Hey guys, just had a meet this weekend, figured I’d give an update on how it went. I probably often come off sounding like I know more than I really do, so I figured it can’t hurt to have a little bit of credibility behind my name. TL;DR version: 7/9 ending with 738 squat, 440 bench, and 661 deadlift at 239 lbs. Around 160 lbs lifetime total PR, 30 Wilks point PR. Not a drug tested meet, but (take this for what it’s worth) I’ve never touched AASs.
Some brief back story… I’m just shy of 31 years old, been training powerlifting since I was 23, but was a historically skinny-fat runner before that (at 19 y/o I was around 155 lbs running an average of 10 miles a day). Before this weekend, my best comp performance was 3 years ago, 655/402/622 raw w/ wraps at 220 lbs. After that I switched to higher volume/frequency training and after two more meets with no PRs, I ruptured my L5/S1 (Spring 2018) and spent around 6 months trying to get my glute/hamstring/calf on my right side to have more than 10% function. After that decided I’m never touching the high volume/frequency stuff again and made a lot of smart changes to my programming. First meet back from injury (February 2019) I made my first squat PR in 2.5 years, 661 at 220 lbs but felt the effects of the 7ish% weight cut that I did to get to 220. Also, training up to that point was extra conservative since I was still nervous about my back, so all things considered I was quite happy with the PR. So after that meet, kicked up training more, forced myself into a slight caloric surplus and set my sights on this meet with plans to compete in the 242 class for the first time.
Training weight was around 245-250 so making 242 was a cakewalk (24 hour weigh-ins). Going into the meet, best training lifts were 710x3 squat, 440x1x7 (seven paused singles) bench, and 655x2 deadlift. Was really nervous going into the meet because on paper I was due for a really good one, but I kept thinking about how awful I would feel if it ended up being a bad meet.
Warming up on squats, everything felt more or less normal. Opened at a conservative 661 and absolutely smoked it. Probably the fastest I’ve ever moved that weight. Nerves were gone after that. Jumped to 712 (I think) on second. Came down a bit too fast and got loose in the hole, but was able to finish it with only a minor pause. Banking on my ability to slow the descent down a bit more and hold position better, decided to make a more aggressive jump to 738 (a buddy of mine made 732 so I wanted to 1-up him). Fixed the technical issues I had on my second and made what was easily the most beautifully executed squat of my life. Cut it right on the border on depth but made 2/3 white lights.
Bench was cool but less exciting (it always is). I generally know within +/- 2.5 kg what I’ll bench based on training. Opened 418, easy. Jumped to 440 for a 22 lb competition PR, felt easy and 3 whites but looking back at the video it slowed more at lockout than it felt. Going into this meet I gave myself a rule that no matter what I wasn’t jumping more than 2.5 kg from second to third. Well I didn’t review the video between attempts and the weight felt better than it looked so I jumped 5 kg to 451 lbs. Missed, and got a nasty mid-back erector cramp in the process.
Moving into deadlifts the nerves started coming back. Being the end of the meet and pulling on calibrated plates (much less bar whip) I was worried everything would feel heavier than in training. Opened at 606, and like squats, the weight flew up and nerves immediately left. Jumped to 661 for a 39 lb comp PR, 3 white lights. In the video you see I actually started smiling at the top I was so happy with how it felt. After this started crunching some numbers and found that a 690ish pull would put me right at a 500 Wilks, so I decided to go for it. Made it to my knees but didn’t have the gas to finish it out. In hindsight, I didn’t think about the possibility of my back cramping on bench (even though that happens in training sometimes) otherwise I would have only made the 2.5 kg jump there. Had I been smart, stuck with my original plan and saved myself the back cramp, maybe that 690 would have made it up after all.
After 3 years of plateaus and injury, I needed this. Ended the day with an 1840.8 lb total and a 493ish Wilks. In spite of the bad call I made on my third bench, I couldn’t be happier.