Meet Report – NZPF Bench Champs 2016

On Saturday was the NZPF National Bench Champs for 2016. I was pretty un-pumped leading into this event. It was reasonably close to the three-lift champs, awkwardly spaced from the Asia/Oceania Powerlifting Champs, and honestly bench-only meets seem a bit boring to me. I had to go because it was the only way to secure my spot on the national bench team for the Asia/Oceania champs. Accordingly, I decided not to taper, peak, or even do any strength training in my lead up to this event. I came fresh out a hypertrophy block, having hit a grand total of three paused singles in the six weeks preceding it.

Despite myself, I actually started getting a bit excited as the even got closer. There was only one other junior male on the starting list, but his best competition bench and mine were close enough on Wilks that it would be a battle for first overall.

The event was held in Rotorua, about an hour from my parents’ house, so Katie and I drove down on the morning of, in time for the luxurious 8 am weigh-in (more like 8.20 by the time they figured out how to unlock the weigh-in room!) I weighed in at a super-light 90.55 kg, and nominated an opener of 137.5 kg. By this point, I was starving, so downed McDonald’s hotcakes and a flat white.

Annoyingly, my competition never showed up. All I had to do was not bomb to be the New Zealand Junior bench press national champion, which seems like a very hollow victory.

The Lifting

I opened on a conservative 137.5 kg because I didn’t really know what I was capable of. I’m glad I did because the press commands were a bit on the long side, and I don’t want to get into the habit of missing commands! I took a small jump to 142.5 kg, which actually felt even easier than the 137.5 kg.

My final attempt was 145 kg, which felt really good and moved quickly. I was really happy with this – only 3.5 kg off my best even bench in competition, despite being about 4 kilos lighter and being fresh out of a hypertrophy block. Unfortunately, I received two red lights on this attempt; one for my ass lifting off the bench (which was probably legit) and one for heaving. I felt a bit ripped off by the heaving call, and even having reviewed the video, I feel it was undeserved. (I would have contested it if there had been anything other than pride on the line.)

A7 team.jpg

Team A7 Oceania at the National Bench Champs! 

Despite everything leading up, I enjoyed myself at the meet. It was fun to get on the platform in a low-stress environment, good to see some friends hit some huge weights, and I was actually reasonably happy with how the weights moved. I think I’m in a good stead for Asia/Oceania’s now!

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted. Hope everyone’s training has been going well, and I promised to (try) to post more often.

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