Mark Dowling

2015 Week 32 - Irish Powerlifting Federation Open Championship

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I competed at the Irish Powerlifting Federation Open Championship on Saturday last, 8th August 2015. This was the second inaugural Irish PF competition.

Weight: 89.0 kg

Squat: 200, 212.5, 220
Bench: 115, 122.5, 127.5
Deadlift: 225, 240, 250

Total: 592.5 kg
Wilks: 380.44

The video shows the final good lifts and the missed bench attempt.

I finished with a 592.5 kg total after an absence of about 18 months from competition due to various injuries. The main injury that kept me from squatting and deadlifting was a disc injury at L4L5 which took some time to heal and then some time to get my head around being healed, I suppose.

Squat: All my squats were pretty smooth but the first and second attempts felt heavier than I'd have liked so I pulled in my final attempt from 222.5 kg to 220 kg. Based on the video, I was probably good for another 5 kg. However, this was a 7.5 kg PR so I can't complain too much. The heaviest I handled in training was 212.5 kg.
I'm still building confidence in my squat technique because I've only been able to push it for the last 2/3 months after recovering from a strained adductor. I'm consistently hitting depth now with a strong neutral back position. I'm confident of adding plenty more kgs to my squat for the next competition in early 2016.

Bench Press: My opener felt fine, as fast as I'd like. I felt like I had to wait a lot longer than anticipated (or practiced) for the start command from the head referee. I consulted him and it was because of a soft lockout after unracking while waiting for the start. I tried to correct it on the second attempt but was still waiting longer than I was used to. The second attempt was a bit heavier than I would have liked but I still went for my goal weight of 127.5 kg. I was disappointed not to have benched 127.5 kg as I'd pressed 125 kg in training a couple of weeks ago and it was pretty smooth. I think that I let the wait for the start command throw me off a little. I already practice waiting for the start command but I need to make sure that I increase the length of the wait and ensure that my elbows are fully locked. Why must there always be something to learn?

Deadlift: I was very happy with my deadlifts. I finished up on 250 kg and it was right on the money. I came close to stopping at my knees but locked out easily once I got the bar past them. The benefits of a flat back deadlift . This was 90 % of my pre-injury deadlift PR but done with a more sustainable technique. All my beltless deadlifts were at PR levels before the competition; so my back is stronger than ever. I couldnít pull 40 kg off the floor at the turn of the year without feeling like I was aggravating the injury, so Iím very happy with the progress. A proper PR awaits at the next competition!
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