Meet Recap: This is one of the most incredible performances I’ve been blessed to be a part of. To give some background, Drew is one of the OGs of this new wave of powerlifting in Missouri. He was a very competitive lifter in the 83kg division in the USAPL and battled back and forth with Ryan Baylark and Sean Noriega back in I believe 2017-2018 for that 83kg American Record bench. And Drew was one of the really notable coaches in Missouri when I first started powerlifting back in 2015, and just crazy how it’s come full circle now with having the opportunity to coach him now!
But, about 3 years back Drew started battling with some serious chronic knee pain that’s really plagued him since. I got the opportunity to start coaching him about 6 months ago, and we’ve strung together some good blocks where squats felt good, and some others not so great. But fortunately heading into this meet over the previous 4 weeks, some changes we made were yielding some of the best feeling squats in recent time. We limited exposure to high intensities though and really only worked up to opener range, as anything above 220kg tended to start increasing pain and was better to just save that exposure for meet day. He ended up crushing his first 2 attempts and the knees were feeling great, but on his 3rd attempt at 540lbs, as he came up from parallel he felt 2 pops, and as Drew said, he blacked out and didn’t even know he finished the lift. I was watching the live stream and could see the noticeable pain and him limping off the platform. Started messaging back and forth and knew it was pretty bad, but he wanted to just see how things went and give bench a shot. Well not only did he give bench a shot, he hit his first bench PR in almost 3 years with a smooth 435lbs. And very possible 200kg was there on the day, but we shall save that for next time. I figured on deadlift he would probably just take a token opener to get a total as he still couldn’t walk normal, but I saw he came out with his planned opener and grinded it out in noticeable pain. I then figured he’d call it there, but then he came out and hit 628lbs on his 2nd, and again thought he’d just call it there. But he loaded up 650lbs on his 3rd, which would give him a meet PR total if he hit it. And as you can see above, after about 3-4 second of trying to get it to break the floor he grinded it out to finish the day 9 for 9 with a PR total of 1625lbs in the 82.5kg division!
Now I am not recommending everyone to battle through pain, but I know for Drew and how many meets he has had to drop out of over the last 3 years, him just making it to this day meant there was no option not to give it his all. I figured after squats the day was kind of a wash, but he ended up turning it into his best meet ever, which is pretty noteworthy for someone who has competed in 16 meets over the last 9 years. I am very honored to have been a part of this with Drew, and as he said in his initial inquiry to me, “Let me know if you have any interest in working with a beat up dude that’s just not willing to quit”. I think that pretty much sums up the resilience Drew had at this meet.
Weight Class: 82.5kg
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