Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 3: Virtualmeet - July 11

For meet videos, best to see the video on Kris' site using this link:
I did this since other people lifted besides us, and I think videos are better than still shots. So the pictures I post will be of other things.

So, what can I cover differently than that?

We all weighed in before breakfast: I weighed in at 213 pounds, Mans at 196 pounds, Christian at 205 pounds, Kris at 211 pounds. After weigh in, Mans and Kris prepared us a mix of yogurt, muesli, and vanilla/lemon protein powder (w/Casein and Whey) that was as much a healthy dessert as it was a great breakfast. Yummy! And of course there was the usual cheese, bread, butter, coffee, and jams. So much healthier than my last VirtualMeet meal of Burger King, Coke Slurpee, and energy drinks!!!

Being the considerate powerlifter that he is, Kris went around the other cottages in close proximity to tell (warn?) them that we would be having a powerlifting meet and that we would be playing some loud music, and he asked if there would be any issues. Issues? Nah: some of them even showed up to watch!!! That alone would guarantee some extra adrenaline flow. It was nice to have them and Kris' family watching.

As you could see from the photos, the setup was simple but extensive. Mans provided a high definition video camera, and had bought a nice Logitech speaker system w/subwoofer that brought the noise. Kris had a Panasonic digital camera that was mounted on a tripod to film video that would provide an alternate angle for the judges. 3 iPods for music. Lots of energy drinks, plus protein drinks for afterwards (Mans mixed 'em up). A calculator for me, so I could convert pounds to kilograms. Kris also let me use his weightlifting belt: I have a Valeo velcro one that I bought in 1994, and now I could see why a real belt is worth the investment.

Personally: maybe because this was a big meet for me and I wanted to see what I could do at a lighter weight (for VirtualMeet September 2007, I competed at 240 pounds.), I took a few risks that I probably shouldn't have. I usually open at 295 pounds but decided to give it a go at 308 even though my squat workouts had gotten worse in training, and got stapled on the first attempt. My ego bruised, and remembering that you can't lower attempts, I pushed all day on the second attempt and nailed it but we noticed afterward that I forgot to take off my warmup pants, so the lift was not legal. Imagine, spent to fuck and facing a bomb-out on the first lift at the Gathering, so I asked Kris if he could call depth for me. If it looks like I dive bombed it, I was just spent and decided to put my all into coming out of the hole. Success!!!

Based on my last training numbers, I played it safe this time and benched 220 with a good pause on my first attempt (I had not trained with a pause, stupid me). I nailed 231 pounds for a second attempt but was called for insufficient pause (I knew it was a no go). I should have stayed with that weight for a third attempt, because 242 only went halfway up. On the plus side, I based my training max for this 5/3/1 cycle on that 231.

Deadlift was also one of those lifts that gave me fits in training: I put too much time into deficit deadlifts, severely overtrained, and my bests prior to this in training was 335x3 on June 17 (conventional) and 345x1 on June 29 (reverse band conventional). So I decided on an opener of 363 pounds and would decide the other attempts based on how fast it went up. It went up so fast that I went for a 396 second attempt, and I got it. In retrospect, if I had played back the vid and seen how much lower back I used on that lift (a lot), I might have been more conservative on my third attempt (about 405). Instead, I went for broke on 418 pounds and barely nudged it.
I totaled 925.6 pounds. Per pound I was stronger than the last meet, a little bit of consolation for the fact that I lifted 45 pounds less than the last meet. I made so many training mistakes that I deserved what I got . . . . . and now know how to proceed with 5/3/1 this time.

That, and it was hella fun to do the meet here in Finland. Kris looked technically better in his lifts than I had seen in his last meet, especially his squats and deadlifts where he had a much better back arch (he hadn't trained much due to injury and work). Christian showed me how the IPF do: I would have killed for that 463 deadlift and I think if I hadn't mistakenly misloaded the right side of the bar on his second bench attempt (sorry, Christian), he would have tied Mans for best bench. Mans gave Christian a run for the money: for a guy who is more bodybuilder than powerlifter by his own admission, his lifts looked clean and effortless. Lastly, it rained as predicted but even the gods smiled, since it chose to rain after we had packed all the equipment away.

And, unlike past meets, we had a sauna to fix us up afterwards. I decided to follow Kris' advice and do a contrast: sauna followed by a dip in the "lake", 2 or 3 times. The lake part knocked the breath out of me, it was so damn cold!!! As Mans explained to me, since it was fed by the Baltic Sea, it was a sea and not a lake so the water was colder. After that (and running a bit of a fever that night), I pretty much stayed away from the sea/lake for the duration of my time in Finland.

The other 3 guys were almost non-chalant about the water.

Dinner was great, a barbecue and lots of beer. I had told Kris before I came to Finland that one of the things that I wanted to do was to break bread with his family, and this dinner exceeded my expectations. Kris' parents were way cool, and I also walked away thinking that as a whole Europeans travel a whole lot more than Americans do. Between all of us we have been to Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, Tibet, China, America, Europe, and more . . . . lots of stories to go around.

After dinner, we went to work converting the video for upload, and Kris was probably the last to go to sleep that night since he was already at work coding for VirtualMeet.

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