Dan Dalenberg | XPC Finals Meet Report

The meet has come and gone! How did it go?

Making Weight

This was the biggest cut I have done to date and starting from the leanest bodyweight I ever have. Admittedly, I underestimated the difficulty. I think I did most things right, I just got less out of each step than I would have expected. I was still  a few pounds over the evening before weigh in, so I knew I was in for a little sauna time.

Chris and I headed to LA Fitness early Friday morning to hit the sauna and get the last little bit off. This is where my mental fortitude really got tested. I was fine until the last pound and got overheated. Thankfully, Chris kept me going and after a nice long break I was able to go back in and do 5 minute rounds until I made it.

I know what I need to do in the future to make this easier and not have a hard time with it. I’d love to avoid the sauna next time!

The refeed went OK. I got most of the weight back, but I think I came up a bit short. Again, I know what I need to do in the future to get this right. The key mistake was that we had a lifter competing during the Friday afternoon session and I spent too much time at the meet. What I should have done was let the other guys handle it and alternate between naps and eating during that time. The rest would have served me well. I did get some sleep and plenty of food and water, but I could have done a better job.

The Meet


Warm ups all felt really good. Depth was pretty easy to get to and I felt pretty strong. Everything moved well in the back and I felt ready.

Opener: 900. Super easy, best this has ever moved and easiest time getting to depth.

Second: 955, miss. I was really shaky and my knees came forward. Missed it out of the hole.

Third: 955. Good! Came up smooth! Pretty good spot to be in, small PR regardless of weight class.


Warm up were great here also, no issues and my shirt fit just right.

Opener: 675, good. Took a long time to touch but came up OK

Second: 705, miss. Touched a little high and missed the groove. Couldn’t get it locked out, but I was sure it was a simple technical issue.

Third: 715, miss. Went up a little to touch easier and got smashed by this one. Just didn’t have it.


I take like 3 singles in the back, so warm ups better feel good!

Opener: 675, EASY.

Second: 750, miss. I wanted this one for a couple reasons. First, this has been my nemesis for a year or more now. Close miss at 760 last year and then a 750 miss in October. Second, this would have given me a 2380 total at 220, check Brian’s best 220 total for why 2380 mattered. But of course I MISSED IT.

Scratched on the third. My body was done and I was disgusted with my 4/9 performance.

Things I am Happy With

  • Making weight. Seriously. It was hard and with some strong support, especially from Chris and Brian, I was able to do it. Brian has always said that these bigger cuts aren’t for the faint of heart and he is right. It’s tough and takes grit to get it done. I’m glad I was able to do it and prove to myself that I can.
  • The squat PR. My squat cycle sucked. I never really squatted very well in the gym this time around and then I manage to hit a small PR at a lighter weight class. Not too bad.
  • Getting to the end of the meet. About half of the multi-ply field bombed, just getting to the deadlift was an accomplishment in itself.

Things I could Have Done Better

  • The middle of the weight cut. I could have done a better job with water manipulation, which would have made it easier on me.
  • Putting weight back on, specifically resting after the cut. The sauna time took a lot out of me. Usually I take one nap and am good. Clearly this time around I should have prioritized more sleep the day of weigh ins.
  • Deadlift attempt selection: I got greedy and went right to 750. I could have made the all time top 20 total list at 220 with a 2365 total (735 pull). In hindsight, I should have went either 735 or 740 to get on the list.

Overall Thoughts

My placing was decent, I was one of only a few that actually made it to the end of the meet. 2305 at 220 is a pretty good total. But, I’d be lying if I said I was ok with it.

  • I squatted 804 in wraps. In that context, squatting 955 in 5 layers of gear sucks. I used to be a very good squatter, it is what kept me competitive as a raw lifter. I have to get this figured out and squat what I should be capable of.
  • I’ve been knocking on the door of a good deadlift for 12 months. 3 meets and 3 misses at 750 or more. I can’t continue sucking at the deadlift and expect to win big meets. I need to get this figured out.
  • 4/9 is a crappy day. I can’t expect big totals if I don’t get more lifts in. Maybe I was due for a bad one after a string of good meets. But 4/9 is never going to put me in the spot I want to be in. Strategically, the way I approach meets means I have to get 6-8 lifts in to be happy with the day.

So, at the risk of sounding really whiny, I am not happy with how I performed. I am capable of better and know that I have something much bigger to total. I just didn’t execute to my ability and came up short. That’s how this game seems to work, there is always something more to go get, so it becomes a drug and I’m always chasing the dragon.

What’s Next?

Rest. I don’t want to see the inside of a gym for a few days. Better food: I am craving some chicken and rice. Seriously. A weekend of eating whatever I felt like and I am ready to get my diet back on track. I’ll be spending the next three months getting leaner and training more like a bodybuilder. I’m ready for the mental break.

Thank You

Chelsea: For supporting me, loving me and tolerating me and my dumb, fat friends in the garage. I love you and you are a saint.

Zane: For coaching me through and getting me ready for this meet.

Chris, Dakota, Dain, Al: For waiting on me hand and foot, making sure I had everything I needed and keeping me in the game.

Brian: For getting me to 220 in the last hours.

Tucker: For all of the diet help leading into the meet. I looked bigger and better than ever before and am lighter. That’s a pretty cool party trick. And I still squatted 955. Not bad!

Finally, the XPC spotters: I missed a 955 squat and two benches over 700. Not once did I feel unsafe or in any danger. This crew did an excellent job.




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Daniel Dalenberg

Dan Dalenberg is a pro level raw and equipped powerlifter with elite totals in the 220, 242 and 275 class. Best official raw meet lifts include an 804 squat, 507 bench press, 715 dead lift and 2006 total. Best equipped lifts include an 950 squat, 715 bench, 735 deadlift and 2400 total at 242. Dan has been training under Brian's guidance using the 10/20/Life methodology since late 2010.

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