I had ONE job...and I blew it. Sorry for waiting until a week after the meet to write my WPC Worlds meet report, but I went on vacation with my family immediately after the meet and this the first chance I've had to even open my laptop.

Long story short, I bombed out of the bench-only meet. This was incredibly frustrating for a number of reasons. First, it was an awesome training cycle, and everything indicated I was good for over 700 pounds. Second, the bench press has been an incredibly consistent lift for me over the last couple of years, and I've gone three for three in it in four out of my last five meets, with the fifth being a two-for-three day with an all-time PR. Third, I only needed to make one damn lift to win the class, as the other two competitors in the class finished below my opener. I couldn't even get one good bench in.

On the bright side, I know exactly what happened and how to fix it. But no matter what, bombing out sucks. Here's what happened:

Everything was looking really good in the weeks before and the day of the meet. Since I was going 220 and wasn't concerned about my weight, I was able to avoid cutting, and came in to the meet bigger and fuller than normal. All of my warm-ups felt light, and I was being helped by Bob Youngs and Mike Stuchiner, two of the best meet-day handlers in the sport.

My opener was 628 pounds which, based on my tune-up meet a month prior, was a nice conservative weight to get me on the board. Unfortunately, the extra muscle that made me physiologically stronger also caused my shirt to fit too tight, and I was unable to get 628 to touch. I hovered a bit above my chest before dumping it on my belly. I tried to take it again, and it was more of the same.

We bumped the weight to about 650 for the third. This was enough to touch (barely), but my form was still being compromised by the tight shirt, and I had a double-pump at lockout which drew reds from the judges.

Based on the relative improvement from 628 to 650, and how I felt that day, I probably should have called for more weight on my third, but this is neither here nor there. What's done is done.

While my bodyweight was only about 213, which I've weighed before, I feel like I'm carrying more muscle now. This is great, but it also bumped me up a shirt size. I was 209 at last month's tune-up, and I felt like being so light threw me a little off. In retrospect, however, it was the tightness of the shirt I was feeling, and the extra four put me over the top. During warm-ups, I was getting a little bit of numbness in my right arm, which I've never felt before, and was another indication my gear was too tight.

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As far as the rest of the meet, I really couldn't have asked for more as a lifter. The warm-up area was beautiful, with five stations, all with elitefts™ equipment, identical to what was on the platform. The judging was tight and the pace was brisk without rushing us. Ano and Minna did a fantastic job putting this enormous event on, and I know for a fact that elitefts™ made a huge sacrifice in supplying the equipment.

Part of what makes this whole thing so frustrating is that I was given every possible opportunity to succeed, and I still managed to fuck it up.

The next day, I stuck around to help my buddy Chris Dellafave also from NJ. Chris is an enormously talented lifter who's had his own problems making it through meets. Despite a rocky showing in the squat, Chris made it through to win the 242 class, coming about an inch away from locking out a massive 848-pound deadlift.

While it's important to thank those who've helped you after a great meet, I think it's even more important to remain thankful when things don't go your way.

Thank you to Dave, Traci, and the whole staff of elitefts™, especially Matt Goodwin, who busted his ass helping set up the awesome warm-up room.

Thank you Bob and Mike for giving up a Saturday to watch me suck at benching.

Thank you to my wife Liz for standing by me while I play powerlifter every weekend.

And thank you to my training partners Justin, Anthony, Steve, Rob and Sideshow Bob for being there week in and week out so we can make each other better.

I will be back.