Meet Recap RPS May 26th 2018

Recently I competed at the RPS Central Florida Throwdown at CTX Fitness in Orlando. I definitely did not have the day I wanted, going 3 for 9 on the day. I was stuck with only openers of a 749 squat, 451 bench, and a 666 deadlift. Not only that, but I didn’t even hit the squat or deadlift openers on my first attempt. I don’t have any excuses for the poor performance. The weight cut went exactly according to plan, and I weighed in at exactly 198.4 Friday morning. I was the first person to weigh in, and immediately got plenty of fluids and food back in me right away. At the end of the day Friday, I had gotten over 10,000 calories down and was well hydrated. By the time bench had come around on Saturday, I was 228 on the scale. A 30lb bloat for a 3 for 9 day doesn’t add up, especially after the training cycle I had just completed.

What I’m coming to find out myself is the same that everyone else has been telling me. Lifting equipped in multi ply gear is very unforgiving and leaves very little room for error. The inconsistency on my squats showed up a little bit, and it wasn’t the right day for that to happen. I had a small miscommunication on my opener squat, and was waiting for an UP command when I heard ONE and came up in a bad position. I was forced to take the opener again, and got it on a second attempt. I wasn’t told what my 3rd attempt was at the time, but it was what I originally came there for with 810. I had a pretty bad descent, and that’s all that needed to happen for it not to come up out of the hole. There I was stuck with 749, no hopes of a PR total but set my sights on bench and deadlift PR’s to keep my head in the game.

I was confident that my most improved lift was the bench for this meet and I would have a PR pretty easy on my second attempt. 451 opener was fast on the way down and on the way up. Thankfully I didn’t listen to my handler who instinctively gave me a press call before the head judges call, haha. It’s all good Pat, I’ve done it before too. After watching video of my second bench at 473, I really don’t know how I didn’t complete the lift. It was all the way there, just a slight lag behind on my left arm. Another try at 473 didn’t bring any more luck, and my weak lockout showed up even more than before.

Deadlifts are easily my best and most consistent lifts, and I just tried to focus on getting a PR pull to try and be okay for the day. I opened with 666, since it is something I have hit in training 100 times regardless of how I felt. No shocker here, I pulled it off the ground fast and it hitched on me a bit at lockout so I set it back down. I took it again on a second and got it pretty easily. My best in a meet has been 700, so I jumped to 705 for my last pull. By that time I guess I was just mentally and physically drained, and I missed that 705 pull with about an inch left to go.

It is extremely frustrating for me to even sit here and write this thinking about my performance. Physically I was more than ready to go, hitting over 2,000 lbs in training two weeks in a row. An 800 squat, 495 bench, and 710 pull hit during my meet prep had me mentally ready to go for this meet as well. I got enough rest and had my body and mind primed for a good performance. But it didn’t happen on that day. It is disappointing and feels like a complete waste of all my time and effort put into it, but I’ll be coming back for another meet on another day.

As weird as it might sound, the one thing that this reminds me of is my years of drug abuse. All of this time and effort would be spent towards something you truly believed was going to be a good experience. In the end, it would all just be a major letdown day after day. Day in and day out I would chase the feeling that I first got out of it all. I’m definitely chasing that perfect meet, or even just a good meet at this point. I’ll continue to pour my energy and time into what it takes to get that perfect meet, just like I used to put my time and effort into chasing that perfect high. A great meet when it happens has definitely been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in my life. I’m not a quitter, and certainly I am not afraid to fail. I’m aware of my weak points and will continue to get after them during an offseason while keeping my eye on the next meet.

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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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