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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:19 am 
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Finally got some videos. My sister originally had them all but smashed her phone and lost them all. A client got most of them, up until deadlift when he started to help load/spot, but I got the last deadlift by taking it off Facebook (sister uploaded it the day of the competition).

This was on 3rd March.

Overall thoughts - I loved competing. It was amazing to warm up with so many different lifters. You work in with people you've never met yet feel like you've known them for a while. Strange. Everyone is very helpful. I literally got taken under some seasoned lifters wings when I told them it was my first competition. Quite humbling.

I've been following powerlifting for years and it was amazing to meet a lot of lifters that i've read about, heard of and seen videos of. Had some good discussions about technique, training, attitude, etc. Met a few (scottish)legends.

I was very nervous going into this. I was for weeks before it. My tactic was, I have all these PL videos in my phone. Whenever I got nervous I just sat and watched them. My client/training partner was very nervous, and if she seen that I was nervous it would of made her worse, so I was silently a nervous wreck!

Also, I couldn't eat the morning of the competition. I had a few shakes stocked and lots of energy drinks, water, and we brought flap jacks. I had a shake before it and that was it, anything else wouldn't of sat in my stomach for long!

In November I weighed 89KG, morning weigh in at the comp, I was 79KG. Dropped quite a lot of weight for this! 2 days before the comp i was 78KG, which was lower than I was comfortable with. Actually aimed to be around 81-82kg. So, due to this, I was able to really carb up the day before the meet and it was nice to have the freedom to do that without worrying about being too heavy.

My goal was a 500KG total and I got it, so i'm very happy with it. We took it easy on the numbers, aiming to recreate gym PB's on the platform, and playing it very safe with openers. Didn't have a PL crew to lean on for advice so I took a cautious approach.




Squat: I was struggling with nerves on my squat. I didn't enjoy the meet till the squats were done! I also figured out some technical issues I have with it about 3 weeks out from the meet and they really threw me off, so I didn't change anything for the meet, was too close. Therefore, I was overthinking big time. I knew I was squatting with technique mistakes. You can see all the faults even in my opener at 140kg. I lose tension going into the hole, dive bombing a little, lead with the hips coming out. Even at 140 you can see the knees caving in. I need my toes out a little more. I sit back too much and get my hips too far away from the bar. I unrack with my hips away from the bar rather than under the bar which sets me up to squat-morning the thing. So i've been squatting with a "disconnect" between the hips and the spine. I have this phase of the eccentric where I just lose tension and this is why.

I'm going to follow with posts and videos about how i'm addressing this. It's starting to come together. My squat feels completely different now.

For the second at 160, I got very psyched up - way too psyched up. Completely lose focus. It actually breaks down going IN to the hole then becomes a total disaster on the way up. If I just stood there for the rack command it would of been a good lift, but I lost my focus completely and just wanted it off my back.

This is where my training partner was a godsend - he knows me (he's the black guy in the red top you can see in most of the videos). Not to mention, my flight had to warm up when my client/training partner was on the platform, which I never seen coming. So he looked after her while I was warming up. Anyway, he knew what happened - thinking too much, getting too fired up. Told me to stop thinking, switch my mind off, calm down, breathe, focus, lift. This other guy was helping me told me to imagine I was under water, block everything out. Weird analogy but it made sense and the 3rd attempt went up easy.

160 isn't a PB. Planned third attempt was 170, actually. However, I was happy to get it after the previous disaster of an attempt. After this, I felt fantastic and really started enjoying myself and having some fun.

Bench: Not much to say about bench. I injured my shoulder before I started training for this. Also, I previously benched up on my toes with a bigger arch, which isn't allowed in competition - need the feet flat on the floor. So, with the technique change, the pause, and the injury, I kept my training percentages low. I only needed 110 to get my 500 total. Funnily enough, the shoulder felt fantastic the day of the competition, but I stuck to the plan. I also strained an intercostal muscle going into this, I think from having the belt too tight. Felt like a cracked rib at first. Again, though, this disappeared when I got to the meet!

Anyway, benching was easy. Only problem was, I had to change my foot position (again) because my hip flexors kept cramping up when I was getting set. Weird. Like, violently cramping. Think it was a combination of too much caffeine, not enough water.

Deadlift: I made up the lost 10KG from the squat and added it to my Deadlift to finish with 230. The video at the end is my sister and brother-in-law (who is responsible for me training in the first place!) commentating/laughing/cheering throughout.

When warming up for the deadlift I felt weak. I took 170 which would normally be my last set before 190 opener. It felt horrible though so I took 180. That felt even worse!! And my hip flexors were making it difficult to arch during the set up.

Then, I got on the plat form and 190 felt like 60. Came into my own on the deadlifts, I had confidence, I felt like I could lift anything.

Also, my deadlifts put me at the higher end on my flight. My flight included 2 weight classes above me. I was deadlifting with some monsters, guys weighing over 100 KG and I was pulling 20KG more than them at 79. My last deadlift bumped me up from 4th to third, too.

It's amazing, there's so much going on. Lots of spectators, lifters, refs, other officials. I was worried about how I would perform in front of people. Well, when I got on the platform I couldn't see anything. Nothing. Felt like it was just me in the room and no one else. Couldn't even tell you where I was looking, felt like I had my eyes shut.

Next comp is in August. I feel a lot more relaxed about it. Really looking forward to it. I'm helping out as loader/spotter at another this Sunday just to keep myself immersed in it, too.

KPj

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:36 am 
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Well done :cheers:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:52 am 
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proud of you man, you did good. Only took you a hundred years to actually get round to doing it too!

Bench heavier next time you pansy, I've seen you bash out sets of 5 at 100 as a warm up!

Excellent job on the deads, shame about the squats, you know you could've gone a good bit heavier. The good thing about that is you'll be less nervous next time so you won't make the same mistakes - those were some shaky looking knees there man!

Still, you done good Kenny, hit me up next time you're in Glasvegas we'll get a pint


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:12 am 
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Stephen Johnson wrote:
Well done :cheers:


Thanks Stephen.

robertscott wrote:
proud of you man, you did good. Only took you a hundred years to actually get round to doing it too!

Bench heavier next time you pansy, I've seen you bash out sets of 5 at 100 as a warm up!

Excellent job on the deads, shame about the squats, you know you could've gone a good bit heavier. The good thing about that is you'll be less nervous next time so you won't make the same mistakes - those were some shaky looking knees there man!

Still, you done good Kenny, hit me up next time you're in Glasvegas we'll get a pint


haha, I know, took ages. I was full of plenty of excuses before. Just shows you it's all mindset. Injury and being too busy were my excuses before. When it actually came to it this time around, I had an injury before I even started training for it, was really busy, actually moved house the day/2days before the competition, too, and trained 6 people on the day before it, too. Had every excuse to put it off again but it never even crossed my mind, this time.

I was very tempted to bench more. Had no shoulder pain at all on the day but, i'm glad I decided against it. I'm not completely out the water with it yet but it's feeling good, and i'm comfortable with that technique now, feels better, I also pause pretty much every rep I do on bench now. It's all about the Total, after all.

I reckon I have 20-30KG "hiding" in that squat from technique alone.

Before that competition I repped 140 for 7 with a belt and it was messy. On Tuesday I repped 140, no belt, for 7. The first 6 were perfect and I felt like I could get 10 but something happened on the 7th and the bar slipped up my back (chest caved in I think) and had to grind it, so I shut it down there. However i'm a lot more upright and the knees are a lot more solid. I'll have a video soon of the changes, it's changed my opinion quite a bit on squat technique.

I did hold back on numbers due to fear-of-the-known, really. We prepared for the worse. Next time I plan to beat my best competition numbers by the second attempt (for example, 165 squat, 115 bench, 235 deadlift), then go for broke on the third - now that I know what i'm in for.

Anyway, thanks for the kind words, i'll definitely catch you for a pint soon!

KPj

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:30 am 
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Thanks for sharing that vid and all the explanations you gave about the contest, your form and your thoughts! Good luck for your next competition!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:26 pm 
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KPj wrote:
My goal was a 500KG total and I got it, so i'm very happy with it. We took it easy on the numbers, aiming to recreate gym PB's on the platform, and playing it very safe with openers. Didn't have a PL crew to lean on for advice so I took a cautious approach.



500 Kg Total

Nice total. You did a nice job of chosing your openers.

You definitely had more in you on all three lifts.


Quote:
Squat: I was struggling with nerves on my squat. I didn't enjoy the meet till the squats were done! I also figured out some technical issues I have with it about 3 weeks out from the meet and they really threw me off, so I didn't change anything for the meet, was too close. Therefore, I was overthinking big time. I knew I was squatting with technique mistakes. You can see all the faults even in my opener at 140kg. I lose tension going into the hole, dive bombing a little, lead with the hips coming out. Even at 140 you can see the knees caving in. I need my toes out a little more. I sit back too much and get my hips too far away from the bar. I unrack with my hips away from the bar rather than under the bar which sets me up to squat-morning the thing. So i've been squatting with a "disconnect" between the hips and the spine. I have this phase of the eccentric where I just lose tension and this is why.


Strong Squat

You definitely can squat more.

My criticism would be that (as you noted), you drop too fast.

You also squat too low. If you slow down the eccentric phase and squat to just below parallel, you'll put 50 lb on your squat pretty much, over night.

I'm going to follow with posts and videos about how i'm addressing this. It's starting to come together. My squat feels completely different now.


Quote:
Bench: Not much to say about bench. I injured my shoulder before I started training for this. Also, I previously benched up on my toes with a bigger arch, which isn't allowed in competition - need the feet flat on the floor. So, with the technique change, the pause, and the injury, I kept my training percentages low. I only needed 110 to get my 500 total. Funnily enough, the shoulder felt fantastic the day of the competition, but I stuck to the plan. I also strained an intercostal muscle going into this, I think from having the belt too tight. Felt like a cracked rib at first. Again, though, this disappeared when I got to the meet!


It looked good. As you know, you have more in the tank on it.


Quote:
Deadlift: I made up the lost 10KG from the squat and added it to my Deadlift to finish with 230.


Good pull. You own the deadlift.

You're capable of even more...as you know.

Nice lifting. I am impressed.

Kenny Croxdale

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:52 am 
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Very nice KPj. And I highly approve of aiming for stuff you can get done, first time out. Better to go out and smash some lifts while you get used to the ebb and flow of competition than to worry about lifts and "now what?" at the same time.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:06 am 
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Thanks for the kind words everyone.

Peter - Thanks and, nice to hear from you! Hope all is well.

Kenny - thanks for going over the video like that, it's appreciated. While i've got your attention, what's your opinion on weight lifting shoes (elevated heel), for (raw) squatters?

I've always trained in flat shoes (converse). Some of the other lifters at the competition are quite insistent that they help.

Best explanation i've heard is they allow you to keep your hips closer to the bar, which appeals to me because I have a tendency to shoot the hips back too much. Worth saying i think i've almost fixed this, still with flat shoes but the weight lifting shoes are in the back of my mind.

Also, I helped at a meet yesterday. Spotted, loaded and worked the rack for 3 flights on squats, and 4 flights for deadlifts. Was a busy day, ran from 11-6. Took me by surprise, it's much more difficult than competing!

KPj

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:17 am 
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Second competition done. Putting the write up in her. Videos are all over the place so it could take a couple of weeks to get them organised.

Weighed in lighter than last time - 78KG (79KG at last meet) - oh, and despite being lighter, the singlet was tighter....

Got a 530KG Total - 30KG more than last time. Went 7/9.

175 squat, 120 bench, 235 deadlift.

My former client/current training partner got 335KG total, also 30KG improvement. She weighed 2KG lighter than March. Also went 7/9.

I came 2nd in my class, which was out of 13 although 2 bombed.

The plan for this one, in contrast to the first where we played it quite safe, was to go for broke. Openers were heavier but still on the safe side as far as openers go, and I wanted the second attempts to give us Competition PB's, which they did. Then, go for broke on the third attempts with nothing to lose. I figured this is the best way to learn!

I've realised this - under meet conditions, the squat is worse, benching is better, and deadlifting just depends. The problem with our squats is we go way too low. In training we made an effort to actually squat higher however, in training we are forced to squat in front of a mirror. When we get on a plat form in front of judges and a crowd, no mirrors, for whatever reason we turn it into an Olympic squat.

My opener was 160KG, which was my best squat in March. Went ok. Second was 175KG - a meet best and 5KG below my gym best. I got it but it was more difficult than it should of been. Again i'm getting told it's going mega deep. Instead of 185, I went 182.5 on the third. Here is where I got quote of the day, I wasn't trying to be funny but after failing this I said,

"it felt great until I tried to stand up!". It really did. Walk out and eccentric felt better than 175, felt tighter, smoother, more controlled, I was lowering this thinking, "easy!!". Then ran out of gas just above parallel. Apparently I took this weight deeper than every other weight.

I spoke to a really experienced and strong lifter about this. Basically he said it's a good problem to have, he said when you start out you WANT that problem - going TOO deep. He basically said experience will fix it and not to worry too much about it at this point.

I think we're genuinely going to hang sheets over the gym mirrors on squat day now.

I also had a bit of a freak out. First, the comp was so busy they split it into 2, with the women and lighter male weight classes up first. Which meant I weighed in at 9am but didn't lift until 2pm. Between that time I coached my training partner. My nerves felt shot before I even lifted. As it got onto her deadlfits this coach, who's been competing for 45 years (!!!!!!) told me I shouldn't of watched any lifts, should of waited outside because it'll drain me. So i panicked a bit at this point.

Then warming up for squats was like a circus. Around 10 of us cuing at each rack, but i spotted a lifter - mentioned above - with one of his boys coaching, so I asked if I could warm up with them. He said, "you're in the first group, you should have been warmed up a while a go!!!!". Actually went into a frenzy. Warmed up mega fast, was dripping with sweat. He told me to go sit down, "don't stand, sit down and f****** relax!!!". This was a weird experience for me, in my head i was like, "no big deal, it's just a lift... What you worrying about?". On the outside I was practically having heart palpitations, hot flushes, still had sweat dripping from me. Was weird!!!! I had to actually shut my eyes and do some yoga breathing!!!! However by the time I was called, I was relaxed. Kept thinking "Ed Coan". Also kept thinking about a Captain Kirk quote (paraphrased),

"all you need to do is NOT screw anything up for 20 seconds. How hard can that be?".

Then, as my luck goes, the bar wasn't centred on the rack properly, so when I tried to unrack and walk out, I basically took the rack with me. At the time I thought I had done something wrong. When I realised and was told to re-rack and start again, I actually just forced myself to laugh about it. Most forced laugh of my life.

Was all fun and games after that, though.

Bench went - 110 (last competition best best), 115 (meet PB), then 120 (another meet PB). Also, judging was tight!!! The pause on the bench was painfully long. Got it no problem though. Seen the video after, it flies off my chest, slows at the middle third and locks out no problem.

Then deadlifts. I actually have a reputation for my deadlift! Feels weird! A lot of lifters there remembered me because of my deadlift. They were joking at weigh in about how I'm probably opening with more than they can max etc. I never quite know how to take this. Although, not going to lie, I did check, out of 13 in my class, 3 other lifters FINISHED with weights above my opener. Everyone else maxed out way below my opener. OK so maybe i'm a good deadlifter after all.

So, deadlifts got interesting. The plan was open 220, jump up to 235 (a 5KG meet PB), then either go 240 or 245 depending on how 235 went. My gym best is 240.

I opened with 220KG. Went well. Should note, at this time, one of the lifters mentioned above was right with me, and so was his coach - the 45 year experience guy - really on me for this. They basically took control from my handler.

Then I hit 235, and it went up arguably better than 220. This is where things get interesting. The lifters/coaches on my case put me in for 250. They told my handler that I already had a 30KG improvement on my total, which they said is a massive improvement, I already had meet PB's on everything, so if there's ever a time to go for broke and take some risks, it was now. He said based on 220 to 235, he felt I could take the same jump and smash it, so put me in at 250.

I got 250 to just below my knees. I think i rushed into it, maybe over psyched. Don't think I was even in the centre of the bar because one side came up first! Ironically, after failing it, I know i've got the strength for it. It got away from me. I know if I got it passed my knees I would of locked it out. I think if I set up more behind the bar. It's really tough to set up in a really tight arch at a Meet. Your hips are shot from squats and your lower back is shot from benching.

Also, this is the first deadlift I have failed in 5 years. FIVE years. People probably don't believe that but it's true. I'm kinda glad i've got the fail out of the way! I thought to myself, I'll probably take more risks now, because I don't need to worry so much about missing. However, I actually don't worry, i think i'm just really in tune with my deadlift, i'm also very patient with it. I have told myself for years now, "i don't miss deadlifts", and i'll still tell myself that. Part of not missing is probably in choosing the weights.

Would I of got 245? By the looks up 250, yes. My older brother, who is very critical all the time regardless of how well you do (i like this about him, btw!), he's also my biggest fan and responsible for me lifitng in the first place. Anyway, he thinks it was a bad move, thinks I should of stuck to my own plan, and lost out on another 10KG improvement on my total. Well, I disagree, for a few reasons.

1. I had 2 really good lifters and coaches on my case, 1 with 20 years experience, one with 45. Both compete(d) at worlds level competition. The old coach took something like 5 titles at a worlds level and may still have some records. Mingling with guys like this, seeing how they do things, and getting feedback from them is priceless.

2. How could i ever be disappointed with a 30KG improvement in total?

3. The failed attempt just told me i've got it. I've not even contemplated 250 before now. My mind is already fixed on 260 after failing 250. I think it's broke down some mental barriers.

4. Most of all, I got a 530 total with some left in the tank. For example, I know i've got more in my squat without having to get stronger. I know i've got 5-15kg more in my deadlift without having to get stronger but just having a better day, really. Bench there's maybe 2.5KG there without getting any stronger.

Finally, I actually went into this with a sore shoulder/neck and slightly strained hamstring, so i'm especially happy to come out of this injury free!!

KPj

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:01 am 
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Wow! Great meet, Kenny. Thanks for the story.

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