T Nation

Meet Results? There Werent Any


I just arrived home from my first meet and the experience was definitely...pathetic. I arrive in the city this morning around 3am, I find a hotel and Im in bed by 4. I wake up at 6:30, head to the A&M Rec Center and start registering(btw it was an USAPL meet in Raw division). The USAPL ref starts to check in my gear. Everything passes except my Vibrams. I told him that I asked the meet director if they were legal and he told me yes. The ref responds "I dont give a rats ass what the meet director says. You understand me?" Sure. So Ill be using the boots for bench press the whole lift. No biggie.

Before my 1st attempt, a judge looks at my belt and says "you cant use that. It has padding." She asked who inspected it and that caused some problems. Luckily a fellow lifter let me borrow his. 1st attempt and Im using a weight 50lbs less than my max. I didnt pay enough attention to the judge so I was red lighted. After my 2nd attempt, The judges look at me and then walk off together talking. One comes back and says I just barely missed parallel. So that got me pissed. Onto 3rd attempt. I pick a weight about 15lbs heavier to finish strong. I notice there is one new judge. Right before I get under the bar, she asks,"Are you wearing briefs under your singlet"? I told her I had boxer briefs, like fruit of the loom. She says then,"Im sorry you are disqualified." Wow. I was in a world of pissed off. The meet director heads over to me and asked where I lived and that he wanted to help train me. Unfortunately I lived too far. So that was result of the meet.

What I learned- I wont blame anything on anyone but myself. I should have reads rules and paid more attention. If you are looking into doing your first meet. I would extremely advise you to find someone or a group who have competed so they can inform you with some tips, technique, and rules. Although it sucked ass, Im glad i got to experience it.


The USAPL is notorious for having a ton of little rules that seem very nitpicky. You certainly have to read the rulebook very thoroughly before competing in a USAPL meet.


Ya thats what a few other lifters said when they saw that I was disqualified. In fact, a couple of the guys went to the bathroom to change out of some of their underwear since they were wearing briefs also. Insane.


yeah... all you had to say was USAPL. I was handling a lifter once at one of their meets and he was redlighted. when asked why, the judge responded- "it didn't look quit right" wtf?? the rest of the meet was like that. at one point i gave him a slap on the back before a lift and you would have thought i dropped my pants and took a huge dump right there on the floor. i was told that that type of behavior wasn't permitted. this was a family environment. very very lame.


I'll assume they were blasting Little River Band and Air Supply over the PA?


more like Kelly Clarkson and Hanna Montana.

one of the funniest and when i say funny, i mean saddest parts of the meet was the bench press. they were using the squat uprights and a bench rigged up in between them. because of this there wasn't a platform behind the bench for the person lifting off to stand on. and of course you couldn't use a handler to lift you off. they had this "portly" fellow doing the liftoffs. he would have to climb up, ballance his big ass on the uprights of the bench and then lift off. THEN the lifter had to WAIT until he eventually climbed down and got out of the way to actually START the lift. It was fucking rediculious. I would have been out of air before i actually started the lift. the head judge had to have been approximately 120 years old sitting behind the bench in his lawn chair with cup holders.

it was a SHOW!!!


All this talk makes me sad since I once lifted for A&M. It used to be pretty hardcore with Wade Hooper and Tony Cardella coaching and great lifters like Ashley Awalt and myself (just kidding). I have never been to one of their meets since they started it the year after I went out on my own, but I assume it is just ran by the powerlifting club at the college on minimal funds. I know they posted on USAPL texas that they were looking for some qualified judges. I guess they rolled the dice a little too late and had to take what they got. I apologize for the crappy atmosphere because back in 03-06 it was all about slaps in the face and lifting heavy weights. Don't let the nitpicky USAPL rules shy you away from the federation. I think they make you lift correctly (maybe sometimes too correctly) but at least the squats are deep and the form is pretty clean. Of course you get different experiences from every meet, keep going and having fun. Did they let you finish the meet at least to get some experience even though you were disqualified? We have asked for that before when a new lifter bombs on squat or bench. The judges and meet director are usually pretty cool with letting a new lifter at least finish his experience of a first meet.


Well it isnt necessarily A&M's fault. It doesnt really bother me and its not even totally USAPL's fault either. Its mine for not reading the rules thoroughly. Are some of their rules and regulations odd and...well unneeded? Sure. But they still advocate heavy lifting and giving your best. Some judges were helpful by telling me what I did wrong and that I could do alot better.

Btw, Tony was the one who was curious where I lived. I had the pleasure of talking with him for awhile and I think alot of him. Others had nothing but good things to say as well.


I'll second what jsmiley07 said -- don't let this experience steer you away from the USAPL. I'll take overly strict rules before half squats and unlocked benches and deadlifts every day of the week. Maybe I've lucked out being in California, but I've been lifting in the USAPL for nearly ten years and I've never seen unfair rule enforcement or even any stupid rule enforcement. In fact, twelve years into competing in the sport, the only dumb rule experience I've ever had was being redlighted for setting a deadlift down too hard. Not dropping it mind you, but not putting it down softly enough. And that wasn't at a USAPL meet.


This is 1000% the right attitude.


Tony always was a very helpful guy. His girlfriend Christy is great too, very strong. He was always welcoming to new people on the team when I was there and treated them like family.


Any videos of the squats? USAPL does judge squats a little harshly but I think it's more obvious because a lot of feds do not.

The only part that stands out to me is the boxer briefs because people were definitely wearing them at the HS/Collegiate Championships in Scranton when I was there last month.


I think my wife has one video. Ill see if I can get it uploaded. Ya thats an odd rule. I understand since they fear some may use squat briefs underneath. The main reason I was pissed was due to embarrassment. Sucks being told you are wearing the wrong underwear in front of 50-60 people lol.


last year at a USAPL meet, the director came up to a lifter less than 5 minutes before his opening squat and told him he couldnt wear his t shirt because it was 'advertising' it was a resteraunt that is more than 400 miles away from where the meet was being held, he then told the lifter that he could purchase a meet tshirt to wear. everyone that was there who saw this were dumbfounded, it totally blew the lifters concentration


at the meet i mentioned earlier, my buddy was on his second attempt at bench. after he got his "press" command he was pressing the weight and for no reason, one of the spotters grabbed his side of the bar causing my buddy to almost drop the bar on his chest. luckily he didn't injury himself. He jumps up and asks what was that all about?? the spotter said he thought he heard "someone" say "take it". again...wtf?? the head judge said he would "allow" him to attempt it again. But he would have to attempt it right away. He was clearly shaken from the near drop of the bar on him and obviously tired. I went up to the Judge's table and asked one of them if he could be at least moved to the end of the flight to give him a moment to collect himself and catch his breath. She looked at me and said "no way.... if he wants to lift he will do it right now" so he had to do TWO second attempts one right after the other one. Now that made a lot of sense. It probably didn't help that i told them that they should get their head out of their asses.


Okay, so im doing my first USAPL meet mar 12. what kinda underwear should i use? lol


Lol. Tightywhities I guess man. Just not boxer briefs. And READ THE RULEBOOK ONLINE!!! I cant stress that enough.

Here is a link if you havent checked it out yet


Good luck and have fun!


I was at a USAPL meet a few months ago as a handler. One of the lifters on my team is about to take his first attempt bench. When he gets down on the bench, the bar is set way too low. It's right above his head. What happened was that the bench he warmed up on and got rack heights from had different hole spacing. The meet director yells at him to wait and waddles over to the platform to tell the spotters to raise the bar. The finished adjusting the height and the lifter gets down to start. He's just about to take the bar out when time runs out. The judges don't let him attempt the lift or give him another attempt. He just lost the attempt.


It saddens me that your first meet went so poorly...really I hope you don't let it discourage you from competing again. If you don't mind a little soapboxing: hearing your story (and some of the others) really pisses me off. Any fed that is worried about what kind of underwear you are wearing is retarded. Someone could toss a bench shirt on under a t-shirt and claim they are lifting raw, the only way to know if he's got a shirt on is for someone to suspect it and check under the t-shirt. If the fed doesn't allow SUPPORTIVE BRIEFS, and they suspect someone is wearing them, they need to physically check...oh you've got COTTON UNDERWEAR ON? No problem. And clearing equipment and then later re-canting, it sounds like someone has their head up their ass.

As for strict judging or bad judging, you're always going to have this...you're going to have meets where judges wait 25 seconds to give you the press command.

At the end of the day, it's supposed to be FUN! Anyone who is taking this shit so serious that they are worried about what kind of underwear you are wearing or a padded belt needs to get bent.

99% of powerlifters are getting jack shit aside from the personal achievement of being in the sport. You've got 1% that are profiting. There are guys who put their lives on the line with some of the weight they are handling and they aren't making money doing it...they do it because they LOVE the sport...and to have some judge fuck up the experience, that's just unforgivable.

/my two cents which ain't shit after tax.


Thank you man. The judging was fair. I was pissed really at myself. I didnt pay attention to the judge so I jumped the gun on racking the weight back. On not hitting parallel, I dont know why I didnt. I have to say honestly that I paid close attention on that in training. I think the butterflies just got to me. And by no means will this discourage me from doing a meet again. It may be a year from now since I see things I want to work on but Ill definitely hit some more.