• Chris K

Competition Report: ABPU South Yorkshire Qualifier February 2022

This time it was the turn of the mighty Ben Thornes to compete again.



Ben has made incredible progress over the years, and has become an incredibly well-rounded powerlifter.


The only lift we haven't made much progress on is bench press where 150kg in competition has been the goal for a while. Would today be the first time he would manage it?


Signs were good. Squat, bench and deadlift were all in the best pre-competition position they've ever been in. He's never moved a 140kg bench press as easily as he did the week before competition. Squats were regularly being performed at above competition PBs and deficit deadlifts were approaching his competition PB of 302.5kg.


He seemed relaxed, he weighed in easily under the 110kg threshold, he was competing in a familiar environment and the conditions were perfect.


Let's chat through how he did:


Squat: 255/267.5/272.5 (10kg comp PB) 7.5kg under "best day" plan

Bench: 135/142.5/147.5xxx(fail) equal comp best, 7.5kg under "best day" plan

Deadlifts: 270/290/305xxx(fail) (5-12.5kg under "best day" plan)

Total: 705kg (equal best)


Most notable lifts: 267.5kg Squat, 272.5kg Squat, 147.5kg failed bench, 305kg failed deadlift

Focus of competition: Qualify for the British (achieved easily)

Take some risks, pushing for PBs in all 3 lifts. (Achieved 1/3)


Analysis


After his initial Squat flew, we loaded up 5kg above his competition best of 267.5. This has been hit, and surpassed at low RPE in training. If it looked good, we would be loading 280kg for his third.


Ben walked it out. And it was a high effort grinder that came close to burying him. He was a little too relaxed, treated the weight with too much respect and as it turned out later, had painlessly injured himself (more on this later.)


At this stage Ben wasn't in pain but had started to feel extremely cold and couldn't get warm.

With the adrenaline going, he forgot to mention anything to me, so I got him about 20% more fired up than I wanted for his last Squat.


Keep in mind that 270kg has been easy in training, to competition standard. Here, I had him 20% more fired up than I wanted him for a 280kg squat with 272.5kg on the bar.


My hope was that the 267.5 was just a random bad rep and that an easy 272.5kg would put us confidentially back on track.


With the hidden injury, I'm not sure how it happened but it did move far better than his 2nd, but it was still a fight.


I knew his best day wasn't going to be possible on deadlifts. With the additional squatting effort, 310- 317.5kg would be a stretch too far, but a PB might still be on the cards.


I still hoped for the elusive 150kg, not knowing he now had a torn lat.


After his opener moved well, 142.5kg moved slower than I expected, despite it being his previous competition best. After a lift is completed a lifter has 60 seconds to put their next attempt in. My options were go all in and have a go at 150kg like he was desperate to do, go to 147.5kg, hit a decent 5kg competition PB and get within 2.5kg of the 150kg, or go 145kg for a small competition PB.


I must of stood there thinking for 55 seconds. I chose 147.5. Looking back with hindsight, I should of known his 3rd deadlift was a risk and with his planned numbers, had I chosen 145kg he would hit a PB total and a bench comp PB. Yes, 147.5kg would achieve nearly the same thing, but I made the wrong call here, and with slightly more plugging numbers into my calculator, we could of come away with 2 more PBs.


By the above numbers, you know he missed 147.5kg. He gave it all he had, but it wasn't to be.


This made it less likely he would hit his final deadlift if the planned jump was made.


Here I made my 2nd mistake. I should of loaded 292.5 for his second to guarantee the total PB, but I didn't. 290kg didn't move amazingly, but his second deadlift never does. The third normally flies, so I loaded 305kg for a big finish, which unfortunately didn't happen.


Concluding Thoughts


This competition showed me you can come into a competition in better shape than ever, and still have a suboptimal competition. He still equalled his best total while half broken and ill which bodes well for future total building and had I made the right calls, he would of improved his total a little, which is crazy.


We need to play it safer with squats, we need to take bench wins no matter how small and if on the 2nd deadlift you can hit a total PB, and you know the 3rd deadlift will be touch and go, we should take that total by the smallest amount.


Ben will be hitting a total PB soon.





By Chris Kershaw

The Heavy Metal Strength Coach




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