T Nation

First Meet Yesterday


I competed in my first meet yesterday, the Guerrilla Squad Barbell Classic in Richmond KY. The meet was SPF. The weigh-in was 24 hours, and since I had gotten very sick on Tuesday and was below my normal resting weight of 210, I decided that I might as well cut down to 198. All three scales in my house are crap, and none of them gave the same readings, so I have no idea how much I actually weighed at any point, but I think I cut about 8lbs and weighed in at 195.0. After gorging myself and drinking two gallons of diluted Gatorade on Friday, I was 206.4 on the morning of meet day, and felt just fine, if a little congested. I ended up going 6/9 with a disappointing 1295 total. Full report follows.

Squat: 550 (3/3)
My squat was by far my best lift, despite struggling a bit with the monolift. We tried to simulate the monolift in our power rack, but it really wasn't the same. I opened 490 and had no trouble with it, despite not getting the bar set on my back quite right. I had squatted 565 in training, and it hadn't been a grinder, so I had planned to go 490, 550, 600, but I didn't feel very good about making a 60lb jump, so I took 530 as my second attempt. My setup still wasn't quite right, and it was harder than it had been in training, so I decided to go 550 for my third attempt. This time I got the bar in the right spot on my back, got everything locked in tight, and smoked it. Our handler said it was faster than my opener.

Bench: 275 (2/3)
Garbage. I strained my rotator cuff 12 weeks out, aggravated the injury by continuing to squat with a straight bar, tried to bench again too soon and reinjured it 7 weeks out, then re-reinjured it 4 weeks out. As a result, I got in a grand total of 3 productive sessions in my shirt, and was completely unable to bench or train my left arm for almost 9 weeks of the 12 week meet prep cycle. However, I was confident that I could get my opener to touch, and I was definitely getting something out of the shirt, if only because my raw bench is just that bad.

I had set my opener at a token 135 in case squatting aggravated my shoulder. It felt fine, however, so I warmed up, put the shirt on, finished warming up, then took the shirt off and took my opener raw. Then I got my shirt back on, and took 275 with no problem. I decided on 305 for my third attempt. I stalled halfway up on the injured side. I tried to stick with it, but I hadn't put enough leg drive behind it, and my triceps just weren't strong enough to finish from my sticking point. I was not pleased. I would rate a 275 single ply bench @198 somewhere between "what are you even doing here, kid" and "shit".

Deadlift: 470 (1/3)
I pulled with only a belt. I don't like pulling in a suit one bit, and I wasn't competing with anyone, so I didn't.

I knew coming in that I had set my opener too high at 470, but I really wanted a 500lb deadlift, and felt sure I could get it. I had pulled a PR of 475 at 5 weeks out, and knew it wasn't my max, but I also knew that I probably couldn't double it either. However, I didn't count on how tired my whole back would be after benching, and it seemed like they blew through the two flights after mine. I got 470, but I had to grind through my sticking point a couple inches above the knee. I tried 500 anyway, and it flew off the floor, like my pulls always do. I got it past knees and the bar just stopped. I pulled on it for at least 5 seconds and it just wouldn't move. My third attempt didn't even last that long, because I was totally gassed from my second attempt. I wish I had video of my second pull, because I'm pretty sure I let the weight swing out away from me and got out of position. I'll be hammering my upper back pretty hard for the next 6 weeks.

I had a good time, won a trophy by virtue of being the only single ply 198, met some other lifters, and, except for my squat, totally embarrassed myself in front of a bunch of other lifters and their families. I had never really planned to compete, but when my training partners decided to do this meet, I figured I would too, to see what it was like. I can't say that I'm hooked, but it's definitely something that I'll do again, if sparingly.


Well, congrats on getting out there and competing. All I can say is that leaving a few pounds on the platform just makes it that much easier to progress at your next meet! And it definitely sounds like you'll put scores of pounds on your total at your next meet.


Hey man don't be down on yourself. Rehab your shoulder and your next meet will be much better. I am a push/pull competitor so I do not squat in competition but in my first meet I did bench only and could only get a 364 in a 2 ply rage-X. Don't feel bad man. By the way I am a 220 competitor.


Good job getting out there and doing it. I saw this meet on facebook but didn't know anything about it. Were the twins there (you'll know who I'm talking about if you know them at all)?


So you stepped up and life tried to kick the shit outta you...spit that blood out of your mouth, look life in the eye, grin an evil grin, then fuck life up.


You got out there, tried hard, and had a rough go, happens to everyone, mad props for having the balls to get out there and do it, now recover, re plan, and blow your present total out of the water


Yep, they were there. I used to run into them at the university gym almost 2 years ago, but they remembered who I was because when there are only 3 people in the entire gym who squat to depth, you at least introduce yourselves. Are you in Central KY?


Thanks, everyone. I knew coming in that my bench was going to suck, I just didn't think it was going to be quite that bad. I'm not down on myself as much as I'm just trying to be honest.

The plan now is to really focus on my upper back and build my shoulder back up, and put back on all the mass I lost in my chest, shoulders, and arms. I have about 6 weeks until my wedding, and I don't think I'll be touching a barbell (except maybe to row) until after I get back. I'll be squatting some with the cambered bar to give my shoulder a break, and mix it up with some ssb front squats and a ton of single-leg movements - I need to bring my legs up until they're proportional with my massive hips so that my suit will fit better. When I get back from the honeymoon, I'll do a bench specialization program of some kind.

My ulterior motive is to actually look like I lift weights. I got some comments at the meet to that effect from some of the other younger lifters in my flight - nothing negative, all the young guys were really nice - but my buddy said some of the handlers were talking shit about how I was going to get stapled when I came out with my squat opener. Fuck 'em. It probably doesn't help that I look like a damn hippy with scruffy hair, a bandanna, and squatting in fivefingers. That kind of thing doesn't eat at me like it does some people, but it does make me a little angry, which is great motivation.

My next goal will be to move up to the 220's. I'd like to be walking around at 225, so that I can just manipulate my diet to make weight. I'll probably wait until the fall, though, Lexington may not be the deep south, but the weather here in the summer is absolutely miserable, and not at all conducive to eating lots of food.

I haven't chosen another meet yet, but I'd like at least 6 months to prepare, and I'd like to hit 600/400/500 - 125lbs on my bench may sound ambitious, but if I can get my shoulder healthy and get some quality time in the shirt, it shouldn't be too hard. Plus, I feel like a 600 squat and 500 pull are nearly in the bag, so I can focus on my bench for a while.

I think I'll be sticking with single ply, and I might even give pulling in a suit another try.


Haha I went to undergrad with them too...I'm in grad school now but still at UK.


Which department, if you don't mind saying? I'm still on campus occasionally, but I'm trying to get away from my job to focus on my research more this summer. Do you train at the Johnson Center? PM me if you want.