Meets are an interesting mix up of people and circumstances. The platform (where shit counts) is apples and oranges in comparison to lifting in a gym. Nutrition, sleep, and hydration while traveling can very easily get lost in a 48-72 hour time frame on a meet weekend.
With that said, if you've ever competed, you already know taking nine near-max attempts can be grueling and a game of strategy that doesn't always play out the way planned. All you can do is keep going; you keep chipping away until that last pull hits the platform.
I made it to Iowa a few days early and settled in to just try and relax and take a little time off from life — to lower my stress levels and recover from training before taking a run at 2300. I didn't have much of an appetite leading up to the meet, but I tried to eat when I could. I weighed in on Friday morning at 377. Fuck, I'm LIGHT. I trained my whole cycle around 390-395. My first thought was, "Welp, bench will suck", followed by, "My pull will be great." Little did I know then that was a premonition of sorts.
As I stated above, meet days come chock-full of surprises. Warm-ups were just fucked up — and that's me being cool-headed saying that. I was taking 200-pound jumps just to make it to the platform on time; I knew very quickly this meet would be a sprint. Then Swede looked at me and said, "You're going to have to be athletic today." Great, my coach is a comedian.
I opened with 887.4 — my biggest opener to date. Even after the sprinter's pace warm-ups, I hit it rather easy. I got tight, unracked the weight, let it settle, broke at the hips, and hit the descent with some speed. I hit the wraps and fired out of the hole in typical JP Carroll fashion. Three whites.
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My second attempt was 937. I ran the same cues over in my head and the outcome was the same, except this time the top-end slowed down on me. I've watched the video a "few" times now, and it's not as slow as it felt. 937 is a decent squat; it was still eight pounds off my best. I took an ego check a year ago and worked on my depth, so I'm happy with the outcome of my squats on this day. We passed on my third attempt hoping to save energy for the bench.
I said in the intro that I thought to myself during weigh-ins that my bench would go to shit being a premonition. Well, it was. My bench went to shit quick, fast, and in a hurry. Warm-ups felt okay, but I just wasn't snappy like I usually am. After a deload and loading up on orals I should have been snappy, and I just wasn't.
I opened with 529.1, and even though it moved easy I touched high and did some weird readjusting shit. I "double pumped." Three reds, no lift. After talking with Swede, we took a small jump to 545.6.
I almost dumped it on myself at the handout as you'll see in the video. Well, as you saw in the video. Let's be honest: you scrolled down, watched the video, and then read this shit. I heard the head judge say I was good to bench so I brought it down, touched, pressed, and locked it out. Slow like old people fucking, but I locked it out and that's all that matters. We passed on the third attempt; this was becoming the theme of the day.
Okay, I'm not Will Hunting by any means, but I did the math, and I needed an 820-pound pull to secure the 2300-pound total I wanted. That would be a 15-pound lifetime PR. I always pull better when I'm light, so here goes nothing. Warm-ups were snappy — finally something with some speed. I was excited and it was also about 2:30 PM. We were rolling and the meet was going 100 miles per hour.
I open with 727.5 and smoke that shit. Next attempt is 777.1. I tell Swede—yes, tell him—if I smoke 777 I'm taking 820, IDGAF. I chalk up, get powdered, approach the bar, and make 777 look like a joke. Now, me being me I have this problem where I act without thinking; I jump into shit both feet first only to find out later I should have thought things through.
I want 820. Swede calls for 799.2 which, after pulling, I know was the exact call. "If a butterfly landed on that bar you would have missed it," Swede says afterward. Dramatic, but holding some truth. The last pull hit the floor, falling 20 pounds short of my goal. The meet was over.
I stepped up to the plate wanting, like every other player, to hit a home run. I ended up hitting a triple and jogged back to the dugout a little better and free of injury. Some days you go yard and sometimes the pitcher gets you reaching. You take what you can get and learn from your time in the batter's box. I finished with a 2281.8, a 29-pound deadlift PR, and a 31.8-pound total PR. I'll take it.
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