The Biggest competition of the year and the highest level I have competed at to date. The British Championships was my last planned competition of 2017 and my 7 th Comp I had competed at within a 12 month window. After a pretty successful year taking many podiums at 1 st and 2 nd places I was pretty beat up from being so active and from being in a constant comp prep, finishing one and heading straight into programming for another. My goal for the British was to literally perform my best and try and take a podium finish and it was definitely fair to say I did so much better than expected.
Training on the run up to the comp went pretty well. My weakest lift, my squat, was finally making some headway and moving in the right direction I’d hit a secure 250kg squat during training which was a massive 20kg personal best for me. My Bench was moving pretty solid too, consistently hitting 180kg+ through training for some nice smooth easy reps. My only downfall was Deadlifts, usually my best lift which sets me aside from the competition was not progressing as I had hoped, the goal was to hit 325kg on the day, but training had other plans. Every pull in excess of 300kg was feeling heavy and moving slow. While this did bother me quite a lot I had to stick to my guns and trust the process, stick to the programming and lift my best on the day.
The final weeks approached and I was pretty happy with how my lifts where going I just had to focus on making weight and weighing in under105kg for my weight class. With only being slightly over sitting at around 108kg an easy water cut would sort me out right? I’d done it before and it’d worked pretty easy without leaving me too dehydrated and fatigued.
The night of the competition came and it could not of been more of a disaster I hadn’t loaded enough water sufficiently and I could not shift the weight down, after numerous boiling hot salt baths pretty late into the night I’d almost gave up weighing 105.3kg at about 1:00am I couldn’t hack it I had to get to sleep and get rested for the 6:30AM start the day after.
My alarm rang bright and early and I woke up and felt destroyed I had zero energy and the worst headache in the world I jumped straight on the scales and was bang on 105kg. Safe to say I was stressing big time I normally weigh in nice and light at around 102/103kg which allows me to get breakfast down but on this day I had no chance if I wanted to make weight I’d just have to wait. Close to the point of calling it and leaving the competition and not competing at all I eventually talked myself around it. This was going to be my last big comp of 2017 I had to give it a shot and just hope I made weight and felt better after I got some fluids and food in me.
After a two hour drive to the venue I jumped out of the car with one mission get to the weigh in ASAP so I could try and refuel before I had to lift the heaviest weights of my career so far. I ran in and frantically tracked down the weigh in room, I jumped in the lobby with the rest of competitors and just sat down on my gym bag, like a zombie propped up against the wall waiting patiently for my name to be called. Twenty minutes later I was in stepping on the scales with nothing but hope I was going to make weight... 104.9kg I MADE IT. Massive relief, I was in the comp! I almost sprinted back to my car opened the boot I tucked into my supplies powerades, crisps, belvita breakfast bars, sausage rolls, a couple of pork pies and at least 27 cans of monster, the life began to come back. I had an hour and a half before lift off. Snacking on everything and getting the fluids back in while I had my spotify game day playlist on in the car, I was ready!!
Nearly go time, I made my way to the warm up area, absolutely packed wall to wall. Groups of lifters and coaches surrounding the racks getting warmed up for the first lift, the squat. I have always coached myself since day one, created the game plan and executed the lifts, but for the first time ever in competition I felt alone. I had friends and clients in the crowd supporting but in the warm up area and the platform I was solo, lone wolf in the herd.
I stuck my headphones in jumped in with a group of lifters and began my warm ups for the squat my opening lift was 240kg a previous competition PB, the goal on the squat was to keep up with the pack as best I could. I had made massive progress with the squat but it still needs more work to be competitive. I was hitting my warm up lifts and the pressure in my head from the pounding headache was feeling like it was going to explode, I gritted through. At this point I’d completely lost track of time my flight had started and I hadn’t even hit my final warm up yet, I ran to the board and I was 2 lifts away, Panic set in. I had to just go out and do it not feeling prepared at all I put my headphones in and tried to get in the zone. “The bar is loaded for Marvin Turner” belted out from the announcer deep breath, clear mind, this was it straight to the platform for my opening lift, I unracked my squat waited for the command and buried it 3 white lights, good lift. I was on the board, after each attempt we have 60 seconds to call our next one I stuck to the plan and went straight in for 250kg a Massive competition PB, as the flight finished I had time to zone in and get my head right for the 2 nd attempt.
Focused my time came around 250kg loaded and ready to go, I ran out gripped that bar tight, set up and boom, smooth 250kg squat on the board 3 white lights good lift. Already happy with that comp PB I stuck to game plan 252.5kg squat planned for the third attempt keep as close to the pack as I could. Again I zoned back in and got amped up for my final squat, I hadn’t even hit this lift in gym before but I was feeling good. Pacing up and down in the warm up area trying to suppress the nerves I patiently waited for my name to be called. The last lifter before me has just hit his last squat it was my time, stalking that bar from the side of the platform rearing to go, “BAR LOADED”. I shot out to the platform biggest squat of my life placed on my back, deep breath like I was absorbing the atmosphere of the room, flexing every single muscle tight as possible ready to give it my all, I got the start command. I descended with confidence keeping tight enough that I felt like I was trying to snap the barbell over my back, I shot out of the bottom of the lift, it started to slow, I hit the sticking point!! I grinded through with all my strength, it kept moving and then BAM grinded up to a lockout, I got the rack command put that bar back, and jumped round to see the judges call… 3 whites lights good lift!! All time PB!! I ran back into the warm up area jumping about in pure excitement, smashed it. But the day had only just began squats where over, bench and deadlifts to come, I was in about 5/6 th place at this point but I knew I had my best lifts to come, claw those kilos back in the bench and try secure that podium finish with my deadlift.
Before the Bench press kicked off I had about a 20 minute break, I went to the crowd and winded down with my friends watching the other lifters across the other weight classes while grabbing more food and sinking down a few more cans of monster. Absolute insane lifts where happening across the heavier weight classes records where getting smashed left right and centre. I always think that to anyone who lifts whether it is powerlifting, crossfit, bodybuilding or just general gym goers we can all appreciate the work that goes into the feats of strength we see, I’ll always enjoy competing in powerlifting but I enjoy it as a fan as well. After enjoying watching the other lifts it was time again to get set up for the bench.
This time I kept an eye on the times and got all my warm ups in, the game plan for bench was simple hit all my lifts and close down those kilos to 1 st place, I kept a close eye on the flight boards for the 105kg competitors and looked in pretty good standing for my bench, I nailed all 3 attempts here and
got myself into 2 nd place!! I had about a 12.5kg lead over 3 rd place here my last bench was 187.5kg very comfortable press. I kind of kicked myself here because in the past I’ve bombed out of a competitions on bench press, bombing is missing all 3 lifts and not being able to set a total, if you choose a lift in powerlifting you can not go lighter, it must remain the same or go heavier on attempts, due to this I normally always short sell myself on the bench. With this in mind anyways I’d stuck to my game plan completed all my lifts till this point and was definitely in good standing for a podium, on the day I literally would have been amazed with just grabbing the 3 rd place podium spot but to be in second at this point I was genuinely over the moon. Break time again before deadlifts came around, I went back in the crowd and chilled out and kept my mind set on running the game plan, I opened with 300kg on deadlifts, pretty heavy opener but I felt at this level of competition I had to put this on the board to try and push the other lifters to potentially try keep up and overshoot and miss attempts.
I hit the warm up room for the final time and started warming up for deadlifts. Disaster struck. EVERYTHING felt really heavy even my last warm up at 270kg!! This started to get in my head a little I was opening at 300kg the goal for the day was going to be 325kg, was I out of gas at this point? Did the fatigue from the grinding squat PB finally come back to kick my ass? I had to put these thoughts aside and just focus on getting my opening deadlift. The time came around, bar loaded, I stepped up to the platform. “This is easy, this is nothing” I repeated to myself over and over in my head, I set up and ripped the lift right up, locked out 3 white lights and a good pull!! But damn it felt a million times heavier than it should. I stuck to the plan 2 nd attempt 312.5kg. At this point I had a decent lead for 2 nd place, I couldn’t help but think though, “hold on, what if the other lifters opened lower to save themselves for a big third attempt”, I started second guessing myself. Before I knew it the bar was loaded for attempt to I psyched myself up and gave it everything I could. It broke the floor. I got it past the knee, but it stopped inches before lockout I put everything I had but gravity won this one, my first missed lift, so close but not enough. I had no option at this point but to regain myself and have at my final attempt of the day. No good, fatigue had beat me here, gutting to miss but massively happy with my performance on the day.
I’d done it secured 2 nd place, silver trophy at the British championships!! Much better than I thought I’d do. My last comp of the year and a solid result after a very active year of competing!! Excited with my result I had all intentions of going out and celebrating… when I got home I ordered a massive takeaway indulged on a massive donner kebab and some cheesy chips and passed out asleep, maybe next time eh?
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