Bench_press*Yesterday was the first Max the Bench competition at Yongsan Garrison.  There was a great turn out and a full range of competitors: high school kids, active duty military, and civilian employees.

*Before yesterday, I had never participated in any kind of organized weight lifting competition.  In this previous post, I linked to an article by Pavel recommending competition as a way to focus training.  Although I had no idea what to expect, I committed to participating.

*Here is how it worked.  You filled out a waiver (darn lawyers), stepped onto a scale to be weighed, then got in line.  At the front end of the line were two benches.  When it was your turn, the spotters loaded the bar with your body weight.  Your job was to see how many reps you could crank out.  For ladies, the bar was loaded with half of their body weight.

*T-shirts were given to anyone who successfully completed a press.  Awards were given for the most weight lifted (cumulative) and for the most reps completed.

*I think the guy that had the bench immediately before me won both.  He weighed like 135, but cranked out 52 reps.  It was sick.

*Then it was my turn.  My 18 reps at 165 were respectable (although, I think they were pretty charitable on my 18th, as I failed to lock out on the left side).  While waiting in line, I set my goal for 20.  18 is pretty close.  Now, that I know what to expect, when they run the competition again in 3 months, I am sure I can hit 20.  I should probably push for 25 or 30.

*As I got up from the bench, one of the spotters told me to enjoy the pump.  At first, I was not sure what she was talking about.  Once I was on my feet, I felt it immediately.  I had been breathing steady and strong throughout my reps, but a ton of blood was still in my chest.  That coupled with the adrenaline rush, meant that I felt pretty darn good leaving the gym.

*Eileen treated me to a double chocolate milk as my post workout recovery drink.  It was a really good time.  I will definitely do it again and I recommend that you look for similar competitions.  The camaraderie was great.  Everyone got crowd support for their lifts and some of the performances were spectacular.  Plus, you get a t-shirt!


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2 responses to “EXERCISE: Compete

  1. YEAH. I need to get to the gym.

    • stoffainkorea

      *FIGGYBIT – Go for it! You have my support and encouragement. Also, you have some great parks in NYC. Exercise outside and stock up on the vitamin D.

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