2014 UTM open powerlifting meet report

The Ontario Powerlifting Association's UTM Open powerlifting meet was a highlight not because of where it fell on my training calendar but because it's the one meet where everyone on the Toronto Rex Powerlifting Team can compete at the same time.  We had four team members lifting today and the one member that couldn't lift due to injury was there coaching everyone else.

Since Nationals in April, I've been focusing my training on bringing up my perceived weak points, namely increasing muscle mass, especially in the quadriceps, widening my bench press grip, and building more hamstring strength.  This meet was a good reference point to see where my competitive lifts are in this particular training emphasis.

All in all, my evaluation ranged from "pleasantly surprised", "met expectations", and "needs improvement".  My squats went far better than I expected.  One factor was my higher bodyweight.  While I originally wanted to lose weight after Nationals in order to build back up, I've actually gained about 8 lbs.  At Nationals I weighed in at 104 kgs after cutting some weight but normally walked around at about 107 kgs.  Today, I weighed in at 111.7 kgs after walking around at basically 111.7 kgs.  I didn't cut any weight for this meet and actually drank an extra large coffee and ate a Quest bar prior to weighing in.

In addition to weighing more and not lifting under the added stress of a minimal weight cut, I also had spent time since April on strengthening my quads and hamstrings.  What squatting I did, I did at work weights of 365 lbs--I did one set of 375x5 but the rest of my work was with 365 or 315.  Based on the work I had done, I did not expect to set a new lifetime PR in the squat but that's what happened.  My first attempt with 200 kgs and my second attempt with 212.5 kgs were both easy.  I had originally thought I was good for 220 kgs today but as easy as the 212.5 kg lift was, I decided to shoot for a small PR of 225 kgs.  I missed that lift pretty decisively at Nationals in April so I expected it would be a grind if I got it today.  Instead, it went up with no grind.  It's always nice to hit a new PR but to hit one so unexpectedly easily was a very, very nice surprise.  Needless to say, I'll continue what I was doing since it seems to be working.

200 kg first attempt

212.5 kg second attempt

225 kg third attempt, new lifetime PR

Bench presses went about as expected.  I hit 152.5 kgs on my second attempt, a weight I had missed at Nationals and tried for a new lifetime PR of 157.5 kgs on my third.  I missed this lift but I'm pretty confident I'll hit this and more at Provincials in November.  The new bench press groove with a wider grip is working very well and I just need more training time with it.

145 kg first attempt

152.5 kg second attempt

157.5 kg third attempt, no good

Deadlifts were the one lift I didn't have much optimism.  My back hasn't felt great since Nationals and I've been spending time with lower weights to build up work capacity.  Unlike my squats, I need to pull heavy singles to really train my competition deadlift since my weak point in the lift is from the floor.  Lighter weights that I can move quickly don't seem to carryover to the start needed to break big weights from the floor.  My warmup rep with 190 kgs went up exceptionally fast but my opening attempt with 250 kgs was slow.  My second attempt with 275 kgs barely broke off the floor but when it finally did, I was able to finish the lift without much problem.  I needed to make 280 kgs to win Best Lifter but my back just didn't have the guts to break the bar from the floor.  Seeing as how I lifted 280 kgs fairly smoothly at Nationals, today's failure was definitely a reflection on my recent training emphasis.  No big issue, I just need to make sure I train properly if I want to be able to pull a big 3rd attempt deadlift at Provincials in November.

250 kg first attempt

275 kg second attempt

280 kg third attempt, no good

So I totalled 652.5 kgs and my Wilks coefficient was 382.24.  Even though it was a meet I didn't specifically train for, it was still my 3rd best raw Wilks score.  Plus I hit one lifetime PR so I can take a lot of positives from this meet.

On the plus, plus side, Team Toronto Rex won the Best Team Trophy for the second year in a row and Trish Boyle won Best Female Lifter (for the second year in a row).  It was great fun lifting with my teammates.

a pic of me and my first car for no reason

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