Competing in my first Powerlifting Meet – Part 2

The week leading up to the meet I wasn’t too nervous but I’m not sure if that’s because I wasn’t really sure what to expect?

Training was quite light in the ways of volume but still with a high enough weight, just so I had still lifted heavy. Unfortunately everything felt really heavy which then got me a bit worried.  I spoke to Bruce about it and he said not to worry as I’d done all my training and I would be fine and it was probably just because I was training on my own and it felt a bit flat. With that, I tried not to over think it, accept I’d done my training, and at the end of the day I can only lift what I can lift.

We left to head down to the meet on the Friday afternoon even though the ladies weren’t until Sunday, the guys were Saturday so we went down to support them, being that we were going as a team.

Saturday morning the guys needed to be there for 8.30 to weigh in, we went along about 10 as lifting didn’t start until 10.30.

When we walked into the room where the meet was being held my stomach sank!! The room wasn’t that big and was set out a bit like a wedding but instead of an alter, there was the rack…. Rows and rows of chairs laid out with a walkway through the middle. I hadn’t realised that people would be sitting that close to us?

Lifting got underway and I soon got used to it and realised that not everyone was paying attention to everyone as most of them had come to watch someone specific.

It was a long day as there was about double the amount of guys competing to women. The guys all did well but only Calum managed to qualify for the Scottish championships.

Sunday morning arrived and we went for breakfast, and to be honest I wasn’t really that hungry but ate a slice of toast with scrambled egg.  As I was 3kg under my weight category I didn’t need to worry about making weight.

When we reached Raw Anatomy (the venue) we dumped our stuff in a corner of the gym and queued up to weigh in. I weighed in at 68.9 and gave my opening lifts, which has to be done at the same time so I went for 85kg squat, 50kg bench and 115kg deadlift. The weights on opening lifts can be changed closer to lifting if need be.

Lifting started at 11 for us so there was a bit of time to pass so we snacked and got hydrated. I started stretching and warming up at about 10.30 when Barry arrived. We didn’t go too heavy or do too much in warm up as I guess you know you can lift the weight, it’s just a case of doing it at the time.

I was about 5th to go for my squat, they called my name and said bar is loaded (you have 1 minute from that time to start your lift) I wasn’t too nervous so walked up to the platform and got set up.

There is a judge sitting right in front of you and one to each side and spotters behind you. The guys were right, you don’t really notice everyone watching. I un-racked and waited for the call to “squat” 85kg is pretty comfortable so it felt ok. At the top again you have to wait for a command to “rack” or it’s a failed lift.

I got 2 white lights from the side judges but a red from the one in front of me? Which I wasn’t quite sure what it was for?

You have 1 minute from that lift to submit your next weight so we went with 92.5kg.

You don’t go anywhere once the lifting has started, you just stay to the side and keep warm until it’s your turn to lift again. Which doesn’t take that long!

My second lift went very much the same as my first but again I got a red light from the judge in front of me. The side judge called me over and said she was flagging me on depth but that she couldn’t see as clearly as them and I was fine. My last lift we put in for 97.5 even though it had been my hope to go for 100 but after being flagged twice we went safe. However on my last lift I got 2 red lights therefore a failed lift (again on depth) so my squat total was 92.5kg

Warm up for the bench while the other weight categories did their squats. Bench was feeling good, I felt strong and this showed when I was called for my first lift. I got myself set up and waited for the call to “bench” you have to hold at the bottom until the bar is completely still then you get the command to “press” and then “rack” at the top.

My first and second lift of 55kg flew up. My last lift was to be 57.5kg as you can only go up in 2.5kg increments unless you’re going for a record. I had attempted this weight a couple of times in training but failed it. I did start to think about this however the bar had flew up that easily that I thought “todays the day”.

When she called “bench” I lowered the bar and paused at the bottom but it felt like ages… when she eventually said “press” I didn’t have my feet set in the right position to push up through them and my bum lifted off the bench (an automatic failed lift) which in my head was like oh no. I put it back on the bench and tried to press the bar but by this time had lost my tightness and the bar was wobbling about so that was it, a failed lift so my bench was 55kg.

PowerliftingDeadlift warm up commenced and again they felt good, except I kept getting a head rush but Hayley who I had met that morning and was also competing for the first time, gave me some haribo, sugar hit!!! This helped.

My opening lift was 115kg and it flew off the ground. My second lift we put in as 122.5 just to be a bit safe after failing my 3rd lift in the previous two disciplines. That also flew up so Baz told me we were going for 130kg and I wasn’t getting an option as the second lift had flew up. 130kg it was, I had done this once in training but it had been hard and not very pretty!!

I started to get a bit nervous and Baz told me I’d have to dig deep for it but that I would get it. “Jen Innes, bar is loaded” it was me… so I walked up to the bar, I could hear everyone shouting for me… I took a breath, bent down, grabbed the bar and drove through the floor and it seemed to just fly up off the floor, I could feel myself smiling at the top until the judge said “down” (the only command in a deadlift) I had done it, I about knocked the chalk box over whilst giving Baz a high five!!!

I had also totalled 277.5kg which was over the 255kg total needed to qualify for the Scottish Championships in Motherwell on the 27th of May.

I had a great experience and after saying I would only do it once it would be daft not to take part in the Scottish after qualifying! So the journey continues with the aim of achieving 3 new PB’s. Watch this space……!

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