Strongman with Amber

Strongman with Amber

In my last post, I mentioned that I have a special guest staying with me this week. Amber used to blog but she’s now an Instagram celeb 😉 We met last summer and have been emailing ever since, so I offered her a place on my blow-up mattress for this week. I want to be a good host, so I don’t have time for a proper post, but I thought I would post some pictures of our strongman class from Tuesday.

Amber had to wake up at 4am on Tuesday morning for her flight to London, but no way was some pesky tiredness going to get in the way of strongman!

She did so amazingly well! All the guys were underestimating her because she’s so petite, and suggesting that she take weight off. My girl blew them all away when she beasted it up! Everyone was saying, “oh my god, she’s so strong and muscular!”

We practiced the tyre flip, farmers walks, arm-over-arm prowler pull, log press and loaded carries. The following pictures are all from my phone so excuse the poor quality, but hopefully I will have the professional ones next week!

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Hello jacked arms!

Hello jacked arms!

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In the competition round, we did the following events for max time/distance in 75 seconds: the log press, trap bar deadlifts, the crucifix, and the tyre flip.

I lost count of how many reps Amber did with the press – she was speedy!

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I hit 14 reps with the 35kg log, which is my best yet (last time I only got 8!). My only problem is that I tend to hold my breath any time I do overhead pressing, which is bad for my eye and also bad when my heart starts beating out of my chest!

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Next up were deadlifts with the 50kg trap bar. Amber was a beast on this one! She got 40 reps, which is seriously insane considering that’s her bodyweight. I hit 50 reps (up from 44 last time), but my coach wasn’t impressed because he wanted me to go heavier. The guy in our group sucks at counting because he counted 60 reps! Alas, the video below confirms that it was only 50.

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Here’s me in action (click here if the video doesn’t appear below):

Next up was my shining moment! We finished class by practicing the atlas stones. I seriously struggled getting the 45kg stone up last time, but this time I got my technique down and it felt easy. I have never done any lift like it in my life, so there’s nothing I can compare it to. You can’t use your hands to lift the weight; you have to use your forearms. It is a lot harder than it sounds – I thought lifting a 45kg weight would be easy peasy, but no. I got 45kg up and over the yoke, and it progressively got easier each time.

My coach told me to try the 60kg stone. I looked at him like he was crazy. Only one other woman could get the 45kg up, but not over the yoke, and some of the guys couldn’t even lift the 60kg stone. Never being one to quit, I tried. To my surprise, it budged about one centimetre (I thought it wasn’t going to move at all!). I took a breath and tried again and it moved about two inches. Next I got it onto my legs and dropped it. Finally, I got it on my legs and up! I got it up twice – not over the yoke but I’m damn pleased with myself. It helped that everyone was crowded around watching and cheering me, as I would have probably chickened out on my own.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt happier about making any kind of lift before! I was so hyper I couldn’t fall asleep until 1am. Here’s my coach teaching Amber to lift the stone.

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And here’s me lifting the 45kg. This was my first attempt of the day so I didn’t get it up properly. I didn’t get a photo of the 60kg lift, but it will come next week!

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I have insane bruises to show for it. I have huge bruises just below my hips, a big one coming up on my chest, and scrapes and bruises all over my forearms. Amber’s family will think I’ve beaten the poor girl up when she gets back home – her biceps are black and blue!

My poor arm!

My poor arm!

One of the reasons I couldn’t sleep is because I officially bit the bullet and signed the coach to be my proper coach, to take me to my first competition. The next UK comp is in August, which he wanted me to do, but a) I don’t feel ready (I know, I’m a pussy!) and b) I’m not going to be in the UK when it’s on. So we must find a new date to plan my training around.

I’m starting to sound like a cult member, but no style of training has ever made me feel this happy before. Amber felt the exact same way afterwards – even though she’d been up since 4am she couldn’t fall asleep either! She agrees that is addictive. You just want to try and try again. I told her she should fly in every week just for the class, and I think she’s considering it!

Last, but not least, the food! I’m doing much better about fuelling myself beforehand so that I don’t want to chew my own arm off by the time class is finished. On top of my regular diet, I had an extra sweet potato with lunch. My afternoon snack was 1.5 cups of greek yoghurt with 1 TB honey, a Larabar, a punnet of grapes and 2 TB cashew butter.

After class, we ate meat, meat and more meat! We each had a 250g burger with 150g of buffalo meatballs, along with two trays of roasted vegetables. I also had an unpictured protein shake and banana.

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Now who else wants to come to London next and take a strongman class with me? 😛

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