APF Meet Recap

Recently I competed at RPS Boynton Barbell Showdown on Sunday September 2nd. I competed at 198lbs and as usual with my recent meets, I wasn’t too happy with how the day ended. I took a short vacation to North and South Carolina for a few days, and decided to walk into a meet on Saturday September 8th. Doing 2 meets within 6 days of one another is never a great idea, but I had just planned on showing up heavy (218lbs) and qualifying for APF Nationals next year. I actually had to cut a few pounds when I got home from vacation to keep from being a 242 lifter over the weekend.

My plan of showing up and taking it easy to simply use this meet as a qualifier went out the window pretty quick. I had been keeping in shape by doing some hiking on vacation, and had plenty of rest for 2 full days before the meet. I felt really good warming up and thought that this might be the day that I can hit an easy PR total. I had plenty of help from Bob Youngs, my lifter Felix, and my younger brother Kevin there with me for the meet. For the last three meets I have been cursed with missing opening attempts and coming back to get them after taking it on seconds. That day was no different, I missed my opening squat on depth, took it again and got it pretty easily. I went for 800 on my third attempt to keep a PR Total in range. You can decide for yourself by watching the video, but I know I feel pretty ripped off. I didn’t take the best descent, but I got down in the hole and felt like I was on my way up when the back spotter grabbed me and the side spotters followed and picked the weight up. I have been able to grind out 800 in training more than a few times and I’m pretty sure I would have done the same here if the opportunity wasn’t taken away from me. Either way, there was no arguing my way out of it so I had to accept the fact that I only had 749 to work with and that a PR Total was out of reach once again.

Bench warmups felt good, and I set my sights on a meet PR for bench. Last week was a PR with 468, so anything above that was good for me. Opening with 451, it came off my chest fast but dumped backwards right down towards my face. Thanks to the spotters, I still have all my teeth and came out unscathed. I came back and got 451 on my second attempt pretty easy, and jumped to 474 for a bench PR. 474 came down nice and easy, and went up without too much of a fight. The day wasn’t a total loss, and it felt good to end bench on that note.

By this time the meet was moving almost a little faster than I could handle. There were only about 24 lifters total in the meet, including all of the bench only lifters. For squats, as soon as the wraps came off it was back to about 5-6 out. Bench went a little slower thanks to the bench only lifters, but as soon as that ended deadlift warmups had to be taken. I believe I took my first squat around 9:45am, and deadlifts started at about 12. My deadlift opener went nice and easy, so 650 was in the books. I still felt pretty fresh from not doing any kind of real weight cut, so I thought I would take 700 on a second and end up trying about 722 on a third. The pace of the day was catching up to me, and I didn’t finish off my 700 attempt at the very end of the lockout. They had a nice new deadlift bar that I got to break in by tearing my hands and knee open on it, leaving a good amount of blood and skin all over the bar and floor. I’ve missed deadlifts before and come back to get them, so I took it again on my 3rd attempt. I tried to stop the bleeding as much as I could while simultaneously gluing my hands back together for one last pull. This time it was still a close pull, but I just couldn’t finish it.

This was a big bummer for me. I figured that I could definitely walk into the meet and hit the PR total I’ve been waiting for. I’m relentlessly chasing something that isn’t 110% dialed in, and in equipped lifting it’s just not going to happen if it’s not all dialed in. For now, it is time to take a step back and build on an offseason while I set my goals on something for 2019.

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Ben Sheard

Ben Sheard

Ben Sheard started powerlifting at age 13, competing in single ply from 1999-2004 back in his home state of Ohio. He started powerlifting again in 2014 after struggling with substance abuse/addiction for over 10 years. Competing as a raw powerlifter, he achieved an Elite Total at 198 lbs. Best raw lifts at 198 are 611 squat, 352 bench, and a 606 lb deadlift. Recently made a transition to Multi-Ply in 2017. Coached by Brian Carroll using 10/20 Life, he achieved a Pro Total in his most recent meet at 198lbs. Best equipped lifts in a meet are an 804 squat, a weak 463 bench, and a 700lb deadlift. He is a NASM certified PT, but works full time as a Supervisor at a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in Deerfield Beach, FL. Currently training out of Boynton Barbell Center in Boynton Beach, FL. Ben will be competing next at the XPC Pro Day in Columbus, where he looks to secure a 2,000+ lb total at 198.
Ben Sheard

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