Ben Sheard Gear Resurgence Meet Recap

Well, this was a weird one. Straight to the point, I bombed out on squats without ever even really taking a squat. I definitely did not have a good prep, but I felt really good coming into this meet physically. I didn’t have any weight cut to do at all, and weighed in at 215 which is my usual training weight. During warmups I felt good, but as soon as I started squatting 4+ plates, my CNS was getting increasingly shaky. I was hardly able to settle the bar with my last warmup, and knew heading into my first attempt that it was going to work out for me. I tried everything I could think of heading onto the platform. I took deep breaths, pulled as much air in as I could but when I unracked the bar I was violently shaking. I got a squat command and fell backwards on my first two attempts. I wanted to throw in the towel. I knew that my body wasn’t cooperating and there wasn’t a chance in hell that it would on a third attempt. I did not come all the way up to New Jersey just to quit though, so as embarrassing as it was I took a third. This time I was actually able to stay upright enough to begin my descent, only to have myself shaken out of whatever groove it was that I had started. Keep in mind, my opener here was over 100lbs less than my best. I purposely took a light opener knowing that I didn’t have the best prep. I have taken this weight on a bad day and made it look easy. This was the worst possible outcome, one that I really did not even consider to be able to have happen to me. But it did, and I have to sit with it.

It was not a complete waste of time or loss though. I came up to New Jersey with my lifter Felix Alvarez who lifted during the Saturday morning group with the Teens. Felix lifts in the raw modern 275lb division and had a perfect 9/9 day with PR’s on all lifts. He also won best male lifter for that session, by hitting a 630 squat, 385 bench, and a 620lb pull for a 1635 total. That was a 110lb meet PR on his total that we got for him back in September. His last deadlift I had locked in for him at 600lbs, something he hadn’t done before. So when he wanted to change it to 620lbs, I was a little skeptical, but hell the kid was 8/8 up to that point. I let him go for the 620 and damn me for thinking otherwise, but it came up. He has come a long way in a short period of time, and the kid is willing to put in the work to get better so hopefully we have some more good meet preps he can build off of in the future.

What I have been chasing for the last 4 meets in a row might have been something that wasn’t there to begin with. I got a pro total in my second multi ply meet, and figured I could keep hammering away and getting better simply by doing the same shit over and over again. If there were ever a time for me to take a step back and regroup, it would be now. I definitely wish that I ended my run on a good note, but it just wasn’t meant to happen. I have set out a plan for me to not compete for the rest of 2019 and maybe then some more. It is time for me to reset myself completely, get my health in check, and have some fun training during my period of absence. Doing geared meet preps one after the next has a cumulative effect on your body, and I’m not sure I understand the depth of that entirely. For now I can focus on coaching a few guys, keeping my girlfriend on track for the Women’s Pro Am, and have some fun training in gear if I show up to the gym feeling really good. It’ll be a long road back to being comfortable doing meets again, but I have come back from much bigger obstacles. There are bigger things on my agenda than running myself into the ground doing meet preps, only to be disappointed by another bad meet. It has taken a toll on me physically and mentally, and I look forward to becoming a better athlete and person by a complete reboot, no matter how long it takes.

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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.

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