Written by: Kevin Cann
“Just not today.” These are words I have heard from my coach, Boris Sheiko, a few times over the last two and a half years. This was always on the heels of a missed lift during a test or competition.
My response in my head was always “No shit.” I know it wasn’t happening today as I just experienced it. I would be pissed off and want all kinds of answers as to why I missed the lift. The problem is, with powerlifting that is just how it goes sometimes.
At my last meet I missed my 3rdattempt bench press. This was a weight I hit with relative ease a few weeks earlier. It wasn’t a PR or anything. Fuck, I haven’t hit a PR on my bench in 2 years. After the competition Sheiko said of my 3rdattempt “Just not today.”
This block of training after that meet looks very similar to the one before it. There is a lot of bench volume. Repeating the previous block put a lot of perspective on things for me. There is no need to panic. We will get this weight the next time. Continue to put the work in and everything will be ok.
Even though my bench hasn’t moved, my total has. I have put over 200lbs on my total since my first competition. 200lbs on my total going from the RPS to the USAPL. My first meet I used a monolift, fast press command, and deadlift bar to my advantage. When viewed in this manner that 200lb increase is much higher. At the end of the day it is about having a bigger total. That bench PR will come.
I am writing this article now as we are getting into the thick of things with competitions. Although PPS did extremely well this past Sunday going 52/54, not every meet will be filled with this much success. Powerlifting is a sport of peaks and valleys and you can’t have peaks without valleys.
There was one moment at the meet when one of the lifters was visibly upset after a missed 3rdattempt deadlift. Weight got away from her a bit and she couldn’t lock it out. No big deal, it happens. This was her first meet and she is young and has a bright future in this sport.
However, it made me think of when I was in that position being told “Just not today.” I think in the beginning of this journey into powerlifting we only see the things right in front of our face. We put all of the work in and we expect to see PRs in the competition. However, sometimes that does not happen.
It doesn’t mean that all of the work we did was for nothing. We still get stronger. The weight wasn’t there today, but it will be. Powerlifting is a sport that we can do throughout a lifetime. Every lifter misses lifts and has bad competitions. It is part of the sport.
This doesn’t mean that you need an entirely different program, a switch to RPEs, a different coach, or new lucky socks. There should be some analysis done and a plan to attack the lift that isn’t where you would like it to be. However, a major part of that plan is just getting back to work and putting that missed lift behind you.
Enjoy the peaks, let the valleys motivate you, but no matter what continue to work and trust the process.