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2017 USA Powerlifting RAW Nationals | Brad Gillingham

Last week I competed in the USA Powerlifting RAW Nationals in Orlando, Florida. The meet was held in the Hyatt Regency Convention Center located in the Orlando International Airport.  For those that have not been to the Orlando Airport; the hotel is located right in the airport.  The Convention Center is one escalator flight up from the main gate security area.  This made for a unique lifting environment. Once again, in 2017, the meet was huge.  There were approximately 1200 lifters competing over six days on three platforms. 

It has been a goal of mine the past couple years to get back to competing in the USA Powerlifting Nationals. Most of my training cycle progressed very well until I strained a hamstring deadlifting 4 weeks out.  I tried to train around the injury the best that I could, but missed a couple critical weeks of training.   Unfortunately, I had to lift in a very controlled manner to keep from re-injuring my leg.  My squat felt pretty good with my second attempt at 600 lbs., but I got turned down 2-1 on a conservative third attempt with 622 lbs.  I’m disappointed with myself in the bench.  I didn’t have a lot of speed during my warmups so I lowered my attempts. My third attempt with 457 lbs., which was way too conservative.  I would like to get back over 500 lbs. in 2018.  I was pretty happy with my deadlift. I kept my first two attempts were light, and then I pulled a Masters 2 (50+) American Record of 716 lbs. on my third attempt. This placed me second in the Masters 2 Class.  Overall, I am glad I decided to make a return back to Nationals.  I had a great time warming up, and getting ready to lift with old friends and competitors in the back room.  This is hard to describe, especially to those that are not familiar to the sport, but sometimes the most memories in a powerlifting meet come from the time spent backstage, and not out on the platform.  In 2018 I will continue to train hard and have some bigger goals planned.

Jackals Gym was well represented at Nationals.  Lucas Damm, in only his 2nd meet, won the Junior Super Heavyweight Class.  Lucas is a former two time State Champion Wrestler. He is only beginning in the sport, and has a bright future. Dean Johnson lifted well for third place in a tough 93 KG Masters 1 Class.  Dean has been lifting at Jackals Gym for many years. He lifted in the IPF World Championships in Belarus earlier this year.

Train smart, stay healthy, set your goals high, and make sure to add GNC Pro Performance HMB along with BetaTOR and BetaATP products, available at your local GNC Store, to supplement your strength, energy and recovery needs.  These products are essential for any athlete that wants to train harder and recover faster!

Stay Strong!

   Brad Gillingham

Posted on October 29, 2017


Congrats on your return to the national stage Brad.  Your story is inspiring.  Please keep posting your workouts and training strategy as that information is helpful.

Posted By Paul Leonard on 11/02/2017

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