I had the pleasure of competing at the WPO semi-finals for my first-ever Ahhhnold appearance. As I’m sure everyone has heard through the internet grapevine, it was a debacle of a pre-meet run-up with all of the cancelling, un-cancelling, and semi-cancelling of events in the wake of the coronavirus. Luckily, our event was able to continue and maybe or maybe not allow spectators.

Anyway, I was coming off a meet in December where I fell just short of my 1300 goal (1290), so my goal for this meet was to get a 1300 total, have a good day (get close to 9/9), hit some personal records (PRs), and not get a pandemic disease. The top 15 of this meet made it into the WPO finals being held in October. I knew coming into the meet that it would be highly unlikely with my current chubbyness that I would make it into the top 15, so I just had to focus on my own goals.

WATCH: How Lily Starobin Started Training with Dave Tate

I had a few chill weeks after the December meet, then a couple of non-gear weeks, then about 3-4 weeks in gear, and then, it was meet time!

We picked nice and low openers since this was the biggest meet I’ve participated in thus far, so we just wanted to make sure that I felt good and got into the meet. Between the pace of the meet and the good judging, picking smart numbers was high on the list of priorities.


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Opened at 485 (lower than my last opener), took 523.something, and then, took 540.something for my third. My back totally rounded on the third, and I did a nice isometric good morning for a while before I had to be grabbed by the spotters (who were great, by the way). My upper back has historically been an issue for me in my squat, so that’s something we are going to work on coming up. DAMN YOU, BACK! Also, I’m going to work on my shoulder mobility so that I can actually grip the bar with my whole hand instead of with just a few of my fingers. So delicate.


Before my December meet, my bench was a clusterfuck. This time around, it was a little better. I still had issues with not being able to push my heels down and with letting my body flatten out and chasing myself down to touch. Somehow, at the meet, it all came together. I pushed my heels down, kept my belly up, and somehow went 3/3!!! 285/307?/319.something for a 4.something-pound PR.


396.something opener. Then, we had to figure out what to do next. I knew I needed a 460ish pull for my total but opted not to just jump to it. I wanted at least somewhat of a PR total. Jumped to 424ish for my second, then tried to look at that kilo sheet to figure out what I needed next. At first, we thought it was 460ish something. Then, I realized with all of the decimals that I needed 457.something (hopefully). We worked a lot of my deadlift form during this training cycle so that it would be less of a stiff-leg deadlift with the bar far out in front of me and with more of a deadlift where I use my glutes. Once it got up to my knees, I could just hear Todd yelling at me to squeeze my butt, so I squeezed the fuck out of it and locked it out, and I was actually pleased for once.

Overall, it was a mixed bag. I’m glad that I got the total I wanted and hit a bench and deadlift PR. Obviously, I’m not pleased with my squat. I kind of have to go back to the drawing board and work on getting that back up. Everything else has been moving along, but I’ve been squatting 525ish for about a year.  And my bodyweight went up. Obviously, in the scheme of the WPO, I did not do great. But I hit PRs and made it through the biggest meet I’ve done thus far. So, I’ll take that as a win.

One of my biggest concerns was whether or not I would be ready for such a speedy meet (two flights, no breaks except to change out equipment, clock was definitely running), but that was actually fine. I just didn’t get to eat all of the snacks I normally eat.

I’m also going to get my bodyweight down a bit as long as my gear daddies sign off on it. I worked hard to get up to 165 (I weighed in at about 162), but it’s definitely not an ideal place for me to be at these glossbrenner meets.

As always, biggest of thanks to Dave and Todd. They put an immense amount of time and effort into my meets, which I appreciate more than they know. I JUST WANT TO MAKE MY GEAR DADDIES PROUD. Nate was gracious enough to come and help me out with everything during this meet (he was also a great training partner during the meet cycle), and I appreciate all that he does for me. Thank you to all of my training buddies for everything. And my parents came to the meet; it was so sweet. I love it so much!

It was a great experience for my biggest meet thus far. It was very well run, and the spotters and loaders were all great. THANKS, WPO.

I loved sharing the platform with a bunch of awesome and strong women. I loved being able to compete with my fellow Brockettes. I loved seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I loved everyone kicking ass and cheering one another on.

At each meet, I get a little less stressed and can better appreciate what a great and weird sport we have. At each meet, I can appreciate my successes better without dwelling too much on the negatives. Onwards and upwards! Time to appreciate what I did well, fix what I can fix, and get stronger!

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