When meet day was finally here, nerves were high even after doing a mock meet three weeks prior to get rid of them. I feel this will be a consistent thing and may have to do with the time invested in water cutting and the fact that it is a competition I have invested so much time and energy into. I put a lot of pressure on myself (I know I should not do this) due to a number of factors, including being a competitor, knowing my ranking, wanting to push to climb that ladder, and having one of the greatest strength companies backing me who believe in me and took a chance on me to represent them. My teammates who train with me and see me as a strong athlete also cause me to put more pressure on myself. All of these really should not get into my head and cause negative effects, but I allow them to in the form of pressure, which causes nervousness.

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After talking to many mentors on my elitefts team and getting different perspectives, the nerves were a little different today. They were still there but managed in a way that allowed me to have a very successful day. I went 8 for 9 on the day and, as always, it started with squats. If you follow my blogs you saw that I had done a mock meet three weeks prior to this meet, so I had an idea of how my opener and second attempt would feel.

My opener was textbook, fast and safe to get me into the meet. Second attempt, however, was not so textbook. I decided to forget how to squat and broke at the knees first. Thankfully my body has been engrained how to properly squat and my hips were like, "what the hell are you doing" and shot themselves back mid-eccentric of my lift with 680. I didn't lose it and I honestly never felt like I was going to, but I knew I was going to have to blast out of the whole to make this lift.

To my surprise and everyone else's (I was told multiple helpers got up on their feet to help cause they thought I was going to lose it), the concentric part of the lift was smooth and proper. It was finally time to take the illusive 700-pound squat that I have been chasing for one year now. I have taken this weight a total of three or four times in training and in two different meets, with both meet attempts being called high on depth. I was determined to make this strong, to depth, and smooth.

I stood up with the weight confident and determined. As I started my descent, I forced my hips back and cranked my hips open until I felt my flexors and adductors strain under the load and scream at me to get up, which is when I fired every muscle I had and externally rotated with as much force as possible against this bitch number of a weight that had enslaved me for a whole year. As the monolift slammed down and I let my breath out seeing an extremely bright white light in my peripheral, I knew I had finally taken the beast down.


Bench press was a very odd monster this meet. All of my attempts felt super strong. I was nervous over a few variables such as my feet sliding and my butt lifting. After my first two attempts, not being cautioned of a butt lift and not feeling my feet move too much, I was in a good place to roll into defeating another monster of a number. As I stood next to the chalk bowl and heard my name announced with, "attempting 400 pounds" it hit me me. I was angry  and scared all at once.

The second I unracked the weight I was surprisingly confident. It did not feel any different from 390. I almost got too excited as I started my descent. I pulled that bar apart so hard and was so tight when it got to my chest that I thought for sure I had a new PR. Before I even heard the start of the call from the judge, I went for the press and it shot up. Halfway to my lockout, though, all my speed and strength left like everything was sucked out of my body. I felt like I was doing an isometric with nothing resisting me but gravity of this bitch-ass weight. To my surprise, this bitch-ass weight defeated me once again, and for five minutes I was a very angry individual.


Deadlift was a little nerve racking, as I was playing scenarios out in my head about my total and how the day would end. The worst of the deadlift came from my opener; it felt the EXACT same way my deadlift felt in my mock meet where I only made one attempt. Thankfully I had about five people tell me the same cue I was missing on my first attempt that caused the issue and I was determined to fix it on my second and third attempts.

I took a small second attempt for a five-pound PR and it went up smooth. After a lot of learning this cycle from elitefts teammates, I was not going to go crazy and shoot for the stars; I was going to increase my PR total enough to make it an overly successful day. I decided to take the weight I missed two times at my mock meet of 680, which felt like I would never get when I attempted it then. I used every single hype method I could from my teammates, I took two insane hit's of Inhale which woke me the F up (again), and got a teammate to give me a neck slap. With water pouring down my eyes, I walked up to the bar ready to put up the fight of my life to finish this day on a huge high note.

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I wiped my face of water coming from my eyes to see the bar, I loaded my glutes and hamstrings as hard as I could, pulled the tension out of the bar, forced myself to pull my shoulders back and chest up, and pushed out against the floor as hard as I physically could. The weight was slow peeling off the floor but when it did it shot up to my knees and all I had left to do was squeeze my glutes as hard as possible to lock out. It took a total of about two seconds but felt like a full minute. I was yelling at the head judge in my head to put his hand down to finish this lift and day. Finally the hand dropped with the weight shortly after. It was a successful lift, a successful day, and all the errors during the training cycle paid off.

I ended the day with a with a 30-pound meet PR for a 1770 total at 181. My other knucklehead teammates did awesome as well (you may remember these guys, as they appeared on the elitefts video posted a few weeks back).

Garret Blatnik threw up a 35-pound meet PR with a 650 squat, 485 bench, and 650 Deadlift for 1785 at 308.

Bobby Scott threw down and hit a 535 squat, 315 bench, and a 525 deadlift to lock in a 1375 total at 220 for a gosh dang 130-pound meet PR!

Last but not least, Ryan Klepko hashed out a 530 squat, 315 bench, and closed the day on a 585 deadlift to give him 1430 at 242.

So much thanks goes out to elitefts for sponsoring me and going above and beyond to aid my training partners and myself in development this past training cycle. Also a big thanks to my massage therapist Yvonna and my sports therapist Tyrell — without these individuals I would not have been pain-free during my training to progress my strength.