XPC Finals Report 2017 “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

– Karl Marx


Old Karl may not have been so good at economics but these nine words certainly seem true to me after bombing out for my second trip in a row to XPC finals.  The root cause is also very similar as my right shoulder was not cooperating at all. Two years ago I actually did the same thing.  The issue two years ago was actually a torn lower right trap muscle that completely inhibited my ability to pull my shoulder blades together during bench press and I couldn’t manage to stay tight enough to press a very manageable weight otherwise. This year unfortunately it was just my chronic shoulder issues that I had been battling for the last few months.

Aside from the shoulder issues, training had gone exceptionally well. I hit a small squat PR and training and my deadlifts had felt the best they had in about four years since before tearing cartilage in my left hip in a deadlifts competition unequipped. Just in an attempt to safe and conservative on my bench press opener I selected a weight that I had tripled and training relatively easily as well.

Obstacle number one was simply making weight. I was able to push my body weight up through training up to the point I was waking up around 230-232 so I had a medium-sized cut to make to get down to the 220s. After the normal water and salt loading protocol I was able to make weight without having to sweat anything out which is always great. Few things are more miserable than already being dehydrated and having to force a sweat to get going to make weight for hours!

After comfortably weighing in at 218, Emily and I made a straight trip to Cracker Barrel to meet up with Brian, Ria, Byrd, Lisa and Todd where Brian already had our necessary food and drink ordered like a champ. That was extremely appreciated in my very hungry state! Throughout the rest of the day I was able to get my body weight back up to 230 and little bit heavier before I had the lift the next day.
The morning of the meet everything felt very good physically and mentally. My buddy Charlie drove all the way up to Ohio from Tennessee to help out and with my wife Emily there as well everything was very well covered and I had as much help as I could possibly need. Those two being the full-time training partners and the friends we have coming in on occasion to train absolutely make everything I do possible. Equipped powerlifting is definitely a team sport and I would be lost without them for sure.


Warm-ups consisted of thigh wrapped air squats, bird dogs, side lunges, hip flexor stretches, and hip rotational stretches.


Inzer Predator Briefs on

Inzer Leviathan Ultra Pro on

Inzer Double Grippers on

Every single warm-up felt very very good so my optimism was high walking out to the platform.

Opener 950lbs Good
This lift absolutely flew up and felt even lighter than my previous two warm-ups. The energy I get from being on the platform at a big me like that always feels amazing and it showed especially on this rep.

2nd Attempt 1050lbs Good
This was a 10 pound meet PR and felt pretty good. Had a little bit of the stall coming out of the bottom but fought through it and finished the lift. I had some reservations after finishing this lift about trying the third attempt for the world record I’d had my heart set on. Per normal, as soon as I caught my breath I started to feel good and that record attempt sounded little bit more reasonable.



3rd Attempt 1105lbs Miss
this was a pretty good case of weight being real heavy and not quite being there strength wise. I rack this weight better than any of the other ones before it and took it down relatively well. I got the up call and had a short-lived pop out of the hole but that was it. Long story short, that weight can and will be mine one day soon.



After getting in some fluids and a traditional peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich I started warming up for bench press. Getting tight under the squats earlier really did a number on my shoulders as I had taken more ibuprofen that day than I’d ever taken before and my shoulder still felt terrible at that point. Technically that was my second PR for the day though so I had that going for me right?

Bench warm ups
315×1 reracking this warm up hurt like crazy.

Inzer Super Duper Phenom added
475×1 1 board

1st Attempt 535 no good
with a combination of my bench shirt feeling like it was glued to my arms from being sweaty and my shoulders being extra weak I had a struggle touching and my right shoulder just gave out and dump the bar after a second or two trying to reach to touch

2nd Attempt 535 no good
Same exact thing happened except this time I had the color on my bench shirt pulled up hired to make it a little bit easier to get down but it still stuck about an inch above touching and actually choked me out.

3rd Attempt 535 no good again
we ran to the back as soon as my second attempt was finished to switch out to a looser older Phenom that I have easily pressed and touched upper 400s in the past on the light end andgone over 550 3 different meets. For some reason I still couldn’t touch and this mess looked identical to the rest which was incredibly frustrating I thought this switch was guaranteed to work because of the history and the shirt but for whatever reason it just wasn’t meant to be on this day.

After some brief reflection after we got home I immediately laid out my training for the next complete year. I wouldn’t call this a retirement tour for powerlifting but it likely will be if I can collect at least one world record on my way out.

It’s back to the drawing board to get healthy and stronger for a run at a world record squat or two in the next year most likely followed by a token bench press!

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Derek Wilcox

Derek Wilcox is a multi-faceted strength athlete currently living in Tennessee with his wife, Emily. He is studying at East TN State for Sport Physiology and Performance. He works through Renaissance Periodization as a Nutrition and Training Consultant and has an impressive personal list of strength accomplishments. Strongman since 2009, National Meet Qualifier in Weightlifting in 2009 at 94kg and 105kg. Class A Highland Games Athlete since 2009. Elite PL Totals at 165, 181, 198, and 220. Pro Totals in 181, 198, 220. All time WR Squat at 181 with a 935. Lightest to ever squat 1000 pounds doing it at 194 pounds. His best meet lifts are 1000 squat at 198, 565 bench at 220 and 725 deadlift at 220.
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