Another year passed, another Arnold Classic down. Since USA Powerlifting has taken over powerlifting at the Arnold Classic, I have competed six times ranging from the full raw meet, the full-equipped meet and four times in the pro deadlift. The deadlift only event is probably my favorite as we’re on the main expo stage with the biggest crowd I lift in front of all year.
My training leading up to this event had a lot more downs than ups and there were a few weeks I didn’t think I was going to be able to compete. Luckily the little injuries I was having healed up and I was able to get about eight good weeks of heavy lifting in. As training improved and the weeks went by, I started thinking of only one number I really wanted to hit, 903 pounds. Now training was going good, but I really had no way to gauge if I was on pace for this or not. In training I don’t ever get near my meet maxes, actually hitting a gym PR of 825 pounds about three weeks out. In my mind it was already set though, I wanted that number and I was going after it.
My first two attempts are usually set in stone come meet time and I leave the third one dependent on the first two. This was a little different as I knew I was going to call for 782, 837, and 903 pounds.
The first two lifts felt really good, with speed throughout the entire lift. Going into third attempts I was tied for the heaviest pull but was in second due to being the heavier lifter. I went ahead and put my 903 in and patiently waited. The lifter I was tied with, Krzysztof Wierzbicki, hit his third attempt at 870 pounds. Now I could have lowered my third attempt at this point and went for the win, but I was after the number. Only one other person in our organization has gone over 900 and this was the place to take the chance and try. Coming out my intensity was pretty high, as the crowd had gotten a lot bigger. I grabbed the bar and took my shot. The weight came off the ground super fast but I think I got just a little forward with it as my legs started to shake and my knees shot back, locking out and causing me to drop the bar. Looking back at this I would have taken the same chance of getting the 903 instead of going for the win. I have won many titles before but was after something very few have done before.
It’s always a pleasure, regardless of placing, lifting at the Arnold because I get the chance to lift or hang out with fellow Team HMB members Bryan Dermody and Big Brad Gillingham. Brad is someone I’m trying to copy as he’s considered one of the best deadlifters ever. Brad was a little banged up this year and didn’t get a chance to compete but was involved a lot with helping Bryan and myself, always a class act.
My schedule for the remainder of the year is a little up in the air. I’m planning on training raw for a while and dropping the weight off so I can get back in the 264 pound class. I’m hoping by continuing my HMB along with the BetaTOR and PEAK ATP combination, my strength will hold or even go up while dropping my weight. I’m also planning the second meet I’m hosting this year here in St. Louis, the USA Powerlifting Missouri State Open. I’m really enjoying giving back to lifters here in Missouri by putting on quality meets.
Make sure to look out for future training videos and blogs, until then, continue to lift hard and smart which means adding not only HMB to your supplement list, but BetaTOR and PEAK ATP. You’ll be glad you did.