It was a fucking disappointment. This isnâ??t a typical meet write-up because most of them contain at least some decent achievements. I bombed out and none of the individual lifts went well. This is probably the lowest point in my powerlifting career and I plan to keep it that way. Posting this is the only way to hold myself accountable for dumb decisions made and will be a reminder of lessons learned. Here were the attempts:
Squat- 369 (Good), 386 (Miss), 386 (Miss)
Bench- 259 (Missed all 3 fucking attempts)
Deadlift- 469 (Good), 501 (Good), 529 (Miss)
To put things into perspective I hit 336/259/501 @ 171.5 last year (didnâ??t care about weight). I squatted 355 in multiple training sessions but had inconsistent form.
I have hit 385 multiple times this year. Each time I had a little room to spare so I really expected to get it. The times that I did get it, my chest collapsed a bit. I found that I couldnâ??t engage my lats and abs correctly so I worked on those cues for the past two months and included front squats as secondary work for four months but that didn't help enough. As you can see in the video, my speed is extremely slow going down because I kept thinking about upper body tightness. My bar speed was much faster when I hit this weight before because I didnâ??t think about anything and just squatted.
For next year, Iâ??m going to put my ego, belt, and SBD sleeves in the closet for 8 months. Why didnâ??t I just follow my own advice of always lowering the weight for a significant technique change and take the small setback early on? My next training cycle will be doing Smolov beltless with a 345 training max (dropping my training max by 50 lbs).
Adding extra core work at the end of training sessions helped but not enough and I need to address the problem up front. I hate to be working with lighter weights but itâ??s the only way for me to go into autopilot when creating upper body tightness instead of depending on my belt for feedback. I miss the feeling of squatting without constantly thinking what I need to do. I will also work up to 95-100% after cycles to ensure Iâ??m making progress.
The first attempt I was stupid and listened to the spotterâ??s suggestion of counting down for lift off - got me out of my groove. Second attempt I just took a big breath and lifted on my own. The judge was extremely strict compared to last year but that still didnâ??t explain why I was so fucking weak to miss my opener. The third attempt was a failure like the second.
I ran four 3-month training cycles of Sheiko and the first three were very successful. By the end of the third I hit 275 for a paused rep without peaking. On the final cycle I increased the training weights by 10 lbs instead of 5 because I thought I could get away with it. On top of that I tried to add in a bit of lockout work (since that was my weak point for the 275 PR) and I began cutting down from 170 to 165 morning weight.
Stupidity and greediness is what it was. I noticed my bar speed slowing down over the past couple months because I wasnâ??t recovering enough but tried to ignore it hoping it would go away. It didnâ??t. Iâ??ll stick to 5 lbs per cycle next year and remember not to change shit when itâ??s working, even when I feel like I can do more (note to self: follow my own advice).
Based on how I felt I shouldâ??ve gone for 513 but didnâ??t care since I bombed out anyways. I recently did two 3-month Sheiko cycles for this. The first one I switched out the block pulls for full range pulls with lighter weight. I didnâ??t think I needed to work on lockout even though that was my stalling point from last year. Haha, stupid decision again.
Iâ??ll definitely add lockout work back in. Having my upper body and glute strength increase from using better squat form will help as well. Iâ??m not really worried about my deadlift since the squat is a much bigger issue.
On a side note, I did get food poisoning on Wednesday and had to leave work early and take all of Thursday off. It got to the point where I experienced diarrhea, a fever and almost vomiting and passing out at the same time â?? I thought I would die. I woke up Thursday morning weighing 161.8 but I did feel much better after 12 hours of sleep. I had to rehydrate all day and basically drank a gallon of water on Friday.
I cut the water in the afternoon and still easily made weight the next morning. I honestly donâ??t think this contributed to such a poor performance though, maybe a 5 lb drop in potential for each lift.
This really was an embarrassing showing but Iâ??m excited for the progress next year. I still have my eyes on the 165 lb (163 next year due to USAPL reclassification) wa state record total and deadlift of 1218 and 524. Iâ??m sure someone will beat them since they are so low relative to other states but I plan on beating those and qualifying for nationals the year after. One other thing I plan to change is to modify the Sheiko 32 peaking plan so that I hit openers the week before (Mon & Wed) instead of 3.5 weeks out.
Things to focus on next year:
Bar Control (Bar completely motionless at start of squat and bench, true 1s pause for bench top sets)
Bar Speed (If consistently slow and close to grinding, training max will be lowered)
Core Shall Not Fail
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.