Written by Blaine Sumner
On June 22nd I competed at the USAPL Men’s National Championships in Philadelphia, PA. Going into this meet I had huge goals with full confidence I’d achieve them. I had a nearly impeccable 16 week training cycle leading up to the meet and was nearly 100% healthy with the exception of tweaking my L5-S1 disc injury 2 weeks out. I missed less than 1% of my lifts in training and felt recovered, rested, and ready to blast some PR’s and records.
This meet had some massive implications because the winner of each weight class is guaranteed a spot on the World Team for the IPF World Championships in November. The World’s this year are to be held in Colorado, my home state; nothing would make me happier than winning the sport’s highest pinnacle of achievement in my home state.
I am not going to go into detail or make any comments, but I bombed out on the squat. It was not due to taking too heavy of an opener, but for the second year in a row I bombed out due to depth. I destroyed 1,025 lbs. three times in a row but all were called too high. This was the most let down I have ever felt in my powerlifting career because it meant no World Championships in Colorado for me. It was an even bigger let down because I would have handily won with just my openers.
I wasn’t going to mope around and complain but, but rather I wanted to get back on the platform and show my strength I worked so hard to gain throughout this training cycle. I sucked it up and moved onto the bench press where I pressed 761, 805, and missed 827 at the top. This was a 3-lift meet bench press PR so that made me happy. Moving onto the deadlift I went 717, 761, and missed 827 at lockout.
I have never had this many demons built up inside of me as I do from this meet. It is almost certainly the last chance I will ever have at winning an IPF World Championship in my home state in front of many family and friends. I plan to continue to train and compete single ply with my sights set on the Arnold where IPF World Records can be set and I will take a small bite of redemption then. I will also do a few bench press only meets between now and then.
I also bombed out of Men’s Nationals last year on squat depth and turned around less than a month later and competed at Raw Nationals with hardly any raw training and put together a good meet going 871/490/705 for a 2,066 total. I had not planned on competing at this year’s Raw Nationals because I intended on winning Nationals and preparing for Worlds. But that plan changed and so must I. So again, with 3 weeks of raw training under my belt I intend to compete at Raw Nationals. My first week back I re-tweaked my L5-S1 disc again doing Zerchers so it gives me almost no raw squat or deadlift training. I still plan on showing up and giving it my all. The USAPL Raw Nationals is shaping up to be one of the most epic meets I have ever heard of. 3 weeks out and there are already over 455 entries and it is surely expected to be over 500. Every class is stacked and every winner will have to fight tooth and nail for that top spot. The 120+ KG class may be the most stacked. Every single raw IPF World Record holder from this class will be at this meet. Ray Williams (Squat, Total), Brad Gillingham (Deadlift), Matt Baller (Bench Press). In addition, every single 120+ KG IPF Raw World Champion since its inception 3 years ago will be present (2012 – Myself, 2013 – Gillingham, 2014 – Williams). It will be an epically extraordinary battle and I can’t wait to step on the platform.
Blaine Sumner is a drug-free powerlifter who competes in the IPF and USAPL both raw and single ply. He holds the IPF Raw World Record for Squat (881 no wraps) and Total (2,056) in addition to winning the 2012 IPF Raw World Championship. Sumner played Division II football at the Colorado School of Mines where he started at nose tackle for 4 years in addition to scoring 8 touchdowns as a short yardage fullback. He also set NFL testing records for 225 bench reps (52) and Kirwan Explosive Index (95).
In addition to having a 33” Vertical Jump and 50” box jump at 350 lbs., Sumner was a 4 sport athlete in high school (Football, Wrestling, Lacrosse, Track). He is originally from Colorado and now lives in Oklahoma City where he trains at HATE Barbell and works as a Petroleum Engineer.