Powerlifting (Bench Only) Comp

Today was my second Bench Only comp. My back rehab is doing great, and I think I could have done the full comp today, but haven’t been training for it.

This was my second cycle of a high volume bench program. I love it! My muscles really respond well to high volume. Although it has been mentally draining over the past few weeks, I think I will do a hybrid between this high volume bench and the normal full lifting cycle for the next comp.

My cats woke me up about half an hour earlier than planned (one crying like a tortured child to be let outside, the other moving a 12kg kettlebell we keep in front of a cupboard so he could get in the bin), so like the zombie I am in the morning, I shuffled around til I had made my morning coffee.

On the way in, I started to get nauseous. Usually in races I get nervous, but that dissipates quite quickly once you start running and breathing and moving lots. It’s different in powerlifting because there’s very little action, and lots of time to fret.

I realised I didn’t have enough cash on me (why can’t you pay for these online?) so stopped off at the supermarket for an oat bar for breaky, cash out…. and a stop to a cafe for more coffee.

I weighed in at 74.2kg – up 350g from the previous comp in September – and vowed once more to lose those pesky couple of kilos to get in the 72kg class. I did try waterloading, however it was a mild attempt as I get dizzy and hyponatremic when I drink lots of water. I have a different tactic in mind next time that should be easier and may work better.

A while ago I was planning to open with 60kg, but since my last week of training wasn’t so great, I opened with 57.5kg so I knew I’d at least get a lift in. It was so light. Almost a joke, but heavier than that would be entering the unknown.

My second attempt was 60kg. This was great – a new PB for me. It’s pretty much been my goal for a while, and I feel like I’m lifting big boys weights now I am onto blue plates.

For my third attempt, the sensible thing to do would be 62.5kg, but I really wanted to get C Grade so that is 65kg in the 84kg weight class. Anyway, I failed that quite well! I suppose if I was 10kg heavier then I’d easily put 10kg more on the bar and it would have been a piece of cake. Anyway, I know I’ll get it next time. And next time I’ll be up to scratch for the full comp, and even if I don’t get PBs in the other lifts I should be edging closer to B grade.

It’s interesting to watch the video for technique. I’m getting a much better arch in my back (although it could be better), and generally feeling more solid overall, but I look quite unsteady with the 65kg. I really thought I could get it (otherwise I wouldn’t even have attempted it) so I will have to work on that a bit more on my light days. Thanks to Al for helping me warm up and filling in my attempt cards, and pointing out that my feet are just as crooked as when I squat. At least when I squat I look at them to straighten them before I start, so I will have to work out something to fix them in my bench too.

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