The MONSTER GARAGE GYM/MAROSCHER COACHING LOG is a weekly Coaching Log by MGG owner, 2-Time WPC World Powerlifting Champion, Eric Maroscher, and is one of the Featured Coaching Logs at EliteFTS.

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Monster Garage Gym/Maroscher Coaching Log: (Log number XLIII). “BREAKING DOWN MEET RESULTS”
This Coaching Log features 308LB division RAW, novice lifter, Dustin Karasek.

The purpose of this training log is to take a thumb-nail sketch of a few ways to pick apart meet numbers, and ultimately see what the improvement, if any, occurred and what will be the area(s) of focus during training as one heads toward for the next meet.

The beauty of training at your home powerlifting gym is that you are familiar with EVERYTHING, from the bars, to the racks or monolifts, to the deadlift platform, the benches, you have your music playing, you get there when you get there, you warm-up when you want to warm-up, and the time in-between your lifts is all based on your whim.

When it comes to the meet, pretty much everything is the polar opposite of that. Your meet venue is foreign, you might never have trained on the type of platform, or bench or out of the monolift or uprights that at the meet, and you definitely do not get to warm-up nor start lifting at your own leisure.

So, measuring strength gains while training at the gym can be a little easier, but for meets, that perspective can be less transparent and more so, translucent. So as each meet is very different, even the comparison from meet to meet can be somewhat less accurate. With that said, let’s look at Dustin’s numbers and see if it tells us anything.

As a still novice powerlifter, Dustin has been in three, full-power, powerlifting meets to date and they look like this:

MEET I: April 2014, APF IL State Meet, RAW (no wraps), 385sq, 336bp, 600dl for a 1338 total at 255bdw.
MEET II: April 2015, APF IL State Meet, RAW (no wraps), 440sq, 369bp, 633dl for a 1440 total at 267bdw.
MEET III: September 2015 UPA IL State Meet, RAW (with wraps) 567sq, 430bp, 705lb for a 1702 total at 285bdw.

First let’s compare apples to apples. As the first two meets were RAW without wraps, let’s take the wraps out of the equation for the UPA meet so our comparison data has greater accuracy. In talking with the members of Team EliteFTS, on average they feel a knee wrap will get you 80-100+LBS when squatting RAW with wraps VS RAW RAW. If Dustin was wrapping his own knees I would subtract the 80LBS from his 567LB wrapped squat, but since he had 1,000LB squatter Shaun Kopplin wrapping him, I am more inclined to subtract the full 100LBS. However, Dustin knows exactly what he gets out of his wraps as he has RAW and RAW with wraps data over months of workouts, thus in this case, we can subtract that actual number, which in this case is 127LBS. (NOTE: There is a significant difference between wrapping your own knees and having someone who is an experienced knee wrapper wrap your knees). With the math done, we now have a UPA total not of 1702LBS but 1575LBS at 285LBS of bdw. So, in sheer weights lifted it looks like Dustin has increased his total 135LBS from MEET II to MEET III as he increased his total 102LBS from MEET I to MEET II. *All three meets had in essence the same rules and in all three meets, Dustin utilized the monolift so there was no advantage or disadvantage from one meet to another aside for the obvious equipment differentiation with regard to the knee wraps.

Second let’s take the body weight gain out of the equation as true enough, a bigger truck tire will carry a bigger pay load, and Dustin has gained 30LBS since his first meet. Remember, we are looking for strength gains, not just a bigger total due to a bigger bodyweight. Again, after the math we get the following numbers from the Wilk’s calculator. MEET I gets Dustin 352.13 Wilk’s points. MEET II gets Dustin 374.73 Wilk’s points and MEET III (after subtracting the wraps from the squat) gets Dustin 404.50 Wilk’s points. So even with the bodyweight gain, the direction on the sigmoid curve for Dustin is definitely moving up, so his total is bigger, but as his Wilk’s number is also bigger, evidentially speaking, Dustin is headed in the right direction.

What this means is that there is in fact a measurable strength gain, which sometimes can be independent of an increase in total. In Dustin’s case, he is making good progress as he has increases in both categories (total AND Wilks). Breaking the numbers down a little further, the Wilk’s number from MEET I to MEET II was 22 Wilks points and even at the bigger body weight, from MEET II to MEET III the Wilks points were 29.77, thus pointing to not just an improvement, but an increased movement on the sigmoid curve as he has also gained 7 additional Wilk’s points with less time in-between meets.

Looking at the BIG picture, as a full power powerlifter, Dustin is without a doubt improving. Looking at the nuancical data, Dustin is actually losing strength with regard to his squat. He has actually lost Wilk’s points with regard to his squat, dropping 1.5 Wilk’s points on his squat. Although that sounds bad, that is actually good news as now, after crunching some data, this gives Dustin the information he needs to know as it relates to where his major focus is for his next full power meet… and that is focus on his squat. He needs to go back through his training logs and look for the clues that will tell him why he is at best squatting the same, and at worst, losing ground on his squat.

The video footage is of Dustin’s third ever full meet taking place on September 26th. You have seen Dustin featured in a prior coaching log, so feel free to check that log out to see his improvements as they might translate to your training if you too are a more novice powerlifter as it relates to number of meets.

Ultimately there is a learning curve with meets and there is without a doubt a phenomenon I call, “meet sophistication,” as the more experienced lifter will often times beat the stronger lifter by avoiding those mistakes we all made as we were starting out. So until that time when the learning curve has flattened out, Dustin knows that minimally, re-doubling his efforts on the squat, without taking away from his other training, will be crucial in his development as a competitive powerlifter.

Dustin put in a great, albeit short training cycle for this meet and we at the MGG are excited to see him learn from each meet as well as increase not only via a scale like the Wilk’s but in total as well. He is absolutely on the right track.

Lastly, if you are a newer or intermediate powerlifter, never forget, powerlifting is a journey NOT a destination. As time continues to pass, you will always re-learn this point as each time you reach a destination, you will find there is always a point beyond on your powerlifting map, that you did not even know existed!!!!!
*The footage in this video (filmed in HD, let load to 720 or 1080 for HD quality).

We hope you find this coaching log as a whole of use to you in your training. Please let us know by your comment(s) if these logs are useful to you and what we can do to make the better. If you like them, we would appreciate it if you would share them. As always, thank you for following the Monster Garage Gym/Maroscher coaching log. Ever Onward, Eric Maroscher.

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Monster Garage Gym/Maroscher coaching log by:
Eric Maroscher, 2-Time WPC World Powerlifting Champion, Columnist, Elitefts, Team Elitefts Member, Owner, Monster Garage Gym.
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