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Preparation for the Nationals was a very intense and educational journey that led me to having the strongest felt weekend of my powerlifting career. From the HMB supplementation that helped me gain lean muscle mass and that extra boost on the bench to the rigorous training schedule we had, it all led to my numbers jumping off the charts. 2011 USPA Nationals was held at the Hilton Hotel in Costa Mesa, CA. I usually compete in the 275lb weight class, but knowing that I would have to cut 20lbs regardless to return back to my unit by the end of this month, I decided to give the 308 class a shot and see where I stand with the bigger boys. Saturday, July 2nd, was the full power day as well as having the 275- 308+lb men at the end of the day. I started off my day rough with a weak 540lb raw squat. Squats have always been my weak point, but overtime they have improved a lot. Now for this next training cycle I have the opportunity to travel to different locations and train squats with the veterans as well as get into a squat suit and wraps which will put me in the squat numbers that I need. My bench that day ended with a 699.96lb bench. I was happy about it, yes, but anyone who knows me knows that I would beat myself up over that .004. My deadlifts locked out at 672lbs on the second attempt and failing to roll my shoulders forward didn't allow me to get the 705lb 3rd attempt. All in all it was a good day but I still have a lot of room for improvement. I received first place in the 308lb class in both the military nationals and open 308lbs nationals.
As everyone was packing up and going home; the crew was getting ready to hold the bench only and deadlift only portion that following morning. I was talked into doing the bench only portion. At first I was hesitant due to how tired I felt, but my mentality completely changed. Instead of being nervous about the numbers I just wanted to go out there and have fun. Put some weight on the bar and if I got it then great, if I didn't then no loss of sleep. So I hit the rack and prepared for the following morning.
I opened up at 405lbs raw just to get on the board and to see how my joints felt after the fatigue of the previous day. All pistons were firing and I felt great so I loaded the bar to 705lbs that would break me into the 700lb club the first time in my career. I came down with it and when I heard the press command I have never felt weight fly off my chest so fast. I felt really good about it which forced my motivation and adrenaline level sky high. Next we just went for broke. We loaded the bar to 738.5lbs which was a world record attempt. All I focused on was the bar and not the weight that was trying to take me away from my goal. When I came down with it, heard the press command, and began to get energized as I watched the bar distance itself from my chest to lockout. I secured a world record, moved myself to be ranked currently #1 in the nation for 308lb bench press and #5 of all time, all from someone who had talked me into benching the next day for fun.
I feel as though sometimes people take the sport, or any sport at that matter, too seriously and lose the point that got them into it in the first place, which is to have fun. When you have that mentality you’re not as tense and prone to over think the situation and you will capitalize on your potential. I owe that day to Tom Moormiester, the one who got me to bench that day, all the helpful words of everyone in the crowd, and of course my powerlifting team, Camp Pendleton Barbenders Powerlifting Team. HMB played a huge row in my supplement load to get me to where I am now.
My next competition is the 2011 Mr. Olympia Professional Powerlifting Invitational Only meet on September 16-17 in Las Vegas. With a couple more tricks up my sleeve, HMB, and my training partners I plan on going to war with 800lbs and make my mark even more official in the powerlifting world. LET’S GO TEAM HMB!