It has been a week since I competed in the 2011 AAU Christmas Challenge powerlifting meet so I feel like I have kept you all in suspense for long enough.  So here I am in all my bearded glory doing what I do best, lifting really heavy metal objects.

Spoiler Alert: I took 1st Place in my weightclass!  Booyah!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.  I seriously don’t think I have one first place in anything since I was 9.  Although my lifts are by no means outstanding, they were the best in the crowd on this day.  Not only that, they were all PRs and that is all that mattered to me.

Now that all is said and done, here are a few of my reflections of my training, the meet, and future goals.  Bergeron Performance: Raw and Uncut.

The Training

Being my second meet, I had a better idea of how to train and what I was looking to accomplish.  My only real goal was to lift more than I did at my first meet only 9 months ago.  All I needed was a solid program to get there.  Having a better idea of different programs, I chose to go with a Sheiko program.

I tried 5/3/1 my first time around which is significantly lighter in volume so I wanted to see how my body would handle the bigger volumes.  Some days I was upward 16-20 sets of the big lifts.


  • you get strong as hell
  • you spend plenty of time under the bar


  • some people don’t handle volume too well
  • some days you will train for close to 2 hours

I got awesome results from the Sheiko 9-week competition prep program and plan to train with another Sheiko program for my next meet in March.  Oh wait, I already started training.  Guess I will rest in March…

The Meet

I must say, after recovering the week prior and just veging out all day Saturday, meet day I felt great.  I woke up at 7:00 and since I didn’t have to worry about weight I had my usual breakfast of eggs and potatoes.

My my clients who competed as well picked me up at 8:00 and we checked in around 9:00.  Gear was all good and I weighed in at exactly 88kg (193.6lbs).

Just to compare my last meet in February, I weighed in at 83kg (182.6) which means I put on over 10lbs of solid mass.  I was over 198 while I was training but decided to diet down a little so I didn’t weigh in too heavy.

Last meet’s lifts/my openers were:

  • Squat 315
  • Bench 270
  • Deadlift 405


The squat is a lift that I really just started training less than a year ago for my first meet and still has a ton of room for improvement considering that I crushed my 3rd lift which was over 30lbs more than anything I have ever trained with.

Not to mention I just realized the week prior that my squat is a tad deep which you will see in the video in my first two lifts.  That and the fact that the judges kept telling me to put more weight on the bar.

Opener – 142.5kg (313.5lbs) – Good

2nd Attempt – 152.5kg (335.5lbs) – Good

3rd Attempt- 165kg (363lbs) – Good

I took their advice and put over an extra 10lbs on the bar for my 3rd attempt and got it with ease.  My goal for March is to hit 400.  40lbs in 3 months is a loft goal to say the least but I got that sh$&!


Let me start by saying that while I was training over Thanksgiving break in VT I met a powerlifter in Burlington that was 20lbs lighter than myself and was benching over 500lbs.  It is safe to say that I will never even come close to those numbers in my lifetime due to my Michael Phelps-like wing span.

With that in perspective, my lifts went as planned after my opener.  Once again the judges told my that looked easy so I challenged myself on my 3rd lift.

Opener – 125kg (275lbs) – Good

2nd Attempt – 130kg (286lbs) – Good

3rd Attempt- 135kg (297lbs) – No Lift

Last year I really struggled with the bench and one of my main issues was keeping my ass on the bench.  That being said, one of the only things going through my mind besides GET IT during my 3rd attempt was KEEP YOUR ASS ON THE BENCH.  I did a good job of that but 297 was just out of my reach.

I originally planned to hit 291 but  thought I would go all out for my final lift.  It was a grinder and I do think I could have got it if the spotters didn’t pull it but they are quick if the bar goes down at all.  I can hit 310 without the pause so a competition lift of 300 is within reach.


One of the first things I noticed for lifts 7,8, and 9 is that i was HUNGRY!  I didn’t pack food thinking I could make it through the meet.  I was wrong.

I opened cleanly with my last max.  So far so good.  I then hit my training max.  No problems there.  By the time my 3rd lift came around my stomach was grumbling and all I could think about was food.  This is something to seriously consider for my next meet.

Opener – 185kg (407lbs) – Good

2nd Attempt – 195kg (429lbs) – Good

3rd Attempt- 200kg (440lbs) – No Lift

I feel like there is a lot of work to be done on my deadlift and plan to come back much stronger in March.  The first thing to work on is getting my shoulders back more and keeping my lats a little tighter.  The other thing is ordering a better belt.  The generic one from work won’t cut it if I plan to compete again.


All-in-all I feel like it was a complete success.  I had two of my clients compete for the first time and they had a blast which was one of my main priorities.  One competed at the age of 47 after only getting into the lifting game about a year and a half ago.  They both plan to compete again.

My camera woman and the love of my life, Lindsay, is going to compete with me in March so watch out!  We are going to crush some PRs together!

If you have any advice or critique to my lifts PLEASE comment below.  I can only take my training so far….

Merry Christmas and see you in March!

Written by Steve