Reasons to Test Your Lifts + Powerlifting Results

Recently we held a power-lifting meet at Okanagan Peak Performance Inc. Below are the results of this lifting meet as well as some benefits of testing your lifts.

Before we get to the results of the meet it is important to understand why we held this lifting competition. My goals and some of the main reasons were:

1. To see where we’re at

Here’s an analogy I like to use as to the benefits of testing.

Imagine you want to go to Vancouver and you’re starting out in Kelowna. But you don’t know where Kelowna and couldn’t pin it on a map.

What are the chances you will reach your goal of getting to Vancouver? Probably not very good. And if you do make it what are the chances it was the most direct and efficient way of getting there? Again, probably not very good.

When we test our lifts we set a starting point. We know where we are. We know what the next goal should be. We know how long it will take to get there. And we have a good idea of the most efficient way to achieve success.

Given this is all common sense and fairly obvious isn’t it surprising the number of people who train but don’t test themselves?

2. To identify weak links

I’m a big believer in addressing weak links. If weak links are ignored they come back o haunt as bigger, more painful problems.

When we test our lifts we push ourselves to the limit. This exposes our weak links and lets us know what we need to do to improve.

For example, for some people they missed their bench press as they couldn’t lock out and complete the press. For this individual some more triceps training or rack presses would help overload the finishing portion of the lift to eliminate this weak link.

3. To evaluate the effectiveness of the training program

How effective is your training program? Are you getting stronger? Faster? More powerful? Unless you are testing you really have no way of knowing.

We are constantly testing out different training programs and protocols. I’m curious as to whether different rep and set ranges are more or less beneficial. I wonder whether pairing certain exercises is advantageous for the desired goal. I want to know if more intense and less frequent training is superior to more frequent and less intense.

By asking these questions does not mean we don’t still subscribe to the evidenced based solutions discovered in research. Instead it means that we get excited about the finding of a study and want to know if the same will work for us and if the findings can be expanded to other areas of training.

4. To help set new goals

Ask someone who doesn’t test their lifts how much they lift and they will have no idea. By no idea I mean they will pause for 10 seconds to think about and then give you around number as their answer. For example they may say ‘300 lbs’.

Contrast this with someone who tests their lifts and they will not only answer you right away but they will give you specifics to go along with their answer. Their answer would be something along the lines of ‘Well I’ve done 285 in training, and 275 for 5 reps just missed locking out 305 lbs during the competition’. Big difference.

Once you know where your lifts are at you’ll have a very clear idea of where you want to go next. Those that hit their goal weights have their eyes on the next level. The ones who missed will be tinkering with their technique and addressing their weak links to get over the hump next time.

5. To learn about ourselves

To an outsider a power-lifting meet may appear to be purely physical. And while the lifts all depend on physical strength this alone will not lead to success. Many of the lifters learned this on the weekend.

Here’s an example.

One of the people participating had a goal to pull a certain weight in the deadlift. When they showed up Saturday morning you could tell there was some butterflies. They showed up just before the meet started. And the day before told me they were dreaming about deadlifting.

When the meet got started this person could not complete their first lift. For those not familiar the first lift is one of three at a reduced load from what will ultimately be attempted. This is a load that has been achieved many times in training but on this day could not be lifted.

All of a sudden a mental block set in. I don’t want to speak for this person but you would assume that frustration, self doubt and many other questions are going through their mind.

Long story short this person cam in to the gym 2 days later and not only pulled this weight with ease but went up 20 lbs as well!

The moral of the story is that you will learn some much from competition and not just the obvious lessons that are expected but many others that present themselves as challenges. How we respond to the challenge defines who we are and what benefits we get from the lesson.

6. To develop camaraderie and friendship

While we were preparing for this power-lifting meet there was our staff and a number of clients following a specific program. However with the Christmas season we knew not everyone could attend do to vacation plans and Christmas parties. Fair enough.

So I thought there would be about 6-8 of us testing our lifts and it was a nice surprise when 13 showed up for the competition. Not only was it great that so many came out it was nice to see the variety of guys, girls, athletes and weekend warriors, students and business professionals all competing side by side.

During the deadlifting you had an Olympic medallist on one platform performing his lift alongside a grade 9 student. And during the 3 rep chin up test a Division 1 football player passed the belt to an importer of wood.

On this day everyone was supportive of everyone else. It didn’t matter if you were deadlifting 505 lbs (way to go Dakota!), or trying to pull your own body-weight for 3 chin ups, everyone cheered for you. A few of the students kept following me around telling me how awesome this was and that we needed to do this every month.

So that covers the reasons we help this power-lifting meet. Below are the results. Congrats to everyone who participated. Hope you will join us for the next one.

Chris

 

DEADLIFT
bodyweight attempt #1 attempt #2 attempt #3 lbs lifted/bodyweight Place
Jim   McKitrick 184 315 365 385 2.092391 4
Dakota Poole 248 455 485 505 2.03629 1
Leanne   Stanley 222.2 265 295 x 1.327633 6
Max Corcoran 144 265 275 295 2.048611 6
Quentin   Brooks 138 205 245 275 1.992754 9
Quinn   Stewart 250.2 225 265 305 1.219025 5
Andrew Dunn 166.4 135 195 225 1.352163 10
Matt   Baumeister 161.2 195 225 x 1.395782 10
Rosie   McKitrick 129.4 165 185 200 1.545595 13
Megan Gorges 158.6 195 205 215 1.355612 12
Jordy   Kreller 112.2 285 x 2.175081 8
Chris   Collins 186.2 405 x 2.175081 3
Chris   LeBihan 209.2 385 405 425 2.031549 2
BENCH
bodyweight attempt #1 attempt #2 attempt #3 lbs lifted/bodyweight Place
Jim   McKitrick 184 245 x 255 1.38587 3
Dakota Poole 248 245 265 275 1.108871 2
Leanne   Stanley 222.2 155 175 190 0.855086 5
Max Corcoran 144 x x 165 1.145833 6
Quentin   Brooks 138 105 125 x 0.905797 9
Quinn   Stewart 250.2 115 x x 0.459632 11
Andrew Dunn 166.4 135 155 x 0.93149 7
Matt   Baumeister 161.2 145 155 x 0.961538 7
Rosie   McKitrick 129.4 75 85 90 0.695518 13
Megan Gorges 158.6 110 125 x 0.788146 9
Jordy   Kreller 112.2 95 x 115 1.024955 11
Chris   Collins 186.2 245 275 300 1.611171 1
Chris   LeBihan 209.2 225 245  x 1.171128 4
SQUAT
bodyweight attempt #1 attempt #2 attempt #3 lbs lifted/bodyweight Place
Jim   McKitrick 184 X 315 1.711957 4
Dakota Poole 248 335 405 455 1.834677 1
Leanne   Stanley 222.2 215 x 235 1.057606 5
Max Corcoran 144 205 215 225 1.5625 6
Quentin   Brooks 138 155 205 x 1.485507 8
Quinn   Stewart 250.2 120 145 160 0.639488 11
Andrew Dunn 166.4 115 135 150 0.901442 12
Matt   Baumeister 161.2 225 x x 1.395782 6
Rosie   McKitrick 129.4 x x x
Megan Gorges 158.6 195 x x 1.229508 9
Jordy   Kreller 112.2 185 x x 1.648841 10
Chris   Collins 186.2 315 345 365 1.960258 3
Chris   LeBihan 209.2 335 365 405 1.935946 2
3   REP CHIN UP
bodyweight attempt #1 attempt #2 attempt #3 lbs lifted/bodyweight
Jim   McKitrick 184 244 1.326087 5
Dakota Poole 248 302 307 1.237903 1
Leanne   Stanley 222.2 220.4 233.4 246 1.107111 4
Max Corcoran 144 165.6 183 209.6 1.455556 6
Quentin   Brooks 138 160.2 170.6 x 1.236232 9
Quinn   Stewart 250.2
Andrew Dunn 166.4 189.4 206.8 x 1.242788 7
Matt   Baumeister 161.2 193.2 197.5 1.225186 8
Rosie   McKitrick 129.4
Megan Gorges 158.6 158.6 x x 1 11
Jordy   Kreller 112.2 122.2 136 x 1.212121 10
Chris   Collins 186.2 259.2 273 286.2 1.537057 2
Chris   LeBihan 209.2 262.4 276.2  x 1.320268 3
bodyweight deadlift bench squat chin total weight lifted Place
Jim   McKitrick 184 385 255 315 244 1199 4
Dakota Poole 248 505 275 455 307 1542 1
Leanne   Stanley 222.2 295 190 235 246 966 5
Max Corcoran 144 295 165 225 209.6 894.6 6
Quentin   Brooks 138 275 125 205 170.6 775.6 8
Quinn   Stewart 250.2 305 115 160 580 12
Andrew Dunn 166.4 225 155 150 206.8 736.8 9
Matt   Baumeister 161.2 225 155 225 197.5 802.5 7
Rosie   McKitrick 129.4 200 90 290 13
Megan Gorges 158.6 215 125 195 158.6 693.6 11
Jordy   Kreller 112.2 285 115 185 136 721 10
Chris   Collins 186.2 405 300 365 286.2 1356.2 2
Chris   LeBihan 209.2 425 245 405 276.2 1351.2 3

 

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Comments

comments

2 Responses to Reasons to Test Your Lifts + Powerlifting Results

  1. Matt Baumeister says:

    Great post Chris!! Had so much fun training with the crew at Okanagan Peak for this event! I feel so much stronger going into the 2013 triathlon season! Can’t wait to put my new legs to the test!!

    Happy holidays,

    Matt

  2. Jordy Kreller says:

    This was definately one of my favourite weight lifting programs! I saw results that I thought would take soooo much longer to achieve! Also, I loved the whole scenery when it came to the lifting competition on Saturday. I felt like I was in my element! I definately agree with those clients that said we should do testing more often!! It is great to cheer other people on and see what they can achieve on a 1 rep max! Thanks for putting this together chris!! It made me realize how powerful your psychological mind can affect your performance! I can’t wait to start our new program and test our lifts again!!!! :) :) :)

    Again congrats to everyone for there achievements!! :) Can’t wait to see more!

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