Meet Report: Deadweight Strength Open

At the beginning of this year, I set two goals for myself and my body:

  1. Get my WNBF pro card… check
  2. Get my elite total for powerlifting

And I was quickly running out of days in 2016.
My home powerlifting gym, Deadweight Strength, hosted this meet, so obviously it was the perfect choice.

 

I’ll keep this one short, seeing as I’ve already bragged all about this on Facebook and Instagram. Following my awful experience with cutting weight, I actually had pretty dang good meet: being only my third ever, I managed get my elite total and managed to overshoot it by an extra 40 pounds- getting me within reach of my international elite total- the highest level you can reach in a weight class.

This information can be found via a spreadsheet- it’s absolutely massive, so I’ve pared it down to the most relevant information.

uspa-selection

 

I competed in the 1232 weight class, in the raw division, meaning I use no equipment beyond the “standard” lifting belt, knee sleeves, and wrist wraps. The other categories, in which I do not compete, but left on the chart selection, are “classic raw,” which allows knee wraps, an assistive piece of equipment in the squat, “single ply,” which allows knee wraps but also includes a special, supportive, assistive suit for squatting, a similar shirt for benching, and a similarly stiff, supportive suit for deadlifting, and “multi-ply,” which is the same as single-ply, only the assistive suits and shirts are, well, more layers of material, and therefore offer more support in the lift, meaning you can put up absolutely astronomical numbers. The last two are considered “geared lifting,” which does not refer to steroids, (sometimes called “gear”) but rather the assistive outfits used.

 

Again, I keep it raw, to minimize fucking around- the equipment used in raw lifting is more safety related than assistance related. A belt keeps your spine safe by allowing you to use air to press against it and keep your spine locked into place, knee sleeves are not assistive, but rather keep your patella from tracking off to the side and keep your joints warm, and wrist wraps help with wrist stability so you don’t drop the bar on your face.

 

Your meet total, those numbers in the boxes on the spreadsheet, is dictated by your three lifts. In order to put up a total, you must have at least one successful (according to the judges) lift in each lift. You get three attempts on each, and the biggest successful lift on each is the one that goes towards your total. I was aiming for squat+bench+deadlift= >704 for elite, whereas a squat+bench+deadlift= 767 would have gotten me international elite. Further down on the spreadsheet, each lift is broken down as well, into the same categories, so you can tell if you have a lagging lift or a really strong lift, as well, so you know what to work on in order to bring up your total going forward.

What does any of this mean? Not a goddamn thing. It’s pretty satisfying, though. You have a be really freaking strong to hit those elite and international elite numbers- it’s only a small percentage of lifters who get into those ranges. Some meets, larger ones like national competitions, will require you to have put up at a minimum level total, some say Class II, some Master, but I’ve not yet come across one that requires one of the top two levels. It’s just bragging rights at that point- you know and everyone else knows you’re hella strong.

This meet was very small, having been split into two days, with the ladies and lightweight men lifting on Saturday and the larger men on Sunday, so there were only three flights (groups) of lifters. This would mean a fast meet- and quick turnaround between lifts. I was really happy to see my coach walk in as I was getting warmed up to start warming up for squats, as he wasn’t supposed to come until later, and he helped me fix a few tiny things that made a big difference in my squat. My opener at 248 flew up like nothing- that was neat, because it was my third attempt, and a grinder, at my March meet. I don’t actually know what my second attempt was, because I don’t choose my attempts, my coach does based on the bar speed on the previous lift. It went up quickly too, though, and my third attempt wasn’t too shabby either. I didn’t know until quite a bit later that my third attempt was a whopping 275 pounds- surpassing the international elite requirement of 269, and giving me a 25 pound lifetime PR and a 27 pound meet PR.

Third attempt #squats: 125kg (275.5lbs) at 56kg body weight for almost 2.25x body weight and a 25 pound lifetime PR: ⚪️⚪️🔴, lift is good!!! This is a good start to the day, #EliteTotalOrGTFO ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ #SquatRackShenanigans @nutrimartusa #nutrimartusa #teamnutrimart #powerlifter #uspa #notstrongforagirljuststrong #powerbuilder #girlswhopowerlift #liftheavy #powerlifting #girlswithmuscle #girlswholiftheavy #ladieslifthere #chicksthatlift #rbodybuilding #xxfitness #sandiego_fitness #iifymwomen #wnbfpro #figurepro #naturalbodybuilding #wnbf #figurecompetitor #liftlikeagirl#thisisfemalepowerlifting @girlswhopowerlift @girlswholiftheavy @thisisfemalepowerlifting @deadweightstrength @uspapower

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Bench press is very clearly my weakest lift, even though it has improved dramatically this year. Shoutout to great programming having me bench 3 days a week leading up to this meet- that made a world of difference. I opened with 132 pounds, again, my third attempt at my March meet, and it went up nicely. Coach set my second attempt at 143 pounds and it was slooooooow but three white lights (all judges considered it a successful lift.) My third attempt at just 149 pounds… yeah it just sat on my chest until the front judge told the spotters to take it. So that was embarrassing. Still, a teeny tiny 8 pound PR, but a most disappointing Class I ranking on that bench press- I’d have had to pressed 150 to make it to Master, which I really thought I had in me. Biggest disappointment of the day, right there.

I failed my third #benchpress attempt miserably- it didn't even make it off my chest- and my second attempt was a real grinder. 65kg/143lbs ⚪️⚪️⚪️ for an 8 pound lifetime PR and an 11 pound meet PR. My opener was a 3 pound increase from my third attempt at my March meet- PR city at @deadweightstrength today! ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ #SquatRackShenanigans @nutrimartusa #nutrimartusa #teamnutrimart #powerlifter #uspa #notstrongforagirljuststrong #powerbuilder #girlswhopowerlift #liftheavy #powerlifting #girlswithmuscle #girlswholiftheavy #ladieslifthere #chicksthatlift #rbodybuilding #xxfitness #sandiego_fitness #iifymwomen #wnbfpro #figurepro #naturalbodybuilding #wnbf #figurecompetitor #liftlikeagirl#thisisfemalepowerlifting @girlswhopowerlift @girlswhopowerlift @thisisfemalepowerlifting #girlswhobench #whyiarch #youregonnahurtyourback

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Of course, we all now that I only compete in powerlifting to do the deadlift portion. I wait all day for this to come around. Before I started warming up, my coach pulled me aside and we looked at my numbers- I only needed a 286 pounds deadlift to hit my elite total, which I could do in my sleep. Originally, we had set my opener at 295, but I agreed that we could go bigger- I felt confident that I could rip 305 off the floor without so much as a hint of struggle, so we changed my spreadsheet. Boom, that would be elite and then some. From there we had to make some decisions- would I be gunning for that international elite? Due to my disappointing bench, it would be difficult, but my coach is a great cheerleader and convinced me to give it a go. He set my second attempt at 325 for a small 10 pound PR, which surpassed the international elite number of 318 on deadlift, and then my third attempt at a MASSIVE jump to 352 pounds, which would just barely clear that 767 total if I made it. Alternatively, I could have gone with a smaller jump that would have been a higher chance of a successful pull, and gone for a higher total overall, but we went full YOLO. Having already gotten that elite and PRed every lift, fuck it.

As expected, first and second attempt were easy peasy, but that third attempt… if didn’t even look like I was trying. I swear I pulled until my pec cramped, but it didn’t even think about budging from it’s position on that floor. Could I have pulled 330 or 340? Very likely. Am I mad about going so high on that third attempt? Not even a little. Honestly, if I had chosen a lighter third attempt and gotten it, I’d have left wondering if I could have gotten the elite total. This way, I know- I just wasn’t there.

Aaaaand FAIL video. Third attempt on deads, coach @burdenathletics and I made the decision to go all in and make an absolutely massive jump to 160kg/352 lbs to get my international elite total today. I pulled until my pec cramped 🔴🔴🔴 Could I have ended with a higher total today by making a smaller increase? Yes, probably. But I PRed every lift today, PRed my total, and earned my #elitetotal in the 56kg weight class. It was worth the try for me to see if I just had that next level in me, and I have no regrets on that attempt selection. ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ #SquatRackShenanigans @nutrimartusa #nutrimartusa #teamnutrimart #powerlifter #uspa #notstrongforagirljuststrong #powerbuilder #girlswhopowerlift #liftheavy #powerlifting #girlswithmuscle #girlswholiftheavy #ladieslifthere #chicksthatlift #rbodybuilding #xxfitness #sandiego_fitness #iifymwomen #wnbfpro #figurepro #naturalbodybuilding #wnbf #figurecompetitor #liftlikeagirl#thisisfemalepowerlifting @girlswhopowerlift @girlswholiftheavy @thisisfemalepowerlifting @uspapower @deadweightstrength

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YET.

International elite level lifts on two out of three doesn’t make for a bad day at all. I won my weight class, got my elite ranking and added 50 pounds to my meet total, made a couple of new friends, and probably (still waiting on the final results…) broke top 15 in the nation in my weight class (after my March meet I was ranked #19 for both meet total and deadlift). I celebrated afterwards with my husband with a few beers and a delicious turkey burger. That bench… eesh, that needs serious work, and I’m more motivated than ever to get it fixed up to match my other lifts more closely. With a better bench, I KNOW I can hit international elite next year.

Nutriment squad!
Nutrimart squad!

I won’t be doing any more meets this year, though- just one for me this time around.

It’s time to start looking forward to my WNBF pro debut, now…

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