Fitness for One and All Home Page

Books and eBooks by the Director

IPA Pennsylvania State Powerlifting Championships - 2007

Contest Report

For my final workouts leading up to this contest, see Full Workout Logs: Starting 8/10/07: In-Season - Weeks 5-8 of 8.

I competed in the Pennsylvania State Championships for the International Powerlifting Federation on Saturday, September 22, 2007 in New Castle, PA. I competed in the 114 pound weight class in the open and masters (45-49) divisions. The contest was held in the cafeteria of George Washington Intermediate High School. The cafeteria was divided in half, one half for the contest and the other half for the warm-up room.

For details on how I cut weight for the contest, see my post Cut 7.7 pounds in 7-1/2 days. Here, I will just say that with weigh-ins at 6:00 pm rather than 9:00 am the day before, I wasn’t able to eat and drink as much as I had hoped after weigh-ins, and that hurt my performance.

But before starting my report, let me say that Gene Rychlak was the meet director for this contest, but he was not at the contest. His finance (Ame Lutz) made an announcement before the contest that Gene was in the hospital because of a “serious infection.” So keep Gene in your prayers. But Ame did a very good job of announcing the contest, and Mark Chaillet (president of the IPA) was there, head judging the contest. I’m not sure if Mark was originally planning on coming or just came since Gene couldn’t make it. But otherwise, there looked like there was plenty of help, and the contest was run rather smoothly.

It was a small contest, with only 14 full power lifters, 13 men and one female, who was entering her first contest. There were also six bench only lifters. With the small number of lifters there was only one flight.


With the small contest, there was only one monolift, so we all had to warm-up on the platform monolift, so the contest started 45 minutes late, at 10:45. But squats went quickly once we got started.

Gear: Crain power belt, squat shoes, Titan single-ply briefs, Ginny canvas suit, APT 2.5m Black Mamba knee wraps, APT wrist bands.

Warm-ups: 45/15, 145/8, briefs: 235/5, suit: 290/3, belt & wraps: 345/1

Opener: 380

I opened with 380 as I had planned. It was harder than I had hoped, and I got one red light. So that had me a little worried. But I went with my originally planned second attempt.

2nd Attempt: 400

Very hard, but with three white lights.

3rd attempt: 415

I had squatted 415 at my last contest, so I had hoped to go 420 here. But with as hard as the 400 was, I dropped to it 415, which was all I needed to break my own IPA record.

I wrapped my knees and pulled the straps on my suit as tight as I possibly could and got really fired up. When I took the weight off of the racks, it felt light, but then I started to lose my balance backwards. So I had to call for the spotters to take the weight.

Mark had said in the rules meeting that if you had problems getting set, you could go again. So I took a few seconds and took the weight up again. This time, it felt heavier, but I kept my balance. I went down fine, but then it was an extremely difficult struggle coming up. I might had stopped a couple of times, but managed to get it moving again. I was just able to get my knees locked and hold the weight long enough for them to get the racks back down.

The crowd was really cheering, until two reds come up. You could hear a collective “awwww” from the audience. Afterwards, several people came up to me and told me they thought the lift was good. Even Mark told me it was “really close.” I just wish he had been a side judge. That would have given me a little more confidence that it was a correct ruling. But given the problems I had with hitting depth in training, I wasn’t too surprised, but still very disappointed.

However I should add that Mark told me that the first time I took the weight off of the racks, I had broken my knees. So technically, that was my attempt. But they let it slide and let me re-set and try again. So I guess I cannot complain it didn’t pass anyway.

But let me add, there is a common assumption that the IPA regularly passes high squats. Let me say, that if it did, my “close” squat here should have passed. But it didn’t. So that notion simply is not true.


Gear: Gear: Crain “combo” shirt, APT 24” Black Mamba wrist wraps.

Warm-ups: 45/10, 95/8, 115/5, shirt: 155/3, wraps: 180/1

Opener: 200

Since I train alone, I never have anyone hand off for me in training. But previously at contests, I always found someone in the warm-up room to hand off for me and then for my attempts. But even with a good handoff, it never felt quite right. And that could be why I hadn’t gone 3/3 on benches since my first contest 4-1/2 years ago. So this time I decided to not have anyone hand off to me.

However, as I was taking the weight of the racks, I could feel it jumping around. Apparently, the spotters had taken it upon themselves to “help” me. And their “help” almost cost me the lift. One spotter let go before the other and the weight almost got away from me. But I got control of it and made the lift, but barely.

2nd attempt: 210

I had planned on going 220 on my second attempt. But I wasn’t sure if my opener felt so hard because of the spotters or because of cutting weight. So I just went to 210.

This time, I made sure to tell spotters to NOT touch the weight, that I would take it out myself. You would think this would be the “default,” that the spotters would not touch the weight unless the lifter asked otherwise. But now I know this cannot be assumed and will have to remember to tell the spotters before my opener from now on.

In any case, this lift felt relatively easy. Three whites.

3rd attempt: 220

My PR and IPA record were both 215, so I went 220 here. Just like my third squat, it was a very difficult lift, with the bar possibly stopping a couple of times. But this time, three whites! So that made up for my problems on squats.


This contest was being held on the first day of Autumn, but the weather outside was more like late-July, being in the mid-80s. And with no A/C in the cafeteria, it was hot, HOT, *HOT* by the time for deadlifts.

With the extra bench-only lifters, I had a break between my final bench and when I needed to warm-up for DLs. So I had gone into the hallway to lie down. When I came back into the cafeteria, it felt like an oven.

I had never fully re-hydrated after cutting weight and had been guzzling liquids all day long. During the contest, I drank a 32 ounce bottle of orange-carrot juice, a 20 ounce bottle of iced tea, and about 3 quarts of water, but I still felt dehydrated. And I could feel it affecting me while warming up. But I stubbornly stayed with my originally planned opener.

Gear: Crain power belt, Frantz DL suit, APT knee sleeves and wrist bands; Nike wrestling shoes

Warm-ups: 145/8, 215/5, suit: 285/3, belt and wraps: 335/1

Opener: 370

More difficult than I had hoped, but 3 whites.

2nd attempt: 390

Very difficult, but still 3 whites.

3rd attempt: 405

I had planned on going 410 here to break my IPA record. But I dropped it to 405. I got the weight up a few inches, but that was it. If it wasn’t for the heat and being dehydrated, who knows? But as it was, I should have dropped it to 400.

Total and Conclusion

I only totaled 1010, which was 20 pounds less than my last contest. But benches saved the day. 3/3 for the first time in 4-1/2 years, a PR and a new IPA record. But the reason benches went so well is I dropped my planned second and third attempts by 10 pounds each. Whereas with squats and DLs, I only dropped my 3rd attempts by five pounds. If I had dropped them by just five pounds more and gone a little lighter on my second attempts, I probably would have gone 9/9.

So now I know that if I continue to cut to 114s, I need to allot for about a ten pound strength loss on all three lifts. And as I note in my “Cut” post, not weighing in until 6:00 pm, along with the heat, added to the strength loss. But still, all things, considered, not a bad day.

I didn't have anyone to take pics at the contest, but below is a pic of the really neat trophy I got.

Click for a larger image

Ranking Lists

Powerlifting Watch now has its own ranking lists, with separate lists for raw, single-ply, and mutli-ply lifters. Unfortunately, they are lumping together 114s, 123s, and 132s under the 132 pound class. But despite competing against lifters as much as two weight classes above me, my rankings as a result of this contest were pretty good. For the final multi-ply list for 2007, my lifts from this contest placed me at:

Lift Weight Rank
Squat 400 #7
Bench 220 #23
Deadlift 390 #9
Total 1010 #9

For my first workouts after this contest, see Full Workout Logs: Starting 10/1/07: Initial Full Body Workouts.

The above contest report was posted on this site September 24, 2007.
The "Ranking Lists" was added June 21, 2008.

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