Finally back to work after the long weekend and my entire body is sore. I went into the weekend with the ultimate goal of hitting 750 and my goal was met. Along with meeting my goal, I received the last of the 3 spots to represent US Strongman at the Arnold this year while competing in the XPC 21 Deadlift Salute. I get to compete alongside US Strongman’s best deadlifters. I am pretty excited to say the least. I want to thank everyone at my gym and all the US Strongman family for the incredible amount of support. I went in with a number goal and the Arnold invite was the icing.
I decided to weigh in early on Friday and made weight on the nose without having to make any cut. This was good because I was well fed and well rested. At Willies house, I met Greg and Nicole Fields (Georgia state reps). Greg and Nicole are awesome and friendly people so I am looking forward to seeing them again soon. Willie was talking about the 220 class and who was coming to deadlift. Chase Karnes and Drew Whitted came up. I just saw that Chase has been putting in tons of work and Drew is also a great deadlifter who also puts in the work. I knew that I would be happy as long as I got my 750 but now I wasn’t so sure that I was going to secure that spot for the Arnold. These guys are hungry and I spent the last year training around a hammie tear.
Saturday morning came, I was up super early and started losing my mind because I had nothing to do and lots of time to kill. I ended up eating breakfast twice and taking a nap before heading off to the venue. I arrived at the venue and was still way early. Finally people started coming in and I had people to talk to. Mike Johnston is always good company and I like to steal knowledge from him whenever I can. John Albrecht and Chris Vachio set up camp next to me so I was good to go and got to catch up with the both of them.
Warmup time and I was late to the warmup area so I didn’t warm up as much as I would have liked and started my warmup with a little heavier weight than I would have liked. The entire last year was spent trying to strengthen my legs so that I could avoid tearing my hamstring again and my legs were feeling very strong. However, my back wasn’t warming up very well. After a total of 6 warmup reps, it was time to pull.
I opened up with 700 and it felt easy other than the fact that my back wasn’t 100% ready for it. My next attempt was going to be either 735 or 740 so that I can secure my spot at the Arnold then follow it up with the goal 750. I decided 740 and went at it with zero doubt that I would get it. 740 went up easier than I had expected. Now my decision is to go 750 or jump up to 775. After much contemplation, I decided to be cautious and go with 750, saving 775 for another day. I was confident in my ability to pull 750 but this is the same weight that I tore my hamstring on last year so I was getting nervous. Finally I walked up, grabbed the bar and pulled. The bar came off the floor and I instantly knew that it was getting locked out. I also qualified for the Arnold and reclaimed the US Strongman record but I was seriously pushed by Chase and Drew. These guys are definitely going to be moving the record up soon.