12.03.12 Bringin home tha GOLD!

USA Powerlifting American Open recap

CrossFit is a hybrid of so many different sports – the one I excel at most is powerlifting so one of my goals was to compete in a powerlifting competition. My friend Cam is a former competitive powerlifter and world record holder, so when he told me a competition was coming up, I looked into it and decided to register. Cam agreed to coach me through it. So on Saturday morning I competed in my first powerlifting meet.
Competitors are required to wear singlets. On four days notice, I was hard-pressed to find one. Apparently sporting goods stores don’t carry them. Luckily, CFM member Derek had an old singlet from his freestyle wrestling days, and it was just my style:

I competed in the 148# weight class, which meant I had to drop five pounds last week. I didn’t eat or drink anything from 3pm Friday afternoon until after I weighed in, Saturday morning at 8. SUCCESS! I weighed 146 (DISCLAIMER: this is not nutrition advice. I don’t recommend you try this just to fit into a pair of skinny jeans). Then I HOUSED a plate of french toast, banana bread, biscuits and gravy and lots of coconut water to refuel/rehydrate before lifting. Nerves + gluten bomb = bad idea.
There are three lifts at a powerlifting meet – back squat, bench press and deadlift. You get three attempts at each. It turns out there are lots of rules at these events. On back squat, to make a good lift, you unrack the bar, wait for the judge’s command to SQUAT, then squat to depth (below parallel), then stand and WAIT FOR THE JUDGE’S COMMAND TO RERACK THE BAR. Simple, right?
On my first squat attempt, at 245#, I did it with ease but forgot to wait for the judge to tell me to rack the bar. NO LIFT. Two more shots to get a good lift in.
For attempt #2, we decided to make a jump in weight, to 259#, even though I hadn’t made my first attempt:

My belt wasn’t tight enough and I didn’t breathe right. FAIL. No pressure Lis. One more fail and you’re out of the meet. That’d be a really cool story to go back and tell everyone. NOT. So I had a mini-panic attack. Cam and my new friend Laura (co-owner of CrossFit Johns Creek) talked me off the ledge. Lifting in a quiet ballroom is weird. I told myself to go out there and pretend I was lifting in the gym with Woody & Dyer, with Rack City blasting in the background. I tightened my belt, held my breath, waited for the judge’s command, squatted the weight, waited for the rack command, and then re-racked the bar. BOOM! Successful lift. I got to stay in the meet. Way to make it dramatic.
The next lift was bench press – by far my least-experienced lift. Luckily Woody was kind enough to bring in his fancy bench from home last week and coached me on some technique. He made me promise that if I won the meet, I would never speak ill of his bench again. That bench is awesome.
On bench press, there are three judge’s commands. The spotter helps you lift off, judge tells you to START, then at the bottom of the rep, you pause until the judge tells you to PRESS, then at the top of the rep, you pause until the judge tells you to RACK the bar. I opened at 121#:

Easy weight. For attempt #2, we went up to 130#:

Two-for-two. Let’s put some weight on the bar. Final attempt, at 149#:

I forgot to wait for the judge’s PRESS command… I faltered when I remembered, and failed the lift. Pesky rules.
Going into the deadlift, I was already 50# ahead of my competition. My opening weight was 20# more than hers, and easy weight for me at 60# less than my PR. There’s also only one judge’s command on the deadlift, so less stuff for me to mess up. First attempt – 280#:

Second attempt – 308#:

After each lift, you have 30 seconds to inform the judges of what your next attempt will be. Cam handled this for me. So after my second deadlift, we discussed how much weight I’d pull for the last attempt, and agreed on 336#. He came back from the judges’ table and told me he’d only increased the weight to 319#… for a minute I was angry, but I figured he thought I couldn’t pull more and trusted his judgment. I was just relieved the meet was almost over. Then when I got out to the platform and they announced my final attempt was at 336#, I realized he’d tricked me. Sneaky devil. Final attempt – 336#:

Yaaaaay, three-for-three! I earned a celebratory vodka-soda for surviving the meet:

I swear it had nothing to do with the tray of glasses I knocked over 20 minutes later back in the ballroom. Bull. China shop.
I knew I’d done well but had no idea where I stood against the competition. Cam said I was sitting pretty, so we hung around to wait on awards. Turns out, I won the Open in the raw (unequipped) division.
I learned a lot and had fun. My big take-aways from the event:
1. Lululemon should make singlets.
2. I’m bad at following directions.
3. Next time, I’ll extend my meet preparation beyond just four days.
Thanks to Woody for the bench press coaching, Derek for lending me that amazing singlet, and to Cam for answering all my silly questions leading up to the meet and for coaching me through it.

CFM Holiday Party IN FIVE DAYS!

FIVE days left! It’s the week we’ve all been waiting for…PARTY TIME! Join us Saturday from 7 to 10 pm, right here at CFM. We’ll provide the main course and beverages. You bring your favorite appetizer or dessert to share (paleo optional!). Lindsay is bringing her grandma’s Better-than-Sex cake (that’s right, I just said grandma and sex in the same sentence). What are you bringing???

Me & Coach Cam

Workout of the Day

A. Split squat:8 rep max at 3010 tempo
B. As many rounds & reps as possible in 20 minutes of:
5 Power Clean 145/100
10 Toes to bar
15 Wall balls 20/14

9 thoughts on “12.03.12 Bringin home tha GOLD!”

  1. Awesome job, Lis! She is too modest to say any of this, but Cam informed me of the state powerlifting records and I wanted to share a comparison of Lis' performance versus the state records because she is too damn modest to do it: Squat record 281.1/Lis 259; bench press record 148.8/Lis 130 (BUT she basically benched more than the state record (149) for a double on the tape and would've had the record but for not following the commands); and deadlift record 336.2/Lis 336.0(? possible tie here, no idea whether Lis' 336 had that extra.2 on it or not). Basically, Lis lifted recording setting weight in 2 categories and the squat record is easily within her reach. So, yeah, she's kinda strong and could potentially take all 3 state records at her next meet.

  2. You give the crowd what they want, Lis Saunders! Also, I have received inquiries regarding my Urban Pl8 order. It definitely met my expectations. Taste preferences aside, I consider myself to have a discerning palate for the quality of food. I'll eat anything, but it needs to be good. I was initially apprehensive of eating leftovers (specifically reheated meat) daily, but it was fine and I used Tabasco (not sure if necessary, but I like spicy food regardless). The variety and quantity exceeded my expectations. I plan on ordering weekly going forward. They offer 3 meal and 5 meal options, approx $55 and $85, respectively. I found it more convenient, healthier, and more affordable than eating out daily. Are there better deals to be had shopping sales, coupons, planning, cooking at home, etc? Or better meals in general – home cooked, prepared fresh at a restaurant, etc? Surely. But I was more looking for convenience, quality, and varierty – so it works for me. Hope this helps! 🙂

  3. Just had to edit this post when I was informed by possibly the WORST speller I know that I used the word WAIT instead of WEIGHT in my recap. How embarrassing. #grammarpolice

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