This weekend I finally competed in my second meet: the OPA’s 3-Lift Classic Championship, which I’d successfully qualified for at my first (and only) meet on September 30th. Since then, I’ve been running Texas Method of my squat and deadlift. My bench needed a lot of attention, so I’ve been seeing a coach for that once a week. I’ve also been busy eating. A lot. I ended up a week out from my meet, still above my 72 kg weight class. Even though I said I didn’t want to waterload again, I had to do it – and I had to commit for the entire week this time. Luckily, I had expert help and ended up weighing in at 69.6 kg, which was only 0.1 higher than my weigh in at my regional meet.
We had to drive about 7 hours to the meet – but it was more like 8.5 once we accounted for all of the washroom breaks. We stopped overnight at a friends’ house, and then stayed in another friend’s condo the night before the meet. I didn’t sleep well in a strange bed, and ended up playing Bejeweled Blitz on my iPhone until 2 am. I had my weigh-in at 9:30 and then focused on rehydrating, to the point of giving myself a Grade 1 stomach ache. Then it was time to lift.
Leading up to my meet, I was terrified for my squats. Texas Method has been really good to my squat, but I don’t think my confidence increased at the same rate as my ability. Warming up, my 185lb triple felt so heavy, but my opener flew up. My nerves settled somewhat at this point, and my second and third attempts were both smooth as butter, giving me a 5lb PR.
Despite the fact that my bench was the only lift that didn’t qualify for a national record in my weight class, it’s also the thing I’m most proud of. At my first meet, my max was 42.5kg and I was so disappointed in myself. After seeing a coach, who totally changed the way I bench, I was able to open higher than my previous max. That’s huge progress. Even better: I had trouble setting up on my second attempt, as you can see in the video. After re-racking and adjusting, all I could think about during my descent was the fact that mentally, I was probably thrown off my game – but I my technique has improved enough that I made the lift. That was a huge confidence boost for me. Even better: I made my third attempt, which I’d been unable to put up in practice for the past three weeks. That’s a 25% improvement in only a couple of months. I still have a lot of improvement to make, but as long as it’s progressing, I’m happy.
God, I love deadlifting. I had max tested about 4 weeks ago and struggled to lock out 330lbs, so I had originally planned to make that my final attempt. After the rest of my meet had gone so well, and my second attempt felt easy, I went for 152.2 kg which was a 6lb PR. I’m glad I deviated from the plan a little, because I nailed it and got myself another national record. Did I mention how much I love deadlifting?
Deep Thoughts and Reflections
I won my weight class of only three competitors, and I won best junior in the province – again, only a small feat since I only competed against one other junior. More importantly, I accomplished my goal of getting my wilks score over 300, finishing with a total of 330kg, and wilks of 329.6. I think I placed a lot of importance on this meet because it was my last competition as a junior, and on January 1st, 2012, I made a New Year’s Resolution to try lifting. Even though I didn’t start seriously training until the beginning of May, this meet marks my 1-year progress and I feel like I can look back on a textbook meet and be proud of myself. Maybe I need to have a bit of patience with the resolutioners who show up at my gym in a couple of weeks.
Overall, I am ecstatic with the result, obviously. I know my bench still needs a lot of work, but I also made the comment after my last meet that I was so new to lifting that I didn’t have a good handle on what I could achieve until I actually had it under my belt. Looking at the video footage and based on how my third attempts felt, it seems safe to say that even my PRs were conservative. I need to work on building up my confidence in my abilities and get a better handle on what I’m capable of. It will come with time and experience, so I just need to get back under the bar and keep lifting.
Compete at nationals at the end of March in 63 and total 350.
A million thanks
There are about a bunch of people I would like to thank. Seriously, I live my life in a constant state of confusion and disorder, and so I am forever grateful to all of those who keep me in track. In no particular order, I’d like to make sure that the following rockstars know that I appreciate the help they’ve given me:
- Matt, who coached me through water-loading and rehydration and answered all of my 5 million stupid questions.
- Craig, who I’d never met but who still helped me pick my attempts and came down to the meet a day early to help me.
- My fan club, including Tannis, Tali, Caitlin and some of my internet friends who have been a huge source of moral support to me.
- Shannon, who was my chauffeur and camerawoman.
- The whole crew at Hostyle Conditioning, who have changed my bench and more importantly my attitude towards benching.
- The OPA and everyone who hosted and ran the meet.