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Meet Report

Steve Freides

New member
I went to the WNPF National Meet on Sunday, July 8. It's part of a "tournament" which means other meets being held in other locations and the same or near dates all count, so I don't know if I won my age/weight/division, but here's what I do know so far:

1. The meet was very well run by helpful, cheerful people who knew what they were doing. It went along quite smoothly and I thought the judging was fair and consistent.

2. There is great benefit to showing up - it turns out that no one had ever set the National records in the WNPF in my age/weight/division of M55-59, 148 lbs., raw. So every lift I made was a new national WNPF record - whee!

3. I weighted in at 148 even, and my lifts were about what I expected, and certainly nothing to write home about but, since I've only been back at PL training for 3 months, I'm not going to complain, either. I went, in pounds, 205, 175, 315 for SQ, BP, and DL, and went 8 for 9 - I tried 190 in the BP and didn't get it. I had to fight for my third squat but I did, and every lift I made got 3 white lights. I've bench pressed very little in my life and still don't know how to fight it out with a heavy bench press, but I'll get there.

I also didn't train my DL at all, and 315 is fine for me and I probably had a bit more in me. No belt or any other supportive gear for me, of course, and I even did my first two deadlifts with an overhand grip before switching to over/under for my third.

After having recently attended at Marty Gallagher workshop with Kirk Karwoski, I've decided to work on my barbell front squat for a while - it's a lift I feel will benefit my overall strength a great deal, and once my FSQ gets to a certain point, I know it will not only benefit my regular SQ but my DL as well.

One point that comes up time and again is people asking me how I feel about getting records with such low numbers and against no competition - my answer is the same as it's always been: I trained, I showed up, and I competed on someone else's clock. If you want to stay at your high school weight into your late 50's, come to a PL meet, and lift more weight than I can, I will be the first one to applaud you but, until then, I'm delighted with my trophy from the meet and what I hope, after another week, will be national championships in my age/weight/division.

NB: It is interesting to go through life with abs and a grip that are stronger than my legs, arms and shoulders. Interesting and, in my own humble opinion, very, very good. I don't get hurt when I lift because I can't squat, bench, or pull as much as I can hold in my hands and support with my abs. While it may not be the profile of an all-out competitor, I'm very happy with it.

If you haven't competed at weight lifting in some form, I encourage you to do so. You'll find everyone from kids to grandparents, every body type imaginable, and everyone else knows what you've been through to get there and treats you with the honor and respect you deserve for putting in the training and showing up at the meet.

Onward and upward, Comrades.
 
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StrongBear

New member
Winning is showing up and doing better than everyone in your class/division. If no one shows up, that is their problem, not yours!

Great lifting at a great age and a great weight!
 

DLS

New member
...
If you haven't competed at weight lifting in some form, I encourage you to do so. You'll find everyone from kids to grandparents, every body type imaginable, and everyone else knows what you've been through to get there and treats you with the honor and respect you deserve for putting in the training and showing up at the meet...

Great job stepping up and competing Steve! I can make the exact same statement but apply it to a different venue!

Since last December I've been doing CC and ETK and have made great strides in rehabbing old injuries that have left me on the sidelines for years.

Noting my improvement, my youngest son pressured me (and succeeded) to enter the local "All-Comers" track meets that he participates in. So for the last 6 weeks I've been throwing the discus, shot and javelin with him. What a blast to be active again, and doing something alongside my son! That, and I've set PR's and won my age bracket (masters 50-59) two meets in a row in both the discus and shot!

At the last meet the youngest competitor was a 4 yr-old girl who ran the 100m, 200m and did the long jump. The oldest was a 74 yr-old lady who threw the discus and shot! All types ... all ages ... all levels of ability ... all having a blast!

So like Steve ... I recommend finding a place to compete, it will make all the hard work you do in training all the more meaningful.
 

smathews

New member
Congratulations on a good meet. I competed in two meets in June: a push/pull meet on June 2, and a GS meet on June 30. Both were great experiences. I won my powerlifting meet by default, since I was the only one in my weight class competing as a novice (it was my first meet). I won the GS meet by a coefficient (equivalent of "best lifter"). Both meets were populated by great people, and I learned a lot about lifting, competing, and living well. I don't think you can call yourself an athlete if all you do is train in your gym, on your time, by your standards. At some point, you have to step up to the platform and submit yourself to the scrutiny of your peers.

By the way, my wife has lost over 50 pounds in the last year and a half. Part of her motivation is running 5k's. She has never won (women in their 40's flock to these things- she's part of the largest field of competitors in every race), but she keeps her bibs and t-shirts, and it keeps her motivated to show up and work. Shaving a little time off each race is as good as a medal to her. Without the motivation of competitions, she would just be jogging, and I'd just be lifting in my basement.
 

Steve Freides

New member
By the way, my wife has lost over 50 pounds in the last year and a half. Part of her motivation is running 5k's. She has never won (women in their 40's flock to these things- she's part of the largest field of competitors in every race), but she keeps her bibs and t-shirts, and it keeps her motivated to show up and work. Shaving a little time off each race is as good as a medal to her. Without the motivation of competitions, she would just be jogging, and I'd just be lifting in my basement.
Thank you for the kinds words, and congratulations to both you and your wife.

I ran a lot of 5k's in my day, from roughly my late 20's to my late 40's, and the competition in the forty-something age group is truly amazing. I remember setting a lifetime PR at a local race at age 45, something I was very proud of, and I figured that in a field of only 300 runners, I'd probably placed in the top 3 in the M40-49 category - turns out I was 9th - ugh!
 

smathews

New member
Thank you for the kinds words, and congratulations to both you and your wife.

I ran a lot of 5k's in my day, from roughly my late 20's to my late 40's, and the competition in the forty-something age group is truly amazing. I remember setting a lifetime PR at a local race at age 45, something I was very proud of, and I figured that in a field of only 300 runners, I'd probably placed in the top 3 in the M40-49 category - turns out I was 9th - ugh!

Thanks, Steve. Can I ask for one more detail about the meet? Can you give us your openers and second lifts? I'm interested to see how more experienced competitors pace themselves. In my push/pull meet, my opener was the only bench press I made.
 

Steve Freides

New member
Thanks, Steve. Can I ask for one more detail about the meet? Can you give us your openers and second lifts? I'm interested to see how more experienced competitors pace themselves. In my push/pull meet, my opener was the only bench press I made.

I follow a simple logic about picking openers - your opener should be a weight you've tripled in the gym. That's exactly what I did. It turned out, for whatever reasons, that my strength at the meet was almost exactly equal to what I'd recently done at home. My heaviest SQ at home was 205, and I went 175, 195, 205 and got all three, the third rep being a struggle in the meet as it was at home. This was as expected as I'm new to squatting seriously, and I'm also focusing mostly on my front SQ in training, switching to a high-bar back squat relatively close to meet.

At home, my recent bench max was 185, a weight I'd failed on a few weeks ago but got about a week before the meet. I was a pig and went for 190 at the meet and didn't get it. My first two attempts were 155 and 175.

As I mentioned in my meet report posting, I haven't trained my DL, but a week or two ago at home, I worked up to a 315 single by going 275, 300, 315, so in the meet I warmed up to 275, then made my three attempts 285, 305 and 315. I this case I could have gone a few pounds heavier and still gotten it, and I also could have chosen to train my DL but decided to focus on other things.

The way it's always been explained to me is that you pick a weight you've tripled or at least doubled at home for your opener, then if you're feeling good you go for a new PR by a small margin for your second and, if you get it, you decide then and there what you're going to do for a third. And, of course, if you're competitive with other lifters, then you have to do the math and decide what you need to win - I don't have that concern.

Hope that helps - there are certainly _way_ more experienced folks than me at this. Given that I hadn't been to a meet in some time, I decided to just do what I knew I could do, and that turns out to have been a good choice for me. I'm sure I would have gotten 185 in the bench had I elected to do that.
 
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