2014 APA Mississippi Open Championship
By Michael Whities (aka SquatPressPull) on 3/10/2014 Back to Articles

2014 APA Mississippi Open Championship


When I arrived at the meet, I was somewhat worried about making weight. Yes, I WANTED SHW over 341.5 class. I lined up to get weighed in and something just hit me.... So I did what I had to do. Back at the weigh in, dressed and only the shoes off, I hit 351. Wow... so I stripped down (cell phone, wallet, food, etc..) and made 347.. Yay... Wilks will be better than the bigger boys.

Quite nervous and started sweating, even before the pre-workout. Not sure what was up, I was more nervous this day than I was in my first meet. I know I'd been worried about getting my squats up. I've been chasing 500 for quite sometime but, my left knee had been giving me fits the last month or so. I've barely squatted during that time.

Anyway, back to the lifts:


I had squatted 430 the week before then was going to try 450 for an opener but, three attempts at it and it rolled, with a pinched finger, I decided not to.

I went with 430. It felt a little heavy but, not took bad. My knee felt great after warmups and doing 225X5.

Since my knee was feeling good, I decided to go with 465 for my second lift. Felt really strong. I had reservations of doing the weight but, I decided to. I have noticed, with myself, my lifts after the first seem to become stronger.

Third lift. Gut check decision time. Besides wanting to hit 500 raw (knee sleeves only) for my goal this year, I wanted to do it for another unselfish reason. Let's do it! 500. Do or die?

Scared to death. I lifted the bar off the stands and the weight really weighed heavy on me. I had considered putting 500 on the bar and just pulling it off the week before but, I didn't get a chance. If you watch the video, I took several small steps back instead of the 1-2-3 I usually try to do. The heaviest I've ever had on my back.

Deep breathe.. as I came down, I heard/felt the plates hit the stands bench clips. Oh crap... I hit the bottom and tried to explode up. At that same time (plenty of practice at he gym) , I pulled my right side back hoping to not hit the stand again. I came up but, it felt like it was really slow. I just knew I was red lighted all the way across.

Racked it and looked.. Three whites!


Never really focused on the bench much expect when I started the program that I am running. My chest has little to no chest muscle at all. From my last meet, I knew I had a lot to work on with it and I put forth more effort.

Opener: 115. This was my PR at my last meet. In training. I had benched 125 and 135. This 115 felt heavy as can be. I was able to press it up and get three white lights with it. I was scared that was the end of my benching for the day. Then I thought about it, I did 135 in training, granted with the equipment I use, 135 was more like 129/130.. Seriously.

I went with 125 next. This was a grinder. I hit some of that nose tork and grinder it out as hard as I could. I brought it down and the push up took for ever. Never thought I'd get it up. Bam. Did it.

So, I'm already in the books and I'm so pumped up... 135! I got the 135 in my hand and wow.. heavy. I pulled it down and once it touched my chest and I heard the press/lift command... I barely remember anything. All I do remember was watching my hand. I watched it as it SLOWLY being pushed away from me. I had no idea how long it took but, it felt like for ever. Finally, I saw some hands grab the bar and it was racked. I popped up and white lights!


Easy opener at 270. I've lifted 280 several times and of course 308 and 315 once but, the 225 I warmed up with earlier, felt HEAVY. I was glad I decided on 270. Came up nice and straight. Easier than I expected.

305 for my second lift. I know, I did 308 and 315 but, again, everything was feeling heavy. I grabbed the bar, adjust my hand (I'll explain that more later.) and pulled it. Way off, I got the lift but, had I been judging, I would've red lighted it. (See the video.) I got it up and held it for the command, maybe that's why?

310 for the third lift. I had planned on going all out for my third lift but, I wanted a total PR over a lift PR. So instead of going for 319 or so and missing it, I went the safe route to get the total PR. I setup, adjusted my hand and pulled. Another long almost black out pull. I barely remember anything after I started pulling. Only thing I was concentrating on was holding onto the bar and the head judge. As soon as I heard the command, I set it down.

After the pull, I had time to reflect on the lift... had I known I was going to pull the bar up straight, I would've went for more but, who knew? I feel I did the right thing, for myself, to take a safe lift and get it.

Break down on the lifts and PRs:

9/9 on lifts.
485/500 15lbs PR
115/135 20lbs PR
308/310 2lbs PR

Total: 908/945 37lbs PR.

Here is the YouTube  video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HF86oovi2v4



Bio: Michael Whities (aka SquatPressPull)

I started lifting about 3 years ago and for the first year, tried this and that program. Never really seeing any results. I stumbled upon a site and it was Starting Strength. I picked up the book and read it multiple times, then started using the program to get stronger.

I used it for a good year or so and practiced mostly on my form for the lifts. I had taken about 7 months off from working out after I had hit 405X1 in a squat. Trying to start back about a year ago now, I decided to get back in the gym and get stronger. I was introduced to the Cube Method by a friend on Twitter. So I looked into it and I liked the programming and bought the book.

I have ran two cycles of the Cube Method with great results. I'm going to start running Cube Kingpin and hope to do even better with my total at a meet I might do in May 2014.

6' 6"

First meet Dec 14, 2013:
5th place over all in SHW.

Second meet March 8, 2014:
1st place in Sub-Master SHW class.

By Trebin on 3/10/2014 at 9:15

Such an inspiration to us all man. This is a great write up and I feel like you really played it smart. Huge congrats on the PR.

By SquatPressPull on 3/10/2014 at 10:26


Thank you. The 500lbs squat was what I wanted more than anything else. The rest was just icing on the cake.


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