I was sitting about 6 feet away from rack, and from where I was sitting you could see him framed on the other side off the red ER IPF rack by 320kg worth of red Leoko 25kg plates. His 45 year old 100kg lifetime drug free body sat there in complete silence, mind focused on the task ahead.
On his right was a belt and and chalk, at his feet were his wraps rolled up and ready for action, as was his tradition. He let out a roar as he began to wrap up and with that things just kicked off. Within seconds everyone was shouting at him, “world champ” rang around the gym several times. As he pulled him self off the bench and had his straps of his Titan NXG super+ suit pulled up the intensity just went to the next level.
He dragged himself under the bar, his complaints of earlier about feeling stiff were a distant memory now. He took his wide grip as he eased the bar onto the shelf on his upper back. He unracked it with a grunt and took a step back.
First rep, BOOM, got his depth and exploded up. Second rep, deeper than the first and driven up even easier. He racks the bar, unclips his belt and rests all his weight on his outstretched arms over the bar which is straining from the weight it’s carrying.
Through his now blood red eyes you can see a man with unwavering confidence in his abilities. He has a small smile to accompy the look of utter exhaustion on his face. And it’s at that moment you realise, he’s been fighting all his life for this moment. Nothing can ever take away those reps from him.
As he bends down and undo’s his wraps you can tell exactly what he’s thinking; “It’s all been worth it”. Tomorrow his face will be covered in burst blood vessels and he’ll be stiff as heck. But the battles over. Now all he has to do is step onto the platform and dominate.
Today’s one of those days that I’ll never forget. And I don’t give a shit what anyone says, moments like this transcend raw vs equipped, tested vs untested feds, single vs double ply. This is what powerlifting is all about. Struggling under bone crushing weight fighting for your life.
I’m jsut glas I was there to experience it.