Powerlifting nostalgia

When I started my powerlifting return--I originally wrote 'comeback' but it's not really a comeback if you never got anywhere the first time--in 2008, I lifted in USAPL meets in Ohio.  I chose those meets for a couple of reasons.  One, I was familiar with the USAPL or at least its earlier version the ADFPA. Two, they had started offering a "raw" division.  Since I wanted to know where I stood relative to my competition, the drug-tested USAPL's "raw" category seemed the most appropriate.  It was at that time that I scanned the USAPL's lifter database to find out who the other lifters in my age and weight class were.  One name I remember reading was Phillip Wylie.  In the three years since, Mr. Wylie has gotten stronger and stronger to the point where he is a top open class competitor and a top master (40-49) lifter, finishing 5th in the open 110kg class and 1st in the (45-49) age division at the recent 2011 USAPL Raw Nationals.  And lest anyone think this was another 'national' meet in name only, think again.  The 2011 USAPL Raw Nationals had over 300 competitors, 18 alone in the men's open 110kg class.  Mr. Wylie truly distinguished himself amongst the best in the country.  5th place with a 705kg raw total!  A total like that would place top 5 (maybe even top 3) in the geared CPU Nationals.

So why am I writing about Phillip Wylie?  Because I follow his powerlifting blogs (and also here) and after reading his post about why he started powerlifting, I started reminiscing about some of my early meets.  I rummaged through some old photographs and found a couple.
1989 ADFPA California State, 90 kg class

1989 USPF East Beach Open, 100 kg class

I managed to find an copy of my meet results from the 1989 ADFPA California State championships and I squatted 207.5 kg, benched 122.5 kg, and deadlifted 260 kgs.  I used a Marathon super suit and Marathon goldline wraps.  I used an Inzer Blast shirt in the bench and deadlifted raw (belt only).  At that time I had been 'powerlifting' for about two years.  I finished 5th out of 7 or 8 competitors.  I remember that meet taking place the weekend after my last final exam on my last class at UCLA.  I had to cut some weight so I remember taking my final exam while in the midst of a 24 hr fast.  As soon as I turned in my test, I went straight to my car, put on an extra track suit and drove 5 hrs north with the heater on in an effort to sweat out the remaining pounds.  Back in those days, you could weigh in the night before so once I weighed in, I met my buddies who were already there and we had our traditional post-weigh-in gorge-fest at a local Denny's.  I went 5 for 9 in that meet so, in hindsight, cramming for the test pulling an all-nighter and then cutting 8 lbs wasn't the ideal pre-meet prep.

The second picture was from a USPF meet that was held on the beach in Santa Barbara.  That meet was in probably the best location I've ever experienced.  I used to lift in the USPF meets at Venice Beach and they were nice but the platform didn't face the beach and Santa Barbara is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  I remember that meet for a couple of reasons.  One, I got picked for drug testing ( I passed, why a lifter with a 1300-1400lb total got picked was a mystery) and two, the best lifter at the meet was a lifter named Mike Porretta.  He was a total beast and had won his weight class at the USPF Senior Nationals the year before.  He did something like 800/500/800 as a 110 kg lifter.  Back in those days, a 2100 lb total was epic.  There was gear but the carryover was nothing like what we get today.

old-timers will recognize this
Those old Marathon super suits were not much heavier than a singlet and blew out with regularity.  I didn't remember training in a squat suit for more than a month before a meet and even then, you wouldn't use your competition suit in training because they stretched out or blew out so fast.  The blast shirt was a joke too.  Harder to put on than today's shirts but with none of the carryover.  If I got 10 kg out of my shirt, that was being generous.

Being nostalgic is fun, at least I'm still stronger than I was in those early years of my powerlifting competitive 'career'.

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