Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Lessons from Competition

Aaron pretty much summed up all the thanks to the people who helped me out preparing for the Powerlifting Meet. I am going to say it one more time, because it is so important.

Having a supportive spouse, partner, whatever is very important. Getting encouragement from the person you spend most of your time with is invaluable. Plus Aaron is very much movement talented. He was great at giving feedback. Plus he ran my numbers at the meet, allowing me to focus on moving the weight. Thank you Aaron.

Long distance coaching from Mark Reifkind was just what I needed. I make plans for my clients every day. Having someone else plan my workouts is such a luxury! Plus I have never trained for a competition before. Getting a program from a true veteran of the world of competitive lifting was exactly what I needed. Plus Mark looked over my videos and gave very helpful feed back. What a good eye to be able to pick out a weakness from a You Tube video! Thank you Mark.

I have to thank Tracy Reifkind... she is actually the one who got me thinking about participating in a PL meet in the first place. She gave me her weight belt. It is really nice; a custom color thick competition belt. It was so nice, my lifting partner ordered one for herself after using Tracy's belt for our training and competition.

Having a good training partner is worth her weight in gold. Maura Shuttleworth is the other reason I chose to compete. Maura is a national Bench Press champion. Maura taught me that bench press is not some horribly painful lift... She has years of Powerlifting experience, she has a great upbeat attitude and she makes our training time fun! I am looking forward to lots of improvement as Maura and I continue to train together! Plus she is the one who talked me into committing to competing. Thanks Maura!

Shawn Friday is my brother-in-law. He is an awesome technician. He has been a competitive powerlifter since he was a teenager. He made regular trips to The Press Gym to give me feed back on my deadlift form. He also gave me other little bits of advice... like don't let the crowd freak you out. Good to know. I have never lifted in front of a group of people.

Mike Nelson; Z-Health specialist, scientist and athlete. Mike has been working with me on joint mobility and strength as well as showing up for the Friday night deadlift party. He gave me on the fly Z adjustment ensuring I pulled that next attempt at 281. Thanks Mike.

I also want to thank everyone at The Press Gym... Dan and Kim Stock owners of The Press. They have never been anything other than completely supportive of me, from training for the competition to my kettlebell classes. In fact pretty much everyone who trains at The Press Gym has been extremely supportive, offering loads of helpful advise. The Press Gym is an awesome environment for training.

So, a lot of people told me I did really well for my first meet. Well, of course I did! I had a huge advantage, I had tons of help... I should have done better! I guess that is the addictive part of powerlifting, knowing you can do better.

I can't wait to work on the bench press and get a more respectable number... especially now that I have finally learned how to lift without hurting my shoulders.

Now that I know what a maximum effort lift feels like, I won't freak out when the weight doesn't just fly. I know this sounds ridiculous... but I am used to moving the weight pretty fast. This may have been part of the reason I missed that deadlift. Like Mark says... maximum effort lifts take around 5 seconds to move. In competition this feels like an eternity. This is an important thing to know. You need stick-with-it-ness.

Total body tension... easier said than done, especially keeping that tension throughout the entire lift. Learning this technique will make a huge difference in my squat. Plus lack of bottom position tension earned me red lights on my second attempt at bench press. Moving the weight was no problem... pausing without movement was.

In competition, pick reasonable numbers. Maura, Shawn and Mark all told me this. Excellent advice. I saw several lifters bomb the meet because they picked the wrong weight to open with.

I'm sure I have lots more to learn. These are the main points that stuck out to me.


Franz Snideman said...

Congratulations.....you and Maura rock!!!!!

fawn said...

Thanks Franz! This meet was such a blast! I never thought I would enjoy it this much!

Maura and I are looking forward to finding out how adding KB's to our training will effect our lifts!

Maura said...

Thanks Fawn! It has been awesome for me as well having a woman close to my size to train with! You are going to see a ton of improvement as we continue to train!


fawn said...


We are going to get huge numbers training together! Especially now that I know how to bench press...LOL!

Mike T Nelson said...

Great stuff Fawn! Thanks for the kind words. I see a 300 lb pull in your future.
Rock on!
Mike N

fawn said...

You are a good man, Mike TN!