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FULL ARNOLD VIDEO & WRITE-UP...... WHAT'S NEXT?: Blaine Sumner
Submitted by Staff on March 11, 2017 - 12:11pm.
I've been wanting to write a full length wrap up of my experience at the arnold but wanted to wait until I had my full meet video. So here we go!
Going into this meet I truly had low expectations. My only goal was to win the prize money and go for some big numbers if I felt like it was there. If you followed my training, you knew this was a very sub-optimal training cycle. After winning Worlds in November, I took about 8 weeks from touching a weight. I needed to let some things heal in my hips and back. That gave me about 6 weeks to try and get ready for the Arnold. Between buying a house and some things going bad at work (oilfield), 2 of those weeks got completely derailed and training didn't happen. By the time the meet rolled around, I had performed 3 squat sessions..... 4 bench press sessions..... and 2 deadlift sessions....... in 14 weeks. And somehow I had a great meet. This really blew me away. And opened my eyes to what my body really needs. I have always trained pushing the complete limit of recovery and effort. And felt that if I wasn't squatting 1,050 lbs every week, I would completely lose my mojo. It is probably more of a mental disorder than anything, but if I wasn't hitting heavy weekly competition lifts, I have always felt out of touch. I've hit more training lifts in a month during the majority of my powerlifting career than I did in the last 14 weeks combined. There is something about recovery and insanity, but I have yet to figure it out and will probably return to crazy training soon. It's the only way I know.
SQUAT - I decided here to open at 1,047 lbs. and base my next attempts on how it felt. It felt about average and I decided to take my next attempt at 1,113 lbs. which broke my own World Record. I destroyed this squat as I knew I would if the bar whip didn't get me too bad. The minute I walked backstage I knew I had tweaked my back. I'm not sure if it happened blasting the squat or angrily dabbing afterwards. I ruptured my L5-S1 disc in 2008 and it will bite me every once in awhile. I knew I had to pass on my 3rd squat if I wanted to finish the meet and have a shot at the World Record total. I feel so confident that I would have destroyed 1,157 lbs. on my third and even 1,201 lbs. on this day if I had loaded it up.
BENCH PRESS - Going into this meet I felt this was going to be my lift with the biggest potential. I wanted to be the first lifter to bench press 900+ lbs. and had my sights set on it. My back had started to lock up and I could not get my normal arch because of it. I took a token opener of 452 lbs. to secure my squat World Record. I ran to the warm up room, threw my shirt on, hit 717 lbs., and ran back up to hit my second attempt of 805 lbs. Something I haven't mentioned about this meet is the pace. It was the Grand Prix and USAPL only had the stage for 3 hours to run a 2 flight full meet. My flight finished with 7 lifters and warm ups had started before I finished my last lifts. After every attempt I got to the back room and it felt like I had to turn around and get ready for the next attempt. After the 805 lbs., I loaded up 904 lbs. and took a swing and hit it successfully. After hitting the squat and seeing white lights on the 904 lbs. bench I knew I had made history again and had the biggest adrenaline rush I have ever had. A 2,017 lb. sub total before deadlifts even started.
DEADLIFT - By this point my back had really started to hurt and lock up. I became nervous about even getting a pull in and not knowing when my disc injury was going to shut me down bad. I gingerly pulled my warm-up attempts slowly increasing the weight and feeling out the back. I lowered my opener to a 672 lb. token lift to ensure my back held up to get a total in and have the World Records count. The back felt ok and I jumped to 788 lbs. which I destroyed and felt very happy about considering I had pulled twice in 14 weeks! 788 lbs. was chosen because it broke my old World Record total and gave me a 2,805 lb. total. For my third attempt I chose 827 lbs. as I felt confident in this number and it would have given me a 700 wilks - the first ever. The bar flew off the ground and my grip tore off right around the knees. This surprised me as I've never had grip issues until closer to lockout. I'll blame it on deadlifting so sparingly.
WHAT'S NEXT? - I've hit so many lifelong goals that I never ever imagined possible. When I was getting started in powerlifting, I remember watching Brian Siders destroy everyone in the world by hundreds of pounds. Squatting 1,000 lbs. Benching nearly 800 lbs. Totaling 2,600 lbs. Obliterating World Records. In my wildest dreams I thought "wow, maybe one day I could get close to those numbers. I wonder what 1,000 lbs. would feel like on my back, or 800 lbs. in my hands!" You get so wrapped up in the pursuit of goals, it's crazy to me to sit back and think of what I thought was physically impossible. Only to now realize I'm hoisting 1,113 lbs. on my back and 904 lbs. in my hands, totaling 2,805 lbs. All I know is what is next for me is the World Games in July in Wroclaw, Poland. And my only goal is to win that meet, the most prestigious event in all of powerlifting. I've been a Raw World Champ, Open World Champ, held Raw Squat and Total World Records. And now hold biggest Squat, Bench, Total, and Wilks in International Powerlifting Federation history. I dream of going 1,201/1,003/904 = 3,108 lbs. someday and feel fully capable of the squat now. I don't know what my powerlifting future will hold after the World Games or where I will be lifting. But it will be a wild ride.