Raw Nationals 2014 Recap

After an extended stay in Denver, I returned to San Marcos yesterday to finish out my summer. My Raw Nationals 2014 weekend was vastly different from my 2013 experience and I am very thankful for that.

In 2013, I had to lose over 10-pounds to compete in the 72-kg weight class. My summer leading up to Raw Nationals was no fun and I struggled to hit my programmed lifts in the gym. I was coming off a highly successful USAPL Alaska State Championship in April where I had set 3 Junior American Records (297 SQ, 192 BP, and 824 Total) and then CrossFit Regionals. My goal was to better my American Records & podium, neither of which I did. I had lost the weight in a really irresponsible fashion – by practically starving myself and then shedding the last 1/2 pound by doing a workout in my hotel bathroom the morning of weigh-ins. My final results were a 5/9 day where I got a 286 SQ, 177 BP (only got my opener), and 336 DL (2nd in the Junior division). The only thing I was happy with was that somehow I qualified for the Arnold. Immediately after the awards, my family and I left Orlando for the beach. No part of me wanted to be at the venue any longer. My experience taught me a lot and fueled me to improve.

Fast forward to 2014 — I made the decision in December to move up a weight class, so now my bodyweight is at the bottom of the list of things I’m focused on. Raw Nationals this year was an incredible experience. I met all kinds of people, socialized, actually watched other lifters, and had a good time before and after competing. My only stressor was that I couldn’t seem to keep weight on. I had been training all summer at 184 and by the time we weighed in on Sunday, I was 179… But in the end it did not affect my performance. My day was a far-from-perfect 6/9 performance (had some trouble keeping my balance with my 1st & 2nd Deadlift), but it landed me 3rd in the Open and only 2-pounds shy of my 1,000 pound Total goal.
I am incredibly thankful for the supportive team that I have, my 3 fantastic coaches, and my family for traveling from California, Alaska, and Fort Collins to watch me compete.

Here is a breakdown of my performance this year compared to last year:

                            2013          2014
Bodyweight         158            179
Squat                   286            385
Bench                 177             209
Deadlift                336             402
Total                    799             996
Wilks                   355.18        410.42

So even on a not so stellar day, I managed to add 197-pounds to my Total and increased my Wilks by 55 points, even after putting in 20 pounds of bodyweight. I’m not disappointed with my performance, but I am definitely hungry for some redemption because I know I had a bigger Deadlift in me on Sunday.


My next meet is in 4 weeks – I’ll be doing Bench Nationals equipped (not RAW) in San Antonio. I have also accepted the invitation to Bench and Deadlift (RAW) at the Alaska Fitness Expo in Anchorage during the evening show on October 11th.

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

2 thoughts on “Raw Nationals 2014 Recap

  1. This is amazing Natalie. I am so inspired by your strength increase… I almost can’t even believe you added that much to your total in a year! Wonderful work!

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