for meet prep

I’ve been digging into more Reactive Training Systems and have come up with a pretty simple program from the material in Mike’s Total Game Plan Strength Summit DVD (highly recommended). I feel like I’ve been program hopping a bit lately and I really need to just buckle down and follow something for an extended period of time. My biggest concern going into meet prep is another China trip. I’m not sure yet how long it will take me to get back to my previous strength levels but so far I’ve taken a pretty big hit from no serious training for three weeks. If another China trip comes, say maybe in January 2014 I’ll probably be royally fucked. Maybe. My plan is to use the rest of the year to get as strong as possible. That way my baseline will at least be a little higher than it is now.

First Meet Report: October 7th 2012 USPA Raw Open @ Wild Iron

I haven’t posted on this blog in a while but I feel like this is as good a time as any to start again. I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep the night prior. Part of it was due to our two cats jumping all over the place and part of it was probably due to being nervous. My girlfriend and I arrived bright and early (7am) at the Wild Iron Gym in Santa Clara. The gym would have been hard to find were it not for the group of people standing around outside of it. We stood around chatting for a while until the gym owner (Marcus Wild) showed up. Thus began check-in and weigh-ins. I opted to weigh-in now instead of earlier 1. because I wasn’t going to cut weight for my first meet and 2. because I would have had to drive an hour south on a saturday morning. I ended up weighing in at 201 pounds exactly.

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I was pretty damn nervous. This is literally the first sport I’d ever competed in (not counting various gym class activities). My nerves started to cool once the lifting began. I was set to lift in the third flight (there were three total). The first flight was big and took a long time to complete. This was good in that I got to chill for a while and chat with others.

Once the second flight started lifting it was now time to start warming up for squats. Squat warmups felt pretty damn good. I was worried that not squatting heavy for a week prior would have been unaccustomed to heavy-ass weight on my back but my last warmup (a single @ 370) went up pretty quick. I chose 190kg (418lbs) as my first squat attempt. I had done a triple of 415 in training so I figured it should be EZPZ. As I approached the bar my heart was ready to jump out of my chest.

Good Lift!

The spotters were a great bunch of guys. As I stood up from the squat one of them reminded me “wait for commands!” which was extremely helpful. Getting this first attempt under my belt was the best feeling ever. Now, even if I failed the rest of my attempts, I was in the competiton. I went to table and chose 197.5kg (434lbs) as my second attempt. I had singled up to 435 in training so this should also be no problem.

Good Lift!

Now was the time to try and set a PR. I’d been thinking that if my first two attempts went well I’d try for 450. So I went to the table and asked for 205kg (451lbs).

No Lift

Maybe it was due to lack of sleep. Maybe I could have gotten 445. Regardless, it was nice to try for something hard. The first and second flights benched and then it was my turn. My Bench had increased a lot in training but overall it was still relatively low. I called for 105kg (231lbs).

Good Lift!

Addison Turney, a cool dude I’d met there earlier, gave me a hand-off. The Bench went up relatively quickly. I called for112.5kg (247.5lbs). I had singled up to 245 paused in training.

No Lift

I think the culprit here was dehydration. I would have had it had not my upper back cramped up real bad as I was pressing. My back felt like shit after the lift but I called for the same weight for my third attempt. I didn’t get it. At this point in the day I was pretty pooped and feeling kind of crappy after my last two bench attempts. I was half-worried I’d miss the deadlifts and bomb out of the meet. I started amping up my adrenaline and downing gatorade and trail mix. I hadn’t really trained my deadlift for a while due to some technique issues. I called for 170kg (365lbs) which should be EZPZ.

Good Lift!

As I thought, I could have pulled that in my sleep. I called for 185kg (405lbs) which I had done once in training.

Good Lift!

Again EZPZ. I started thinking I could pull off an 1100 total which was sort of a goal for this meet and if I pulled 197.5kg (434lbs) I could nail it. I called for it and really summoned the demons. I started getting really emotional and blasted my music.

Good Lift!

This lift felt loads slower than it looked in retrospect. I left some weight on the bar but got the 1100 total I wanted. My girlfriend and I left shortly after I finished my deadlifts because we were both famished. When were back in the city I learned from a facebook thread that I had actually taken 1st in the 220lb class! It was a little hard to believe at first since my total was pretty low for someone in that class.

Thanks to Marcus Wild for putting on the meet, all of the fantastic spotters, Bob Berbel and my friends who supported me, the judges and refs, and most of all my wonderful girlfriend for enduring the long ass day and also keeping me hydrated and fed. I had a lot of fun and met a lot of great people.

What’s next for my training? I’m going to continue using the Texas Method because it’s worked really well so far. Now that my deadlift is looking good I’m going to be progressing that hard and fast. I want a 500lb pull. I’m also going to work my Bench real hard to get a 300lb Bench. I think my upper back’s been holding me back so I’m going to do a shit ton of Pendlay Rows. I’m moving to a TM split which will look like this:

Mon TM Upper Volume: Volume Press, Volume Bench, Pendlay Rows
Tues TM Lower Volume: Volume Squats, RDLS, (maybe Power Shrugs)
Thurs TM Upper Intensity: Intensity Press, Intensity Bench
Fri TM Lower Intensity: Intensity Squats, Intensity Deadlifts

I’m really looking forward to the new format

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