Meet Report: 1,200 Total at IPA Buckeye Brawl

ATHLETE

I competed at the IPA Buckeye Brawl at Showtime Strength on Dec. 1. It was my second multi-ply meet (I competed at 148 again), and it was my first time representing the team and getting to wear the Team elitefts shirt. So I tried not to push over any children or kick any elderly people. No, I kid. But really, folks. Ever since I started competing, I would always see Team elitefts members at meets wearing their iconic team shirts. It was always awe-inspiring to me, but something I never actually thought I would be a part of, so being able to don the shirt for a meet is a big deal to me.

Usually I get nervous as fuck the week before meets, but this time I was notably chillaxed. When I say chillax, I kind of take that back. I was nervous about doing well at the meet. Nervous about having all of my training boil down to nine attempts. But I knew there was nothing that I could do except try to not fuck up my sleep or stress myself out too much. So I was not as much of an anxious fuck as I have been in the past. Usually I weigh in the day before meets and spend the whole day trying not to vomit. I did not vomit this time. Go me. My un-chillaxed-ness kicked in in the car on the way to the meet. I sat in silence trying to visualize my lifts and not think about the fact that I was somehow late already.

The meet started at 9 o’clock, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be in the first or second flight, so I decided to get there at 8 o’clock, just to be sure I had enough time to warm up. When I say I decided to get there at 8, I mean I asked Dave what time I should get there since I’m not good at time management under pressure.

So, of course, I left the house a little late because that’s just how I roll, and then we got pulled over on the way to the meet so I was like, “Well, gee whiz, fuck me,” but when I got there, I was delighted to see I was at the end of the second flight so I didn’t have to rush to warm up. I had more than enough time to warm up.

Squats

Guess who had to skip their last warm-up because they are a fucking idiot? This guy.

My plan was to do the bar, quarter, put briefs on, plate, plate quarter, put suit on, two plates, two plates and a quarter, three plates, three plates and a quarter, and have Joe wrap me since he has never wrapped me before so we could get a little warm up in, and finally, open with 430.

I started warming up when everyone else in my flight was warming up, but they all ended up being raw bros, so between the gear and the number of times I had to pee, I was taking three plates when my flight was starting. So we decided to skip my last warm up and just go out and hit 430.

In case you ever debate about whether you should open medium light or very light or not light, this is a perfect example of why you should open Bud Light light. By the time I got out there and took my opener, it wasn’t even super speedy because I was still fucking warming up. On the platform. During the meet. God, I am an idiot. Like, I had one job, and that was to not completely fuck up, and I managed to be there on time and not get all my warm-ups in. I even know that I am usually rushed during warm-ups.

Anyway, based on the less than stellar 430, we called for 465 on the second. Again, not amazing. Just wasn’t as speedy as it should have been. Dave asked what I wanted on the third, and I said, “500,” and he said I had to come out of the hole fucking faster in order to get it, and I said, “OK, I will!”

I knew on the pick that it was not right and that the weight was all the way in the front of my feet. But I was also mad as fuck and knew that whatever happened, I was going to get it. So I started down.

Once I got into the hole, I just collapsed. Once you collapse you never go back. By never go back, I mean only use your back. I started to come up, and my legs were pretty much straight. Then I had to unroll my vertebrae one by one until I was standing fully erect.

I’m surprised the head judge didn’t tell me to rack it so he didn’t have to watch the rest of the trainwreck literally unfurl before him.

White lights all around for the best morning! I mean the best morning as in a play on good morning. Not like, “Oh, this morning is going great.”

Bench

I rubbed a lot of goopy heat shit on my back and elbows and got ready to bench. I just took the bar a few times, 95 pounds, 135. Then put the shirt on for 185 and 225 (didn’t touch on either of them), and that was it.

I opened with 275 on bench. It took an incredibly long time to touch which, in no surprising turn of events, meant that it took a long time to come up since I expended so much energy getting it down there.

Based on the first, we went with 290 on the second. I’m still not completely sure what happened. It came back on me at some point on the way down, and I just lost it. I was so pissed.

We decided to go 315 on the third since it seemed like more weight would help with the shirt at this point.

Usually in between attempts, I close my eyes and visualize executing the lift in a competent fashion. But obviously since I just missed a weight that should have been easy, I had to change my strategy. So between my second and third attempts, I told myself not to be a little fucking bitch and to just bench the fucking weight.

315 touched well and came up and then I didn’t flare because I’m an idiot, and I dumped it towards my face.

And that was the end of that fucking debacle.

Deadlifts

Dr. Dev worked on my back and breathing before deadlifts.

I opened very light on deadlifts. 375. I used to really not get opening so incredibly fucking light, but after feeling how fucked up my back felt after squats and benching, I was totally fine knowing I was just going to grip it and rip it and not have to worry about anything.

Went for 425 on the second since it was a 5-pound PR. To be honest, I wasn’t super speedy. But given that a lot of my lifts can look slow and stay slow for a few jumps after, we went for 450 on the third. Which is what I had in my head going into the meet.

Jeez. Well. I put the “fox” back in Michael J. Fox, I can say that much.

My start positioning was a little off, and I just didn’t have the hip and glute strength to finish it. It is actually worse to watch than it felt at the time. Usually when things take forever while they are happening, they look speedier on video. But nope, that went on for about fucking ever and a half.

I weirdly thought that out of all my hypothetical third attempts, the 450 was going to come easiest. But I did spend the first half of the meet cycle trying to get my back back to normal, so I should have known that my pull would take a hit.

I ended with a 1,200 total, 90-pound total PR (75 pounds of it coming from my squat). I am not happy with this. I am pretty ashamed of the amount of human error I was able to inject into my lifting, like forgetting how to bench and not keeping my back tight on squats. I was hoping for around a 1,250 total. But I know that means I would have had to have a near perfect day. And that will almost never happen on meet day.

Dave is literally the only reason that I am not still a complete shit lifter. I don’t know how else to say that except he is the only reason I got a pro total, the only reason I know anything about lifting, and the only reason I continue to get better. From doing everything on meet day to all the days in and out of the gym before and after. I am fucking lucky. This paragraph should just be the beginning, middle, and end of all of my logs.  If anyone has anything bad to say about him, I will literally fight them in a parking lot.

I am incredibly grateful for all my lifting buddies who helped me out all day at the meet and during the meet cycle — JP, Anthony, and Joe. All of the knee wraps and spots and making sure I had all of my shit all day and getting my warm-ups in and loading plates and making sure I was ready. I have no idea what is going on around me when my flight is up, and it is amazing to have people take care of everything so all you have to do is lift. It takes a fucking village. If you don’t already have one, find a good group of people to train with. It makes all the fucking difference.

It was so nice that all my other gym pals came out to the meet. You all are so nice.

And thanks to Hybrid Performance (Tyrel and Dev) for all their work on me before, during, and after the meet.

And my parents came all the way from New York for the meet, and they are the best in the world. By the way, if you don’t have parents that are supportive and excited and proud of your lifting, you can borrow mine for your meet because they are the best parents.

The meet was also very well-run so I would highly recommend it to anyone in the future. Three flights done by 5 o’clock. Good spotting and judging. Good equipment. And they give out axes.

Also, elitefts is the best meet sponsor. They furnished the meet with sweet swag bags that had wraps and straps and wrist wraps and shirts and other neat things.

Since this is already a novella, I’m going to write a follow-up post about my thoughts on how I feel like this meet went based on my training and expectations.

The only things to do now are seeing what went wrong, making a game plan to fix them, and planning for moving forward.

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