Meet Report, 100% Raw Powerlifting Toronto Open

After yesterday's weight debacle, subsequent re-feeding and re-hydrating and going to bed a full 15 lbs heavier than my aborted attempt to weigh in at less than 220.46 lbs, I had a terrible night's sleep interrupted by some of the worst abdominal cramps I can remember.  It was bad enough that I actually thought that I might be having a heart attack if the pains weren't so low in my mid-section.  Anyways, after what seemed like a good 30 minutes of agony, I managed to fall back asleep for a about an hour until my alarm woke me at 0600 hrs.

A quick warm-up shoveling the driveway due to one of the few snowstorms we've had this year in the Greater Toronto Area was a nice wake-up.  Soon Vivian and I were driving the 60 or so kilometres to the contest venue at Variety Village in Scarborough.  The drive was slow due to the poor road conditions but we got there in plenty of time.  I actually felt pretty good considering what I had gone through trying to make a 19 lb weight cut.

Squat warmups were done and it was time to compete.  My opener was 192.5 kgs or 424 lbs.  It was fairly easy so I made my planned jump to 200 kgs for my second.  This was a bit harder but after reviewing video of my lift, realized I was still going a couple inches too deep.  I called for 205 kgs or 451 lbs for my third and decided I would try to cut it an inch or so higher.  That strategy worked well as I still had depth to spare and moved the 205 kgs smoother than my previous attempt.  I probably left 5 kgs on the platform but to be honest, my training leading up to the meet didn't project a 210kg/463 lb squat.
first attempt squat:  good lift with 192.5 kgs

second attempt squat:  good lift with 200 kgs

third attempt squat:  good lift with 205 kgs

Bench presses also went better than expected.  I don't know if it was due to lifting on a proper competition bench, getting a lift-off, having a surface that my shoes could grip for leg drive or all three but I nailed all three of my benches and my shoulder didn't hurt at all.  I went 130/135/140 kgs and again I think I left some weight on the platform, this time probably 2.5 kgs.

first attempt bench press: good lift with 130 kgs/286 lbs

second attempt bench press:  good lift with 135 kgs/297 lbs

third attempt bench press:  good lift with 140 kgs/308 lbs

Finally it was on to the deadlift.  Despite not making weight for the 100kg class, it turned out that I was more competitive in the 110kg class anyways.  I was behind at sub-total time but knew I had a bigger deadlift than the lifters ahead of me.  Whether it would be big enough to make up the difference would be the question but I wouldn't be in a position to answer than until I had successfully made attempts one and two.  My opening attempt was a comfortable 250 kgs/551 lbs.  I then made my now customary jump to 275 kgs/606 lbs.  This lift was slow and hard.  After two successful deadlifts, I was now in the lead but another lifter, Dan Gabcan had an attempt still to go that would put him in first.  All along I had planned on taking a shot at 282.5 kgs so even though it was more than I needed to win if Dan got his third, I committed to it because that's the number I had come to the meet to get.  It turns out Dan got his third, I thought he would as he had displayed abundant speed on his first and second attempts.

Unfortunately due to technical difficulties, I didn't get any video of my third attempt but I'll try to describe how it seemed to me:

First I had fellow competitor Martin Wong slap me in the head 3 or 4 times to drive me into a blind rage.  Once fully tunnel focused, I stormed onto the platform and started taking my hook grip.  Then I thought maybe I had forgotten to buckle my lever belt so I let go and checked my belt.  It was buckled.  I went back to the bar and set my hook grip, lowered my hips and started to pull.  And pull.  And pull.  And finally the bar broke free of the ground.  I got it moving to mid-shin and by then I knew it was going to go.  I kept pulling and could start to hear the crowd or the platform loaders/spotters yell encouragement. I think the yelling got louder as the bar rose higher to lockout but I can't be sure.  Finally I locked it out, got the down signal and three white lights.  Basically it was like the video of my second attempt except slower and with pre-lift slapping.

first attempt deadlift:  good attempt with 250 kgs/551 lbs

second attempt deadlift: good attempt with 275 kgs/606 lbs

After hitting that third deadlift of 282.5 kgs/622 lbs, I had vaulted back into first place.  It turns out I also ended up winning Best Overall Masters Male lifter as well.  Coincidentally, the only other time I've won a Masters Best Lifter Award was at another meet, the 2010 Ontario Powerlifting Association Niagara Open where I also pulled 282.5 kgs for the win.  In that meet I was still using the mixed grip and also wore a squat suit for extra support at the beginning of the lift so I consider this most recent success with 282.5 kgs to be an evolution rather than a return to form.

The last deadlift tore up my hand pretty good but it was worth it.

A group shot of all the Best Lifter award winners (male and female junior, open,and masters) plus meet promoter Barry McEvoy, judge Bobby Bonner and Hunter Claypatch of 100% Raw Powerlifting.  Wayne Claypatch of 100% Raw Powerlifting is the guy taking the photo.


  1. 9/9 Nice!!!!

    Wicked write up Craig - so sorry I couldn't make it, the conditions were too poor and I was guilted into attending a religious ceremony for my younger sister instead.

    Looks like you didn't need the support though - awesome job! And that squat, man another 10kg easy, you buried those.

    Too bad you don't have the DL video, nothing like a hardcore pull man.

    What's next? We are going to be switching to CPU meets soon, will you be doing the same?

    Anyways, congrats on the great lifts, great wilks, and exciting foray into the world of weight-cutting :)


  2. I'm planning on lifting in the classic division of the Toronto Super Show the first week of June. It's not listed on the OPA site yet but it'll be in conjunction with the Toronto Pro Super Show, last year it was like a mini-Arnold Classic. Very cool venue and surroundings.

    The OPA is also having a provincial Classic championships in November, I'll do that one too.


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