Worlds wrapup…where anything less then perfect is 4th place……

Worlds wrapup…where anything less then perfect is 4th place……

Oct 5, 2013

Well it is all over. My best total ever, 9 for 9 and done in a World meet. First let me thank Gina, Tammy, Greg, Curtis, Kathy and the rest of the U.S. teammates at the meet who helped me. Secondly I want to thank The GYM and TAN LINE, Titan Support Systems, IronAuthority, ATP Extreme, Rocktape and Oxygen Factor. Thanks, to my girlfriend, Lori for rearranging your life last minute in helping me. This combination of people and sponsors have helped me in and out of the gym become stronger and better. (BTW I only have 2 pics from meet and no video if I get more I will post)

How I got in

            For the second year in a row I got in as an alternate. Exact same things happened as last year. The results were the same in nationals and then the same in Worlds. Only difference was this was a different guy I lost the spot to.

  • I won my age division(40-44) and weight class in Masters Nationals
  • I was tied by the 45-49 winner who won the World team spot by being lighter in bodyweight. Both tying me on final dead.
  • I receive a phone call month before Worlds and accept spot.
  • Placed bronze overall by beating teammate whom tied me in nationals
  • Placed silver in bench

I received a phone call August 22 stating there was an opening for the team and was asked if I would accept. I at first was hesitant because of costs (I just got back 3 days earlier from bench nationals in Atlanta) then accepted. I had 36 days to the meet to train for it. The same thing happened last year I got a call a month out asking to be on the team and accepted (both times someone pulled out late). When I was training for bench nats (this year), in the back of my head this scenario stuck out. I don’t focus on my squat or dead when I train for bench nats ,why would I? I train them but at a mild weight, never above 315-365 raw (last year). This time I changed it up and went to 475 but with wraps no suit. I would do 405 raw for 2 sets raw to keep a feel for heavier weight on my back but not enough to wear down my shoulders for benching. I did dead but conventional and raw also going to 455. Result for bench nats was great.

When I did Worlds last year on short notice I focused on quantity. 5 squats and dead workouts each in a 34ish day window. Result? Fatigue in Worlds on the legs. This time I focused on Quality. I did only 4 workouts for each with one being the openers. Result? Personal best total. I was five lbs off, in each movement, my best personal best in a full meet. I credit this to the combo of one less workout for both movements and the previous offseason handling heavier weights (leg movements) for bench nats.

Motivation

Just the chance to compete in Worlds is motivation but add on top you will competing against a person who prevented you from the spot (granted they were stronger by a tie) then there should be NO excuses for lack of motivation. So I took a picture of an article and highlighted what would fuel me. I posted this on my phone (wallpaper) and on the wall where I squatted and deadlifted.

  mot

Game plan

                I knew I had no chance at top 2 but definitely 3rd. So my game plan was go into the dead lift with a bigger lead then in nationals against Mike. I read where he said he had to pull huge in nationals to win and it was tough for him. I figured if that was all he had then make it tougher for him in Worlds. I wanted to add 5.5 on my squat and bench each. Of course I am assuming he won’t be stronger then in nationals. I saw his openers and he was opening higher than in nationals and I was like” Not good.” He must definitely be stronger, I thought, so I said screw it deal with your numbers not his. That’s what I did.

Squat

                I knew I had to keep my back loose so I had Tammy rub Rocksauce on my lower and mid back before every movement which helped out a lot. Warm-ups went fine, or so I thought. I dropped my opener because my last warm-up looked tough and listening to my teammates I dropped it to 544 from 556. I have had an issue where going under the bar was like causing a pinch under my armpit causing me to do extra warm-up and grip the bar differently for a few sets for better comfort. However this was not an issue. Maybe putting Rocksauce (product from RockTape which is best warming lotion I have ever used) helped but I didn’t need to add any extra sets nor change the bar position.

I hit my opener which looked slow but that is my style which I know is preventing me probably from a 20lb or so higher squat. I jumped to 562 Gina looked me like” Are you sure?” (Which seemed to be a common look) I got that and in reality I thought it was high but she and Greg Page said it was right on. I then jumped to 578 which I hit but it was slow. I haven’t seen the video but I bet it looked exactly like 544 in speed.

End result 3 for 3.

578.

IMG_0075

Bench

                As I stated in my last article, Openers: I was worried about the bench. My shoulders were tired from bench nats and jumping right into heavy squats 3 days later with no gradual build up.

I changed my opener twice. Originally 556, then 551, then 539. Warm-ups were sluggish. I focused least effort but warming up thoroughly enough to avoid a shock from heavy weight and injury. I did 335 for a single raw then did 390 raw but with a RAM (Titan Support). My last warm-up was 520 to a 2 board and it felt slow.

First attempt felt ok. I was nervous not knowing how much was left in the shoulders and what damage the squat did. I hit it but got a red for my butt (probably because it’s big.)

2nd attempt I called for 556. Gina hit me with that look again. I knew I had to loosen arch slightly but round the shoulders more. I went out there and the weight felt actually heavier than the 578 I did in nats. I got it. It was slow but good. Gina I believe suggested 563 because it was slow and I countered with 567. She probably was pessimistic but deservingly so.

3rd attempt I kept picturing in my head. I was motivated and I heard Mike missed his third so I knew I had to get this to build a bigger lead. Round the shoulders and squeeze the bar. The weight felt heavy and I was happy it wasn’t a long delay for the start command. I didn’t want the negativity to build as I held it. Brought it down and felt perfect. I pressed it up and knew it was going to be a fight. For some reason I tilted towards the top where it probably looked unlocked but it was a tilt-both elbows were locked. I shot up looked and BOOM 2 whites!!!! I was happy.

In nationals I had a 44 kgs lead over Mike this time 55 kg. Plan was going perfect but the meet wasn’t over. 520 kg to 465kg.

End Result 3 for 3.

567

 

IMG_0223

Deadlift

                Well for the second year in a row it came down to the dead. My back hurts every full meet after I bench. It has a huge impact on my dead. If I just deadlifted I would pull probably 15-20 lbs more. I had Greg help me stretch my back in between attempts.

I opened safely with 473. My back felt strained but it has felt worse. Went to 501 and that went fine. This third attempt I knew was a numbers game with Mike. In nats I pulled 524 for 3rd attempt this time I was confident I could pull more. I initially said 534 but Tammy and Greg thought 529 was better and safer. I agreed.

I approached it not thinking I was going to miss .Initial start was slow and there was a slight shaking in my legs BUT once it got below the knees the shakes stopped and my transition was fluid. I knew it was good and it was!!! I am now in 3rd!!! Strange thing about this situation is I have for the last 3 full meets pulled my 3rd successfully yet in 2 of the meets I loss to a tie afterwards because they followed me up with a heavier 3rd attempt. So I am apprehensively excited. I typically don’t watch attempts of others in my flight but I found myself drawn to the screen. Mike ripped up his attempt of 650 and I thought he was gonna squeeze it out but above his knees it was just too much this day. I was no longer apprehensive.

End result 3 for 3

529

What did I learn?

I learned I need a REAL deadlift. If I can fix whatever is wrong from benching beforehand(killing my lower back) and get back in the 580 range I wouldn’t have to lose my Team spot by being heavier or wait to see what other guy  finishes with.

Post Meet

Being on the platform was awesome. It is a privilege to represent our country. I worked hard to make the top 3.Last year’s Worlds I went 8 for 9 and this year 9 for 9. This performance which duplicated last years, as in a bronze overall and silver in the bench, had me feel more satisfied. I remember walking out, when it was over, and feeling happier than last year. I had to be perfect to take third and I was. One miss and chances are I was in fourth. I deserved the spot. Every third attempt was pretty much it before I would have started seeing reds.

Retrospect

What I enjoyed:

  • Watching the Special Olympics. The drive and determination was great to watch. Seeing these kids have fun makes you forget they are different. A constant smile regardless of what color the lights were brings you back to why we are here- because we love it.
  • Seeing France and other countries sing their national anthem when it was played was something proud to be a part of even if it wasn’t our national anthem. Camaraderie is so underrated.
  • Seeing fellow teammates who supported each other in the back even though they didn’t know your name in the beginning.

I plan on representing again next year but not by a phone call but hopefully winning the spot outright.

Focus First.

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