I'm originally a bodybuilder who got hurt doing a weekend of sporting activities (soccer and basketball). This is how I  hurt my knee...first the right playing basketball, and then my left knee playing  soccer. I was forced to lay off my training for 2 - 3 years. When approached about competing in a powerlifting contest by my current training partner, I said yes just out of curiosity. Since I was already training for bodybuilding, and I always lifted heavy when training for my contest. That made it easy for me to make the transition for a meet. Working up to my first meet, I used a standard 15 week program - nothing special. I just started light and then worked up. I used whatever was in Powerlifting USA and was pretty much ignorant on programs, so I used the pyramid method and base my training on 85 percent of my projected max. My very first meet APF SOUTHERNSTATES was October, 2002. At that meet, I hit a 683 pound squat, 420 pound bench and 677 pound dead lift. After that, I won two APF nationals, three APC nationals and placed sixth at the WPC worlds in 2007.

I got  into single ply two years ago, and many things have changed since then. At my most recent meet, I weighed in at 264 pounds. This was my sixth single-ply meet and was somewhat disappointing, as I normally come in around 270 pounds. Coming in light sucks and the only benefit is if it comes down to coefficient.

However, I had a great time at this meet. There weren't that many lifters, but the ones that were there put up some really good numbers - raw and equipped. Most were young lifters and some new to the APF and power lifting in general. The youngest there, I think, was 13 or 14 years old and pulled around 365 pounds - very nice.

My day started off pretty good with an 870 pound opening squat. My second attempt was good - 903 pounds. The third, 1003 pounds, rolled up my neck - not good. I needed that to reach my single-ply goal of 2500 pounds. After missing my squat, it put me 100 pounds behind. This was depressing, but my spirits soared and I got back into a good mood after the bench. Now, in the bench, things went a little bit better. My opener for 633 pounds was good, as well as my second for 672 and 705 for my third. That, my friend, was a single-ply bench PR for me. I still had a chance to total 2400!

...but then I failed my deadlift. I'll add that usually when I compete, the totals don’t go down, so this was very frustrating. The deadlift started off really weird. After my last warm-up, I sat down and all of a sudden I was seeing four of everything. I drank some carbo-force and it went away. My first pull was 705 - good. The second was 749 - good. After both, I felt like I could do something crazy on my third. However, no such luck. I called for 793 pounds and stepped up to the bar. It moved about four inches off the ground and that was that.

My bench shirt was great, but the suit was lose. I thought we were going to use full-length briefs, but the rules were different than I was used to. I went with suit only and didn’t get enough rebound.

I need to get my weight back up to 270. If anything - my training went great, I just need to keep head up on squat and my heart wasn't into the dead lift.

All in all, it was a great experience that I would surely do again.

View Charles' Training Log here