What I Learned at the APF Spring Iron Frenzy

I haven’t stopped thinking about squats in the last week.  It might be an addiction.

On April 13th, I competed in my second powerlifting meet, the APF New York State Spring Iron Frenzy, which was held at Sparta Gym in Westbury, New York.  If you’d like the full meet results, you can check them out HERE.

Sometime between my first and second squats at the RPS meet, I decided that I needed to do another meet, and had 10 weeks of training going into this one.  In those ten weeks, I put 40lbs on my total.  Yippee!  While I was excited about setting some PR’s, I’m even more excited that I was able to see a ton of friends on both sides of the platform.  Here I am with Tony and Dan during squat warmups:


We had a blasty-blast during the day, and by “blasty-blast”, I mean the day was 14+ hours long and stupid.  I arrived with my friend Ben at 10am, and didn’t take my first squat until around 12:30pm.  There was a 5 hour gap between my last squat and first bench press.  My last deadlift hit the floor at 11:40pm.  A good number of lifters rolled out after they realized how long the day was going to be.  Seriously, that’s ridiculous.

I have my full meet warm-up information on Fitocracy, and here’s a run down of my attempts:

  • 360lbs –
  • 380lbs – +5lb PR
  • 400lbs – +25lb PR

Tony gave me sa-weet depth calls, because I was squatting deeper than I needed to.  Thanks!  My friend Greg was able to get a picture of me grinding through that last squat.


There was a long break after squatting, which included watching world-record holder Dave Hoff compete in bench only.  Dave missed his attempts, but here’s a video of his 1,005lb 3rd attempt:

My attempts look pretty lame after seeing that, and I’m a little disappointed that I missed my last attempt.  They were:

  • 275lbs
  • 290lbs
  • 300lbs – Miss

The judges were definitely on top of butts on benches, and I was a little hesitant with leg drive.  It could be because it looked like an exorcism:


Tony and I traded lift offs while we benched, and Scot Mendelson and Dave Hoff traded as head judges.  Pretty sweet.

After benching, I laid down to take a nap.  Well, I tried to, but it’s hard to do that at a powerlifting meet that’s held at a commercial gym.  Around 11pm, it was deadlift time.  I had a second wind and tried to get myself together.  Deadlifting has always been my favorite lift:

455lb PR

After warming up, my attempts were:

  • 435lbs
  • 455lbs, +15lb meet PR, +10lb PR
  • 470lbs miss

Apparently my spacial awareness goes down when I’m tired, and I wasn’t lined up properly on my last deadlift attempt.  The bar speed looks good on video, but the bar is very obviously lopsided.

Here’s a little video I put together with the attempts that I have video of:

I went 7/9 and learned a bit more about lifting.  What I enjoyed even more than setting some PR’s was seeing my friends who competed get fired up to lift.  Three of the fellas were competing in their first meet!

Pat hit a 295lb squat, 240lb bench press, and 385lb deadlift for a 920lb total and 3rd place in the 148lb weight class.  (He’s also rocking that sweeeeet Gaglione Strength singlet.)

Screen Shot 2013-04-19 at 10.52.54 AM
Dan hit a 340lb squat, 275lb bench press, and 405lb deadlift for a 1,020 total and 3rd place in the 165lb weight class.


Ben hit a 255lb squat and a 435lb deadlift for a push/pull total of 690lbs in the 198lb Junior class.  Waddup first place?

Tony competed in the 181lb class for the first time, and took first place with a 490lb squat, 315lb bench press, and 500lb deadlift.  Those weren’t PR’s, so he’s not happy.  Step your shit up, Tony.

In addition to some solid lifting, I saw some great people.   Juliet came out from New Jerz and Erika came down from Connecticut to drop a holler, my long-time friend and neighbor Steve helped me warm-up for my bench presses and deadlifts, and there were heaps of Adelphi classmates who rolled out.  Elyse, Dave, Jordan, Kerry, Corey, Nick, as well as  Justin and  Nick from Oceanside all were there, and packed the place with energy.  It was absolutely awesome.

The list of things that wasn’t awesome is short: Time management was poor and there were judging discrepancies on squat depth and bench touches.  Other than that, I love powerlifting.

I’m planning on taking the summer to hone technique and build my lifts.  I’ll be including the big lifts in my training, and including a bit more variety than I’ve had since January.  I’ve already checked Powerlifting Watch and found the RPS Long Island Insurrection meet on November 16th.

We’re 6 months out.

*Seriously, our total weight was 2,000lbs.  I weighed everyone.  (<-That’s not true, it’s a joke.)

4 Replies to “What I Learned at the APF Spring Iron Frenzy”

  1. Harold- good job in your competition. I wish I had known about this. I would have gone down to watch and to introduce myself to you. I live walking distance to that gym although I don’t train there. (They don’t have a high handle trap bar).

    1. Thank you, John! I’ll post some info before the next one; I didn’t expect you to be so close! It was a blast, but definitely a little bit of a shit-show; place was packed and the day took forever.

      I’m glad that we both judge gyms on the availability of high handle trap bars 🙂

  2. Good job on the meet. My friends and I were planning on competing at this one but injuries sidelined all three of us. 😦
    Seems like a lot of meets go overtime and are usually a bit of a mess.

    1. Thank you! This was only my second meet, and I was a little perturbed that in ran so long. That being said, it was still a fantastic experience, and I find it to be a great way of quantifying training improvements.

      Have you looked at any other local meets to compete in?

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