On March 7, 2015 the first-ever Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate meet was hosted by Austin Simply Fit. The Texas Gainzsaw Massacre was an amazing day, and the best way to give the strength community a sneak-peek at our new Northwest location in Leander, Tx. Overall, the platform saw 60 lifters display feats of strength that further proves how strong Central Texas and the surrounding areas are. Over 100 of their friends and family attended the meet and supported the athlete’s efforts. In total, there were nearly 200 people in the building to help RPS and ASF kickoff this amazing event!
The meet started on time at 9am and all lifters were done by 4:15pm. That must be some kind of record, we’ve never seen any meet finish is seven hours, and we’ve seen our fair share of meets over the years. On top of the record speed at which the meet was run, there were no injuries. Our spotters and loaders were on point – all seven of them – keeping the platform running smoothly and safely. The emcee was incredible, keeping the crowd entertained and the lifters and coaches in-the-know as the day progresses – it helps that music is his first passion and he is a heavy metal bassist on the weekends. Top finishers all walked away with RPS State Records in their division and weight class and several RPS World Records fell on this day, too!
The Austin Simply Fit team came in droves as coaches, athletes, supporters, judges, staff, fashion models and sales specialists. Read below to hear from the athletes and coaches themselves how the meet when for them and what they are gearing up for next! You can check out photos from the event on ASF’s Flickr page!
Dana Tomlin – Competitor – 165lb weight class, Submaster:
My first meet was a great experience! I felt really prepared by my trainer, Franki, and by my gym with the mock meet we did a few months ago.
We took the week off before the meet to rest and get stronger. The night before the meet I packed my food, clothes and equipment. I brought extra food to share and also because I wasn’t sure what I would want to eat. Keeping my energy up for that long was a challenge and I wanted options. Turns out I liked chocolate milk, bananas, oranges, pickles (and juice!), PB&J, and coconut water. ALSO bring a hoodie and long pants (it was winter) BUT do that so you keep your muscles warm between lifts.
My openers were solid. This is super important because mistakes get made on that first lift from nerves or just cuz. So the weight needs to be light enough that you can do it even with mistakes so that you have another chance to do it again.
I made some mistakes and have some things to learn, like listening to commands and locking out on my deadlift, but I am super happy with my accomplishments. I got a PR in squat that day – my April goal was to hit 200 and I did it a month early! Bench was solid, command issues – wait for the head judge to finish saying press before you press. My deadlift was good – I wanted 285 by April and I hit 280 at this meet. I didn’t lockout, it’s one of my “things”, so I didn’t record 280 but I am still happy with it. Would have been better to lock out though. 🙂 I wont lie.
The biggest challenge was staying fueled up and ready all day, NERVES, and not getting too cooled down between lifts but also not spending a lot of energy getting warmed up too early – it’s a balance that I look forward to getting better at.
The camaraderie was awesome, everyone worked hard, supported each other. friends and family came to cheer me on and that was really nice. When I got home from the meet they had steaks grilled, a cake with SAF on it – they were all really proud of me! I feel really accomplished. I wasn’t doing this a year ago and now, I have changed my story. I have competed in a powerlifting meet.
Lance Olian – Competitor – 242lb weight class, Open:
My expectations going into the meet were to hit a squat PR and finally get a total (after bombing out of my past 2 meets due to scratched bench attempts). I hit a training PR of 550 so was excited to see what I could do on the platform, given my previous meet PR was 465. As for the meet itself, I was expecting a long, drawn-out day based on previous meets I have attended.
What actually happened blew my socks off! I hit a 110# squat PR, a 100# bench PR, an 11# deadlift PR, and a 280# Total PR…. WHAT!?? Furthermore, the meet was the most efficiently-run event I’ve ever been to! All 60 lifters completed their flights by 4pm. It was so smooth.
I am extremely glad my teammates talked me into putting on my bench shirt. After a rough opener, I was planning on benching raw, but then I wouldn’t have gotten my monster PR.
Most of my success this meet was due to a phenomenal training crew, and sufficient nutrition, rest, and recovery.
For my next meet, I look forward to an attempt at a full meet in multi ply gear. I’m looking forward to my teammates and I pushing each other to be our best. Granted I have a lot to learn getting into multi-ply, but based solely on my single-ply numbers, my goals are a 650# squat, 550# bench, and 600# Deadlift.
Robyn Pettinger – Competitor – 165lb weight class, Open:
Powerlifting aside, this one one of the smoothest, most well-run event I’ve been to. Naturally, the energy was high in the room. From the athletes all the way to the handlers and loaders. Everything was professional and efficiently run.
My personal experience at this event was amazing. There is such a dynamic and amazing group people at ASF. There is a ton of love, support and camaraderie which is all an athlete can hope for. This helped me put 38.5 lbs on my overall total. My favorite part of the day, personally, was missing my second squat attempt. Because this happened, I finally was able to have a breakthrough. Spot-on coaching corrected my issue and I was able to successfully squat a PR of 22.5lbs.
I can’t say enough about the group of coaches and athletes at ASF. Much love.
Brendan Morr – Competitor – 242lb weight class, Open/Junior:
The rps meet was all in all a success in my eyes. The pace at which the meet went was excellent and efficient. As a competitor I felt anxious and my nerves were running high. I woke up at 4:00am just because of the rush of training memories from the previous weeks. My only thoughts were if my back would hold up or not on each lift . To me the success I found wasn’t embedded in the amount of pounds I lifted but if I could walk away from deadlift feeling content and pain free. Which i did. What kept me rooted in progress throughout the meet was making sure others were ready for the platform even though they were new to the sport. As much as i wanted to make sure i was 100% I still wanted to ensure my teammate’s success in any way i could contribute. A few of the lessons I picked up were that my teammates were excellent sources of inspiration that I will always seek to be apart of.
BRENDAN MORR – COACH (yes, he did both. Multifaceted man he is.):
I helped Annie, Amanda, Chelsea and Jeff, in the rps meet and they all exceeded the expectations I had for them. I observed , coached , and assisted most of the teammates I helped at rps through training and saw the ques we worked on in training, translate to the platform. The programming we implemented from Mark Rogers was extremely effective and with individual tweaks for each athlete; the results showed when it was time for them to perform each lift. I stress execution of the lift with each athlete and less analytical thought because that’s what truly helps on the day of the meet. When it comes time to lift the only thoughts that should occur are of success and the proper motor pattern to finish the lift. Nothing else is important . That’s how I was taught and that’s how I will continue to teach anyone I do coach. This sport is my passion and helping my teammates get stronger is what makes this all so enjoyable.
FRANKI SPELL – COACH:
The excitement grew more and more the closer we came to meet day. Wanting my clients to push hard mentally and physically was my main desire. I knew we had trained and prepared for this day in the months prior. Some of my clients had competed in the mock meet at ASF. That gave them a bit of experience and an idea of what to expect. But having not done an official sanctioned meet, I knew it would fill them with nerves and a ton of energy. The morning of the meet I wanted to be certain that I was “present” for each one of my clients. I had 4 clients competing and 1 friend that asked me to help coach her through her lifts. Within the 4 different flights, my clients were spread throughout 3 of them. During warmups, I made sure to time it correctly so my clients were adequately warmed up by the time their flights were ready. During each lift, I was right there with them whether I was handing off for the bench press or coaching them through the squat and deadlift.
My clients had such great energy the day of the meet. They were READY TO LIFT HEAVY SHIT! And they did just that. And that got me pumped up for them. Each one PR’d at least one lift. Each one left the competition with an experience that left them wanting more. More weight. More experience. More challenges. More growth.
Here is a breakdown of each client I coached:
Christina Brown: squat 192 (PR) | bench x | deadlift x
Dana Tomlin: squat 203 (PR) | bench 105 (match PR) | deadlift 270 (PR)
Melinda Anderson: squat 225 (PR) | bench 115 126 (PR) | deadlift 235 248 (PR)
Thomas Weber: squat 292 (PR) | bench 176 (PR) | deadlift 418 (PR)
BECKIE LOUGH – COACH:
I had the privilege of coaching two awesome lady lifters in the RPS Texas GAINZsaw MASSacre – Lisa Franco and Chelsea Halstead. Chelsea and Lisa have been a powerlifting team at ASF’s South Lamar studio for several months, and they both have been lifting for more than a year. They were nervous and excited to take the next step to compete! This was also my first time coaching in an official meet, and I definitely had my share of butterflies!
Lisa had the honor of kicking off the meet with the very first official competition squat at ASF NW! She smoked her opener, immediately relieving a lot of nerves. Squat is Chelsea’s strongest lift, and she hit her second and third attempts with more left in the tank. Both ladies achieved competition PRs, and their increased confidence was palpable!
As the other flights finished their squats, we had fun screaming and cheering them on. Even though every meet I have been a part of has had the same energy, I am always touched by the level of camaraderie between the competitors. Every single person in the room is rooting for successful lifts for every single lifter.
Chelsea and Lisa powered through the bench portion of the meet, hitting solid numbers in spite of the dreaded “competition pause.” We were all thrilled with how smoothly and quickly the meet was running – at the pace we were going, we’d be done in time for happy hour!
Finally, it was time to deadlift. Both ladies torched their openers and made big jumps for their second and third attempts. Personally, I was having so much fun at this point in the meet. Chelsea and Lisa were exhausted, but absolutely full of joy between lifts. They each pulled significant PRs and felt like they could have gone heavier.
After it was over, we were giddy and brimming with pride, full of new self-knowledge and inspired to keep getting stronger! Lisa and Chelsea were proud of themselves for their strength and perseverance, and I was ridiculously proud of their bravery in stepping so far outside of their comfort zones. In spite of their nerves, they were absolutely fearless the entire day.
The ASF team is so successful because of our unity. The love we have for each other exponentially increases our strength because we share our energy and draw courage from each other. I am so proud to coach and compete with such amazing athletes, and I cannot wait to see how far we will go!
DAVID POLISKY – COACH:
I first want to take a moment to congratulate EVERYONE that competed in the RPS Texas GainzSAW Massacre meet on March 7, it was such a great feeling seeing everyone lift their hearts out and set PRs!
I was fortunate enough to have coached my clients, Keisha Gray, that day. Keisha and I trained for that moment for several months, and she was very happy with all her lifts (obviously she would have liked to have lifted more, but then again, who walks away from the platform completely satisfied?).
When Keisha initially started training at Austin Simply Fit with me, a couple of years ago, it wasn’t with any intention to one day compete in a meet, but to just get stronger and healthier. After she started getting significantly stronger in, and out of, the studio, she came to me and said, “You know what? I think I might want to compete in one of those powerlifting meets.”. To which I said, “Great, let’s start training specifically for one!” Over the months, Keisha kept setting PRs and she kept getting more and more pumped to compete in her first meet.
At the mock meet that was held at ASF’s Central location, she was able to get a chance to practice everything before she actually competed in her first meet. Long story short, she killed it. While she basically SMASHED every PR that she had previously held in training, she came to me afterwards and said. “I wanna lift more.” So, we kept on training heavy, continuing to set PRs along our way.
The day of the meet, I remember the look on her face when I first saw her, and I could tell that she was freaking out. She had come with her husband, Marvin, and I assured them both that all that anxiousness that she was feeling would disappear the moment she finished that first squat. When she saw all white lights after that first squat, I saw her face light up. Seeing someone that you’ve been training with for months and months lift, and EXCEL, on the platform is a truly great feeling. After it was all said and done, she set PRs in every lift, and now she’s talking about which meet she wants to do next.
I have to say that I am extremely proud of Keisha. A couple of days ago, we were discussing the meet and her performance at it. She said, “Coming from a non-athletic background, I always just assumed that I’d never be good at anything related to sports. But I feel proud that I did it, and did so well.”
And that is what really means the most to me, to know that I helped instill that type of confidence in another person.
It seems another powerlifter has been born.