Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Raw Unity Powerlifting Meet

This marks the 5th meet I have participated in in the past 12 months. The USAPL recommendation is 3 per year. I think I have mentioned in the past that I don't really care to compete. My plan behind doing 5 meets this year was to move past the anxiety I generate before each competition, and build some confidence. I realize that it is going to take more than 5 meets for me to move past that. I was just as nervous and stressed out for RUM as I was for the Arnold last year, lol! I've ended up canceling the Arnold because of meet exhaustion... I am really sick of doing meets. They are not that much fun for me, it is better to do less.

So, here are the details of how it all went down for me...

Making Weight
Probably the second most difficult time making weight in the two years I have been competing. Not fun at all. I started at Christmas time, I was weighing in around 129lbs. I did my best to keep the treats reigned in, limited alcohol and did some high volume kettlebell training. I didn't gain weight over the holidays, and sometimes maintaining is a form of moving forward. Two weeks out from the meet I gave up corn chips, my all time favorite treat. No grains a week before the meet, not much fun there. I also followed Matt Gary's water protocol which made me very cold. In the end, I made it down to 123lbs. It wasn't fun, but I did it, and am happy I found a way to make it work. I don't know how much longer I will be able to compete in the 123's. I don't have a problem moving up the the 132's, but I don't see the point of moving up if I can't move a lot more weight. So, we will see where I go in the weight class department.

I had an actual professional coach for this meet. Matt Gary was already coaching his wife Sioux-z, so he took me on as well. I can not express how nice it is to have someone thinking for you during a meet. Matt planned and timed all my warm-ups. We already discussed my attempts, so that was preplanned. Matt offered encouraging words and kept me on track. I missed Aaron, but was happy to have Matt running the show. I hope I can do what he does one day.

Squat training has been going great. I have been using a progressive overload by percentage technique. Matt Gary from Supreme Sports Performance and Training wrote a program for me a while back. I learned a ton from his program. I've recycled it and made a couple small modifications along the way. I moved past 85%, to 90+% toward the middle and end of the squat cycle. I feel like I need to learn how to move heavy weight without panicking, so right now it is important to me to go heavy occasionally.

I opened with an easy 231lbs, second attempt was 248lbs and I ended up squatting a nervous 259lbs. on my third attempt for a 4 pound pr.

Here is my last heavy squat of 250lbs I did about two weeks out from the RUM.

This was my most unpredictable lift. I hope I am not speaking too soon by saying "was my most unpredictable lift"... for the past two meets I nailed my 3rd attempt. This is after always missing my 3rd attempt. Again, I moved past the recommended 85-90% and nailed some heavy singles at my old pr of 315lbs at both the middle and end of the cycle.

I opened with an easy 286lbs, second attempt was an easy 308lbs, I ended up pulling a smooth 319lbs, another 4 pound pr.

Bench Press
I do not have the words to express how frustrated I am with this lift. I've had twitchy shoulders since I was a teenager. When I say twitchy, I mean some days it feels like someone has poured a bucket of sand in my shoulder joints. On the pain days I can't brush my teeth or pull on a tee shirt without mind numbing pain. If it hurts to brush my teeth, bench pressing more than 100lbs is pretty much out of the question. Seriously... I am pretty much at the same place I was a year ago. I know I am doing something wrong. I will not be competing until I can get this lift moving in the right direction. I ended up with 115lbs on my second attempt. I failed on the 126lbs I tried on my third attempt. In case you might think 115lbs is good, it is not. Anything under body weight is nothing special and for a competitor, anything under body weight is a joke. I am determined to fix this lift, but won't be competing until that happens consistently.

My total was 694lbs, a 9 pound pr. I placed 6th of 13. Right in the middle again this year. The same people out lifted me this year as last year. I can't say I had a bad meet. I had three pr's (squat, deadlift and total). I also have my work cut out for me. Improving my bench press will take some time, but I have lots of resources. Matt Gary is one of the best coaches in the country. I also plan on doing some training with Kevin Stuart, another world class lifter and coach. Maybe I will even get some barbell time with my mentor Mark Reifkind. Plus I have people like Angela Simmons and Shawn Cain here in my back yard to help me out. Training is the best part of competing for me. It will be interesting to see how 2010 unfolds.


Boris said...

Nice job Fawn! That 250 looked very easy. As you set up, how are you breathing?

I'm curious what kinds of things you've done w. your bench training.

fawn said...

Squat breathing; I throw my head back, lift my chest and take 3 giant breaths before getting under the bar, hold my air as I walk out, then take a couple shallow sips of air before I squat. At least that is what I try to do...

I know I am doing something wrong with the bench press... probably not using my back correctly. What I need is someone to stand over me and tell me right from wrong. I got a little coaching from Kevin Stewart in Florida. Also, Matt Gary is going to supposed to talk to me about what I am doing wrong too.

What have I done for bench; bands, chains, sets of 5, sets of 2, singles, close grip, wide grip, competition grip, rack lockouts, floor presses, weight releasers, static holds, dumbell chest press, BB overhead press, KB OH Press, pullovers, push downs, skull crushers, TGU's, bottoms up cleans and presses. That is just what I can think of off the top of my head.

I can not express how frustrating this lift is for me. I would actually be a decent lifter if I didn't have such a weak bench press.

If you have any ideas, I am open. Even Pavel tried to help me on my bench press. Maybe I am getting too much help... I don't know.

Boris said...

I asked about breathing because I wasn't sure if you were pulling air to the belly prior to starting your ascent. If you don't already, it's something to try.

Sounds like you've had great bench help. Don't think I could offer much that's new, but I had a lot of shoulder issues too. Working on my arch positioning and back involvement helped. Lots and lots of bent over laterals and bent over front raises. One exercise that seemed to help somewhat was setting up a bench below a pullup bar and doing banded pulldowns lying on the bench. Unfortunately, it's not easy to do that w. much in the way of band tension unless you have a way of anchoring yourself to the bench.

Chain work w. a few chains allowed to sway also helped tightness issues for me. I never tried BP w. KBs attached to sleeves w. bands, but I'm sure it would have a more dramatic effect.

Don't know if anything I've written will be helpful, but good luck and always enjoy reading the Friday blogs.

fawn said...

Anything from you helps Boris. You are a good lifter and I trust you.

Even if I am using lots of great techniques to improve my BP, who knows if I am doing them right? I often train alone... I KNOW I am doing SOMETHING wrong. I know for a fact I don't stay tight enough at the bottom of the bp, leaving me unstable.

I am determined to figure this out. It will make me a better lifter and better trainer. Thanks for your comments Boris. We like reading your blog too.


Anonymous said...

Mrs. Friday, you misspelled personal when you wrote "Personal Records I Want to Break" in the column on the right. Not being critical, just wanted to make you aware of that:)

Franz Snideman said...

Updates Fawn???