My family and I visited Cape Cod in the summer of 2006. Every summer we would take a family vacation. Sitting on the beach one morning I was reading Powerlifting USA. I noticed there was going to be a meet in Albany, NY. It had been almost two years since my first meet, so I sent in my registration a few days after getting back from vacation.
I was still training at the SUNY Fredonia gym. I told my mentor Dick that I was registered for another powerlifting meet. We discussed a ten week plan for me to get ready to compete. I was just coming off a great training cycle where I placed 3rd in the 2006 Empire State Games Men's Open Hammer competition. I was ready to go.
Our plan consisted of a four day split, two upper and two lower days. Sunday was heavy squat, Monday was speed bench, Wednesday was a speed squat/deadlift day, and Friday was a heavy bench day. I was competing in the 275lb. class in single ply gear.
My training partner leading up to the competition can be seen spotting me below, Nick Lord. He was one of my throwers at SUNY Fredonia. He ranks all-time in the top 10 for the 35lb. Weight Throw indoors and Hammer throw outdoors.
I squatted/deadlifted in the same squat suit, an Inzer Hardcore Squat Suit. I benched in a shirt that Dick Furman gave me. It was not very tight, but it got the job done.
Ten days before the meet I took my deadlift opener for an easy 550lbs. A week before the meet I took some singles at my squat opener of 550lbs. You can see that in the picture below. That was my first attempt of the meet. I received 3 white lights. I took my bench opener at 405lbs. I felt especially confident in my bench that I would take 440lbs. on my second.
The meet took place on a Saturday afternoon. Nick, my parents, and I drove down on Friday night for weigh-ins. I weighed in at 271lbs. The officials checked my gear and we were off to dinner.
We got to the meet early in the morning. There were not that many lifters. I was in the second flight of squat, second flight of bench, and second flight of deadlift. I started warming up for the squat as the first flight was taking their second attempts. I worked up to 455lbs., then put my suit on. I took 495lbs. with my suit on and straps down. Not the ideal situation, but I was still learning. As you can see from my picture, my knee wraps are not as tight as they could have been. I opened at 550lbs., received 3 white lights, and was in the competition. I took 605lbs. as my second attempt. This attempt was a little more difficult, but I know I went down deeper in the hole with this attempt. I received 2 white lights. The side judge to my immediate right called me for depth. It was a meet PR! I took 645lbs. on my third attempt. I went down to what I thought was parallel. When I racked it I received 1 white light. Two judges called me for depth.
Against what I had been taught in regards to setting openers and keeping them, I felt tired after the squat. I changed my bench opener to 365lbs. That was a good idea. I only got first opening attempt in, at 365lbs. I took 405lbs. on my second attempt, and threw the weight into the cage. I did the same on my third attempt at the same weight. My total going into the deadlift was 970lbs. I can think of about fifty lifters that can either squat and/or bench that weight raw. It is good motivation moving forward.
I did the same thing with my deadlift. I was going to open at 550lbs., but changed it to 500lbs. That was another good idea. I took 500lbs. for my first attempt, and received 2 red lights and a no lift. I hitched the weight when it got above my knees. I took 500lbs. again for my second attempt, and received 3 white lights. I took 530lbs. on my third attempt, and received 3 white lights. I totaled 1500lbs. At the time, I thought it was a very good total for myself. Ten weeks of training with gear went well. I definitely needed more practice and tracking my opening/second/third attempts.
This set me up for a very strong 2006-2007 indoor track and field season. A few weeks after the meet SUNY Fredonia throwers threw at Kent State University. My training from this powerlifting meet helped me throw a PR 17.72m and 7th place finish in the 35lb. Weight Throw. Not bad considering I threw against two Olympians!
Co-Owner of Forza Powerlifting Club