Powerlifting Meet Recap – Alex Issa

Alex Issa – @AlexIssaFitness

Here it is!

Powerlifting Meet Recap

In the beginning of 2018, I made one of my goals for the year to win a powerlifting meet. In early January, I entered the Michigan APF State Meet for the 100 kg (220 lb.) Raw Open Division.  On March 10th, I achieved my goal! I will discuss my approach through the week and the meet. 

In my previous article, Entering my Second Powerlifting Meet: What changed mentally for me, I discussed my mindset leading up to the meet.  I was happy that I made weight and content that I was there.  The difference now was that I was determined to walk out on top in my weight/division.  With every training session, I visualized the lifts numerous times in my head.  With the meet week, I visualized hitting all of my lifts and setting new personal records.  

Sunday: Bodyweight was 222.6. I had two gallons of distilled water and stayed on my regular diet.

Monday: Bodyweight was 219.8. Last lifting day, only focusing on my opener for bench and depth/form for squat. Had caffeine through pre-workout. Had two more gallons of distilled water and stayed on my regular diet

Tuesday: BW: 219.0.  I had two gallons of distilled water and stayed on my regular diet.

Wednesday: BW: 220.0.  I had caffeine through a small cup of coffee because my caffeine headache was too much to handle for the work day.  Had my regular diet throughout the day and one gallon of purified water.  I used NormaTec Pulse Recovery system for an hour and a half to get blood flow to my legs.

Thursday: BW: 216.4.  I had about a half of gallon of water throughout the day and stayed with my normal diet.  The original plan was to not eat 24 hours prior to weigh in, but since my weight was already below, I wanted to make sure I did not lose too much that I couldn’t put it back on. I went to PolarBrrrcryotherapy center in Grand Rapids, MI where I went into a cryo chamber for 3 minutes.  Some of the benefits of using a cryo chamber are: increased performance and ability, reduced muscle soreness and inflammation, improved joint function, and improved muscle stamina. I used NormaTec Pulse Recovery system for an hour and a half to get blood flow to my legs later in the evening.

Friday (Weigh In Day): BW: 215.0 lb.  Today was my re-feed day.  I focused on getting as much fluids and complex carbs into my body to get my weight up for the meet.  

Saturday (MEET DAY!): BW: 223.4 lb.  Stuck to my normal diet for the beginning part of the meet.  I do intermittent fasting, so I waited until squats were done to eat anything. Before squats, I had one scoop of pre-workout.  After squats, I had a few cups of rice, Aussie bites, and a powerade.  After bench, I had the same thing.  Before deadlift, I had another scoop of pre-workout to get my energy level back up.  These meets are long, so make sure you have food and fluids to keep you filled throughout the competition.  

Below are the totals from my first meet and my second, most recent meet: 

First Meet – October 2017

Squat: 529 lb. 

Bench: 336 lb.

Deadlift: 545 lb.

Total: 1,410 lb.

Second Meet – March 2018:

Squat: 556 lb. (new state record)

Bench: 374 lb.

Deadlift: 584 lb. 

Total: 1,514 lb.

Over 100 lb. added to my total by simply shifting my focus in my training and goals in the gym.  I walked out of the meet 1st in my weight class and division AND best overall raw powerlifter in the heavyweight division.  These accomplishments were achieved because of months of preparation and dedication. I tweaked a few of my positions for the lifts to improve my range of motion as well.

Here are some things that I focused on during the meet:

1. I remained calm throughout the entire meet. After any of my attempts, whether it was good or no good, I never lost my composure.  I didn’t start a cussing rant because I didn’t get low enough.  I kept my composure during the whole meet.  Because of that, I walked into each attempt with an enormous amount of confidence
2. I embraced the pressure. As I previously mentioned, I broke a state record for squat in my division/weight class. That was my number one goal for the day.  I remember telling the judge the number for that attempt.  I was amped up! I walked up to the bar and all eyes are on me.  This is a moment we dreamed about when we were younger.  Hitting the game winning jump shot.  Hitting the game winning RBI.  Catching the game-winning touchdown.  That analogy in the powerlifting world is smashing a new PR and breaking a record. I was mentally ready for whatever happened next.
3. I had fun! Immediately after the meet, I signed up for another powerlifting meet.  I live for competition.  I wanted to train for a purpose.  Having that mentality, I always had a blast during my training sessions.  On my bigger days (squats and deadlifts), I was actually more relaxed than my other peak. I didn’t have any self-doubts and my confidence was off the charts.  The reason for all of that is because I remember how much fun I had during the meet that I wanted to enjoy every moment of it.
For more articles like this, click here!

Leave a Reply

Close Menu