Successful Powerlifting Meet, Fueled by Flex Cookies!

SQUAT, PRESS, PULL

As some of you may have seen on my Facebook  page, last weekend I competed in all 3 lifts – squat, bench, and deadlift – at the USAPL  Connecticut State Championship & May Showdown.

My lifts resulted from months of training, both mentally and physically. Any dedicated athlete knows that their sport can seem like a full time job. Here’s the breakdown of what I did for about six months.

THE PREP

  • DIET: First and foremost, dieting. You can work your ass off in the gym, but without proper nutrition you’re wasting your time. Over 200 grams of protein (some of which came from my Flex cookies, of course) and 250+ carbs were both consumed and meal prepped daily. Oh, and alcohol wasn’t on the menu either. (Ok, sometimes it snuck in there, let’s be real…but I mostly behaved)
  • TRAINING: thanks to my wonderful trainer Al Heinrich, my ass was kicked daily and he also gave some pretty good pep talks when I needed them most.
  • SUPPLEMENTS: Muscletech Platinum Creatine worked really well with muscle recovery in between workouts!
  • STRETCHING: Mobility is everything. Youtube is fantastic for finding stretches for rotator cuffs and erectors, two of my bigger problem areas.
  • MENTALITY: If you think you can’t, you won’t. If you’re stressed, your head won’t be in the game and your lifts will suffer. I discovered epsom salt baths paired with the Calm Meditation Radio station on Pandora to relax both my mind and muscles. This also helped me get some solid, much needed sleep.
  • EQUIPMENT: This can be one of the more exciting parts of training, as you can see below 🙂

Probably one of my favorite pieces of gym equipment I own. If you’re as obsessed as I am, you can buy these deadlifting socks on Amazon.

 

THE LIFTS

So finally…. the results! This was my final attempt, pushing 248 pounds. I was hoping for an overall PR, but still got a meet PR, jumping from 187 pounds a year ago! The EliteFTS knee wraps helped too. I opened with 215 lbs, and my second attempt was 242 lbs but they knocked me on depth, so 2 for 3 wasn’t too bad!

 

Next was bench, which I have a love/hate relationship with. Shown is my best lift, second attempt, at 121 pounds. Al pushed me to try 137 lbs for a 3rd attempt, but I got stuck a few inches off my chest. I think if I’d gone for the next option down, 132 lbs, I may have had it, but Al wanted me to go for broke 😉

 

Last is my favorite lift, the deadlift! Attempts in order – 265, 292, and 308. Shown is a clean 292, and a real grinder of 308 that I almost had.

 

Lessons Learned

1.) I will not set PRs at every single meet.

Since I just tested maxes 5 weeks ago, the odds of setting higher records in a setting with hundreds of eyes on me and judges calling me out for a centimeter off of a squat depth aren’t always in my favor. I also learned that since I’ve now been training for two years, the amount on the bar will increase at a slower rate than when I first started out (2 years ago I was squatting 100 pounds less than today!)

2.) This is not only a sport, but a community.

I put so much pressure on myself that I forgot to take into account how everyone else is battling the same things with me. The mental game, the physical exhaustion, the frustration when judges are harsh, the over stimulation of the entire competition… we are actually all a big team sharing this crazy passion together.

3.) I am in this for life.

After the meet I was feeling pretty defeated and was over-analyzing why I didn’t do better, why I went in there feeling 110% prepared and still didn’t hit new PRs… I was ready to quit competing and was letting it defeat me. Luckily within 24 hours I was hooked again, and am already scoping out meets for the fall 🙂

 

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