I did only one competition– RAW United Record Breakers Meet in January– and it went rather poorly for me. Only managed a small 5lb PR in squats, my bench took a dump, and I had to pull conventional (my weaker stance) due to deadlift issues in training. I did make my biggest weight cut to date if that means anything.
Although my performance was utterly crap, a lot of that could be due to the fact I went through some major life stuff during my meet cycle. This included losing a child, graduating for chiropractic school, finding a job, relocating four hours, my wife finding a job… all within less than two months. Not the ideal time to try and focus and train for a meet.
I tried to do one other meet this year. It is harder to find meets worth driving to from Tallahassee but I found one, started training for it and… more life stuff, injury, and other crap got in the way and I scrapped those plans.
My squats took WAY off this year… finally giving me hope that I will reach 500 raw at under 200lbs sooner rather than later. I hit a super hard, 100% max 420 in training in January and hit 425 at my meet (and missing 435). Less than a month ago, I hit 475 and it wasn’t even a 100% super max. 50+ lbs on my squat 1RM in a year at this point in my life is awesome progress for me.
This was a great, great year for bench press for me. I hit an ugly, competition style paused 325 in training in January and then missed it twice at my meet. A couple months ago, I was able to manage a TnG 365… FINALLY hitting the mystical 3 and a quarter milestone again for the first time in a long time and at my smallest bodyweight. I also managed to hit some rep PR’s (that I can’t remember off the top of my head) as well. Although I was comparing paused vs TnG bench there… my tng bench and paused bench are very, very close to each other by the end of a meet cycle. All that pause work focused takes away from my tng ability. But who cares anyway… 365!
I was also able to bring my hand spacing out a bit this year… which seemed to help my strength on bench but may have contributed to my junk left shoulder.
Deadlifts have always been a trouble lift for me. I am not very good at it, I tend to get injured doing it, and due to gym issues in the past I have a hard time doing it period without getting in trouble. Last year, by best pull was 525 in competition but after that competition my pull took a dump big time. I think it had more to do with training at Anytime Fitness than anything.
I had two good “periods” of deadlifting training this year, both coinciding with finding a gym that actually allowed deadlifts. After training at the FSU Muscle Lab during the spring, I hit a 545 sumo pull in late spring or early summer. Then I was stuck in Gold’s full time and couldn’t pull.
After heading to Legacy Fitness, I managed at 555 pull in the last fall/winter. This was also the heaviest I had pulled without straps every. And this was done on a day where I wasn’t feeling like a super saiyan.
Compared to previous years… this one wasn’t that bad!
I didn’t have any catastrophic low back injuries which have plagued me for years. Part of that is just knowing more about the low back (stunning!), part of it is better form, and part of it is simply… I don’t train as hard (and stupid) as I used too. I only had some flair ups that tended to back off pretty quickly here and there. Success in that regard.
I pulled the shit out of my left hamstring shortly after pulling 545 in the spring. This injury was frustrating as hell. After a week or two I was able to squat ok… but every single time I pulled sumo it would come right back. It took months for this thing to allow me to pull without thinking I was going to tear it to pieces.
In the fall, I did something to my left knee to the point where it really hurt to walk. It ached for a bit, then I got up from my chair at work and BAM… couldn’t straighten the stupid thing. This one scared me a bit but I let it heal, focused on deadlift instead… and it is 100% now (and I hit a squat PR soon after getting back to it). Not really sure what that is about…
My biggest injury concerned just happened recently. I seemed to have FUBAR’d my left shoulder. I have had bad shoulder injuries with the right shoulder before, but this is the first for the left and it really came out of no where. I am hoping it is just some bad tendinitis and nothing more serious than that but it is really lingering at the moment and I am still unable to push upper body lifting right now. Shoulder injuries are kind of scary for me due to the fact my right shoulder injury halted my progress for a long, long time and I really need my shoulder to work.