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I had a great opportunity this past weekend to compete for the 5th straight year in the TSI/Metabolic Technologies Empire Classic Pro Deadlift in Spokane, WA. The Empire Classic is a great NPC event with a large wild crowd at the Northern Quest Casino. The weekend centers around the bodybuilding, fitness, and figure show, but there are a lot of other events going on during the day. There is an outdoor Fitness Expo held on Saturday. The expo incorporates CrossFit, Powerlifting and Strongman events. The Pro Deadlift event is always held on Saturday night during the bodybuilding show. This year the event featured Grant Higa, Vasil Goutchterov, Lane Bos, Ben Rice and myself. We all warmed up together in the back of the venue near TSI/Metabolic Technologies booth. When it was time to take the stage we were introduced to a loud packed crowd by the forever animated meet announcer Gino Biancheri. Gino has a great presence as an announcer, and really gets the crowd going.
The 5th place finisher was local lifter Lane Bos. He had a great pull at a new PR but strained his hamstring or glute near the top of his pull and could not quite finish the lift. Ben Rice finished 4th place. He is a young lifter that has been pulling some big deadlifts, but was a last minute invite and did not get a chance to peak for the meet. The 3rd place finisher was Grant Higa. Grant has been involved in strength sports for a long time and is a real crowd favorite. Unfortunately, his second attempt with 727 lbs. was misloaded to 771 lbs. This hurt his chances for a 750 + pull. The runner up was 237 lb. Vasil Goutchterov. Vasil is formerly from Bulgaria and currently living in Florida. At 39 he is really coming into his peak lifting years. He pulled an easy 749 lbs. and was close with 771 lbs. I was fortunate to defend my title for the 5th straight year. I pulled 755 lbs. on my second and had a fairly easy pull with 782 lbs. on my third attempt.
My last year of training has been a real struggle coming back from my blood clot and subsequent blood thinning medicine. In September, when I was able to stop taking medicine, my legs had gotten so weak that I could not pull 462 lbs. I had to set it down at the knees. I have come a long way since September. The Empire Classic was a real step forward for me. I hope to be back over 800 lbs. by my next meet!
Train smart, stay healthy, set your goals high, and make sure to add GNC Pro Performance HMB to your supplement list.