Brandon Ward

Meet Recap: Toronto Pro Supershow (June 1, 2013)

Rate this Entry
This past weekend, I competed at the Toronto Pro Supershow which was a culmination of 14 weeks of RTS training. For those who are primarily interested in the numbers, here is the quick and dirty:

Bodyweight: 92.7 kilos

240 (529)
255 (562)
270 (595)

165 (364)
175 (386)
185 (407)

240 (529)
260 (573)
275 (606)

Total: 730
Wilks: 459.32

The "Toronto Pro Supershow" has basically evolved into Toronto's version of the infamous Arnold Sports Festival. This event is oriented around an IFBB bodybuilding show and consists of an expo featuring all the usual supplement vendors and various sports/events that showcase fitness and strength (Powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, Strongman, Arm-wrestling, Boxing, MMA, etc.). I believe this is the 3rd year powerlifting has been included in this event and this was my second year competing at this meet. In past years, this powerlifting meet has struggled to generate significant participation. However with the explosion in popularity of "classic" lifting, this year's meet included a full roster of over 60 lifters; many of whom were novice lifters who were either competing for the first time or had limited competition experience. Despite my initial apprehension about how smoothly the meet was likely to flow in light of this, the competition day was long but was very well run.

As for my lifting, I had a "perfect day" going 9 for 9. I have never done this before in my powerlifting career, having competed now for over 7 years. I think this is a result of the solid training cycle I had leading up to this meet and perhaps I am getting smarter with my numbers/attempts.


1. The "weight cut"
I have to laugh a little bit when I use this term to describe my weight-making efforts because it really wasn't a big deal compared to some of the stories you read on the interwebs. I had been hovering around 96-97 kilos leading up to the meet so I knew I actually had to do something to make weight for this one. All I really did was for the last week leading up to the meet, I cut my carb intake way back, drank lots of water (6-8 litres/day) for Tues-Thursday and stopped drinking around 4pm on Friday. Weigh-in was at 8am the following Saturday morning so that gave me about 16 hours of no fluid intake which I figured would be plenty to shed that last couple of kilos. I woke up that morning around 6:30am and checked my weight: 93.5 but I knew I still had plenty of time before weigh-ins and I would still lose some weight just by wearing my sweats while making the journey down to the venue. I happened to be last on the weigh-in roster and ultimately weighed-in at 92.7. No problem.

2. Meet-day "nutrition"
I use this term loosely to describe the types of foods and drinks I relied upon for energy throughout the meet day. Basically of course like anyone who competes, I just wanted some food/drink that wouldn't be too heavy on the stomach, give me lots of energy and get me re-hydrated and keep me that way throughout the day. Applying this logic, my partner and I came to the conclusion that cold pizza and coca-cola would be the perfect meet-day nutrition plan. And it worked: no feeling full to the point where you want to take a nap on the bench; no gut-churning feeling from trying to run on a couple fruits and a gatorade all day.

3. Open light
I've learned to make my opening attempts as ridiculously light and easy as possible, to the point where I try to pick something that I might otherwise do as a last warm-up or something I could do for a set of 3. Fortunately the training leading up to this had lots of sets of x3, x4, and everyone's favourite: sets of x5 so I had a good sense of what I was good for in these rep ranges and therefore had a good sense of what an "easy opener" should be.

4. Last week of training
The planned protocol for the last week was to work up to opening attempts about 4-5 days out from the meet and then work up to raw maxes about 3-4 days out from the meet. However, I was feeling a bit beat-up and opted instead to use a different protocol: work up to sets of 3x3@80% in loose gear at 4-5 days out and at 3-4 days out, work up to 3x3@80% of raw maxes. I think this worked out much better as it allowed me to still keep momentum going by handling some decent weights but seemed to let me get some better recuperation in that last week leading up to the meet. Either way, this worked much better than my previous final-week training approach where I would take that final week off completely before the meet. I could never figure out why I would then show up to the meet and feel like those warm-us were 500 times heaver than they were in training.


1. Be a bit more confident with the squat numbers.
I always tend to get a bit cautious with the squat numbers, especially with the 2nd and 3rd attempt. It seems that despite opening very light, the weight never seems to move as fast as I think it should. Maybe this is just the way I squat where even the warm-ups don't always feel like warm-ups. There didn't really seem to be much difference in bar speed from the opener at 240 to the third at 270. I honestly think that 275 would have been there that day and that was the original plan for the 3rd attempt. Coulda woulda shoulda...

There's not really much different I would do from this one in moving forward to the next. Training went well, I was pretty smart with the numbers and nutrition/recovery seemed to be on point.

Mike, I just wanted to say thanks for your programming and advice/input throughout this cycle. I can honestly attest to the success of this programming as this is the best total I've had in a very long time after bouncing around between different training templates.

Most of all, I would like to thank my partner Mary Ann Kaczor for all of her help leading up to this meet; for all of those sessions when she would be finished her "raw training after an hour or so into my session but stuck around (usually for the remaining two hours) to help me finish my "geared" sessions. I should note that Mary also competed at this meet and had an excellent day of her own. She competed raw and went 8 for 9, setting a few PR's along the way (as usual).
Tags: None Add / Edit Tags
Team Member Blogs


  1. Mark Robb's Avatar
    Great meet and great blog post! Congratulations and thank you.
  2. Millul's Avatar
    Good numbers, and great lifting day: 9 for 9!
  3. TRON's Avatar
    Very nice Brandon - great write up too