I had an amazing weekend at the Arnold. Even though I am still recovering from hip replacement surgery, it was fun. It was a lot of walking. We arrived on Wednesday March 4. We took it easy, later went to find a scale so Angela could check her weight. Thursday afternoon I took two of my lifters (Shelby Sweat & Shannan D'Annunzio) to the compound to deadlift. I told them we would go to the Elite compound and max out if they wanted to. Both were extremely excited, as I would expect. Shelby is a 114 lb lifter that's been with me over a year. She has made some incredible gains in that time. She came to me with a back injury. She had never pulled over 150. With proper training she has done well. Shelby pulled an amazing 305, she was beyond ecstatic. Shannan usually competes at 125 (now weighing ~130). Her best before coming to train with me was 260. Her goal last year was to pull 300, meet or training. She pulled 303 in competition a few months ago. At Elite, she pulled 315. She wanted to go for more, as always, so we went for 325 and she got it. I think they both stayed on cloud 9 for the rest of the weekend.

Dicy arrived Thursday around noon. We checked her weight, then her, Angela & I went to eat. Fast forward to the Arnold. Dicy didn't have the day she was wanting, but she completed the meet and had fun. She went 5 for 9. She only got her opening squat of 281. Her 2nd attempt of 303 was called for depth, which I thought it was a good squat. I took it to the jury and they turned me down. Her 3rd attempt of 303 was again called for depth, which I thought was borderline. I took it to the jury as well, only to be turned down. Her best squat is 314 in competition. Bench, she got her opener of 148; missed her 2nd attempt of 159 due to bad set-up, then came back on her 3rd attempt and got it. Deadlift, she opened with 270; 303 2nd attempt. We shot for a new PR and a better placing at 330 (previous PR was 325 in competition), but it just wasn't meant to be that day. She will be back to get that and even more in the near future. Overall, I think missing her 2nd squat got in her head. She has to do a better job of overcoming things like that and letting it go, even though I thought it was a good squat. It's sometimes hard for some lifters to overcome something like that.

Angela's day started off rough. I think her having to cut and not being able to fuel her body as needed days prior played a huge factor in her performance. She went 8 for 8, which is good considering how she felt in the beginning. We opened light at 303, which was a grinder that shouldn't have been. We passed on her 2nd attempt to give her more time to re-fuel. I asked her if she wanted to pass on her 3rd attempt as well to save energy for pulling, she said no. Her 3rd attempt of 314 was good (her best in the gym is 325x3). Bench, she opened with 159, 2nd attempt was 170 and 3rd attempt was 176 (meet PR). Deadlift, her opener was 363 and her 2nd attempt was 402. After her 2nd pull, I asked her how she felt, she said good. I told her that 418 has been a monkey on her back for quite a while. Before I could say anything more, she said to put 418 on the bar. I asked her if she wanted to go for 413 instead, she gave me a very stern no. I reminded her what she need to do before she went on the platform, she told me to yell at her. She went out there and pulled it, doing everything that I asked her to. Later, she told me that even though the crowd was loud, she was only able to hear me & the judge. Even though she didn't get all of the numbers that I know she's capable of, she had a good day. For both Dicy & Angela, we're going to really work on staying close to their competition weights so as to not have to deal with having to cut too much and almost deplete gains in the process. All in all, it was a pretty good day for them both and a great weekend for all of us. For me, I had a wonderful weekend talking to Dave, meeting lots of fans, seeing old friends. I also got to see Marshall squat, which was very exciting.

Shelby's & Shannan's deadlift PRs.

Dicy's 159 bench

Angela's 418 pull