I’ve seen a few meet recaps so far, and most started with the preamble of, “It wasn't the meet they expected.” That’s the thing about powerlifting: no matter how good the shit looks on paper, you have to show up and perform. Lifting in a gym and in a meet are such very different dynamics. That's why I despise when people say, “I want to establish a specific total before I compete” — I feel that's a huge mistake. So, before I get into my recap, I just want to say, I took second place — for no other reason than I wasn't strong enough that day.


The warm-up room was an absolute shit show, especially in comparison to the Rhodes Center, where we competed years previously, and further drives home my statement above. Training and competing are separate animals. Warm-ups felt off. At elitefts, we train far from a wall, and this mono was set up facing a wall maybe two feet in front of my face. It took me a bit to figure out to set my eyes higher, and once I did that, I got on track. My last warm-up was 775, and it moved fine.

Opener: 835

I set up and didn’t get my belt placed right, hence why an opener should be able to be completed even if shit goes bad. I moved it with ease. On to the next.

Second attempt: 895

Again, I don’t know what the issue was. My setup was weird, and I got funky in the hole. I think I was so focused on hitting depth since the Millers were judging, I was doing dumb shit. Nevertheless, I moved it with ease. On to the next.

Third attempt: 950 (A five-pound PR)

I knew this was heavy. I’ve been under this before, and all that little shit I kept fucking up previous had to change, or this wouldn't happen. As I walked to the platform, Dave whispered in my ear, “Your fucking daughter is filming this.”

I’ve never looked in the crowd — I don't see faces; everything fades away. I can hear Ted cause he is setting me up — nothing else gets through. This time, though, I saw Angelina right there, and it hit me in the gut: I didn't care if I fucked up. I was standing up with that, and that's exactly what I did.

That was my seventh time squatting over 900 pounds in a meet, and all I can think about is how much of a pussy I've been. With three of them being over 940, I need to sack up and make 900 my opener and go for that G-ball and stop being scared. I have to change that this year. If I'm being real, I've just been comfortable coasting with these 900 numbers. Fuck that.


For this whole training cycle when it came to bench, I really lowered my warm-up reps. In turn, I feel it saved me some energy come to my top sets. So I stuck to that, even with the long flights I worked it in slowly but surely and made sure not to put too much energy into them.

Opener: 525

This was the most confident lift I’d have of the night, and it moved just like that — with purpose.

Second attempt: 565

I was having a hard time setting up, as were most guys that night, but I moved my second super easy. I wanted to take 585 for a 15-pound meet PR. Long story short, Dave called me a pussy, so I took 600 — and missed. Seeing the video now, I see why he said it: The 565 was stupid fast, but I knew something was off.

Third attempt: 600



This is where shit got bad. The closest competitor to me squatted 950 as well but only benched 500, so I was 65 pounds up on him come to pulls and opened with what I have the last few meets: 725, a safe, easy pull. I knew I was good for 775, no matter how banged up I was — or at least I thought I was. He made up the 65 pounds via me only getting my opener.

Final wrap: 2,240

I ended up with my fifth 2,200-pound-plus total, my seventh 900-pound-plus squat, and second place — and the only excuse I have is I wasn't strong enough that day.

Bryan Doberdruk Returns to Full Power Pro at 2019 XPCs