I competed in my first big full power event last weekend. Heck, it wasn't just my first big event, it was my first full power single ply event in almost four years. The last time I competed in single ply and tried walking out squats I had a major accident and pretty much destroyed both of my knees. After a seven surgeries, including major transplant surgery on both knees, and years of work and rehab I am finally back to being able to lift competitively. Even though it has been a bit over 4 years since I hurt my knees, as soon as I started warming up for squats I got really nervous. Every thing felt heavy. I ended up lowering my opener from 733 to 705. Once I got on the platform I finally started feeling good. I got my opener and went 3 for 3 in squats, finishing with a 755, 20 lbs below my best in training, but not bad.
Bench was a bit rough. I didn't realize how much walking out my squats would take out of me and I clearly am not in as good a shape as I need to be. The guy who normally helps me in to my shirt wasn't able to make the trip and even though the guy who helped me tried hard to get my shirt right, it never felt like it was set right. I tried way too many warm-ups in the shirt trying to get the thing set (my opener was 650 and I took 655 full range twice, stupid I know but I was trying to get the shirt to seat properly). I managed to get my opener with out too much trouble, but between my lack of energy and the shirt issues I couldn't get any more lifts in. I fell 50 lbs short of what I was hoping for in bench, but I was happy at this point to be still in the game.
Deadlifts were a nightmare. After bench all I had energy to do was sit in the corner and try not to puke. I didn't take any raw warm-ups for deads. I put my squat suit back on and started my warm-ups at 405. I pulled it easy enough, but afterwards I almost passed out. I'm thinking too many energy drinks and not enough real food. That and I was still feeling the squats. I waited a bit and took one more warm up at 495. I was going to lower my opener, but last minute I noticed I forgot to put on my deadlift socks. I rushed to change my socks and by the time I was finished my flight had started and it was too late to make a change. My opener was 645, a weight that should have been super easy. Still I wasn't feeling terrible confident. On my first attempt I pretty much gave it all I had and managed to lock the weight out. The only problem was that I hitched it terribly on the way up and got 3 red lights. After nearly passing out and getting a ton of help from friends and fellow competitors I was ready for my second attempt. I grabbed the bar and pulled as hard as I could, and I managed to get the bar about to my knees before failing miserably. At this point I am thinking bomb. I sat down and waited my turn for my third attempt. My friends and competitors tried to fire me up, but there just wasn't much of anything left. I grabbed the bar fully expecting to not even break the floor when to my surprise it flew up. I locked it out and got 3 whites. It felt great to get a total. I know I left a lot on the platform, but I was so happy to get a total and finish the meet that I didn't care. I had an amazing time and got to see some amazing lifting. I got to lift off for two huge single ply bench press records (Scott Mecham and Joe Mazza), I got to watch Henry Thomason manhandle ungodly weights in spite of an injured hamstring. I watched Micah Marino smash an 800 lb deadlift at 181 lbs only to have it slip out of the hand he tore during warm-ups right at lockout. I saw a 23 year old pull 881 lbs and saw a 220 lb guy almost pull the same. This meet really got me excited about powerlifting again. I can't wait to go back again next year.
Here is a video of my day at the Olympia -755, 650, 645 @220 single ply: