Ladies and Gentlemen, Declare Your Weight! (by Dana)

I’ve had the power lifting meet hanging over my head since late last month when I began training for it. In theory I’ve been nervous but it’s been kind of off in the vague future. Now it’s this weekend, and it’s time to declare my first attempt weight. (In a power lifting meet you do three lifts: the squat, the bench press and the dead lift. Rules are that you state your first attempt weight for each ahead of time. You get three attempts on each lift, and you must increase the weight on each.)

In between sets at the gym tonight, the only conversation to be heard was about the meet. And specifically, what all our our starting attempts will be and how we might proceed after that. It seems there’s a lot of strategy to it. Go too low and you’ve got too big a jump to get to your goal. Go to high and you risk not making it … and then you stop! The sweet spot, evidently, is a weight that’s heavy, but that you know you can do. From what I understand, the adrenaline rush for the first weight is not a helpful one — it’s more nerves. You want to be sure you can really do it, and carry that confidence into your second attempt, where the adrenaline surge can actually help.

This is all fascinating to me on one level, and super scary on another. I’m attempting heavier weights than I’ve ever lifted in front of all the other competitors as well as assorted and sundry observers (including several of my own friends who are more used to seeing me as a co-worker or a writer than a weight lifter).

I consulted with Ben on where to start. Despite steak dinners, gallons of chocolate milk and even, no kidding, eating deep-fried lamb’s balls, I’m not up to the body weight he hoped I would be (and likely can’t be by Saturday unless I replace double unders with double downs) but I’m sticking with my goals. And, in the interest of putting it out there to motivate me even more to achieve it, here’s what I’m doing.

Squat: First attempt 145. Goal 160 (1.5 times body weight) Ben has a higher goal for me, but I’m not even putting it out there.
Bench: First attempt 80. Goal 100.
Deadlift: First attempt 135. Goal 160.

So there it is, wish me luck (and more importantly strength and focus)!

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