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Meet Recap - USPA Drug Tested Honor the Fallen 5

Hey guys, had a meet this weekend so I figured I’d post up a recap here.

TL;DR… Competed Classic Raw (knee wraps) at the 242 lb class (weight in at 239 lbs). Went 8/9 with a 744 squat (6ish lb PR), 435 bench, and 688 deadlift (27ish lb PR) for an 1868 lb total, finally breaking the 501 Wilks barrier, barely beating out a freaky 275er who went for an 800 lb pull on his 3rd for best lifter, and getting to pee in a cup at the end of the day. Lifts posted up on the IG link below.

Now… the long version.

My goal for this meet was an 1800 total, 40 lbs below my all time best a year ago. I was aiming conservatively because of new training limitations in my life. Our first born arrive 7 months ago so ever since then I’ve been training almost entirely solo, most of if at 5-7 am on my wood rack and concrete plates in my garage. The last 5-6 weeks going into the meet, I probably logged at most an average of 6 hours/week of training, with almost no accessories. So yeah… a whole lot different than any prep I’ve done in the past, but I figured I’d still be good for a 700/440/660 sort of day.

Last few weeks of training, I took my heaviest squats and pulls 2-3 weeks out. Last heavy squat day was a top triple at 665 lbs (around opener) and a top reverse band single of 755 lbs with the bands deloading around 100 lbs at the bottom. I did something a little different this prep, hitting reverse band singles at 755 lbs starting with 3 heavier bands 5-6 weeks out, 2 heavier bands 3-4 weeks out, and the single heavier band 2-3 weeks out. Thought process was to acclimate my nervous system to walking out and initiating a squat with max weight without actually having the full stress of a max lift. I feel like it worked well, considering how confident I felt walking out the 744 at the meet. Last heavy pull day was working up to a pretty comfortable 675 lbs single, followed by something low 6s for a triple. Last heavy bench was 1-2 weeks out, 435 lbs for I think 5 singles. My bench responds much like Olympic style lifts, that is, low volume at high intensity does not compound much fatigue.

As far as the meet goes… not really a ton to say because I just kept making lifts. Squat first and second (661, 705) moved well so I decided to go for a small PR on my 3rd and got it. I think it was a good call, I don’t feel like I would have had much more than 5-10 lbs more at best. Bench was my only miss, made my 1st and 2nd of 418 and 435, went 446 on my 3rd, moved okay and locked it out but my butt lifted. I do feel like this prep I was lazy about getting my hips properly warmed up before benching, which is critical for me to find consistency in a setup that will keep my butt on the bench.

So going into deads, I was like 10-20 points ahead of the 275er I was competing against for best lifter… but his opener of 720ish immediately put him in the lead over my 622 opener. We both made that and our seconds (760ish for him, 672 for me). He was still in the lead, so I picked my 688 3rd to put be ahead by 2 points IF he missed his 3rd. I made my 3rd, he went for his 800 3rd, broke the ground, but gassed out before the knees. This was my first time having to strategize like this at a meet and even though I’m not a competitive guy by nature, it was a ton of fun.

Big takeaway from this prep…

-6 weeks out is plenty of time to start a peak, provided a strong training foundation has already been established

-You don’t have to feel like you’ve been hit by a train 3 weeks out from a meet to know your training hard enough to be prepared, less can definitely be more

-Don’t be lazy with warm ups. If you’re not warm enough in training to get into the same positions you’ll be in on meet day, it can bite you in the ass (talking about my bench specifically).

-Continuing to run standard Westside 3-week dynamic effort waves up until the 1-2 weeks out mark seems to be plenty of volume stimulus to maintain the conditioning necessary for meet day, even if all other volume drops dramatically.

-At least on squat and deadlift, you should hit your opener for a solid, low hype triple at some point in training.

So now let’s just hope that those rascals at 6-star nutrition didn’t stick $100 worth of d-bol in my $10 bottle of creatine… you know… since according to all the IPF folks with failed piss tests that’s something that makes total business sense and happens all the time.


Great lifting Nate. I like the steady deadlift, not trying to rush to the end.

When you used less and less reverse band tension, what happened to to your bar speed? Or how did the squat motion “change?” Did you descent slower or faster with a bunch of bands vs just one band?

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About the bar speed… I feel like I kept the eccentric portion the same speed, just focusing on positioning and keeping good tension, but the concentric I always push as hard as I can so with 3 bands it was absurdly fast. I don’t really feel like the motion changed a ton, since I was able to position the bands so they were pulling right in line with my bar path, but I have a VERY straight up and down bar path, I could see how someone who still has a bit of a good morning squat could really have reverse bands change the motion of the squat.

Oh… and I was absolutely trying to pull that deadlift as fast as I could, it was just really heavy lol


In the words of my penis, schwing!

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I saw one of you’re last comps and I remember thinking those are some big numbers. The more I train the relevance of those big numbers starts hit home.
744lb squat…
Thats a genuinely amazing.

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Awesome numbers man, congratulations.

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