Nathan Baxter 2015 IPF World Bench Press Championships

Nathan Baxter 2015 IPF World Bench Press Championships

The following is the transcript of a text conversation I had in the warm up room at the 2015 IPF World Bench Press Championships. Sometimes the hardest thing is just waiting to lift. By this stage I had weighed in and was sitting around until the 120kg class finished their session. The warm up room was a one minute walk from the on deck area but the energy in the room was still electric. Training to stay calm and not burn up all my energy with nerves was hard to do so I welcomed the message from back home. I was talking to Rob Murrell, an Australian 120kg powerlifter and owner of Barbarian Strength and Conditioning in Rockingham, WA. In this contest prep I had done all my heaviest sessions in his gym.
 
Rob Murrell
Time to go to work bud. This is your bread and butter.

Rob Murrell
Warm ups soon?

Nathan Baxter
When the 120s are done.

Rob Murrell

Sweet. Feeling good buddy.

Nathan Baxter
Nerves are the worst waiting like this. Warm ups will help. Get the shirt on and feel even better. Nail 340 and I’ll feel great.
 
340kg was my planned opening attempt that I submitted an hour earlier at weigh in.

Rob Murrell
340 is the perfect opener. I’ve seen you do it plenty of times before. You know you can nail it. Use those nerves, they will help you. You got this mate. This is what you do.

Nathan Baxter
Yeah man I got this. Step by step. Tick all the boxes. 340 is just another step along the path.

Rob Murrell
That’s it mate. Tick the boxes, check them of the list. It’s just a procedure, you have done it plenty of times before. You know what to do.

Rob Murrell
Time to do your thing champ. Bring it home strong buddy.
 
Nathan Baxter
In the warm up room now. Staked out my bench with Jona and Ryan. Vibe is strong. Liking the energy.
 
Jona Leo, 2013 World Bench Press Champion and Ryan Carrillo, 2013 World Junior Bench Press Champion are my Team Titan team mates who I often travel with. Being the sole Aussie at the championships every year isn’t easy so I have formed strong bonds with both of these USA lifters. The importance of having a good team around a lifter can’t be overstated. Team USA and Team Great Britain have always looked after me well and this day was no different.
 
Rob Murrell
Excellent. First box on the list ticked.

Nathan Baxter
I’m going with no socks and shoes untied just like in the gym.
 
Back in Perth I rarely wear shoes during the day and when it comes time to train I simply slip on my Olympic lifting shoes with laces untied and go to work. I began to ask myself “Why should today be any different?” The challenge I always find is to calm my nerves to make comp day just like training at home, so no socks and laces undone it was. Took 5 Recov Bipeptides.
 
Rob Murrell
I love it. Just like home.

Nathan Baxter
70kg done. So good to have a barbell in my hands!

 
My last heavy session was eight days ago and then I did two light sessions during the week. Not lifting heavy is hard and the morning before lifting seemed to drag on so to finally start warming up felt great. On the bench, doing what I know how to do best was the best way to calm to pre competition jitters
 
Rob Murrell
Nice. Same as the gym mate. Lightweight buddy.

Nathan Baxter
Openers are posted. Opening equal 5th.

Rob Murrell
Great. Nail it and tick that off the list.

Nathan Baxter
120×3 feeling the energy now.

Rob Murrell
Easy mate. Just keep going through the list. You know what you are doing. Enjoy the energy, let it fuel you.

Nathan Baxter
150×3 tick. Wrist wraps on next.

Rob Murrell
Yeah nice. I’ve got the feed up ready to rock, scoresheet looks great. I can almost feel the energy myself.

 
The meet was being broadcast live over the internet.
 
Nathan Baxter
180 done. Feeling good. Raw warm ups never feel that great but these do. Slowing down and giving you these updates is helping.
 
It really was! One of the best things for any athlete is to stay in the moment. Unfortunately it’s also one of the hardest things to do. Having good Wi-Fi connection and something to do between warm up attempts helped slow me down and not get caught up in the excitement of the day.
 
Rob Murrell
Good buddy. You have worked hard for this. It should feel great. Phone is in my hands. Whatever you need bud I’m here.

Nathan Baxter

Shirts on.

Rob Murrell
Time to go to work. You know what to do. You’ve done this before.
 
Took 5 Recov Bipeptides washed down with some Coke. I know Coke isn’t the best but at times like this I like the sugar and instant energy.
 
Nathan Baxter
315×1 to 2b so damn fast.
 
So this means I took 315kg as a partial rep. I use this weight as a way to set myself and get the equipment all dialled in. Quite often it doesn’t feel too good but today it felt awesome.
 
Rob Murrell
It’s going to fly off your chest. It will be fast. Lock out strong.

Rob Murrell
You know what you’re doing. You
’ve done this before.

Nathan Baxter
330 to 1 board done. I’m ready.
 
Took 5 more Recov Bipeptides and headed down to the on deck area. Start of warm up to now was about 50 minutes. Everything felt great and I knew I was in for a big day out. Energy was good, no aches, no pain just the feeling of being completely ready.
 
Rob Murrell
Yeah buddy it’s time to do your thing. Have fun.

Rob Murrell
Take your time and set yourself. You have done this before.

Rob Murrell
Yeah buddy. Nailed it!

Rob Murrell
Proud of you bud. Nailed that PR and a new Oceania record!!!!
 
Competition complete. Nailed a 340kg bench press on my second attempt and then went for 352.5kg attempting to squeeze into the bronze medal position. A small technical error tripped me up so despite getting the weight off my chest and up to lockout I was denied the attempt. Strength wasn’t the issue, just a little sloppy with the form! I don’t mind this as I know I will take this weight next time out and smash it. I was pleased that I was in the battle and gave it my all. 340kg counted as a new Commonwealth, Oceania and Australian record and gave me 6th place (on a count back as two of us had the same lift) which is my best showing at a World Championship.
 
All in all a pretty good day out. Now it’s time to start preparing for World’s 2016! With the support of No Days Off I am certain I will be in the best shape of my life.