2019 Garage Gym Competition

The second annual Instagram Powerlifting Meet has just wrapped up and I’m pretty stoked with my results! This year, instead of spacing out the lifts one per day during the week long competition time frame, I opted to replicate a meet, by doing all three lifts in one day – squat, then bench and wrapping up with a deadlift. Only giving myself three attempts at a single weight.

This is a virtual Instagram event organized once a year by Gray Matter Lifting and is a great chance for the otherwise isolated garage/home gym owner to get together and celebrate some strength achievements with the community.

I don’t usually test one rep maxes, so this is a great way to track my progress and gives me around 12 months in between to assess training. Given my shift in focus to a more powerlifting style regiment I was hoping for some big wins. I do keep track of my working sets, however my PR board, has remained empty, since I haven’t been using too many singles in my recent months training.

My game plan was to select weights with the following criteria, the first weight I could do at around RPE7, the next was closer to an RPE8.5. The final attempt would be close to an RPE10 if not more.


With all that said, here are my results for 2019!

Bodyweight: 208lbs.

Squat: 460lbs
Bench: 315lbs
Deadlift: 475lbs
TOTAL: 1250lbs

Two new PR’s, the squat and the bench. Not being super experienced with doing all three lifts in one day, my back was not up to the task and had to settle for a 475lb deadlift, about 10lbs shy of what I was able to lift two weeks prior.

The squat went a lot better than I had expected, with squat numbers stalling in the recent months, I wasn’t expecting to be able to hit my last PR of 455lbs, but 445 went up quite smoothly so figured I would go for a shot at a 5lb PR.

The bench felt great, the first two lifts went up without an issue and I had the ‘three plate’ club in my mind, so went for the 315lbs. Got a back cramp towards the end of the lift, I was able to fight off the pain and successfully complete the lift.

The deadlift was disappointing, I was unable to lift my previous lift at 485lbs. But I knew from the warmups, that my performance wouldn’t be that great, everything just felt heavy. I’m not accustomed to performing so much work in one day, this was closing in on the 2.5 hour mark. So I think I just ran out of steam, my second attempt was at 475lbs and I barely budged the barbell off the floor. Knowing I only had one attempt left, I played it safe and attempted the same weight after a few minutes rest. It felt slow, but I was able to grind the barbell up and complete the lift.


For those wondering, here are my results from the 2018 competition:

Bodyweight: 186lbs

Squat:  400lbs
Bench: 255lbs
Deadlift: 415lbs
TOTAL: 1070lbs

Not only a lift PR, but a bodyweight PR was achieved!

Learn More!

With the 2019 competition all wrapped up, if you want to get involved in next year’s competition, I highly suggest following Gray Matter Lifting on Instagram, WordPress & subscribing to the HomeGym SubReddit. All provide great resources for the home/garage gym owner.

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