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3/5/2012 11:38:16 AM -
NAPF Arnold Raw Challenge Report


Before I go into the meet Ill give some back ground. This was my first international meet. Last year I decided to give the USAPL a try. I wanted to get on the biggest stage a raw lifter could find then win. That was USAPL Raw nationals. First I had to qualify. I entered the PA States for this in March of 2011. I weighed 260 that day and went 600, 490, and 650. I stood up with 650 twice but missed on depth. After that I did another USAPL meet in May and went 640, 440,700. My first true test of where I sit in the scheme of this sport came in August of 2011 with Raw nationals. I went 242 for the first time and WON nationals via 605, 462, and 622. I also set a new National Bench record. With a descent year under my belt with the USAPL I decided to stay with the USAPL and do the ARNOLD via the NAPF in 2012. THE NAPF is a meeting place for the USAPL and the North Americas.
Now that the stage was set the big kicker here was the new weight classes. I had to choose between the 231 class and the 265 class. Since I struggled to get to 242 for nationals I decided to take a big risk and make a run for 231. I decided in January to get some help my diet. I enlisted the help of Kiefer and his back loading methods. I dieted for Nationals by myself and while I made weight I felt awful and come deadlift time had zero gas. I went to Kiefer at 255 on January 12th and asked him to get me as close to 231 as possible the day before the meet. The NAPF has 2 hour weigh ins so I had to be able to loose maximum fat in order to cut minimum water the day before the meet. Kiefer laid out a plan and after a few tweaks along the way I ended up at 236 the day before the meet. I lost 19 lb in 46 days. Weigh-ins started at 12:00 with lifting scheduled for 2:00-2:30. Luckily my lot number was 6 and I weighed in around 12:15. I was 231 on the dot. Since I was so close the day before at 236 on diet alone I only needed to skimp on water the day of weigh ins. I actually had about 2 gallons or so the day before the meet. Throw in two hot showers and some spitting and 231 was the result. Matt Gary a long time USAPL lifter and coach gave me some great tips on water cutting and meet day does and don’ts. Thanks Matt!
Now that I made weigh I had to lift. I knew that since this was my first meet at 231 that I needed to be conservative in my attempts. Small jumps and always round down with the kilos. Since I never competed at 231 no matter what I did was a PR. I played my own game and made attempts on what I thought I could do. Not what I thought I needed to do. Training went well. I used the ELITEFTS yoke bar constantly and brought speed work back into the mix but on my heavy bench days. I did sprints 2 times per week for fat loss and my conditioning was great.
I did make one goal for the meet lifting wise. To go 9 for 9 and pull three deadlifts. I have never done this in all 30 plus meets I have done. In the squat I opened at 501. Super low but the judging was a tight as I have ever seen and I needed to bury an opener. I did so and went 3 whites. Next I jumped to 551. Again down and up. Now I had a call to make. 578 or 582 for a third? I rounded down to play it safe. Again I sunk it and came back up. This was not a smoke show and I knew it was the right pick. Onto the bench I was still feeling good. I again opened very light 401. This was down and up. I then decided to go 440. I knew that some guys were big pullers and that I needed a good bench to get a lead in subtotal. 440 went up nicely and then I had a choice to make. I felt strong and had my eye on a double body weight bench. 262.8. After talking with BOH we decided that 452 was a better choice as I needed the separation from the big pullers. I went for 452 and missed about half way. So after the bench I had a 40 lb lead for my subtotal. I was sitting in first place and feeling good. I knew my deadlift would not be a deal clincher for the meet. My back was jacked up and I could even pull the last month of training. Knowing this I wasn’t too worried as I hit my lats and hams hard and my upper back felt strong from all the ELITEFTS Yoke bar training. I opened light at 575 and felt strong. I then went to 622 and made that. At this point in the meet first through third place changed about 10 times LOL. Rick Cancelino and John McDonald had big pulls and luckily with my bench all three of us took turns at first place. With the last pull to go I went for 644. I needed to hit this and Rick cancelino needed to miss at 699 or so. I nailed 644 and had to watch. Rick locked out 699 but his grip slipped and I was still in first. Then John McDonald takes 699 and after a slow grinder locks it out for the win. This dropped me down to second place by 2.5 kilos and I bested Rick cancelino who was in third by only 5 kilos. A great battle. Matt Nolan unfortunately pulled a lat in warm ups or he would have been a contender for first as well as the guy pulls around 725 raw in the low 200s. This was the most intense meet I have ever been in. Every attempt changed the placing. In my class was 2 nationals champs, one runner up national champ, one Canadian champ, and multiple top 5 finishers at nationals. I didn’t even know what my total was until after the meet as it was irrelevant. So John from Canada beat me fair and square by 2.5 kilos. DAMN you John from Canada. But seriously a very nice and deserving winner. I think I won in the end though as the poor guy was also signed up for the equipped meet the next day and the pain hell endure sitting on the plane for hours on end after two meets in a row will at least make me feel better for loosing LOL.
So I’m looking into the future and looking at the PA state Championships march 31. The USAPL still goes by old weight classes so I’m going to eat some grub this weekend then get back on the backload party and hopefully walk into the meet at 242 very comfortably. Big thanks go out to ELITEFTS for the support. It goes along way. Thanks to Kiefer for handling my diet and getting we where I wanted to be.

Scott Yard

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