Fitness for One and All Home Page

Books and eBooks by the Director

Contest Plans for 2004

by Gary F. Zeolla

In January, 2004 I found out that IPA Worlds is set for July 10-11, 2004 in Shamokin Dam, PA (about 40 miles north of Harrisburg). This is about a month earlier than Worlds were held last year. I was thinking of entering a contest in the early spring, but with Worlds moved up, I have decided not to enter another contest until Worlds.

I want to enter one more contest in the amateur division in the IPA so I can increase my amateur records as much as possible before entering as a pro. The IPA rules are such that it one totals a "pro" total then you must enter as a pro at your next IPA contest. And this includes totals set in any federation, not just in the IPA. Also, IPA records can now only be set at IPA Worlds and Nationals. [Update: I later found out that there are few contest besides Nationals and Worlds that IPA records can be broken at, but my plans had already been set.]

At my last contest, IPA Nationals - 2003, I totaled 940, which is only 35 pounds shy of the pro, masters total of 975. So most likely, if I were to enter a contest before Worlds I would total more than the pro total and thus not be able to enter as a amateur at IPA Worlds.

Now there are a couple of bench/ deadlift contests in the early spring in the Pittsburgh, PA area where I live. So they would be convenient to go to. And I would not put in a total at such contests, so I could enter one of these and still be able to enter as an amateur at IPA Worlds. But my best lift is squats. Also, these are both unsanctioned contest, so there would be no records to go after. And at both contests last year, there were no 114 pounders. As such, I really wouldn't have anything to compete against. So there doesn't seem much point in breaking my training to enter them.

So my plans are to wait until IPA Worlds to enter a contest and for it to be my last contest to enter as an amateur. Counting out the weeks, this means there are a total of 34 weeks between my last contest (which was on November 14, 2003) and my next contest. With taking a week off after my last contest and a week off before Worlds, and an occasional day off otherwise, this gives me about 30 weeks of training. So my plans are to use use my current training routine for 10 weeks. I will then change my routine and use the new routine for about 10 weeks, then another new routine for the final 10 weeks.

With such a long time between contests, I think it will be best to use full completive gear occasionally in-between. So I am planning on using full gear for every fourth low-rep workout for each powerlift.

I do a low-rep bench workouts every week. So this means I will use the bench shirt every fourth week and get in about six shirted workouts before my contest in July. I only do low-reps workouts for squats and DLs every other week. So I will only be using full gear for these lifts every eighth week, which will give me 3-4 workouts with the gear before the contest.

My next contest after IPA Worlds will then be IPA Nationals, November 12-14, 2004 [Update: see below for date change], also in Shamokin Dam, PA. Assuming I total more than 975 at Worlds, Nationals will then be my first contest to enter as a pro. [Update: I ended up totaling 1025! See IPA Worlds - 2004 for a contest report.]

There will be 18 weeks between Worlds and Nationals. That is much better than last year when there were just 14 weeks between these two contests. Last year, I felt like I would have done much better at Nationals if I had just had a couple more weeks of training. So I am glad the IPA moved World's up a month.

So it looks like I will only be entering two contests this year. It should also be noted that I plan on staying at 114s for both of these contest. But by next year I might have to move up to 123s. But I will worry about that then.

IPA Nationals Schedule Change

IPA Nationals was scheduled for November 12-14, 2004. But I received an email from Ellen Chaillet on July 26 informing me it has been moved back a week, to November 19-21 (the weekend before Thanksgiving).

The reason for the change is on the former weekend the local college is having its "Family Weekend" and the hotels in the area are already booked up with the parents coming in for the weekend.

I think the change is a good idea. I was able to find a hotel room not too far from the contest site for the original weekend, but it was one of the last rooms they had left. And most other hotels in the area were already full. And I'm glad they moved it to one week later rather than sooner. The extra week of training between IPA Worlds and Nationals should prove beneficial.

The contest is begin held at:
Champs Fitness and Sports Center
15 Stetler Ave.
Shamokin Dam, PA 17876

Contact Mark or Ellen Chaillet for a registration form or download it from the IPA Web site:
(710) 495-0024

Change of Plans

My plans changed, and I decided that I would not enter IPA Nationals on November 19, 2004. There were two main reasons I was planning on entering this contest. The first was to set the "pro" records at 114s for the open and masters divisions. But the key word here is "set." Right now there are no records as no one has ever entered 114s in the IPA as a pro. It would sound good to be able to say I hold eight additional records, but frankly, setting records for this reason is about as meaningful as "winning" my weight class by virtue of being the only person in the class.

My second reason for wanting to enter Nationals was to increase my PRs. This would improve my standings in the Top 100 and Top 20 Masters charts. But my training has been going good, but not great. So I probably would have been able to break all of my PRs, but not by much. So entering this contest would not improve my rankings that much.

The next consideration is money. Altogether, with registration fees, motel bill, gas and food, it cost me over $500 to enter IPA Worlds, and with Nationals being in the same location, the cost would be about the same. And from the looks of things, I would not be able to improve my lifts sufficiently to justify spending another $500.

Moreover, after Worlds, it took me about two months to get my lifts in the gym back to where they were right that contest. So if I were to enter Nationals, it would probably be the same thing. I would "lose" about two months of training.

And finally, I got really exhausted at Worlds, not just at the contest but throughout the weekend. This was due to my still struggling with fatigue from fibromyalgia. And frankly, I don't feel like going through that again. But I am hopeful that some new treatments I am now undergoing will work in overcoming this fatigue.

So my thought is now, it would be best to wait until early spring to enter a contest. This way, I'll be able to train without the interruption and setback that entering a contest causes. And with a stretch of several months of uninterrupted training, hopefully, by then my lifts should be up sufficiently that I will be assured of breaking all of my PRs by a significant amount and of setting records that will be worthy of the "pro" designation and thus a lot more meaningful. And finally, waiting to enter another contest will give time for my health to hopefully improve so I won't get so exhausted next time.

I will make my specific contest plans for 2005 at the beginning of next year and post details at that time.

Contest Plans for 2004. Copyright 2004 by Gary F. Zeolla.

The above article was posted on this site January 13, 2004.
It was last updated November 1, 2004.

Powerlifting and Strength Training
Powerlifting and Strength Training: Contest Reports

Text Search     Alphabetical List of Pages  Contact Information

Fitness for One and All Home Page

Books and eBooks by the Director