I’ve kept pretty quiet about my own training since my last powerlifting meet because it’s been pretty unspectacular. Steady, consistent, but nothing extraordinary. The exciting part is that I’m now less than a week out from my next powerlifting meet, the RPS New England Challenge… and my sister is competing too.
You’ve heard me talk about my sister’s deadlift success at TPS and gush about how lifting has brought us closer together. Well, not long after the TPS deadlift seminar my sister decided she wanted to do a powerlifting competition. I was, of course, thrilled. She’s been training hard and kicking ass, so the past two weeks we took our openers in preparation for meet day next Saturday.
My only goal going into this meet is to total 1450. That’s a 30-pound jump from 1420 last November, but with at least 20 pounds built up on my bench press, it’s well within reach. I hit all my openers with authority so I’m feeling great going into the weekend.
I always take my deadlift opener two weeks out to give plenty of time to recover from one last heavy pull. I opened at 495 last meet but know that I need to be able to reach 555+ to hit my 1450 total. 505 will let me make more moderate jumps, and despite my deadlift struggles, there’s absolutely no reason for me to open lighter than 500 at this point my career.
A few recent technique fixes have helped me stay more upright with my torso off the floor, so I ripped 505 faster than any 500+ deadlift I’ve ever pulled. Huge confidence booster.
My squat has always been a reliable lift but my squat’s actually felt pretty lousy this whole training cycle. It’s consisted of mostly sets of 2-3 reps between 425-445, which felt heavy, slow and sloppy for a long time. Toward the end, I started bouncing more out of the bottom like I used to. Combined with targeted hip/glute work, my knees don’t crash as hard and I’m getting my speed back.
I opened at 475 in November and chose 480 this time to be really conservative. I can go 480/500/520 if need be, adjusting the third attempt depending on how 500 goes. 480 came up really smooth last Saturday so I can feel good about opening with a lift I’ll hit no matter what.
The bench press is my one lift where I seemingly can do no wrong. It’s responded so well to the style of training I’ve done over the past year. At this point last year, the heaviest bench I hit at 181 was a measly 315 pounds. I’ve since hit 370 at 190 pounds and I’m on pace to go 380+ this weekend. I hit 345 for my opener like it was a joke.
No matter what happens, I’ll be happy because my sister has the guts to hit the platform and compete. She’s strong physically and mentally and I’m so happy she’s fallen in love with the sport. Coaching her in the morning session will light a fire under my ass to kill it when I compete in the afternoon.
This is what lifting’s all about: helping others discover the strength within themselves they didn’t know they had. I’m glad someone as close to me as my sister can feel empowered through lifting the way I’ve felt it.