The Unicorn Squat

19 Aug

2013 USAPL Raw Nationals

I’m finally sitting down to recap my 2013 season ending with USAPL Raw Nationals on July 20th. This year has been a great one with two strong finishes nationally and even some personal records on the platform and off. After 2012 Nationals my main focus was get back to basics, build a foundation and get my lost confidence back, all while having fun. Powerlifters put a lot of time in the gym training for one day and if you don’t like the training part then it hardly seems worth all the trouble for a few hours in competition. I was able to speak to Matt Gary from SSPT at Nationals about working with me the next year. We exchanged information and so the journey begins.

Going into the Arnold I had humble expectations. My training went very well with lots of new things to work on, and building up that foundation  of strength which resulted in some gym PR’s. My squat has been on par to lift over 300, I was going to PR in the bench, and because I have a good deadlift I predicted to pull around 360-370ish.  I just missed my 303 squat, which was a bummer but it’s right there, soooo close. I PR’d in the bench by 5lbs. When we got to the deadlift I think we had 363lbs as my third lift and I was jockeying for second place. The girl before me did her final deadlift with success so we dropped my deadlift to 2.5kg over what she did to secure second place. It wasn’t worth risking the position for a bigger total when I came there to place so I pulled 357.5lbs and finished second in the open and first in the masters division. I was very happy with that finish and I knew that goal of squatting over 300 would be met at Nationals in July (well at least I thought I did).

After the Arnold I was ready to hit the ground running. Training for Nationals started right away. We looked at things I needed to work on and Matt made some great suggestions for my programming. He also suggested I get my lifts analyzed by Mike Tuchscherer at RTS. Mike was amazing, he broke down all my lifts from video and gave me a detailed analysis of my weaknesses with suggested homework to fix them. I sent my report to Matt and he added it to my program. My main goal and biggest hurdle was the squat. I needed everything to fall into place to get over 300lbs and I also was struggling with some fear. To help get over some of my fear we planned some max effort sessions with the squat so I could get that weight on my back get comfortable squatting it so Nationals wouldn’t be such a shock for me. I ended up squatting 310, 312 and 315lbs in the gym! I felt like a million bucks and was confident 300+ would be no problem at Nationals. The roster came out and I almost died! There were over 21 girls in my weight class! Just to put that into perspective-last year there were 6! I knew without even looking anyone up that I would need that 300+ squat and all my bests in the other lifts to make top 5. I felt great on competition day. My weight was perfect and I didn’t have to cut weight at the last minute. Right away I missed my third squat. It was the first time I cried at a meet. I knew this would probably hurt my placing and most of all it has been my goal for so long, I wanted it so bad! Matt knew how bummed I was, he came over and told me exactly what went wrong and that it was ok to have a moment to be emotional. Then he told me that I have a meet to finish so I need to get past this. I got back in the game. I finished the bench with a 5lb meet PR with some left in the tank. Coming into the deadlift I was in the same situation I was in at the Arnold except we were jockeying for third this time. I pulled the same lift as I did at the Arnold to secure third place in the open and first place in the masters. I really thought I would be out of the running for a medal after I missed that squat but it just goes to show that you never know what can happen.  National meets are very strict and the competition was brutal!!

Looking at the last year I couldn’t be happier with the way things went. I learned a lot this year and made some great progress. I PR’d 2 of my lifts this year by more than 15lbs each and there is still more to come. I’m looking forward to this year. I owe everything to my coach Matt Gary. Matt has been more than a coach he has been a true friend. He knows things about me before I even know them and somehow he knows when I need a supportive text or an inspiring word. During Nationals Matt competed the day after me so taking his place running numbers for I don’t know how many lifters his wife Sioux-z took his place. It was so awesome to have her helping me. She is an amazing lifter and just like Matt an amazing person. I’m very grateful for them.

Watch my Nationals recap video here.

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One Response to “The Unicorn Squat”

  1. Linds August 20, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    Punks! I loved reading your recap and your thoughts. I’m so proud of you and admire how dedicated you are to your training. Keep doing what you are doing. I want to be there when you squat over 300 in a meet 🙂

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