Well, my first contest was a lot of fun. I couldn't sleep well, I went to bed at 11:15 but didn't dose off until about 12:45 AM, not fun when your alarm is set for 6:20 AM! Almost left without money for the membership card, but remembered 15 feet out of my driveway.
Not too many lifters were in this meet so it went quick. In the Bench, I was up against a 198lb 40 year old who benched 401.5 lb (182.5kg)! I started with 250, then 270. My form sucked big time on both, my first lift should have been red because I didn't listen for the "Rack" command, I just put it back, but the judges were generous. My father in law and Louis Eleuteri helped me out for the final lift, reminding me to arch my back, squeeze glutes, squeeze bar hard, explode out of the hole.....basically all the fundamentals! I completed ignored all the fundamentals on my first two attempts due to nerves. My final lift was 275lb, a personal best, all who watched felt I had 280 in me as did I.
Deadlift was next, everything was feeling heavy in warmups. My final warmup was 365 and it felt way heavier than it should have. So I lowered my opener from 401.5 to 385. 385 went up but I let the bar get out in front of me instead of keeping it close to my shins, plus my grip was slightly off because the one side came up late. It's funny, I never do it that sloppy at home!
Next attempt was either 401.5 or 407, honestly I can't remember. I missed it HORRIBLY!
I watched my video and I brought my hips up instantly and basically tried to stiff leg deadlift 400 pounds off the ground.
My confidence was crushed for the next 5-10 minutes. But thankfully, Louis and my father in law got my head right, and told me about my hips. They told me if I keep my hips down my next lift will go fine. They were right and I got it next time which I am told is rare after missing in deadlift. But honestly, I didn't feel that special since I knew I had over 20 pounds left in me.
My theory is that lifting on a standard 1 inch bar at home which is about 8 inches off the ground got me used to getting lower, so when my body only had to reach down to Olympic sized plates/bar which is about 10 inches off the ground, I kept my hips up. I didn't have the right groove, which looking back on it, is probably why all my warm-ups felt heavy. The only lift that felt good was my final deadlift attempt at 401.5 or 407, I am not sure which it was....doesn't matter, both suck. Kind of ironic, I thought training on a lower bar would be to my advantage, which I still think it can be, but only when I realize that pulling from Olympic requires more of a conscious effort to get lower.
It was pretty cool hanging out and talking with Louis Eleuteri, age 52, who was the 50-59 WNPF World Champion Deadlifter with 570 in 2007. He used to pull 700+ in his 30's. He let me listen to a message on his cell phone from Pavel Tsatsouline.
Needless to say, I thought that was awesome, since the Smolov program I am about to start I learned about from an article written by Pavel. Louis explained that he got certified in Pavel's kettlebell course and since then struck up a relationship.
All in all, a good experience, I learned (once again
) that I have a lot to learn, and if I ever compete again I am going to keep my hips down! The comradery was fantastic and really made it enjoyable.