I don’t know how it’s possible, but somehow I keep getting stronger week after week. I keep wondering when my steam will run out. Part of me expected me to get stronger pretty quickly at the strongman events I wasn’t previously familiar with, but I wasn’t prepared to hit yet another deadlift PR last week!
The story of the PR is actually quite funny. When Mike and I started our session, he said we weren’t going to go super heavy for deadlifts to give my body a bit of a break. We were planning to do max reps at 100kg. I was disappointed but got on with it. After the first few sets, I was feeling strong. It was time for the 100kg set. Mike told me to stop at one rep if it felt easy (so he could put the weight up), but keep going if it was difficult. I did four reps and he told me to stop there. That in itself was a PR as I’ve never repped 100kg!
He then said we were going to try 112.5kg for a proper PR. That went up easy, so he threw on 115kg. Mike said that if I got 115 up, I wouldn’t have to do the max reps in 75 seconds at 92.5kg. I absolutely hate doing that, so it was a great incentive! The gym was packed and everyone stopped what they were doing to watch me lift. Talk about pressure! It paid off, because I got it up, but it’s never good enough for Mike – we’re aiming for 120kg today! I won’t be deadlifting for a few weeks, so I’m praying my strength doesn’t suffer too much.
Anyway, enough blabbering. Here’s last week’s workouts:
Monday – Back with trainer
Deadlifts: 50kg x 5, 5, 70kg x 3, 85kg x 1, 100kg x 4, 112.5kg x 1, 115kg x 1
Axle cleans: lots of technique work as this was my first time trying this exercise. This is the world’s most awkward exercise! Apparently my stomach is too flat to bounce the bar off me, so Mike wants me to gain a few fat rolls 😉 I worked up to 3 sets of 5 cleans at 37kg
Log cleans: 30kg x 5, 40kg x 5, 45kg x 3, 3, 30kg x 5 with double dip press
Dumbbell holds (max time for grip): 27.5kg DBs for 60 secs, 30kg DBs for 40 secs
Explosive bent over row: 40kg x 12, 50kg x 12, 60kg x 12
Bicep curls: 5kg DBs x 40, 7.5kg DBs x 40 (we’re starting some high rep bicep work to prepare my arms for the pump of sled pulls!)
This is the clean I’m doing (you can also see a video here):
Tuesday – Legs and strongman class
Before class, my trainer wanted to kill me, so I did a short and ‘light’ leg workout.
Zercher squats from the floor: bar x 8, 40kg x 8, 50kg x 5, 5, 5
Back squats: bar x 10, 40kg x 8, 50kg x 5, 55kg x 5, 5
Step-ups holding 10kg dumbbells: 10 x 3 (per side)
Then it was time for strongman class! I was physically and mentally exhausted, so it wasn’t my best performance. I had a powerlifter friend and Rob with me, so it was fun watching new people fall in love with strongman training. Everyone underestimated Rob and he was actually pretty strong! My friend did amazing and kicked my arse on everything, as I expected she would! Coach now wants her to compete too. We’re building up a little strongwoman army!
Wednesday – Rest day
Thursday – One-on-one events training with trainer
Have I mentioned how amazing my trainer is?! Driving all the equipment to the park for just me is a huge effort and takes a lot of time. Including a bit of chatting, the whole session took three hours. I’m honoured that he invests so much time and energy into my training.
We started with the log press, and I actually managed to press the 40kg log overhead. Considering I thought this was impossible just a few weeks ago, I’d say this is progress! We then practiced the axle cleans and presses. I could press the 40kg bar, but nothing more. The good news is that I managed to clean the 50kg weight (which is what I’ll be using in competition), so now I just have to learn how to press it.
FYI: Cleaning and pressing an axle bar with tyres attached to it (looks a lot heavier than it is) in the middle of the park will get some strange looks and comments. And it’s rough on the body! My chest, stomach and upper thighs are covered in bruises – you’re basically repeatedly dropping 50kg on yourself.
We then did a few pressing medleys where I ran between the 35kg log press and 40kg axle clean and press as many times as I could. My running style needs work as I kind of prance between the weights.
I then did some arm-over-over arm sled pulls lying in the dirt – literally a pig in mud. I pulled the 50kg sled over a 25 metre distance and then jumped up and dragged it back as fast as I could. My fastest time was 1:05. I then sat on the sled and made Mike do the event, so I could have a time to beat. He hasn’t done any events practice in a while and he was ruined. It’s funny how only a minute of work can completely wipe you out!
I finished with carrying a 50kg bag and sprinting between two markers 10 metres apart a few times. By this point I did want to vomit, so we called it a day.
Friday – Back + 15 mins sprints
There is a huge guy at my gym who I can somehow out-lift in certain exercises. He came up to me during my deadlifts and asked if I ever lift light. I laughed and said this was my light, ‘active rest’ day! He liked that one 🙂 When I was later looking for dumbbells, he pointed me in the direction of the 50kgs ha.
Deficit deadlifts (off 3 mats): 50kg x 8, 70kg x 5, 80kg x 5, 5
Axle bar holds (max time for grip): 60kg for 30, 25, 20, 25 secs
Single arm DB row: 20kg x 12, 12 , 12
Static dumbbell holds (max time for grip): 30kg x 15 secs (warm up), 35kg x 20 secs, 18 secs
Overhead barbell hold: 30kg x 3 x 30 secs
Loading the 50kg from floor to chest as fast as possible: 3 sets of 6 reps (best time 70 secs)
Saturday – Photoshoot workout + 20 mins sprints
Yes, you read that correctly! My gym is having photos taken for the new website, and they asked all the strong women to come down and train for the pictures. There were about 5-6 of us who said we would come, but I was the only person who turned up! Two hours after the starting time, two other women wandered in so they got a few shots, but it was mostly a private photoshoot for me. Very cool!
It wasn’t a typical fitness photoshoot. We were trying to make it as much about strength as we could, and keep the sexiness to a minimum. I kept my clothes on, especially considering I didn’t diet for it or anything. I saw a few of the pictures and they look awesome! We also took some video footage, as we are making a little video of me to put on the personal training section of the website.
I did squats, deadlifts, bench presses, dumbbell shoulder presses and of course busted out the trusty log. I was desperately in need of a rest day so I didn’t lift crazy heavy, not to mention it’s bloody difficult to hold squats and presses long enough for a photographer to get the shot. I will share the pics as soon as I get them!
Sunday – Legs
Zercher squats: bar x 12, 40kg x 12, 50kg x 5, 55kg x 5, 60kg x 5
Axle cleans – 27kg x 5, 5, 37kg x 5, 42.5kg x 3, 2
Hip thrusts: 3 chains (~45kg) x 15 with 10 sec hold on last rep
Step-ups holding 12.5kg dumbbells: 3 x 8,8,10
Chin-ups with blue band: 8, 6, 6, 5
Whew! Writing out these workouts always makes me feel exhausted! My body is definitely achey. Sore, but stronger.
As for food, I keep following the lift big, eat big mantra! This meal was legitimately meant for two – two pieces of salmon and an entire squash. And no, it wasn’t even post-workout.
This breakfast was indeed post-workout:
We also tried an amazing local Italian restaurant. I ordered potato and pecorini-filled ravioli with a tomato and basil sauce.
The protein came from my tiramisu!
After my photoshoot on Saturday, we went out for Thai food. I had an unpictured soft shell crab dish and followed it up with a surprisingly epic dessert of chocolate fondant and mango sorbet. I know I have a problem when restaurant portions aren’t big enough so that I have to order dessert.
The sweets continued with Pinkberry. Thanks to Khushboo, I’m now addicted!
Hopefully all these sweets fuel another PR today!
Have you ever surprised yourself with frequent PRs?