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APF Pennsylvania Sate Powerlifting Championships - 2006

Contest Report – Best Lifter!

Contest: American Powerlifting Federation (APF) Pennsylvania State Championships
Date & Location: September 2, 2006; South Park, PA in the Broughton Fire Hall.
Weight Class/ Division: 114s, masters (45-49).

For my final workouts leading up to this contest, see Full Workout Logs: Starting 7/7/06: In-Season/ Weeks 6-11. For background on the gear I used, see Powerlifting Gear Update. For how I made weight, see Cut 9.3 pounds in 7 days.

This was the smallest contest I’ve ever competed in, with only 14 full power lifters, plus several bench only and a couple DL only lifters. There was only one masters lifter besides myself. So rather than going by formula for masters as was originally planned, the meet director (Keith McNeish) just had regular weight classes. So once again, I had no competition in my weight class. Also, this was the first time I competed at a contest where there were no women lifters.


Gear: Crain: power belt, squat shoes, wrist wraps, single-ply “converted” briefs; double-ply squat suit; Frantz: double-ply poly squat suit, Titan THP 2.5 meter wraps.

Warm-ups: free/15, 45/12, 135/8, briefs: 225/3, Frantz suit: 295/2, switch to Crain suit (no briefs): 295/1, belt & wraps: 350/1

Attempts: 375, 400, 415

My plan was to use my new Crain “converted” briefs under my Frantz squat suit. But when I put both on and tried squatting down, something was digging into my left testicle. I tried two reps, but the pain was unbearable. So I had no choice but to take the gear off.

When I did, I switched to using my Crain suit since my “suit test” had shown me the Crain suit by itself was better than the Frantz suit by itself. Fortunately, I had the foresight to bring the Crain suit just in case. However, it was a real struggle getting the Frantz suit on then off over the briefs and then getting the Crain suit on. And this left me tired out and fighting fatigue the rest of the contest.

Changing suits also got me behind on my warm-ups. I was second up and knew I wasn’t going to be ready. But I asked Keith if he could delay starting about 15 minutes. The contest was supposed to start at 9:30, but Keith had already delayed it to 10:00 since people were late coming in. Then with my request, we didn’t start until almost 10:30.

But once we got started, squats went well. The suit fit great, but I was having problems with my belt. I couldn’t get it hooked onto the hole I usually do. So it was too loose for my first two attempts. But for my third attempt, I recruited two guys to help me get it hooked onto the next hole. And I think that helped me get a five-pound PR.

Since I was second up, I wasn’t able to see what the judging was like for my first attempt. So I really sunk it. But then as I watched the judging before my next attempt, well, let’s just say they were passing lifts that I would red-light if I was judging. But I figured I might as well take advantage of it, so I cut my next two attempts a little high, but all my lifts passed with three whites. So squats went well.


Gear: Crain: power belt, combo shirt; Inzer wrist wraps.

Warm-ups: 45/15, 95/10, 125/6, shirt: 160/3 (couldn’t touch), belt & wraps: 180/1 (couldn’t touch)

Attempts: 200, 215, 220 (miss)

Benches usually take the biggest hit when I cut weight. But I was able to get my weight back up to 121 the morning of the contest. So I didn’t think benches would suffer too much. And my newly sewed shirt seemed to be fitting well. I wasn’t able to touch with my last warm-up, so it was plenty tight.

My opener went well, but my second attempt was harder than expected. I was planning on going to at least 225 on my third attempt, but I only needed 220 for a PR, so I went with that.

As I was coming down, I thought for sure I would get it. But on the way up, the bar veered toward my head, and the spotters had to take it. This, of course, was inexperience with the shirt. But I was really disappointed.


Deadlifts: Crain: power belt; Frantz: double-ply poly deadlift suit; Nike wrestling shoes, drug store wrist wraps and pull-up knee sleeves

Warm-ups: 135/10, 225/4, suit & shoes: 295/1, belt & wraps: 350/1

Attempts: 375, 400, 410 (miss)

There hade been only one flight of squats, but due to the bench only lifters, there were two flights of benchers, so there was a really long delay between benches and DLs. I tried to rest as best as I could, but the fatigue was really getting to me by the time I had to warm-up for DLs.

After the problem with my converted briefs on squats, I figured it best to not even bother with them on DLs. I knew the Crain suit was a little better, but it was so much harder to put on and I was feeling so fatigued, I went with my Frantz DL suit. Big mistake. The Frantz suit was fitting way too loose. I’m not sure if it was due to cutting weight or that the suit had stretched. But even the straps were loose. So it seemed like the later.

Then again, my belt was loose as well, even when I had it hooked on the hole I usually put it on. I should have once again recruited a couple of guys to help my pull it tighter, but I stupidly didn’t bother.

In any case, my opener felt really heavy, but I went with my planned 400 for my second attempt anyways. I got it, but barely. I had planned on going to 415 for my third attempt for a PR. But I knew I wouldn’t get that.

But at this point I had tied my best total at 1030, so all I needed was five more pounds for a total PR. But just jumping five pounds on DLs seemed too little, so I went with 410. I got it several inches off of the floor before stalling. I might have gotten it if I was wearing the Crain suit and my belt was tighter.

However, as it was, if I had been smart, I would have passed my third attempt. My leg had felt fine all day, so I shouldn’t have pushed it. Even after this attempt it was still okay. But then after I washed up in the rest room and changed, my right hamstring began bothering me. And it’s still hurting some now three days later. But hopefully it will be okay by next week when I start lifting again.


After the contest, I was feeling rather down. I ended up getting only one PR, a mere five-pounds on squats, while tying two others (benches and total). So I haven’t made any real progress in two years. Gear problems are part of the problem, but my health situation is the main reason. I cannot tell you how terribly fatigued I felt after this contest.

But then, my spirits got perked up when to my surprise I won best lifter! As I said, this was a small contest, but still, with only one other masters lifter, this meant I beat out a dozen lifters half my age (well, all under 40 anyhow). The only other time I won best lifter was way back in February 1982 at USPF PA State Collegiates. So it was very exciting to win best lifter once again after 24-1/2 years.

I also broke all four APF masters (45-49) American records, while setting all four state records. I probably wouldn’t have won best lifter if I hadn’t cut to 114s, and I wouldn’t have been able break the American records at 123s, so cutting weight really saved the day for me. But if I ever do so again, well, that will be a decision for a much later time.

For that matter, I don’t know when or if I will compete again. I guess I’m feeling pretty fed up now. It’s just getting too difficult to make progress in training and to compete while dealing with one health problem after another. And the gear hassles are really getting to me. But then, I do get a smile on my face every time I look up at the Best Lifter Sword hanging on the wall over my computer desk. But if I do compete again, it won’t be until next year, probably in March or April. Hopefully by then, I can get my training on track and my gear problems taken care off.

For pictures from this contest, see APF PA States Powerlifting Championships - 2006 - Pictures.

When I start working out again, I will use a new routine format.
See Training Routine Format - 3 Week Rotation.

The above contest report was posted on this site September 5, 2006.

Powerlifting and Strength Training
Powerlifting and Strength Training: Contest Reports

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