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I traveled to the 2015 Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio this past weekend. This marked the 14th straight year that I have made the journey to Columbus. On Friday I went right to work coaching as Jackals Gym members Luke Klein and Nick Tylutki were lifting in the USAPL Starting Strength Pro RAW Challenge. Both lifters did very well as Nick won the overall Title and Luke hit a couple PRs including his first 700+ deadlift. On Saturday morning I hung out for a while at the Team HMB Booth and caught up with Bryan Dermody and Iceland Deadlift Competitor Audunn Jonsson. After lunch I was asked to be Head Judge for the Arnold Strongman Tire Deadlift. The side judges were 2002 Arnold Strongman Champion/WWE Superstar Mark Henry, and Worlds Strongest Woman Jill Mills. This was one of the real highlights of the weekend.
On Sunday I was fortunate to compete in the BetaTOR and PEAK ATP International Pro Deadlift with fellow Team HMB members Bryan Dermody and Nick Weite. This is the eighth straight year the USAPL has run this prestigious competition on the main stage of the Arnold Expo Hall. Unfortunately, Bryan and I both came in less than 100%. Bryan was hurting from a recent fluke back injury in training, and I’m continuing to recover from a blood clot suffered in 2014. Bryan showed his competitive nature by staying in the contest, despite the injury, and pulling over 700 lbs. I am sure Bryan will make another run at 800 lbs. at the Empire Classic in May. I was very happy to go 3/3 and pull 755 lbs. Although this was not close to putting me in the money, I have come a long way with my recovery. Nick Weite really stole the show at the end of the meet, to the eruption of the large crowd, by pulling (859 lbs.) to edge out Ian Bell (854 lbs.) for the Championship. Congratulations Nick!! The women’s division was equally exciting. Kimberly Walford vaporized a 562 lb. pull, Alyssa Hitchcock pulled an amazing 534 lbs. and Sonia Manaena pulled over 500 lbs.
Following the Arnold I do not have much down time. I will be competing in the Empire Classic Pro Deadlift presented by TSI and Metabolic Technologies in Spokane, WA in May. This is always a great competition in front of a wild crowd!! I am hopeful that I can get over the 800 lb. mark again and continue to make a full recovery.
Train smart, stay healthy, set your goals high, and make sure to add GNC Pro Performance HMB to your supplement list.