This was a very intersting training cycle. I looked back through my log and saw that I did in fact only put the shirt on twice before the meet. After doing back to back meets in the shirt I was just tired of it. So, I figured I would just get stronger and see what happens. I know I got stronger because I hit a pretty comfortable 550 raw bench during a warm up set a few weeks ago and I had not trained my raw groove at all. I also hit a 640 raw three board which was a pr regardless of weight.
Now, on to the meet. Interestingly I had spent a lot of time last week mentally preparing myself for the contest. I figured if I was going to throw caution to the wind with my equipped training I'd need some sort of edge. Man oh man I sure needed it. All was running smoothly until my last warm up. I was taking 765 to a one board and on the way down the bar started rolling wildly out of my hands. So I told the guys to take it just as I touched the board. Note to self, do not use a crappy bent gym bar to bench 700+ pounds. Anyway, normally something like that could really throw me. It's not exactly a confidence boosting occurrence for a last warm up. However, I was not bothered by it in the least.
When it was time for my frst attempt I felt confident and comfortable. My setup was good. I felt strong when I took the weight (I mean how could I not with a perfect Rhodes hand off). My form felt good, but it seemed to take forever to touch. Normally I'd panic in this situation. When I got the press call I felt the weight shift to the right on me. At this point time slowed down in my head. Instead of saying "Take it" I heard my voice in my head say "I can get this." For those who have seen me lift over the years, you know I am not a grinder. This was one of the slowest lifts I have ever made. I know if I had not spent as much time as I did last week on the psychology of lifting I would not have been able to correct the weight and get the push on it that I did.
After the 830 I went on to take two unsuccessful attempts at 845. It's really odd because we set up the shirt exactly the same. Karsten and I joke about what we do with the shirt--nothing. We don't tug it, twist it, or pull it. We just belt it. So that's not hard to replicate. Although, we did wet the shirt for the last attempt in hopes of an easier touch, it was to no avail.
The 830 was certainly an ugly lift, but I'll take it. I learned a lot from the experience. First of all, mental preparation can clearly be a difference maker. I'm glad I spend time working on that aspect of the sport. Second, I need to get in the shirt a lot more. Although I am stronger now, I am not as technically proficient in the shirt as I used to be. Lastly, I will be sticking with the Westside training priciples. I have made my best gains equipped and raw with Westside. I just need to tweak it for my needs.
I just want to thank everyone who has helped me through this process. My wife, who really does so much for me it's ridiculous. My parents, sister in law, and dog who all mean so much to me. My training partners Brian, Drew, Karsten, Josh, Rhodes and Tee rock! Gene and Ame for putting on another kick ass meet. The trophies were being handed out within ten minutes of the last deadlift. Now that's efficient. We were out of there at about 3:45. It was cool to see so many old friends and it was awesome to make some new ones. I got to bench with an old MM buddy Chuck Scherza. He hit a solid number. It's good to see him on the platform again. Thanks to all for the support I get on the net. It means a lot. Lastly, thanks to my very excellent sponsors, AtLargeNutrition and EliteFTS.
I am taking this most of this week off from weight training. I have not done this in a while. Heck, I still trained on my vacation in Aruba over the summer. I'm also taking a week off from my diet. I'm just going to enjoy myself for a few days. If I feel like doing some conditioning then I will. I'll also be working on my upcoming training program. Rhodes and I already discussed a few ideas. I'm planning on competing in the Lexen Pro Am in March. It's time to throw my hat back in the ring with the big boys. Plus, how can you beat Ohio in March. It rivals the Hampton's in the summer. Maybe I'll get to see Wendler on his new chopper wearing nothing but chaps. That alone would be worth the trip.
Here are my lifts: