T Nation

Finished First Competition This Weekend!

This weekend was my first strongman competition and first weightlifting competition ever! It was very challenging, probably the most I have pushed myself in a day since summer football practices in high school. The events were (in sequential order):

1 - log clean and press - AMAP in 60 seconds - 160lbs - I got 10
2 - axle deadlift - AMAP in 60 seconds - 330lbs - I got 12
3 - crucifix hold - score based on longest time - I got 52 seconds
4 - farmers walk/chain drag medley - score based on time - not sure
5 - stone shouldering - AMAP in 60 seconds - I got 7

My general thoughts are as follows: Wow, I did not expect the competition to be so fast paced. I anticipated we would have about an hour between each event but it turned out to be more like 20-30 minutes. Not training to account for this cost me some serious points for the last two events, as I fell when I did the chain drag (though was very fast with the farmers walk) and on the atlas stone lost focus and dropped it behind my shoulder, costing me about 20 seconds. I found that my performance was very good for the first 30 seconds, but I quickly lost all my momentum and would gas-out. If I had allocated more of my training time to high rep work I think I could have done much better. To this point I was not happy with my performance, but I have a habit of not appreciating my accomplishments.

On the positive side, I did very well with the crucifix hold, I think I got close to third. My form was solid on the log press (even though I almost fell backwards because the platform was slightly crooked haha). I am also very happy that my back did not bother me while doing the deadlifts. In training my lower back acted up really bad, but I found training the zercher squat made a huge difference in the bottom strength of the DL. My farmers walk was very fast too.

The stones and the chain drag got really sloppy though. Ironically, I was used to training with a very heavy chain so when I did my initial pull I fell backwards, but got right back up and kept moving. My quads were killing me 3/4 of the way down the 50’ runway. For the atlas stones, I am not sure what happened. I think I got very tired and “zoned out” on my 7th rep. If I kept up my pace I would have done very well, but I lost focus and this compromised my form, leading to the stone falling behind my back. The announcer was hilarious though, he said “Dont be a ball buster” when I dropped it. As douchey as this sounds I’m glad I’m not the only one who made a similar mistake.

I think I made some good and bad nutritional decisions. I was so nervous before the competition that I didnt eat breakfast. I also had the morning shits and I was nervous about “explosive diarrhea” so I opted to eat throughout the day. I chose to bring two gallons of water, about 16 pounds of ice, two dark chocolate bars, and 3 bags of mixed nuts and seeds.

The dark chocolate was a good idea. I found it easy to digest, it provided fast energy, wasnt upsetting to my stomach, and provided caffeine and plenty of trace minerals. Freezing some of the water was a smart idea too, as I found my two gallons lasted me the full competition.

Eating the peanuts and seeds was a big mistake. I got very sick right after competition and shit enough to clog the city sewer system. For what it is worth I found I was not hungry after competition. My dad and I went out and he “forced” me to get a hamburger and fries which I barely ate. Later on that night I developed a terrible pounding headache. It was mitigated with 2 slices of pizza, coconut water, gatorade, and a gallon of regular water.

As for the competition itself, it was run very smoothly. The weather was nice, the event was well organized, and the people we great and very supportive to be around. There were also lots of cute women around too. Actually, this particular competition had more women competing than men. The announcer was a smart ass and did a good job as well keeping things funny and lively.

My final thoughts:
Overall, competing was very big growth experience for me, both in training and in life. My coach signed me up without telling me in late June and I am very thankful he did this as I would have waited for too long or made excuses not to go. Competing helped me get out of a funk that I had been in for the last two years: I rediscovered my passion for challenging myself and pushing myself towards a better person. I learned the value of planning and rediscovered what it means to be dedicated to a goal. I haven’t felt this way (or cared about anything enough to even bother planning) since I was in college. Ironically, this competition reaffirmed some personal thoughts and goals I’ve had for myself pertaining the value of having friends and a support system and following your passions/dreams. It brought some additional clarity into my life that I needed.

Ill see if I can find video URLs to upload, as they are posted on my gyms facebook. If not Ill just give you the link and you can check out everyone that competed.

Ok so here is the facebook page for the gym I go too. You can probably guess who I am.

I was waiting to hear about this. It was really exciting to hear you had signed up, and now that you’ve competed, it’s awesome to see the impact it had on you.

Sounds like you had a great first showing. Don’t sweat falling down on the drag: I’ve done that everytime I’ve had a sled in a competition. When the adrenalin is flowing, it’s easy to lose your footing and pacing.

It also sounds like a very well run show. Little time between events can suck for recovery, but it definitely makes for an exciting show.

Great write-up dude. Looking forward to the next one.