Worlds During Flu Season? Not Necessarily a Good Idea

Worlds During Flu Season?  Not Necessarily a Good Idea

Nov 10, 2012

Brady, I know how you feel from your Monday training [Brady’s Posting:]. Being ill is not the best time to get in a strong training day. Getting ill is also not the best time to be competing in a World competition. But I still can’t complain!

Joe and Howard
My Site Coach Joe Atef (Left) and I During Set-Up

OK, so it was most likely food poisoning for my second lifting day this past Thursday, November 8, 2012, at the 2012 WPC World Powerlifting and Bench Press Championships. I am also compiling my ‘what not to do before Worlds’ list for posterity, which will come under a different posting. However, I did not bomb! In fact, walked away with the two silvers that I was most likely going to receive anyways because I am willing to admit that my biggest competitor was more beast than me… this year. My true inner beast didn’t show up until mid-way through bench which, by that time, my insides were staying in place.

Opening Squat
Clenching and Squating – Oh What Fun!

Thursday was raw teen, junior, women and masters raw full power and there were some fantastic lifters! I will cover some of that shortly as I have to moan about my horrific night, terrible squats, redemption bench, and meet PR deadlifts. Yep, ate something, we believe, that hit me wrong most likely at the buffet that we frequented on Wednesday just before going to a Cirque du Soleil show at which time the problem hit me. By the time we got back to the hotel I was suffering and leaking out of most orifices and worrying about what would happen when I squat! Would I hurl on the judge or would stuff come flying out the other direction! Not a way to build confidence! Especially when the meet was being fed live over the internet and a lot of people were watching! Of course, there was the fact that my parents were in the audience, they had never attended any of these competitions in the past, and I did not want to leave THAT image in their minds. Yep, my head was not in the game. The good news is that I had lined up the lowest entry squat I have ever done in a competition – 165kg (363.7lbs).

Warm-ups, not feeling good, between missing two of my bench attempts due to amateur mistakes on Tuesday and being completely dehydrated, I was acting like a little b…, well, you get the idea. Not as much fun to be around as I normally am… I think. But, that is besides the point, the good news is that by not forcing my air down too hard and clenching my butt like a maniac, everything stayed where it was supposed to during warm-up. My depth was great, but I was dizzy as heck, and lacking hip thrust!

Hit depth on my first attempt but hesitated on the way up. Good news – two white lights, so I was still in the game. But not feeling great, so only increased by 2.5 kg to 167.5kg, Joe Atef (my site coach) call, which was great – as it was still too heavy for me anyways. Missed depth by a fraction of an inch for the next two attempts as things were heating up (my stomach sounded like it was on a high boil, at least) and I was not able to drive – there was simply no gas (actually, there was, which was part of the issue).

FullPower Bench
Joe Lifting Off the Final Bench Attempt

I had a good breakfast, but the morning had gone by very fast and the fuel had not made it into my system. Went to lunch, re-loaded some more, had a pre-workout drink and suddenly felt very light, which scared the heck out of me, and my stomach was suddenly rock solid. Went into bench with an easy 145kg (319.5lbs) and it almost shot out of my hands when I brought it up! Decided to play it safe and went to 150kg and it shot up again. Joe and I decided to keep it back to 165kg (363.7lbs – the lift I blew on Tuesday), I think, and afterwards determined that I had plenty of juice. My mojo was back, I was feeling strong, and I had to make a decision on deadlifts.

FullPower Deadlift
Final Deadlift Attempt

Took a break, had a snack, changed into my deadlift shoes and went back down to see what was going on. Lucky I had as the meet was moving so fast that they were already into the flight before mine. Contacted Joe and started warming up. I felt great, the opener was my normal opener, life was good! Hit 190kg (418.7lbs) easy. In fact, hesitated on the way up because I felt it was coming up too fast. Jumped up to 200kg and nailed it. Then came the big decision – go for a meet PR of 212.5kg, which we knew was simple, or go for the original finishing goal of 227.5kg (501lbs) in order to break the 500lb barrier. Because I had missed four attempts across both days, Joe and I decided that it would be best to nail it and get the simple meet personal PR of 212.5kg. Because of the missed original lifts and the points between there was no catching up with Peter Szabo (Slovakia) for the gold as his lifts were rock solid both Tuesday and Thursday. No complaints – he was one heck of a great lifter and solid brother of iron!

Peter Szabo (Gold) and I (Silver) During Awards

Of course 212.5kg flew up without a struggle – for whatever reason I went into deadlifts having had problems the prior two weeks and ended up by doing three virtually textbook lifts.

Ended my part of the meet with two silvers for the USA. Overall, can’t complain! I’ve only been back in the iron game 18 months after 15 years and I was honored to represent our country.


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