Last weekend (1/30/10), I competed in the 2010 Raw Unity Powerlifting Championships in Tampa, Florida. This was a very prestigious meet, and to be among some of the best lifters in the world was really an awesome opportunity for me. I'm still totally wowed by the overall experience. I met some strong ladies and gentlemen and I got to see some truly amazing lifts! This meet is a cross-federation meet that brings raw lifters (unequipped) together to compete against each other. In order to qualify to participate in this meet, a woman of my size needed to have a competition Total of 622lbs. A Total is earned in a single competition and is the highest weight lifted in each squat, bench press, and deadlift performed. My best total going in to this meet was 540 pounds. I sent the lifting committee a “lifter resume” explaining why they should allow me to compete even though my total was not sufficient to qualify, and they invited me to participate
I trained for 14 weeks going into this meet, and my goals were the following:
GOAL 1 - New Meet personal records (PR's) in all lifts (>105 bench, >160 squat, > 276 deads).
GOAL 2 - Add 82lbs to my Total .... ie: make my new Total not only a PR, but one that would have me qualify outright for the meet next year
I have pretty bad video of each lift up on youtube, but in about a week (that's what I'm told anyway) I should have a real nicely compiled video of each lift that was done professionally that I can share :) For now...we have crappy ones - so sorry ;)
I lowered my opening squat attempt from 164 to 159 at the last minute since my warmups were feeling STUPID heavy. It turns out (I didn't find out until I was warming up for deadlifts), that the collars that hold the plates on the bar, were *5* pounds each - adding 10lbs to what I thought was on the bar.
Anyway...opening squat was 159 (my former PR from July '09) and it went up with ease.
My second attempt was 182lbs :) It was a grinder, although watching the video, it doesn't LOOK as much like a grinder as it FELT (though still clearly a push LOL)!
I missed my 3rd attempt at 193:
It's pretty easy to see in the video what went wrong with that one, the issue is figuring out how to STOP me from doing that when the weight gets heavy. Overall, I increased my squat with a 23lb PR! I think I'm pretty happy with that :)
Raphael (the one who helped me to lose all the weight and GET me here! How much does he rock like that? :), has provided some suggestions and things for me to try going forward in my squat (and bench) training. Lots of different ways to skin a cat, need to try on a few and see what works best. He followed the whole meet live on ustream and left streaming commentary on my facebook page - it was most excellent to come home to :) I knew all my friends and family were watching from all over the place and I can't TELL you how good that felt. I did my best to harness all the cheers and strength that everyone was sending, I didn't want to disappoint! on facebook that he now see's where my weakness is on squat and can help :)
I also still need very much to work on my confidence with squat. I definitely improved there, but you can see a difference in my approach on first/second attempt versus that 3rd attempt - too much doubt walking up there!
I opened Bench with 110lbs, and I made that with NO problem, it went right up! I've done 3 meets prior to this and missed 110 each time, so my opener was MOST EXCELLENT in my mind :) I've taken 120 in training twice, so my 2nd attempt was at 122 and well...I missed it. And then I missed it *again* (no video of 3rd attempt). I was pretty bummed about that, but DETERMINED not to let it rain on my deadlift parade ;) Beside, 110 had eluded me EVERY TIME and I totally owned it, so nothing to be ashamed of there :)
Seriously - I'm ok with saying it - my favorite lift! Not only to perform but also even just to watch! I wish I could explain and share the true incredible HIGH that comes from making a huge lift with that exercise. It's almost...primal ;) So when I see someone else make a huge incredible lift I can sort of imagine how they are feeling and I get a little bit of that right along with them. Before I lifted, I saw the last of the lightweight class doing their 3rd attempts. There was one women who just pulled and pulled and pulled and it seemed like 20 minutes passed but she kept pulling and she NAILED it! When she put it down and got the green lights she just FLEW into her trainers arms, jumped like 10 feet in the air! It was soooo awesome I cried for her, HAH! That got me so pumped I just knew that all 3 deads HAD to be mine.
I opened deadlifts with 264 pounds, I wanted confidence and strength to show and leave no doubt in the judges mind that deadlifts were mine. I went out there and BAM - straight up! It felt *incredible* Smooth and easy :) My 2nd attempt was a new PR for me at 286 pounds (former was 276 from July), and again - felt FANTASTIC, smooth!! And double body weight (plus a few)! YES:
After that, I walked to the scoring table and I entered my 3rd attempt...303.1 pounds...writing it down was amazing itself! 303lbs?! Seriously? The whole time between entering that attempt and going out there to that platform to lift it, all that was in my head was a visual of me standing there holding it up at lockout and all of my friends voices were there repeating, "you start and you don't stop, all your strength, all your love all your power" and I was just determined that I was just going to pull and pull and pull on that bar until it was up! That's all there was to it! And then I went out there and OMG...it just like...went up! HAH! I couldn't believe it! And then that high came for ME!! What a freaking amazing rush :)
My good friend Myles, the one who works so hard with me on my training and who got me INTO this whole mess, put together a chronology of my deadlift for the past year. It's very cool, so awesome of him to do :)
So all in all....
Goal #1 (new PRs on each lift) - done! Squat PR of 23lbs, Bench PR of 5lbs, and deadlift PR of 27lbs!
Goal #2 (to "officially" qualify for the meet by increasing my total 82lbs from 540 to 622) - Well I increased it by 55 pounds,so I'm a happy girl. There's another meet in my future, to make up that difference :)
I've been much more tired and far more sore than I've ever been post meet. I guess that makes sense but..wow. I'm still sort of in recovery mode, workouts have been very light, and limited to just cardio.
A wonderful, wonderful, incredible experience I had last weekend. I'm still high (and sore, and tired - but HIGH!) and at the same time a little down - like that was a huge event...14 weeks of training prep and now it's over. But! On to the next thing...I had a blast, and intend to continue :)