GPC National Titles 2014 – Powerlifting
In early June I took part in an amazing event, the largest powerlifting event in Australia’s History at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Surfers Paradise. I participated in the Australian GPC National Titles in powerlifting in the 110kg class for the 3 lifts, Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift. For those that are unfamiliar with the sport, powerlifting involves maximal performance of three, very well known, gym lifts: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift.
My preparation leading to the nationals was short and less than optimal as well as tough. Prior to the event most of my time was spent setting up the new Gym and continuing my full time role as a personal trainer and also working part time in another gymnasium. Also with the Queensland Strongman Series running at the moment I had spent a lot of my training time refining my technique on specialised movements for Strongman competition. Luckily the Strongman training (Join us on Satuday mornings!) had made huge improvements in my core strength.
The weight in (so that I came in under 110kgs for my class requirements) was scheduled the day before. At my first ever powerlifting national competition, the weigh in was both nerve wracking (as I had been trying to cut down from 112kgs a few days before) experience and a great opportunity to check out my competition and meet most of the lifters. The best part about a weigh in is getting to eat again straight after the fact! So off to the nearest fast food restaurant for some much deserved macro’s!
D-Day! I felt nervous, tense, excited and the early signs of adrenaline flowing through my body. My weight class had a tough line up with amazing lifters, one of them, Ricky Goodyear, expected to set the largest total of the event (even against the 125kg, 140kg and Super heavyeight lifters (over140kgs)), my goal was beat my previous best of 780kgs, combined for the squat, bench and deadlift, from 6 months ago at PTC Gold Coast during one of their fantastic powerlifting events.
The anticipation in the audience of the records to be set by Ricky Goodyear could be felt. The whole event had an amazing atmosphere with support and cheering from the whole audience for all lifters throughout the event. Coming into the event, especially for the first lift, the squat, I was not comfortable as I have had problems with my ankle. The month before in the qualifier event for the Nationals at PTC Gold Coast I squatted once, 180kgs, just to qualify for the event. To get started I began with a 240kg squat, the movement felt good and everything felt strong so I chose a second lift of 255kgs. Surprisingly I had settled in well and opted to match my previous best squat of 280kgs and was successful.
I passed with three white lights on all three lifts, this is good, it was fantastic for my confidence too. I opened my bench press efforts with 180kgs, it went up easily and possibly for me, one of the easiest 180kg bench presses I have ever done. The 190kg Bench was second and finished confidently on 195kg for the third lift, a new personal best for me. I wanted to play safe and not exhaust myself before the king of all lifts, the deadlift.
The deadlift event was the one I was waiting for. I wanted to see how much progress I gained after training only strongman implements. I opened with 300kgs (Amazingly this was my goal in 2013, to deadlift 300kgs! I was now using it as my opening weight!). After talking to David (My training partner as well as my spotter during the nationals) I decided to move to 315kgs for me second lift. My previous best deadlift was 312.5kgs at the qualifier, a month before. I received a giant slap on the back from David to get me in the frame of mind to dominate this lift, standing on the top of the bar, I thought to myself “ 330kg is next”. I then grasped the bar so hard, tensed all my muscle and began to lift. I felt that I could do it, the bar went up so quick but my left hand gave up and I let the bar go at the top of the lift before I could lock my knees, I dropped the lift. Disappointed is an understatement, I looked at my left hand and it started to bleed all over my palm. I had ripped a callus open, I could not feel the pain due the the endorphins and adrenaline.
After that lift, Ed Coan himself came over to me inside the warm up room to tell me to put one single ice cube on the open wound. The open callus stopped bleeding shortly after.
I decided to attempt 315kg again.
I only had one lift left. I chalked up, David woke me up with a giant slap to the back. I walked up to the bar. I lifted it. Two white lights, one red, it was good and it was done.
With that final lift, I totalled 790kgs, 10kgs more than my previous best and finished 3rd in the 110kg class to some incredibly strong guys, Gus Cooke in second place with 800kgs and Ricky Goodyear in first place with 900kgs. It was a great experience to have participated the GPC Australian national titles. I can’t wait to do it again next year. GPC Australia and PTC Brisbane put on an amazing event, thank you.
Results of all lifts from the entire event can be found here: