"The end of a matter is better than its beginning," King Solomon observes in Ecclesiastes. On April 10, my friend Eric Talmant broke through a major barrier after two years of effort.
Eric is a top powerlifter in the 165 lb. weight class and the founder and director of the Raw Unity Meet. ("Raw" powerlifting doesn't use equipment like squat suits and bench press shirts. In the RUM, knee wraps also aren't allowed.) At the first Raw Unity Meet in January 2008, Eric deadlifted 622 pounds for a personal record:
He deadlifted 635 pounds a few months later:
At the second Raw Unity Meet, Eric attempted to deadlift 639 pounds and missed it at his knees. The third Raw Unity Meet this January had huge interest, and Eric accumulated an immense amount of fatigue going into the competition. He pulled 639 past his knees and was approaching lockout when his body shut down:
Missing a deadlift can mess with a lifter's head. Missing the same deadlift twice can really mess with a lifter's head. And passing out during a deadlift can rattle a lifter that much more.
Eric did not get rattled.
On April 10 at the R.A.W. United Beau Moore Classic, Eric set personal records on his squat and bench press before deadlifting. On his second attempt deadlift, 640 pounds went up with amazing speed:
Then Eric did something even more amazing on his third attempt:
Eric totaled 1435 pounds, which is the second highest raw total in the country for the 165s. His 650 lb. deadlift is number one.
Eric is usually reserved on the platform, but after deadlift PRs he often shows justified exhilaration. After he deadlifted 650, what struck me was the look of profound peace, awe, and gratitude toward his Creator.
I am honored to have a role in Eric's latest achievements. In December, Eric and his head coach David Bates brought me aboard as his technique coach. Using Mark Rippetoe's mechanical model along with my own concepts, I identified inefficiencies in Eric's lifts that I felt were blocking PRs. Eric adapted the model and concepts to his style, and the results speak for themselves.
But as I once wrote, after the meet is before the meet. We're already discussing future goals. Old walls have been broken down. Moving on to new ones...