Sunday, July 27, 2008

Raw Nationals Powerlifting Results...

Thank you all so very much for all the supportive comments and wishes of luck for Raw Nationals. I was very honored to have the chance to participate in a national meet already in my very early career of powerlifting. Lifting at a national venue is an amazing experience. I had a chance to see some really awesome lifters in action... and talk training, form and strategies with some of the best lifters in the sport. How cool is that?

The internet was down at the hotel, so I had no chance to post any news from the meet. Worse, I had no opportunity to check my messages. I will give a the highlights of the weekend.

I will have to say Ellen Stein was the person I looked forward to meeting most. Ellen is a seriously strong woman, she won best lifter in the masters category. Pretty amazing lady with an awesome sense of humor. She is also an RKC...

So, I suppose I should report how it all went down for me...

I had a rocky start before I even stepped on the scale to weigh in. I knew I would be cutting it close, but I started my period on Friday. If you ever wondered what rules the world, I will tell you it is your hormones. A big hormonal fluctuation is like getting sick. I was 3 pounds over my weight class and my energy was low. I spent all day Friday just chilling out and trying to drop those last 3 pounds.

Saturday morning I was feeling strong and rested. I made weight, and had two hours to get some food and water before the meet started. Maura and I headed down to the venue to stretch out and prepare. I had my numbers in order and Aaron at my side to help me.

First lift;
Back Squat
209lbs - easy... squat is my lift. Despite the fact that my legs were quaking and my stomach was turning from nerves, the weight flew up, no problem
225lbs - My plan was actually to jump to 231lbs, but it was period time and I wanted to go easy. Good thing, I really had to gut this one out. I have never struggled with a lift this hard.
242lbs - My plan was to go for 248lbs on my third attempt, but after almost killing myself with 225 I thought I should scale it back a little... I missed this lift. This was the first time I missed a squat ever... in training or a meet.

Bench Press
94lbs - This was an easy opener for me, which was fine. My plan was to go easy on the bench in order to recover from that killer 225lbs squat enough to nail a decent deadlift.
105lbs - Flew up. No problems. Felt Great!
110lbs - Again, no problems and felt great! Honestly this was my strongest lift all day, here is the one lift I could have gone heavier on, LOL!

- An easy opener, just the way it should be.
286lbs - I know it would be a challenge. I was already really pretty gassed out from period time, nerves, and the killer squats... I missed the lift. It didn't move.
286lbs - Honestly, I was totally destroyed by this time... I wanted to go home, I didn't want to go up on that platform again, but I did, and I missed the lift for the second time.

I was really planning on doing better at Raw Nationals, not worse. What went wrong? Luckily I had lots of input to help me figure this out.
  • Over training. Pretty much everyone told me I was doing this. I didn't believe it, now I do.
  • What happens in the gym doesn't always happen in the meet. I have never struggled with 225lbs! I buried 240lbs 8 weeks ago!
  • A 3 lift meet is killer! I was gassed after that killer squat. Plus our flight was small, only 6 lifters. As soon as I took my belt off, it was time to get ready to go again! You are at the mercy of the meet director, it is like the Gym Boss... the judges don't give a shit if you need another 2 minutes to recover.
  • Period time. Not at the top of my strength, in fact, I am probably at my weakest. I have to adjust my numbers for the way I feel that day.
  • Nerves, they can work for you, or against you... you will always revert back to habit in the time of stress. Letting doubt creep in is a killer.
I placed second in my weight class and set the national record in the squat with 225lbs. I can't wait to figure out a better training schedule. I can't wait to smash my squat record with something a little better. I am looking forward to busting through the plateau I am experiencing in the deadlift. Finally, I don't totally suck at the bench press.

I spent some time talking over technique and form with the Gregs, both Jones and Page. Two way cool guys who really know the sport and know how to get strong. I also got a ton of advice from some really great lifters.

Shawn Friday, John Dorsher, Rich Endinger, Madvig, gave me encouragement, advice, beer and pizza. Great guys!

Angela Simons, Cathy Marksteiner (head judge) and Jim (last name unknown) gave me lots of kind words after the meet which was just what I needed after feeling so discouraged with my lifts.

Last, but not least... Maura was great, and it is always a lot of fun to pal around with a veteran like her. I would have never went without her.

Rick Fowler ran a tight meet. Everything went smoothly. I had such a great time.


Jennifer said...

Wow, Fawn, I'm so sorry that you felt discouraged, and you didn't feel strong, but holy crap, you set a record on your first trip to nationals! I'm grinning ear-to-ear for you. Thanks for the update.

Mark Reifkind said...


way to hang tough and gut through the meet. real meets are always tough and usapl nationals are a whole nother animal. you should be very proud,especially of your bench( told ya!).
it's justimpossible to convey to someone just how hard it is to get prs at meets until they have been there. you will get them, it just takes awhile. congrats , great job and see you soon


Christine said...

Hey Fawn,

Congratulations on your first meet! I bet it was very exciting. That woman thing can be an absolute killer... Keep working and you will set those PR's.


fawn said...

Thanks Jennifer!
I had plans to show everyone at Raw Nationals how it was done! Especially on the squat! This was a real lesson in humility,LOL! I am happy I at least set a record... greedy aren't I? LOL!

fawn said...

Thanks Mark,
Greg Jones says to say hello and wants to know when you are going to attend meets again. What a super great guy.

This meet was a reality check for me... after having such a great first meet, I can't believe the second was so difficult. It seamed that everything worked against me that day, except the bench press... my weakest lift, the lift I don't give a shit about, was my strongest lift and I could have put another 5-10 pounds on the bar.

fawn said...

Thanks Christine!
This was actually my second meet, the first one went much better, but it was a local meet, so I didn't have to travel, which made a huge difference. Plus, the woman thing... the cosmic joke, as I call it was not an issue at my first meet either. Cripes, it is like getting sick, there really is nothing that can be done about it. On the other hand, I can be happy I am not pregnant, lol, once I recover I can continue with my training.

Katie, KettlebellKate said...

Oh the joys of being a woman...I am so proud of you for being resilient and hanging tough. A meet record and a nice confidence boost on your bench. For a "bad" day, that's damn good! Like Mark said, a meet is a whole different deal and the insights you've gained in one day's lifting at a meet will put a finer focus on your efforts and training. Now, draw yourself a nice Epsoms salts bath and recover.

Sean Schniederjan said...

What an experience Fawn! Congrats on the WR!! I would imagine one's first national meet would be extremely difficult for anyone.

Talk about bad timing with the menstruation. I read that a woman's estrogen levels are at their highest around menstruation time and progesterone highest around ovulation. Fun stuff. But you still set a WR and nailed your bench. Very impressive and you will come back EVEN STRONGER to the next one.

fawn said...

Yep, estrogen levels were pretty high... great for lowering confidence, emotional fragility, increased likelihood of injury, etc. But what can ya do? I should be happy I didn't bomb out or get hurt.

I will send the usapl my cycle schedule so they can plan around it next year. LOL!

Sean Schniederjan said...

I wonder if that's ever been tried before.

fawn said...

Actually next year's Raw Nationals is already planned out. All I can do is hope for better timing... or drop my body fat enough to remove the possibility altogether. LOL!

Franklin B Herman, RKC said...

Congratulations on an getting through a tough meet. Setting a national record in your weight class is incredible especially considering having to deal with an unfortunate coincidence of cycles. And a 2nd place overall to boot!

On the other hand, now you know how it can effect your performance and perhaps not be so freaked out if it happens again.

Regardless of place, as far as I'm concerned anyone who trains hard and is willing to step up on that platform in a pressure meet situation and put it all on the line is a winner in my book. Great job!

Taikei Matsushita said...

My last competitive situation was football playing defensive side. I practiced against my teammates over & over, and all the sudden I faced strangers at the game. Every planned aspect is gone and uncertainty kicked in.
I don't think this is equivalent to power lifting meet, however learning competitive situation must be big for you. I'm very very proud and glad that you found this arena you can be passionate about.

Howie Brewer said...

Congratulations Fawn! 2nd Place!!! And only your second meet. We are all proud of you! You've worked hard and you've put yourself out there in front of the world. Great job!

fawn said...

Thanks Franklin!
I am more determined to smash that Squat record! 248 is MINE!

fawn said...

Yes, everything was so different from what I knew! Even the weights were different; different color, different size and in Kilos and not pounds! Not my comfortable Press Gym!

fawn said...

Thanks Howie,
You are totally right... there is somthing to be said about competing. Simply putting yourself out there is something to be proud of. Thank you for reminding me of that.

Gabi said...

Congratulations, Fawn! Great results, all in all, you're a real tough one! Hormones can be so mean... You'll smash them all next time!

fawn said...

Thanks Gabi!
I am really looking forward to meeting you next month!

Mike T Nelson said...

Congrats Fawn! I know it may not be the results you wanted, but very very few every compete in ANYTHING, much less a huge meet like that--so kudos to you for showing up, training hard, and giving it your all!

Getting 3 PRs is very rare in a meet and setting a new record is awesome! Way to go!

You will back next time and that much wiser to destroy some serious weight.

DL night this week?

Rock on!
Mike N

Jim Ryan aka AikiBudo said...

Congrats on 2nd place and the record, Fawn! Nicely done given how tough is was internally for you. Way to stay focused and get through it! If you did this well having a shitty day, wait 'til you come into a meet firing on all cylinders! An awesome thought for sure!!

PS: who knows, you may even start to like the bench!

fawn said...

Thanks Mike!
Looking back I really had a great time in Missouri...I had a chance to use my Z skills on a team mate with great results! I met other really great PL'ers. I can't wait to get back to training. However, Friday might be too soon... Aaron might be there. I will keep you posted.

fawn said...

I have all sorts of ideas of how to attack my next PR... I can't wait to give it a shot. Hopefully my next meet the planets will align and I will be at the top of my game. Until then I am going to work toward smashing that squat record.

We should meet up again soon.

Lauren said...

So impressed with you Fawn! What an amazing feeling to do that well. I know too well how hormones can take the BIGGEST toll on a females body. It's amazing how different we function with PMS. It is truly like your body is sick, tired, and holding every bit of water it can find. You rock doing all of this on top of having your period. 8-)

Joe Pavel said...

Congrats on the bench press!
Live and learn. You'll only get better. This was your first rep at a national meet.
Stay cool.

fawn said...

Thanks for all the supportive words Lauren! Hormones are crazy! The day I needed to feel like tearing it up, I feel like going back to bed!

Well, the meet was awesome, I am so glad I went. It was truly a learning experience! I had a great time.

fawn said...

Thanks Joe! All this complaining... I should be happy I went to a National meet! You are totally right, a national meet is different, this was the first rep.

Franz Snideman said...


I think it's awesome that you even compete, period! Your lifts were nothing to be ashamed are stronger than alot of men I know so you are doing something right!

Keep up the great training!



Maura said...

You did great! Especially for your first national meet. I can't wait to see you smash that squat record either!!


Rich said...

Great job! If you do TCO and don't overtrain, you can hit 248 121 292. IMO a standard powerlifting cycle would work for you. (5s, 5s, 5s, 3s 3s, 3s, and 2s for your 7 week TCO cycle.)

PS: You can order record certificates for your American and National records from the national office for $5 a piece.

fawn said...

Thanks for the compliments! Your words of encouragement mean a lot!

fawn said...

It was so nice to see you this last weekend Rich! Thanks for all the great advice. I am totally going to have to reign in my training. If I do the TCO I may just focus my efforts on the squat. I really want that 248, and I know I can get it. If you judge that meet you stay with us. We only live 15 minutes from The Press.

fawn said...

Thanks for all your encouragement Maura!

Taikei Matsushita said...

My god! your team were all wearing Zubas!!

fawn said...

Yep, The Press Gym sponsored our team. Zubaz was a part of the uniform... there were 9 on our team, we didn't win, but we looked great!

Rich said...

Powerlifting is like crack cocaine--highly addictive. I guess I am not judging, but instead lifting since there will be 3 national judges. I need to break my records before some stud shatters them. Good luck in training. See you at TCO!