After two bad meets in a row I was pretty frustrated with myself. I was feeling unfulfilled. My coach Steve Goggins talked me into competing at USPA Drug Tested Nationals since I was unsure of what my next steps would be. I needed to regain confidence in myself as a lifter and take a step out of my comfort zone.

Training leading up to this meet was great. I think this is the best training cycle Steve has done for me. I never had to grind through any training sessions, and I was gaining confidence in my lifts week by week. He has me train with a wider grip on my light bench days, and I am ever so slowly bringing my competition grip out. I also got more comfortable with heavier weights during the short period I trained in single ply this year. I am seeing huge improvements by doing this, both in training and in competition.

For the first time in a long time I had consistent training partners. They kept me accountable, and as they got to know me, they were able to tell me as soon as a lift looked off, or when I approached a lift with a different attitude. They really helped me find my sweet spot for intensity during a lift. I can't thank them enough!

One big takeaway I had after my last two meets was that I spent too long trying to be too light. I tried so hard to constantly stay under my weight class, and wasn't eating the best way to fuel my body. I was eating mostly low-carb, and eating whenever I felt like it. I had barely any structure. I went on a binge after my last meet and ate and ate and ate. During the 10 weeks prior to this meet I decided to follow a nutrition program that is specific to increasing athletic performance while allowing you to lean out and keep you muscle mass. My energy and performance during training improved pretty dramatically and I am definitely going to continue with this during every meet prep.

I weighed in for this meet at 64kg (140.8 pounds). I normally compete in the 63kg class for IPF competitions, but the USPA has different classes. I had to choose between cutting to 60kg (132) or just competing at 67.5kg (148). I decided that since this meet was more of a confidence booster, I was just going to compete at my current weight and try to stay close to my normal weight class.

Day of the Meet

Warmups all felt great, There was a bit of confusion with the kilogram plates in the warm up room (I can't do math on meet day), so some of my warm-up weights were a little off from the plan. Despite some nerves, I had a good feeling about this meet as soon as I started warming up. I told Steve this and he immediately told me not to get too confident.

My heart was pounding right before my first squat. I knew that this lift would dictate how the rest of the day would play out. It flew, and from then on the rest of the meet was nothing short of perfect.
I ended up having more in the tank for every lift. Not one grind during the entire day. This makes me so excited to step on the platform again and see what I am really capable of.


Opener — 135 kilograms/297 pounds

Second — 145 kilograms/319 pounds

Third — 152.5kilograms/335.5 pounds (27-pound meet PR)

This weight felt heavy on my back, especially during the walk out, but surprised me with how well it moved!


Opener — 95 kilograms/209 pounds

Second — 102.5kilograms/225.5 pounds

Third — 107.5kilograms/236.5 pounds (29-pound meet PR)

The bar felt heavy in my hands but I remained confident. I was so excited when this moved well!


Opener — 140 kilograms/308 pounds

Second — 152.5 kilograms/335.5 pounds

Third — 157.5 kilograms/346.5 pounds (11-pound meet PR)

This weight felt good, no grinding or hamstring shake!

Biggest Takeaway 

This meet really helped me discover the perfect meet intensity. I wasn't riled up on caffeine, and wasn't aggressive coming onto the platform. I tried to be confident and keep a clear mind before every lift. I stayed confident in execution, going through my mental checklist during each lift. I wasn't over anxious, but wasn't too calm. I will do my best to keep the same intensity for every meet to come.

Special thanks to Steve Goggins, Dave and Traci Tate, John Beres, Mat B, Mat M, Mark Webster, Doug and Candi, and to everyone who sent me their love and support leading up to this meet.