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The 2011 USAPL Men’s Nationals were held last weekend in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi and it marked my fourth men’s nationals. This year was different though, as it was my first year defending the title I won a year ago. My training cycle for this year’s nationals was similar to the prior, except I added three weeks of base training prior to the start of my program. This went well until about three weeks out from the meet. Even though I continued to hit my lifts in training, everything felt heavy and I knew my central nervous system was taxed and I was on the verge of overtraining. I couldn’t wait for my deload week and then my week off before the meet for recovery. It was at this time I added even more HMB into my program and felt the benefits of the added recovery.
The competition in the 275 pound class at this year’s nationals wasn’t up to what it has been in the past years, which was very disappointing to me. Even though my goal is to come into a meet and perform better than I have the time before, I love competing against others who push you to step your game up. With that said, I had a total in mind that I wanted to get. This number was 2290 and it would give me the second highest total ever in the USAPL for the 275 pound class. I planned my attempts accordingly and was hoping for a great day.
I was fortunate enough to have two guys from the gym I train at in Saint Louis make the trip to help me out. The only problem I ran into was I had no one to wrap my knees before my squats. Kevin Stewart, who was coaching several people at the meet, agreed to give me a hand with this. This was great, however I had been wrapping my own knees during training and was not used to such a tight wrap. This caused a little bit of a breakdown of my technique and caused me to lower my third attempt on my squat to 859. I was hoping to go 870 but I made the right call as 859 because it was all I had in me this day.
The bench press and deadlift were next and I was able to make my first two attempts in each lift, 589 and 804 respectfully. If I was to get to 2290 I was going to have to nail my third attempts. Today I just didn’t have it. I missed both third attempts and ended the day with a 2254 total, which tied me for third all time in the USAPL 275 pound class. I also managed to tie a USAPL National meet record with my 804 deadlift.
In winning my class at nationals, I qualified myself to represent Team USA at the 2011 IPF World Championships being held in the Czech Republic. At this time I am undecided if I am going to go but I am leaning towards competing. This will mark my third year in a row in making the IPF Worlds and I hold this as the highest honor a powerlifter can have.
Along with myself, fellow Team HMB member Brad Gillingham also won his class at Nationals and qualified for the IPF Worlds. It is always a pleasure watching big Brad compete as he is a total class act and keeps putting up elite numbers year after year.
Until next time, continue to lift hard and smart which means adding HMB to your supplement list. You’ll be glad you did.