T Nation

First Meet for LM and Chaz


Well it was an interesting experience. I feel like I've been hit by a bat all over today but here's my thoughts on it and how it went as well as some videos. I'll have to get Chaz's videos up here in a bit, youtube is taking a long time uploading.

It was an amazing experience and one I will definitely be repeating. There were so many people from many different backgrounds socially and geographically but everyone was unbelievably supportive of everyone, even though many of us were competing against each other in the same weight classes. Again, I was truly impressed, overjoyed, and just happy at how people acted. In this world that seems to be a more rare thing.

Now, on to what happened/how I did etc....

First off, I won the 181 open division raw and Chaz won the 181 teen raw division.

How it went:
Squat: Opened with 425, pretty much a smoke show but my nerves were still all over the place. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6Zg1hdrO8w
2nd attempt 465, definitely a grinder and nerves again came into play, this was an issue with all my squats actually.

3rd attempt 485 - Failed. I just couldn't get out of the hole so no PR for me. I also tweaked my hamstring which will come into play later in the day.

Opener: 250, super easy.

2nd attempt: 275. Not bad but didn't hit my groove too well, still got it.

3rd attempt: 285. Failed it. Just missed my groove completely. Thought I had it recovered than the side spotter grabbed the bar a bit premature and that was that. Either way I learned a lot on this attempt and will have it easy next time. The pause is definitely something I need to practice more and it takes a ton out of your bench poundage.

Opener: 475, went up easy though I honestly felt like I could take a nap and I was joking around with Chaz prior about going to sleep. My setup was pretty sloppy and I didn't take it very serious.

2nd Attempt: 515. And this is where disaster struck. Got down, felt light on the pull and about 6 inches off the ground I felt a massive pop and tons of pain in my left hamstring. I managed to shift my weight to my right leg and still lock it out but then proceeded to go outside and curl up into a ball of pain. People were genuinely concerned and brought me ice, helped me walk around, generally just took care of me. Again the attitudes of my fellow competitors was amazing.

3rd attempt: 550. I figured what the hell, I've hit 545 in the gym before and that 515 felt light except for the whole hamstring destruction. I decided to wrap my leg up with a knee wrap super tight and go up there and at least give it a try. It all felt fine and all until ya know I tried to pull and my left leg couldn't tighten up what so ever. Didn't budge it. That being said, I got alot of applause from people for even attempting to get up there since everyone knew that I was in massive amounts of pain, again the competitors were amazing people.

So all and all I totaled 1255. I was pretty disappointed with this and felt I left a lot of weight on the bar that I should of gotten. Should of hit the squat, the last bench, and had the hamstring not happened would of gotten that I believe. I learned a ton from this and next time I don't think nerves will be an issue. I think on a good day currently I could do 1320 if I can put it all together, maybe more, I just have to execute.


Congrats on the meet and win.

How bad is your hamstring now? Is it black and blue?


A bit. Can put pressure on it but walking up stairs is god awful and I can't use that leg to step to a next step I have to go one at a time with my right leg. I'm going to get it checked out tomorrow and see if the doc can do anything for me. Icing it and foam rolling today is all that's on the menu.

Also what do you all do that week after a meet in the gym assuming no injury? I feel like I got hit by a truck right now with everything sore. Do you all just go tool around and do high rep work and allow yourself to simply recover or do you all get back at it? I'd say right now I just need to focus on the hamstring issue but was considering what type of work I could/should start doing on my bench.


Hey bro, good meet. You looked like you had more in you if not for the injury. As for what to do after the meet. i personally take a week off. just foam roll, stretch. And if your gym has a hot tub that is a good thing to do as well. i dont lift at all


Yeah i think singingbear is right. Take a week off to stretch and recover. Hit some really light cardio (bike probably) to get some blood flowing in that hammy and try doing some isometrics to also initiate some muscle healing.


LM, have you tried setting your feet slightly closer together on the deadlift and bringing your hands in. Watching the video it seems that your feet and hand width are a little wide. With your hands farther apart it means you are going to have to pull the bar a further distance to lockout. Something you might toy with.

The week after a meet it is mandatory at any age that you play video games, watch movies, and eat a lot of ice cream.


I spread my feet a little more to get more leg drive which I felt worked pretty well. I may bring my hands in closer though and give it a try.


Good job with your meet. I agree jsmiley, your hands are quite wide for the deads. Generally just take a week off, even if part of you wants to hit it again you will find yourself drained a few weeks from now, so take the week off and then start your next cycle. Sucks about the hamstring, you'll need to take it easy on that for a while but hopefully should heal up fast, probably a 2nd degree strain as just a quick guess. Ice will be your friend. 1255 at 181 is a great start, my first meet was 1205 at 198 so you have me beat and a 2.5x bw raw squat is pretty nice to boot. Good work and it is cool how supportive PLers are of each other.


Thanks for the input guys. After seeing my bench videos anyone have any suggestions on where to focus my training? For that matter squat as well?

From what I seemed to realize is that in my squat I'm weak in the legs. I can good morning more than I can squat. I was thinking about adding in some wide stance leg presses.

For bench I'd say my pause sucked and the 3rd rep was really really a huge learning experience because I lost it, than actually learned how to tighten my lats mid press and the weight felt light all of a sudden (this was before the side spotter grabbed it, than it felt real light heh). I was thinking also that my triceps are a weak point and I'll be adding in more board pressing.


Have you done box squatting? As for bench maybe try some floor presses and close grip inclines.


Every DE squat day is box squatting. I alternate between bands and chains.


Also another thing I tried out was some knee sleeves. I borrowed them from Chaz and had never used them prior so that probably wasn't the greatest of ideas. I think I'll stick to not using them next time. Another big thing I noticed at the meet was the warmups suck. I'd go warmup and not really get to go through my progression since so many people are trying to warmup and than you end up waiting like 15-20 minutes after you warmup and do your opener, sometimes longer. Any suggestions about this or things you've done in meets that have worked?


Congratulations on the first meet brother, kick ass on fighting through that injury.


Well now that you have the first meet jitters out of the way, I'm sure you'll have no problem watching your (already very respectable) total steadily rise. Glad to hear you had such a good time.


I'm definitely a reader more so than I am a poster but one thing really sticks out to me on your squats and that's your feet. Are you not use to the monolift? I noticed on each squat you shift you feet after you break the bar from the monolift. I guarantee you that if you get everything set perfectly before you break the bar to start your squat the lift will be much smoother.

You'd be suprised at how much energy you are wasting by moving your feet and more importantly how difficult it is to stay tight when this movement occurs. Awesome work on your first meet. I added 90 pounds to my total from my first to second meet so keep working hard and you'll blow your first total out of the water.


I never lifted on a monolift before this meet. It definitely threw me off and I kept wanting to walk it out.


Dude, it was the JUNIOR division.. and where are my videos. :wink:. I figured I'd go ahead and post what I have, but if you have any better angles post em up.

Like LM said, we had an awesome time and everyone was super helpful. 345/285/405 are my numbers. I blew passed my goal on bench of 275, which to me was already a big goal, so I was super excited about that. Squat felt really good, but I went for 385, which turned out to be a little too much. Deadlift was to be expected, not much to say about it, it's been stuck for about 6 months now. My dad, brother, his girl and mine all went, and they all had such a good time they want to compete now. Especially the girls. So I'm glad they had a good time too and weren't pissed they were there.

My first attempt was 315 and I realize now I should have went higher, but it being my first meet and hearing everywhere to open light, I just did it.

As you can see I got a little too excited about the last one. The most I've gotten in training is 365 hehe.

After my mess up on squat I was reluctant to go for another PR, but my second attempt was 265 and I smoked it so I figured what the hell. I opened with 225 and probably could have got it 10 times.

Like I said I've been stuck here for a WHILE. It's mainly bc of a heavy focus on squat and bench, but I have been plans for this lift in the next meet. Plus now I know what Doesn't work for my DL.

So I'm hoping to up this total of 1035 at least 100 lbs by the next meet. I'm having a hard time seeing where I failed at in the squat. I'm guessing my back, but I can't see any movement or rounding.


I'll get videos up when I get off work today and can reupload them. Youtube didn't like my camera yesterday when I tried.


My first meet was in SPF as well and both the monolift and the mammoth bar threw me off a bit. I did walk my squats out because I wanted to stick as closely as possibel to gym lifting.

good work.


LM, maybe incorporate paused narrow grip bench into your training year round. Obviously incorporate a pause on regular bench as you approach the meet, but I think pausing NGB keeps you accustomed to it and removes some of the mental barriers.