955 lbs of VICTORY!!

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Well this has been a hell of a week.....and man am I glad it's over!

I competed in my 2nd Powerlifting meet this past Wednesday. In October, I did my first one and lifted a total of 915 lbs between, squats, bench press, and deadlifts (see my blog )

In last week's blog ( ), I wrote about my trepidation with deadifts, even though I remained pretty confident about my squats and bench press. Well on Wednesday, I set a PR, lifting a total of 955 lbs!!

But it wasn't without its drama.....the weekend prior, I was sick as a dog!!

Without going into any details, last weekend's bout left me partially anemic, with my hemoglobin count way low. Unfortunately I didn't know this little piece of info till Thursday....the day after the competition. (My doc finally called me on Thursday morning to let me know the results of the lab work I had drawn on Monday. Don't get me going about doctors....I ripped into him for taking so long...he apologized, saying he had taken Tues & Wed off!)

Not having this info earlier in the week, I followed my normal routine at work and at the gym. But everything was ridiculously hard. I got winded just climbing up a flight of stairs, walking fast left me breathless, then I had my a$$ handed to me in jiu-jitsu class. By Tuesday I was seriously wondering if I could even compete.

I hit the gym at lunch on Tuesday and took it real easy, lifting light weights 5-10 times just to get my muscles warmed up. I was able to figure out that I still had my strength, but that my aerobic capacity was almost zero (had no idea why at the time, but after I found out that my hemoglobin was down, it made sense in retrospect!)

So I showed up at the competition, but I was pretty nervous. I had run and re-run all my numbers, trying to improve on last October's numbers, but I was really wary because I got winded so easy and was still concerned about the deadliift.

Squats were first. I started at 305 lbs, 10 lbs less than the 315 I did in October. Nailed it easy.

For my 2nd attempt, I added 30 lbs, shooting for 335, figuring I could get this, then go for 345 on my 3rd attempt.

I squatted to the ground....

......then fall backwards onto the rails....EPIC FAIL!

Well that had never happened before....but then again, I never attempted to squat 335 lbs either. I walked it off....played back the movie in my head about what had happened, what my form was like, where my balance point was, yadda-yadda-yadda.

I went back for my 3rd attempt, still at 335 lbs (you can't move up in weight if you don't make your lift), got under the bar, squatted.....

....and heaved those 335 lbs on my back straight up to heaven! SUCCESS!!

On we moved to Bench Press. I started at 245 lbs, which was my max lift back in October. As in the squats, I made it, but felt like I had to work for it some.

For my 2nd try, I added 20 lbs, shooting for 265 lbs. I lowered the bar, touched my chest, heaved for the sky...

....and stalled half way up....AARRRGGGHHH....I felt like a clown!

The spotters helped me rack the bar and I got up doing the same play-by-play in my head trying to figure out what just happened.

I went back for my 3rd attempt, focused everything I had on that damn bar.....and made it!

This was going to be a tough competition!

Going in to deadlifts, my favorite exercise of all time, I was torn. I wanted to do well, but the previous weeks had already made me a little wary of pushing too hard. On top of that, I was now struggling making weights I thought I could easily handle. I wasn't sure I could even make my max from last October....I was worried.

I started at 345 lbs, a weight I had successfully pulled 3 weeks ago....and nailed it!

On to 355 lbs for my second pull. This was the weight I had done back in October....and failed on just last week (see ). I focused my mind, made mental notes on where every part of my body was....then thought about Stasi guy's dictum for deadlifts;"Vocus on dat virst pull...get eet off the grunt. (Focus on that first pull...get it off the ground)" ( )

I nailed it!

For my 3rd attempt, I added 10 lbs, feeling pretty good about being able to get it....but I didn't

So overall I improved from last October, but it was a bittersweet victory because I expected to do much better. Then again, finding out on Thursday that I was walking around hypoxic all week from a low hemoglobin count takes a little of the edge off.

In any case, I had already planned to ease up on strength training to give my body a chance to recover. My plan was to focus more on cardio and jiujitsu through March, then pick back up with the heavy weights in April. Now, I've got to re-structure my workouts compensating for my reduced oxygen uptake. I see the doc again on Wednesday....more to follow then.

Thanks for reading.....have a great night Spark Friends!
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