Last weekend I competed in my first meet since the XPC Finals at the Arnold Classic, and most likely my last meet for the year. Although it was a local meet, this particular one meant more to me for a few reasons. The most important reason was redemption. I fucking hated that I fell short of my goal at The Arnold Classic…90 pounds short to be exact. Each and every pound I left on the platform back in March is what fueled my training for my off-season and meet preparation. I was locked on to 2000 and I would not accept failure a second time.

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About nine weeks out from the competition, I had some changes in my training.  I reached out to Todd Brock with whom I have received in-person coaching from in the past. Now that Todd moved states away, I couldn’t just drive down to him in two hours like I did in the past. I explained to Todd how I had a lot less time throughout the week for training since I was currently enrolled in an EMT program while still trying to work full time. Within two days he emailed me my 8-week peaking cycle to be ready on August 6th.  Todd peaked me differently than I had done in the past. It was very simple and effective so I could get in and out of the gym without doing anything too complex. Through his coaching, Todd helped me achieve a 98-pound total PR with only eight weeks of training. I definitely look forward to our next meet together where I can utilize his programs for not only meet prep, but his off-season training as well.

I made an easy cut to 219 with the help of my friend Augie, who made it a breeze for me to get down. My good friend and elitefts teammate Joe Schillero came to weigh ins with me since he also planned on competing. We weighed in and stuffed our faces with so many fluids and food that by the end of the day our albuterol was glued to our hands.


When starting my warm ups for squats, I felt awesome. Everything from my suit and form was dialed in and ready to go. The weight felt light and moved fast. I found my groove right off the bat with zero issues. I opened with a conservative 755 to build my confidence and get me into the meet. When that felt like an empty bar, we decided to make a jump to 826 for a six-pound PR. I moved that almost as fast as my opener. At this point, the 826 was all I needed to keep me on track for 2K. So we decided to go to 860 in hopes that I’d tie my one and only competitor in my weight class. Since he got 860 on his third, I went for it too…and I missed it. I didn’t settle with the weight whatsoever and when I came out of the hole, I got onto my toes and almost face planted on lockout. I know that I am good for that weight and have high hopes I will hit it whenever I decide to compete again.


With how fast paced the meet was, I only had about 20 or so minutes to rest before I started my bench warm up. The bar felt pretty heavy in my hands until about 315, which is my last raw warm up. Once I threw my shirt on, everything was moving like it should. I opened with 525, which is about 5 pounds lighter than my best competition bench. I smoked that and went on to 551 for my second attempt, which would keep me on pace for my goal total. After getting all white lights on my second, I made an 11-pound jump to 562 on my third just to pad my deadlift as much as possible. I had Bruce jack down my shirt a little more and executed the bench the same as the first two, white lights. I finished 3/3 on bench with a 33-pound PR.


On to the deadlift! I had about 25 minutes to ice my hands before deadlift to bring down the swelling from benching. I’m always worried about my grip when it comes to fast meets like this because I have short and fat sausage fingers. Which when swollen and bloated, do not make for the best grip.  Anyone who knows me or has been following my log, knows that my deadlift has been at a standstill for the last couple years. I finally wanted to get that stupid monkey off of my back and smack my old PR in his ugly mug.  I opened with a conservative 580 to stay in the meet and get my confidence boosted. Felt like a warm up. I made the jump to 612 on my second, which would earn me a 2000-pound total on the nose. Moved like butter. My best competition deadlift is 622. When going to choose my third, I was debating taking around 635-644 and Joe came up to me and said, “Fuck it, dude. Do 650. You already got your total.” I know Joe wouldn’t let me do anything unrealistic so his confidence helped me a ton going into my third. I pulled 650 way faster than I thought but it started to slip out of my right hand. I squeezed that motherfucker with every ounce of strength I had and was able to hold onto it. I was NOT about to miss out on this huge PR because of my stupid hands. Boom. I pulled a 28-pound PR on deadlift and finished with a 2038-pound total for a 98-pound total PR.

team photo

It was pretty awesome to compete with some badass lifters as well as my good friends Sev Holsworth and Joe Schillero. Huge thank you to my good friend Bruce Mason for handling me all day and always being there. I’m very fortunate to have the people I do, supporting me in my corner. To my family, my friends, my elitefts teammates, and everyone else who has supported me in one way or another…THANK YOU! It means more than you know and I know damn well I couldn’t do this sport without you.

With my career goals of being a firefighter/paramedic at the forefront of my priorities, for the next year or so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to commit to another competition. I have many goals that I wish to accomplish in this sport and I’m going to climb to the top while hitting them. I am not even close to being done.