2014 American Open – Making Faces and the Big Ass Trophy

2014 American Open – Making Faces and the Big Ass Trophy

Dec 15, 2014

Before we get into the meet stuff, let’s catch up a bit from the last two weeks of training.

After all the drama and failed lifts, all my decision making privileges were revoked.  There is no doubt in my mind that this was the right call.  I didn’t get some of the heavier stuff that my ego wanted but I stopped failing lifts (mostly.  Damn final deadlift still got me.) and beating my head against the wall.  This also let my strained IT band heal and it was feeling pretty good the morning of the meet.

And of course there was this:

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Shipwreck burgers and karaoke.  I took some grief for not being able to finish the fries but it was all good.

The American Open

We took the train down because DC traffic is crazy and I have no patience for it.  Also, the stress of risking being stuck in traffic was just more than I was willing to put myself through.  Sure, the train took just shy of an hour but there was no way it was going to turn into 2 hours for no good reason.  Getting out of the train station meant going up the giant escalator though.

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The picture doesn’t really do it justice.  It’s really tall.  And I don’t do heights.  From the middle, it isn’t safe to look up or down.  But I survived.  I also survived the walk from the train station to the Washington Hilton even though it was up a long, gradual hill.

Weigh-ins were mostly uneventful.  Of course I missed my first chance to weigh in because I forgot to get rack heights in the confusion of figuring out where I was supposed to be (holy crap there were a lot of people!) but since I was in the last flight, it wasn’t too big a deal and I still had plenty of time.

Ah powerlifting meets…….  One of the few places you can hear someone say “Dude, I swear everytime I see her, her ass is bigger” and know it’s a sincere compliment.

I wish I’d taken some pictures of all the controlled chaos in the warm up room but I didn’t.  Because I’m me and I never think about this stuff until later.  As usual, the energy was great as everyone started warming up and trying to get their heads straight to lift.  I’m sure pictures wouldn’t have really conveyed all the awesome.  All the people you haven’t seen since the last meet to catch up with.  All the new people to meet that you’ll hopefully get to keep lifting with in the future.  All the shop (and smack) to talk.  Seriously, how can anyone not love this?

I hate to say it and run the risk of jinxing myself but I think I might finally be starting to figure this out.  In general, I had way less nerves and way more fun.

Of course less nervous doesn’t mean not nervous at all……

“Still a chance this will be the meet where I puke on the head judge.”

“But Sioux-z is the head judge.  You can’t puke on her.”

“She probably wouldn’t forgive me for that, would she? “

“No.  Probably not.”

“Yeah……….”

So since the throwing up from nerves was off the table, there was nothing else to do but get through the squats.

Squats

1st Attempt – 192.5kgs/423lbs

I’ve never opened my squats so high and I stumbled a bit on the walk out but it still felt really good.

2nd Attempt – 200kgs/440lbs (Meet PR)

Strong just like this weight felt all during the last bit of my training.

3rd Attempt – 205kgs/452lbs (Life Time PR)

If you had the sound on and heard all the screaming about an American record, just go ahead and ignore that.  Geno got some bad info and it definitely wasn’t an American Record.   Doesn’t change the fact that I’m pretty damn pleased with this.  Especially with how easy if felt.  I don’t think this was truly a max.

Bench

1st Attempt – 97.5kgs/215lbs

This felt really good.  The lift off felt a little soft but this is a weight I could do almost no matter what kind of lift I got so I knew it would be good.  Also, yes, the back of my singlet does say Hi.  This is what I get for asking to have my back chalked…….

2nd Attempt – 107.5kgs/237lbs (Meet PR)

I got a stronger lift off here and this one also felt nice.

3rd Attempt – 110kgs/243lbs (No Lift)

I felt it bauble on the way down and I just couldn’t get it back into the groove to get it up.  By bench is still a bit fickle but I think that’s at least partly because I keep trying to treat it like a squat or a deadlift.  Which means I’m still basically ignoring that 2.5jg-5kg is actually a pretty big jump (percentage-wise) as I approach my max.  So I’ll keep working on it and we’ll see if I can be a bit smarter about it.

Deadlift

1st Attempt – 182.5kgs/403lbs

Yes, even on my relatively light opener (and that’s still a weird thing to think), I opened up with the Butt Wiggle of Doom.  It gets worse.  I promise.

2nd Attempt – 195kgs/430lbs (Meet PR)

3rd Attempt – 202.5kgs/445lbs (Lifetime PR)

My hips were starting to get a bit tight by the time I got to my last attempt so the Butt Wiggle started a bit early to try to keep anything from locking up on my last attempt.  And it seems it worked out.  It felt much slower than it looked on the video but I’m very happy with how smooth it was knowing I’ve been called for hitching in the past.

At the end of the day:

8/9

Total:  515kgs/1135.38lbs (Lifetime PR)

Wilks: 416.12 (-ish)

And that was good enough for a 1st place in the 90+ kg class and Best Raw Women’s Lifter.

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Since I’m unlikely to win too many more of these, I’m going to enjoy this one.  But it’s a seriously huge trophy and I have no idea where it’s going to live in my house.

So aside from the placing, how’d I do?

Pretty well actually.  Regardless of how I placed, this was a really clean meet for me.  For the first time we stayed pretty conservative even on the third attempts and that kept me from getting red lit for technical things like I did at Nationals.  It also means that I didn’t hit any true maxes.  And *that* means I should be able to get back into training quicker than I normally do.

As far as the hard numbers go…..  I hit 10kg PRs on both my squat and deadlift and a 2.5kg PR on bench.  All of that meant I had a 22.5kg PR on my total.  That’s just shy of 50lbs for all of the non-kilo people reading this.  This is also the first time I’ve totalled over 500kg and had a wilks above 400.  I didn’t gain all that strength in the couple of months between Nationals and here and some of this is more a reflection of good attempt selections and a little bit of luck.

The other number I’m pretty happy with is my weight.  I weighed in at a svelt (for me) 113.43kg or right at 250lbs.  Even though this was an afternoon weigh-in, that’s about what I weighed at the Arnold’s this year and 3lbs down from Nats (and both of those were morning weigh-ins.)  It doesn’t seem like a lot but for the last year or so, I’ve been putting on about 3-4lbs a training cycle.  To lose that amount of weight (or more if I use my morning weight on my home scale) instead of gain it and still gain strength and feel good has been huge for me.

Things I learned

1.  I make ridiculous faces.  Like all the time.  When I lift…….  When I’m happy……..  I feel like I should work on this but I’m not sure if I should try to stop making them or must make sure they’re as ridiculous as possible.

2.  Not really a new lesson but……  I pee a lot at meets.  No, like a lot.  So much that my handlers started keeping count as a joke.  I made 9 trips to the bathroom in like 6 hours.  (I was also super excited to see the bathrooms were right off of the warm up rooms.  These are the things that make a lifter’s day.)

3. I forgot how much I love caffeine.

4.  Powerlifting meets are so much louder than weightlifting meets.  Maybe we shouldn’t share a wall next time we do a joint meet.  Just to keep the peace and all.

5.  If you lift enough weight (and have enough other stuff to carry), you can get your coach to carry your trophy home.  We looked like a small victory parade.

Sitting on the train so not actually carrying but you get the idea.

Sitting on the train so not actually carrying but you get the idea.

6.  Speaking of trophies, carrying a big trophy on public transportation is a great way to start conversations with strangers about powerlifting.

7.  Remember the hill I mentioned at the beginning?  Yeah, it’s much steeper and longer when you try to walk up it 2 days after your meet going back  to help out.  I almost didn’t make it.

THANK YOU!!

And as usual, I have a lot of people to thank.  Some of them are personal but there’s a mess of people I don’t know personally that I still have to thank:

– All of the volunteers that kept the American Open running.  Especially the spotters and loaders.  You kept the meet running smoothly and everyone safe and there wouldn’t have been a meet without you.

– The sponsors.  SSP Nutrition, Titan Support Systems, Rogue, EO Sportsgear, House of Pain, Bodybuilding.com, Blox Fitness Equipment, and Juggernaut Training Systems  (And if I’ve somehow managed to miss someone, I’m sorry.  Thank you, too!)

Now for the more personal stuff……

To my husband for giving up time with me so I can train and compete.  I love you!

To Michelle for being an awesome side kick as always.  You still don’t get a cape.

To my coaches, Jared and Ryan, for doing my programming, pointing out my flaws and generally calling me on my bullshit.  There’s no way I would have come as far as I have without the two of you.

To the whole 12 Labours family.  I can’t imagine training anywhere else or with anyone else.   And especially for the 12 Labours Strength folks for training with me and keeping me laughing.  And the donuts.

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To TriSept for their continued sponsorship and support.  And for letting me take a couple days off work.

To my chiropractor, my acupuncturist and massage therapist for keeping me going.  Especially with all the not so hot stuff going on in my hips at the end.

And last but not least, to Iron Authority for being my first sponsor and giving me a chance to ramble on in my training log.  IA ALL DAY!

IA RWB

See y’all at the Arnold!

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