13 October 2012

Specificity, or how to get better at what you actually want to do

One of the things we strive for at The Movement is to practice specificity.  So, in the context of me, that would mean practicing the powerlifts with their cues as often as possible.  I hadn't done so at all this year because I was worried about getting out of pain.  Now, I am out of pain. So last Saturday I decided it was time to give it a go under contest conditions. I was nervous that the lack of deadlifting would have affected my total (before the mini meet, 1055) negatively--I have only pulled the way I would at a meet 26 times this year as of last night. However, I was nicely surprised.

I arrived at the Powerhouse at 9am ready to lift with a bunch of people I had never met, and a few I knew already.  Among them, several badasses and overall great dudes: Tony Conyers, Layne Norton and Jon Bernor.  The latter two I train around and with occasionally, and despite what the morons on forums say, Layne is a very approachable and knowledgeable guy.  In addition to that, he gets psyched up for lifts, so that I don't have to.

I didn't warm up, it didn't test well and all my lifts were as follows:

Squat: 380, 410, 430.
Bench: 245, 260, and a miss at 270
Deadlift: 460, 480, 500.

Though it is not the best I could have done, I am extremely proud that I added 40lbs to my deadlift and 90lbs to my squat. And a paltry five pounds to my bench.  That ups the total by 135lbs (1190 if you can't add) in just shy of ten months since the last competition.  Bodyweight this time around was 177, no cutting involved.  I think the majority of the bench problems are involving me not finding out what works, and me not enjoying the lift nearly as much as the other two.  Incidentally, due to the injury I got to really enjoy squats because that was all I could do for a while.  And once that cleared up, I got to do them with more weight.

Once I was able to deadlift again, shit got real.

One thing I will address now, is how I added 90lbs to the squat. I have talked about it before, but it still baffles some people. Since 29 September 2011 I have squatted 154 times. My max was kicking about 330 or so.  Out of the 154 times, five sessions were box squats with a cambered bar, 34, were with the safety bar to a box below parallel, 68 were with a regular bar to the same box, 32 were competition squats with no box. The rest were with the safety bar and no box. How can a human withstand all that? By stopping when it gets difficult.  No, that's not a joke. 

My deadlift went up the way it did due to the technical issues of my own form and possibly due to doing so many box squats. Compare the above to the below:

Big difference. I wish I had gotten 500 on tape, but I was busy worrying about lifting and decided to not worry about it. Rest assured, by next competition (8 December) I will add more pounds to the total and meet at least 1220 with a 520lb deadlift.

Apparently, deadlifting is popular among the women of Scotland.

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