Category Archives: Powerlifting

Powerlifting Comp 16/2/14

Yesterday was the first powerlifting comp of the year. I realised I wouldn’t make nationals this year as it is not based on qualification this time, but is invite only in order to have fewer competitors and get it done with quicker. So I decided I should do the February comp to see where I’m at.

With the crazy hot weather we’ve been having, a week or two of getting sick, and then a little more hot weather, my training was average at best. In fact, up until yesterday’s comp, I hadn’t even bench pressed a barbell for 2 or 3 weeks.

I was not feeling particularly well prepared this time. The evening before, I realised I’d lost a deadlifting sock, so had to dash up to Kmart to buy a new pair of socks. On Sunday I was woken up a little earlier than I wanted by the cat throwing up. Then I was running late because of cleaning up. It wasn’t until weigh in that I decided what my opening lifts and warm ups would be. The Chocolate Diet had been going so well (down 2 kg in a 2 weeks) that I decided to have some chocolate for dessert the night before. On Sunday morning I stepped on the scales and realised I was pushing it a bit too much. Many trips to the toilet, not eating or drinking, and removal of shoes and pants got me smack bang on weight with not a gram to spare. On the upside, my belt fit well. It’s never fit well at that weight before, so I figured something must be going right.

I decided to open with a 105kg squat. I knew that would be fairly easy, as I recently hit that number in training for the first time. It felt so light! I got 1 red light for depth. Next I went for a PB – 112.5kg. I got 3 red lights for depth. This one felt heavier, so the primal instinct not to go too low kicked in. 3rd attempt I nailed it for 3 white lights 🙂

During bench I like to have a drink and a bite to eat because I don’t feel sick when benching with a fuller tummy. Of course, I knew that I couldn’t eat too much in case my belt didn’t fit for deadlifts, so I just had one muesli bar and a bottle of water with BCAAs. For bench I opened with 62.5kg. Got it, but it felt heavy, and very unstable. Second attempt was 65kg. I was kind of expecting to get that, as that is my previous PB from December, but I could not even budge it. I failed it again on my 3rd attempt. I was disappointed in this, although I really should not have expected it considering my training lately.

When it came time to warm up for deadlift, my belt fit fine without the suit, but once my suit was up I just couldn’t do it up! In the past I’ve asked a few different guys to help me do it up. I always assumed that guys are stronger so they could do it. But they were never able to. I think they are too gentle with a girl. So I got a champion girl to help me and she could do it easy 🙂

I opened with 135kg – very easy, although I thought I hitched it a bit, I got 3 white lights. Then I went for 142.5kg which is my PB from December. It felt like a grind, although looking at the video, it went up much quicker than it felt. My 3rd attempt was 145kg. I had never attempted this weight before, and I moved it a few inches off the ground, but that was it.

So my average training gave me average results. It’s a good indicator of where I am, and I’ve already made a plan to move forward!

Funny thing: My body is always sore in different places after each comp.

Powerlifting Comp 1/12/13

Last Sunday was the last comp of the year. My training had felt good up until the last week where I failed a few lifts. I was hoping for a squat and deadlift PB. I got that, and finally broke my bench PB too!

Here’s the vid:

(many thanks to my client, S, who took over from A to video my lifts)

So I got: Squat 110kg. I failed 112.5kg due to depth, but it really didn’t feel too heavy. I think my subconscious defence mechanisms kicked in and I just cut it short. That’s ok, because I’d actually feel comfortable opening with that amount next time round 🙂 Next was bench and I got 65kg. Very happy with that as I’d been stuck on 62.5kg since February. I have really been struggling with my bench in training, but finally I got it! Deadlift was a new PB too, at 142.5kg. On my 3rd attempt, I should really have gone for 145, but I really wanted to try 150 before the end of the year. I gave it all I had but couldn’t move it off the ground! Oh well 😀

It was a great friendly comp as usual. One of the MU coaches ended up coaching almost all of the girls, which was very nice. There were a few newbies there, with newbie coaches, and the MU coach was great helping those guys and telling them when to get their warm up sets done, which was great. It was also very helpful for coach-less me, because I didn’t have to bother about my attempt cards.

It was very inspiring to see a couple of national records being broken. And it was kind of nice for me to be one of the stronger girls 🙂 But that’s because the Commonwealth Champs are on soon, so that’s what all the strong people are doing.

It was good to compete again. My last PL comp was in March, and I forgot just how much better you lift in a competition environment. I had a new mantra to help me with my bench and deadlifts. I said to myself, I have superpowers, and it was (nearly) true!

Anyway, back to the grind this week. I am focusing on hypertrophy for the rest of the year. Currently I am experiencing DOMS so bad I couldn’t sleep last night and it is very hard to move my arms around. I have only done this many sets of intense work once before and I got sick after a couple of weeks, so we’ll see how long I last this time 🙂

Australian Raw Powerlifting Championships

Yesterday was the Nationals comp. I only qualified about 5 weeks ago, so I didn’t have long to try and better my lifts, but I’m very happy with how it went.

Coachless, I decided to put on my own coaching cap, and write out a plan for the day. On Saturday I wrote down exactly what I would warm up with, and what I wanted all my attempts to be. I didn’t want to leave anything left in the tank. I wanted to push myself, get some good solid PBs, and really see what I am capable of. I did not want to let mind tricks get in the way of a good comp. So I wrote it all down and committed to it.

Late on Saturday night – when I was kind of thinking about going to bed – I got a call from someone who’d found our cat 🙂 So we picked her up. She was quite skinny from being a street cat for 9 days, but her coat was glossy, so we think someone had been feeding her at times.

She’s really an outdoors cat, but we decided to keep her in for the night. Then we remembered why she’s an outside cat. She carries on non stop. I think I got about 4 hours sleep. At 5am we gave up and let her outside! I took finding our cat to be a good omen for the comp 🙂

So on Sunday morning, with less than ideal sleep, I ventured out to buy some caffinated coffee so I would have ample energy for the day. I was not on until 2pm, and weigh-in was at midday. This meant that I could not eat a lot beforehand. Ideally I would not eat anything so I could be as light as possible, but I needed the energy, and it’s not like I was going to win anything. So I had a light breaky and my coffee. After this comp, I have solidified my thoughts on ideal food before and after strength comps, compared to endurance racing. I will write it all down some other time. But I believe pretty much the opposite of what is perpetuated.

Driving into the city, I felt nervous, but excited. I was really happy having a plan in place! I allowed plenty of time to drive in, but not only was the Flower And Garden Show on near where I wanted to park, but Run For The Kids was on too. So although street parking was free on the streets, there were no parks! And after 20 minutes of driving around and getting slightly panicked, I ended up parking about 4 blocks away.

Weigh in was done with all us girls in the same room. Kinda weird. And a guy was in there. I think all the refs must have been in there. No biggie, but still different. I weighed in at 78.8kg. Up 300 grams or so from last time, but not bad considering I’d already eaten. It was interesting talking to some of the girls beforehand. A few, at least, had deliberately decided not to cut weight so they would be strong, and not grumpy on the day. They had decided it just wasn’t worth it. One said she tried to put on weight, and only managed a few hundred grams, despite eating lots of fried food over the past week. I was thinking I could’ve put a couple of kilos on for you easy!

When it was time to warm up, I pretty much stuck to my plan, give or take 5kg with the weights. Considering I have never planned my warm up so precisely before, it was no concern. To be honest, if I see someone lifting something similar to what I plan to do, especially for squat and bench if their rack height is fine for me, then I’ll just jump in.

I was very nervous for the squat, as usual. Partly because it’s the first lift, so you have a lot of nerves to start with. Partly because my opener was 100kg and that was still going to feel quite heavy. Partly because I really really really wanted a new squat PB and I had my plan in place and was putting all my trust in myself as a coach instead of letting my mind tricks do the talking on the day.

So first attempt was 100kg. That felt easy. Depth felt higher than usual, but I got all 3 white lights so it was fine. Second attempt was 107.5kg. This was a new PB by 2.5kg so I was already happy for the day 🙂 I got one red light for depth. Third attempt was 110kg. This was scary territory! When I set up, didn’t realise my knees were not locked, so they made me rack the bar and start again. I started again, and was also conscious of depth. I didn’t want to cut it high, as is often the case when it gets heavy, so I was sure to drop down low low low…. but then I couldn’t get up. Let out a rude word and laughed at the heaviness of it all while the spotters saved me 🙂 I don’t know if I couldn’t lift it because of the interrupted start, or if I went too low, or if it was too heavy for me. Either way, I walked off the platform very happy because my plan was going exactly how I wanted 🙂

Next up was bench. I opened with 62.5kg, which was my last PB. I have lifted that with relative ease several times, for one rep only. It was fairly easy on this day too 🙂 My lower back felt a little twinge from a big (for me) arch after this. For my 2nd and 3rd attempt I failed 65kg. It just wouldn’t budge. It’s interesting – a couple of weeks ago I managed to lift 3 x 5 @ 60kg, yet I can only manage 1 @ 62.5kg, and cannot budge anything more. I will have to use the micro-plates to see more improvement.

As usual, by deadlift time, I was starting to fade. I had a sugary snack to keep up energy. Deadlifts are so intense and take so much out of you, that you really do need a lot of energy to exert so much effort.

My deadlift training has been a little average, but I had my plan to stick to. Theoretically I knew I should be able to do it, so I had to trust myself before the mind games kicked in.

I opened with 120kg. It was easy. My second attempt was 135kg – a new PB by 2.5kg. This felt a bit heavy, but I was very happy now I had a new deadlift PB and everything had gone to plan so far. My third attempt was 140kg. It was way out of my comfort zone, I knew it would be heavy, and I knew there was a chance of failing, but I also knew I had a good chance of getting it and I didn’t want to leave anything left so I went for it. It was heavy, and felt slow (although in the vid it actually wasn’t that slow), and I did it!

Here’s the vid:

So I have a new total of 310kg. I am very happy with how the comp went – it went exactly to plan and I lifted exactly what I expected. It really was good to have a plan in place before the day, also to have worked out the best nutrition for training and in competition.

I came last or 3rd, depends how you look at it 😉 I did beat 2 others in the same weight class, but they were both masters and I have a feeling that masters were in their own separate category. They were both 4kg heavier than me though, so I am happy to be stronger than heavier people 🙂

It was great to meet up with someone from my Facebook page, and catch up with powerlifting buddies, and meet new people, and see some really good lifting and many records being broken. Hopefully one day I can be competitive enough to match or beat a record 🙂

Now I am aiming for A Grade – hopefully by the end of the year. This means I either have to add 30kg to my total, or if I lost 6.8kg I would already have it 😉 I think unless you are Elite standard, there’s probably no point in cutting weight. I can just work on solid nutrition and good training long term, and if I get very close to the 72kg class then I will do it. Elite II grading at 72kg is still a lower total than A Grade in the 84kg class.

There’s a kettlebell comp coming up soon in April, but I don’t think I will train for a ranking. I will just go in it to have fun and work on improving my form. I will take a break from powerlifting training for a week or 2 to do some meathead training, perhaps some olympic lifting, and other fun stuff.

Powerlifting Competition

Well I finally did it! I made B Grade!

My prep for this comp didn’t feel the greatest. This is my first full comp (did a couple of bench only comps) after my back injury, and my deadlifts felt rubbish over the past couple of weeks. Since the deadlift is usually my best lift, I wondered if I was really cut out for this stuff.

When I woke up, I had some zinc, acetyl L carnitine & alpha lipoic acid to give me energy. I drove into the venue feeling nauseous with nerves as usual.

Weigh in was always going to be a shock, since I no longer have scales at home. After eating like a pig over Christmas, and being on the Chocolate Diet for the past couple of weeks, I knew it wasn’t going to look good. I was up 4kg from last weigh-in in November to 78.x kg. Wow!

After that trauma, I went to get a coffee and had an oat bar for breaky. That extra caffeine and sugar would give me even more energy, and also I figure the carbs in the oat bar would give me some bloat so my lifting belt would be super tight. I also drank a ton of water throughout the day (with BCAAs) since it was 33 degrees, and there was no air con in the building.

I felt very nervous leading up to the squat, as that is the most terrifying lift for me. My warm ups felt good, and I was very confident of my opener of 95kg. It was easy. My previous PB is 97.5kg, so I decided to beat that on my 2nd attempt and went for 100kg. I kinda freaked out a bit, and got 1 red light for depth, but I knew I could go heavier. So for my 3rd attempt, I went for 105kg, felt even more nervous, and just did it! It was heavy, but I am wondering if I could have gone for even more. Either way, I was very happy with this! To finally get over 100kg is a milestone and it also meant I had a better chance of getting a total of 300, which is B grade in my weight class. Looking at my form, it was pretty good. In the past I have caved forward a bit, but I guess my abs and back are getting stronger because my posture is pretty good throughout.

I was very glad once the squat was over. Warming up for bench was easy. I was going to open with 60kg, which, based on training, would be a piece of cake. That is also my last PB, and last week in training, I managed that for 2 reps. So 60kg turned out to be lightweight. Next I went for 62.5kg. A new PB in the bag! It felt pretty easy too. For my third attempt I went for 65kg. I lowered it fine, it was nice and steady, but on the press command, it just stayed put! Oh well, I progress very slowly on bench and was still very happy with a new PB.

After that I did some calculations and saw I needed a 132.5kg deadlift to get a total of 300. My previous PB is 130, so you’d think I’d be super confident and find this dead easy. But since my training had been less than stellar, I really didn’t know if I could do it.

I wasn’t even that confident of my 117.5kg opener – but once I did it, it was easy. I should have gone for 130 or more for my 2nd attempt, but I still was not confident, so I went for 127.5kg – something that would have been easy in the past, but may be really really hard today. As it turned out, it was easy! Then I knew I only had to do 132.5kg. I was considering going higher for a bigger PB but I that wasn’t part of today’s plan. So for my third attempt I did 132.5kg. It was a bit harder, but no problem at all.

Here is the video:

All I can say is I am super happy I made it to B Grade! It took a year of specific training to do it. This means I have qualified to enter the nationals next month. I am not sure if I should do it though, as my back is a bit funny – not the same injury, but just some over-use or over-strained type stuff going on around the SI joint.

After this comp I had a really sore arse!! I don’t know if my gluteus maximus was sore from sitting around all day (there’s a lot of sitting in those 6 hours), or if I used my glutes properly in the squat and deadlift, or if it was actually referred pain from the SI joint.

For now I will take a day or two of rest, then take advantage of being a fatarse and lift some heavy weights to build some more muscle!

Oh, I forgot to mention I won my weight class, and not because I was the only one in it 😉 My next goal is to make A Grade, which means adding another 40kg to my total. Or losing 6kg. Haha. I know which is more likely.

Anyway, I am doing a survey. Do you think I should enter nationals next month or not? Majority rules. Thanks 🙂