SSP Nutrition Raw Bench Challenge @ The Arnold

SSP Nutrition Raw Bench Challenge @ The Arnold

Mar 11, 2014

I know its been a while since my last post and over a week since the SSP Nutrition Raw Bench Challenge but I am still taking everything in that I experience last weekend. It was an amazing experience and one I will never forget.

Leading up to the meet I was so nervous all week to the point I had a hard time sleeping, and surprisingly enough even eating like usual ha-ha. I heard the Arnold was big and I had no idea what to expect. My training cycle leading up to the meet was average at best and I tweaked my pec about a month out, so I was not sure how it would hold up.

My plan was to leave Friday and come home on Sunday. I got a very nice surprise on my front porch on Friday, it was all my gear from Titan Support Systems, I was taken back at how nice all my new gear was and at that time a lot of my nervous butterflies turned into pure excitement. I wanted to rep Titan the best I possibly could. I just glanced over the things in the box, put the whole box in my car and was on my way to Columbus. We got there at about 7pm. That night I spent time looking over my gear and picking out what I was going to wear the next day at the meet. I got to sleep around 12, midnight and slept until 4:30am. At about 6 am I knew I had to eat something so I went to The Waffle House right across the parking lot from the hotel (really wish they would build one in Pittsburgh lol). After breakfast I got a shower and was on my to the Convention Center.

I got to the Convention Center and was totally lost, I had no idea where to go and on my way journey to find the check in I was more sightseeing than anything else. I was taken back by the atmosphere and all the people. The Arnold Sports Festival was much bigger than I had ever thought it was going to be. Finally after about 20 minutes of looking I found the USAPL/NAPF/IPF venue and went to get weighted in and registered. I saw a bunch of monsters that up until that point I only saw on youtube or Facebook. Everybody was so cool and upbeat, which helped my nerves calm.

I decided to open up conservative with 512lbs. Warm ups felt great, I felt strong and had not pec soreness, shoulder pain or anything else. As time was ticking down I heard the announcer getting people to come into the venue and sit and watch and it was pretty packed by the time the lifting started. I was 4th from last in the flight so I still a few minutes before I was going to lift. When my name was finally called I was so ready to get the first lift in. The first attempt was so easy and it really helped build my confidence. For my second lift I decided to go with 540lbs. This was a weight I missed a few times during training so I had no idea what to expect. But just like the first attempt this one flew up too. My third attempt I went with 551 which would have a meet pr. After thinking about it I changed my attempt to 556. This would have an 11 lb pr. On the third attempt the weight felt light at the top and even at the bottom when I got the press command but a little over half way up I flared my elbow way to much and got out of the groove and the bar stalled. I did not set a pr this meet but finished with the 3rd biggest bench press of the meet and 5th in wilks.

Overall I happy with the result but not satisfied, even if I would have got my 3rd attempt I still would not have been satisfied. I met so many awesome lifters and people, Matt Baller, LS McClain, Nathan Baxter, Mike Hernandez, a few of the international lifters and Dennis Cieri who is a bench legend and sponsored the whole event.

I cant wait until next year, hopefully then I will be able to enjoy the events leading up to the meet more than this year because at least I will know what to expect and have a year under my belt. Next year hopefully I will finish higher placing.

As always I first want to thank God for blessing me with the chance to showcase my strength on such a big stage, Titan Support Systems, Iron Authority, Primo Chalk, Bench Blokz, Cellis Fitness Center, Dennis Cieri and SSP Nutrition and my friends and family.

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